Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Disappearing?

I have seen this many times: A shrimp keeper brings new batches of shrimp to the aquarium. After about a couple of hours of releasing the shrimp, the shrimp keeper fails to spot most of them. He wonders where the shrimp disappeared. Well, let’s answer this question in this article.

Cherry shrimp can disappear due to predation by fish or other tank inhabitants, poor water quality, hiding during molting, or getting stuck in tank equipment. To prevent shrimp from vanishing, ensure compatible tank mates, maintain clean water, provide ample hiding spots, and check all equipment.

If you are wondering where your cherry shrimp disappeared, chances are they are just hiding in a tricky place. If you can’t find your shrimp, a few more things can happen. Let’s discuss each of these in detail.

Where Do Shrimp Hide In The Tank?

If you don’t see your shrimp in the tank for a while, you shouldn’t get worried. Hiding in some corners of the tank is pretty normal behavior for shrimp. You might wonder where your shrimp hide in such a small tank.

Your shrimp can hide in any corner of the tank, wherever they can fit themselves. If the shrimp tank is plant-based, your shrimp may hide behind dense vegetation. The loose substrate is another suitable option for your shrimp’s hideouts.

Besides, you might have added several décor items to your shrimp tank for decoration purposes, such as natural or artificial rocks, cholla wood, Mopani wood, driftwood, fake plants, pieces of hollow pipes, plastic cages, coconut aquarium shrimp caves, etc.

These décor items work as wonderful hideouts for shrimp. Your shrimp may chill out in these places during their leisure time. If you don’t find your shrimp, you can look into these small corners.

Why Is My Shrimp Hiding?

Although shrimp can hide themselves to take some rest, there may remain other reasons. If your shrimp spends a lot of time in hiding, you should look for the actual reason. Let’s check out some probable reasons for which your shrimp may hide.

1. Your Shrimp Are Newbies

If your shrimp are new to the tank, it may take some time to get accustomed to the environment. That’s why the experts suggest acclimatizing shrimp before adding it to the new tank. Poor acclimatization causes stress to your shrimp.

As a result, the newly brought shrimp do not remain active at the beginning. Your new shrimp may take a few weeks to adjust to the new tank. Meanwhile, these new shrimp may hide in small corners of the tank wherever they fit themselves.

2. Uncycled Tank

If you leave your new shrimp in an uncycled tank, the tank environment will make your shrimp stressed. You might know that shrimp can not tolerate ammonia at all.

In an uncycled tank, no beneficial bacteria remain to convert the ammonia into less harmful nitrate, which is why shrimp tend to hide there.

3. Not Feeling Secured

A lack of security can force your shrimp into hiding. Sometimes, people keep a large colony of shrimp in a small tank. Overcrowding can cause stress to your shrimp, which leads them to hide.

See also  Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Jumping Out Of Tank?

Besides, incompatible tank mates make your shrimp insecure in the tank. The beginners often keep aggressive tank mates with their shrimp. If your shrimp feel threatened by their tank mates, they’ll hide in the tank.

4. Inappropriate Water Parameters

Expert shrimp keeper Abhisek Mallick emphasizes the criticality of water parameters in shrimp health.

He advises, ‘Each shrimp species has a different requirement, so study it, make your parameters rock solid, and then add shrimp.’

This underscores the existing knowledge that shrimps, being delicate aquatic creatures, are highly sensitive to water conditions.

Consistent pH, GH, and KH levels are crucial, as deviations can lead to stress-induced hiding or other health issues.

5. Your Shrimp Is Molting

As part of growth, shrimp often shed their exoskeleton to fit into a new shell. After shedding their exoskeleton, these shrimp remain vulnerable. Since they do not have any hard shells after molting, their predators can readily attack them.

To save their soft body, shrimp choose to hide in secure places. If you find any shredded exoskeleton in the water, molting must be the reason behind the hiding of your shrimp.

Are you an owner of ghost shrimp? Then, this article will help you know all the details about ghost shrimp molting.

Owner: Sarah Louise Kennedy

6. Your Shrimp Is Breeding

It’s pretty common among shrimp hobbyists to hear about surprise shrimp babies. After all, the berried shrimp are too good at hiding themselves.

Generally, shrimp prepare to breed right after molting. During the breeding period, the female shrimp hide at a secured place to release pheromones. The male shrimp will search for the female shrimp being attracted by the pheromones.

So, your shrimp may create a safe spawning space if your shrimp is hiding in the breeding period.

7. Your Shrimp Is Sick

Shrimp remain weak at their sickness. If your shrimp is ill, it’ll not want to encounter in front of its competitors. That’s why your shrimp may be hiding.

8. Stress Factors

One of the most significant reasons for your shrimps’ hiding is their stress factors. When the temperature is too high or low, your shrimp lose the energy to keep their body active.

Also, shrimp can’t tolerate fluctuations in the water. Sudden water changes and ammonia spikes can stress shrimp.

As a result, your shrimp tend to hide in small corners of the tank. Overfeeding is another stress factor that causes shrimp to hide.

If you are looking for signs of stress in shrimp, you can read this article: 3 signs of stress in shrimp you should know!

9. Avoiding Daytime

If your shrimp prefer nighttime, these tiny creatures may hide during the daytime. Your shrimp may want to avoid the light and noise of the daytime. You may find your shrimp forging at night time if you do not see them during the day.

10. Chilling Out

Lastly, there might be nothing to worry about at all. Your shrimp may be hiding just to chill out or take a rest.

Owner: Natalie Skinner

Cherry Shrimp Might Be Eaten By The Tank mates

Another probable reason for not finding your shrimp is that they have already been eaten. Tank mates are extremely important for keeping cherry shrimp. They are not compatible with almost all types of fish.

Most fishes try to hunt and eat shrimps. A general rule of thumb is that if the fish’s mouth is large enough to fit a cherry shrimp, it will probably try to eat the shrimp.

Some small aquarium fish can also harass the cherry shrimp, which can lead to a very stressful environment for them. Sometimes, they can get eaten by other tank mates.

So, if you can’t find your cherry shrimp, check if it was eaten by a potential tank mate.

See also  Why Are My Cherry Shrimps Dying? [14 Reasons Why]

For your convenience, here I am providing a table showing what tank mates are compatible with cherry shrimps and which ones to avoid:

Good Tank Mates Bad Tank Mates
Other shrimp speciesDiscuss
Dwarf suckersCichlids
Small rasborasDiscus
Small TetrasAngelfish
SnailsFishes with a large mouth to gulp the shrimp in a single instance

Personally, I like to keep my cherry shrimp in a dedicated tank. Well, sometimes, I keep snails in the tank. Snails and shrimps live very peacefully together.

Need To Talk With A Vet Right Now?

Cherry Shrimp Might Get Trapped Inside The Filter Intake Tube

This is the third common reason. I have seen this occurrence many times in the forums. Some members couldn’t find his shrimp in the tank, even after a thorough search.

Lastly, when checking the HOB, he found the shrimp inside the HOB box! Can you imagine that? The shrimps got inside the HOB box through the filter intake tube. So, if you can’t find your cherry shrimps, don’t forget to check out the filter.

This occurrence can be easily prevented. Just cover the filter intake tube with something. I like to cover it with a piece of filter media. This ensures the shrimplets don’t get sucked into the tube in case the water flow is too much for them.

Also, covering the intake tube is a good practice for keeping shrimp. It keeps the shrimp safe from unwanted accidents.

If you have a heater in the tank, don’t forget to cover its intake tubes too.

Owner: Natalie Skinner

Cherry Shrimp May Jump Out Of The Tank

The last reason can be your cherry shrimp just jumped out of the tank. Shrimps jump out of the tank for many reasons, such as:

  • If the water parameter is not right for the cherry shrimps, it will try to jump out of the tank in search of a new home. Wrong water parameters are deadly for cherry shrimps or any shrimps you want to keep. Shrimps are delicate creatures, but they can only thrive when the environment favors them. An unfriendly environment with the wrong water parameters can even cause the death of your shrimps.
  • The shrimp always remain stressed. If the tank mates are not compatible with your shrimp, your shrimp will always hide or try to jump out of the tank. That’s why it is essential to have compatible tank mates in your shrimp tank. I personally only keep snails with my shrimp. This ensures my shrimp are not harassed or bullied by any other fish at all.
  • Another mistake beginners make is filling the tank to the brim with water. This encourages the shrimp to jump out of the tank. Always leave 1 or 2 inches of gap between the water level and the rim of the aquarium. Also, if your shrimp are very feisty, you can cover the tank to prevent unwanted escape.

These are the most common reasons for shrimps jumping out of the tank. If your shrimps are disappearing or jumping out of the tank, the first thing I’ll check is the water parameters.

Trust me, keeping the right water parameters is one of the most important tasks for keeping shrimps.

I created this table showing the ideal water parameters for cherry shrimps:

Temperature70 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit
pH6.5 to 7.5
GH6-8 ppm
KH1-4 ppm
TDS150-250 ppm

Try to achieve these water parameters before releasing the cherry shrimp into your tank. This will solve most of the problems you may face afterward.

If you need a test kit to measure water parameters, I recommend the API Master Test Kit. This master test kit can measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and many other parameters. It is certainly a worthwhile investment for any shrimp keeper!

See also  What Is The Best Temperature For Cherry Shrimps?

A Little Trick To Bring Shrimps Out From Hiding

As I have already said, if you can’t find your shrimp, the most common reason is they are hiding. But you can’t absolutely guarantee it, right?

What if they are not hiding? What if they jumped out of the tank or got eaten by some other fish? Well, there is a little trick you can do to find that out.

The trick is to allure your cherry shrimps to come out of their hiding places by offering food. If they do, you already know they were hiding. If they don’t, then the shrimps probably jumped out of the tank or got eaten. But don’t jump to any conclusion right off the bet. Sometimes, the shrimps show no interest in food.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Take your shrimp’s favorite food. It can either be a commercial pellet-type food or a blanched vegetable.
  2. Place the food in a food bowl and put the bowl into the tank.
  3. Now, wait for 10-20 minutes. By this time, all the shrimp inside the tank should be interested and come near the food bowl to check out the food.
  4. You can then easily check out if your cherry shrimps are doing well or not.

Do Shrimp Hide In Gravel?

The answer is yes! If your shrimp feel secure in gravel, they may create secret corners to hide in gravel.

In such a case, your shrimp try to ensure that the gravel grains accommodate them. That’s why the experts suggest adding gravel as substrate instead of keeping the bare bottom.

Do Shrimp Bury Themselves?

Sometimes, shrimp want to keep their spot away from their predators. Besides, these shrimp tend to hide whenever they want to escape from the stress factors. So, it’s pretty common among shrimp to bury themselves when they try to hide.

cherry shrimp breeding

Is my cherry shrimp hiding or dead?

Cherry shrimp may hide when they are molting or feeling stressed due to factors like low water conditions, inappropriate cycling, and elevated toxins.

If the shrimp is lying on its side or upside down and not moving, it may be dead. To determine if your cherry shrimp is hiding or dead, you can check for movement and observe the color of the shrimp. If it is hiding, it may be behind objects to shed its exoskeleton or avoid predators.

I can’t find my shrimp in my tank?

When you can’t find your shrimp in your tank, they may be hiding due to stress or molting. You can try looking behind objects or inside the tank cabinet. You can also check if there are any predators in your tank that may have eaten the shrimp.

Why are my shrimp always hiding?

Shrimp may hide for various reasons, including illness or injury, overcrowding, poor water quality, a lack of hiding spots in the tank, stress from lighting or other environmental factors, and molting. Newly introduced shrimp may also hide out of stress and fear until they acclimatize. 

How do you know if cherry shrimp are stressed?

Several signs that cherry shrimp may exhibit when they are stressed include lethargy, loss of appetite, reduced movement, hiding behavior, decrease in color intensity, slow growth, small adults, hanging out at the water surface, failed molts, and not breeding. In some cases, stress can also cause cherry shrimp to change color or develop black or brown spots.

Is it normal for shrimp to hide?

It is normal for shrimps to hide. Shrimps are known to hide when they feel threatened or stressed. Hiding behavior is also common when shrimp are molting or when they are trying to avoid predators. Providing hiding spots in the tank can help to reduce stress and make your shrimp feel more secure. 


Don’t panic if you can’t find your shrimp inside the tank. It happens to all of us. Shrimps are very good at hiding. Just check after a few days.

If you can’t find the cherry shrimps even after a few days, then take the necessary steps mentioned in the article to prevent any unwanted accidents or escaping.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. AcuarioPets.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.