Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Jumping Out Of Tank?

A few days earlier, I discovered one of my cherry shrimps suddenly jumped out of the tank. I was shocked to see this kind of behavior, so I did some research, and here’s what I found.

Cherry shrimp jump out of the tank mainly if they are stressed. Other reasons include overcrowding or bad tank mates stressing them out. Other reasons can include inappropriate tank water parameters, a high level of current in the water, a lack of hiding places, and a high bioload in the tank.

Jumping out of the tank is a pretty common behavior of cherry shrimp. They can do it for many reasons, and I’ll explain each one in detail here.

Why Cherry Shrimps Jump Out Of Tank?

There are many factors that can drive a cherry shrimp to jump out of the tank. However, the most common factors are:

  • Stress
  • bad tank mates
  • higher bioload
  • current in water, etc.

Let’s take a look at each of these factors in detail:

group of yellow red cherry shrimp feeding
Owner: Maryanne Young

Stress Is The #1 Culprit

Stress is the #1 reason for cherry shrimp jumping out of the tank. Cherry shrimp can get stressed due to many reasons. But the most common one is water parameters.

Shrimps are very delicate creatures. To thrive, they need a specific water parameter range. If the water parameters are not suitable, they’ll start to get stressed.

If things get unchanged or worse, the shrimps will try to get out of the water. So, they just jump out of the tank.

So, if you see your cherry shrimps jumping out of the tank, the first thing you should do is check the water parameters. The most important water parameters are pH, KH, GH, TDS, and Temperature.

Here’s what ideal water parameters for cherry shrimps should look like:

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

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

different shrimps' ideal water parameters infographic

Bad Tank Mates Also Cause Stress

In the earlier point, I said stress is a common reason for shrimps jumping out of the tank. I also said unsuitable water parameters are mainly responsible for it. But this is not the only culprit.

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Bad tank mates also cause a lot of stress to the shrimp. Cherry shrimp are very delicate and small, so they can live peacefully with only a few tank mates.

If their tank mates are big, aggressive, temperamental, and territorial, the shrimp will always be hunted down, which continuously adds to their stress.

As a result, the shrimps try to save themselves by jumping out of the tank. There is nothing else to expect, right?

So, before even thinking about adding shrimps to your tank, check if the tank mates are ideal for your shrimps. If they aren’t, please don’t add the shrimps. Use a different tank.

If you want to keep and breed shrimps, I’ll always recommend to keep them in a dedicated shrimp tank.

Here’s a quick overview of good and bad tank mates for cherry shrimps:

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
shrimp acclimation in a bowl
Owner: Ricky Sales

High Bioload Detoriates Water Quality

High bioload can also be responsible for this behavior. High bioload means there is too much livestock in the tank, which causes the amount of dissolved oxygen to start to decrease.

The situation gets worse if there is no surface agitation in the water. If the dissolved oxygen level gets too low, the shrimp will try to leave the tank in search of a better home.

So, what can you do to prevent this?

  1. Don’t put too many fish, shrimp, or other livestock in the tank. Only put the amount appropriate for your tank size. Too much livestock always results in bad shrimp and fish conditions.
  2. Use good filtration. A good filter will fight back the bioload and help to sustain a healthier environment in the aquarium.
  3. I often use a Sponge Filter with air stones running inside it for cherry shrimp. When the air stones run, they create lots of bubbles. These bubbles go upwards and agitate the surface, creating more dissolved oxygen in the tank water.
  4. Always perform regular water changes. No matter how good or powerful your filter is, you must perform regular water changes. I always do a partial water change on a weekly basis. I can’t stress enough how important water changes are for cherry shrimp.

Too Strong Current In Water

This is a good theory. However, I never saw or tested it personally. Let me explain this one.

See also  Do Cherry Shrimp Eat Copepods?

If there is a current in the tank water, the cherry shrimps think there might be an up and downstream. They get fooled by thinking there is more water and food on the other side of the glass.

So, the shrimps just jump out of the tank in search of more food and water.

You can’t do much to prevent this except use a tank cover or lid.

yellow cherry shrimp colony
Owner: Kaz Brown

How Cherry Shrimps Jump?

Cherry shrimp use their tails to get out of the tank. The tail helps cherry shrimp move very quickly.

If you observe closely, you might see that sometimes the cherry shrimp move lightning-fast from one spot to another. They do this by quickly kicking their tail and plunging forward, which is a very smart way to escape a bad situation or prey.

Cherry shrimps use the same tactics to jump out of the tank.

How To Prevent Cherry Shrimp Jumping Out Of Tank?

If your cherry shrimp are jumping out of the tank, you’ll need to take some measures to prevent this behavior. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult.

Here are the things you can do to prevent it:

Ensuring Proper Water Parameters

Ensuring proper water parameters is crucial for shrimp well-being, as highlighted by shrimp expert Abhisek Mallick.

Mallick emphasizes the importance of cycling the aquarium for at least three weeks before introducing shrimps, tailoring water parameters to specific shrimp species, and the often-overlooked step of quarantining new shrimps.

These practices ensure a stress-free environment vital for shrimp health. Regular testing and adjustment of water parameters, as Mallick advises, are essential for maintaining an ideal habitat for cherry shrimps.

Get a proper water test kit and measure the parameters. If they are off, take the necessary steps to correct them.

Add cherry shrimp to your tank only when the water parameters are in the right range.

Here are 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
crystal red shrimp with hideout decor
Owner: Kaz Brown

Getting Appropriate Tank Mates

First, I won’t recommend adding any type of fish to your shrimp tank. I prefer a dedicated tank for my cherry shrimp. This ensures a healthier and safer tank for shrimps, which results in good-quality breeding.

However, if you want to have tank mates, research thoroughly first. Before buying any fish you like to have, check if it can live peacefully with the shrimp.

If you get a cichlid for your cherry shrimp tank, it will be a very bad idea. Cichlids are very territorial and aggressive fish that can hunt your shrimp constantly.

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On the other hand, if you are choosing small snails or tetras, then it might be okay.

But if you ask me, snails are definitely the perfect tank mate for shrimp. They both live peacefully and balance the ecology perfectly.

Here’s a quick overview of good and bad tank mates for cherry shrimps:

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

Using a Tank Cover

If the first two ways don’t solve the problem, then you might need to use a tank cover or lid.

You can find many tank covers on Amazon or at the local fish store. Although using a tank cover has its drawbacks, it will definitely keep your cherry shrimp safe.

I like air screen covers for my tanks. They don’t create an airtight environment by letting air flow through them. If you want to check that out on Amazon, click here.

Not Filling Up To The Rim

Don’t fill your tank to the rim. That’s a big no-no if your cherry shrimp are jumping out of the tank. Leave a 1 or 2 inch gap between the water level and the rim.

This will discourage the cherry shrimp from jumping out of the tank.

Getting Groups Of Shrimps

Shrimps love to live in groups and are very social. If your shrimp is jumping out of the tank, it might be because of a lack of companionship.

I always recommend getting at least 10 cherry shrimp to start out. This will ensure there are both males and females in the group.

Also, you’ll get to see baby cherry shrimps pretty soon (if you do everything right).

So, don’t leave your cherry shrimp alone. If it is, then get her some friends and family. Cherry shrimps are supposed to live in groups.

gorgeous blue white shrimp
Owner: Kaz Brown

how long can cherry shrimp survive out of water?

Shrimp, especially cherry shrimp, can survive out of water for a short duration. Typically, they can live from a few minutes up to an hour or two without water. However, some shrimp types might survive even a day without water, depending on the specific conditions.

It’s essential to keep them in cool and moist environments to prolong their survival. The exact duration can vary based on the shrimp type, environmental factors, and conditions they are exposed to.

For instance, Amano shrimp can live for 15 minutes to several hours outside of water under ideal conditions with high humidity. However, in low humidity, they might only survive for about 15 minutes.

Temperature and humidity play crucial roles in determining their survival time outside of water.

Shrimps extract oxygen from the water through their gills, and without water, they quickly suffocate. If they are out of water, they can’t extract oxygen and will suffocate rapidly. To extend their survival time out of water, it’s crucial to keep them cool and moist.


So, I hope this guide solves your cherry shrimp’s problem of jumping out of the tank. I followed these methods, and my cherry shrimp have been living peacefully ever since. I hope yours do, too.

Happy shrimp keeping.

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.


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