Building your fish tank is a complex and skilled art. We can often overlook how difficult it really is.
You’ll want the right balance of certain fish as well as what flora best suits them and which fish not to mingle them with. Factoring in the color and decor of your tank, the art of fish tanking can be a time-consuming process that requires a lot of thought.
Cherry shrimp are a very popular addition to most fish tanks. These unintrusive mollusks tend to keep themselves to themselves, making them compatible with most fish. Their smaller size also makes them great to add to 5 and 10-gallon tanks.
These dwarf shrimp are also very easy to keep, feed and maintain. They are very robust and require little checking once introduced to the rest of the aquarium.
But how many cherry shrimps are too many cherry shrimps? What kind of tank will these colorful shellfish be best suited to? What climate and temperature is best for a cherry shrimp?
Well, don’t worry, cherry shrimp lovers, we’ve got some information about our shell-suited friends, including what they like to eat and what temperatures they find the most comfortable.
What Are Cherry Shrimp?
Cherry shrimp are freshwater shrimp that are native to the region of Taiwan. There are 20 different varieties of this particular family of shrimp and they all come in different shapes, sizes and colors.
It is a very peaceful breed of shrimp, known for eating large quantities of algae - this will be perfect if you want to keep your tank clean in an organic way. These are recommended for beginner aquarists, owing to their easygoing natures and low maintenance.
The various species of this shrimp come in a rainbow of colors, although the deep red of the cherry shrimp has come through many years of selective breeding.
These shrimp thrive in a tank with lots of ornamental coverage that offer them many different hidey holes that they can play in.
Your average cherry shrimp will live for over a year. If maintained in good condition and given sufficient food, they can live up to 2 years.
Cherry Shrimp Tank Conditions
In the wild, the cherry shrimp can be found in streams and ponds, surrounded by condensed clusters of plants and sedimentary rocks. So when fitting out your aquarium, it will be important to mimic these conditions with plenty of pebbles and plantlife in which they can tuck themselves.
Place some driftwood in your tank so that your cherry shrimp can happily while away their day nibbling on the algae that will accumulate there. They will also consume a lot of the plant matter - the more green there is, then the happier your shrimp will be!
The shrimps won’t have to be kept in particularly warm water, although you can include a heater if you want to keep your tank at a consistent temperature. You will certainly need one important piece of equipment to keep your cherry shrimp content - that is, filters.
Often most filters you can buy at your local aquarium store are way too powerful, resulting in your tiny cherry shrimps being sucked up into the mechanism. You can prevent this disaster from happening by using a sponge filter or purchasing a less powerful filter.
If you are anxious about using an electric filter, you can always swap it out for an air stone.
The lower grade shrimps will be able to withstand poorer conditions in your tank, although if you want a high grade of shrimp, then you’ll really have to put in the leg work to make your tank’s conditions a lot more habitable.
The pH level of your tank should be anywhere between 6.5 and 8.0 and the temperature should be maintained somewhere between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remember: do not introduce your cherry shrimp into a tank that has not already been cycled, as they are very sensitive to nitrites and other impurities. The reason to cycle your tank is to introduce good bacteria that will promote the health of your fish, shrimp and snails.
What Size Tank Is Best For Cherry Shrimp?
Now we move on to the all-important question of what is the best size tank for your cherry shrimp. Well, because of the size of these miniature mollusks, you can keep them in the smallest 5-gallon tanks, if you want to. It all depends on how many cherry shrimp you plan on having.
Generally, you’ll want anywhere between 2 and 5 shrimp per gallon, although bear in mind that they are fast breeders and you might need to get a tank with slightly more capacity to accommodate the extra shrimps.
If you do want to grow a sizable colony of cherry shrimp, then you’ll probably be best off having a 20-gallon tank. However, if this is your first time owning cherry shrimp, we recommend you start small to acclimatize yourself with their feeding and breeding habits.
Should You Keep More Than One Cherry Shrimp?
We would not recommend that you simply buy one cherry shrimp, as they will certainly get very, very lonely! Cherry shrimp are incredibly social creatures, so we would recommend that you start off with at least 10, as this will give you a better glimpse of their natural behavior.
As we mentioned earlier, you should try and keep 2 to 5 shrimp per gallon. The bio-load of a shrimp is negligible, so you won’t have to worry about overstocking your tank. One thing you do have to watch is that you have more females than males, as the males tend to get very aggressive with each other.
There are other varieties of shrimp that you can get to complement your cherry shrimp collection, such as ghost shrimp, vampire shrimp or amano shrimp. These are particularly good matches with the cherry shrimp, as they all have similar temperaments. We would also recommend you get a few snails for your cherry shrimp tank.