Cherry shrimp basics

Lotus

Ultimate Fish
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Aug 26, 2003
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#1
Here's a small article I wrote on cherry shrimp. Please feel free to ask questions or let me know what's not covered.

Cherry Shrimp
Neocaridina denticulata sinesis

Origin: Cambodia, Thailand
Temperature: 75 - 86
pH: 6-8
Maximum Size: 1.5 inches
Temperment: Peaceful algae eating shrimp, will be eaten by larger fish, especially cichlids.

Cherry shrimp are a color variation of the sinensis shrimp, which also come in a brown color and a green color.

Tank requirements/care:
They are easy to keep, requiring only an absence of predators and low nitrates (under 10ppm). They do well in a planted tank, and happily spend their days eating algae and leftover food. If you keep them in a species tank with little or no algae, feed them a variety of foods, such as algae wafers, shrimp pellets, vegetables or special foods for crabs/lobsters (both Hikari and HBH make these foods). A good supply of calcium in the shrimps’ diet is important, as is iodine. Some aquarists add some reef iodine supplement to the tank (half recommended dose, every two weeks or so) to help with molting. There is controversy about whether the shrimp can use iodine in the water column or not. As they grow, the shrimp molt on a regular basis. As they get larger, they molt less frequently. It is fine to leave the molted skins in the tank, as the shrimp will often eat them to gain back the nutrients lost on the skin. A 5g or 10g tank is fine for these shrimp. If you plan to breed these, small tankmates that will not eat the young are the best choice. Bottom feeders such as otocinclus or pygmy cories would be fine. Smaller rasboras or very small livebearers might also be a good choice.

Sexing:
Male shrimp are a less intense red, being mostly clear with red spots on them. Females are bright red. As the females mature, you may notice a yellow patch in the neck area – these are the ovaries.

Breeding:
As long as you have both males and females in your tank, and no predators, you shouldn’t have problems breeding these shrimp. Once a female is mature, she will begin producing eggs. A male will sense this, and deposit a sperm packet on the female to fertilize the eggs. If there is no male present, the unfertilized eggs will be dropped within a few days. The female carries fertilized eggs for around 22 to 28 days, after which she releases them as fully formed babies. You will see the female carrying the yellow eggs in her swimarettes, and aerating them occasionally. Extreme stress can cause the female to drop her eggs. A first-time mother will also sometimes drop her eggs. A female will produce somewhere between 10 and 20 babies, usually. The babies are about 1mm long, and look like miniature versions of the parents. The babies are usually almost clear when released, and take on a reddish color within a few days. It’s a good idea to put a sponge or mesh covering over the intake of a power/hang on back filter to stop the babies from being sucked up into the filter. Even if they are sucked up, they often survive.
 

#3
hey lotus and all the other cherry shrimp owners, will the cherry shrimp survive 40ppm of nitrates? cause i am thinking about putting them into the 20g (if i ever do get some....) and usually i do water changes at the end of the week and the nitrates then are like 40ppm... if they do survive then do they breed? I am still not sure if i'm gonna get them cause i told my mom and she's like $30 for some shrimp!!! so i still gotta persuade her :D
 

Aug 23, 2005
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#11
how long would it take for cherry shrimp to get big enough to feed to an oscar? and how long do they usually take to breed? and how often? im moving my convict fry to a 10 and the convicts to a 20 (where they belong i know) and i was wondering about what to do with the 5.5, i thought of some fancy tail guppies and a frog, but these sound interesting, any pics of full grown? or just pics in general? im mostly concerned with growth rate though.
 

#13
Cherry Shrimp don't prey on their own offspring???? Cause I've been eyeing those Cherry Shrimps at my lfs for a while now but I wasn't sure to go for them til I did more research (and clearly this thread has made a VERY valuable source of information for me :))
Is there a specific size or age as to when the shrimp reach sexual maturity? Cause I mean, the ones at the store aren't even 1" yet, more like 3/4"..
 

Lotus

Ultimate Fish
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Aug 26, 2003
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#14
No, they don't eat their babies.

They start to get mature at about 1/2" to 3/4". If you see females with a yellow saddle in the neck area, it means they're about to reach maturity. I've had babies reach sexual maturity at about 2 months from birth.
 

Bruckm

Large Fish
Mar 31, 2004
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#19
Thanks a lot Lotus. I was wondering why my 15 died without a trace. Guess it was the nitrates. I doubt the platys ate them, or did the 1 YoYo loach? Sadly, they were a gift from a relative, so you hate to see them go bye-bye like that. Recently she asked to see them...oh well.