Neocaridina Heteropoda var is the scientific name of the cherry shrimp, they are believed to hail from Taiwan and feature a translucent or brownish-green appearance.
This, therefore, begs the question for their red color, well the vibrant red is because of being bred in aquariums. They rarely occur naturally in the wild and love to feed on algae, and are also herbivores.
Cherry shrimp is the other name of the red cherry shrimp and their large family has over 15 different shrimp species. The shrimp can be kept by both beginners and professionals because they don’t demand a lot of attention and care. And If you provide them with the best environment they may live up to two years.
A tank with dense vegetation would be ideal for them as it provides hiding places, remember the cherry shrimps have a small body and any fish that can fit them into their mouth will gladly make a snack out of them. Cherry shrimps are never idle and you will most likely find them grazing or just moving from one point to the other in the aquarium.
Cherry shrimp tank requirements
A 5-gallon tank would do for the red cherry shrimp, but if you can get a bigger tank the better because it would be much easier to control the water conditions. The water parameters recommended are as follows, ammonia/nitrite should be 0ppm, water temperatures range between 65 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ammonia and nitrite present in aquarium water is not an ideal condition for the cherry shrimp, in which case you will need a filter with a large biomedia capacity to help process waste, a sponge filter will thus suffice. Shrimps are bound to be sucked in by the high performing filters but by using the sponge filter, the shrimp will stay safe, as it will not be possible for them to be sucked in.
The outside of the sponge offers a perfect buffet for the shrimp and you will find it there munching on the delicacies that are stuck on the sponge.
Cherry shrimps will rarely need a water heater if you stay in areas that have favorable temperatures for their growth. They also do love clean water with a PH of about 6.5 to 8.0, and a moderate room temperature of about 72 degrees. What’s more, is that they can comfortably survive in a 2-gallon aquarium and if you intend to keep them in an active colony then an 8-12 gallon should be enough.
Shrimps do not need light to see their food because they can detect the presence of food by the scent. However, it is important to note that light as a biological factor and contains the photoperiod parameters like duration, spectrum, and intensity that are necessary for survival, reproduction, and maturation of the shrimp.
Besides light is also necessary during the molting period, and if you are keen enough then you will notice that molting rate improves when the shrimps are exposed to a long day photoperiod, the results are quite the opposite when there is a continuous dark condition or partial lighting. What’s more, is that the biomass of the shrimp can be increased significantly either in full or partial lighting.
Now here is the irony, too much light affects the survival rate of the shrimps negatively, meaning that they thrive in the complete darkness period. So the idea here is that with too much light there is an increased molting rate, which then translates to high mortality
Plantation in the Cherry shrimp aquarium
You can save the caves and stones for the fish as the cherry shrimp don’t really need them, however, you should invest in plantation because they will come in handy for the molting shrimplets and shrimps. Don’t stick too much with the plastic plants because the live plants are necessary for the growth of biofilm that the shrimp loves to graze on.
Even more important is that the shrimp will feed on excess nutrients such as the nitrates thus clean your tank water.
Feeding the Red Cherry Shrimp
In general, shrimps love to eat algae, in fact, the red cherry shrimp have been discovered to have a very large appetite, right after the Amano Shrimp. And if your aquarium is well established then you can keep the neocaridina, as they won’t demand so much from you, they thus, feed on all available foods except the green dust algae.
Other foods for your cherry shrimp are such as the algae wafers and when it comes to vegetables you could source for Kales, zucchini, broccoli, collard greens, and cucumbers.
The cherry shrimp will reproduce without needing much help from its keeper, only ensure that the environment is favorable for the process. So, to start the process you have to ensure that you have at least 10 gallons and the cherry shrimps but just a few of them. The female Neocaridina will begin by laying eggs, below its saddleback, after which it will release pheromones.
The latter are a signal to the male shrimp to prepare itself for fertilization. The scent of the pheromones in water will have the male shrimp excited and active for the mating process. When mating is over the female will carry the eggs on her fins till they hatch, and in 3 weeks max, the eggs will hatch and hide in the moss while feeding on micro-organisms.
Red Cherry shrimps are not territorial and do have a docile temperament, therefore, it would be best to pair them with fish of the same nature, because even when attacked the cherry shrimp do not have any mechanism that it can use to defend itself. Algae eating fish are the most compatible with the cherry shrimp and the other small-sized non-aggressive fish like the otto cat, the danio fish, the corydoras and the snails.
A rule of thumb while rearing the cherry shrimp is that you should avoid putting them in the same tank with big fish or any other species of the predator fish.