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What Do Cherry Shrimp Eat?

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Cherry shrimp are small freshwater crustaceans that are popular in aquariums due to their ease of care and attractive coloration.

Cherry shrimp, also known as Neocaridina davidi. They are omnivores so they feed on both plants and animals.

In their natural habitat, they eat things like algae, plants, insects, and other organic matter. In an aquarium, they can be fed shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and vegetables like spinach and lettuce. 

It’s important to give them a balanced diet and not overfeed them, as this can harm the water quality and the shrimp.

In this blog post, we will discuss what do cherry shrimp eat and learn some interesting facts about them. So read on to know more!

History of Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp, also known as Red cherry shrimp, is a freshwater species native to Taiwan. They were first discovered and scientifically described in the early 1980s. 

The bright red coloration of these shrimp made them popular among hobbyists and aquarium enthusiasts, leading to their widespread cultivation and introduction into the aquarium trade.

Cherry shrimp has become one of the most popular freshwater shrimp species for aquarium hobbyists due to their vibrant coloration, ease of care, and compatibility with a wide range of aquarium setups and fish species. 

They are widely available in pet stores and online and are popular for their ability to add color and interest to aquariums.

In addition to their popularity in the aquarium trade, cherry shrimp are also used for research purposes. They are considered useful model organisms for studying various biological processes and environmental impacts on aquatic life.

Characteristic of Red Cherry Shrimp

  1. Size: Red cherry shrimp are small, reaching a maximum size of about 2 cm (0.8 inches) in length.
  2. Color: As their name suggests, red cherry shrimp are known for their vibrant red coloration, which can range from a deep red to a lighter pink hue, depending on their age, mood, and environment.
  3. Life Span: Red cherry shrimp have a lifespan of approximately 1-2 years in an aquarium.
  4. Feeding: Red cherry shrimp are omnivores and can feed on a variety of food including algae wafers, frozen or freeze-dried foods, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats.
  5. Water Parameters: Red cherry shrimp are highly adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. However, they prefer a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C), a pH range of 6.0-8.0, and a hardness range of 4-20 dKH.
  6. Breeding: Red cherry shrimp are relatively easy to breed in an aquarium, provided that the water parameters are stable and suitable. The female will carry her eggs in a saddle, and after hatching, the larvae will molt several times before reaching maturity.

What do Cherry Shrimp eat: Different types of Food

In the wild, cherry shrimp feed on a variety of food sources including algae, small insects, and plant matter. In an aquarium setting, they can be fed a balanced diet of both commercial and homemade foods.

Commercial food options for cherry shrimp include:

  1. High-quality shrimp pellets: These pellets are formulated specifically for freshwater shrimp and provide a balanced diet with all the necessary nutrients.
  2. Algae Wafers: Algae wafers are a great food for cherry shrimp as they feed on algae in the wild. They provide a source of vegetable matter and are a good supplement to the diet.
  3. Frozen Foods: Frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia can be offered as a treat to cherry shrimp. They should be fed sparingly as they can pollute the water if overfed.
  4. Live Foods: Live foods such as blackworms or glass worms can be fed to cherry shrimp, but they should be used sparingly as they can be expensive and may contain parasites.

Homemade food options for red cherry shrimp include:

  1. Blanched Vegetables: Fresh or blanched vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, or carrots can provide a source of nutrition for cherry shrimp.
  2. Spirulina Powder: Spirulina powder is a high-protein, plant-based food that can be added to the aquarium as a supplement to the diet.
  3. Cooked Rice or Pasta: Cooked white rice or pasta can be offered as a treat, but should be fed sparingly as it can release starch into the water and affect water quality.
  4. Leftovers from other aquatic pets: Leftover food from other aquarium pets such as fish can be fed to cherry shrimp.

It’s important to remember that cherry shrimp should be fed in small portions and only as much as they can consume within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and harm the health of the shrimp. 

Additionally, a variety of foods should be offered to provide a balanced diet and ensure the overall health of the shrimp.

cherry shrimps in the sea

Care Guide of Cherry Shrimp 

Cherry shrimp is popular aquarium pets due to their ease of care and attractive coloration. To ensure the health and well-being of cherry shrimp, it is important to provide proper care and attention. 

Here is a care guide for cherry shrimp:

  1. Aquarium setup: Cherry shrimp need a suitable habitat in order to thrive. A 10-gallon aquarium is the minimum recommended size for a small group of shrimp. The water should be clean and well-filtered, with a temperature range between 68-80°F. A substrate of fine gravel or sand is best for cherry shrimp, as it allows them to forage for food and also provides a place for them to lay eggs.
  2. Lighting: Cherry shrimp do not require specialized lighting, but some aquarium light can help to promote plant growth, which will provide food and hiding places for the shrimp.
  3. Water quality: Maintaining good water quality is crucial for the health of cherry shrimp. Water changes should be performed regularly to remove waste and harmful chemicals. A water test kit can be used to monitor the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
  4. Feeding: Cherry shrimp are omnivores and require a balanced diet of both plant and animal matter. Commercial food options include shrimp pellets or flakes and freeze-dried foods, such as brine shrimp and krill. Homemade food options include blanched vegetables, ripe fruits, and homemade gel food. It is important to feed cherry shrimp in small quantities, as they are prone to overeating, which can lead to water quality problems.
  5. Breeding: Cherry shrimp are relatively easy to breed in an aquarium setting. A healthy, mature female can lay hundreds of eggs, which hatch into small shrimp in about 2-4 weeks. To encourage breeding, provide a suitable environment, including a secure hiding place, clean water, and a balanced diet.
  6. Disease prevention: Cherry shrimp are susceptible to common shrimp diseases, such as bacterial and fungal infections. To prevent disease, maintain good water quality, isolate sick shrimp, and regularly inspect the shrimp for signs of illness, such as abnormal behavior or a change in appearance.

Providing proper care and attention to cherry shrimp is essential for their health and well-being. A suitable habitat, good water quality, a balanced diet, and disease prevention are all important factors in the care of cherry shrimp.

The Positive and Negative Impact of Cherry Shrimp on the Ecosystem

Positive impacts on the ecosystem

  • They are effective scavengers, helping to keep tanks clean by consuming uneaten food and other organic matter.
  • They play a role in maintaining the health and balance of the tank’s ecosystem by consuming algae and other unwanted organisms.

Negative impacts on the ecosystem

  • Overpopulation can lead to high levels of waste and low oxygen levels, which can be harmful to other aquatic life in the tank.
  • If not properly contained, cherry shrimp can escape from tanks and become an invasive species, potentially causing harm to natural aquatic ecosystems.
  • In some cases, cherry shrimp populations can grow rapidly and outcompete native species, leading to declines in biodiversity.

Unique Facts about Cherry Shrimp that you Might not Know:

  1. Color Variation: Cherry shrimp can change color based on their environment, mood, and health. They can range from bright red to orange to yellow, depending on the conditions they are in.
  2. Breeding: Female cherry shrimp carry their eggs in a specialized pouch called a “saddle”. After the eggs hatch, the young shrimp are called “larvae” and they will go through several molts before reaching maturity.
  3. Adaptation: Cherry shrimp are highly adaptable and can live in a variety of water conditions, including both freshwater and brackish water.
  4. Clean-up Crew: Cherry shrimp are known to be great cleaners and can help maintain a healthy aquarium by eating algae and other debris.
  5. Social Interactions: Although they are not a schooling species, cherry shrimp are social creatures and do well in groups. They can form hierarchies and have unique behavior patterns such as grooming, mating, and foraging for food.


In conclusion, red cherry shrimp are a popular and attractive species of freshwater shrimp that are easy to care for and make great additions to community aquariums. 

I hope this article has provided you with valuable and fascinating information about red cherry shrimp. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

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