Best Red Cherry Shrimp Care: Size, Diet, Lifespan

Red Cherry Shrimp are a great type of freshwater shrimp that add a bit of life to any aquarium. These shrimp are bright red and contrast well against the greenery of a planted tank. They are one of the most popular shrimp for freshwater aquariums. Cherry Shrimp are easy to care for, easy to feed, and easy to breed. Here’s everything you need to know about raising Red Cherry Shrimp.

NameRed Cherry shrimp
Scientific NameNeocaridina davidi
Tank Size20 gallons
Size~1 – 1,2 inches
Optimal Temperature~72°F – 78°F
Optimal PH7.0 – 7.8 (6.0 – 8.0)
Optimal GH6 – 8 (4 – 14)
Optimal KH2 – 4 (1 – 8)
Optimal TDS150 – 200 (80-400)
NitrateLess than 20 ppm
DietAlgae eater/omnivore
Lifespan1-2 years
ColorRed (color grading)
Red Cherry Shrimp Overview

Red Cherry Shrimp Pictures

Red Cherry Shrimp Appearance

Red cherry shrimp are graded from the deepest of reds to paler shades with red spots.

  • Cherry Shrimp: Regular cherry shrimp are the lowest grade of Neocaridina heteropoda. They tend to be clear in color with red patches.
  • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: These are a bit redder in color but still have clear patches on their body.
  • Fire Red Shrimp: At this grade, the cherry shrimp is completely red.
  • Painted Fire Red Shrimp: These are the most expensive and highest grade. They are solid deep red in color with no transparent areas.

Females are longer and more colorful than males. Females also develop a saddle on their stomach which they use to hold eggs before fertilization.

Red Cherry Shrimp Behavior

Red Cherry Shrimp are known for their peaceful and non-aggressive behavior. They spend most of their time searching for food in the aquarium. They particularly like to graze on plants, moss, and the substrate. These shrimp are busy both night and day.

Red Cherry Shrimp Size

Red Cherry Shrimp grow to about 1.6 inches in length.

Red Cherry Shrimp Lifespan

The average lifespan of a healthy and well-cared-for Cherry Shrimp is 1 to 2 years. They tend to live longest when water conditions are stable.

Red Cherry Shrimp Color

There is a graded system that defines a Cherry Shrimp’s color. It ranges from the brightest red to pale shades with red speckles. These are the different Cherry Shrimp types by color:

Types of Cherry Shrimp By Color

  • Cherry Shrimp: Regular cherry shrimp are the lowest grade of Neocaridina heteropoda They tend to be pale in color with red spots.
  • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: These are redder in color but still have clear spots on their body.
  • Fire Red Shrimp: These shrimp are completely red.
  • Painted Fire Red Shrimp: The most expensive and highest grade of Neocaridina heteropoda. They have a solid deep red color with no pale spots. They also have red limbs.

Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Size

Thanks to their small size, Red Cherry Shrimp can live in a variety of fish tank sizes. Small tanks between 8-12 gallons are suitable for keeping a small colony. But, a 20-gallon tank will allow for more shrimp, more activity, and easier management.

Red Cherry Shrimp Water Parameters

Caring for Cherry Shrimp is easy so long as you maintain ideal water conditions. These are tropical freshwater shrimp so keep the following parameters stable:

  • Water Temperature: 72 – 78 Degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
  • Aquarium pH: 7.0 – 7.8 is acceptable.
  • Aquarium Lighting:  Normal fish tank lighting.

It’s essential to keep the water quality stable, so use a heater if you need to. Use testing kits to keep an eye on ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates levels. Never use medications or anything that contains copper as it is fatal to aquarium shrimp.

In the wild, Neocaridina heteropoda live in streams and ponds filled with densely packed plants and rocky substrate. You should aim to replicate this type of environment in your aquarium as much as possible.

These shrimp love planted aquariums as it provides hiding places for them. They also love moss and nibbling algae that grow on driftwood and other fish tank decors. For moss, use something like java moss. Small pebbles are great for replicating the natural rocky substrate of their native habitat.

Red Cherry Shrimp Diet & Feeding

Red Cherry Shrimp eat fish flakes, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers. They like lots of live aquarium plants, which also provide edible plant matter. They are also algae eaters and will feed on soft green or brown algae. Despite this, Cherry Shrimp can’t control algae as well as other shrimp like the Amano Shrimp. And, you should always take care of your aquarium to avoid algae overgrowth.

Red Cherry Shrimp Tank Mates

Red Cherry Shrimp are peaceful and non-aggressive. Tank mates must also be non-aggressive. The safest route is to keep Red Cherry Shrimp in groups with Red Cherry Shrimp. Nonetheless, the can share a tank with the following peaceful fish and invertebrates:


Red Cherry Shrimp can also do well with snails such as:



Red Cherry Shrimp Habitat

Do not overstock the aquarium and add lots of aquarium plants. Shrimps like to explore and live plants give them lots of areas to do so. They also like to hide between plants and other decorations in the tank. Use a sponge filter because shrimp like to scavenge for food trapped on the sponge. Also, add an air stone to help keep the water oxygenated and flowing.

Red Cherry Shrimp Care – Special Advice

Cherry shrimp care is easy. But, be aware that they are sensitive to copper. Lots of medications contain copper and so does fish feed. Always check labels to ensure that you are not putting lethal ingredients into your tank.

Also, as cherry shrimp grow larger, they shed their exoskeleton. Leave the shed exoskeleton in the tank as the shrimp will eat it to get essential minerals.

Finally, when caring for cherry shrimp, always check the water condition. Spikes in ammonia are fatal to shrimp. Try to keep the water parameters as stable as possible at all times.

Red Cherry Shrimp Reproduction & Breeding

Cherry Shrimp are one of the easiest shrimp species to breed. These shrimp can mate when they are around 4-6 months of age. To encourage breeding, raise the water temperature to 82° F. Once mating is successful, the female shrimp carry the eggs under their tails. The eggs take about 30 days to hatch.

Baby Shrimp depend on micro-organisms to feed on. So, it’s best to keep them in a matured-tank. Plants that have thick growth like Anacharis, Cabomba, and Water Sprite are perfect as they provide hiding places and food for baby Cherry Shrimp.

Are Red Cherry Shrimp Easy To Keep?

Yes! Keeping Red Cherry Shrimp easy for most aquarium hobbyists. Red Cherry Shrimp thrive best when the aquarium they are in has stable parameters. All you have to do is avoid harmful elements, feed them high-quality food, and keep them with peaceful tank mates.

Are Red Cherry Shrimp Aggressive?

Red Cherry Shrimp are not aggressive. They are peaceful scavengers that spend most of the day (and night) grazing on algae. Or, you will see them sifting through the substrate in search of food.