|Scientific Name:||Neocaridina heteropoda|
|Other Names:||Fire Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp|
1.5 inches (4 cm)
|Minimum Tank Size:||1-2 gallons (for 1-2 shrimps)|
|Sexing:||The male is smaller and less colorful than the female. The male's tail, not being needed to carry eggs, is thinner. The female is larger and displays a much darker and more extensive red color, and often has a "saddle" marking of developing eggs.|
Red Cherry shrimps are very attractive shrimps with red and white coloration on its body.
Red cherry shrimp are fairly easy to care for in the home freshwater aquarium. They will adapt to a wide range of water conditions, and will thrive in the same conditions as many common aquarium fish. A few cherry shrimp can be kept in a desktop aquarium of 1-2 gallon capacity, and a setup of 10 gallons or more will allow for an active colony.
Red Cherry shrimp spend a great deal of their time sitting on aquatic plants, when available, and hiding in them for protection, especially after molting. They also eat the film of algae and microorganisms which forms on plant leaves without harming the leaves in the process. Java moss and Java fern are both excellent plants for the shrimp tank, as they thrive in the same conditions that the cherry shrimp do, and provide both the physical benefits of the plants to the shrimp and pleasing visual contrast with the red bodies of the shrimp to the human viewer.
Mixing with other fishes:
Red Cherry Shrimp are very small and harmless, meaning that any carnivorous or omnivorous fish is a possible risk to them. Even fish too small to eat an entire shrimp can harass them, pick at their legs, etc. Newly hatched shrimp are so tiny that nearly any fish can, if so inclined, eat them. Therefore, if you intend to breed them, they should have a tank to themselves. Small, non-aggressive fish such as neon and cardinal tetras, otocinclus catfish, and possibly strictly vegetarian species of killifish, can be kept with cherry shrimp. Cichlids, barbs, and similar fish will eat them.
Red Cherry Shrimp are primarily algae eaters. They will eat any food intended for aquarium use, but they greatly prefer compressed algae discs. Blanched (boiled until soft) vegetables such as zucchini, baby carrots, and spinach can be used as a supplemental food, but should be fed sparingly. Uneaten vegetables can very quickly decompose and create water quality problems. Periodically a shrimp will shed its exoskeleton, leaving an empty white ghost of itself caught in the plants or drifting around the tank. This should be left in the tank, as the shrimp will eat it to recover the valuable minerals it contains.
Breeding Red Cherry Shrimp is as simple as putting an adult male and female together in an aquarium. You can observe the eggs developing in the female's ovaries as a white or yellow triangular "saddle" marking on her back. When she is ready to lay the eggs, she releases pheromones into the water to signal her availability to males. The male shrimp in the tank will often become agitated, swimming very actively about as they search for the source of the pheromones. After a brief mating process, the female lays her eggs and affixes them to her swimmerettes.
Like most aquatic invertebrates, Red Cherry Shrimp are very sensitive to ammonia buildup in their water. They should never be put into a tank which has not been fully cycled, and regular testing should be done on any new tank until it is certain that the tank is stable. Even trace amounts of ammonia can weaken or kill shrimp, so nitrogen cycle control is critical. The usual causes of ammonia spikes are overfeeding leading to uneaten food decaying in the tank, insufficient denitrifying bacteria, and overcrowding by shrimp, fish, or both.
References Cited:1. Cherry Shrimp, Wikipedia, [Online], [Available], http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherry_shrimp
2. The Crystal Red Shrimp Grading Guide [Online], [Available], http://www.planetinverts.com/crystal%20red%20shrimp%20grading%20guide.html