Caring for Your New Cherry Red Shrimp
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Origins: Cherry shrimps were discovered on Taiwan. And since there’s quite an extensive exotic fish industry thriving on that island, they started cranking them out in mass quantities in 2002. We finally tried some in 2004.
Appeal: How you gonna not like a bright red shrimp? Maybe that’s why they call them cherry red shrimp? Or cherry red algae-eating shrimp? Yes, they eat the hair algae that some aquarists equate with the plagues Moses visited upon ancient Egypt.
Size: One inch. That’s it. Males are smaller. Relax. Cherry red shrimp will not threaten your African cichlids. In fact, you better keep yours with very small tank mates.
Housing: Cherry red shrimp are thigmotactic. Most people think “thigmotactic” refers to crevice lovers like cucarachas and earwigs. Not so, chemo sabe (yes, we stretched for that pun, but not as much as the Type A personality in the table above). It means they need climbable surfaces such as aquatic plants to walk on or they get stressed out. You never want to tangle with a stressed out cherry red shrimp.
Water: Good old Des Moines aged tap water (220 ppm) provides the lime they use to build their rigid exoskeleton. Think of these guys as baby crayfish (very expensive baby crayfish) and you should succeed with them. Betcha you could aqua-farm these guys in any shady backyard fish-free pond.
Foods: Include cherry red shrimp in the algae-eating shrimp category. They like it. They love it. They want some more of it. However, their miniscule size means they can never ingest mass quantities. They also like any kind of fish flakes or pellets you give them – particularly those with lots of plant material in them. They’d probably even eat those hard as a rock shrimp pellets that eventually “melt” into your gravel and usually mess up your water.
Temperature: Keep your cherry red shrimp at tropical temperatures – 75o to 80o. They adjust better to cooler rather than warmer temperatures.
Decór: Cherry red shrimp make primo candidates for planted aquaria. There’s almost a symbiotic relationship there. They clean up the volunteer algae that magically appear and snack at the salad bar you provide for their tiny tender toesies.
Breeding: Haven’t had ours long enough to breed them. Should take care of itself in a well planted predator-free aquarium. Predators on the bite-size babies include nearly anything that moves. Don’t trust the parents either. Get out your hot glue gun and build a little breeding cage out of nylon net – the stuff they use to make tutus flouncier or scrub your back in the shower.
Larvae Care: The larvae can’t be much larger than newly hatched brine shrimp. Start your newly hatched cherry red shrimp on one of the dust-fine micro foods or pulverize whatever flake foods the parents are eating.
Medication: Most concoctions designed to kill pests will probably severely stress or even kill these little guys. Copper in their water invariably kills cherry red shrimp. Ditto with most shrimps and other assorted crustacea.
Last Word: Cherry red shrimp catch your eye -- cute little bright red bugs crawling on green plant leaves. However, they can be kept only with the smallest tank residents. When new, they lose their red color for a short time. It comes back in a day or so. Feeding them color foods will probably make them redder. LA.
Simon Janžekovič, July 28, 2009
RE Red Cherry Shrimp
You made some mistakes in their description.
The first mistake is that in the article it says, that they come from Taiwan, this is false, because they do not occur naturally anywhere. They were bred from the Neocaridina heteropoda shrimp. The second is that you have written the larvae are like brine shrimp, this is false. Because there is no planktonic larval stage, but the new shrimp that hatch are miniature copies of the adults. And you have also written that you shouldn't keep the young shrimp with adults. This is false because all shrimp that come from the family Neocaridina can live with young shrimp. They won't attack or eat them. And you have also written that it prefers water with salt. In my experience they do not need salt, not for breeding and not for living. You should also write the names of the fish that are suitable for living with these shrimp. These are white clouds, all Otocinclus, mini rasboras and Celestichthys margaritatus. These fish won't bother shrimp and will not eat or won't eat much of the larvae (if you have a planted aquarium).
A: Perhaps they didn't originally come from Taiwan. That's where mine came from. I didn't say they were like brine shrimp, I said the babies were about the size of baby brine shrimp. Perhaps they don't eat the babies. Other good mixers are the pygmy gouramis and bristlenose plecos. Thanks for your input. I added it to my page. LA
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