Red Cherry Shrimp (RCS) are THE most popular species of shrimp in the hobby, alongside ghost shrimp and the legendary Amano. Cherry shrimp are dwarf shrimp particularly sought out for ther vibrant colors, which come innumerable different variations – not limited to red. They belong to the neocaridina genus, and are rather small in size (even more so than many other types of dwarf shrimp). Last by not least, this species rocks not one, but three (!) scientific names: neocaridina davidi, neocaridina heteropoda, neocaridina denticulata sinensis.
Neocaridina Heteropoda Shrimp Caresheet
|Size:||1-1.5 inches (2-3 cm)|
|Color:||Red, Yellow, Blue, Black, Green, Orange, White|
|Behavior:||They are very peaceful yet very voracious and on a never-ending quest for food|
|Aquarium:||5+ gallons (15+ liters) cycled tank|
|Water:||pH of 6.5-7.5, prefer medium-hard water with plenty of minerals|
Cherry Shrimp main characteristics and behavior
Neocaridinas come in all colours of the rainbow (and a few more)! Look out for: Red Cherry Shrimp, Yellow Cherry Shrimp, Blue Dream Shrimp, Black Rose Shrimp, Fire Red Shrimp, Sakura Red Shrimp, Snowball Shrimp, Blue Pearl Shrimp, Green Jade Shrimp, Blue Velvet Shrimp, Orange Pumpkin Shrimp, Red Sakura Shrimp, Red Onyx Shrimp, Blue-Green Emerald Shrimp, Chocolate Shrimp… and more.
In nature, neocaridines live in large groups and during the day they tend to hide in the thick bushes of plants, under the roots or in narrow spaces in order to protect themselves from larger fish or crustacean. Because of their small size, they are a really easy prey – if you have other guests in your aquarium, it is advisable to insert adequate amounts of moss and other hiding spots for them.
Cherry Shrimp tank setup and water requirements
Neocaridinas are one of the easiest species of shrimp to keep, which is the main reason they are also extremely popular in the hobby. While not all color variations share the same characteristics (with the Red Cherry Shrimp or “RCS” being the hardiest), these care tips apply to all of them.
Ideal Water Parameters
Cherry shrimp prefer medium-hard water (8-15 dGH, 6-10 dKH), with a pH tending to neutral (6.5 – 7.5). Despite their small size, neocaridina don’t do well in small tanks or jarrariums because of their tendency to hang out in groups. You will want to keep many of them and allow population to grow.
Tank substrate and vegetation
When it comes to tank decorations, neocaridina are not picky. Literally any type of substrate will work just fine, and given the preference for hard water you can add a few stones or ornamental items to your tank. A 3d aquarium background is ideal, particularly if you opt for one that is black or dark brown and provides hiding spots or rocky walls for algae to grow on. A dark wallpaper will also ensure that light gets absorbed and not reflected, potentially disturbing your shrimp. When it comes to choosing ideal freshwater plants for your neocaridina tank, the choices are endless. Make sure to opt for at least one kind of moss such as Taxiphyllum Barbieri or Fissidens Fontanus (also known as “Phoenix Moss”).
Cherry Shrimp feeding and diet
All cherry shrimp are decent algae eaters and also fond of decaying organic matter (from plants to worms and even other deceased fish and shrimps). If you are keeping moss and other live freshwater plants in your tank you won’t need to feed them too often as they can scavenge for food by themselves. You can manually feed them any shrimp food meant for caridines and neocaridines, as well as freshly boiled vegetables. Try to feed them food matching their natural color, so to really make it shine!
Best food for Red Cherry Shrimp
|Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow||Red||Black, Blue||White, Grey, Transparent|
Shrimp King Dennerle Color Shrimp Food
Cherry Shrimp Breeding
Neocaridina are one of the easiest shrimp to breed in captivity and it is not uncommon for aquarists to casually spot a “berried” cherry shrimp, that is, a female carrying eggs in her abdomen. Neocaridina become sexually mature at around 4 to 6 months of age. You can increase the chances of successful breeding by slightly increasing the temperature in your tank, so to mimic the shrimp mating season in the wild. The number of eggs will depend on the size and quality of your tank, and hatching will occur after a month or so. Make sure to have plenty of hiding spots and baby food available in order to take care of your newborn shrimplets.
Red Cherry Shrimp Natural Habitat
In nature, neocaridina davidi are widespread across Southeast Asia -mainly Taiwan, southern China, Vietnam and Korea, while they were more recently introduced to the Hawaiian archipelago. As you can see, these specimens do fairly well in warmer environmental conditions.
How many Cherry Shrimp per gallon
Neocaridina shrimp are the most suitable species of dwarf shrimp for nano tank setups, meaning you can keep a culture in a 10-gallon or even a 5-gallon aquarium. If you only keep these shrimp in your tank, each gallon has enough capacity to host 5 to 10 of these creatures. This means that you can have up to 100 cherry shrimp in a 10 gallon planted tank, although this will require extensive care when it comes to feeding and water changes. It is recommended to keep the number much lower, taking into account that the presence of any other fish or invertebrate in the same tank will also affect the bioload and reduce the number of cherry shrimp you can safely keep in the aquarium.