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Cherry Shrimp Breeding and Care


I've seen a lot of people asking questions about cherry shrimp and breeding requirements, tank setup, water parameters, etc.

I thought I'd take a little time to talk about what has worked for me. I got into the hobby a little over a year ago and found this site and a few others and quickly became interested in freshwater shrimp. I bought my first batch of 10 cherry shrimp and 10 amano shrimp and rest is history.

It wasn't until my second batch of cherry shrimp before I realized how easy they were to breed. My second purchase contained a pregnant female and she ended up having the babies in a small pint cup when I was moving her into her permanent home.

I started with a 10 gallon tank with various plant clippings from my main 65g tank and I noticed more and baby shrimp each week. I soon had nearly 100 and I ended up giving some away and selling some to other hobbists.

I set up a 20 gallon planted tank and moved a bunch of the shrimp into it and now I have successfully bred nearly 1,000 very nicely colored cherry shrimp.

Here is what has worked for me and what I suggest for other people if they want to try their hand at breeding cherry shrimp.

1. Tank size should be at least 10 gallons to support up to 100-150 shrimp (based on weekly 30% water changes).
2. Temp should be between 75-78F.
3. Moderate water hardness seems to work the best for robust breeding and coloration.
4. I highly recommend the addition of live plants to maintain good water quality.
5. Sponge filters are the best since they do not pose a danger to baby shrimp.
6. PH of 7.6 has worked well for me.
7. Keep up with water changes! Cherry shrimp are highly prone to nitrate poisoning and they need good water to maintain good health and molting. I do weekly 30% water changes. I use plain tap water (moderate hardness, PH 7.6) and I treat it with declorinator (Amquel).
8. I use full spectrum lighting...10 hours a day on a timer.
9. I DO NOT dose liquid iodine as the shrimp will get all they need from a proper diet.
10. I feed them HBH Vegetable Wafers and HBC Crab & Lobster Bites exclusively. Any invertebrate food will suffice as long as it does not contain any large amounts of copper (READ those labels!). I will occasionally drop in a piece of boiled vegetable (squash or spinach). I feed my shrimp once a day in small amounts.
11. I also recommend you maintain genetic diversity after a few generations of breeding. You can easily do this by introducing new cherry shrimp from other sources. This helps reduce the occurance of inbred deformities or weak shrimp. I have traded shrimp with other hobbist a few times.

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions.

Thanks!!!

I thought I'd add some recent pics to show my breeding population and tank:
Cherry Shrimp   Cherry Shrimp   Cherry Shrimp Cherry Shrimp  
Thank you to Vinnymac for this article.

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