Yes, I really was thinking cherry red. I'm not quite sure where my brain dredged up crystal red.
Do you have a favorite place to purchase from? It's possible I can find some at a LFS, where "local" means "two hours away in Albuquerque," but I'm guessing not. I live in northern New Mexico, though the way FedEx does things, it hardly matters where they're coming from; it's that last leg from Albuquerque to my home via Santa Fe that is squirrelly. I'm thinking I'll have the tank cycled and ready to go around mid-May so it's a toss up whether the weather will be too hot or too cold.
Meaning it's probably as good a time of year for mail order as any.
My thinking on combining amano and cherries is that they are different genera and so will not cross-breed. Ghost shrimp are yet another genera and are often available locally but I don't get the sense they're seen as serious aquarium shrimp; I don't care whether they're fashionable so much as whether they're actually good aquarium shrimp.
The only really tiny fish locally available are Ender's livebearers and, of course, otos. I like the look of ember tetras and blue eyed rainbowfish but would have to mail order those as well. Do you have other suggestions? Are a couple of otos needed for algae control in a shrimp tank or do the shrimp do a good enough job themselves? Are snails in a shrimp tank a good idea?
No doubt I'll come up with more questions as I continue thinking this through.