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Name: Cherry shrimp, or Neocaridina davidi. Cherry is a strain of Neocaridina shrimp that has a solid red color which can be quite striking, unlike the brownish wild type shrimp from which they are derived.
Recommended Enclosure Size: Cherry shrimp can be kept in aquariums as small as one gallon, but for better ease of care and environmental stability, we do not recommend less than 2.5 gallons for a small group of shrimp. An aquarium of 5-10 gallons should be considered if you wish to sustain a larger colony of these animals.
Temperature: Neocaridina shrimp are very adaptable to temperature, but generally prefer cooler (low 70’s) to hot (80 degrees +). An acceptable temperature range for them is 60-80 degrees fahrenheit.
pH/Hardness: Cherry shrimp are also adaptable in terms of pH. Though they do best at a slightly acidic to neutral pH (~6.8-7.5), they can tolerate slightly more acidic or more alkaline. Acceptable pH for rili shrimp would be between 6.5-8.0.
Size: Female shrimp can get up to 1.5 inches as adults, with males slightly smaller. At time of sale, each shrimp sold will be at least 0.5” long. The listing is for one shrimp.
Age: At time of purchase, Cherry shrimp will be at least two months old. These shrimp can live 1-2 years under ideal conditions.
Feeding: Neocaridina shrimp are omnivorous scavengers who will feast on almost anything that falls to the bottom of the aquarium. This includes leaf litter and cholla wood, which grows a nutritious biofilm that they especially relish. There are many shrimp appropriate diets on the market. Repashy diets and various sinking wafers can make up the bulk of their diet.
Sexing: On top of the size difference mentioned above, male and female shrimp can also be distinguished based on their shape and the presence of a “saddle.” The saddle is actually the ovaries of the female shrimp where developing eggs can be seen behind the head (these are usually green or yellow in color). Females tend to be wider in general, to allow carriage of eggs beneath them. Males are slim and narrow by comparison and also often less vibrant in color. Due to their age, Red rili shrimp sold by Josh’s Frogs are sold as unsexed animals.
Color/Pattern: Cherry shrimp will have a fairly uniform red coloration on the body. Males tend to be much more faint in color and can be almost see through in parts whereas females are typically very dark and vibrant.
Social Behavior: Neocaridina shrimp are gregarious and do very well when kept in large colonies. They are not aggressive towards each other or towards other fish or invertebrates. Because they do not possess claws they can be kept alongside even the tiniest of fry without risk of predation. However, because they are small and relatively defenseless, care must be taken in choosing tankmates for the safety of the shrimp.
Breeding: Cherry shrimp are among the easiest of freshwater crustaceans to reproduce in captivity. When kept in clean water and healthy conditions, they breed readily. Each mature female can produce between 20-30 babies each month. They carry their eggs until they are ready to hatch. The appearance of these eggs under the female looks like she is carrying berries, so the term “berried” is often used. There is no planktonic larval stage, which means the baby shrimp are born benthic and ready to feast on whatever you are feeding the adults. Because all Neocaridina can crossbreed, it is recommended to only keep one variety per aquarium. Shrimp in the genus Caridinia (such as amano shrimp and crystal shrimp) can be mixed without risk of hybridization, however.
Natural Range: Neocaridina davidi, from which cherry shrimp are derived, are native to streams in Taiwan.
History in the Hobby: Known to science since the early 1900’s, Neocaridina davidi did not become popular until it was bred for ornamental value. Originally, these shrimp were a drab brown color. Through selective breeding, red color variants started popping up which became known as the “cherry” shrimp. Then from there, a whole slew of other varieties became available. Today, keeping Neocaridina shrimp is commonplace the world over.
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