Red Cherry Shrimp “Neocardinia davidi”, Breeding – Detailed Version
Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of interest in keeping dwarf shrimp in the home, usually planted, aquarium. Keeping dwarf shrimp is fun, rewarding, and beneficial to the planted tank; but a word of warning – once you get hooked on these interesting creatures it is hard not to want to explore the more exotic and usual varieties. One of the most popular, relatively inexpensive, and colorful varieties for the beginner is the Red Cherry Shrimp, Neocardinia davidi var. red.
Red Cherry Shrimp Characteristics
Red Cherry Shrimp are approximately 4 cm (11.6 inches) long. They are most comfortable in warm rooms of 72 degrees. They are an omnivore and can live for up to 2 years in ideal conditions. Make sure you keep copper-containing food, supplements, and chemicals out your shrimp tank.
Fortunately, Red Cherry shrimp adapt to a wide variety of conditions in the hobby aquarium. They can be kept in a desktop aquarium with as little as 2 gallons, but 8-12 gallons will allow for a more active colony, more breeding, and a livelier population. Shrimp love plants and hiding spaces, so it is important to include frill plants that allow them to sit on, groom, and feel safe. This is particularly important after molting, which is the most vulnerable time for shrimp. Shrimp are also fond of the micro-organisms and algae that forms on plant leaves. They spend hours grooming their favorite shrimp. Shrimp love to hide in mosses and groom them, whether they are in a clump, tied onto rocks or wood.
Red Cherry Shrimp in Different Grades
Red Cherry Shrimp comes in a variety of colors, from dark red to pale. The most vibrant and colorful females are sensitive to background and substrate colors. They will turn pale or transparent if they live in a tank that has a light substrate. A tank with darker substrate will give them a more vibrant, deeper color. The intensity of the color is also dependent upon the type of food available, water pH, temperature, and quality.
Great for planted tanks
Dwarf shrimp are a huge fan of planted tanks. They love hiding places, the plants they produce, and the water chemistry they provide. It is important to determine what your goals are with Red Cherry Shrimp. Do you want to raise one colony of adult shrimps or increase the number? There are many nano fish that will coexist with adult shrimp, but will also eat newly hatched babies. Even smaller danios, rasbora or tetras might eat babies. You should have mosses or other hiding places. Or even cute bamboo shrimp hotels. Smaller snails are a good addition to the shrimp tank, nerites particularly, since they help clean detritus and won’t harm the shrimp. The best rule for fish is to keep only fish that get no larger than about 3/4 ” as adults (chili rasboras, etc.) Or none.
Red Cherry Shrimp can be non-aggressive, and they are active both day and night. You can often see them eating algae and grazing on gravel. They also mate with other shrimp, and they move from one plant to the next during the day. Periodically, the shrimp will shed its exoskeleton, leaving a husk of itself drifting around the plant. It is important not to remove this, because the shrimp will consume it and replenish needed minerals. Female Red Cherry Shrimp tend to hide in the dark when it is close to spawning time and, if startled, may abandon their eggs. A full clutch of eggs is more likely to be laid if there are more hiding spots and they feel safer. One can tell the gender of a Red Cherry Shrimp by looking at their size and color. In this case, males are smaller and less colorful. Females may have a yellowish saddle around their backs, which is actually eggs growing in the ovaries. The Juvenile Red Cherry Shrimp can be difficult to sex until they become larger and can show some color.
Breeding Red Cherry Shrimp
It is actually fairly simple to breed Red Cherry Shrimp in the home aquarium if one pays attention to three major steps: 1) Inducing breeding, 2) Ensuring health and comfort while carrying the eggs, and 3) Raising the young. Inducing breeding can be done by keeping the water conditions stable. Shrimp need a regular food source, with higher protein foods (Repashy, Shrimp Cuisine, Fish poo, etc.) They should be fed regularly but in a very limited quantity. It takes the shrimp about 3-5 months to begin breeding, with the female most susceptible to the male’s advances just after molting. After hiding, she releases pheromones into water to attract males. After breeding, the female will transport the eggs beneath her, fanning them and moving them around for about 30 day. The baby shrimp are tiny, exact replicas of adults but much smaller. Because most newborn shrimp will eat them, it is essential to ensure there are no predators. Shrimp caves, live moss, and shrimp caves can help baby shrimp hide from predators. They also provide microfauna for their growth.
Red Cherry Shrimps:
Feeding your Red Cherry Shrimp is easy. As many omnivores, they enjoy variety. They will eat most any aquarium food but love shrimp pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables (zucchini, carrots, etc. ), or one of the more exotic foods on the market. It is also a good idea to use some Zoo Med Plankton Banquet blocks in the tank. This keeps the shrimp active and provides spirulina, calcium, and other essential minerals.
Cholla Wood and Catappa leaves can be great food sources. The bacteria breaks down the Catappa leaves, allowing shrimp to eat the bacteria. Some shrimp enthusiasts report that adding a bit of natural bee pollen weekly improves breeding. Others love the Repashy Foods which is 45% protein and a great meal for shrimp, crab, crayfish, and snails. MODERATION is the key to caring for shrimp. It is easy to put too much food into the tank, which can then become polluted quite easily. Keep in mind that shrimp can only eat a small amount of food each day. Many successful shrimp keepers even suggest that you feed only every other day, or at least put no food into the tank one day per week. Depending on the amount of shrimp and snails you have, some recommend that you remove any food left behind after two to three hours.
There are many varieties and types of dwarf shrimp. Interbreeding means that not all varieties can be kept in the same tank. You can enjoy these lively little creatures while they hunt for food or tend to their plant garden if you simply follow a few easy steps.