Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina davidi var. "red cherry"), also commonly known as Red Cherry Shrimp, are a delightful and popular freshwater aquarium shrimp species known for their striking coloration and easy care requirements. These small, aquatic invertebrates are cherished by aquarists of all levels of experience for their vibrant appearance and charming behavior. Here's a description of Cherry Shrimp:
Physical Appearance: Cherry Shrimp are named for their brilliant red coloration, which ranges from a deep cherry red to a more translucent hue in some individuals. They typically measure between 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) in length, making them a perfect addition to nano or small aquariums. Their bodies are elongated and somewhat transparent, revealing the insides of their digestive systems, and their heads are adorned with two pairs of delicate antennae. Cherry Shrimp have a distinct curved back and a gentle arching shape, giving them an endearing and almost comical appearance.
Habitat and Behavior: These shrimp are native to Taiwan and were originally discovered in the wild in streams and freshwater bodies. In the aquarium, Cherry Shrimp are known for their peaceful and social nature. They are usually seen busily foraging for food, sifting through the substrate, and grazing on algae. They are excellent scavengers and help maintain a clean and healthy aquarium environment by consuming detritus and leftover food.
Care Requirements: Cherry Shrimp are highly adaptable and thrive in a wide range of water parameters, making them a fantastic choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists. Here are some key care requirements:
Water Parameters: They prefer stable water conditions with a temperature range of 70-78°F (21-26°C) and a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0.
Tank Size: A small group of Cherry Shrimp can be comfortably housed in a tank as small as 5 gallons, but larger tanks provide more space for them to explore and breed.
Aquascape: A well-planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spots, live plants, and mosses is ideal. They appreciate places to seek refuge and graze on biofilm.
Diet: Cherry Shrimp are omnivorous and consume algae, detritus, and leftover fish food. Supplement their diet with high-quality shrimp pellets, blanched vegetables (like spinach or zucchini), and occasional treats like brine shrimp or bloodworms.
Compatibility: They can coexist with various peaceful fish and other non-predatory invertebrates. However, it's essential to avoid housing them with aggressive or large fish that may view them as a food source.
Breeding: One of the most endearing qualities of Cherry Shrimp is their propensity to breed readily in a well-maintained aquarium. They reproduce via live birth, and their young (shrimp fry) are miniature versions of the adults. Providing plenty of hiding places and a well-balanced diet can encourage successful breeding.
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