I highly recommend that any newcomer to the freshwater aquarium shrimp hobby start off with the Red Cherry Shrimp. This shrimp will teach you a lot, and mistakes causing shrimp deaths can be overcome due to their ability to readily breed.The Red Cherry Shrimp is a selectively bred species, meaning that the red coloration was slowly bred out from the wild variety. A breeder, who is unknown, slowly bred the red trait out of the wild Neocaridina Heteropoda to achieve the all red coloration. Many thanks to whomever it is that completed the tedious task of selectively breeding this species.

WATER PARAMETERS

The Red Cherry Shrimp can be housed in many different water parameters.pH range from 6.0 to 8.0, soft and hard water, temperatures from 72F to 84F and in many different substrates.Red Cherry Shrimp can live in almost any freshwater aquarium given that the tank is habitable and does not contain predators of course. the Red Cherry Shrimp is the hardiest shrimp in the freshwater aquarium shrimp hobby.

FEEDING

the Red Cherry Shrimpaccept virtually any kind of shrimp/fish food. They eat anything from blanched spinach, zucchini, algae wafers, shrimp pellets, fish flakes, bloodworms, and more. Red Cherry Shrimp are not picky eaters whatsoever. If a Red Cherry Shrimp colony is healthy then it will rush towards the food and jump all over each other in an attempt to grab a bite to eat,Unenthusiastic feeding and constant hiding of the Red Cherry Shrimp is a good indicator that things are not good.Feeding is best done once a day. Only feed an amount of food that the shrimp can finish within 2-3 hours maximum. It is not good to feed in excess and have food sitting for too long. Overfeeding is a known cause of death and can also cause water quality issues. Remember that shrimp are scavengers in the wild. They will eat whatever they find and are not used to a constant food source 24/7. Not feeding for one or two days is fine and will not harm this species at all.

BREEDING OF RCS

The Red Cherry Shrimp is extremely prolific, meaning that they breed readily and virtually around the clock. A healthy colony will quickly multiply and females will be constantly pregnant. It is typically 30-45 days from pregnancy to hatching. The best way to tell if a female is close to hatching her eggs is by the appearance of a set of eyes inside each egg. This is easy to spot and will let you know that hatching is literally days away.The emergence of the saddle is the indication that the female is prepared to have a new set of eggs and that the current eggs are close to hatching.

SEXING OF RCS

Sexing the Red Cherry Shrimp is very easy. Females are easy to identify as they are larger than the males, have a much darker red coloration, and also have a curved underbelly.the male is smaller, has very little red coloration and the "under belly" is a straight line with no curved shape. After keeping the Red Cherry Shrimp for a little amount of time you will be able to sex this species without a problem.Females will also have a "saddle" which is the common name for eggs which are still in the ovaries, located behind the head on the top of the bottom. It is called a Saddle due to the close appearance to the saddle you would find on a horse. Most "saddles" are yellow in color, however they can also be green. "Saddles" are a sign of sexual maturity as well as soon to come eggs. It is thought that the green saddle re-emerges due to the wild type genetics.

The eggs of the Red Cherry Shrimp are mostly yellow but can be green as well. If the saddle is green then the eggs will be green and vice versa. There is no difference between having yellow eggs or green eggs. One is not better than the other and it is also not a health indicator.

INTERBREEDING OF SHRIMP

There is a such thing as a "hybrid" shrimp, which is basically a mut version of a shrimp that has been bred by two different species. Creating a hybrid shrimp may sound cool, but in reality it is nothing more than an ugly shrimp.A simple rule is that you cannot put any shrimp of the same genus together. Genus meaning the first word of the scientific name of the shrimp. Neocaridina heteropoda sp. "red" is the scientific name for the Red Cherry Shrimp. Red Cherry Shrimp is the common name. Scientific names are vital due to the fact that there can be many common names for the same shrimp, like Cherry Red Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, Fire Red Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp, etc. For example: Neocaridina heteropoda is the scientific name for a wild type shrimp. Neocaridina is the genus, and heteropoda is the species. That is how you identify the genus, and then you can know what you cannot put together. You cannot house a Neocaridina with another Neocaridina. You also cannot house a Caridina with another Caridina. You can however house a Caridina with a Neocaridina.Shrimp do not breed like other organisms where you can cross two species and combine the best characteristics. You cannot take a Snowball Shrimp and cross it with a Red Cherry Shrimp to create a "Pink Shrimp." Unfortunately selective breeding is the only way to create a colorful strain. Selective breeding is where you take the color traits of a wild shrimp and breed out the specific color you wish to have.

MYTHS ABOUT SHRIMP

Shrimp lay eggs on other surfaces.
MYTH. Shrimp do not lay eggs on other surfaces like leaves, rocks, etc. The females carry eggs until they hatch and the babies/larvae carry on an independent life. The females carry the eggs to keep them safe and clean.

I never see my shrimp. They must be a very shy creature.
MYTH. There are several reasons why you may not see your shrimp as much as you like. First reason is that your tank is large, and the small number of shrimp are scattered all over. Second reason is that you have a heavily planted tank, so the shrimp are in the “bushes”. Third reason is because they are scared. If there are other inhabitants that the shrimp fear, like fish, the shrimp will most likely hide the majority of the time for fear of being eaten. Do not forget that shrimp are a major food source for many aquatic creatures. They are at the bottom of the food chain and they know it. Fourth reason is that they are unhealthy/unhappy in their tank. I have found that if my shrimp are not healthy/happy in the tank, they will hide the majority of the time and will rarely come out, even at feeding time. If your shrimp are always roaming around and at feeding time they all come out in a feeding frenzy then they are happy. Feeding time is the best way to observe your shrimp and get a good indicator on their health/happiness. Regardless of the amount of algae in the tank, when it is feeding time they will still eat.

I saw my shrimp eating another one of its kind
MYTH. Shrimp will eat the dead carcass of another shrimp, they are scavengers. Just because they are eating a dead shrimp does not mean they killed it then ate it. The shrimp either died because of ill health or old age. Shrimp live for about 2 years. If there are more than one shrimp dead at the same time then you should check your water parameters because something is wrong.

PREDATORS

There is another aspect often overlooked in this particular subject: the ability for shrimp to hide. In the wild the shrimp spend most of their time hiding from predators. Natural coloration which mimics the surrounding aquatic habitat helps the shrimp to further evade predators. In the shrimp hobby we have somewhat completely removed this natural defense. Most of the shrimp are selectively bred to achieve appealing colors. Solid red, blue, white, etc. are not naturally found in the wild. By removing this natural defense we further remove the shrimps chance of survival in the aquarium. They are a neon light for predatory fish.Almost all algae eating fish are safe with shrimp due to their diet of algae. Any fish that has a carnivorous diet in the wild can be a potential danger to shrimp.