Keeping Freshwater Pet Shrimp - Cherry Red Shrimp

Why Freshwater Pet Shrimp?

Why not of course they are fun little guys and can be much more active than fish. The most popular types of pet shrimp are cherry , ghost and blue shrimp.

These little guys are great little cleaners and will spend every waking hour exploring your tank and picking up little bits of food left over and cleaning up algae. Its also fascaniating to watch them breed as it doesn't take any special care to get them to breed.

I currently have a small cherry shrimp tank setup and its really great fun to watch them speed around the tank with there powerful little legs, it's a great change from keeping fish.

Nicely planted shrimp tank :) have fun with your aquascaping
Nicely planted shrimp tank :) have fun with your aquascaping

Pet Shrimp Tips

Tank Size

The great thing about keeping pet shrimps are that they don't require huge tanks, and you can easily keep a little group of shrimps in a small bowl of around 10-12 liters. If you want to see more activity and breeding its best to for a tank size of 40 liters or more.

Water Temperature

Many people keep there pet shrimp tanks inside and usually room temperature will keep the water at a good temperature range but in winter the water may drop below the recommended range of between 20 - 24 degrees Celsius. So its best to have a heater handy for the colder months.

Pet Shrimp Filtration and Aeration

Just like any other aquatic creature the shrimp requires proper filtration and aeration of the water especially in large colony's. The most popular filtration set up is either and underground gravel filter or a sponge filter that wont suck in poor young shrimp.

Shrimp Diet

Shrimp are omnivores so they will pretty much eat anything, from little bits of flake food to pellets which they break down to size. They can also live happily on little micro-organisms growing inside your tank.

Only feed your shrimp once a day and feed them as much as they can consume within 2-3 minutes, but its hard to monitor it so a little sprinkle of food is usually enough.

Keeping Shrimp with Fish

Generally its best not to keep fish with shrimp, any fish with a mouth big enough to fit a shrimp is a danger to your little shrimps. The most common tank mates are guppies or endler variety guppies. As they are less aggressive and do not grow that big.

Shrimp Varieties

There are many shrimp variety's out there to try to are very comptabile with each other its best to have them in decent size groups of at least 5:P so they can stay close to there friends. The most popular varieties are Dwarf Shrimp, Ghost or Glass Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp, Blue Shrimp, and the Long armed Shrimp

cherry shrimp
cherry shrimp
long armed shrimp
long armed shrimp
pregnant red cherry
pregnant red cherry

Pet Shrimp

Plants with Shrimp

Your shrimp don't really require live plants in the tank unless they are competing for survival with other fish, where a moss ball or other live plants will help to keep younger shrimp safe. Shrimp do enjoy a bit of driftwood to claw against.

Shrimp Breeding

Breeding shrimp is unbelievably easy , just make sure the water quality is good and they are getting enough to eat and they will start to breed. You will see the females are plump with eggs, and if you look closely you can see the eggs are very visible.

Shrimp Size

Freshwater shrimp usually don't get any larger than 3-4 cm long, depending on the type of shrimp of course non freshwater shrimp can get as huge as 15 cm long.

Tank Lid

Its a good idea to get a lid for your tank cause a startled or excited shrimp can spring it self out of your tank and start crawling across your carpet. Either that or just fill your tank 3/4 of the way up

Shrimp Danger Water Additives

Watch what you add into your tank, such as supplementation for your plants or anything to help kill the diseases of your other fish. Shrimp are very sensitive to copper and you could end up killing all your shrimp.

Buying and Collecting Shrimp

Shrimp in pet stores usually aren't that cheap , its best to look on classified pet enthusiast websites for people who have bred a lot and willing to sell them off cheap. The other option is to head down to your local river/stream and try and catch some local shrimp and bring them home for your tank.

Shrimpy Poll

How do you feel about Pet Shrimp

  • Sounds like a great alternative to keeping Fish
  • Sticking to my Fish , flippidy flop
See results without voting

More by this Author

Comments 64 comments

eways profile image

eways 7 years ago from London U.K

Very interseting but somewhat strange subject

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

thanks for the comment, what's the point? strange question the point was to make an article about keeping pet shrimp which I love doing, this type of hub is not likely to make much at all:P

solokoyote 7 years ago from northwestern Pennsylvania

Good artcile, enjoyed reading it. I raise rosy red minnows in a ten gallon aquarium. They too are a lot of fun, but the shrimp idea is a fascinating different hobby.

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

thanks solokoyote , rosy red minnows are nice I think i can allow get white cloud mountain minnows. and yes shrimp are heaps of fun:)

its great to watch them run around and breed and you can feed the excess to your bigger fish , i feel a bit mean doing that though:)

Lexie 7 years ago

I just got my first pet shrimp today. A small ghost shrimp. He's so much fun to watch. I have him housed in a 2 gallon tank with two small mollies. They all get along great so far and seem happy. Right now my lone shrimp is hanging out in his pineapple house.

Chris 7 years ago

This is a good article! I'm actually looking to get some shrimp! I have a large stream running through my backyard but I live in PA. Do you think there will be shrimp in it? And if so how do I go about finding and catching them?

Thanks for the article though! It was great!

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

There may be fresh water shrimp if your lucky probably the glass/clear type shrimp. You can just catch them with a big net and some bait.

Or you can build a shrimp catcher , its just like a wasp catcher its easy for them to get in but awkward to get out weigh it down with a rock and fill with fish food/pet food and you should be able to catch some.

good luck it will great if you can get some free shrimp from the strem :)

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Lexie, hehe that sounds great shrimp are lots of fun to watch especially because they have those little speedy legs peddling around the tank :) you should get a male and female so they breed.

They breed really easily so its great for building a little colony or feeding the spares as fish food if you have the heart :)

Tash 7 years ago

I have a freshwater shrip that is about 4cm long. I would like to breed it but how do you tell the difference from a male and female freshwater shrimp? He or she lives with a redfin the same size as him in a large fish tank. Is there a problem with that?

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Hi Tash, usually the females are a darker color and with cherry shrimp you will see the darkest red shrimp is the dominant female, the ones with lighter color some sort of a dirty orange color are usually males.

They should breed quite easily if you have both males and females, should be alright aslong as the redfin doesn't eat the shrimp

Tash 7 years ago

Thanks. I think my shrimp is a male then. If i get another shrimp small enough for the redfin to eat, the redfin will be moving to my other tank.

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

yea probably best to move the redfin, mine are breeding a lot lately found a few more babies today floating around the canister filter :)

Jess 7 years ago

What is a good size for a shrimp tank?

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

I know of people keeping them in tanks as small as 10 liters, I keep mine in a 1ft tank holds about 30-40 liters of water.

The bigger you get the better :) means more breeding more shrimp

Jess 7 years ago


Tash 7 years ago

I forgot to ask if it is O.K to hold my pet shrimp?

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Should be ok if your very gentle and don't hold them for too long :) they are quite hard to get a hold of and they are very jumpy

Tash 7 years ago

Last night I cought a shrimp in my yabbie net. It's a little smaller than the last but to big for the redfin to eat.It looks like a female so hopefully they will breed.

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Yep hopefully they are the same breed otherwise they might not breed, its impossible to get cherry red shrimp to breed with ghost shrimp

Tamarind 7 years ago

I like these shrimp. I would like to try raising some. I wonder if they would go along good with snails in the tank.

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

yep snails and shrimps get along fine:) keeping lots of shrimp with snails at the moment.

getting some tiny cherry shrimps as swell they are miniature

Tash 7 years ago

Hi, it's me again. I got some new water plants to go in my fish and they spread a white spot sickness to my fish. I have brought white spot stuff to make it go away but the info on it said nothing about it being safe to my shrimps. Do you think it would be safe?

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Hi , hmm not quite sure it depends on what's in it. I hear that shrimps dont like copper and that will kill them but I dont think it would be in there.

I once used a multicure solution in my shrimp tank to help some sick fishes and my shrimp seemed ok. let me know what ingredients are in it see if its the same as my multicure stuff i used.

Paulo 7 years ago

I've bought about 15 Cherry Red Shrimps and housed them in a 17 gallon cube, heavily planted with swords and with driftwoods covered with mosses, and after a month or so, I started seeing tiny shrimps. Its been 4 months now, and the whole tank is crawling with these cute little critters. Its my first time keeping Cherry Reds and I highly recommend them to any small fish community tanks. I'm currently keeping them with neons, corys, khulis and otos. I'll be needing a bigger tank soon..

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

That's great Paulo, they do breed really quickly cleaned out my canister filter and found about 20 babies in there moved them all to a 2ft tank :)

nice range of fish in your community tank

Tash 7 years ago

Thanks, I'll let you know tomorrow

Tash 7 years ago

Sorry i did not let you know before but I had trouble with the internet.

Anyway, all it said was formaldehyde and malachite green.

I looked up some stuff on it and shrimps. It was not much help.

expectus profile image

expectus 7 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Hi tash, well some of my fish had white spot and I used, a multicure tht has methylene blue, malachite green and arciflavine and my shrimp are still going strong, I did only use a little though.

Increasing the temperature in the tank slightly can help fish get better quicker too

Tash 7 years ago

Thanks so much. I'll do that. Now my fish can get better.

beca murray 6 years ago

Thanks for this, it really helped when we bought our little shrimp this morning. The woman in the shop was useless! I would like to know the breed of my shrimp however, we have a clear srimp, like the one in your pictures. Is it a problem if they sit on the filter? Any responses here would be much appreciated.

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

sounds like you got ghost/glass shrimp and you should cover your filter with a fine mesh so they don't get sucked into it, it can be very useful when you have some tiny baby shrimps

Albert 6 years ago

I put a crayfish in my cherry red shrimp tank but I don't if they can breed with him around(even though I have a lot of them). I would appreciate if you send me some info.

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

they should still breed as you have a lot of them, but be prepared for some casualties as the crayfish will probably try to eat them

Mr.PumP 6 years ago

It is greate to know more about shrimps especially RCS, coz i do have pet RCS in 6 gallon tank, i love them xo much i spend a lot of time looking at them, counting them how many baby RCS hatched. hope to catch more tips from this page so that i can improve taking care of my pets coz they're getting more in number.

Michele 6 years ago

Hi, I was wondering if keeping shrimp with a betta would be ok, or would my betta kill the shrimp for territory?

expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

I think a betta would be fine with adult shrimp but baby shrimp would get eaten up pretty fast , unless they had plants to hide among

John 6 years ago

I have 3 african dwrf frogs in a 5 gallon tank could i get simera cherry shrimp to, and if yes how many...bAlso do they need live plants or silk ones are oi?

Mike 6 years ago

Great info!!! I bought a tank for the family about a month ago, we have 3 ghost and 3 cherry, along with a whole bunch of fish. 2 bug-eyed black goldfish, 2 bigger goldfish with a larger tail, 3 "feeder" goldfish, 2 crabs, 3 of these little red/black fish, 3 white with a red nose, 5 of these grey with black stripes that hang out in packs. Unfortunately the shrimp bloody hide all the time!!! They stayed in a hollow sunken pirate ship all the time, I replaced that with a smaller solid ship so we can see them more, but they stay in the plants and only come out when the overhead tank light is off. As soon as I turn it on, maybe 10-15 seconds later they're gone. It's a 48gal tank, lots of room, it's unfortunate we don't really get to see them. I'd add more if it will make them braver, great info on the pump filter, I'll check it to make sure no babies are there.

Any ideas on how to make my shrimps more lively would be great. Again great info!!!


expectus profile image

expectus 6 years ago from Land Downunder Author

silk plants are alright but my shrimp really enjoy my moss and amazon shards. go for real plants if you can , you wont regret it :).

Mike - sounds like they are scared or just don't have enough numbers to come out of hiding, I have a couple catfish in a tank with about 40 shrimp, and the shrimp own the tank running around , swimming they never stop going in the day or night.

shannon 6 years ago

in a tank with just shrimp do you have to clean the tank?

Chriz 6 years ago

Would a small yabby be Able to live with a couple ghost shrimp I have a 2 ft tank with an Otto a snail and a 2 mini goldfish and my yabby also how many shrimp can I get if I can get them? P.s how much do they $$ thanks plz reply

expectus profile image

expectus 5 years ago from Land Downunder Author

shannon - yes its important to clean the tank every 2-3 weeks or more depending on how much you are feeding them

Chris - i think the goldfish might end up eating all your shrimp if they can catch them. but i doubt the yabby will be able to grab them

Jackie 5 years ago

i had a gold fish (technically feeder fish) for 3 years. lived in a glass 1.5 gallon tank, no filter, no pump, glass rocks on the bottom, changed water roughly every 2 weeks. would this be suitable for shrimp as well? like 1 most likely because im a college student, just looking for something to liven up my room. and will have to be able to transport about once a month.

kent 5 years ago

i want to have a cherry shrimp on a 1 gallon tank with no filter.. will the shrimps survive ??

kent 5 years ago

im planning to buy a 10 gallon tank with sponge filter.. but our local pet store does not sell real plants.. do these shrimps need real plants and algae ?? or is it ok to put fake plants just for hiding and climbing ?? ill just put some gravel on the rank floor.. will they breed this way ?? im afraid they die and lose all my savings from my allowance.. btw im from the philippines.

sarah 5 years ago

is it okay to keep about 4 shrimps in a small bowl? say around 0.9L of water?

expectus profile image

expectus 5 years ago from Land Downunder Author

Jackie - yep that would be fine for the shrimp, don't get too many though as they can make a lot of waste, 10-15 would be good for a tank that size

kent - they will survive if you change the water reguarly, but like all creatures they need oxygen so if you don't use a pump make sure the tank has a good water surface area. they don't require real plants but they do love them.

they breed very easily don't have to worry about it too much.

sarah - that should be fine for 4 shrimp but probably not too many more they can breed quite quickly

Bex 5 years ago

Hi, this is really good info. I want to keep these shrimp but I have a few questions to ask you first:

1. What is a good amount to keep in moderately small cube tank that is the width and length of a average foot (foot as in "a foot" not the measuring "ft"-if you get what i mean.

2. How many babies does a shrimp mother give birth to.

3. What do you recommend at the bottom of the tank? sand, black sand, pebbles, or others?

4. How often do you clean the filter and the tank?

5. How do you clean the filter and the tank?(:

Thanks so much! You have better information then the people who sell these shrimp.

helio 5 years ago

wow nice tank! what type of moss on that picture?

helio 5 years ago

also the size of the tank? Thanks!

Minty 5 years ago

Hello. I just bought a little tank for my daughter to keep shrimp in. What if you don't want them to breed???? I have no other fish to feed excess to and don't like the thought of killing things :-(

jondaley 5 years ago


Read up on the amano shrimp, biggest freshwater shrimp there is grows around 2" max, for these guys to breed they prefer brackishwater types and it may be the case that they wont breed at all in 100% freshwater. No experience with them myself im afraid

veronica 5 years ago

good article, do u have any information on osmolarity

Doug 5 years ago

Hello, good article. I esp. liked the picture of your tank. I was wondering if the plants are real and if so what kind are they?

BT!!!!! 5 years ago

I have a gold fish and a comet would I be ok to buy some shrimp to go in the tank?

min 5 years ago

but what do they eat if they are wild shrimp

CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

Interesting tank I like the idea of doing a Shrimp tank would be fun to do some day. So many fun things to put in a tank and watch them grow...need more fish tanks!

cloudo9 4 years ago

i have a 55 litre tank and i was wondering what fish i could have in there with 1 shrimp? Would danios,platies or tetras eat it?

guydem 4 years ago

i think i own a sick shrimp. was found on its side in the morning but with a poke started to move a bit, not been looking great all day and only been feeding for a short period of time. how do i make my shrimp better?

Deano 4 years ago

Looking to set up my first shrimp tank, two main drives - feed my bettas and have something that's just fascinating to watch on my office.... Have shrimp in my main rank and they are great to watch

jack 4 years ago

dunno if u can help i av a few cherry shrimp,and 2 shrimp wot i would call alge shrimp(clear wit small spots slightley larger than the cherry)i bought 3 small crystal shrimp and over the course of a week they all disapeared,and on one occasion the clear shrimp had part of the crystal in its mouth.r they compatible or would they kill smaller shrimp?

Hannah 4 years ago

Wow! I cant wait to getsome shrimp now!! I have a 5 gallon tank with a heater and a filter, is this enough? and im thinking about cherry shrimp! How many will be able to live in my tank?

someonewhoknows 4 years ago

NIce. I uasually get shrimps and i would feed tham to my alligator gar.Now let me try to keep them.

wally 2 years ago

I need to add water to my mini shrimp bowl do I mix salt water with fresh?

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