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. The Red Cherry Shrimp, Neocardinia davidi, var., is a popular and inexpensive choice for beginners. red.
Red Cherry Shrimp Characteristics
Red Cherry Shrimp are approximately 4 cm (11.6 inches) long. They prefer clean water with a ph of 6.5-8.0, and a rough temperature of 14-30 degrees C (57-86), most comfortable at a moderate room temperature of about 72 degrees. They are omnivores and typically live 1-2 years under 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. They love plants and hiding places, so it is important that you include frill plants to allow them to rest, groom, and feel secure. This is especially critical after molting, one of the most vulnerable times for the 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.
Grades of Red Cherry Shrimp
There are various grades of Red Cherry Shrimp, from deep dark red to paler colors. The females are most colorful and sensitive to the background and color of the substrate. For instance, if they are kept in a tank with light-colored substrate, they will become pale or even transparent. A tank with darker substrate will give them a more vibrant, deeper color. The type of food, water pH, temperature, quality, and other factors affect the intensity of the color.
Ideal for planned tanks
Dwarf shrimp love planted tanks. They love hiding places, the plants they produce, and the water chemistry they provide. That being said, it is also important to decide what your goal is with your Red Cherry Shrimp – do you want to raise a single colony of adults or breed and increase your shrimp population? 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. For this reason, it is vital to have mosses and other hiding places; or even some of the cute bamboo shrimp hotels that can easily be covered with moss. Because they clean up the debris and don’t cause damage to shrimp, smaller snails can be a great addition to the shrimp tank. 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 at all.
Red Cherry Shrimp are not aggressive and can be active at night and day. One can often spot them grazing on algae, looking for any detritus in gravel. 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. When it’s close to spawning, female Red Cherry Shrimp will hide in the darkness and may abandon their eggs if they are startled. They will lay more eggs if they have more hiding places. The size and color of Red Cherry Shrimps can help you determine their gender. In this case, males are smaller and less colorful. Females often have a yellowish saddle on their back, which are actually eggs developing 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. It is possible to induce breeding 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. The shrimp takes about 3 to 5 months to start breeding. The female is most vulnerable to male advances after molting. She then hides and releases pheromones into the water that call males to her. After a bred female, she will carry the eggs under her, moving them around to keep them clean and oxygenated for approximately 30 days. Baby shrimp are exact duplicates of the adults, but very tiny. 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.
Feeding Red Cherry Shrimp
It is simple to feed your Red Cherry Shrimp. They love variety, just like many omnivores. They will eat most any aquarium food but love shrimp pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables (zucchini, carrots, etc. Or try one of the exotic foods available. You can also use Zoo Med Plankton Banquettet blocks in your tank. This keeps the shrimp active and provides spirulina, calcium, and other essential minerals.
Cholla Wood, Catappa leaves, and Cholla Wood are also great sources of food. As bacteria breaks them down, the shrimp can eat the bacteria. A few shrimp enthusiasts believe that natural bee pollen can help improve breeding. Others love the Repashy Foods which is 45% protein and a great meal for shrimp, crab, crayfish, and snails. The key to feeding shrimp is MODERATION. It is easy for too many food to be put into the tank. The tank can become very polluted. Keep in mind that shrimp can only eat a small amount of food each day. Some shrimp keepers recommend that you only feed your shrimp every other day or that you at most put no food in the tank for one week. Some also recommend you try to remove uneaten food after 2-3 hours, again depending on the number of shrimp, snails, and conditions.
Finally, there are many varieties of dwarf shrimp. Due to interbreeding, not all of the dwarf shrimp can be placed in one tank. It is easy to watch these tiny creatures go about their daily lives, hunting for food and tending to “their” plant gardens if you just follow a few steps.