Red Cherry Shrimp, Neocardinia davidi – Breeding
Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of interest in keeping dwarf shrimp in the home, usually planted, aquarium. It is rewarding, fun, and beneficial for the planted tank. However, you will soon find yourself wanting to explore more exotic and common 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 can reach a length of 4 cm (1.6 inches). They are most comfortable in warm rooms of 72 degrees. They are omnivores, and live up to 1-2 years in optimal conditions. Be sure to keep all foods, supplements, or chemicals that have copper out of 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. The shrimp love hiding places and plants so frill plants are important. This is especially important after molting when shrimp are most vulnerable. They also love to eat the film of micro-organisms, algae, and plant leaves. This is why they spend hours grooming their favourites. Shrimps love to hide and groom themselves in mosses.
Red Cherry Shrimp in Different Grades
Red Cherry Shrimp comes in a variety of colors, from dark red to pale. 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. In a tank with darker substrate, they take on a fuller, redder, coloration. 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. It is important to have mosses, hiding places, or some cute bamboo shrimp hotels. 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 non-aggressive and active during both the day and night. One can often spot them grazing on algae, looking for any detritus in gravel. The shrimp will occasionally shed its exoskeleton. This leaves a husk that drifts around the plant. This husk is vitally important as the shrimp will eat it and replenish their 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. The more hiding places and the safer the shrimp feels, the more likely they will lay a full clutch of eggs. You can determine the gender of Red Cherry Shrimps by their size and colors. Males are usually smaller and more 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.
Red Cherry Shrimp Breeding
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. You can induce breeding by maintaining stable water conditions. 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 shrimp about 3-5 month to start breeding. The males are most attracted to the female after molting. She then hides and releases pheromones into the water that call males to her. 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. You need to make sure that there aren’t any predators in your tank as they will easily eat a newborn shrimp. Shrimp caves and live moss are great for helping baby shrimp find food and hiding places.
Red Cherry Shrimp Feeding
Feeding your Red Cherry Shrimp is easy. Like many omnivores, they love variety. They will eat most any aquarium food but love shrimp pellets, algae wafers, blanched vegetables (zucchini, carrots, etc. You can also try some of the more exotic food options. It’s also a good idea for the shrimp to have Zoo Med Plankton Banton Blocks in their tank. This helps to keep shrimp active and supplies spirulina as well as other essential minerals, especially calcium.
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. MODERATION is the key to caring for shrimp. 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. You should also try to eliminate any unfinished food within 2-3 hours depending on how many shrimp or snails you have and the 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.