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What Shrimp Can Live With Cherry Shrimp? (With 5 Examples)

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As I started my cherry shrimp tank, I soon realized that I wanted more shrimp. After several experiments, I found out these are pretty compatible with other shrimp breeds. However, not all shrimp tanks will work. Several factors need to be considered when choosing the shrimp tank mates for your cherry shrimp.

Cherry shrimp can peacefully live with Ghost, Crystal Red, Amano, Bamboo, and Vampire shrimp. These are relatively peaceful and feature similar size and water requirements to cherry shrimp. On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid species like Whisker shrimp, which are generally aggressive.

As we move forward, I will elaborate on keeping cherry shrimp with other creatures in the same tank, including fish. That mainly focuses on adjusting the water parameters. I will also show you what shrimp may crossbreed with cherry shrimp, creating fascinating hybrids.

What Shrimp Can Live With Cherry Shrimp?

Because cherry shrimp are peaceful, you are expected to keep them with other equally peaceful creatures. Many aquarists prefer to keep cherry shrimp with other shrimp. If you’re looking for shrimp to pair with your cherry shrimp, you can try the following:

1. Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus)

Ghost and cherry shrimp can live together. Because they are roughly the same size, you don’t have to worry about the creatures attacking or intimidating each other. They also have the same temperature and pH requirements. Additionally, they eat the same food. So feeding them won’t present a challenge.

If that wasn’t enough, ghost shrimp are just as peaceful and social as cherry shrimp. They won’t attack or reject the cherry shrimp in your tank. Keeping ghost and cherry shrimp in the same environment only becomes a problem if you force them to live in a small, crowded tank.[1] Otherwise, they will happily coexist.

If you’re interested, I wrote an entire article on whether cherry shrimp and ghost shrimp can coexist in the same tank. In there, I included six tips that will help you raise the two species together while avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

2. Crystal Red Shrimp (Caridina cantonensis)

Crystal Red Shrimp are somewhat sensitive where their parameters are concerned.[2] But if you can successfully maintain a tank with cherry shrimp, which are also somewhat sensitive, crystal red shrimp won’t present a challenge. The creatures can survive in the same water conditions.

In other words, you don’t have to worry about altering the water in the cherry shrimp tank to accommodate the crystal red shrimp. So long as you acclimate the crystal red shrimp beforehand, they will live peacefully alongside the cherry shrimp once you add them to the tank.

3. Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata)

Amano shrimp are popular because they are peaceful. They can coexist with most non-aggressive creatures in the aquarium. They come in larger sizes than cherry shrimp, but that doesn’t make them a threat.[3] They require the same food, temperature, pH, and hardness as cherry shrimp, so you don’t have to change much to accommodate the Amano shrimp. 

Some aquarists have noticed an aggressive streak in their Amano shrimp, but only during feeding times. And even then, the Amano shrimp are unlikely to attack or oppress their cherry shrimp neighbors during this period. So long as the tank has enough food, these two types of shrimp can happily coexist.

4. Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis)

Bamboo shrimp are counted among the best tankmates a cherry shrimp could have.[4] Bamboo shrimp are as harmless as they come. They have no interest in eating, attacking, or antagonizing cherry shrimp or any other creatures in the tank. This makes them the perfect addition to your aquarium. 

Like all other shrimp, if your bamboo shrimp have abandoned their calm and peaceful attitude, it is because you have failed to maintain the appropriate conditions in their aquatic environment. Otherwise, in an ideal tank, they would rarely show any hostility towards the cherry shrimp.

5. Vampire Shrimp (Atya Gabonensis)

This is another shrimp that is commonly paired with cherry shrimp. Despite its name, the vampire shrimp is a peaceful, nocturnal creature that will survive in any environment that has non-aggressive fish and shrimp. It has no interest in pursuing hostilities against its neighbors.

In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call vampire shrimp shy.[5] It doesn’t take much to scare them. When they are exposed to stress, they will succumb to illness. This is not the sort of shrimp that a cherry shrimp has to fear.

What Shrimp Shouldn’t Be Mixed With Cherry Shrimp?

For the most part, it isn’t that difficult to find companions for the cherry shrimp. It will coexist with most types of shrimp so long as they can survive in the same water parameters the cherry shrimp requires. This immediately eliminates marine types like Banded Coral Shrimp, Camelback Shrimp, Fire Shrimp, and Mantis Shrimp.[6]

Freshwater cherry shrimp cannot survive in saltwater. They will die a quick and painful death. Many aquarists believe that it is cruel to experiment with a cherry shrimp by placing it in a marine tank. But if you want to add saltwater shrimp to a cherry shrimp tank, you must adjust the parameters to suit the saltwater shrimp.

The only other option is to force the saltwater shrimp to live in the freshwater conditions the cherry shrimp likes. But that would kill the saltwater shrimp. You are better off removing saltwater shrimp from the equation.

If you have decided to limit your choices to freshwater shrimp, bear in mind that their size matters. Larger freshwater shrimp with aggressive attitudes are a threat to both fish and shrimp.[7]

But as far as most aquarists are concerned, only shrimp from the Macrobrachium genus can be categorized as dangerous, at least theoretically. Many professionals are aware of Macrobrachium lanchesteri, also known as the whisker shrimp.

The whisker shrimp is a problem because it has a relatively mean temperament, and unfortunately, it is strong enough to attack, harm, and kill cherry shrimp. Some aquarists will tell you that their whisker shrimp are harmless. Others know that they are dangerous, but they still keep them because they are easy to care for.[8]

A lesser-known type of Macrobrachium shrimp, at least among conventional aquarists, is Macrobrachium rosenbergii, also called the giant river prawn, which can grow to 30 cm or more.[9]

You may also encounter Macrobrachium hendersoni, another freshwater prawn that is larger than ordinary freshwater shrimp.[10] It is also called the Red-Claw Shrimp. You need at least 20 gallons to keep 2 or 3 of these creatures. It has large, robust claws that are a danger to smaller fish.

What Fish Will Not Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Fish like Neon Tetras, Ender’s Livebearers, Corydoras Catfish, Otocinclus Catfish, and Harlequin Rasboras are not likely to eat cherry shrimp. Those types of fish are relatively small and considered docile, so it is not probable for them to show hostility towards cherry shrimp.

If you want to add fish to your cherry shrimp tank, you need non-aggressive types such as:

1. Neon Tetras

Neon tetras are not a threat to cherry shrimp. They are small, active fish with a peaceful temperament. They cannot survive in tanks with aggressive fish. But they don’t have anything to fear from cherry shrimp. The reverse is also true. The cherry shrimp have nothing to fear from neon tetras.

The tetras may eat baby shrimp, but the adults will be fine. In fact, you should know that some aquarists use their neon tetras to control the cherry shrimp population in their tanks by allowing the fish to eat the baby shrimp.[11]

2. Ender’s Livebearers

Beginners will appreciate this fish because it is pretty straightforward to care for. If you are worried about the Endler accidentally eating the cherry shrimp, you should know that adult Endler’s livebearers are just 1.8 inches.[12]

They are not in a position to threaten anyone, not even cherry shrimp. Because they cannot defend themselves against larger threats, they have developed a docile temperament that makes them suitable companions for shrimp.

3. Corydoras Catfish

This is another small fish (1.5 inches) that isn’t in a position to threaten creatures like cherry shrimp that are within its range where the size is concerned. Cory catfish tend to exist peacefully with shrimp because they are bottom dwellers.

As scavengers, they spend most of their time on the substrate looking for food. Their docile personalities will not permit them to harass their neighbors. If you can accommodate their sensitivity by maintaining a clean tank with the correct parameters, the cory catfish will leave your cherry shrimp alone.

4. Otocinclus Catfish

This fish is small and social. People enjoy watching Otocinclus catfish because they have interesting personalities. Their docile attitude will prevent them from bullying the cherry shrimp. As social fish, they do not mind sharing their tank with other creatures.

5. Harlequin Rasboras

If you can get small-sized rasboras that grow to a length of 1.75 inches, they will happily coexist with your cherry shrimp. You can only go wrong with this choice if you accidentally buy the large rasboras that can reach four inches.[13]

You need smaller types like the Harlequin Rasboras. They are social fish that live in groups. They are tolerant enough to live besides cherry shrimp without attacking or bullying them. If you give them plenty of room, they won’t give you any trouble.

Can Cherry Shrimp Breed With Other Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina davidi) can breed with shrimp from the Neocaridina genus and the davidi species. That includes yellow cherry shrimp, blue cherry shrimp, black rose shrimp, and the like. On the other hand, they won’t breed with shrimp from different families, including ghost shrimp.

For shrimp to breed, they have to be the same genus and species. You can identify a shrimp’s genus and species by looking at the scientific name. For instance, the red cherry shrimp is called Neocaradina davidi. The first name is the genus, and the second is the species.

But crossbreeding shrimp of the same genus and species is a bad idea because it will ruin their colors. Additionally, successfully breeding shrimp from different species will produce infertile offspring. So, it isn’t worth the trouble. For instance, you can breed cherry and black rose shrimp, but the offspring will be sterile.

Do Cherry Shrimp Fight Each Other?

Cherry shrimp can live peacefully and have no reason to fight each other. If your cherry shrimp show signs of aggression towards one another and all the parameters in the tank are correct, you should add more cherry shrimp since they feel more secure in groups.

It is also essential to keep the water parameters suitable if you wish to grow cherry shrimp with other types of shrimp or fish. Bad water conditions will stress the creatures in your tank, creating hostility even within peaceful species.

The ideal water parameters for cherry shrimp are:[14]

  • Water pH: 6.2-8.0.
  • Temperature: 65°-75°F (18.3°-23.8°C)
  • Nitrates: below 20 ppm.
  • Nitrites, chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia should be kept at 0 ppm.
  • GH: 4-8 dGH (66.7-133.4 ppm) 
  • KH: 3-15 dKH (53.6-268.3 ppm).

Here is the equipment that I use to adjust the water parameters:

  • To measure the water pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, I use the API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT (link to Amazon). Without exaggerating, that is probably the most accurate kit you’ll find. It also lasts for hundreds of measures, making it highly cost-effective.
  • I installed the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Pro Aquarium Heater (link to Amazon) to keep my temperature stable. Frankly, all the devices I tried in the past created temperature fluctuations. So even though the average temperature fell within the desired range, the creatures in my tank were consistently stressed. If you’re interested, I also reviewed the heater here.
  • I got this 16 in 1 Drinking Water Test Kit (link to Amazon) to test my tap water. That bundle will accurately measure your chlorine, chloramine, and water hardness. I highly recommend getting it if you’re using tap water for your aquarium.

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If you are interested in getting a shrimp that can live with other creatures in your tank, the cherry shrimp is the right choice. It is just as adorable as its cousin, the ghost shrimp, and it does not take much to care for it.

The cherry shrimp is also a good choice if you wish to mix shrimp with fish in the same tank. But before you do that, make sure the water parameters are correct. Otherwise, you’ll be stressing them, which will make them hostile to one another.