Is My Red Cherry Shrimp berried? How to sex them?

  • #1
Hi all just did a waterchange on my 5 gallon tank.
pH - 7.1
Ammonia - 0.0-0.25ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 5-10ppm (i didnt do a wc is a while because there was only bladder snails in the tank and 2 guppies)

The tank now has 5 male guppies, i think 2 are endler guppy hybrids
about 10-20bladder snails and 9 low quality red cherry shrimp

I got some tank photos for you, i also think that 1 of the shrimp i bought could be berried??

Tank photo, will be adding more plants soon

Some of the low quality red cherry shrimp i bought (its been hard for me to find a medium to high quality cherry shrimp here in Sydney Australia, places are wanting 10-15$ a shrimp!!) I got these 9 shrimp for 10$).

My most colourful red cherry (i think she? is berried)

Can somebody tell me if my shrimp is berried and also how do you tell a shrimps sex? male or female?

Thanks for all help in advanced :)
Peter :)

  • #2
The female is not berried but she is saddled (yellow patch) so she will likely breed after her next molt.

In the second photos, the closest and farthest shrimp are both male. I see two female near the back, one with a yellow saddle and one with a green one. The other two facing the camera are impossible to tell. Red cherries generally have either green or yellow saddles, some can be closer to white or brown but I'd say yellow is most common. Keep in mind and old or otherwise unproductive female will not always have a saddle.

Basically, a female shrimp will be larger, more colorful, and the underside of her tail will be a shallow "u" shape. A male is smaller, less colorful and the shape of the tail is more of a angled straight line and not curved much. On a mature male, you may notice a bit of his swimmerets sticking out passed the shell, where the tail meets the body. Those are the pair of swimmerets that do "the business".

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  • #3
Thank you, I did find a largish moly this morning, do you think the female might have molted?

Thanks for all the info, I'm happy to have a mix of female and male cherries and hope to have breeding occur.

I haven't seen signs of aggression from guppies to shrimp, when the shrimp have babies what percentage do you think will survive?
  • #4
Hey PeterFishKeepin
Until that moss grows into a more substantial clump not many shrimp young will survive from each batch . These babies are tiny and helpless. They can’t even swim when they first appear. They float around waiting for food to come to their open mouths . An easy meal for any fish . No doubt some will always survive, how many depends on the cover they can find .
You asked about substrate earlier. The gravel is ideal but you could add leaf litter as well. While not everyones cup of tea because of the natural look the fish and shrimp will definitely find micro creatures growing on the leaf litter. Now in Australia is a good time to collect dry oak leaves from the ground. Dry any rain off on a windowsill.

In short the young will need much more cover to avoid being an easy meal. And they will find food under leaf litter for themselves.
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  • #5
Thanks flyfisha I have collected some fallen dry oak leaves I'll add some soon, a friend has a largish tank I think a 3ft tank around 120litres full of java moss I'll get some off him.

Will one or two oak leaves make the water brown from tannins or would it need a lot more botanicals?

Flyfisha seeming your from Aus where do you get good shrimp from, LFS, breeder, online?
  • #6
I joined my local aquarium society ( fish club) and found out cherry shrimp started in the hobby only a few years ago as a live food culture.
The guys from Sydney cichlids laugh at those of us that keep shrimp for something other than a food culture.
My local club has auctions every month . Cherry shrimp don’t get much at auction when selling. $15 Australian a bag if two people are bidding.
To get really good colours yes it’s Queensland and $10 each or months of work culling out undesirable colours from what you have. My experience suggests even the best strains in Australia still require a lot of culling to keep a pure colour.

A word of warning.
You will have cherry shrimp turning up in unexpected places. Unless you try very hard they will find a way into any tank you have. In other words if you now buy the best col you can find be very careful to keep those first ones separate. Or just let them breed and relax.? Nothing wrong with getting odd colours anyway. Moving moss in future will move the baby cherry shrimp even if you don’t want them .

This guy was outside in a fire bucket of old tank water. It must have gone out with waste water as a juvenile . No filter , no air stone , not many living plants , no food and 42 degrees centigrade.
When putting my fish in auctions I often add cherry shrimp to the bag along with moss just to give the auctioneer something to talk about.
I have got shrimp from Melbourne in the post. Even with more than 48 hours in a bag they were fine in the tiny amount of water.

To answer your question.
Just be ready to buy good shrimp when you see them.
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  • #7
How much should a shrimp cost, just plan red cherry shrimp in my area are going for 5-15$ each! Idk which to buy or pay for I found 9 shrimp for 10$ but they are really low grade colours, yours look amazing even the culls.
  • #8
Shrimp should not cost much at all, but they do
However if the market wants to pay then the sky is the limit. The colours of choice have a fashion as well. Blues were flavour of the month last year. Greens had there time in the sun. Perhaps jade is the new flavour?

The truth is blacks , greens and dark blue all look like something you should be vacuuming out of the tank. And you will vacuum them up lol.

I don’t cull the worst colours but I use them all as live food in fry tanks . When fry are in the tank they clean up waste food . As the fry grow they eat the juveniles and eventually the adult shrimp. When setting up another tank I do remove a small number of the best colours I find at random without wasting to much time. Just as well because this new betta my wife picked up yesterday has eaten her tank mates in the first 24 hours lol.

When using cherry shrimp as live food in fry grow out tanks the fish require up to 3 45% water changes each week. What I am saying is don’t be afraid to change water often in a cherry shrimp tank. What you should avoid is doing a large 45% water change after not changing any water for a couple of months. It’s about different water parameters. Keeping fresh water constantly changing is not a problem. Shocking shrimp with a change from old high nitrates to fresh water is not recommended.
Much of the confusion on the internet comes from caring for caridina shrimp. Not our neocaridina (cherry shrimp)

I have a lot of respect for anyone keeping caridina shrimp, a totally different game.

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