Friday, October 14, 2011

Profile-Cherry shrimp

The red cherry shrimp is a colour variation of Neocaridina heteropoda, the wild version is native to Taiwan, the red ones are the most commonly kept ones but it comes in blue and yellow as well as a few other colours.

This species is very hardy and does well in a densely planted tank, in a NPT you may need to over feed them as they have such a low bioload the food they eat does not build up in the aquarium to decompose into nutrients and CO2 like it would in a heavily stocked tank with fish. Shrimp only tanks can become deficient in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. What you can do is dose with a liquid fertilizer and diy, compressed or liquid CO2. You can also add snails to the tank and feed the tank much more than if you only had shrimp, I like Malaysian trumpet snails for this as they are nocturnal and during the day they dig through the substrate aerating it and burying waste. At night they leave the substrate and look for food.

Cherry shrimp breed without any help from you, just add water and wait. The babies like to feed of the moss as it has a high surface area for microorganisms to grow which they like to eat. You can feed the shrimp blanched vegetables such as baby spinach, carrot and cucumber; they eat many other vegetables other than these. They will also eat fish flakes and pellets, shrimp pellets and decomposing organic matter such as dead plant leaves, they also eat the micro organisms that live on this as well. Remember they do not eat much, only feed as much as they can consume within two hours, or feed before the lights go out and leave it for the MTS to eat.

Cherries are very tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, in many areas they can be kept without a heater all year round, because of this you must be careful not to release them into waterways as they are very hardy and could become a pest. I keep mine at 24 degrees with my crystal red shrimp and they breed like crazy.

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