Cherry shrimps, or more particularly red cherry shrimps, have become one of the most popular aquarium shrimps since its 1st introduction in 2003. Its vivid color and richness in appearance have made it so popular that many people now take cherry shrimp breeding as a profession.

So, if you are one of them, you need to know at what age do cherry shrimps breed? It is vital since knowing the cherry shrimp breeding age will help you prepare the breeding ground and accumulating essential items for the newborn babies.

Cherry shrimp (Neocaridina Davidi) attains maturity at about 120-150 days, and after that, it is ready to breed.

However, for proper breeding, you also should know how to take care of the cherry shrimp during the mating session and if there are ways to control the reproduction of the beautiful creature.

For your convenience, we have covered cherry shrimp breeding time, cares, tips, and other essential factors related to breeding in the following sections.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding Age

What Age Do Cherry Shrimp Breed?

To know the cherry shrimp breeding age, we need first to understand its maturity. And the maturity of cherry shrimp is linked with its lifecycle.

So, here’s our put on cherry shrimp lifecycle- shortly.

When a cherry shrimp is born, the first stage is post- larva. It continues for 1-2 days, and then it transforms in the grub. It lasts for the next 3-10 days, and finally, the cherry shrimp turns into a juvenile offspring.


For the next 100-120 days, the cherry shrimp gains weight before transforming into a fully grown adult shrimp. However, to attain sexual maturity and preparedness for breeding, a cherry shrimp roughly needs 120-150 days or sometimes even more (rarely).

Growth StageTimelineWeight
Post-larva0-2 days3-5 grams
Larva and Juvenile3-120 days5-25 grams
Adult Shrimp120-150 days25 grams plus.

Nonetheless, the breeding capacity or age doesn’t depend on maturity. For a fully grown cherry shrimp to be able to breed, weight plays a crucial role.

We found that for proper breeding, a cherry shrimp needs to be around 22-27grams weighty.

Since the cherry shrimp weight is directly linked with water parameters, filtration, tank heating, shrimp feeding, and so on, you also need to know about them.  These are equally important cherry shrimp breeding factors as like the age itself.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding Factors:

When we talk about factors affecting cherry shrimp breeding and lifecycle, we actually indicate the elements that we can control to slow down or boost the shrimp aging and growth.

Yes, you heard it right.

You can control the water parameters, filters, feeding, and tank mates to get control over cherry shrimp growth, including both age and size, to gain control over its breeding procedure as well.

Proper Filtration

Over the years, I have seen many cherry shrimp owners neglecting the use of a proper filtration system in their shrimp tank.

It is a suicidal attempt for shrimps.

I repeat, it is a suicidal attempt for cherry shrimp.

Although many people consider that a well-planted cherry shrimp tank works as an alternative to the filters, things cannot go any more wrong than that.

A filter is a specialized device for filtering the aquarium water, and it can’t be replaced with any plants or other staff.

Cherry shrimps are extremely sensitive to external affairs, and the slightest change in the water parameter affect the shrimp profoundly. So, it is needless to say that these sudden changes will also have an impact on the cherry shrimp breeding.

Thus, to maintain the water parameters at an optimal level, we recommend you to use a proper filtration system in the aquarium or tank.

But which type of filter should you choose for a cherry shrimp tank?

Here’s what we have found-

Sponge filters:

When it comes to shrimp tank filters, you don’t need to spend billions on it. A useful yet straightforward sponge filter works fine for the cherry shrimps. First off, it doesn’t create a strong current in the aquarium. So, baby shrimps won’t get stuck on it.

Secondly, its wider surface helps biofilm growth. Biofilms are the favorite food for shrimps. Moreover, it helps the growth of helpful bacteria that keeps the tank water healthy for shrimps.

Finally, what I love about the sponge filters is that these come at a relatively low price and performs like a pro-filter. I prefer using the Powkoo Spong Filter, and it hasn’t disappointed me until now.

HOB filters:

It is usually known as Hang On Back filters and capable of more filtering than the regular spongy ones. However, the tradeoff is a higher price.

Still don’t recognize?

Well, it is the canister filter I am talking about right now. The screen is excellent for boosting bio-filtration and mechanical filtering together. Nonetheless, if you don’t have other fish or shrimp species except cherry shrimps in the tank, a sponge filter is still the perfect one to go with for maintaining the tank.

Water Parameters

Next, you need to focus on maintaining the water parameters. But before we move to see the water parameters, why not see the water itself?

Well, you must use chlorine-free water for the cherry shrimp tank.

It is crucial if you don’t want to see the shrimps dying at a premature age. However, the best water type for the cherry shrimp breeding is the following-

A mixture of cherry shrimp mineral and RO water is preferable. Once you can do it, you will see the increasing number of shrimp babies and the attractive color of them.

You should use the combo since it really helps in getting the vibrancy in shrimp color, and the color representation matters the most for cherry shrimp.

Now, let’s see the essential water parameters for shrimp tank maintenance.

ParametersOptimum Level
Temperature72°F to 78°F
General Hardness (GH)5-8 ppm
Carbonate Hardness (KH)1-4ppm
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)150-250ppm

Water temperature:

For cherry shrimp breeding, probably, water temperature plays the most crucial part. While the ideal temperature for cherry shrimp to thrive is 70°F to 75°F. For breeding, it needs to be slightly higher. Yes, during my long acquaintance with cherry shrimps, I have found that with a somewhat higher temperature, you can actually boost the shrimp growth.

On the contrary, a slightly lower temperature will reduce the growth rate. But you need to remember that the temperature change needs to be slow and consistent since sudden change can be detrimental for your shrimp.

When you raise the temperature to 76°F-78°F in the water tank, the following things will happen-

  • Increased molting
  • Quick breeding
  • Frequent feeding
  • Inferior quality for offspring.

On the contrary, at a lower temperature, although the molting and breeding become slower, you will end up getting a higher quality of cherry shrimp offspring.

So, you need to decide at first- do you need quick breeding and more offspring or less offspring with higher quality and vivid color.

pH level:

The pH level indicates the presence of acid or alkaline in the water. The pH measurement scale is 0-14.7. The cherry shrimp water should neither be too acidic, not too alkaline. Hence, the preferred pH range for cherry shrimps is 6.5 to 7.5.

GH, KH, and TDS:

GH indicates the presence of calcium and magnesium in the tank water, higher or lower amount. KH, on the other side, reports the pH stability, and TDS showcases how much chemicals are dissolved in the water.

These three key components combine to reduce or boost the water conditions quite significantly. You can purchase a TDS meter or KH and GH testing kit to measure the factors at least once in a month.

Feeding Quality

Apart from the water temperature, the quality of cherry shrimp feed probably has the greatest effect on the breeding procedure. You will mostly find three types of cherry shrimp feeding-

  1. Biofilms and algae ( born within the tank)
  2. Boiled and blanched vegetables
  3. Commercial shrimp food

While shrimps will get algae and biofilms grown naturally in the container, you can provide blanched vegetables as a change. I use the following vegetables to feed my red cherry shrimp-

  • Spinach,
  • Carrots,
  • Lettuce,
  • Cucumber

However, even with algae and blanched vegetables, the shrimps will lack proper nutrition. So, you need to feed them with commercial shrimp food to boost health and growth.

I have been feeding my cherry shrimps with Bacter AE, and the result is entirely satisfactory.  The best fact about the food item is that it is suitable for adult and baby shrimps alike. You can find several good-quality commercial cherry shrimp food online.

However, when feeding the shrimps remember that-

Underfeeding cherry shrimp is preferable than overfeeding.  

Other Factors

Sometimes, you might be interested in considering the other factors as well. However, remember that these factors are less crucial, and so, you might escape them.

  • Light: Lighting has nothing to do with cherry shrimp breeding. It is only useful for the plants you use in the tank. So, even if you use a light in the cherry shrimp tank, don’t use it more than 7-8 hours.
  • Mineral stones: Many expert shrimp breeders say using mineral stones in the tank will produce a higher quality of shrimp. It also increases the number of shrimp offspring.
  • Plant supplements: Plant supplement has nothing to do with the cherry shrimp breeding. Yet, if you want to use these, make sure it doesn’t contain any copper or iron. The slightest presence of these two chemical components is good enough to kill the shrimps.

Cherry Shrimp Breeding Care and Tips

  1. If you want to take cherry shrimp breeding professionally, don’t mix different grades. It will result in inferior quality offspring and less vibrant colors. So, you will get less market value for the shrimp babies.
  2. Don’t mix shrimps and fishes. Always use a specific tank or aquarium for the breeding shrimps.
  3. Breeding cherry shrimp will not place you among the wealthiest people of the world. In fact, it hardly covers the shrimp breeding expense even. So, don’t be so serious.
  4. Since cherry shrimp isn’t a profitable business at least in the initial stage), don’t go for steep grades. Instead, begin with the cheap species or grades and see how it goes.
  5. When it comes to maintaining the water parameters, remember that instead of hitting the optimal level, consistency is more important. So, focus on the consistency of KH, GH, pH, and TDS.

The Bottom Line

Cherry shrimp, thanks to its vibrant and rich color, is an exclusive aquarium breed. Sometimes cherry shrimp owners might be interested in breeding them. Then, you need to know at what age do cherry shrimps breed?

Well, the answer is- cherry shrimp gets ready for breeding at about 120-150 days after it is born.  However, some shrimp might achieve sexual maturity around 80-100 days and, thus, be prepared for mating.

Also, you can control the tank temperature and water parameters to increase or decrease the breeding procedure along with the number and quality of offspring.

However, I think cherry shrimp breeding is more for fun than for commercial purposes since the profit margin is negligible. So, don’t get serious with it.

Good luck.

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