A shrimp lover always dreams of growing colorful and plump shrimps. Are you a shrimp enthusiast? Then you, too, must have cherished the same dream. But when it comes to breeding shrimps, taking care of them is not enough. Whether you own a simple aquarium or a whole industry, you need some unique techniques to follow for shrimp breeding.

Are you wondering what the special techniques required for healthy breeding of shrimps? Well, one of the primary methods you need to know is how to selectively breed cherry shrimp. The process of selection is not tough at all. Your only task would be to identify the best of your shrimps and separate them. As a result, you get the best vivid offspring in the future!

Earlier selective breeding was not so familiar. I had seen that it was a trend only among the industrial shrimp breeders. But nowadays shrimp owners like you and me, prefer selective breeding. How amazing is that! It is no more a professional task. However, remember that you need to be very careful while doing selective breeding for your red cherry shrimp.

Shrimp breeders need to know all the steps when it comes to selective breeding. Along with breeding measures, some practical knowledge is also essential. In this article, I have covered every detail on radiant shrimps and their selective breeding process. To give you an accurate understanding, I’ve added some related theories after an hour of complete research. Let us start with some basics.

What does selective breeding mean?

Selective breeding of shrimps is a process which includes two simple steps:

  • Only choose the best shrimps in terms of color, quality, and features.
  • Separate the healthy and best one from the others.
  • Go on with the best one only for breeding.

The term selective points to the sorting out of the best shrimps. You may even call it culling. Now you are entirely ready to go for the breeding part of your cherry shrimps!

Why choose selective breeding or culling?

It is the question that strikes the mind every shrimper breeder. Why breed selectively? But relax, I’m here to ease your worries with my answers to your questions. I have presented the reasons below:

  • The process allows you to get berry shrimps offspring with higher qualities.
  • You can save your shrimps family from further deformities.
  • Healthy offspring is sure to take birth in your aquarium.
  • Get your shrimps with vibrant colors with quality traits.
  • Selectively breed shrimps will help you to get higher prices in the market.

So, what holds you now? Get started with the selective breeding process for your colorful shrimps right now! But if you are not willing to go on with this process, I would say it is entirely alright. The culling process is not a must. If you are among the shrimp keepers who want to take their cherry shrimp breeding to another level, I suggest you go with the flow!

When to start selective breeding?


I have filled your mind with the importance of selective breeding for your pet shrimps. Now I’m pretty sure what is your next question. When should you proceed with selective breeding methods for your shrimp industry? Well, for best results, my suggestions would be to take care of the following things:

  1. See whether your cute shrimps have reached the maturity stage ultimately. 
    • If yes, do the culling right away.
    • If no, wait until the shrimps get matured.
  1. Check whether your bred shrimps have taken the vibrant color.
    • If yes, get ready to cull your shrimps.
    • If no, be patient.

Let me put an essential data for your help. Make sure the shrimps are two months and at least one centimeter in size. With these efficient data, you can figure out the time you should jump for culling your red shrimps.

Guide on how to selectively breed colored shrimps

Once my neighbor spotted my aquarium filled with colorful shrimps. Out of curiosity, he asked about the selective process I used to breed my vivid shrimps. Are you not aware of steps for selective breeding of cherry shrimps? Here I have discussed step by step guidelines that are so simple and easy. Let’s have a look:

  • First of all, identify the perfect shrimps and work with that only.
  • Observe the colored shrimps properly and go through their traits. Choose the one with the best features only.
  • Use a net and catch the shrimps you have selected.
  • Put the chosen fit shrimps in a new tank, and the culled one in another container.
  • After you have completed transferring the shrimps, wait until they start breeding.
  • Once the shrimps start their breeding process, go for a recheck.
  • This time, sort the unwanted shrimps out of the tank and place them in another tub.

Steps of testing and catching best cherry shrimps

If you are dealing with a small fish tank of colored shrimps, catching the desired ones seems easy. You will need a net, that’s all. But when you have plenty of containers carrying tons of vivid shrimps, catching them is a bit difficult. Then what should you do? Give a glance at the steps below and follow:

  • Firstly, go for a hunger test. Don’t give your shrimps food for a couple of days before you start the culling process.
  • After the timeline, bring all your shrimps together and put their favorite dish.
  • As the shrimps were hungry for a couple of days, they will rush to get the food seeing the shrimp food.
  • Only the fittest cherry shrimps will win the food competition.
  • Thus, you get the hint of the desirable ones.
  • Set a trap for suitable shrimps using the net.
  • Catch and cull!

What are the ways of excluding unwanted cherry shrimps?

Well, I have faced such questions many a time by several shrimp breeders. But don’t worry because I know how to help you. When it comes to selective breeding, you should only care about appearances and qualities. Exclude the shrimps that don’t meet your requirements, as simple as that.

Below I have mentioned two easy ways for you:

The first choice is,

  • You catch shrimps with both attractive and unattractive appeals. Later, use two different tanks to preserve them. This way, you get to identify each type of shrimp separately.

The next choice is,

  • Instead, go for the best-looking red colored shrimps only. Place them in a suitable aquarium or fish tank.

Each process needs your efforts, attention and time. No matter which option you choose, the result remains the same. You get to separate the good ones from the bad ones!

How to deal with the culled shrimps?

Are you going to dump the culled ones after raising them for almost two months? Well, it is not an ideal decision for everyone. Then what to do next with the culled shrimps? There is a way to deal with culled ones which can benefit you with a small profit. If you want to earn profit from the deformed shrimps, just go through my suggestions:

  • Here’s what I usually do. I separate my culled colored shrimps and put them in a different aquarium. Let them breed! In this way, you may become lucky to get some better offspring resulted from the freeway heart content breeding. What a natural way for reproduction!
  • If you want to earn profit out of the culled shrimps here’s what you can do. Sell it at a low price. Shrimp keepers or shrimp lovers are available over there to buy the deformed one as well. It is an instant way to deal with undesirable cherry-shrimps.

The advice can help you to go a long way with your healthy aquarium.

How to differentiate male shrimps from female shrimps?

When excluding cherry shrimps, you need to take care of an essential point. No matter how many female shrimps you keep in your tank, a superior quality male cherry-colored shrimp has to be there. Otherwise, you will end up with only female shrimps with no partner or weak partners. But wait, are you aware of the differences between the male shrimps and female shrimps? Let me guide you on male vs female cherry-shrimps!

  • Male shrimps of this type have a straight and curve less underbelly. Whereas, the females have got curved underbellies.
  • Though female colorful shrimps have a vibrant red color, the male ones are a little pale red.
  • Observe the antennas. Males have got longer antennas, whereas females have a shorter one.

If you can’t differentiate between the genders of your breed shrimps, you are sure to face problems. It is because previously, I told you to go for appealing shrimps with attractive color and looks. But now you got to know that the male cherry shrimps are less attractive with pale coloration. What if you make a mistake to consider the males in the unwanted culling type of red colored shrimps? So, to rest assured you better go for a gender check.

cherry shrimp selective breeding

Genetic studies on selective breeding

Well, back in schools, you must have heard about the genes and genetic factors at biology classes. So, it should be a no surprise to you that genetics has something to do with selective breeding of shrimps. The exciting fact about choosing selective breeding for cherry shrimps comes from Mendel’s inheritance lawsHow did Mendel perform his pea experiments?

 Gregor Mendel took two types of pure breed pea plants. One yellow and one green. After that, he bred them together. The first offspring were all in yellow color and separated them for self-fertilization. But when the time for the second offspring came, he noticed a strange thing. The second-generation plants got both yellow and green colors! Thus, these observations led him to discover the dominant and recessive genetic traits.

Before proceeding further, tell me if you remember the types of traits resulted from Mendel’s experiment? If your answer is affirmative, then it’s great. But if it’s a no, it is time for some practical theories to help you:

  • Dominant traits: The traits which are dominant in the first generation. Such as the pure yellow breed pea plant offspring.
  • Recessive traits: The qualities which are hidden in the first generation but expressed later. Such as the green color pea offspring.

Now, you have got to know the practical answers on why to breed the colorful shrimps selectively!

The selection process for cherry shrimps

Cherry shrimp selection simply means selecting shrimps with your desired traits and keeping the rest aside. What are the types when it comes to the selection process for vivid shrimps? There are two categories for selection methods when it is about sorting shrimps. These are:

  • Natural selection process: It includes all the natural tasks, and you don’t need to interfere at all. It is like the survival process of the fittest shrimps!
  • Artificial selection method or culling: It involves interbreeding and crossbreeding.

Choose the process which seems beneficial for your breed shrimps!

Let’s head towards the average egg number when it comes to natural breeding of any kind of shrimps.

The average number of eggs ideal for cherry shrimp breeding

When talking about natural selection, under this category, the shrimps show better fitness traits. The number of shrimp eggs matters so much. Suppose, in your shrimp tank, there are expecting cherry shrimps which will give birth to the offspring. At last, you end up with either ten baby cherry-shrimps or 1000 of them. But as a breeder from my point of view, both the number seem futile.

So, what is the ideal number of eggs for the cherry-shrimp population? Well, my research says 20-50 eggs are an average requirement. It is because whether you got 10 or 1000 shrimp eggs both lack optimum fitness traits to survive in nature. In the case of 10 baby shrimps, the population face shortage. But what about 1000 eggs? Now the number has become too high. As a result, food competition rises.With the smallest or highest population, nature becomes harsh.

Inbreeding or crossbreeding?

Artificial selection refers to the process where you need to intervene. Nature is not going to help you directly. There are two types when it comes to artificial breeding.

  • Crossbreeding
  • Inbreeding

But here is a puzzle to solve. Which process to choose: inbreeding or crossbreeding?

If you aim at achieving precisely the same genetic features in your offspring, inbreeding sounds perfect for your shrimps. My suggestion would be to perform such breeding only if your shrimp population is small. Are you looking for some varieties with better qualities? Go for crossbreeding. Let the two genetically unique shrimps breed!

Let us have a detailed insight into the pros and cons of both types of the breeding process.

Pros and cons of inbreeding


  • Desired traits fixed.
  • Better uniformity among offspring.
  • The feature passing ability is higher.


  • Low survival chances.
  • Low fertility rate.
  • High chances of defective offspring with no diversity.

Pros and cons of crossbreeding


  • Higher survival rate.
  • Ensure diversity.
  • Offspring have a high fertility rate and vigor.


  • Even the undesired traits get expressed.
  • Sometimes, genetical issues are seen.

But don’t worry about the problems you see in both types. I can recommend a solution for that too. It is “new blood introduction” time. Choose any of the methods that sounds the best for your selective breeding of the shrimps. But a single act of ignorance can ruin all your efforts. Always stay careful with your aquarium shrimps.

What are the safety measures to selectively breed cherry shrimps?

I’m pretty sure by this time you have reached your decision to breed your shrimps selectively. But what to do next to it have you decided? Have you considered the safety measures to move forward with the breeding process? Is your fish tank or aquarium safe for the selective breeding of your chosen shrimps?

Let’s look into the safety measures:

  • Keep the water temperature between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the Celsius scale, 18 to 27 degrees.
  • Keep the tank free of chlorines. These are toxic for shrimps of the cherry breed.
  • Make sure to maintain a water pH range within 6-8.
  • Say a strict no to copper or ammonia-based medications. Cherry breed shrimps are allergic to them.
  • Assure double-check of food before using.

Special tips for culling your cherry shrimps

  • Baby cherry shrimps show somewhat a transparent coloration. So, don’t lose your patience. Wait until to reach a colorful stage.
  • I would recommend not culling any of your shrimp if they have gone through recent molting. It is because the color may change right after molting.
  • Always try to maintain a breeding ratio. That is keeping a good count of male and female colorful shrimps.
  • Make sure your tank does not end up with inferior quality male shrimp. It can profoundly affect the selective breeding.
  • Only go for culling when you have got plenty of vibrant color shrimps in your container. Otherwise, it will hold no usefulness.
  • Generation after generation, select your desired quality shrimps strictly. This way, you will have higher quality shrimp population.
  • Culling should not be repeated in a short interval of time. Give it a short break of at least two weeks.

Wrapping Up

Now you know every step about how to selectively breed cherry shrimp. So, it is no more a bigger deal for you. I’ve tried my best to cover every topic that proves to be useful for your selective breeding. The process of selective breeding only needs your time, patience and efforts. Keep going on with the process. And, mark it you will sooner or later be rewarded with high quality and healthy offspring.

Good luck with your cherry-shrimp breeding!

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