While it might feel tempting to put your cherry shrimp all at once in their new cozy aquarium, there are things to keep in mind for your new friends.
Shrimp have sensitive bodies that need time to adapt to a new environment. It’s important they don’t feel shocked and stressed when being transferred to a new home. That’s why you should understand acclimating cherry shrimp.
Acclimation is one of the ways to introduce shrimp to a new tank. While different methods exist, drip acclimation is the most recommended for cherry shrimp.
The drip acclimation method is a process in which new water is introduced droplet by droplet. It’s one way of ensuring that your shrimp can adjust to the water gently.
Unlike others, this method accommodates more delicate species such as certain fish species, invertebrates, and corals. It allows them to adjust not just to temperature but to other water parameters as well like pH, KH, ammonia levels, etc.
It can take quite some time to prepare and execute. Nevertheless, the steps are simple enough and you only need a little equipment.
The following are the steps you should follow for drip acclimating shrimp:
Here is the range of water parameters for cherry shrimp:
- Ammonia/Nitrite: 0 ppm
- Chlorine/chloramines: 0 ppm
- GH: 4-8 dGH (66.7-133.4 ppm)
- KH: 3-15 dKH (53.6-268.3 ppm)
- Nitrate: <20 ppm
- pH: 6.2-8.0
- Temperature: 65°-75°F (18.3°-23.8°C)
Set the tank to the appropriate levels at least 3–7 days before you get your shrimp so that you’ll have time to fix anything that goes wrong.
If you haven’t bought your cherry shrimp yet, plan a day when you can buy, transport, and acclimate your shrimp without being rushed. You need enough time to ensure that they will be transported from the pet shop to your house safely.
While in transit, keep in mind the following:
- Prevent excessive movement inside the shrimp bag. Too much motion can stress the shrimp. You can put moss, filter floss, or a clean piece of cloth inside the bag so that the shrimp will have something to hold on to.
- Be aware of temperature changes. It’s better if you can keep the shrimp bag in an insulated package to protect the shrimp from possible temperature fluctuations outside.
If you ordered online, make sure you’re home when the package arrives. In case the shrimp isn’t packed in an insulated package, avoid letting it sit outside for too long where the temperature could be too hot or too cold.
- airline tubing
- control nozzle (optional)
- water container
- small net
- clothespins or clips (optional)
- water conditioner or detoxifier
Here are the steps you should follow:
Before opening the shrimp package, turn off the aquarium lights and dim the room light. Sudden bright light can stress the shrimp.
Inspect the bag to see if there are parasites or dead shrimp. Add the water conditioner or detoxifier to detoxify ammonia and improve overall water quality.
Be sure to immediately remove any dead shrimp to prevent the rest of the shrimp from getting infected.
To avoid shock, the water temperature between the shrimp bag and the aquarium should match.
Check if the shrimp came in a breathing or a non-breathing bag. If they came in a breathing bag, just let them sit in the room for 30–60 minutes.
If they came in a non-breathing bag, let the bag float in the tank for 15–20 minutes until the water temperatures are leveled.
Put the container somewhere higher than the aquarium to help the water flow. The container should be large enough to hold more water from the aquarium.
You can also put moss to lessen the shrimp’s stress.
4 – Start Siphoning Water From the Aquarium to the Container
Set up the airline tubing so that water can flow from the aquarium to the container:
- Submerge one end of the airline tubing inside the tank. To stay submerged, you can fasten the tubing with a clothespin or a clip.
- Attach the control nozzle to the other end of the airline tubing to regulate the flow of water. If you don’t have a control nozzle, tie one or two loose knots in the middle of the tubing to reduce the water flow.
- Briefly suck on the unsubmerged end of the airline tubing until the water starts flowing into the container. The recommended drip rate is 2-3 drops per second until 75% of the water in the container is from the tank. This should take about 2-3 hours.
Use the net to scoop the shrimp out of the container into the aquarium. Make sure not to pour the pet store water from the container into the tank. This water may contain harmful bacteria and fungi.
In the first 24 hours, leave the aquarium lights off and avoid feeding the shrimp. This will give them time to get used to their new environment.
Overall, remember to never put cherry shrimp directly into a new aquarium. Acclimating is crucial in keeping them alive.
The drip acclimation method is a simple way of acclimating cherry shrimp. Just make sure you’re prepared and have enough time.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.