Using certain aquatic plants can change the biome of your aquarium and make it easier for some species to live at the expense of others.
If you’re a cherry shrimp lover, you’d want to choose plants that coexist with them, improve the appearance of the aquarium, and perhaps even improve the living environment.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best plants for cherry shrimp that you can buy. We’ll also explain why live plants are necessary for cherry shrimp and list their benefits.
Cherry shrimp do need live plants in their aquarium. These plants don’t only provide the shrimp with a natural-like environment but also provide various benefits. These include:
Cherry shrimp are delicate and fragile creatures. They prefer a specific water pH range (between 6.5–8).
As long as they’re well maintained, live plants keep the pH within the appropriate levels to help the shrimp thrive.
Cherry shrimp are prey creatures in their natural habitat. Hiding is an expected behavior for such creatures, and plants can provide excellent hiding places for shrimp.
An aquarium devoid of live plants can be very stressful for the habiting shrimp. Noise and light stimulants that are normal to us could stress them a lot and reduce their already short lifespan.
Moreover, live plants serve the cherry shrimp during their mottling phase. During that time, the shrimp get stressed and seek hiding places until they finish the process.
Aquatic plants provide oxygen in the water just like regular plants oxygenate the air. Through the photosynthesis process, the plants take in the CO2 and produce O2 which is essential for the breathing of aquatic creatures like cherry shrimp.
Aquatic live plants provide nutrition to cherry shrimp through the production of the soft biofilm that shrimps can feed on.
Now that we understand why plants are essential for cherry shrimp, here’s the list of the best plants you can include in their aquarium:
We kick off our list with the Anubias Nana Petite.
These low-maintenance plants are easy to care for and aren’t difficult regarding their light requirements. This makes them easy to incorporate into your cherry shrimp tank, even if you’re still a beginner.
Anubias nana petite can quickly grow for up to five inches, providing beautiful foliage in your aquarium and a decent hiding space for your shrimp.
Java Moss is one of the best ground-covering aquarium plants you can use. For starters, you can maintain it easily as it grows in most lighting conditions without a hassle.
It’s also compatible with freshwater shrimp in general and cherry shrimp in specific. You can use the java moss as ground cover to provide a beautiful appearance to the aquarium.
Also, this Java Moss can grow up to four inches, providing great hiding spots for your cherry shrimp.
The pearl weed aquatic live plant is another low-maintenance option you can safely use with your cherry shrimp.
Much like the anubias and java moss, the pearl weed provides excellent hiding spots for your shrimp. However, there’s a little twist here.
The final appearance of this live plant will depend on the lighting conditions you provide it with. For example, giving it the full sun treatment will result in a carpet-like appearance. Alternatively, low-light conditions will result in vertical growth.
Hornworts are beautiful aquatic plants that don’t need a green thumb for their care. You can plant them or leave them to dance with the water.
Hornworts also absorb excess nutrients and waste from the water, reducing the bacterial content of the aquarium.
Despite being low maintenance, you need to keep trimming these plants. They grow rapidly and can overpopulate your tank before you notice it, especially if you have other plants around.
Water Wisterias give your shrimp so many leaves to explore and hide in. A wisteria can survive in most substrates, but it thrives best under low light, so it’s best to keep the aquarium away from direct sunlight.
Keep in mind that water wisteria is relatively larger than most plants on our list. As such, you may find it difficult to incorporate such a plant if your aquarium is smaller than 10 gallons.
However, if you can meet the light and size requirements, you’ll give your cherry shrimp a wonderful environment to explore.
It’s difficult to include a list of beautiful plants, land or aquatic, without including lilies. Dwarf water lilies will intrigue both your cherry shrimp and you.
However, unlike most plants we’ve mentioned on our list so far, the water lilies need some care, which makes them a tough choice if you’re a beginner.
For example, you should plant your lilies in the substrate a few days before introducing your shrimp to the tank. This will allow the roots to hold the plant in place and prevent its dislodgement by the shrimp.
Also, a common mistake that many owners do is to submerge the plant entirely in water. This is normal for most other aquatic plants but will cause rotting here. To avoid that, partially submerge the bulb instead of fully burying it underwater.
Subwassertangs are big, green balls that float in your aquarium. The free-floating characteristic makes them highly intriguing for shrimp, especially young ones.
The reason behind that is the maze-like appearance they provide, giving the shrimp endless exploring opportunities to keep them stimulated.
The subwassertang also gives you some growth flexibility. If you don’t want it to grow too fast, you may reduce the light exposure and the fertilizer. Otherwise, you can opt for high light volumes and a decent amount of fertilizer to boost the growth.
When bringing up some cherry shrimp, you have to understand that they’re delicate and less tolerating of the wrong plant selection.
The best plants for cherry shrimp are ones that provide hiding places, food biofilms, and stimulating environments. All plants on our list tick these boxes.
It’d be nice to have all of the choices of low maintenance too, but that’s not always feasible. However, most of the listed plants barely need any maintenance and will survive without prior plant-care experience.
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.