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A Guide to Cherry Shrimp Colors

A Guide to Cherry Shrimp Colors

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Cherry shrimps are popular freshwater aquarium species that come in numerous colors. They’re great pets to add color to your life, especially with their bright and unique patterns.

In this guide, we’ll go through their most common colors. We’re going to delve into why cherry shrimps have that name and what their color changes could indicate.

If you’re unsure which type to get, keep reading to delve into how to choose the perfect shrimp to add some vibrancy to your aquarium.

What Colors Do Cherry Shrimp Come In?

In the wild, cherry shrimps are usually green or brown. However, you can develop a range of vibrant colors, like orange, blue, yellow, and red through a process of selective breeding. The most common of these colors is red, hence the “cherry” in their name.

How intense the color is will depend on the diet of your shrimps and the quality of the water you keep them in.

On the other hand, they have patterns as well, which can be solid, two-tone, spotted, striped, or even transparent.

Moreover, the water temperature, chemistry, and light, also play a role in the development of colors and patterns of cherry shrimps.

To keep their colors vibrant and their patterns appealing, you should make sure their environment is healthy and stable.

What Are Common Cherry Shrimp Types?

Here are a couple of variants of cherry shrimps that you may stumble upon:

  • Sakura Cherry Shrimp: Sakura shrimps are a high-quality variant of red cherry shrimps. They’re popular for their intense red color, hardiness, and how they’re easy to breed.
  • Fire Cherry Shrimp: Fire cherry shrimps are the result of selective breeding, and they have an pretty vibrant red color.
  • Orange Sakura Shrimp: These are similar to regular cherry shrimps but take on a more bright yellow-orange color.
  • Blue Velvet Cherry Shrimp: Quite different from the red color of cherry shrimps, blue velvet ones are a bright blue. They’re still a Neocaridina davidi and are also an interbreed.
  • Chocolate Cherry Shrimp: Sometimes, they’re called black cherry shrimp, and they take on a dark brown hue that adds some color to the mix in your aquarium.
  • Green Jade Cherry Shrimp: To widen the color spectrum in your tank, you can opt for a green jade cherry shrimp. This one is one of the rare Neocaridina davidi variants, and that’s what makes them a unique addition to your tank.

What Color Are Baby Cherry Shrimp?

The colors on baby shrimps don’t kick in right away. When they’re eggs, their color keeps getting darker until they hatch after about three weeks.

The interesting part is that red cherry shrimps end up with paler colors if they’re around light-colored. They might end up transparent, too. If you want them to have fuller, redder colors, keep them around a dark substrate.

Can Cherry Shrimp Change Color?

Yes. Cherry shrimps can change their colors. For example, you can enhance the coloration of the shrimp by taking care of a couple of aspects. This includes the quality of their diet, the water, and minimizing stress factors.

Moreover, controlling other environmental factors like light, substrate, background color, and regime also influences the color of your cherry shrimp.

What to Feed Cherry Shrimps to Enhance Their Color?

Feeding your cherry shrimp carrots is highly recommended if you want them to have a rich red color. Thanks to the beta carotene in carrots, their red-orange color will get a natural enhancement.

To keep them healthy, you should add a mix of vegetables like zucchini or other canned or blanched vegetables.

However, make sure you don’t overflow the tank with food and that your shrimps don’t leave leftovers behind.

Otherwise, the vegetables fall apart and deteriorate the water quality when they decay in the tank.

Do Cherry Shrimp Get Darker as They Age?

Yes, but that’s up to a certain extent. The color changes can continue for a couple of months. A study shows that 180-day-old female cherry shrimps had fuller colors than 90-day-old ones.

This enhancement is evidence that the color is highly influenced by the shrimp’s age.

Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Turning White?

It’s understandable if you’re worrying about your cherry shrimp turning white. However, when it comes to crustaceans, that’s completely fine.

They go through a phase called molting, during which they shed their skin, making way for new shells that are more accommodating of their new sizes after growth.

Molting only becomes an issue if the white ring develops around the body of the shrimp and not the neck area, as the latter is how they escape the dead shell.

This may happen when the water isn’t suitable for the shrimp. Consequently, this causes discoloration. Another reason could be a molt gone wrong.

Other reasons include the cherry shrimps getting older. The average lifespan of a cherry shrimp is a year to two, and they start turning white as they approach the end of their lifespans.

Finally, stress can also play a part in turning your cherry shrimp white. That’s why a shrimp that’s been added to the tank recently is likely to have a paler color while they’re exploring and getting familiar with its new environment.

Why Is My Cherry Shrimp Turning Black?

Switching colors to white or black is a sign that your shrimp isn’t in the healthiest conditions. If your cherry shrimp starts turning black, it could be a sign that it’s sick.

The most common illness they get is a chitinolytic bacterial disease, which is also called rust disease.

Once the shrimp is affected, its shell starts degrading, which causes dark spots and lesions on the shells.

It could be that the conditions of the tank aren’t ideal. So, make sure that the temperature, pH levels, and copper content are proper.

What Affects Color in Cherry Shrimps?

Here are the main factors to consider if you want to provide your cherry shrimps with the ideal conditions to thrive.

1 – pH Level and Temperature

Cherry shrimps need a pH level between 6.5 and 8.0. On the other hand, the temperature should be between 65 to 85°F.

Keep in mind, cherry shrimps are hardy animals, so they’ll be able to survive unsuitable conditions. However, they’ll turn white if the conditions aren’t ideal.

It’s worth mentioning that the stability of the pH levels and temperature is also important. When too many dramatic changes happen in either, the shrimps may feel uncomfortable and start turning white.

2 – Copper Content

Cherry shrimps have a certain level of copper content in their organs, which is how they process oxygen. However, if they absorb too much copper, it negatively affects the way they process oxygen.

Consequently, this leads to copper toxicity or other illnesses. Their main symptom is discoloration, leading to a white color.

3 – Toxins

Ammonia and nitrites also negatively affect shrimps. This typically happens when the tank is overcrowded and doesn’t get proper filtration or maintenance.

That’s why you should provide your cherry shrimps with enough space to thrive and make sure the tank is clean and fresh.

4 – Lighting

Strong lighting and lighter colors in the shrimp’s background contribute to giving it a lighter color.

Alternatively, cherry shrimps have more vibrant colors if their substrate and decorations are dark.

Are Cherry Shrimps Easy to Care For?

Yes. Cherry shrimps are super easy to deal with as they’re low maintenance and are capable of quickly adapting to different water conditions.

That’s why you can benefit from raising cherry shrimps if you’re a beginner aquarist. You’ll get the benefit of learning how to care for aquatic animals. Meanwhile, you’ll have a degree of freedom to explore as the shrimps won’t require too much effort to keep alive and well.

Besides being aesthetically pleasing, cherry shrimp also serve a practical purpose in any aquarium. Since they’re natural scavengers, they’ll eat leftover food and algae, which keeps the entire tank clean.

Since they’re peaceful, you can keep them in the tank with other invertebrates and fish, as long as they’re non-aggressive.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our cherry shrimp colors guide. These crustaceans are fascinating creatures with plenty of patterns and colors, and each means something.

With proper care, you’ll be able to make these colors and patterns remain as vibrant as ever, bringing an amazing ambiance to your aquarium.

Overall, cherry shrimp are a great addition to any aquarium, providing both beauty and functionality.

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