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Orange Bee Shrimp vs. Cherry Shrimp (Differences and Similarities)

Orange Bee Shrimp vs. Cherry Shrimp (Differences and Similarities)

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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.

You can add various types of shrimps to your tank, but two of the most popular species kept as pets are orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp.

Which one should you choose? What do they have in common? Can they live together? Are there major differences between them?

Today’s orange bee shrimp vs. cherry shrimp guide will answer all these questions and more to help you choose the better crustacean for your aquarium.

Orange Bee Shrimp vs. Cherry Shrimp

Orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp make a great addition to any tank. To compare the two species, let’s take a closer look at each of the following aspects:

Origin and Cassification

Also known as Caridina cantonensis, orange bee shrimp are native to Taiwan. They belong to the genus Caridina and were introduced to the US market in 2006.

Cherry shrimp, on the other hand, are native to Japan and Taiwan. Also referred to as Neocaridina heteropoda, they belong to the genus Neocaridina and became part of the US aquarium trade in 2003.

Size and Appearance

The average size of an adult orange bee shrimp is around 1 to 1.2 inches (2.5 – 3 cm), achieved after 4 or 5 months. The maximum size it can reach is 1.5 inches (4 cm).

Orange bee shrimp possess mostly transparent bodies characterized by their bright orange coloration and dark stripes that inspired their name. Their antennas are long and thin while their tails are a single fan.

On the other hand, an adult cherry shrimp will reach a full size of approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) at around 75 days old. The maximum size it can grow is 2 inches (5 cm).

Cherry shrimp are known for their vivid red color, ranging from light pink or orange to dark red or black. Some varieties of cherry shrimp are even blue, green, or yellow.

Cherry shrimp also possess 4 antennas and a single fan tail.

Water Conditions

Orange bee shrimp are suitable for freshwater tanks. They’re generally hardy and can adapt to a wide range of water parameters.

Orange bee shrimp prefer a temperature range of 68 to 78 degrees F, a pH of 6.5 to 7.5, and a KH of 5 to 8.

On the other hand, cherry shrimp can thrive in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. They prefer a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees F, a pH of 7 to 7.5, and a KH of 3 to 15.


Both orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp are opportunistic omnivores, which means they’ll eat animal and plant matter alike.

They’ll feed on algae, decaying plants, worms, snails, rotting fish, food leftovers, organic remnants, dead shrimp, and shrimp exoskeletons.

They’ll also munch on commercial food pellets, blood worms, and blanched vegetables such as cucumbers, kale, spinach, kale, and zucchini.

Additionally, both orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp are scavengers. As part of their feeding behavior, they’ll roam around the bottom of the tank searching for edible bits that fell to the substrate.


Both shrimp species are easy to breed at home during spring and summer. Orange bee shrimp eggs will hatch within 4 to 5 weeks while cherry shrimp eggs will hatch after around 2 weeks.


The lifespan of your orange bee shrimp or cherry shrimp will depend on multiple factors such as water conditions, diet, tank mates, and tank location.

That said, the average lifespan of orange bee shrimp is about 1 to 2 years. Under optimal conditions, you can keep your orange bee shrimp alive for up to 3 years.

Similarly, the average lifespan of cherry shrimp is around 1 to 2 years. If you continue to provide optimal conditions and care, you can prolong your cherry shrimp’s life by an extra year.

Can They Live Together?

Yes, orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp can live together. They share similar water requirements and get along peacefully.

Can They Breed With Each Other?

No, orange bee shrimp and cherry shrimp can’t breed with each other because they belong to different species/genera.

Final Thoughts

As you can tell from this orange bee shrimp vs cherry shrimp comparison, both are easy to care for, have a peaceful temperament, and show vibrant colors that can liven up any aquarium!

The major difference lies in the type of water they can live in. Orange bee shrimp are exclusively freshwater inhabitants, while cherry shrimp can thrive in freshwater and saltwater tanks.

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