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Types of Cherry Shrimp (A Closer Look at Grades)

Types of Cherry Shrimp (A Closer Look at Grades)

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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.

If you’re looking for great aquarium pets that also double as an efficient cleaning crew, then cherry shrimp is a perfect option.

Today’s article takes a closer look at the different grades and types of cherry shrimp to help you choose the right breed for your needs.

What Is the Grading System of Cherry Shrimp Types?

There are at least 7 different grades of cherry shrimp available out there.

This classification is based on the intensity of the shrimp color, more specifically, the extent of the color’s presence and depth.

In the case of cherry shrimp, the color in question is red because it’s the most common one. The redder the shrimp, the higher its grade.

Additionally, the higher the grade of a cherry shrimp breed, the better the quality you get.

Cherry shrimp of higher grades will have more opaque bodies. In other words, higher-graded shrimps possess fewer translucent spots across their bodies.

You should also know that male and female cherry shrimp don’t usually have the same grade. Besides affecting its size, the sex of a cherry shrimp alters the coloring of its body and -consequently- its price.

Female cherry shrimp are typically more pricey because they’re larger and usually display a more intense red color compared to male cherry shrimp.

As a result, you’re likely to find female cherry shrimp categorized into higher grades than their male counterparts.

What Are the Grades of Cherry Shrimp?

Now that you’re familiar with the basics of the grading system of red cherry shrimp, let’s take a closer look at each one:

1 – Regular red cherry shrimp

This is your run-of-the-mill cherry shrimp with the poorest red coloration and the lowest grade.

It pretty much has no red on its body (just a few faint red splotches, if any), mostly showing a transparent or opaque appearance.

As such, the regular red cherry shrimp is the cheapest grade. It costs an average of $2.5 to $3 per piece.

2 – Sakura

This grade of cherry shrimp has more red spots across the body with a deeper intensity.

While it’s redder than regular red cherry shrimp, sakura cherry shrimp still has translucent or opaque patches all over.

As such, the sakura cherry shrimp is more expensive than regular red cherry shrimp. It costs an average of $3 to $3.5. per piece.

3 – Higher-grade sakura/lower-grade red fire

Higher-grade sakura (also referred to as lower-grade red fire) has a more significant presence of red compared to basic sakura cherry shrimp.

The red color is also more vibrant (sometimes shows an orange tint) and covers almost all of the body.

Consequently, the higher-grade sakura/lower-grade red fire cherry shrimp is more pricey than sakura cherry shrimp. It costs an average of $3 to $4 per piece.

4 – Red fire

The body of red fire cherry shrimp is red all over with no transparent or opaque discolored patches.

The shade of red in this grade is very bright and intense. It’s usually even more vibrant in females than in males.

As you’d expect, the red fire cherry shrimp grade is more pricey than higher-grade sakura/lower-grade red fire cherry shrimp. It costs an average of $3.5 to $6 per piece.

5 – Painted red fire

Members of the painted red fire cherry shrimp grade will undoubtedly catch your attention with their fiery, brilliant coloration.

Their body is all red with no transparent spots whatsoever.

This grade is highly sought after thanks to how it brightly stands out in any tank. However, it can be pretty rare to find a breeder/supplier.

Rightfully, the painted red fire cherry shrimp grade costs more than red fire cherry shrimp. Its average price is $5 to $7 per piece.

6 – Bloody Mary

The bloody mary grade demonstrates a shade of red color that closely resembles the redness of human blood.

Hailing from Taiwan, bloody mary cherry shrimp possess very vibrant body tissues. There are semi-transparent shells seen across their bodies, which helps set them apart from the rest of the grades.

This cherry shrimp grade is quite rare, so it may take you some time and research effort to get your hands on it.

As such, the price of bloody mary cherry shrimp is higher than that of painted red fire cherry shrimp grade. It costs an average of $7 to $8 per piece.

7 – Kanoko

Last but not least, there’s the kanoko cherry shrimp grade.

The word ‘kanoko’ is Japanese for ‘baby deer’. This name is a tribute to the black round patches spread on the back of the shrimp’s body, which is very dark red.

Kanoko cherry shrimp are the rarest grade. They possess the deepest shade of red, which makes for a super fascinating appearance.

Only a few breeders have successfully bred kanoko cherry shrimp. As such, they’re also the most expensive grade, costing an average of 8 to $10 per piece.

What Is the Highest Grade Cherry Shrimp?

The highest grade of cherry shrimp is the kanoko cherry shrimp grade.

Other Colors of Cherry Shrimp

Red is the most common color and type of cherry shrimp, but it’s not the only one. Let’s take a look at other colors/types of cherry shrimp that you may want to consider adding to your tank:

1 – Black Rose Shrimp

There aren’t many things cooler-looking than black shrimp. But when it’s also super easy to care for, it becomes simply amazing!

The black rose cherry shrimp fits both criteria; gorgeously dark and low maintenance.

2 – Blue Diamond Shrimp

If you’ve ever seen a blue diamond cherry shrimp, you’ll probably never forget it! It has a stunning royal blue color with blotches of navy blue randomly spread all over.

The name ‘blue diamond’ is a tribute to the shrimp’s resemblance to the color of sapphire.

3 – Blue Dream Shrimp

This type of cherry shrimp is highly admired for its striking, electric blue color.

Not only do they look awesome against a dark substrate, but they’re also fantastic cleaners and a breeze to maintain.

That said, blue dream cherry shrimp are pretty rare to come across.

4 – Blue Pearl Shrimp

The blue pearl cherry shrimp is probably the first truly blue breed of dwarf shrimp. Its body is light blue or sky blue, and more transparent than opaque.

5 – Blue Velvet Shrimp

Selectively bred from chocolate shrimp, blue pearl cherry shrimp come in a range of blue shades from light to dark.

Their care requirements are almost identical to red cherry shrimp, and you can keep them in either hard or soft water.

6 – Blue-Green Emerald Shrimp

This type of cherry shrimp has a dark green body with a hue of blue that easily makes it the highlight of any aquarium.

7 – Chocolate Shrimp

With a deep brown color, these shrimps look like pieces of chocolate swimming around! They offer a fantastic contrast against lighter substrates.

8 – Green Jade Shrimp

This is one of the most interesting-looking cherry shrimp types you’ll ever see. It’s not white, red, or blue – it’s a beautiful rich green color that’s guaranteed to catch your eye!

These shrimps can be emerald green all over, have green stripes or spots, or show a bright green pattern.

9 – Orange Pumpkin Shrimp

This type of cherry shrimp is -you guessed it- orange! They’re low demand care-wise, and they’re not nearly as popular as other colors despite being bright because they don’t appear very “exotic”.

10 – Red Onyx Shrimp

The red onyx shrimp have a deep red color similar to higher grades of red cherry shrimp. What sets them apart, however, is the presence of black spots and lines on their bodies, resulting in a mesmerizing pattern.

Although they’re straightforward to care for, these shrimp are quite rare to find in stock.

11 – Snowball Shrimp

This type of cherry shrimp is white all over. Even its eggs are white like snowballs, which is the inspiration behind the name!

Besides their intriguing look, snowball cherry shrimp can thrive in a wide range of water conditions. They’re also easy to breed.

12 – Yellow Cherry Shrimp

Finally, yellow cherry shrimp are very similar to red cherry shrimp when it comes to water conditions, diet, preferred tank mates, and easy care requirements.

They’re a bright canary yellow color that adds a fun vibe to any aquarium.

Final Thoughts

Vibrant, peaceful, and easy to care for, cherry shrimp are one of the most popular tank inhabitants out there.

As you can tell by now, there are over a dozen types of cherry shrimp. Whatever you choose, you can be sure it’ll add a beautiful and fascinating pop of color to your tank.

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