Feeding Red Cherry Shrimp

Scientific Name:
Neocaridina heteropoda

Other Scientific Names:
Neocaridina denticulata sinensis

Common Name:
Red Cherry Shrimp

Other Common Names:
Cherry Shrimp, Cherry Red Shrimp, RCS

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Red Cherry Shrimp Feeding

Red Cherry Shrimp are considered omnivores. That means they will eat both plant matter as well as meaty foods. When keeping Red Cherry Shrimp in the aquarium the three most common foods are algae, blanched vegetable, and prepared aquarium foods. Supplemental feeding is often not necessary, but when it is be sure not to over feed the aquarium as this leads to poor water quality.

Algae is a natural food source for Red Cherry Shrimp. They will eat many types of algae found in the aquarium, and often times, the algae found naturally in aquariums is enough food to support a moderate Cherry Red Shrimp population. Unfortunately they will not eat string / hair algae so they are not a good control measure for those types of algae.

Blanched vegetables make an excellent food for Red Cherry Shrimp. Vegetables such as Zucchini, Lettuce, Spinach, and Carrots are commonly used. When preparing these vegetables, place them in boiling water until they are soft, 2-3 minutes for leafy vegetables and longer for carrots and zucchini. Small amounts of each should be fed at a time and make sure never to leave rotting food in the aquarium.

Juvenile Cherry Red Shrimp eating
a blanched zucchini slice

A bright red female eating an algae waffer.

 

Foods that are prepared for aquarium animals are often a great supplement to algae for Red Cherry Shrimp. There are a few foods that are manufactured specifically for invertebrates, such as Hikari Crab Cuisine, and these foods are readily accepted. Any sinking pellet type food works well as a food source. Also, any common flake fish food that falls to the bottom will be eaten and for this reason, many aquarist use Red Cherry Shrimp as a clean up crew. Be sure to read the ingredients label carefully, any food containing copper should not be used. (Copper Sulfate is a common ingredient in fish foods)

While modest populations of Red Cherry Shrimp will often not need supplemental feedings, there are many options when it becomes necessary. Cherry Red Shrimp do not require a lot of food, and heavy feeding tends to degrade water quality.