How to Tell if Cherry Shrimp is Pregnant?

Cherry shrimp are one of the most popular freshwater species adopted and cared for by humans.

They come in a variety of different species and types.

The most common and peaceful type of shrimp to breed is the cherry shrimp, which makes it most suitable for beginners.

How To Identify a Pregnant Cherry Shrimp?

The most prominent sign that a cherry shrimp is pregnant is that there will be a pouch underneath the abdomen of the cherry shrimp.

This pouch contains a cluster of eggs and can be found right underneath the tail of your cherry shrimp.

This process of carrying eggs in shrimp is called being ‘berried.’ The eggs found in these clusters are often bright yellow and very easy to spot.

On average, a cherry shrimp will lay up to a minimum of twenty or more eggs during its pregnancy cycle.

Another thing that you will be able to spot in pregnant cherry shrimp is that often the mother will keep fanning her tail to ensure that the maximum amount of oxygen reaches the eggs during this period. It takes about thirty days for the eggs to hatch.

Once the thirty-day period is over, the mother often finds a private and secluded place within the aquarium to safely and peacefully lay her eggs.

Do you want to learn more about breeding and taking care of pregnant cherry shrimp? Keep reading.

In this article, we have compiled the best methods for:

  • Safe breeding of cherry shrimp
  • The different pregnancy stages of cherry shrimp
  • The optimum condition for cherry shrimp to lay and hatch eggs
  • Tips on taking care of the new hatchlings

How To Breed Cherry Shrimp?

Cherry shrimp are one of the easiest freshwater species to breed.

You need to ensure that the shrimp are comfortable and feel safe inside the aquarium tank in order to start breeding.

To do this, you should create the optimal environment for breeding inside the aquarium tank.

On average, it takes about three to five months for a sexually matured cherry shrimp to feel comfortable and settled inside an aquarium tank before they start to breed.

Cherry shrimp become sexually mature when they are around four to six months old.

Cherry shrimps like to breed in summer.

In order to get your cherry shrimp to breed, make sure the temperature in your aquarium tank is 81-82 degrees F so that it replicates the warmth found in summer.

Make sure your aquarium contains a lot of leafy plants and greenery so that the cherry shrimp feel secure and protected.

Cherry shrimps prefer privacy while mating, providing them with a comfortable mating environment.

Make sure your cherry shrimp is getting a high protein diet and getting the nutrients it requires to stay healthy.

You can add minerals such as limestone to the filters of the tank as well to signal the cherry shrimp that it is a healthy environment to lay eggs in.

Once all these conditions are met, your cherry shrimp will feel comfortable enough to start the breeding process.

The Different Stages of the Pregnancy Cycle

The cherry shrimp goes through four notable stages during its cycle of pregnancy.

Stage 1: Egg Development

In the first stage of pregnancy, the matured female cherry shrimp will start to develop eggs inside her ovaries.

The eggs can be viewed very easily, as you will begin to see yellow, red, and green patches behind the head of a female cherry shrimp.

This multicolored patch is known as a saddle and contains the vast amount of eggs that the cherry shrimp is carrying.

Initially, these are often vibrant and yellow but vary and change in color during the entire pregnancy cycle.

Stage 2: Egg Transportation

The second phase in the cycle is when the cherry shrimp transport the eggs from their ovaries to underneath their tails.

This means that the eggs are ready for fertilization.

This happens when the saddle containing the eggs starts to extend long enough for the saddle to reach the tail downwards.

In this second stage of fertilization, the female shrimp will prefer privacy and seek a secluded and hidden part of the aquarium to go and hide and wait for a sexually mature male shrimp to come and breed with her.

The female cherry shrimp will send out signals in the form of pheromones in order to attract a male cherry shrimp.

The shrimps will now start their breeding process, which can take up to three weeks to complete.

In order to provide your shrimp with privacy, it is recommended you install an artificial cave or some forgery where the shrimp can safely mate in seclusion and are protected.

Stage 3: Berried Phase

The third stage of the shrimp pregnancy process is referred to as the ‘berried’ stage.

In this stage, you can observe and notice the vast amount of eggs that have developed under the abdomen and tail of the cherry shrimp’s body.

During this process, the female shrimp will start to fan her tail so that the eggs receive the maximum amount of oxygen for their healthy development.

When you notice your cherry shrimp fanning her tail, for this reason, it is recommended to switch out from using a filter to using an aerator.

This will ensure maximum oxygen within the tank and prevent drainage.

If you do not have access to an aerator, you may utilize thick layers of filter wool in order to try and mimic the conditions of an aerator.

Stage 4: The Birth Phase

The final stage of the pregnancy process is the birth stage. This is when the eggs are finally ready to be hatched.

This process, on average, can take about a month, or any time between twenty-one to thirty-one days.

Cherry shrimp prefer privacy, so the female shrimp will usually go to some private corner of the aquarium to give birth.

Keep in mind that cherry shrimp can lay around 21-51 hatchlings per pregnancy.

Make sure you have thought about placement and post-pregnancy care for both the mother and the new hatchlings.

How to Tell When Cherry Shrimp Is Ready to Give Birth?

There are many observable characteristics that can be tell-tale signs of whether your cherry shrimp is ready to finally give birth.

The first most notable one is that cherry shrimp will start looking for a private place to hide and give birth.

This is for many reasons, such as privacy, and also in order to ensure protection from other fish and critters in the tank who might find the eggs appealing to eat.

Cherry shrimp look for places rich in biofilm and plankton so that the newly hatched babies can have nutrients to eat.

Therefore, you are likely to find your missing or hidden cherry shrimp amongst these.

Once the shrimp is hidden in a private and secure location, it will give birth to the hatchlings.

Suppose you notice that there are no hatchlings, despite your cherry shrimp being pregnant and going into hiding.

In that case, it means the tank’s temperature is not suitable for new hatchlings to survive, and you should adjust the temperature to make it warmer.

Tips on Looking After Cherry Shrimp Offspring

  • Young and newly hatched cherry shrimp should be kept in the same matured aquarium tank as their parents. This is to ensure that they get the nutrients and organisms that they need to consume in order to thrive and grow. A new tank might not have these conditions.
  • If you are worried about the young shrimp not having enough to eat, you can add leafy plants such as anacharis to the tank so that there is plenty to keep them healthy and full. Furthermore, make sure that they maintain an omnivorous diet to stay healthy.
  • Another thing to ensure is that the tank’s temperature conditions are warm and up to 82 degrees to meet the requirements of cherry shrimp.
  • Cycle your water at least once a week to ensure it is clean and safe.
  • Ensure that the PH level in the aquarium tank is also suitable for your young shrimp to grow in. The best PH level is between 6.2 to7.3ph. Keep testing your tank to ensure that nitrate levels stay at 0ppm and that ammonium levels are optimally at 0 as well.

The Bottom Line

Therefore, now that you have an extensive guide on how to identify and breed sexually mature cherry shrimp, you can start your breeding process.

The optimal amount of cherry shrimp in your aquarium tank should be at least ten shrimp to make the process most successful.

During pregnancy, ensure that the tank is kept clean, the shrimp stay healthy and get a nutritious diet, and that the water temperature is optimal for breeding. Good luck!

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