Red Cherry Shrimp Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?

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Red Cherry Shrimp add additional movement and life to a tank. Just 15 or 20 years ago, Red Cherry Shrimp were almost unheard of in the hobby, whereas today they are commonplace. When I give fish and shrimp-keeping talks at clubs around the country, one of the most commonly asked questions is ‘how long do Red Cherry Shrimp live for?

On average, Red Cherry Shrimp live for between 12 and 15 months. Occasionally, if tank conditions are ideal, they can live for up to 18 months, although this is rare. Red Cherry Shrimp’s lifespan is dictated by tank conditions and the availability of good quality food.

How long do Red Cherry Shrimp live for?

In my experience of keeping and breeding many thousands of Red Cherry Shrimp, I would say the average lifespan for a healthy Red Cherry shrimp is around 12 months.

It can be hard to keep track of a single Red Cherry Shrimp and know when it was born and when it died, but I have kept several very small Red Cherry Shrimp set-ups, including a 1-gallon (3.75 liters) vase and the small number of shrimp I kept in them lived for around a year.

There can be many different factors that affect a Red Cherry Shrimps’ lifespan. Water stability is probably the most important factor to get right to increase their longevity.

Red Cherry Shimp like their water temperature to be between 72°F and 84°F (22°C and 29°C). They are also very flexible on water chemistry. They like their water pH to be between 6.5 and 8.0. What they don’t like is for the pH to swing either way too much.

If you are unsure of your aquarium water parameters, invest in a good quality water test kit. I currently use the API Master Test Kit as it measures pH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate. I have found it to be the most accurate test kit for the money. You can check the current price of the API Master Test Kit on

Why are my Red Cherry Shrimp dying?

Red Cherry Shrimp are hardy and can live for 12 to 18 months. There are a number of mistakes that we as fishkeepers frequently make that can shorten a Red Cherry Shrimps life.

One of the most common reasons Red Cherry Shrimp don’t life a full year is because we add them to an immature tank. Both algae and biofilm are important components to a Red Cherry Shrimps diet. If we add Red Cherry Shrimp to a brand new tank, there will almost certainly be no algae and there will certainly be no biofilm.

Another common reason Red Cherry Shrimp don’t live as long as they should is the lack of calcium in the water. Red Cherry Shrimp grow by shedding their exoskeleton. This process requires a lot of calcium either in the water or in their diet.

What affects Red Cherry Shrimp lifespan?

Probably the number one cause of a short lifespan in Red Cherry Shrimp is poor water. Red Cherry Shrimp are considered to be hardy, for shrimp, but poor water quality can quickly reduce their lifespan.

Access to a good quality, varied diet also increases the chances of your Red Cherry Shrimp living a long, prosperous life. Whilst much of their time is spent eating algae and biofilm that naturally occurs in their aquarium, Red Cherry Shrimp also need to be fed proper food such as sinking pellets, flakes, or algae wafers.

I have written an excellent article that looks in detail at what Red Cherry Shrimp eat.

How to increase Red Cherry Shrimp lifespan?

The best way I have found to increase the lifespan of my Red Cherry Shrimp is to provide them with the optimum conditions in which to live.

By providing the Red Cherry Shrimp with stable water parameters, a varied diet that meets their needs, and ample hiding places to reduce stress, you seriously increase the chances of your Red Cherry Shrimp living for 12 to 15 months.

In Conclusion

Red Cherry Shrimp only live a short life compared to many of the fish species we keep in our aquariums. However, by providing them the ideal conditions in which to live, along with a good quality and varied diet, the chances are good that they will live for 12 to 15 months, or even more in some cases.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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