Do Cherry Shrimp Jump Out Of Your Tank?


A typical question from a beginner aquarist is “Can cherry shrimp jump out of a tank?”. The answer to this question is, sadly, yes. There are a few reasons why cherry shrimp may jump out of their tank.

Cherry shrimp (neocaridina shrimp) make a popular pet because they may be much more active than most other fish, and are great cleaners to have in your aquarium. Because they are so active, they spend a lot of their time adventuring around the aquarium, cleaning up pieces of food or algae.

These active little creatures may sometimes jump out of their tank. There are a few reasons they may do this, which may include stress caused by inappropriate water temperature, not getting along with their tank mates or an overcrowded tank. 

shrimp that jumped out of my aquarium

How Do Cherry Shrimp Jump?

Cherry shrimp are really quite crafty, and they use their tail to help them jump out of the water. Cherry shrimp quickly flick their tail, which propels them forward (or if they are trying to jump out of the shrimp tank, it propels them upward). 

If you watch your cherry shrimp quickly, you may see them flick their tail to move quickly through the water. Watching them move quickly can be really fun, and interesting, but when it comes to using their tails to jump out of the tank, there may be many factors that you will have to look at. 

If a cherry shrimp is trying to jump out of your shrimp tank, it may signal to you that something is wrong with the environment. 

Keep reading to see the factors that your dwarf shrimp may be trying to jump out, and some pointers on how to fix these problems. 

Main Reasons Why Cherry Shrimp Will Jump Out Of Your Aquarium:

Any sort of stress could lead to cherry shrimp jumping out of their aquarium. They may become stressed based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Incorrect water temperature: water that is too hot or too cold for the shrimp
  • Other water and tank parameters: such as pH of the water, lack of plants in the tank
  • A current in the water: this may trick the shrimp into thinking they are going up or downstream and may confuse them
  • Not getting along with their tank mates: if the shrimp are with aggressive or very large tank mates, they may become prey
  • Overcrowded tank: An overcrowded tank with too many pets and not enough space may result in shrimps jumping out and looking for more space

Reason #1: Water And Tank Parameters

If your cherry shrimp are jumping out of the tank, it could have to do with any of the reasons listed below related to the water and tank parameters. 

Incorrect Water Temperature:

The water for cherry shrimp should be about 65°-75° Fahrenheit. Some sources say that freshwater shrimp can live in water up to 80° Fahrenheit.

If you live in a warm climate, you probably will not need a heater for your red cherry shrimp tank. If you live where it gets very cold and your water is dipping below 65°, you may want to look into getting a heater to keep your shrimp happy!

Improper pH:

Cherry shrimp need a water pH of 6.5 – 7.5. It may be worth it to check the pH of your fish tank. You can do this by purchasing pH test strips (also called litmus paper) and checking the pH of your tank. 

If the pH in your tank is too low, you can simply try changing the water in your tank to restore the pH balance.

You can also try adding baking soda (very slowly, in small amounts. No more than 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons!) to restore the pH. Be careful when doing this, as sudden drastic changes in pH can be deadly to fish!

If the pH is too high, you can try to add some peat moss into your tank which will lower the pH. Remember to only add a little bit of peat moss at a time, and check the pH frequently. 

Filtration:

Filtration is very important for cherry shrimp. They are really sensitive to spikes in nitrites and ammonia, so it is important that water conditions are stable.

Sponge filters are a popular choice for shrimp tanks because they keep the little shrimp safe – other types of filters run the risk of getting sucked into the filter. 

Tank Plants And Decorations:

Cherry shrimp do well in a tank with lots of plants. 

Plants provide cover for shrimp when they are molting. Cherry shrimp also enjoy eating the biofilm which grows on live plants in the aquarium.

Cherry shrimp may not jump out of the tank if there are not enough plants but they will definitely be happier and healthier in an environment with adequate plant life. 

Cherry Shrimp Love Plants
Cherry Shrimp Love Plants

Other Water Parameters:

For the most part, shrimp are pretty tough. But to make sure that they are happy, their water should follow these guidelines:

  • GH: 66.7-133.4 ppm – The GH refers to the “General Hardness” of the water, or amount of calcium and magnesium ions in the water
  • KH: 53.6-268 ppm – The KH refers to the “Carbonate Hardness”, or amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water
  • Ammonia/Nitrite: 0 ppm as it is very toxic to shrimp
  • Nitrate: Less than 20 ppm
  • Chlorine/chloramines: 0 ppm, also very toxic to shrimp 

It may be worth it to invest in a water-testing kit for your tank to make sure that the parameters are all correct.

Reason #2: Not Getting Along With Tank Mates

Having aggressive or large tank mates may lead to shrimp being stressed. Since shrimp are so small, they may become hunted by larger or territorial tank mates. 

Cherry shrimp can get along with some species, such as:

  • Snails 
  • Tetras (small-sized)
  • White Mountain Cloud Minnows
  • Rasboras (small-sized)
  • Otocinclus or Corydoras Catfish 

Additionally, shrimp may do well with other aquarium fish, as long as the other fish are not large enough to eat a shrimp. Shrimp will definitely be stressed if they are put together with large fish that could eat them whole. 

If your shrimp are with other fish and are jumping out of their tank, it may be worth it to try to have a separate tank for the shrimp, where they can keep to themselves and not be stressed about the presence of other fish. 

Reason #3: An Overcrowded Tank

An overcrowded tank referred to as an aquarium with a high bioload can result in cherry shrimp being stressed and wanting to jump out. When the aquarium is overcrowded, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water can become be too low to support all of the tank’s inhabitants, especially if you are keeping them at higher temperatures.

Make sure that you are not putting too many shrimp, or other fish into the tank. A good rule to follow is to have 2-5 cherry shrimp per gallon. If you have a 10-gallon tank, you could have 20-50 shrimp at a time.

Of course, if you also have other fish, you will have to figure out how many shrimp and fish your tank could handle before it becomes overcrowded. 

Reason #4: A Current Strong In The Water

A current in the water could confuse shrimp and have them think that they are swimming upstream or downstream.

This may lead to them becoming a bit lost and jumping out of the tank to search for more food. There is not much you can do to prevent a current in your tank. 

If you check all of the other factors mentioned above and have ruled them out as causes for your shrimp jumping, this current may be the reason that they are jumping. This might be good news because it means that you have built a good habitat for your shrimp.

One way to ensure that they are not jumping out is to put a lid on the tank. 

In Conclusion…

There are quite a few reasons why a shrimp would become stressed and might want to jump out of your aquarium. 

Most of these problems have easy fixes. You want to make sure that you have built a safe and healthy habitat for your shrimp. If you are seeing that your shrimp is trying to escape its habitat, do be sure to check the water parameters mentioned above such as the temperature, the pH, GH, KH, and amounts of other things such as ammonium. 

You may need to buy a fish tank testing kit to make sure that all the levels in the aquarium are appropriate for the shrimp’s health. 

Make sure to use live aquatic plants to create a healthy habitat for the shrimp, where they can molt under cover if they need to. 

Take care to ensure that your shrimp’s tank is not overcrowded and that they are not in a habitat with large, territorial fish that cause them stress. 

If you have checked all of these things and are sure that they are not the issue but your shrimp are still jumping, it may be due to a current in the water. In a way, this is good news! This means that the environment is healthy, and the confusing current is the only issue and easily solved. 

If you notice that your cherry shrimp are jumping, it may be tempting just to put a lid on the tank and call it a day. But it is definitely important to take care of your pet’s health and take all the necessary precautions to ensure that they are healthy and happy. 

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