What Plants Do Cherry Shrimp Like?

Cherry Shrimp are adorable and fun creatures to have in any home aquarium. What they lack in size, they make up for in personality. To keep these little guys (or gals) happy, it’s best to have some plants that they like in their environment. 

Certain plants can really help your cherry shrimp thrive. If you don’t have the right plants in your shrimp’s tank, it may not be a safe environment. There are 5 plants that cherry shrimp like the most: Java moss, java fern, Anubias nana petite, Exo terra water plant, and water wisteria.

crystal red shrimp om java moss

The 5 Best Plants For Cherry Shrimp Home Aquariums

Having the plants that cherry shrimp will like in their environment is incredibly important for their overall health and happiness. They are a must-have for every aquarium. If you haven’t set up an aquarium specifically for cherry shrimp, then the task of choosing the right plants can be a bit confusing.

To make sure you don’t put your cherry shrimp’s health or happiness at risk, it’s essential that you choose any of the following 5 plants to put in their aquarium. 

Java Moss

Java moss is one of the more popular choices for cherry shrimp tanks. It is friendly to both the user and the shrimp. Cherry shrimp love java moss because of how thick and dense it is. The moss creates the perfect hiding spot for them to get away from other creatures in the tank. 

blue shrimp, wood, java moss

One of the best things about java moss is that it helps provide biofilm to your tank. This is used as an extra filter for the water and provides oxygenation effects. It’s remarkably low maintenance. Most people have to do very little to keep it alive. Java moss also acts as a net to catch food that the cherry shrimp can later forage for. 

Java Fern

Java ferns and cherry shrimp are the perfect matches for each other. To start with, they both require the same water temperatures and parameters to survive. The ferns have big leaves, which the cherry shrimp love to walk around on. Those big leaves also provide them with cover when necessary.

Aquatic Arts Java Fern - 2 Bunches – Live Aquarium Plant 3 to 6 inches Tall

Click the image above to see the item on Amazon.

These plants are also incredibly easy to take care of. They are versatile enough to handle either high or low lighting situations and still thrive. Java ferns have some similar features to java moss. They can also filter the water and provide an oxygenation effect to make a better living environment for the cherry shrimp. 

One really neat thing about these plants is that they have a layer of stems at the bottom, and food for the shrimp can accumulate there. Once the cherry shrimp catch wind of this, it becomes their new favorite hangout spot. 

Anubias Nana Petite

If you love a low-maintenance plant, then Anubias nana petite on driftwood may be the right choice for your cherry shrimp’s aquarium. It is a slower growing plant, which eliminates the need for trimming often. Most importantly, it provides the aquarium with excellent water purification and oxygenation benefits. 

Finding an Anubias nana petite that is already on driftwood makes it a lot easier for you to place it at the bottom of the tank. Moving it around to the perfect location is much easier this way. 

Why do the cherry shrimp like it? This little plant is actually the perfect shape to work as an exploration area for the shrimp to have fun. Like most good plants, it also collects food for them to gather later when they get hungry. 

Ramshorn Snail eggs on Anubias nana

Exo Terra Water Plant

Okay, so maybe we’re cheating just a bit with this one. However, an Exo terra water plant can actually be very beneficial for a cherry shrimp’s environment, especially if there is a lot of light nearby. This is a plastic plant that is made to resemble duckweed. 

Exo Terra Water Plant, Duckweed

Click the image above to see the item on Amazon.

It doesn’t get any easier in the maintenance department than this one. Since it’s literally plastic, it will be fine in any temperature or lighting. This plant sits at the top of the water’s surface. It is excellent for providing shade if the lighting is too high around the tank. 

If you have trouble getting real plants to grow or stay alive, this may be a better option. The cherry shrimp can still have fun since the leaves are big enough for them to walk on. 

Water Wisteria

Water wisteria may take a little more maintenance than the other plants listed above, but it’s well worth the extra bit of care. A cool thing about these plants is that they don’t have roots to start out with. However, once you plant them in a good quality substrate, they begin to grow solid roots.

Once planted, it is essential to make sure this plant gets a fair amount of light and nutrients to stay healthy. This plant grows lovely big leaves that the cherry shrimp especially enjoy. They can collect a lot of food and provide an excellent play area. When the shrimp need a bit of cover, they can hide under the big leaves.

bucephalandra with Amano shrimp

Other Plants To Consider

Big leafy plants are great for cherry shrimp because they provide them with a playground, coverage and act as a net for extra food. These are three critical factors to keeping cherry shrimp healthy and happy. Cherry shrimp enjoy a variety of different plants, the ones above are there favorites, but they also enjoy:

  • Cryptocoryne
  • Vallisneria
  • Dwarf Lilies
  • Water Lettuce
  • Bucephalandra
  • Rotala Rotundifolia

The great thing about cherry shrimp is that they are compatible with so many different plants. One thing to keep in mind is that cherry shrimp may be skittish or nervous if there are other creatures in the aquarium. It is a good idea to make sure you choose plants that they can hide under when need be. 


Choosing the right plants for your cherry shrimp doesn’t have to be complicated. The best part is many of these plants we talked about, are very low maintenance, so there is very little that you need to worry about. 


My name is Jaap, and I am a passionate shrimp and fish enthusiast. I rediscovered my love for this hobby with my son and want to share our knowledge and tips with you on this aquarium blog. We cover topics such as setting up and maintaining an aquarium, feeding and breeding your shrimp and fish, and creating the perfect environment for them to thrive.

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