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Do Cherry Shrimps add to the bioload?

If you want to add Cherry Shrimps, also known as Neocaridina Shrimps, to your fish tank, then you may be wondering if doing so will have any major negative impact to your biological filtration. You can check out this guide at Aquarium Blueprints to see whether or not Cherry Shrimps will add to the bioload.

Based on our experience, our Red Cherry Shrimps add very little to the bioload in our tank. We have over 200 of these inverts in our dedicated 20-gallon tank living with no issues. When testing the water, we would get 0 ppm of ammonia, 0 ppm of nitrites as well as very little nitrates.

Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about causing any spikes to ammonia, nitrites and nitrates when adding Red Cherries to your aquarium. This should also apply to every other Neocaridina variations as well.

If you want to be extra careful, however, then we recommend that you take the following steps:

1. To start off, you can try adding live bacteria in your aquarium to accommodate for the new bioload of your Cherry Shrimps. You can use a product such as the Aquavitro Seed or Seachem Stability to accomplish this.

2. You can also use Seachem Prime. This water conditioner will detoxify ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for up to 48 hours.

Therefore, you can dose the product in your aquarium every two days until you are confident that the biological filtration has grown big enough to accommodate for the extra bioload added by the new shrimps.

3. Adding live plants will also help as they will consume any extra ammonia and nitrates that came from the increased bioload.

Furthermore, these provide surface areas where beneficial, nitrifying bacteria can grow on. These colonies will help with removing the ammonia and nitrites from your tank water.

In our shrimp tank, we used a combination of Java Fern and Java Moss. Along with keeping the water parameters healthy, these plants also provide hiding spaces for our pets. Microorganisms that grow on these plants also make healthy snacks for our Cherries as well.

4. Furthermore, you may want to consider doing daily water changes in order to dilute the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

When it comes to water changes, we recommend doing no more than 20% at a time if you are keeping Cherry Shrimps. This is because this species is extremely sensitive to major changes in the water temperature and parameters.

If you Cherry Shrimps keep getting into your filter, then you can take a look at this article to see how you can prevent them from getting sucked up.