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Do Cherry Shrimps like sand?

When it comes to adding a substrate to your Cherry Shrimp tank, you can use sand. So, does the Neocaridina species enjoy living in this substrate type? You can find out in this article from Aquarium Blueprints.

What are the benefits of adding sand in your shrimp tank?

The main benefit of using sand as a substrate in your shrimp tank is biological filtration. Beneficial bacteria will grow on the surfaces of the sand particles. These colonies are responsible for keeping the ammonia and nitrite levels in your tank water in check.

If the sand substrate is deeper than 2 inches, then you will be able to create areas that are devoid of oxygen. This is an ideal environment to grow the beneficial bacteria species that will consume nitrates.

When it comes to water quality, you need to keep ammonia to 0 ppm, nitrites to 0 ppm and nitrates to below 20 ppm. So, if you have a lot of sand in your shrimp tank, then you will be able to create a healthy environment for your pet inverts.

With sand, you also don’t worry about food particles from seeping through any potential gaps in the substrate. If left uneaten, then these particles will eventually be turned in ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

Furthermore, it is important to have a substrate, whether if it is sand or another type, in your shrimp tank. Otherwise, having a bare bottom tank is not ideal as your Cherry Shrimps will most likely have a harder time trying getting a grip on the glass or acrylic surfaces.

What are the disadvantages of using sand in your shrimp tank?

The main disadvantage of adding sand to your shrimp tank or any other aquarium is that the particles can easily be kick up into the water column.

If you have a filter running, then the sand may end up getting into the filter media compartments and/or impellers, potentially causing issues. To prevent this problem from happening, you can move the intake higher up in order to reduce the possibility of sand getting in your filter.

Do Cherry Shrimps like sand?

Based on our experience, our Red Cherry Shrimps enjoy crawling the sand substrate when we used the CaribSea Super Naturals Moonlight Sand in our aquarium. This is especially true if they find food laying on top of the sand.

We also kept our shrimps using the CaribSea Eco Complete Black Planted Aquarium Substrate if you want another compatible substrate for the Neocaridina species.


Cherry Shrimp should have no problem with having sand as a substrate in your tank. If you use the right color of sand, then you can really bring out the vibrant colors of your Cherry Shrimps as well.

If the sand bed is at least 2 inches then you will be able to grow plenty of beneficial bacteria that will help consume the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates from the tank water.

The only major issue with sand is that it can easily get into your filter; therefore, we recommend moving the intake of the filter into a higher position as an extra precaution.

You can also check out this article to see whether or not you should add a light fixture to your shrimp tank.