If you want to soften the water, then you can add tannins to your Cherry Shrimp tank. So, do the Neocaridina species enjoy this acidic substance? You can find out in this article from Aquarium Blueprints.
Based on our experience, the Red Cherry Shrimps are pretty indifferent when we added some tannins in the tank by using Catappa Indian Almond Leaves. They would behave the same as they would without any tannins.
What are the main benefits of tannins in a shrimp tank?
Tannins offer anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which should help your Red Cherry Shrimps fight off infections. This is extremely helpful if you are adding new shrimps in your tank as they may be infected. Of course, tannins should also help your pet inverts recovery if there is an outbreak.
As we stated above, we added tannins by using Indian Almond Leaves, which will slowly breakdown in your tank. Our Red Cherry Shrimps love picking at the microorganisms that are eating away at these decomposing leaves.
So, if you aren’t able to feed your pet inverts for a couple of days, then putting these leaves should keep them fed and healthy while you are away.
What are the disadvantages of tannins in a shrimp tank?
The main drawback of adding tannins to your Cherry Shrimp tank is that it will lower the pH level. While the Neocaridina can tolerate a wide range of pH as they can be kept between 6.5 to 8.0, a sudden shift can end up harming your tank inhabitants if you aren’t careful enough.
So, instead of adding a bunch of leaves, or any other objects that leech tannins, at once, we recommend that you do so slowly over the course of several days (or even weeks) so that your Cherry Shrimps will slowly acclimate to the changing pH.
While Red Cherry Shrimps are pretty indifferent when it comes to tannins, they will like to pick at the decomposing Catappa Indian Almond Leaves if you put these objects directly in your tank.
While tannins will help with bacterial and fungal infections, adding too much of it to your aquarium will cause a major swing in pH. As a result, your pet inverts may end up getting harmed. So, instead, we recommend that you slowly add tannins to give the shrimps some time to get used to the changing pH.