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Do Cherry Shrimps need light?

When building a tank for your Cherry Shrimp, you may be wondering whether or not need to add a light fixture at the top of the tank. To find out, you can take a look at this article from Aquarium Blueprints.

What are the benefits of adding a light to a shrimp tank?

By adding a light to a shrimp tank, you will most likely get better visibility. Keep in mind that Cherry Shrimps are small as they get no larger than a little over an inch in length. Not to mention that they also like to hide. By having a direct light point down the fish tank, you should have an easier time trying to spot them.

If you decide to grow live plants that require a lot of direct lighting in your fish tank, then you also need get a light fixture that is strong enough for the plants to grow.

Live plants are helpful as they will keep the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates levels low. For Cheery Shrimps, you need to keep both the ammonia and nitrite levels to 0 ppm. The nitrate levels should also be below 20 ppm.

What are the disadvantages of adding a light to a shrimp tank?

The main problem with adding a light to your fish tank is that overexposure could lead to an algae bloom.

While your Cherry Shrimps may help out and eat the algae, they may not consume the algae type that ends up forming in your tank. Not to mention that you may not have enough shrimps to overcome the algae bloom.

Algae can make your shrimp tank unsightly and may block your view if it starts to grow on the glass or acrylic panels. Not to mention that getting rid of algae can be a pain as well.


Cherry Shrimp do not need a light as they can easily live in the dark and/or with ambient room lighting. With that said, you may want to get one for your aquarium as having a direct light source on top of the tank will make it easier to see your pet inverts.

Getting a light will also help grow plants that require a lot of direct lighting as well.

If you do decide to add a light to your shrimp tank, then make sure that you don’t over expose it as doing so could lead to algae bloom, which can be difficult to get rid of.

For our shrimp tank, we decided not to add a light fixture. Although we kept our Red Cherry Shrimps with live plants, we use Java Ferns and Java Moss, which do just fine with our ambient room lighting. Despite having no direct lighting, our shrimp colony are healthy and reproducing just fine. As long as you keep your water parameters suitable for your shrimps, as well as feed them the right food, then they should do well with or without a fish tank light.

To see whether or not you should add a current to your shrimp tank, you can check out this guide.