Breeding Cherry Shrimp for Profit: A Complete Guide

Keeping shrimp and other aquatic life in a tank can be fulfilling, but some people wish to take it further.

It’s possible to earn a side income by breeding them, especially species in high demand.

For example, breeding cherry shrimp for profit is a worthy investment that won’t set you back too much.

Cherry shrimp are particular creatures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to breed them. There are established methods for doing so, and you can find all the required information below.

breeding cherry shrimp for profit


Is Breeding Cherry Shrimp Easy?

Cherry shrimp aren’t challenging to breed, though they’re susceptible to disease and poor water quality.

Nevertheless, breeders find it easy to breed these creatures with the proper knowledge and methods.

Making mistakes during your first try is natural, so starting small is always better.

In a home setup, breeding cherry shrimp is straightforward. You don’t even need a high-end fish tank, as cheaper aquariums work perfectly fine.

People even raise shrimp in trash cans and kiddie pools, and the offspring grow without issues.

Of course, the more shrimp you have, the more water you need. About five can coexist in one gallon of water.

Compared to other shrimp species, cherry shrimp are pretty adaptive.

They like having places to hide, and that’s also a requirement for breeding them. Without shelter, your pairs will not attempt to reproduce.

Moss, plants, wood, and even plastic objects are excellent options that allow the cherry shrimp to hide.

Plants also bring the water chemistry close to what they prefer, making them easier to raise.

Purchased cherry shrimp should be bred immediately. They take three to five months to begin, especially after they molt.

After that, the females will hide for about a month, fanning eggs and keeping them safe.

Keep Grading Score In Mind

Cherry shrimp are graded from low to high based on their coloration. Each level has its own unique name.

Check out my table below for the various cherry shrimp grades.

Cherry Grade/Low GradeLight red, almost transparent
Low Sakura GradeMore red than previous grade with some transparency
High Sakura/AA GradeDeeper red, may see transparent or lighter red lines along shell
Fire Red GradeVery deep red, fairly vibrant
Painted Fire Red GradeVery dense red, full red coloration with no transparent or lighter red areas
Bloody Mary GradeDeepest, crimson red, fully opaque

When breeding cherry shrimp for profit, you generally want to breed the highest grade as they’re worth the most (more on this in the next section).

To make sure your breed has the brightest red color, it’s important not to mix your cherry shrimp with other colors and keep checking for and removing low grade shrimp from your tank.

Generally, the higher your shrimps’ grades, the more fragile they are. So, in fact, you should be even more stringent when caring for them once you discover their high grade.

How Much Do Cherry Shrimp Sell For?

Keep in mind that low-grade shrimp won’t sell for much, and many people don’t want them. An average, low-grade shrimp can be sold from $1.50 to $3.

On the other hand, higher grades can reach $8.00 each, so you can earn a profit if your fry is of a desirable quality.

It’s natural to be excited when you find out you have good shrimp, but that’s not an excuse to be lax with their care.

For those reading at home, it’s unlikely you can make a considerable profit, but it’s possible to sell some shrimp to other shrimp enthusiasts.

Where Do I Get Cherry Shrimp for Breeding?

Cherry shrimp can be purchased from pet stores or other breeders.

Pricing varies depending on the grade, so if you want to increase your chances of getting high-grade fry, you can expect to spend more on better breeding pairs.

But, of course, not every shrimp has to be expensive, and you can always get some lower-grade ones.

For a home-based breeding operation, you should get at least 10 shrimp. You’ll also need a good mix of the sexes to ensure you get offspring.

What Equipment Do I Need to Start Breeding Cherry Shrimp?

Here’s a list of equipment necessary for breeding cherry shrimp for profit. Keep in mind that prices can differ, and you don’t always need the best products for breeding.


You can easily spend under $100 to get a decent aquarium, but as you read earlier, using other containers is also acceptable.

Nevertheless, a transparent fish tank tends to be the superior choice because you can watch the shrimp.


You’ll need a very fine filter to prevent it from sucking up the shrimp juveniles.

Depending on your aquarium size or tank, you can spend anywhere from $50 to $100.

Air Pump

Air pumps keep the water oxygenated, and without them, your shrimp can become sluggish and inactive.

In addition, they tend not to breed or fan eggs in this state, so getting one is essential.

Typically, you won’t spend more than $50 unless you have a larger tank.

Shrimp Food

You’ll want to procure nutritious food for your shrimp because they can’t reproduce without enough sustenance.

Of course, you can also feed them homemade food, but that’s not always an option. Fortunately, shrimp food isn’t expensive.

pH Test Kit

When your water’s pH levels fluctuate too much, your shrimp may suffer and refrain from mating. That’s why breeders keep test kits around.

While changing the water too frequently is counterproductive, you’ll want to keep the water chemistry stable.

These test kits are well worth the investment and don’t cost much.

Plants and Other Objects

Keeping water plants in the tank can also generate some extra side income, depending on the species.

For example, Cherry shrimp love aquatic fauna since it lets them hide. Wood and rocks can be found in surrounding environments or bought from a pet store.

These are considered optional purchases but are highly recommended if you want your shrimp to start breeding.

How Do I Sell Cherry Shrimp?

If you have pet stores around you, they might be open to buying your cherry shrimp. Moreover, the higher your shrimps’ grades, the more they’ll pay for them.

Alternatively, you can advertise in your area or join Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are an excellent place for selling, as you sell shrimp to people directly. There won’t be any middlemen taking a cut.

While pet stores and markets reduce your profits, sometimes they’re the only option. It will depend on where you live and whether there’s high demand.

People have even sold shrimp across the U.S. in sealed plastic bags.

These bags go into large cardboard boxes and are shipped with plenty of packing material. That way, the shrimp won’t tumble around.

Double-bagging is the best practice, and you should have the main bag half-full of water. Try to get some air inside, as the shrimp have to breathe too.

Have some waterproof layers in the box to prevent water damage and ensure that everything is well-packed.

In Summary

I don’t recommend quitting your day job and starting breeding cherry shrimp for profit full-time.

This species doesn’t yield much compared to others, which go for hundreds of dollars depending on the grade.

Nevertheless, you can treat it as an interesting hobby that generates a side income.

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