Can You Keep Cherry Shrimp in a 20 Gallon Tank? Here’s How Many You Need to Have!

Diving into the world of aquariums can be both relaxing and exciting as you craft an underwater oasis brimming with vibrant colors and fascinating creatures. One of the most popular choices for a freshwater aquarium is cherry shrimp, which are not only attractive but also low-maintenance and great for beginners.

So, you might be wondering if you can keep cherry shrimp in a 20-gallon tank, and if so, how many would make the perfect underwater community?

Absolutely, yes! Cherry shrimp thrive in a 20-gallon tank, which provides ample space for their needs. In this article, we will dive into the nuances of cherry shrimp care, tank setup, ideal tank mates, breeding tips, and much more. By the end, you’ll be ready to embark on your own cherry shrimp adventure.

Already feeling hooked? Let’s dive right in and explore the captivating world of cherry shrimp.

Setting Up Your 20-Gallon Tank

Before we discuss cherry shrimp specifics, it’s essential to get your 20-gallon tank ready for its new inhabitants. From substrate and plants to water parameters and equipment, there are a few key components to consider when creating the perfect environment.


Cherry shrimp love to explore, so choose a substrate that encourages healthy growth for both plants and shrimp. Some popular options include:

  • Fine-grained sand
  • Aquarium soil
  • Gravel

Remember to rinse your chosen substrate thoroughly before adding it to the tank.

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A heavily planted tank provides hiding spots, safety, and a sense of security for shrimp. Choose plants that thrive in both low and high-light conditions, such as:

  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Anubias
  • Cryptocorynes
  • Vallisneria

Water Parameters

Maintaining consistent water parameters is vital for healthy cherry shrimp. Aim for these conditions:

  • Temperature: 72-78°F (22-25.5°C)
  • pH: 6.5-7.8
  • Gh: 3-15 dGH
  • Kh: 1-8 dKH


A 20-gallon tank requires specific equipment to maintain the right environment for cherry shrimp, such as:

  • Heater (to maintain consistent water temperature)
  • Filter (sponge filter is preferred as it’s gentle on shrimp)
  • Thermometer (to monitor water temperature)
  • Test kit (to check water parameters)

Also, don’t forget that cherry shrimp may benefit from a pre-cycled tank.

How Many Cherry Shrimp Can You Keep in a 20-Gallon Tank?

In a 20-gallon tank, you can easily start with 20-30 cherry shrimp without any issues. Cherry shrimp have a low bioload and won’t significantly impact water quality. As they breed and multiply, they can adapt well to the available space in a 20-gallon tank.

Ideal Tank Mates for Cherry Shrimp

Since cherry shrimp are peaceful and non-aggressive, they do best with compatible tank mates that won’t harass or eat them. Some great choices for a 20-gallon tank include:

  • Small peaceful fish, e.g., tetras, guppies, and rasboras
  • Other dwarf shrimp species, e.g., amano shrimp, ghost shrimp
  • Snails, e.g., nerite snails, mystery snails, ramshorn snails

Breeding Cherry Shrimp

Breeding cherry shrimp is an exhilarating process and adds more color and vibrancy to your underwater paradise. By providing the right water parameters, safe hiding spots, and a stable environment, your cherry shrimp will feel comfortable breeding in your 20-gallon tank.

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As your shrimp multiply, consider adding more cherry shrimp to your tank set up. However, keep an eye on the population and ensure it doesn’t overcrowd your tank.


  • How often should I feed cherry shrimp?
    • Cherry shrimp should be fed small portions once a day, adjusting according to their consumption.
  • Can cherry shrimp coexist with betta fish?
    • Cherry shrimp might become a snack for bettas. Keep them in separate tanks or only with peaceful fish.
  • Do cherry shrimp need a heater in their tanks?
    • Yes, a heater is necessary to maintain consistent water temperature.
  • Can I mix different colors of cherry shrimp in one tank?
    • Yes, you can mix different color variants. However, they might crossbreed and produce different color offspring.
  • Do cherry shrimp require a water change?
    • Weekly water changes of 10-25% are recommended to maintain water parameters.


A 20-gallon tank is a fantastic home for cherry shrimp, providing enough space to ensure a healthy, happy community. With proper care and maintenance, you can create a fascinating underwater world full of color, life, and beauty. Just remember to keep the water parameters in check, find compatible tank mates, and enjoy watching your cherry shrimp flourish.

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