Another day, another couple of hours to browse the web for all things shrimp related!
This weekend I picked up one of my old 10-gallon tanks from the farm, and I’m starting the processes of cleaning that out and getting the spot I’ll be putting it cleared and cleaned.
I’ve decided that since I don’t currently have a tank setup, I’ll have to cycle this new one for a couple of weeks to make sure things are in order for my new, cherry colored guests.
But, as I usually like to do, I had to do a little more planning before I finalized all of my orders.
This time though, I’ve pretty much got all the equipment I need ordered and on the way (except food and plants).
All that I needed to research then, was how much I had to spend on my cherry shrimp, and whether or not I wanted to spring for the more expensive but more colorful sakura or fire red cherries instead of the base cherry shrimp.
I looked at about 10 different websites and local stores, and here’s what I learned:
In 2019, regular cherry shrimp cost between $1.50 and $3.00 per shrimp. Higher grades cost between $3.00 and $8.00 per shrimp depending on the grade and the breeder.
What are the different kinds of cherry shrimp?
When you’re looking at buying cherry shrimp – online or at your local fish store – you’ll find that there is more than one type of cherry.
These types of cherries are known as “grades” of cherry shrimp, and a higher grade means it’s going to cost you more.
How much more?
Well, a Painted Fire Red (a high-grade cherry shrimp) can cost two to three times as much per shrimp as what’s considered a “regular” or base cherry shrimp.
The general grades you’ll find available are listed below, and as you go down the list it gets more and more expensive:
- Cherry Shrimp
- Sakura Red Cherry Shrimp
- Fire Red Cherry Shrimp
- Painted Fire Red Cherry Shrimp
These grades are all related to the coloration of the shrimp and how deep the red color goes into their little body.
A cherry shrimp can have an almost transparent look, usually with at least a small tint of red, but sometimes they can almost resemble a ghost shrimp!
Sakura Reds have a more uniform red color with a possibility for just a little translucence so they can still be a bit see-through.
Fire red cherry shrimp really live up to their name. They are a bright red color with almost no translucence meaning they are almost a solid red through and through.
Finally Painted fire reds add just that extra bit red on top of the typical fire reds. The entire body of these puppies is a solid red, including the legs, and they command a price for looking so lovely!
There are also some other red dwarf shrimp varieties like Red R
For the purposes of this investigation, mostly because I am only really interested in mainline cherry varieties (the 4 listed above), well leave those others out.
The coolest thing, in my opinion, is that all of these grades are of the same bloodline. This means that the babies of a fire red could produce fire red babies, or it could produce one of the other 3 types!
Basic cherry shrimp can even produce higher grade offspring as the genetic code to do so is found in all grades of cherries.
Breeders will often be selling higher grades which were born from or with cherries that have a lower grade, and have to manually sort out the ones they want to sell for a premium.
Where can you buy cherry shrimp?
When you finally decide what type of shrimp you want to buy, you’re about half of the way through the process.
Cherry shrimp are readily available at many aquarium retailers across the country and the world, so you can really bring new meaning to “shopping around”.
Almost all local fish stores will carry some grade of cherry shrimp on a regular basis.
Smaller shops may not always have some, but they can absolutely order some in if you are seriously interested in making a purchase.
Usually, you’ll be able to find cherries or sometimes – if you’re lucky – you can find a friendly group of Sakura reds.
If you can’t find them at an LFS near you, they are usually also available at the big box retail stores.
Petco, PetSmart, and other national and regional chains may have them in stock in person (again, areas with a smaller demand for cherry shrimp or invertebrates, in general, may not stock them), and if you can’t find them in person they can easily transfer from a sister store that does have them.
If none of the stores have them in your region, and they can’t just do a transfer, many of the chains also sell online and can ship to the store or to your home.
Speaking of online, there are multiple places you can find cherry shrimp for sale online.
The first place you can look which is technically online but really is all local sellers is on Craigslist.
It’s not very common to find cherry shrimp or other types of dwarf shrimp on CL, but if you do find them for sale it’s usually going to be at a steep discount.
Breeders who have a vast oversupply or ones who want to cull their bloodlines may turn to craigslist as a last resort to do a mass dump of their inventory in a short amount of time.
You can also look at sites like Amazon or eBay to find good deals.
I would suggest Amazon over eBay only because you can leave reviews and read the reviews of people who bought previously to see if they were happy with the shrimp they got.
Amazon now has multiple sellers which all have great reviews, so you have some options! This is the option I’m going to be using when I set up my office tank soon…look for the article to come!
Usually, the prices between eBay and Amazon are pretty close, and they are subject to change as new sellers get on the market.
A similar site to those two, but one which is specifically for aquarium related items is aquabid.com.
This site is a really great resource where breeders and hobbyists can list their shrimp for sale in an auction setting or as a buy it now.
I’ve had good luck in the past with finding specific breeds on Aquabid at usually reasonable prices, so check them out.
Finally, you can find many resellers online who are a combination of LFS and online retailer.
These shops will sell their stock in person if you can make it to their brick and mortar store, but if you cant you can order online and have quick shipping, usually with a live delivery guarantee.
The store I plan to purchase my first cherry shrimp from (and most likely my filtration system) is flip aquatics.
Heres their website: https://flipaquatics.com
They have a great YouTube channel and obviously have a vast knowledge base when it comes to dwarf shrimp of all kinds.
I always like to buy from companies that show they know what they’re talking about, and all of the reviews I’ve seen from them are positive.
I’ll end up doing my own review and unboxing so you all can see the experience, but I’m confident it’ll be a good one!
Should you buy cherry shrimp online or locally?
So with all of these options for buying your cherry shrimp, you’re probably wondering what the best choice is for your situation, right?
Heres what I recommend: buy local if you can, and buy from experienced online sellers if you cant.
Buying local is always my first choice for a few reasons.
First, You can see the exact shrimp or fish you’ll be buying with your own eyes.
I think that’s really important because you know what you’re going to get and won’t be disappointed like you could be if you get lower grade shrimp than you expected when buying online.
You also have less transport for the shrimp, which means less stress and more chance for survival when moving them to your tank.
Less stress is always a good thing, for you and for the shrimp!
Finally, if you have any issues like the shrimp dying prematurely, or the color changes or whatever it is, you can always talk to the seller and explain what happened.
More often than not if it was not an issue that you caused, local resellers are happy to help you out and either replace your shrimp or work out a deal with you.
After all, a happy customer is a loyal customer!
How much do cherry shrimp cost?
This brings us to the last and most important part of this article: the cost.
So what I did for this research was look at 10 different sources for prices, ranging from my LFS to Amazon to Aquabid and forums.
The average prices below are a roundabout sum of the asking prices on all of these sources and should be right around what you should expect to pay for individual grades of cherry shrimp in 2018 and going into 2019.
As always, these prices aren’t exact and the aquarium hobby can be volatile in pricing based on demand, but to be honest I’ll be surprised if these aren’t the same ballpark prices you’ll find in 2020 and even for years to come.
Buying in bulk is always a great way to reduce the price, but most places I found sell in groups of 5 or 10, so that’s where these costs come from.
Below are the prices you can expect per each grade:
- Cherry Shrimp: $1.00 – $3.00 per shrimp
- Red Sakura: $3.00 – $4.00 per shrimp
- Fire Red Cherry: $3.50 – $6.00 per shrimp
- Painted Fire Red: $5.00 – $8.00 per shrimp
These prices are good ballparks for what you should expect to pay per shrimp for different grades of cherries in 2018 and 2019.
These prices don’t include shipping and can change throughout the year.
Check out the latest prices and options on Amazon
Prices don’t include shipping, but I found that many retailers offer free shipping included in their pricing, so these prices should be close.
See you all on the flip side!