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Should You Let Yellow Shrimp Breed With Red Cherry Shrimp?

As more brightly colored shrimp variants are bred, the popularity of keeping shrimp amongst aquarium keepers is rapidly increasing to the level where many people are keeping their own 1 gallon shrimp only tanks.

Although red cherry shrimp have always been a popular option and the popularity of neon yellow shrimp is also increasing, purple cherry shrimp and “blue amano shrimp” have seen a lot of attention recently and drawn even more people to keeping shrimp tanks.

This has resulted in more and more people wanting to try their hand at breeding shrimp in their own tanks with a number of people wondering what would happen if they tried to breed neon yellow shrimp with red cherry.

We have noticed a steadily increasing number of people reaching out and asking about this recently so we wanted to publish our own article going over the topic in as much detail as possible.

Our hope is that we will be able to offer a more realistic look at what it takes to breed a new line of shrimp in a unique color as well as answer the three most common questions we see from the community about breeding neon yellow shrimp with red cherry shrimp.

We have added our table of contents to our article below to try and make it as easy as possible to quickly skip to sections of the article that you may want specific answers for but the full article is worth skimming over though.

Will Red Cherry Shrimp Crossbreed With Neon Yellow Shrimp?

Red cherry shrimp can crossbreed with neon yellow shrimp due to the two shrimp species being from the Neocaridina genus making them compatible for breeding with each other.

It is generally very easy to breed shrimp from the Neocaridina genus such as red cherry shrimp or neon yellow shrimp and a suitable male and female in a tank with ideal water conditions and some live plant for cover is usually enough to encourage breeding.

You have to realise that both red cherry shrimp and neon yellow shrimp have been carefully bred over many years to establish valid breeding lines that are able to consistently produce baby shrimp of the same color of their parents.

Adding any other type of shrimp into the line does not mean that the baby shrimp will be red, yellow or any other unique color and usually will result in a regular muddy brown, wild type shrimp baby.

Even if you are lucky enough to successfully crossbreed red cherry shrimp with neon yellow shrimp to get a baby that is either red or yellow, their color tends to only be partial with the muddy brown color often being on at least part of their body.

This makes it very easy to identify them as a crossbred shrimp and they usually hold zero value and people can often struggle to give them away for free as they can’t be placed in a tank with either cherry shrimp or neon yellow shrimp as if they breed their babies will also have a high chance of being a muddy brown too.

“6/29/2016” by fermicat is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Should You Let Yellow Shrimp Breed With Red Cherry Shrimp?

The majority of aquarium keepers will keep red cherry shrimp and neon yellow shrimp in separate tanks due to it being very likely that they will breed with each other.

As the babies produced by breeding a red cherry shrimp and a neon yellow shrimp are usually brown the majority of shrimp keepers discourage it and will just keep the two species of shrimp in different tanks to prevent it.

Crossbred shrimp usually hold no value so if you are thinking of trying to breed your shrimp for a profit mixing cherry shrimp and yellow shrimp bloodlines is definitely not the way to do it.

At the time of writing this article, the only real way to make any profit when breeding shrimp is to focus on breeding cherry shrimp and hope that you are lucky enough to end up with a purple cherry shrimp baby as they are very rare and often fetch a nice price tag.

At the end of the day though, it is your aquarium and you are able to run it as you see fit. If you are just wanting to keep some shrimp for fun then you can let your yellow shrimp and cherry shrimp breed and live in the same tank.

Just keep in mind that the muddy brown baby shrimp will quickly take over and ruin the aesthetic look of the tank where as if you keep either cherry shrimp or neon shrimp in the tank there is a high chance of the baby shrimp being the same color as their parents.

What Color Will The Baby Shrimp Be If You Breed A Neon Yellow Shrimp With A Red Cherry Shrimp?

The vast majority of baby shrimp produced by crossbreeding red cherry shrimp and neon yellow shrimp will be a muddy brown color.

A small number of the baby shrimp may have some red or yellow on them but parts of their body will still be the natural brown color of shrimp making it very easy to identify them as crossbreeds.

As we covered in our article going over what baby shrimp look like, the baby shrimp will be difficult to see for the first few days with their color usually starting to pigment after a week or so but don’t be surprised if your crossbreed shrimp stay their natural brown color though.

The red of the cherry shrimp and the yellow of the neon yellow shrimp is due to breeders carefully matching up selective breeding pairs to increase the chances of recessive genes matching up to make the red or yellow color dominant.

Once you try to crossbreed the shrimp between lines these recessive genes are no longer dominant in the baby shrimp so the majority of them will simply rever back to the natural brown color of Neocaridina shrimp, the parent genus of cherry shrimp and yellow shrimp.

This is totally natural as it is the dominant genes in the genus with the red and yellow genes being recessive and rarely taking dominance in wild shrimp.


That brings our article going over if you should try to breed yellow shrimp with red cherry to an end. At the end of the day, you can do what you want with your own aquarium but the vast majority of shrimp keepers will not try to breed cherry shrimp with yellow shrimp with most people actively taking steps to keep them in separate tanks due to the two shrimp species being so likely to breed and produce brown baby shrimp if they are kept in the same tanks as each other.