Cherry Shrimp Molting: Guide & Tips – Beginner-Friendly

cherry shrimp molting

When it comes to cherry shrimp owners – beginners or experts – numerous questions related to cherry shrimp molting are asked everyday.

“What do I need to know when it comes to cherry shrimp molting?”

There’s a lot actually. The information in this cherry shrimp guide will help prepare you for when molting occurs.

In this cherry shrimp molting guide, you will learn:

  • the importance of molting for a cherry shrimp
  • the process of molting
  • whether molting causes problems or not

I recommend that you read from beginning to end, so you’ll be prepared when the time comes for your cherry shrimp(s).

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Cherry Shrimp Molting

There is a lot of importance accorded to molting for the proper growth of a cherry shrimp.

They have an exoskeleton, which is an exterior shell that grows in the outer portion of their bodies.

It basically has two functions:

  • One of which is to provide support to the fragile body of the shrimp
  • At the same time, the cherry shrimp can protect their body from any kind of exterior damage.

Although it may not be as hard as the exoskeleton of a crab or a turtle, it is still hard enough for most of the predators to chomp on the shrimp.

The process of molting happens simply because the cherry shrimp happens to continue growing for the entirety of their lives, but the shell simply cannot grow in accordance with the growth of a cherry shrimp.

This is the reason why it needs to be replaced or molted on a fairly regular basis so that a bigger exoskeleton keeps replacing the older one.


Process of Cherry Shrimp Molting

Well – the newly molted shell will replace the older one by going underneath it, but it remains soft. 

When the older shell of the shrimp splits at the top, particularly in the region of the abdomen – the shrimp will start gripping on a surface so as to get a good grip.

With its swimming legs, the shrimp would furiously try to pull itself away from the front portion of its shell.

Little by little, it gets away free from the old shell.

Right after the molting is complete, the shell is extremely soft which usually takes a few days for it to get hard.

It is at this particular stage that the shrimp happens to be very vulnerable, and this is the time when the shrimp will hide in the foliage for several days so as not to be consumed by any predator.


Are There Any Problems With Cherry Shrimp Molting?

Although it may seem like a pretty natural process, statistically speaking, molting has a very high chance of going wrong – and it can sometimes result in a fatality.

Not Enough Strength

Most cases of shrimps dying during the molting process are simply because they do not have enough strength in order to crack open their older shell and pull through the topmost portion of their bodies.

While exhausting themselves trying to crack open their shell, most of the time they end up getting stressed and dying.

In other cases, where the shell has a clean break all around the circumference of the body, the shrimp does not get enough traction to pull through their front portion of the body and end up dying. 

There are also stories where the shrimp are not able to crack open their old shell large enough, and therefore they are not able to feed themselves from their older shell.

This results in them being completely exhausted while trying to get rid of their old shell and dying in the process.


Primary Cause Of Molting Problems

In cherry shrimps, there are numerous molting issues that they have to deal with.

However, there are different theories that try to explain the primary cause of molting. 

Some scientists argue that it has to primarily do with the kind of food that they eat, and some people argue about the change in water that they may be subjected to.

There are others that argue that only a substantial amount of water change can result in molting issues.

Calcium Intake

What is for certain is that shrimps need a certain amount of calcium to be present in their water, which is one of the primary components for the hardening of their shell.

However, too much calcium in the water may result in the development of shells that are very rigid and thick, and during the period of molting, it would be very hard and not easy to crack through.

If the calcium present in the water is a lot less than required – chances are that the shell will be too soft, and it will simply bend instead of cracking.

For most of the people keeping cherry shrimps, a good healthy diet of calcium in their food is a necessity.

Supplements in the form of vegetables can be fed to cherry shrimps in order to increase their calcium intake. 

Examples of these vegetables are:

  • Cucumbers
  • Broccolis
  • Kale
  • Zucchini

However, be sure to blanch the vegetables before adding them to the tank.

Once you factor in the calcium intake as well as not trying to suddenly change the water, you would be able to drastically reduce the number of deaths shrimps happening due to molting.

A sudden change in the pH level of the water triggers the shrimp to molt and that is not always a good sign of things to come.


FAQ: Cherry Shrimp Molting

Here are the questions commonly asked by people when it comes to cherry shrimp and molting.

How Often Do Cherry Shrimp Molt?

Cherry shrimp typically molts between 3 to 8 weeks. You have to keep in mind that cherry shrimps can sometimes not survive during the molting process if the water conditions aren’t proper.

How Long Do Cherry Shrimps Hide After Molting? 

After the molting process of a cherry shrimp, expect them to hide for up to 48 hours. When cherry shrimps are hiding after the molting process, they are giving time for their shell to become stronger.

Do Cherry Shrimps Molt When Stressed?

When they are stressed, it’s likely that cherry shrimp will molt.


From VivariumTips,

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Did you know? 

Cherry shrimps are one of the most popular aquatic shrimp pets.

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