Do Cherry Shrimp Need Air Pump?

Last Updated on December 13, 2021 by cmoarz

Airstones are an important feature in almost all aquarium setups because they add oxygen to the water. Without an adequate supply of dissolved oxygen, fish will die quickly. That’s all well and good for fish, but what about Shrimp? Do cherry shrimp need air pumps? And if they do, How much oxygen do cherry shrimp need even?

Do cherry shrimp need a bubbler? No, not directly. But an air pump in a shrimp tank will provide agitation and gas exchange that is necessary for the overall health of your shrimp tank.

Live plants like moss provide enough oxygen in the water for shrimp, but agitation is required to prevent the water from going stagnant and to promote proper gas exchanges for the plants in the tank.

A filter will also provide extra oxygenation and keep the tank water circulating and fresh.

If your shrimp tank doesn’t have live plants or a filter (which you should!), you will need an airstone for your shrimp to survive. Consider adding plants so your shrimp can thrive.

Do Cherry Shrimp Need a Lot of Oxygen?

So how much oxygen do cherry shrimp need? It’s actually not very high. Most of the oxygen a shrimp needs can be obtained from photosynthesis from algae and moss and other live plants.

In general, a fish would need more oxygen availability in the water than shrimp would, but that’s not to say a shrimp needs none at all.

In order for this photosynthesis process to work well, the tank need’s some sort of agitation so gasses can exchange properly.

This role can be filled with a filter that has the ability to break the surface tension of the surface of the water, Or an air stone hooked up to an air pump. You can also use an air pump filter for the best of both worlds.

So with all that said, You should have an airstone anyway to provide agitation for your tank, even if you don’t have any shrimp. It’s always a good idea to have one in case you ever decide to add some shrimp or something else down the road.

Is too much oxygen bad for shrimp?

Too much of anything can be harmful, However, in the case of oxygen, it’s very difficult to get enough dissolved oxygen into the water column to “be too much”.

In terms of oxygen toxicity, reaching those levels without directly adding pure oxygen into the aquarium is nearly impossible with a regular airstone and air pump.

On the other side of it, you can easily have too much C02 that displaces the oxygen in the tank and that can be very harmful to your shrimp, fish, and plants.

So if you are doing c02 injections, be sure you are doing them properly. Turn the c02 off at night (plants don’t use it at night), and turn the oxygen stone back on.

Or better yet, Don’t use C02 injection in a tank that has live shrimp or other fish or plants that can’t handle the sudden changes in water chemistry.

How do you know if you’re overdoing C02 and underutilizing oxygen?

In order to determine your Co2 levels, you need to use a drop tester test kit like the NilocG Aquatics Co2 Drop Checker. The best way to determine your oxygenation is with an Ox/Ox meter.

These are relatively easy-to-use devices and are widely available at most pet stores and on Amazon.

In the case of a drop tester, It uses gas exchange in the area it’s placed to detect levels of C02 gas in the water. It will change color based on the amount detected in the water column.

Yellow means too much, green means just right, and blue means not enough c02.

An Ox/Ox meter is a little more advanced, but it can give you a direct readout of the oxygen levels in your tank.

It works by measuring the current amount of oxygen and then calculating the percentage of saturation. This information can be used to help adjust your airstone and bubbler placement to better meet the needs of your specific tank.

There you have it! Everything you need to know about oxygen and cherry shrimp tanks. Be sure to use this information to make the best choices for your aquarium setup!


Owner of and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!