The Amano Shrimp is one of the more popular and readily available freshwater invertebrates kept as pets. It is a hardy shrimp that is one of the better algae eaters. Its peaceful nature makes it a good option for community tanks. It is also a popular option for planted tanks.
The Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) is named after the renowned aquascape artist Takashi Amano, who made it popular amongst fish keepers. He used them mainly for their algae-eating abilities, a problem common in nutrient-rich planted aquariums.
Their hardiness, small size, interesting mannerisms, and unique looks further cemented them as a popular option for nano tanks and planted aquariums.
This shrimp naturally occurs in shallow freshwater bodies in Japan, China, and Taiwan. Its natural habitat consists of much vegetation and little to no water current. The water tends to have a slightly acidic pH, with the other parameters staying reasonably stable.
Here are some physical characteristics of the Amano shrimp:
- Size: small but bigger than dwarf shrimps, with an average length of about 2 inches.
- Color: generally translucent, with a faint blue or greenish tinge. Sometimes they have light white or pink markings on their body and legs.
- Shape: slender, elongated body with long antennae on its head. They have five pairs of legs, the front pair being the longest and most visible. Amano shrimp also have a pair of tiny, transparent claws on the front of their body that they use to groom themselves and defend themselves.
Here is a breakdown of the ideal tank conditions for the Amano shrimp.
- Water quality: Amano shrimp require clean, oxygenated water, and an adequately cycled tank
- Temperature: ideally between 68-78°F (20-25°C)
- pH: slightly acidic water; the pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.
- Decor: plenty of hiding spots; created using plants, driftwood, and rocks.
Amano shrimps became famous because of their ability to consume algae. If the aquarium has a healthy ecosystem with plenty of algae growth, these shrimps don’t need to be target fed. They will sustain themselves on the algae and uneaten fish food. If the tank doesn’t have enough algae, feed these shrimp algae wafers and blanched vegetables.
If the Amano shrimps are primarily used to keep algae under control, then not feeding them will yield the best algae-cleaning results.
Amano shrimps are known to be very active and constantly on the move. They are generally peaceful and non-aggressive towards other tankmates and can make a valuable addition to a community aquarium.
Their peaceful temperament and small size make them an easy target for any fish with mouths large enough to fit them. It is important to choose tankmates compatible with the Amano shrimp in terms of size, temperament, and water requirements. Great tankmates for the Amano shrimp include
- Betta Fish
- Cardinal Tetras
- Cherry Barbs
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Neon Tetras
To grow and develop, the Amano shrimp undergoes a process called molting. The shrimp will shed its exoskeleton during molting and emerge with a new, larger one. This process usually occurs at night and can take a few hours to a few days, during which the shrimp may become more reclusive and hide. After the molting process is complete, the shrimp will emerge with its new exoskeleton and be able to resume its normal activities.
- Amano shrimp prefer a well-established tank with a mature filter and plenty of hiding spots. The water should be clean and well-oxygenated, with a pH of around 7.0 and a temperature between 68°F and 78°F or 20°C to 25.5°C. Preferably, there shouldn’t be any other fish to guarantee the maximum survivability of the fry.
- Amano shrimp are sexually dimorphic, which means that males and females can be distinguished by their physical characteristics. Males have thicker and more colorful antennae. To increase the chances of breeding, it is best to introduce several males and females to the tank.
- Amano shrimp will breed naturally if they are healthy and the conditions are right. To encourage breeding, feed them plenty of food, including algae and blanched vegetables, and keep the water quality high.
- Female Amano shrimp will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves or other surfaces in the tank. The eggs are small and orange.
- Amano shrimp eggs typically hatch in about two weeks, depending on the temperature and water conditions. They feed on algae just like adults.
Amano shrimps are hardy and will stay disease-free if the water quality is good and there are no sudden fluctuations in the water parameters.
One common disease they contract is shell rot. It is a bacterial infection that affects the exoskeleton of the shrimp, causing it to become soft and discolored. It is caused by poor water quality, stress, and/or injury.
Other diseases include bacterial and fungal infections as well as parasite infestations. These can be treated with antibiotics commercially available at fish stores.
Amano Shrimp add character and movement to any aquarium they inhabit. They serve a functional purpose by cleaning algae and detritus while putting a minimal load on the aquarium’s filtration system. In the right setting, they can establish a self-sustaining population and do all this without being demanding or expensive.
|Common Name||Yamato shrimp, Japanese shrimp, Amano shrimp, and algae shrimp|
|Scientific Name||Caridina multidentata|
|Tankmates||Non-aggressive small fish|
|Size||2.5 inches or 6.35 cm|