Many of you have probably read about the Amano shrimp as great algae-eating shrimp and this fact is true. This small freshwater shrimp is very popular in the aquarium trade and the reason for this will be described in this article.
The Amano shrimp consume algae in a blink of an eye and this is confirmed. It can be said that algae wafer and algae occurring naturally in the aquarium is the shrimp food. This is the reason why this species is so popular in the aquarium trade. Many aquascapers decide to set up a shrimp tank because these creatures feel best in heavily planted tanks with numerous hiding places and peaceful tank mates as they are very shy.
Basic facts about the Amano shrimp
This freshwater shrimp was introduced into the freshwater aquarium hobby by Takashi Amano, hence its name. The latain name of the Amano shrimp is Caridina multidentata although it was called Caridina japonica (japonica shrimp) in the past. The Amano shrimp belongs to Atyidae family. Males usually grow to 3.5 cm in length, females up to 4 cm, although even larger individuals are found. The Amano shrimp lifespan depends on the conditions in the aquarium but when keeping them in a planted tank with stable water parameters, it can live up to 5 years!
Sexing Amano shrimp
Gender can be recognized by the color and body shape of the Amano shrimp. If the spots on the body are round and irregularly placed, these features indicate a male shrimp. Female Amano shrimp tend to have linear spots and also have a larger abdominal part of their body.
Amano shrimp in natural environment
In natural environment, wild shrimp inhabit the freshwater rivers and streams of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Fiji, Madagascar. It can be found among plants, as well as among boulders and larger rocks.
Amano shrimp in the home aquarium
All factors below have a great impact on Amano shrimp care. Like other shrimp, caridina multidentata need crystal clear water with stable water parameters. When their conditions are fulfilled, they will surely reward you with eating algae from your planted tank.
The aquarium should be quite spacious, they grow larger than Crystal Red, and like any dwarf shrimp, they are herd animals. The tank size should be at least 40l depending on other animals inhabiting the fish tank.
A tank setup with densely planted small-leaved plants, e.g. Brazilian waterweed, green cabomba , etc. Like other shrimp, it likes moss (e.g. Java moss or moss balls), marchantiales (e.g. riccia) and ornamental algae (i.e. marimo). Without the evenly spaced aquarium plants, the proper functioning of the shrimp in the tank is impossible. In addition to a large number of plants, you need to provide numerous hiding places, e.g. coconuts, stones, roots.
Efficient filter and aeration are also necessary. Amano shrimp are sensitive to lack of oxygen and can also suffer from suffocation. It’s recommended to use sponge filters while keeping this shrimp species because they easily eat remaining fish food from the filter.
Amano shrimp feels best in water temperature 20-24 Celsius degrees, soft to medium hard water and pH 6-8. They are very sensitive to ammonia spikes so remove eventual dead shrimp or fish from the tank as soon as you see it.
How to choose the Amano shrimp tank mates
Amano shrimps should be combined with peaceful community fish. These aquatic creatures are herd animals – it is best to keep them in a group of at least 5 individuals. They have a gentle disposition and can be kept with other shrimp species such us brine shrimp or ghost shrimp and small fish species. They are sociable, curious. They can only hide and be listless when they are shedding their carapace or when they are sick. Like other dwarf shrimps, after starting the tank, they should be placed first to get to know the aquarium. After 2 days, you can safely let the fish in. However, if there is already the livestock in the aquarium, shrimp should be introduced after the lights are turned off. This species is characterized by a quite high mortality when placed in an aquarium. This is due to the long path they have to travel and the stress it causes – shrimp available in stores usually come from natural habitats.
Peaceful fish suitable to live together with the Amano shrimp are e.g. guppies, otos, rasboras. The aggressive fish for Amano shrimp that should not be introduced to the aquarium are e.g. angelfish, discus or goldfish. Also if the space is limited, combining the Amano shrimp with other freshwater shrimps such us red cherry shrimp is dangerous because the Amano shrimp are larger and can be territorial towards cherry shrimp.
Before introducing any species browse some forums first to know other aquascapers experience in terms of choosing suitable tank mates for your Amano shrimp.
Feeding the Amano shrimp
The Amano shrimp is a great algae gourmand. Amano shrimp eat foods containing spirulina, fruits, vegetables, frozen foods, insect larvae, dead fish, leaf debris, droppings, and leftover fish food. The Amano shrimp diet should be varied, but they should not be overfed because they lose the desire to eat a tasty snack called algae. Caridina japonica shrimp are voracious and should not be starved, and their diet should mostly consist of plant foods. Their diet can be based on algae wafers which would be also beneficial for other tank mates.
Breeding Amano shrimp
This shrimp species is oviparous, but it is very difficult to breed under artificial conditions. The female Amano shrimp is carrying eggs directly under her abdomen for about 3 weeks. Fertilization occurs before the female lays eggs. Once folded, they should be transferred to a separate tank filled with brackish water (otherwise the eggs will die). You can also put the fertilized female in a separate aquarium (about 40 liters, sponge filter, pH neutral water, temperature 21 ° C, gentle aeration, full lighting). After laying the eggs, the female is moved to the previous tank and it is gradually salted to the level of 17 g / l within 7 days. After the incubation period, the larval stage takes place (the larvae float freely in the water), then we start to feed the young shrimps. After about 20 days, the larvae pupate. They should then be transferred to the main aquarium (with fresh water).
Breeding shrimp at home is not easy but every aquarium hobbyists can try it.
The regular water change
The water exchange has a significant influence on the behavior of the shrimp. After each water change, its mobility increases and it begins to swim vigorously. Learn how to replace the water with our BLOG.
Having a group of Amano shrimp is a good idea while talking about planted tanks with aquarium algae problems. These algae eating shrimp are sociable and peaceful tank mates for small fish that are equally peaceful but be aware that keeping Amano shrimp with some snails species such as Clea Helena or some fish as clown loaches is rather a bad idea because they can be aggressive towards the Amano shrimp.
Amano shrimp are very popular in aquarium hobby so it means that there are popular in aquarium trade. Always choose your livestock from reliable source and we recommend to leave your new caridina multidentata in a quarantine tank before introducing them into the general aquarium.
We strongly hope that with this article you’re well informed about Amano shrimp care. Knowledge is always the first thing in aquarium hobby that should be taken into consideration before introducing any new animal to your freshwater tank.