Amano Shrimp: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

amano shrimp in an aquarium.

Amano Shrimp are hardy and peaceful, yet so charming at the same time.

And with their penchant for eating algae, it was only a matter of time before they became everybody’s favorite shrimp on the aquatic scene. The question is, would Amano Shrimp thrive in your tank?

If you’ve been thinking about keeping healthy Amano Shrimp at home, this guide is for you. We’ll be discussing Amano Shrimp care in more detail.

And after reading it, you should have plenty of information about caring for them in your home aquarium. This guide will teach you everything there is to know about keeping Amano Shrimp, from their appearance, size, best tank mates, diet, breeding, and more!

Species Overview

Being the distinctive shrimp of many names, the Amano Shrimp has been famously called Japonica Shrimp, Yamato Shrimp, Algae Eating Shrimp, and Japanese Algae Eater.

They originate from Japan and Taiwan and belong to the Atyidae family, with scientific names Caridina Japonica and Caridina multidentata.

If you’ve ever contemplated introducing them to your aquarium, their hardy nature will capture your attention.

But they are tough to breed, and most of the varieties in the pet markets these days are purely from the wild. Still, they are an excellent choice for anyone keen on experimenting with the invertebrates for the first time.

Before we forget, the beautiful story of Amano Shrimps would be incomplete without the mention of Takashi Amano. He is the Japanese cyclist, photographer, and aquarist credited with discovering the Amano Shrimps’ unending love for algae. 

CategoryRating
FamilyAtyidae
ColorTranslucent/Transparent greyish
Lifespan2-3 Years
Care LevelEasy
Behavior & TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful community fish, snails, and other shrimps
Food and DietOmnivores
SizeUp to 2 Inches
Tank SetupTropical Freshwater, Heavily Planted
Tank Size (Minimum)10 Gallons

Lifespan

Like many shrimps, the Amano Shrimp has a short lifespan of just about five years in the wild. In captivity, they will live for approximately 2-3 years. To help increase their lifespan, you will want to keep a close eye on the two most common culprits; diseases and predators.

Keeping healthy Amano Shrimps goes down to the water conditions in their habitat. And if you manage to maintain all the essential parameters at standard levels, you might have already passed the most challenging part of their care. 

Appearance

Amano Shrimps have a characteristically large body size with translucent grey colors. They can also assume a translucent coloration with light green, light reddish-brown, or green shades.

However, food choice will significantly influence the general body coloration. If you constantly feed your Amano Shrimps a balanced diet with large amounts of algae, they will glow. You will see a green shade to their dots, which is a sign of good health.

These shrimps are known for their camouflaging abilities, where their coloration will perfectly blend with the tank and the surrounding environment in captivity. With this, you may struggle to spot them when hiding inside the aquarium.

Also, their camouflaging ability enables them to hide from potential enemies and larger species, who may view them as an essential food source in the wild.

Size

Amano Shrimps can grow up to 2 inches in length. But their moderately slow growth rate only limits them to about 1 inch in local markets and home aquariums.

Interestingly, the seemingly small size still puts them among the largest shrimps of the “Dwarf Shrimp” species.

Amano Shrimp Care

Amano Shrimp care entails plenty of attention to their feeding habits and comfort in the tank.

Like the universal freshwater fish community, Amano Shrimps won’t endure low water quality. So, you will need to regulate all the parameters to create the best environment for their survival.

They might be perfect for clearing the algae in the tank, but they can’t do it all alone. And depending on the actual shrimp population in the tank, you may be forced to do much cleaning by yourself on occasion. 

You can go with sand, small rocks, live plants, or gravel for suitable substrates. Live plants, in particular, are an excellent addition because your shrimps will always feed on the decaying parts. 

Also, your Amano Shrimp will be happy and more secure around these plants. Therefore, introducing suitable options such as Java Moss and Green Cabomba will be part of a quality care routine.

On top of that, these shrimps will significantly benefit from numerous hiding points in the aquarium. And your options will include caves, branches, shrimp tubes, and rocks.

You see, the biggest secret to providing quality care to your shrimps is to imitate their original habitats throughout Taiwan and Japan. And that also entails feeding them the same food they are used to eating in the wild.

You can bet that your Amano Shrimp friend won’t survive without algae, which is easily their most favorite food. And the first weeks during acclimatization could prove vital to their long-term survival in captivity.

As part of their quality care, you will want to eliminate any copper elements from the tank. Like many invertebrates, the effects of copper can be devastating to the Amano Shrimps, regardless of their hardy nature.

Tank Size

For Amano Shrimps, they need a minimum of 10 gallons. However, you may need a significant size if more than one species occupy the same tank.

A vital tip to keep in mind is an additional 2 gallons for every new shrimp you will be introducing to the aquarium.

Of course, you can always remain flexible when creating the ideal tank to accommodate future tanks mates or new species you may want to include in the same aquarium.

Water Parameters

Fortunately, Amano Shrimps can survive in many environments as long as you maintain suitable water conditions.

They are more comfortable in hiding but will also explore the tank environment picking on whatever material they can find in the process. That’s why we always encourage aquarists to maintain the right conditions throughout their Amano Shrimp’s lifespan.

In general, here’s what you need to know about maintaining the water parameters at the standard levels:

  • Water temperature: 60°F to 80°F
  • Water hardness: 3-10dkH
  • pH levels: 6.0-7.6.

What’s more, Amano Shrimps love well-circulating water and standard lighting. To help adapt to the new environment, your shrimps will benefit from having an already established tank with little algae and other plant materials to feed on.

On that note, going with a brand new tank when keeping Amano Shrimps is not necessarily a good idea.

What to Put in Their Tank?

Firstly, it would help to recall that these shrimps are the perfect escape artists. Their dynamic nature means they will want to jump relentlessly inside the aquarium and can quickly leap out of the tank when no one’s watching.

Unfortunately, this also endangers their lives by exposing them to toxic environments at home. As such, be sure to seal the tanks properly if you want to keep them inside the aquarium.

For tank décor, consider natural plants and driftwood for comfort and adaptability. Amano Shrimps can adapt to any environment, but they like their habitat beautiful and more natural.

Driftwood is a great choice because they decay quickly and provide a consistent food supply to your shrimps.

To complement their habitat, you may want to include rocks and live plants for added protection. When it’s time to introduce the substrates, go for small pebbles if you can’t find natural rocks. Otherwise, sand, live plants, or gravel should be just fine.

Common Diseases

Keeping Amano Shrimps will be an incredible adventure. Probably second to none if you are introducing them in your tank for the first time.

But the whole excitement could be cut short by common diseases that threaten your shrimp’s existence.

Usually, they are vulnerable to a range of bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, and you will notice an unusual behavior when they first contract one of these conditions.

Poor water quality and excessively high water temperatures are the primary causes of diseases in Amano Shrimp. But in some cases, poor diet could also be a significant contributing factor.

Vorticella is the most bothersome condition in this species that will present itself with increased stress, loss of appetite, and even death.

Fortunately, you can prevent it by modifying the water conditions to suit your pet shrimp. On the other hand, bacterial infections will be easy to detect by looking at the apparent changes in the shrimp’s usually translucent body.

Even with the expansive list of conditions affecting Amano Shrimps, you shouldn’t be worried if you maintain and sustain the right tank conditions.

What Do Amano Shrimps Eat?

Amano Shrimps are specialists in cleaning rocks and plants by consuming algae and surplus fish food. In captivity, you can give them shrimp food in addition to their favorite algae and dead plants.

Still, you could do better than restrict them to an algae diet. While they will do their part to clear all the decaying plant matter in the tank, you must play your role by supplementing their diet with the right food source.

You will want to introduce the right supplements such as algae pellets, frozen protein, and blanched vegetables. This list includes brine shrimp, bloodworms, zucchini, cucumbers, and spinach.

Behavior & Temperament

You will be relieved to hear that Amano Shrimps are peaceful aquatic animals that are easily attracted to new food in the tank.

They will spend a better part of the day racing to the newly introduced food, eating the decaying matter inside the aquarium, or just relaxing at their favorite hiding spots.

They are passive community players whose biggest worry will be larger tank mates turning them into a morning snack.

In such a case, they will be the defenseless type who can only run away from the enemy. Even if you were to keep them with peaceful species, Amano Shrimps tend to hide from their tank mates.

Keep in mind that Amano Shrimps are more active and secure with more live plants. So, you should introduce the suitable types that facilitate their survival by giving them plenty of hiding spots in the tank.

The lower the stress levels in the tank, the longer their lifespan. And that’s what you will want to target when keeping these shrimps at home.

Amano Shrimp Tank Mates

Like any animal species, the Amano Shrimp is more comfortable in its own company. And introducing new tank mates won’t bother them if the new member is equally peaceful and the environment is tranquil.

Whatever you do, don’t put a more aggressive species with your Amano Shrimp in the same tank. Given their extraordinary talent at eating algae, your shrimps will always be among the first to spot a new food introduced into the tank.

So, the competition can be pretty tough if you introduce larger species inside the aquarium.

Also, when competing for the algae, the Amano Shrimps will like to be the center of attention by assuming a commanding approach. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case if you introduce larger species.

If you have to introduce new tank mates, you may want to consider Bamboo Shrimps and Cherry Shrimps, who may not endanger the lives of your Amano Shrimps.

It’s essential to protect your Amano Shrimps from bigger shellfish, freshwater lobsters, and crayfish, who perceive them as a food source when kept in the same tank.

Generally, it would be more helpful to avoid large fish or the aggressive types that pose a serious threat to your Amano Shrimps.

This list includes Cichlids, Oscars, Arowanas, and Bettas. As for the compatible tank mates, the following would be ideal for your Amano Shrimp:

  • Octocinclus catfish
  • Cory catfish
  • Neon tetras
  • Less aggressive fish

What’s more, a variety of freshwater snails are excellent pairings for the Amano Shrimps.

A few such examples include Assassin Snails, Mystery Snails, Japanese Trapdoor, Ivory Snails, Ramshorn Snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and Golden Inca Snails.

Breeding

Breeding Amano Shrimps in captivity won’t be easy. And even the most experienced aquarist have failed in this regard.

In their natural habitat, the female species will produce a hormone to attract the males to it and facilitate the breeding process. When this happens, you may notice a sudden behavioral change in the males to locate the mature female.

Unless you are an experienced aquarist, breeding the Amano Shrimp in captivity is as good as impossible.

If you want to give it a try, you should consider one of the Ghost Shrimps or Cherry Shrimps, both of which require minimal larval care and may provide a slim chance of success in captivity.

Again, in the wild, the females will initiate the breeding process by laying as many as 1000-3000 eggs, which will be attached to the mother’s body until they are hatched.

Now, this is the most challenging part. After hatching, the larvae will only grow to full maturity in brackish water. Later, the larvae will need freshwater for survival through to adulthood. A process that’s almost impossible to imitate in captivity. 

It’s worth reminding that adult shrimps are highly susceptible to salty water and may quickly die if you expose them to such conditions. This makes breeding these shrimps quite challenging in captivity.

Still, if you opt to breed them at home, be sure to remove the adult shrimps from the breeding tank as soon as possible before increasing water salinity. A few aquarists have reported successful breeding at an average salinity of 1.024, almost the highest level.

Final Thoughts

Are you already sold on the idea of keeping Amano Shrimps at home? It’s worth trying at least once in your lifetime!

Amano Shrimps are valuable additions to any aquarium, with their enormous appetite for algae, low maintenance, and beauty.

They create an almost perfect relationship with compatible fish species in the same tank and will be an invaluable addition to the tank.

The good news is, now you understand everything there is to know about Amano Shrimp care to help raise the perfect pet companion at home.

If you are still weighing your options for the home aquarium, you may want our assurance of the risk-free adventure in keeping Amano Shrimps.

Their hardy nature, beauty, and peaceful temperament should be enough in convincing you to get one for your home aquarium!

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