Amano Shrimp Care

By Snaketracks / February 6, 2021

Amano Shrimp Care

Amano shrimp care is fairly easy since these are hardy crustaceans that eat pretty much anything and can handle a wide range of ph levels.

If you’re looking for a great algae-eater or tank cleaning crew, look no further than these. If you are planning to have them as tank mates they can work well with smaller fish, but just note that they will compete heavily for food when you are feeding the fish.

That being said, as long as you don’t overfeed them, they will help manage all the pesky algae that every tank has as a problem.

In general Amano shrimp are pretty straightforward when it comes to care, but here is some basic information.

Quick Reference Section

  • Scientific Name: Caridina multidentata
  • Alternate Name(s): Japanese shrimp, Yamato shrimp, and algae shrimp
  • Family: Atyidae
  • Size: 2 inches
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Where to buy: Amazon, PetCo, flipaquatics.com, AquaticArts

Fun Facts About Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp Care
Japanese shrimp also known as Armano shrimp swimming

They are frequently spotted in the Yamato River in Japan which is also where one of their common names comes from.

You can figure out the gender of an Amano Shrimp by looking at their circular markings. A male will have a single line of them whereas a female will have longer lines.

They like dead things and will eat them. This is why they’re such efficient cleaners.

Amano Shrimp Appearance

These shrimp will grow up to about two inches in length, but average at about an inch or so. 

They are a small, light-grey, translucent shrimp with tiny dots and dashes of greys, light brown, or a reddish-brown along the length of their body. You may also find a thinner, lighter line that runs down the tops of their bodies.

Amano shrimp have large, beady eyes, long antennae, long legs, and a see-through tail. They pretty much resemble any shrimp’s shape, just in a mini version and with some cool translucent features.

Locations and Habitat 

Amano Shrimp are native to the freshwater rivers of Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan. However, they aren’t always known to be freshwater shrimp since larvae require brackish water to hatch and thrive until they are mature enough to migrate to the freshwater rivers.

They originate in shallow, temperate pools in Asia and like to scavenge the bottoms of waters for soft algae or dead plants and fish. They survive in large troupes, foraging away in rivers and streams.

Diet

In the wild, they will eat all kinds of algae and plant debris. They are also known to eat dead fish.

They really can eat anything that is small enough to fit in their mouths, but they do prefer algae overall. They will eat many different kinds but prefer soft algae.

This is why they are great for aquariums with a lot of plants, where these algae will naturally occur. They will also help you eat leftovers that any of their tank mates might have dropped and forgotten about.

If you are thinking about raising Amano Shrimp, feeding them won’t be hard, but feeding times can get a little rowdy since they are a little bit greedy. Well-fed Amano Shrimp will be well-behaved, but keep your eye on them anyway.

Yes, Amano Shrimp will eat dead fish. They are peaceful shrimp and won’t cause harm or bite at your other fish, however, they do enjoy feeding on remains.

If a fish does die in your tank and you see your shrimp feasting on it, you should remove them from the tank, as the ammonia spike can poison your other fish. Remove it as soon as you find the dead fish.

Breeding

two Amano shrimp swimming
two Amano shrimp swimming

When it comes to breeding, Amano Shrimp are a little harder to develop. They will breed in freshwater, but as mentioned earlier, larvae need brackish water in order to survive.

Amano Shrimp mothers have a clutch of 1000 to 3000 eggs. These eggs can take around six weeks to hatch, which is how long she will carry them until she releases them into brackish waters.

Larvae require saltwater to mature, which is what makes this process a little harder to do when you are trying to breed them outside of their natural habitat.

Legality

In most states, you need a fishing license to catch Amano Shrimp in the wild and you are only allowed to possess 50 shrimp at a time. 

Breeders will need a license if they want to legally sell to another company. This may or may not be true in your state, so check in with your laws if you are planning on breeding and selling.

There is not much discussed about possession of shrimp, but be sure you check the laws of your state if you are interested in breeding, selling, or even just owning Amano Shrimp.

Purchasing

In most cases, owners will buy these shrimp online or at their local LFS. You can sometimes find them at Petsmart or Petco, but most enthusiasts prefer buying them online.

Online, you can find them on Amazon or eBay as well as many other sites but do check the reviews and ratings before picking a breeder. Many enthusiasts recommend AquaBid, FlipAquatics, aqua-imports.com, and LiveAquaris, so check these websites out.

Care Sheet

Yamato shrimp swimming
Yamato shrimp swimming

Habitat

Amano Shrimp like freshwater between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are hardy fish so a water hardness of 6.0 to 8.0 DKH is suitable. Check your pH levels, making sure they are around 6.0 and 7.0.

Soft currents or water movements can be made with a good hang on back filter. They prefer this, as it will mimic the waves of their natural habitat, making them feel more comfortable in your home aquarium.

They like to be kept in groups of at least six in order to diminish dominant behavior. Try to keep one Amano Shrimp per 2 Gallons, which is a good ratio to help determine a suitable tank size.

Enclosure

You will need at least 2 gallons per shrimp, so be sure to give them the proper amount of space that they need, especially if you are thinking about raising them in groups.

If you already have an existing aquarium and just want to add the shrimp to it, just make sure that you have the space for them to keep the stability in the tank.

You should, at the very least, have a 10-gallon tank if you are considering keeping these shrimp. Extra comfort is never a bad idea. A 20 gallon tank like the one pictured above is a better option. You can’t go wrong with space here.

They do not require any special materials, but they do thrive naturally in a tank with lots of plants. There are natural algae that will occur which they can feed on.

Lid

Make sure that the tank is well secured. Yamato shrimp are escape artists and will find a way to get out of the tank if there is an option.

Just be sure the top is covered and secured well, this includes your temporary tank for those larger cleans you may be doing as well.

You don’t want to lose one when you could have easily prevented it.

Substrate

Amano Shrimp don’t have specific requirements when it comes to their substrate. They should be perfectly fine in a tank with gravel, sand, or a plant substrate.

One thing you should be cautious about is a substrate that might reduce your pH such as a planted substrate. Ask the pet store clerk and do your research, but don’t worry too much if it is not a substrate known to affect the pH of the tank.

Feeding

To keep your shrimp properly fed, you will need to pay attention to how often they eat and whether they are effectively cleaning your tank of algae or not. If you are going to give them food, boiled green vegetables like blanched spinach or zucchini is a good thing to feed them 2 or 3 times a week.

Feeding should be based on your shrimps’ reaction to natural food like algae or biofilm and leftovers at the bottom of the tank. If they are not cleaning leftovers within 2 to 3 hours, remove the old food from the tank.

Amano Shrimp require protein and calcium supplements. They can get their protein through tank mates’ leftovers or you can just give them some normal fish or shrimp food, but be sure to break them down into smaller pieces if you are feeding a tank of only shrimp. Spinach is a great way to supplement calcium.

Cleaning

Although Amano Shrimp will do a lot of the cleaning, you will want to filter their tank once a month to keep them healthy. 

You should wipe their tank down with a sponge before you put their monthly filter in every two weeks. When you filter their water, do so for at least 48 hours.

After that, you should top up their water about 4 to 6 times a week and change their water at about 20 to 30 percent of the way bi-weekly.

If there are any dead shrimp, you should remove them right away and clean the tank to avoid a spike in ammonia.

Keep checking pH levels if you have a case of some dead shrimp.

Check out this video of a full tank cleaning if you want more details:

Temperament

These guys are pretty peaceful shrimp, although they can get a little greedy during feeding time. 

Amano shrimp are peaceful and will not try to hurt their tank mates as long as they are living. They may also be interested in fry, so it is best that you keep them separate from the little ones.

They are entertaining to watch since they are tiny, cute, and spend their time foraging for things to eat, which they will sometimes do in groups. They will be more active during mating season or after water changes, which can be a fun time to watch them swim around.

Molting

If you see a white shrimp looking thing at the bottom of the tank, it is likely from them molting or shedding their exoskeleton and you have nothing to worry about.

If you see your shrimp at the bottom pink or any other color other than a white, then you may have an issue.

Amano Shrimp Care Video

The below video gives you a full overview about Amano shrimp care and what’s involved including tank sizes, tank mates, and what types of food they eat as well as tips for feeding them.

Conclusion

Amano Shrimp can be a great addition to your tank if you feel like they will give you a helping hand with upkeep. They are also beautiful and translucent, which makes them easy to add to any tank aesthetic.

If anything, they will make your tank look even more interesting as long as you are pairing them with fish that won’t eat them. Amano shrimp can be a little greedy when food comes into play, so make sure all your shrimps and fish are eating well.

Amano shrimp are a cool and fun shrimp to own, and you will see that if you get the chance to raise some!

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