Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp

Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp

There are some differences between Amano Shrimp and Ghost shrimp that are pretty significant.

If you are wondering which species of shrimp might best suit your tank, Amano Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp are the most popular amongst aquarists. They are both small, bottom-feeding fish that will help clean your tank.

Both Amano and Ghost shrimp will add to the aesthetic of your tank due to their translucency and minimal color. They will also directly help keep your tank looking good by keeping it spick and span.

If you only want to get one or the other, read on to understand their differences as decide for yourself which one might be more suitable for your individual aquarium.

Table of Contents

Amano Shrimp Overview

Yamato shrimp swimming
Yamato (Amano) shrimp swimming

Amano shrimp are also a great choice for your tank. They love to live in troupes of at least six and should be in groups to avoid dominant behavior.

These guys are probably the best tank cleaners you can get. They eat all kinds of algae, even some that other bottom-feeders won’t touch like Black Beard Algae.

Here’s a little more about Amano shrimp:

Amano Shrimp Quick Reference

  • Scientific Name: Caridina multidentata
  • Alternate Name(s): Japanese shrimp, Yamato shrimp, and algae shrimp
  • Family: Atyidae
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
  • Where to buy: Amazon, PetCo, flipaquatics.com, AquaticArts

Physical Description

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

They are also almost see-through but come with reddish-brown dashes, dots, and lines and will sometimes have a green or brown, or orange hue to their body. 

They are very small and cute with beady eyes, long antennae, long legs, as well as a see-through tail. They pretty much resemble any shrimp’s shape, just in a mini version and with some cool translucent features.

Lifespan

These shrimp will live for about two to three years, which is an important consideration to make if you are thinking about keeping them as pets.

Diet

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

They will pretty much eat anything small enough to fit in their mouths, but they do prefer soft algae overall. 

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.

It is important to note that Amano shrimp will eat dead fish. While they are peaceful shrimp and won’t cause harm to your other fish, 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.

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.

If you are going to feed them, they enjoy boiled green vegetables like blanched spinach or zucchini. You can feed them these 2 or 3 times a week. Spinach is a great way to supplement calcium.

Enclosure Requirement

Amano Shrimp are native to the freshwater rivers of Asia. 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.

To mimic their natural habitat, you want to provide them with freshwater and temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are hardy fish so a water hardness of 6.0 to 8.0 DKH and a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0 should be suitable for them.

They do require soft currents or water movements that will mimic the waves in the rivers they come from. This can be done with a hang on back filter. 

When it comes to tank size, a good rule of thumb is to provide at least 2 gallons per shrimp. They prefer to live in troupes of at least six, so be sure to do the math depending on how many you are going to be keeping.

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.

When it comes to maintenance, Amano Shrimp will do a lot of the cleaning but there should still be some maintenance in order to keep them healthy.

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

The same cleaning rules apply here as they do to Ghost shrimp. Always check their pH levels if there was a recent death in the tank and remove the body as soon as you can.

When it comes to what substrate to use, they don’t have any specific requirements and should be perfectly fine in a tank with gravel, sand, or a plant substrate. Although, you should consider that a planted substrate might mess with your tank’s pH balance, so stay aware of that.

Temperament

Amano shrimp are pretty peaceful tank mates, although they can get a little greedy during feeding time. 

You should try to be cautious of anything that is smaller than these tiny shrimp, as they might be interested. This can include any fry or larva, so definitely separate your Amano shrimp from the little ones.

Affordability

The cost for Amano shrimp is around $3.99 per shrimp, depending on where you buy them. They are usually sold in troupes.

Ghost Shrimp Overview

Freshwater ghost shrimp on black background
Freshwater ghost shrimp on black background

These almost completely transparent shrimp are friendly creatures that are easy for most other aquatic creatures to get along with. You will have to be more concerned about larger fish eating them instead!

Here’s a little bit about these tiny, see-through shrimp:

Ghost Shrimp Quick Reference

  • Scientific Name: Neotrypaea californiensis
  • Alternate Name(s): Glass Shrimp, Eastern Grass Shrimp
  • Family: Palaemonidae
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Book(s): https://www.amazon.com/GHOST-SHRIMP-CARE-GUIDE-BEGINNERS-ebook/dp/B08JKQFL53/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ghost+shrimp&qid=1611665652&s=books&sr=1-1
  • Where to buy: Liveaquaris, Aquabid, Amazon, eBay

Physical Description

Ghost Shrimp are tiny and transparent. Some may have tiny dark spots on them while others will be completely clear or have a light grey or almost white body.

You can see the yellow-green mass inside of them, which is the stomach, and everything they consume.

They will usually have tiny claws, one side usually larger than the other.

Since they are translucent and love to hide, they are very hard to find. This is why owners will usually pair them with a darker background or substrate.

Their shell is also translucent and flexible. You will see it shed, or molt, which is normal in healthy Ghost Shrimp.

Ghost shrimp resemble any normal shrimp’s shape, except they’re tiny and you can see through them.

Lifespan

It is important to know that these shrimp have a short lifespan of one year. Whether you want to keep them as a pet or want to breed them as a feeder, this is an important thing to consider.

Diet

In the wild, they feast on pieces of mostly algae and dead plant matter. They are omnivores and will eat anything small enough to get in their mouths, but prefer dead organic matter, such as small eggs, some larvae, and sometimes even tiny insects.

Ghost shrimp will eat almost anything at the bottom of the tank. They feed on eat algae, dead plants, algae wafers, baby shrimp food, brine shrimp, fish or shrimp pellets, frozen foods, insects, fruit and vegetables, mosquito larvae, small live foods, and their tank mate’s leftovers.

If you are going to put your shrimp in a single shrimp tank, you can just feed them 1 algae wafer daily.

Depending on how many shrimp you have in one tank, feeding every other day to every day is fine. Just pay attention to how fast they eat the food. If there are leftovers after 2 or 3 hours, remove the leftovers and feed them less next time.

You should be feeding them 1 algae wafer per 4 shrimp about 1 to 5 times a week. Keep an eye on how they eat and whether or not there are any leftovers at all, making sure to remove them if they are uneaten within 3 hours.

Enclosure Requirements

When it comes to creating their enclosure, you want to try your best to mimic their natural habitat. Ghost shrimp come from freshwater so they tend to enjoy a more tropical kind of aquarium.

They like a lot of hiding places so vegetation, logs, rocks, and the likes. It will also be a nice way to decorate your aquarium.

You will need a fine-grain substrate with consistent water conditions and temperatures of about 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH balance should be kept between 7.0 and 8.0.

When it comes to tank size, they need at least 2 gallons or 5 gallons if you are raising them in groups. They are very small and do not require that much space as long as they are happy, healthy, and have places to hide.

If you’re wondering about the upkeep of your shrimp tank, Ghost shrimp will do most of the cleaning themselves, but you will want to filter their tank once a month for 48 hours to keep them healthy. 

You should wipe their tank down with a sponge before you put their monthly filter in every two weeks and top up their water about 4 to 6 times a week. 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, which can poison your other shrimps.

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

Temperament

Ghost shrimp are peaceful and will not mess with your other fish. They aren’t confrontational or greedy and will hide if they feel threatened.

Affordability

Prices for Ghost shrimp come down to about $1 per shrimp. In this shrimp’s case, they can function completely fine on their own and do not need to be in a group to survive.

Ghost Shrimp Vs Amano Shrimp Comparison

Physical Comparison

Both Amano and Ghost shrimp grow up to around two inches and have translucent features. Amano shrimps will usually be the larger of the two, as Ghost shrimps will average to about an inch or so in size.

Amano shrimp may have a greener or browner hue to their skin whereas ghost shrimp will be white or grey with almost no markings on them. If Ghost shrimp do have markings on them, they will usually be grey dots whereas Amano shrimps will have brown dashes or lines of spots.

Lifespan

One of their larger differences is in their lifespan. Amano shrimp can live for up to three years, whereas Ghost shrimp will usually die in under one year. 

Diet

Amano and Ghost shrimp both like to eat algae and dead plant matter. 

If you are looking for a good tank-cleaning shrimp, you might care more about this section here. So who is the bigger algae eater?

Amano shrimp are the shrimp for you. 

Both these species of shrimp are great cleaners, but Amano shrimp will consume more and at a much faster rate when it comes to algae. They are also more likely to consume algae that other bottom-feeders would not be interested in, which is why they take the cake.

Enclosure Requirement

As mentioned earlier, Amano shrimp do not always live in freshwater and must be raised in water with higher salinity. When they are larvae, they live in brackish waters until they are mature enough to travel to freshwater.

Ghost shrimp cannot survive, develop, or thrive in brackish water.

Temperament

While they are both pretty peaceful beings and will not really cause issues with other tank mates, Amano shrimp will get a little greedy when it comes to food. Ghost shrimp will hide behind aquatic vegetation and are shy beings that probably won’t start anything with anyone else in the tank.

Affordability

Amano shrimp go for about $3.99 per shrimp and are usually sold in groups whereas Ghost shrimp are about $1 per shrimp. Ghost shrimp can thrive on their own in a tank just fine without companions but can get along with other shrimp.

Conclusion

These are some of the important characteristics and information aquarists need to know in order to choose between Amano and Ghost shrimp. You should get whichever one you feel is more attractive or suitable for your current setup.

We hope that this article helped you out in deciding which of these beautiful shrimp are going to join your aquarium. They are both easy to care for and don’t take up much space, so either one will make a great addition anyways.

Care Sheets

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