Amano Shrimp – Habitat, Care, Feeding, Tank Size, Breeding
Amano Shrimp are part of the popular freshwater tank shrimp. They are available in various stores today. These shrimp are also known as Caridina japonica, Caridina multidentata, Swamp Shrimp, Algae Eating Shrimp, Japonica Amano Shrimp, Yamato Shrimp, Yamato Numa Ebi, Japanese Swamp Shrimp, and Japanese March Shrimp.
They are described as the spirited inhabitants of the aquarium. These shrimp are excellent swimmers and you will always see them looking out for anything edible.
Native to Asia (specifically China, Japan, and Taiwan), Amano Shrimp live in large groups. Their ideal habitat in the wild is freshwater streams and rivers.
Interestingly though, these shrimp don’t necessarily live in freshwater at their tender age. Only the mature ones live in freshwater but the young ones start their life in salty or brackish water.
Their larvae need brackish water to hatch and once they are older they move to freshwater habitats in the wild.
Their lifespan ranges from two to three years depending on the environment where they are being raised. A few of them may die immediately when they are added to the aquarium. Such tragic deaths occur due to stress from transport and changes in water parameters.
In the absence of predators, the right food, and excellent water conditions, these algae-eating shrimp can lead a long healthy life. Learn more about Amano Shrimp in the following sections.
Amano Shrimp Appearance
An adult Amano Shrimp can measure more than 2 inches in length. In the pet store, their average size can be an inch or less.
That’s why you are advised to buy smaller shrimp if you are stocking your tank for the first time. This is because they grow quickly and mature early when you keep them in an established aquatic environment.
When it comes to appearance, these little aquatic animals can be confusing to someone not familiar with them. But they are all characterized by a translucent light grey body.
Some are also translucent with several shades of light reddish-brown, light brown, and green. Their color characteristics may also include some solid dots or dashes across the body.
The dashes and dots can be reddish-brown or graying blue in color. Some of them have narrow lighter stripes running along their body length.
Other features include two large eyes, long nimble legs, relatively long antennae, and wide translucent tails. Their physical attributes may vary greatly depending on their diet.
You can easily tell the difference between male and female Amano Shrimp. Females are usually bigger than males. Their bodies are relatively longer than that for the males. Both have dots all over their exoskeleton.
But dots on female Amano Shrimp are in the form of long dashes. For males, these dots are evenly spaced.
Finally, females have a saddle or egg nest located underneath their stomachs where they keep their eggs.
You should also be aware of imposters and lookalikes when identifying Amano Shrimp. Some traders take advantage of unsuspecting aquarists to sell them imposters or lookalike shrimp.
While most of these imposters look almost identical to the real Amano Shrimp, you can easily tell them apart by observing their algae-eating ability. Lookalike shrimp are generally lazy when it comes to cleaning algae in the tank.
The real Amano Shrimp are larger and relentless compared to the imposters. They will breed in brackish water before moving to freshwater, unlike the lookalike which breeds in freshwater aquariums.
Amano Shrimp Tank Requirements
You need a 10-gallon tank to host your Amano Shrimp. This tank size is just right for keeping at least five adult shrimp at once.
A rule of thumb states that one Amano Shrimp should have 2 gallons of water in the tank. This translates to five shrimp in a 10-gallon aquarium.
The space inside this type of aquarium will enable your shrimp to move around freely and peacefully. Furthermore, they will love exploring every region of the tank including the little hiding places.
Plants and Decor
Since Amano Shrimp like swimming in all regions of the tank, you should consider providing them with the most appropriate aquatic plants and decor.
Generally, their tank should contain plants and decor such as Java Moss, Java Fern, Malaysian Driftwood, and Indian Almond leaves among others.
Most of these plants are found in Amano Shrimp’s natural habitat. Placing them in the aquarium will help mimic a habitat they are used to in the wild.
If you are considering adding more hiding places for your shrimp, then you should place a few Shrimp tubes at the tank bottom.
Wooden branches will also make the tank setup look more natural for your shrimp in addition to providing the best hiding places.
Just like other aquarium animals, Amano Shrimp need a tank with the right substrate. You can use pebbles and small rocks to make the tank look like those river beds in their natural habitat.
Also, substrate like the pool filter sand and Fluval shrimp stratum can be a great addition to their tank.
Make sure that the substrate you choose for your Amano Shrimp tank is dark enough to create contrast with the shrimp. A darker substrate will enable you to easily spot these little crustaceans while in their tank.
Amano Shrimp Water Conditions
Amano Shrimp live in freshwater streams and rivers as stated earlier. This means that their tank water should also be fresh throughout. The water temperature, pH, and hardness need to be the same as those found in their natural habitat.
The shrimp prefer water that’s a little bit hard in terms of minerals and other elements. The water should be well-circulated on top of having a current that’s moderately moving.
Water temperature in their tank should range from 72 °F to 78 °F. The aquarium pH levels should fall between 7.2 to 7.5.
Ensure that there is adequate lighting for your shrimp and aquatic plants to grow healthy. In this case, you might need the standard community tank lighting to provide your Amano Shrimp with enough light.
Oftentimes check for ammonia spikes and nitrate levels as a way of keeping your aquatic animals out of the harm’s way. Most importantly, get rid of dangerous elements such as copper.
Amano Shrimp Diet and Feeding
Feeding Amano Shrimp is relatively easy regardless of your experience in aquaculture. These shrimp have a reputation for eating algae, especially in a tank environment.
Most hobbyists perceive them as industrious aquarium cleaners because they enjoy feasting on some forms of algae.
Since you cannot let them live on algae alone, you can also give them foods that occur naturally in a planted aquarium. Some of these foods comprise live aquarium plants known for continuously shedding edible matter.
Your Amano Shrimp will eat any dead plant matter within their living space. At least, they will help get rid of unwanted materials that would otherwise accumulate in their tank.
Besides natural food sources, you may as well give them other foods. Shrimp pellets, fish food flakes, fish pellets, raw green zucchini, blanched spinach, and algae wafers can become a great source of their nutrients.
You can place algae wafers, fish flakes, or shrimp pellets directly into the tank or ground them into tiny pieces before feeding them to your Amano Shrimp. When you add them whole, the shrimp will quickly grab them and eat.
But if pellets are ground into small pieces and added to the tank, they may create what seems like a cloud of food. Such a scene can send any shrimp or aquatic animal into a feeding frenzy.
Whichever method you choose to feed your shrimp, make sure to follow the standard aquarium feeding regulations. Never overfeed your shrimp. Just give them what they can finish in a short time.
Amano Shrimp Tank Mates
You should pick tank mates for your Amano Shrimp carefully. Their tank mates shouldn’t include highly temperamental fish like cichlids, Goldfish, and other roughens.
Also, avoid letting them share a tank with the aquarium crayfish, Hammers Cobalt Blue Lobster, and Tangerine Lobsters. All these creatures can attack or eat them.
The ideal tank mates, however, include their kind, small to medium-sized non-aggressive tank inhabitants like the Otocinclus Catfish, Cory Catfish, and Freshwater snails.
Other suitable tank mates are freshwater shrimp-like the Vampire Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, and Red Cherry Shrimp.
Amano Shrimp are generally non-aggressive and friendly aquarium animals. They spend most of their time going about their daily activities of searching for edibles in the tank. They prefer feeding in groups of their own kind or alone.
Amano Shrimp Breeding
It seems like handling Amano Shrimp is easy starting from feeding to taking care of them all the way to sexing them. But breeding them is somehow tricky.
These shrimp are incredibly difficult to make them mate. This is because of the brackish water problem.
When conditions are favorable, the male shrimp will fertilize the eggs while the female will take them along with her for six weeks. After this period, the female will release her larvae into the brackish water.
Amano Shrimp larvae need saltwater at the early stages of their growth. Upon maturity, they will relocate to freshwater.
Amano Shrimp are freshwater crustaceans endemic to the Asian region. Their young ones live in brackish water before moving to freshwater as they grow.
The shrimp is easy to care and can survive best in a planted tank with appropriate water parameters.