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Amano Shrimp Overview, Care and Breeding Guide

Amano shrimps are famous among aquarists due to the way they devour algae in the aquarium. The crustaceans are the best type of shrimp for algae control. Anyone that has a freshwater aquarium should consider adding Amano shrimp to their tank.

In this Amano shrimp care guide, you will learn about the diet, size, aquarium setup, breeding, and other helpful information about keeping the small crustacean in the tank.

Species Overview

Level of CareEasy
AppearanceTransparent color
Life Expectancy2-3 years
SizeMales: 1.5 inches; Females: 2 inches
Aquarium (Tank) Size20 gallons
Water Conditions4 °F- 82 °F (18 °C- 28 °C); pH: 6.5-7.5 pH
Aquarium (Tank) EnvironmentPlants and rocks
Aquarium (Tank) MatesPeaceful tank mates

Amano shrimps (Caridina Multidentata) are also known as Yamato shrimp, Caridina Japonica, Japonica Shrimp, and Japanese Algae shrimp.

They are native to Southeast Asia. The shrimp species are more significant than most other shrimp species as they can devour a large number of algae at a time.

Amano shrimp molt every month as they grow. They will molt regularly, even when fully grown. It is a natural defense mechanism for warding off parasites. You don’t need to take any action if you see molted shells inside the aquarium.

The name of the shrimp is derived from a Japanese aquarium hobbyist, Takashi Amano. He was the first to introduce this type of shrimp in the aquarium in the 1980s.

The shrimp became increasingly popular among aquarists due to the fantastic ability of the shrimp to consume a large number of algae in aquariums.


Amano shrimp are typically translucent. The color will change depending on what you feed to the shrimp. Shrimp that mostly eat algae will have a green tinge on their shells. In contrast, if the shrimp are fed on fish, flakes will have a reddish tinge on the shells.

They are one of the larger dwarf shrimp species available in the market for aquarists. The shrimp are recognizable due to their large size and transparent color. They also have dark-colored dots that run along the length of the shrimp.

Due to their transparent color, Amanos are deft in camouflaging. It makes Amanos challenging to detect inside the aquarium. The shrimps won’t be an easy target, even for large fish that dine on crustaceans.

Gender Difference

Male Amano has circular dots that are evenly spaced out. Females also have circular dots at the side, but they appear like broken lines.

Another main difference between males and females is that the female has a saddle under the belly where the embryonic eggs are formed. In contrast, males have flat and narrow guts.


Amano shrimp are a larger species of shrimps. They are about an inch larger than most other shrimp species. Females are bigger than male shrimps. Females can reach a maximum of 2 inches, while males can grow up to 1.5 inches.


Amano Shrimp’s lifespan is about two to three years. But most of the shrimp that you introduce to the aquarium will not make it. The stress involved in changing the water conditions can result in the shrimp dying.


Amano shrimp are highly active inside the aquarium. You can see them cleaning the tank. They relentlessly search for the shrimp in every crevice and crack. Most other shrimp will seem to be lazy as compared to the Amano shrimp.

A great thing about the Amano shrimp is that they have a peaceful temperament. They are content in picking algae and leftover food inside the aquarium, minding their own business. The only time will see them in a frenzy is when you add food to the tank. The shrimp will race to food and swarm over it.

About once a month, the shrimp will molt the exoskeleton. It will grow a new skeleton within a few weeks of shedding the old one. When the skeleton is fresh and soft, the shrimp will be vulnerable and prefer to hide inside the tank until the skeleton hardens.

The shrimp will eat the old exoskeleton. The old exoskeleton contains minerals that will help in the faster growth of the new armor. It would help if you had plenty of plants inside the aquarium so that the shrimp has an excellent place to hide.

It will also result in less stress for the shrimp, making them happy and healthy inside the aquarium.

Tank Mates

Amano shrimp are a great addition to an aquarium with peaceful fish. The shrimp will get along well with other shrimps of the same size and temperament.

The shrimp can also get along well with the most peaceful fish. However, they are vulnerable to carnivore fish. Compatible fish include tiger bards, betta fish, guppies, tetras, loaches, rasboras, and corydoras catfish.

Fish that will most likely eat the shrimp include angelfish, catfish, goldfish, large plecos, cichlids, discus fish, crayfish, and aggressive bards.

An important thing to note is that young Amanos can be eaten even by the compatible adult fish listed above when searching for mates for the shrimp, a good rule of thumb is that any fish of the same size, behavior, or diet can live with the shrimp.

Snails can also live well with shrimp. You can keep the shrimp with freshwater snails such as the Malaysian trumpet snails, Golden Inca snails, Assassin snails, Mystery snails, Ramshorn snails, Japanese trapdoor snails, and Ivory snails.

As Amanos are peaceful, they will not attack other fish or snails. The shrimp will be busy looking at rocks and hiding places for algae inside the aquarium.

Amano shrimp closeup

Ideal Aquarium Conditions

Amano shrimp thrive in cool water. The water temperature should be between 4 °F- 82 °F (18 °C- 28 °C). They prefer slightly alkaline water that has a pH value between 6.5 and 7.5. A twenty-gallon tank is required for the shrimp. Small space requires frequent cleaning, and there will be more aggression due to competition for space and food.

Aquarium Setup

Amano shrimp require an aquarium with well-circulated water. Use a high-quality air pump inside the aquarium to ensure proper circulation of water. Moreover, the shrimp also need standard lighting. The aquarium should have some algae growth that will be a food source for the shrimp.

Java Moss or Green Cabomba is an excellent choice for the aquarium. The shrimp will feel comfortable hiding among the plants. You should also add deco items that will serve as a hiding place for the fish, such as shrimp tubes, rocks, and submerged branches.

You should also add tiny pebbles and rocks inside the aquarium as they mimic the natural environment. Rocks, driftwood, and hollow decorations also make a fantastic addition to creating a perfect setting for the shrimp.

However, make sure that the aquarium does not have any items made of copper. The element is fatal for invertebrates inside the tank. You should double-check and remove any deco item that is made of copper.

It would help if you considered adding a few moss balls inside the aquarium. The moss balls attract food and algae that will allow easy pickings for your shrimp.

Feeding Tips

Amano shrimp are omnivores that will eat just about anything. You should give them fiber and a protein-based diet for the best results. The shrimp can live on the algae growing inside the aquarium.

However, it would help if you gave them a combination of meat and plant-based food items for the best results. They also eat leftovers of fish food.

A good thing about these shrimp is that they don’t eat live plants. So, you don’t need to worry if lots of plants are in the aquarium. Instead, the shrimp eat decaying and dead plants inside the aquarium.

It makes that perfect for freshwater aquariums as they act as a natural cleaning crew. The shrimp will even clean up the dead carcass of a fish.

Remember that Amanos will not eat black beard algae. You can buy wafers and pellets from the local or online aquarium store. Brine shrimp and frozen bloodworms will be ideal for the shrimp.

They also eat vegetables such as spinach, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. But you should be vigilant and remove uneaten vegetables as they will pollute the water.

Breeding Guidelines

Amano shrimp egg and larvae
Amano Shrimp Egg and Larvae

Amano shrimp breeding is difficult. Only the most experienced aquarists can breed the shrimp. The problem is that Amano larvae require saltwater while adult and young shrimp require freshwater.

You need at least ten shrimps (5 males and five females) in the tank for breeding. You should feed them properly and ensure that the water temperature is kept at about 80 °F (26 °C). The shrimp will start mating at the right temperature.

Upon close observation, you will see that the female’s belly will expand due to the release of eggs.

The dorsal fins of the pregnant Amano shrimp will also become swollen and will release pheromones into the water that will attract the male to mate. The male will fertilize the Amano shrimp eggs, after which the female will remove them.

Amano shrimp pregnant female shrimp will release about 3000 eggs in the water. You have to remove the adult Amanos quickly after breeding. You should then carefully increase the salinity of the water. The water salinity should be at full strength at 1.024 for the larvae to survive inside the tank.

The tank for breeding the larvae should have a sponge filter or airstone, heater, and light source. Add about 30 grams of salt for every liter of water to offset the loss of salinity due to evaporation.

You should continuously monitor the salinity inside the aquarium using the appropriate device. Also, you should add phytoplankton fertilizer inside the tank that will facilitate algal growth inside the tank for the larvae to feed.

Adding phytoplankton can result in the death of larvae due to cloudy water. A sponge filter or airstone will help keep the water clean.

If all the conditions are right, larvae will start to grow, and you can see positive results in about two weeks. You can see the larvae acquire red coloration and develop a complete set of limbs that allows them to swim underwater.

Transfer the shrimp to a freshwater aquarium after about 40 to 45 days of hatching. Should not do the transition from brackish to freshwater should not be done in haste. It would help if you replaced t about half of the saltwater with freshwater water for one day.

Doing this will allow the juvenile Amanos to become accustomed to the new water conditions. You can then transfer the shrimp to a tank containing freshwater.

Related Questions

How many Amano shrimps per gallon (liter) are in an aquarium?

A common question in the mind of most aquarists is how many Amano shrimps per liter or gallon are in an aquarium. You should keep no more than 12 shrimps in a 20-gallon (76 liters) aquarium. After that, you should keep one shrimp for every two gallons of water.

Avoid overcrowding the aquarium with lots of shrimp and fish. Overcrowding will lead to a dirty aquarium that will be fatal for the shrimp and fish alike.

Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp: Are Amano shrimps and ghost shrimps the same?

Amano and ghost shrimp both look alike due to their transparent body and similar sizes. But there are different types of shrimp. Ghost shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) are freshwater shrimp native to the southern USA, while Amanos are native to Taiwan, Korea, and Japan.

Amano and Ghost shrimps have slightly different body markings. Amanos have a series of dots that is absent in Ghost shrimps.

Moreover, the shrimp have other requirements for larvae growth. The larvae of Amano require saltwater, while ghost shrimp larvae require freshwater.

Apart from the appearance, Amano and Ghost shrimps are alike in many respects. They have similar size and feeding requirements.

Moreover, the shrimps share the same temperament and behavior. Can see the two playing hide-and-seek inside the aquarium.

How often do Amano shrimps molt?

Amano shrimp molt or lose their exoskeleton every month. They molt to avoid parasitic infections that could kill them. When they lose their existing armor plate, the shrimp will feel vulnerable and hide in the rocks or crevices. They will reemerge from the hiding place when the new exoskeleton hardens.

Can you keep Amano shrimps with cherry shrimps?

Cherry shrimp are dwarf shrimp similar to Amanos that are native to Taiwan. Both the fish have a mild temperature. You can keep Amano with Cherry shrimp without any difficulty.

However, Amanos are rather aggressive in gathering food. So, you need to put enough food that will prevent Cherry shrimp from starving inside the tank.

Where to buy Amano shrimps?

You can find Amano shrimp available for sale in a local pet store. It would help if you introduced fresh shrimp the same way you add fish in the aquarium.

The shrimp are, in fact, more sensitive to a new environment. They can die out of stress if the environment is not suitable for them.

It would help if you also dimmed the lights when introducing shrimps to the aquarium. Moreover, check the tank’s pH and chemical levels to ensure that it is suitable for the shrimp. Transfer the shrimp slowly inside the aquarium to avoid stress.

Let the bag containing the shrimp float for some minutes inside the aquarium. It will allow the shrimp to better adjust to the new tank water conditions.

You should open the bag and add a cup of aquarium water inside. Let the shrimp swim for a few minutes so that it acclimatizes to the changed water condition.

When adding the fish, you should gently tip the bag and let the shrimp swim out. The shrimp may scuttle and hide for some days after being introduced inside the tank. But you should not be surprised.

They will most probably come out of the hiding place after a few days and actively roam around inside the aquarium.

Lights should be kept dim for a few days after introducing the shrimp inside the aquarium. Since most shrimp are difficult to breed, they are bought from the wild. It makes it increasingly likely that the shrimp contains a disease.

If you see any shrimp that seems to be listless, pale, or inactive, you should immediately quarantine the fish. It would help if you did not keep diseased shrimp with the rest of the shrimp or fish as it can cause others to become ill.


Amano shrimp are peaceful and hardy crustaceans. They are an excellent option for keeping algal growth in check inside the freshwater aquarium. Additionally, the shrimps are a treat to watch. The tiny crustaceans are active and always up to something.

A great thing about Amano shrimp is that they are easy to care for. Beginners can add them inside the freshwater aquarium with other peaceful fish. The shrimp will keep the aquarium clean by eating large quantities of algae inside the tank.