Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp are freshwater organisms and are commonly kept as a pet in the aquarium. They are unique from other species because of their debris cleaning behavior. These shrimps are also known as algae eater because they primarily feed on algae. They range in color from grey to reddish-green.

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimps are among the famous aquarium shrimps. It is the largest shrimp that always take the first bite of the food. They spend most of their time actively cleaning the tank and surrounding.

Common names

These shrimps are freshwater organisms available in the market under various names like

  •  Swamp shrimp
  •  Algae eating shrimp
  • Japonica shrimp
  •  Yamato shrimp
  • Japanese marsh shrimp

Cardinia Multidentate is its biological name and belongs to the family Atyidae. It is native to Asia and abundantly present in rivers and seas of Taiwan and Japan. Takashi Amano was the first person to discover them due to their nature of keeping tank debris free.

After observing its behavior, Takashi conducted many experiments to prove its unique feature.

Amano shrimp profile

Name Amano shrimp
Lifespan 2 to 3 years
Scientific name Caridinamultidentata
Temperament Peaceful
Size 2 inches
Optimal temperature 70 to 80 Fahrenheit
Optimal PH 7 to 7.4
Diet Omnivore
Tank size 15 gallon for 5 to 10 shrimps

The appearance of Amano Shrimps

These shrimps are relatively large than others have a length of 2 inches. Female shrimps are large than males. They have a translucent body with light grey color.

The body color may vary from reddish-brown to green. Some of them can also have dots or patches of different colors on the skin. The color of dots and patches depends upon their diet.

You can also observe some light color stripes along with their bodies. They have two big eyes, a translucent tail, long legs, and antennae.

Below eyes, there are another pair of antennae that grow forward from the front of their head. The tail consists of a thin shell hair-like filaments are present at the edges.

These are invertebrates and lack an internal skeleton. The body has two main sections cephalothorax and abdomen. The first half of the body is cephalothorax means head and chest.

A solid piece of the shell protects all the vital organs and systems present in this region, such as the heart, stomach, brain, and reproductive system.


Amano shrimps can live in freshwater but, they can also inhabit the wild environment. Sellers take wild Amano shrimps and sell them to the aquarist.

They live in freshwater but, during breeding, swims towards the sea. Because the larvae require salty water to survive few early stages of life.

Adult shrimps can migrate towards the freshwater river after completing these stages. They prefer water with an abundance of plants, algae, and hiding places.


They are peaceful and friendly creatures both in the freshwater river and tanks. They are not aggressive but do not shy to snatch food from tank mates.

You can see them swimming in the daytime but spend nights at their hiding places. They are also busy foraging the leftover food and plants in the aquarium.

Diet of Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimps are omnivores that can eat both plants and meat. They can eat anything available at the bottom of the aquarium. You can serve them algae wafers, pellets, dried meats, and vegetables. 

Amano shrimp can feed on algae and can clean up all the tanks within few days. They can eat most types of algae like string algae, brush algae, and black beard algae.

They eat up all green mold when they are hungry. So refrain from all other types of food to clean up the tank.

They will ultimately go for algae to satisfy their hunger. It is not true they also need supplementation besides leftover plants. You should also add different varieties of food to the tank.

  • Cucumber
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Bloodworms
  • Brine shrimps
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Spirulina powder
  • Liquizell

Large shrimps deprive all the small shrimps of all the plants and food in the tank. You should monitor all the tankmates to feed them.

Add a sufficient quantity of frozen food besides algae and debris in the aquarium. The amount of supplemented food depends upon the number and size of shrimps.

A smaller number will require less supplementation than a tank with large shrimps. To clean up the aquarium, do not rely only on Amano shrimp.

You should also clean up all the leftover food every 3 to 4 hours. Leaving it for a long time can have a detrimental effect on their health.

Amano Shrimp Breeding

Amano shrimp are difficult to breed a lot of patience is required to do it. It is because they need both freshwater and salty water to complete the life cycle.

The shrimp’s larvae will not metamorphose in freshwater only adults will live in the sea till larvae convert into shrimplets. To start breeding, you should have at least 5 pairs of male and female shrimps.

Before mating, female shrimps start molting and release hormones to attract the male. The scented pheromones will attract males to mate.

After this fertilization occurs, the egg moves down under the tail. The females can carry hundreds or thousands of eggs depending upon their size. The incubation period lasts for 4 to 5 weeks then females release eggs in water.

Here the difficult part starts because you have to prepare another tank with saline water. It is necessary for the larvae development and moves the eggs from the freshwater tank to the salty tank after hatching. You can prepare a tank with 10 liters of water. Then add about 30 to 35 PPT sea salt in it.

You can prepare another bowl for females use the freshwater of the old tank to avoid stress. Add 5-liter water in it and move the female in it when it is about to hatch. After hatching, move it to the old tank. Leave the baby shrimps in salty water for 4 to 5 weeks.

Differentiate between male and female

You can identify male and female Amano shrimp by observing three things.

First, the female is larger than the females. It has a length of 2 inches while males are only 1.5 inches long.

You can also observe the dots on the body of males and females. The females have colorful long dashes on the exoskeleton the males have evenly spaced dots.

Females have a saddle beneath the abdomen in which it carries eggs.

The abdomen of the female is round male’s abdomen is thin and curves in an inward direction.

Tank requirements

You can keep them in your house in the aquarium. You have to fulfill all the tank requirements before bringing them.

Tank size

Amano shrimps require more space than other shrimps. A 1o gallon tank is not enough for a group of Amano. They need space to swim freely and graze on the plants. Besides that, they need a lot of hiding places in the aquarium.

A large female Amano requires 2 to 3 gallons of space in the water. Use a tank of 15 gallons to keep 5 shrimps and, a 20-gallon aquarium can accommodate 7 to 8 shrimps.

The high volume of water can also dilute the nitrogenous wastes and other chemicals that can harm them.

Tank substrate

A good quality substrate is essential for making the shrimps more comfortable. You can use small pebbles or rocks as a substrate for them. It will give them the feeling of natural habitat like river beds.

Pool filter and Fluval shrimp stratum are also a good option. They can create more opportunities to hide in the tank. Try to choose substrate of darker color to spot them in water. Clean and replace the substrate monthly to avoid any health risks.


You can also décor the inside of the aquarium with plants. It will give them a variety to graze on. Adding sand to a substrate also provides hiding places.

These shrimps are vulnerable when molting. That,s why they hide in that period. You can also add shrimps tubes to increase hiding places. PVC pipes and coconut fibers are also suitable for decorations.

Water requirements

They are tolerant and can withstand a range of water conditions. Here is a brief description of all the parameters.

High nitrites and copper content can cause the death of this small creature. Carefully monitor all the parameters before adding shrimps in water.

Water Parameters

Parameters Value
Temperature 70 to 80
PH 7.3
GH 100 to 133ppm
Nitrate 0
Ammonia 0
Water hardness 8.0

Lighting and heat

Lighting in the aquarium is essential not only for Amano shrimp but for plants also. All plants and algae require light to grow.

You should hang a full spectrum light to illuminate the tank. Turn it on all the time to speed up the growth of algae.

The heater is a piece of optional equipment for them. You can keep them in cool water because they naturally inhabit cool water but, water temperature should not fall below 65. During winter, you can run the heater at low speed to provide heat in the aquarium.

Is a filter necessary for Amano shrimps?

Yes, filtration is essential for Amano shrimps. The filters not only filter all the debris but also maintain the nitrogen cycle in the tank.

Ammonia is a compound of biological waste. It is very dangerous for the survival of them Amano shrimps start to die if ammonia concentration rises to 1ppm.

Filters contain many beneficial bacteria that convert such harmful components into harmless chemicals.

Use sponge filters in the shrimp’s tank because it provides both chemical and biological filtration. Other power filters are dangerous because shrimps get sucked in them through the intake opening.


They are delicate, calm, and do not have any means of defending themselves. When you are keeping Amano shrimp together, keep in groups. Keep an even ratio of both males and females.

You should take caution while adding any mates in the tank. Try to add small to medium-sized mates with the same nature. Following is a list of good tank mates for them.

  • Pearl gourami fish
  • Blur rams
  • Lemon tetras
  • Black neon
  • Cory
  • Rabbit snails
  • Red cherry shrimps
  • Ghost shrimps
  • Malaysian trumpet snails

Bad tank mates

Avoid keeping large and aggressive fish in the aquarium with Amano shrimps. There are more chances of competition for food bigger fish even can eat them.

Here is a list of all the tank mates to avoid:

  • Cichlids
  • Angelfish
  • Discus
  • Knife fish
  • Goldfish
  • Clown loaches
  • Polka dots Botas


Amano shrimps have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. They can die at an early age when you add them to the aquarium. It is due to the stress change in habitat and water parameters. If they survive for few weeks, they can live a long life.

Imposters and lookalikes

Many species of Cardinia exactly look like Amano shrimp. It is complex to distinguish between them in the tank. You can not visually distinguish between them because they are so identical. But certain features made them different from the rest of the species.

First, Amano is active while other species are lazy. Amano shrimps are large than other Cardinia species and are good at cleaning algae.

You can also distinguish them by their breeding conditions. All other species complete their lifecycle in the same habitat.


Amano shrimp is a little bit costly than other types of shrimps. The price of each depends upon the size, color, and tank conditions. A pack of 5 shrimps costs approximately $25. It contains 5 shrimps ranging from 1.6 to 2 inches in length.

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