Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) is a popular aquarium shrimp that does great benefit to aquarists by eating various types of algae. The only exception is the “black beard algae” but active shrimps prevent their appearance as well.
The name of this shrimp has been immortalized by the name of the famous Japanese designer and aquascaper Takashi Amano, who actively used this crustacean to fight algae in his masterpiece aquariums.
A group of such shrimps can clean a large aquarium of unwanted lower plants in a matter of days. In our article, we will consider the comfortable keeping of this “algae-eating shrimp”
Table of Contents
Shrimps are easy to care for, peaceful, and large enough to fit even in a large aquarium. The disadvantages of this species are difficulties with breeding, the need to keep in large flocks, and the ability to take food from fish.
Amano shrimps have a typical shrimp body shape. Body-color does not differ in brightness and mostly depends on the diet of the shrimp.
If the basis of food is plant food, then the color will be light green, otherwise, the shrimp will be transparent or slightly reddish. A golden strip runs along the upper part of adults.
Small spots or streaks are scattered over the body. They are an important trait to determine gender. If the drawing consists of dots, then we have a male, if from strokes – a female.
Females are almost twice as large as males and reach a size of 7 cm.
Life expectancy of Amano Shrimp in suitable conditions is 2-3 years.
The natural range of Amano Shrimp includes the central regions of Japan. Crustaceans prefer cool mountain rivers with strong currents.
Amano Shrimp live in large flocks, some of which can number several hundred individuals. These shrimps can be found in Korea as well as Taiwan.
Care and Maintenance
Keeping Amano shrimp in home aquariums is easy. These peaceful and unpretentious “crustaceans” will be a good choice for novice aquarists.
Excessive fearfulness is not typical for Amano shrimps, they like to actively swim and study the ground, scenery, and everything that surrounds them for food.
The volume of the Amano shrimp tank is selected depending on their number. It is recommended that there be at least 5 liters of water per shrimp.
The aquarium should have a lid and all large technological openings closed to avoid accidents. It is worth noting that Amano shrimps are great at climbing hoses and pipes.
It is best to keep shrimp in groups of 10 or more. Any soil suitable for growing living plants can be used: sand, small pebbles, etc. Make sure to provide Amano shrimp with plenty of small-leaved plants, driftwood, and plastic tubing.
Amano shrimps are sensitive to nitrogenous compounds in water. Therefore, high-quality filtration and aeration is the first thing to take care of.
As in their natural habitats, they like to swim against the current created by the filter.
Amano shrimps are quite unpretentious. They are not so shy, they get along well with all small peaceful fish. They instantly hide from especially active inhabitants.
The crustaceans themselves are completely safe for other inhabitants; they do not touch either eggs or fish fry.
Optimal water parameters for Amano Shrimp: T = 23-27, pH = 7.0-7.5, GH = 2-20.
Up to 20% of the aquarium volume should be changed weekly. Like other aquarium crustaceans, Amano shrimp do not tolerate high copper content.
Amano Shrimp Tank Mates
Amano shrimps are completely peaceful creatures that are great for keeping in communal aquariums with peaceful fish species. As tank mates, you can keep Amano shrimps with Betta Fish, Gourami Fish, Barbs, Celestial Pearl Danio, Ember Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora, etc.
Since shrimps are not very large, keeping them with large fish or predators is strongly discouraged so that “crustaceans” do not become their prey. Even relatively calm Angelfish will not mind eating young shrimps.
When kept with peaceful fish, you can sometimes observe how funny Amano shrimp take food from each other and the fish.
Feeding Amano Shrimp
Like many relatives, the Amano shrimp is an omnivorous aquatic inhabitant. The basis of their diet is algae, detritus, and fish food residues. Most crustaceans prefer soft algae and filamentous.
If there are little algae and organic debris in the aquarium, then the shrimp require mandatory feeding with specialized shrimp feed.
The Tetra Crusta range is a good choice. These complete feeds contain selected proteins, as well as enriched with plant components and vitamins.
You can choose the shape of sinking sticks or granules, the special structure of which does not pollute the water. You can also use the universal feed in the form of thin sinking plates – Tetra WaferMix.
It contains the algae spirulina to increase the body’s resistance to disease.
It is not recommended to feed Amano shrimp with live or frozen food: they are not balanced and can become a source of infection in the aquarium.
Breeding Amano Shrimp
Breeding Amano shrimp at home is not difficult, but it has its own nuances. The fact is that shrimp larvae develop not in fresh but in saltwater. Therefore, if you have set yourself the task of obtaining offspring, then prepare a separate spawning aquarium in advance.
Breeding in a common aquarium is unlikely to be successful: you cannot increase the salinity of the water, since many fish cannot stand this, and the young can be eaten by tank mates in the aquarium.
When female Amano shrimp are ready for spawning, transparent egg sacs can be found under their tails, in which future eggs will be stored.
Mature females release pheromones into the water, special chemicals that attract males. Under their influence, males begin to climb onto females and fertilize eggs. Several males are often involved in the fertilization of one female.
After two days, dark green caviar will sink into the egg sacs. The fecundity of a female can be up to 1000 eggs. Bearing lasts 4-5 weeks.
At this time, the females’ behavior changes: they try to hide in the thickets of plants. Females are very shy and careful. And this is the best time to place the female in a separate aquarium.
Amano Shrimp Fry
It is best to place females at night. Shrimp have positive phototaxis, meaning they react to light and move towards it.
For catching, a flashlight beam is directed to the aquarium, the shrimp is driven into a corner and caught with a fine-pored net.
Important! When replanting a female, the spawning aquarium should have fresh water. Otherwise, the eggs may die. A spawning aquarium must meet certain requirements:
- Lack of direct sunlight. To do this, it is best to cover the walls of the container with a black film, which will help to avoid stress in the larvae.
- It is necessary to place a shelter in the aquarium in which the pregnant female will hide. Ceramic grottoes, plastic pipes, or a piece of earthen pot work well.
- Next to the aquarium, you need to put a dim lamp that will work around the clock.
- A small spray compressor is used to oxygenate the water. The flow should not be very strong, this can lead to the fact that the larva will be carried away by it to the surface, where it will die, adhering to the bacterial film.
Under suitable conditions, caviar develops for about a month. At the same time, the eggs change their color from dark green to lighter.
Before the birth of the embryo, eyes can be seen in the eggs. After the larvae hatch, the female is placed back into the general aquarium.
From this point on, the water in the spawning aquarium must be salted. To do this, you don’t need table salt, but a special one designed for marine aquariums. It can be purchased at pet stores.
The recommended water salinity is 35 g / l. To measure salinity, a special device is used – a hydrometer. It is better to keep the temperature for larvae at the level of 20-22 ° С.
The larvae grow rapidly, after about 2-3 weeks they begin to transform into adult shrimps. During this period, the salinity gradually decreases by 2 times, to 17 g / l.
Once a week, you need to change 30% of the water to fresh.
Two months after hatching, the young shrimp are ready to be transplanted into a freshwater aquarium.
For everything to go smoothly, an hour before the proposed operation, it is necessary to replace 50% of the saltwater in the spawning box with fresh water.
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