View Full Version : The Real Algae Eaters: Freshwater Shrimp (Amano Shrimp)

04-13-2008, 02:20 PM
Over the next coming days I will post one a day about freshwater algae eating shrimp and kinda do a series. They will be seperate articles for seperate shrimp. They will include Amano Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, Malaysian Rainbows, Brazilian Yellow-Bellow Grass Shrimp, Rudolph Red-Nosed Shrimp, Dwarf Blackberry Shrimp, Dwarf Emerald Green Deora, Orange Halos, and Black Forest Shrimp. If anyone would like to see anymore just post it up and I will get to it when I am through the initial list of shrimp I have now..Enjoy guys..

The Real Algae Eaters:

A Series on Freshwater Algae Eating Shrimp

Amano Algae Eating Shrimp

Probably the most common algae eating shrimp other than the common Red Cherry Shrimp, is the Amano Algae Eating Shrimp. The Amano Algae Eating Shrimp got its name from the man that introduced it to the hobby years and years ago. The man is Takashi Amano, world-renown aquascaper and aquarist. Once introduced into the hobby by Amano these little shrimp became a sought after species because of their relatively small size and high algae eating capacity. These shrimp are also very docile and do little to no harm to aquatic plants, making them a great addition to a planted aquarium. The scientific name that is assigned to this species of shrimp is caridina japonica. Their common names include Amano Algae Eating Shrimp, Yamato Shrimp (named after the region in Japan they are found in), Yamato numa-ebi, and Japanese Marsh Shrimp. The shrimp normally stay at a length of 2 inches or less and have a relatively long life span for freshwater shrimp if kept properly.

This shrimp can be identified by its mostly brown or opaque looking color. Down the back of the shrimp there are small tan spots that form a stripe pattern that run from head to tail. Down the shrimpís side are usually a series of broken red dots that span the side of the body. It is also common for Amano Algae Eating Shrimp to have a few black or white dots throughout their body coloration pattern. These colors allow them to blend in fairly easily with their natural habitat of marshes and swamps in their native Japan.

In the aquarium the Amano Algae Eating Shrimp is very tolerant to tank levels and the overall ph of the tank is not overly important. Like most other things we keep in our aquariums the shrimp will adapt to a ph change. The ph does need to be stable though. However they are very susceptible to ammonia changes and even the smallest levels of ammonia can harm the shrimp. These shrimp should only be kept in very stable planted tanks that have no ammonia change at all. Due to their size they should not be kept with larger fish like cichlids. They will be viewed as a meal and be eaten at first chance. These shrimp are temperamental to temperature also. Since they are from colder water swamps in the Yamato region they are best kept under 80 degrees with the target range of 68-76 degrees. The shrimp prefer a slightly brackish setup but will adapt to freshwater. As far as other water perimeters they donít need to be strict but ideal ph is ranging at 6.7 to 7.7 and slightly hard water is preferred. However again they will adapt to almost all water conditions provided the correct water temperature and no ammonia levels.

In conclusion the Amano Algae Eating Shrimp is probably the best small algae eating shrimp that you can keep in your tank. It will eat almost any algae including brown, and hair algae. It has been known not to tolerate black beard algae but when hungry may eat any type of algae in the tank.

04-13-2008, 02:44 PM
Very enlightening. Great post Jamie!

04-13-2008, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the very informative article J

04-13-2008, 03:46 PM
Great article :19: Can I add that they breed in freshwater but the eggs only come out in brackish water... as soon as they babies are born they can be placed into freshwater again after 2-3 days.

04-13-2008, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the addition Jess... Guys feel free to add on anything else...

04-13-2008, 06:34 PM
nice write up, jbeining
my amano shrimp are slightly blue in color, and i am pretty sure they can be dark blue as well.
also i would mention not to ever let them eat fish food or their algae eating days are over.
oh and they love to colonize driftwood.
check this web page out, i think this is more selective breeding. but you may find it interesting none the less.

04-13-2008, 06:37 PM
Thanks for the article Jbeing.

04-13-2008, 06:51 PM
I like it, and it's very informative. Since I will be going pressurized within the next couple months, and not dosing excel, I am going to need these articles close by for my shrimp decision making! Can't wait for the rest, keep up the good work!

04-13-2008, 09:16 PM
Thanks Guys... Xoo I will release one a day through next week some time. I will probably continue with other shrimp also as there are little articles about shrimp up.

04-13-2008, 09:46 PM
the common Red Cherry Shrimp

You have got to be kidding me.

Good write up, i learnt some, cant wait for the next!!

doug z
04-13-2008, 09:48 PM
Good article!!

I'd get some, but with the corys, otos, and BN the algae's going to be scarce as it is, in my 75g.. :)

Are there any fish, besides cichlids or other fish over 4", that would eat the shrimp?

04-13-2008, 09:54 PM
Most of the fish in the hobby that are cichlids would eat the shrimp. Under 4 inches I am not sure of any. I would imagine there are some somewhere that would eat it. Apparently betta eat shrimp as one member had a problem with that. As far as other maybe some types of catfish but they get over 4 inches... That is a great question Doug...

doug z
04-13-2008, 10:00 PM
Ok, thanks!

If I ever do a straight up Iwagumi (Zen Style), that's what I'm going to use as my cleaners, as the only other fish in the tank will be tetras..

04-13-2008, 10:05 PM
I had 5 amano's in my 29g planted. They were great shrimp but I don't know how much algae they really ate haha. Then again I only had BBA and I don't think they eat that.

doug z
04-13-2008, 10:07 PM
What did you feed them, then?

Might have gotten dependent on the staple food you provided?

04-13-2008, 10:51 PM
Yeah once algae eaters and shrimp get a taste for food the algae generally stays there lol...

I was thinking Doug. My clown killies are around 3 inches are they ate my Malaysian Rainbow Shrimp (I will do an article on them soon, probably Tuesday). I will release these articles at night when I get off work around 9pm EST. They go to William first to see if they are fine.

Thanks for the shot of rep zackish. Always appreciate it!!!

doug z
04-13-2008, 11:07 PM
Killies, eh?

Off the list they go.. :)

How many shrimp per gallon?

Is there a rule of thumb for tank size, as far as keeping ahead of algae is concerned?

How do they do with algae adhering the the sides?

Supplement them with otos?

04-13-2008, 11:11 PM
just passing again.

Doug shrimp usually clean more than they the waste they produce so you could literally go as many as you wanted. Like snails.

Also there are lots of small killifish out there.

04-13-2008, 11:13 PM
You could supplement Amanos with Otos if you like. Just make sure they have enough algae growth in the tank as both will devour algae. Amano shrimp you can go around 1 shrimp per gallon or so. They get around 2 inches max and will live around 1-2 years if properly kept. Normal shrimps that are dwarfs stay around 1 shrimp per gallon until you get into the bigger ones. All the ones I do in the coming week will be smaller than mostly 2 inches or so most not even 1 inch.... With the Amanos and the Cherries normally they will swim around and eat off the glass. The otos will take care of that also. Both though once tasting food may slow down alot. You will have to watch feeding them. As with any shrimp keep the top tight as once they are out of the water they are no good. Most shrimp are jumpers as well...

doug z
04-13-2008, 11:25 PM
1-2 years if properly kept

That's all?


Wonder how long otos live for?

If I did get the otos and or shrimp, I could always "starve" them for a week, make them eat some tank algae, before giving them some treats, no?

04-13-2008, 11:34 PM
Don't forget peeps that Amano shrimp will only eat green algae and not any other types...green algae is not usually a pest in a tank and tends to only grow on decorations or backing wall (not plants)... the normal green algae in this way is a sign of a healthy tank and can easily be plucked off with your fingers if it annoys you.

Oto's & shrimp have tiny stomachs and can only eat so much ... although they will lessen algae... to use them for a huge algae outbreak is pretty much useless unless you throw hundreds in there...

Oto Cat's if cared for properly will live for around 5 years

04-13-2008, 11:42 PM
That's all?


Wonder how long otos live for?

If I did get the otos and or shrimp, I could always "starve" them for a week, make them eat some tank algae, before giving them some treats, no?

They will eat up the algae if hungry yes but the debris from the normal food would also get picked at. Like the NLS stable wafers for the cories. The shrimp would pick at it. Otos live around 3-5 years if you get them past the initial acclimation period. That is were most have problems..

doug z
04-14-2008, 12:26 AM
Well, I plan to drip acclimatize them, and add them after the tank is more or less established, so hopefully I'll be ok..

04-14-2008, 01:44 AM
Should be fine..... Hopefully the otos work out for you Doug... Good luck with them....

doug z
04-14-2008, 01:52 AM
I'll keep you all appraised of my snail's pace, progress wise.. :)

Come August, though..

Things will finally start to cook... :)

04-14-2008, 02:04 AM
August... That tank is lonely Doug it needs water lol......

doug z
04-14-2008, 04:15 AM
Poor little fella.. :(

I'll have water in it and planted just as soon as I get home mid July, and by middle of August will be adding my first fish (corys)..

04-19-2008, 04:16 PM
Just a bump for the weekend crew to see before it goes to archives....
Thanks guys for all the support!!!

04-23-2008, 08:16 PM
nice write up jbeining!!! WEll done i love the article... Heres a picture of my amano shrimp to supplement the thread :)

can anybody say clear :hmm3grin2orange:

04-23-2008, 08:19 PM
pm that to William so he adds it to the profile that is on the website now... It is posted up. That is a great pic to add to the profile and article on them...

04-23-2008, 08:20 PM
:hmm3grin2orange: Yes sir!

I got a couple more pics bu this one is top notch i think

04-23-2008, 08:21 PM
Sweet thanks for the pic... That is an awesome pic....

04-23-2008, 08:23 PM
Np, just sent william a pm and the picture :)

04-23-2008, 08:24 PM

Here is where you should post the pic up at.....

04-23-2008, 08:26 PM
ok i will post it up there jbeining it will be done in a matter of seconds