The Amano Shrimp, scientifically known as Caridina multidentate, is a freshwater species that originates from Asia, especially in Japan, China, and Taiwan. They mainly live in large groups within the rivers and streams. They are among the most popular shrimps in the aquariums market. For a very long period of time, this species is mainly kept by most equalists due to its ability to consume large amounts of algae. Also, they have a busy body personality and a peaceful nature that has helped them to increase their popularity over time.

Atulbhats, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This species is also referred to as Yamato Shrimp, Japonica Shrimp, Algae Eating Shrimp, and Caridina Japonica. They were first introduced by an aquarist named Takashi Amano, whom they are named after, and the main reason why he introduced them to the aquatic trade is due to the ability to control the growth of algae ad hence keeping the tank free from debris.

This species is, however, very difficult to breed and most of those that are available to buy are the wild ones. They are hardy, and this makes them an ideal choice for beginners looking to experiment with invertebrates for the first time. If you are therefore considering the Amano Shrimp, this guide seeks to give you a clear insight into the care and all you need to do in order to raise a healthy pet.


Scientific NameCaridina multidentate
ColorTransparent to Greyish
Care levelEasy
Lifespan2 to 3 years
Size2 inches
Tank size10 gallons
Temperature70 to 80 degrees F
Freshwater or saltwaterFreshwater
CompatibilityPeaceful community fish


This fish species is peaceful and non-defensive in nature. The ideal tank mates for the Amano Shrimps are small to mid-sized, peaceful, community fish and other species of similar features. You should avoid keeping this species with small fish or species that can fit into their mouth. Also, avoid fish that are known for nipping.

The Amano Shrimps should be kept in a group of at least six other colleagues since they thrive best in a community, and this also helps them lower their stress and shyness. Also, they are able to stay in a community since they have a small bio-load compared to other big fish. Occasionally, you might find this species practicing dominancy against each other, especially the larger ones when it comes to food. However, they are harmless. All you need to ensure is that there is plenty of food for them. Also, ensure there is a balance between the number of males and females in the aquarium.

The following are the ideal tank companions for the Amano Shrimps, and whenever they are kept together, you should never be worried;

  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Neon Tetras
  • Bamboo Shrimps
  • Discus
  • Cory Catfish
  • Rabbit Snail
  • Vampire Shrimp
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Mystery Apple Snail
  • Danio
  • Tiger Barb
  • Bristle nose Pleco
  • Hill stream Loach
  • Nerite Snail
  • Ramshorn Snail
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Despite the fact that this fish is compatible with most species, it does not mean that they can co-exist with every fish. There are some exceptions such as;

  • Cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Arowana
  • Crayfish
  • Betta
  • Goldfish
  • Tangerine lobster
  • Pacu
  • Cobalt Blue Lobster


Amano Shrimp is a small species that can grow up to 2 inches in length. But in the pet store, they are approximately 1 inch in length or a bit less. It is advisable to buy a small Amano Shrimp since they will grow and mature so easily. When a species is small does not necessarily mean they are unhealthy. Their growth rate is relatively quick, especially when they are in healthy aquatic surroundings.

This species is generally translucent grey in color, and sometimes they can also be translucent with shades of green, light brown, or light reddish-brown. Its color characteristics also include the solids dashes, and dots that run through the length of their body. These dots and dashes can be greyish blue or reddish-brown in color. This species also contains a lighter stripe on their top side running the length of their bodies as well as two big eyes, long nimble legs, a wide translucent tail, and relatively long antennae.

This invertebrate is able to change its color depending on the diet you feed them. For instance, if you feed them on fish food, their color turns to a reddish tint, and when you feed them on algae, they will have a green texture on their body.


Unlike the Chery Shrimps, it is easy to differentiate between the male and female Amano Shrimp.

  • The first difference is that the males are smaller than the females, with an average size of 1.5 inches, while the female has a length of 2 inches.
  • Another notable difference is in the dots on their bodies. The dots on the female will be long dashes, while in the males, they will be evenly spaced-out dots.
  • Finally, the female Amano Shrimp usually have a visible saddle that acts as an egg nest underneath her stomach, which the male does not have.


The Amano Shrimp live for between 2 to 3 years, and this is mainly determined by the environment in which they are living. However, it has been realized that these species mainly die as soon as they are put in the tank, and this mainly happens because of the stress they undergo as they are transported from the place they are bought or due to changes in parameters. For this species to live to the maximum limit and beyond, it has to be kept under optimal conditions away from predators.

In case one of these species die in the tank, you will notice it turning orange, and other shrimps and snails in the aquarium will start to feed on it so as to ingest its minerals. Once they are done, it is advisable to remove the remains from the tank to prevent the spike of ammonia.


The Amano Shrimp originate from freshwater streams of Southeast Asia such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. They can be found in rivers and streams from mountains to seas. They can also be found in swamps and marshes. Despite the fact that this species is freshwater, seawater plays a major role in their lives. They are only found in freshwater during their adult life, but their larvae hatching happens in the seawater, where they feed on sea planktons. After they have grown to a certain stage, it is when they now move to freshwater rivers. This is the main reason why it is difficult to breed this species.

This species was discovered in the 1980s by a famous aquarist by the name Takashi Amano in his bid to control the growth and spread of algae. After realizing the algae-eating capabilities of this species, it is when he introduced them to the local seller in the market. After then, they have spread across most parts of the world.


This species is generally peaceful. If you drop food in the tank, they will race to it and swarm over it. The rest of the time, they are content, and they will mind their own business as they pick on the dead plants’ matter in the tank. As soon as the algae start building in the tank, you will find them feeding on it. This is what makes them so popular among aquarists. They also love having a lot of plants in their tanks o as to climb and explore when they are free.

Just like the rest of the shrimps, this species will molt their exoskeletons which happens once per month, and for some time, they will be soft as the new skin hardens. During this period, they like hiding most since they are very vulnerable. After they have shed off the exoskeleton, they like feeding on it since it contains some minerals that are important in helping their skin harden faster.

These species love living in an environment with many plants and other hiding places, and that is where they feel secure most. This also reduces the chances of getting stressed since stress affects them Healthwise and reduces their lifespan.


It is important to ensure that you mimic the natural environment of this species, and as you do that, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind as you build the tank. Below are some of the guidelines when you are preparing the home;


As you buy the tank for your Amano Shrimp, the most important factor to consider is the size. Generally, the shrimps are small in size, but the Amano Shrimp are is a bit bigger compared to the rest, and therefore you need a moderate tank. The ideal size of the tank should be a 10 gallons tank. This size of the tank can comfortably house about five shrimps which means that in every two gallons of the tank, you can keep one shrimp, and this is the rule you need to follow in case you decide to add more shrimps in your tank.

Also, the number of plants and decorations that you are going to add to the tank determines the size, and therefore, if you are adding more, you need to have a bigger tank so as to have enough space to accommodate all.


The Amano Shrimp is known for jumping out of the tank, but it is important to have a tank lid so as to protect this species from other forms of contamination and dust accumulation. This will also be a protection from all types of predators such as cats, dogs, and curious children who might harm them.


One of the major food sources of the young fries in the tank is the diatoms. These diatoms rely on light to increase their rate of growth, and this is the main reason why it is necessary to have a light source in your aquarium. In general, a standard community light tank is more than enough for Amano Shrimp. Also, the light is so crucial in the aftercare period of breeding. Since the Amano Shrimp larvae have positive phototaxis, you can shift them from one place to another by guiding them through a flashlight.


This species is equipped with current handling capabilities. You can therefore use a hang-on back filter in your aquarium. This will also reflect its natural habitat. You can use a filter with sponge and moss balls. This is why this species is used to them because they can get some food from them.


As discussed earlier, this species loves hiding, and therefore, it is important to also consider adding some of the decorations that will serve as hiding places. You can add some caves and rocks. These make very good hiding spots, and they love them. However, you should ensure that these decorations do not have sharp edges and rough surfaces sine they might hurt this species.


This species does not have a specific substate that they require in order to thrive. They will just do fine with sand, gravel, and plant substrate. You should, however, be cautious using the planted substrate that reduces the PH if your tap water is soft already, a ph. reducing substate might end up making the water more acidic. In this scenario, you may need to add extra calcium, magnesium, or bicarbonate in order to restore the right PH.


Amano Shrimp thrive in heavily planted environments. They are crucial since they serve both as hiding spots and the food source since they feed on dead plants. The importance of these plants is more highlighted during the molting, which happens on a monthly basis. This is where the species sheds their skin, feathers, or hair to have new growth. During this process, they are very vulnerable, and therefore they need a place where they will be undisturbed.

This is where the plants come in and serve as hiding places during this prod. Some of the ideal plants that can be kept in the tanks include;

  • Cladophora
  • Riccardia Chamedryfolia
  • Java moss
  • Monosolenium Tenerum
  • Egeria Densa

As said earlier, the tank should always be clean since this affects even the condition of the water. The health of the species is also determined by how clean the tank is. Therefore, it is crucial to do a regular clean-up of the tank. However, whenever you are doing the cleaning, avoid using any soap-based or any other chemical product. Just use warm water and a piece of cloth. This is because the chemical residues are left behind by these chemical products, ends up harming the Amano Shrimp.

Also, ensure that you trim the edges of the plants from time to time.


This species easily adapts to different water conditions, but there are certain conditions that you need to try as much as possible to keep constant in order to ensure your shrimps are healthy and live a long life.


The ideal temperature range for the Amano Shrimp should be between 70 to 80 degrees F. The warm water is crucial in helping boost metabolism and increases the captivity of these shrimps, which in turn helps in the reduction of algae. You should keep a submerged thermometer in the tank to keep monitoring temperature. In case the temperature drops below the range, you can use the heater to increase it.


The aquarium water should always have a ph. that ranges between 6.5 to 75, which is a neutral zone. In general, when a tank is heavily planted, it has a Ph level that is within this range, and that is why the Amano Shrimp in such an environment thrive more. The Ph level of water should be checked on a weekly basis to ensure it is within the range.


The general water hardness in the tank should range between 7 to 8 DGH, while the carbonate hardness should be between 2 to 4 dKH.


Amano Shrimp are not able to handle the nitrite and ammonia spikes. Therefore, the levels of these minerals should be at zero. Coming to the level of nitrate, this level should be below 20 ppm. The aquatic plants are very crucial in helping to reduce the level of nitrates in water.


The total level of TDS of the aquarium water should be between 10 and 200 ppm.


Despite the fact that this species prefers a bit of unclean water so as to encourage the growth of algae, it does not mean that you will no longer replace the water in the tank. On a weekly basis, you should try and replace about 60 percent of water. You should not replace the entire water in the aquarium since this ends up killing the beneficial bacteria, and this will also drastically change the parameters. This ends up shocking and stressing the Amano Shrimps. When changing water, the new batch that you are adding should always meet the above conditions before adding them to the tank.


Naturally, this species is omnivorous. They usually scavenge on dead plant matter and animals as well as debris building up in their underwater environment. This makes them an ideal tank addition since they act as a cleaning crew. If a fish dies in your tank, this species will help clean it up by feeding on its carcass.

If you have this species in your aquarium, do not assume that they only feed on dead plants and animals. They also need other nutritional supplements. Also, you should note that they do not feed on black beard algae, and therefore you should be prepared to take that into account. You can buy some pellets and wafers in any pet store. You can also include some nutritious frozen proteins such as bloodworms and brine shrimps since they will help shrimp in thriving health-wise.

This species also loves feeding on vegetables such as squash, cucumbers, spinach, and zucchini. However, you need to blanch the vegetables first and pay attention to the amount of food you are feeding them. To avoid contaminating water in the aquarium, you should remove the food from the tank after one hour. You should be very careful to avoid letting anything that contains copper into the tank since this will be harmful to your Amano Shrimp and any other creature in the tank.

This is a very difficult thing to do since most fish foods have some traces of copper in them. It is therefore advisable to read the ingredients before buying them.

As an aquarist, you might be used to feeding fish and might think the Amano Shrimp need to be fed every other day just like the fish. This is not the case. It will be very easy to tell when this species is ready to be fed. They get very agitated and swim around the tank vigorously if they do not have enough to eat. If you notice such behavior in your shrimps, it is time you dropped some pellets in the tank pr balanced veggies. This species is very peaceful as they graze along the surface of the tank as they scrap the algae, and there will be no need to add more food.


The Amano Shrimp is very difficult to breed in captivity; however, it can be possible with some determination and patience. Mating them is quite easy but rearing the fry is the most challenging part. To breed this species, you need to buy at least ten Amano Shrimp with an even ratio of males to females. It will be easy to differentiate the males from females since they have some physical differences such as size. To confirm this, you can use the line running down the side of the female that is fragmented and dashed, while in the male, the same line is there, but it is composed of circular, evenly spaced dots.

You should also feed them well more than you feed them on normal days, and also, you can raise the temperature to a range of 78 to 80 degrees to trigger the process. This species will mate naturally, given the safe environment provided. The eggs will apparently become apparent, and the dorsal fin of the female will become swollen and increase in size. The females will then release pheromones in water, and the males will be attracted to the scent and will try to mount females on heat.

It is the female that will choose the male that she will mate with and fertilize the eggs. The female then lays many eggs between 1000 to 3000. The eggs take up to 5 weeks to hatch. The eggs are usually green in color as they are hatched, but as they progress before hatching, they change to light yellow-brown. Do not separate the breeding colony from the tank until the female is almost hatching so as to avoid stressing her.

It is advisable to set up a separate tank with the same parameters, and this will be used for hatching Amano Shrimp. Naturally, the Amano Shrimp are reared in streams that connect into oceans, and it is for this reason that they need to be reared in brackish/saltwater. There is a level of salt that you need to add, and therefore, you might need to buy a hydrometer to measure salinity. The salinity should be at the range of 17ppt to 35 ppt, but this varies with the strain of Amano Shrimp.

However, this salinity should be dropped to around 5 ppt from 30 to 60 days. This is because, after the larvae stage, this species cannot handle a high level of salinity. After the eggs have hatched, you should remove the females from that tank to avoid them from eating their young ones. The female will immediately molt and start producing another batch of eggs.

The hatched fries should be fed small portions of brewer’s yeast. You should add small quantities to avoid polluting water. Another important food to the fries is the diatoms in water. They can help improve the chances of succeeding.


The Amano Shrimp, just like any other aquarium species, are prone to some disease. Some are caused by the conditions provided while others are transmitted from one shrimp to another. So, the causes include;

  • Viruses
  • Parasites
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi

The Amano Shrimps also get infected by buying an already infected one from the store and spreading it to others. It is therefore advisable to have a separate tank where you quarantine them before adding them to the main tank.


Is the Amano Shrimp a freshwater creature?

Yes, this species is a freshwater creature that originates from South East Asia.

Why is my Amano Shrimp jumping out of the tank?

This behavior is not so common among this species, and therefore it may be motivated by something. If you notice this, it may be a change in parameters, and this is upsetting the shrimp, or they might be swimming vigorously and end up jumping out of the tank. To prevent this, you can add a lid to the tank.

My Amano Shrimp is green in color. Is it normal?

 If you have algae in the tank and your Amano Shrimp does not show any signs of stress, it might be normal. Algae diet can change the coloration of the shrimp, but if you do not have and see this change, then it might be a disease that needs treatment.


As an aquarist, if you are in search of an unconventional pet that is not only impressive aesthetically but beneficial to the tank also, this is the ideal choice. The algae-eating capabilities make them the ideal choice since you do not need to worry about the algae in your community tank.

They are hardy species, and this makes them the ideal choice for beginners who have little to no experience in these creatures. They are also compatible with a wide range of invertebrates and fish, and they are very peaceful species. It is our hope that this guide has given all the important information that you might need in taking care of this species. Therefore, putting everything into consideration, you are free to include them in your aquarium and let them do your tank cleaning.

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