The personality of the Amano shrimp and its restless endeavour makes it one of the most popular pet shrimps in the hobby. This variety is a dwarf white, almost transparent caridina who has been given a lot of different names: Caridina multidentatata, Caridina Japonica, Yamato Numa-Ebi (lit. “shrimp of the Yamato marsh” – Yamato is a province of Japan), Japanese Marsh Shrimp, or Japanese Swamp Shrimp. Guess where does this shrimp originate from?
Through building and maintaining beautiful nature aquaria people re-learn the intricate connections between forms of life, plants, fish, microorganism and humans. Riches and beauty come from harmony, from balance. Aquaria are great teachers of this truth.
Takashi Amano on Aquascaping
Caridina Multidentata Shrimp Caresheet
|Size:||2 inches (4-5 cm)|
|Color:||Light grey / brown, almost transparent|
|Behavior:||They are very peaceful yet very voracious and on a never-ending quest for food|
|Aquarium:||10+ gallons (35+ liters) cycled tank|
|Water:||pH of 6-8, prefer medium-hard water with plenty of minerals|
Amano Shrimp main characteristics and behavior
Originally from East Asia, this extremely popular freshwater shrimp belongs to the decapod crustaceans (decapods), together with fresh- and salt- water crabs and other types of crayfish. These shrimp make the top of position of our best algae feeders ranking and are therefore able to clean up even the most infested aquariums – it is specifically this feature of theirs that has made them so popular amongst aquarists and fish keepers. The famous Japanese aquarium photographer, Takashi Amano, always included Caridina multidentata in large numbers in his famous aquatic landscapes, as a cleaning squad, and this is where the name of the Amano shrimp originates from.
Amano Shrimp look and features
The main characteristics of these shrimps is their translucent light gray carapace, almost transparent, although sometimes you may find specimens with shades of light brown/green. As they age, it is also common for amano shrimp to turn reddish. Males have their body scattered with red dots along the sides, while females have blue / gray or brown / red dashes, divided into three parallel stripes, while a narrow and clear strip crosses the upper part of their body. Another feature is black eyes that over time may take on a red color, and the presence of four long antennae that Amano shrimps use for orientation, together with their wide tale, agile legs and small claws with which they prey on algae tearing them away from plants, rocks and furnishings.
Amano shrimp are relatively big compared to other dwarf shrimp: they can grow up to 2 inches (4-5 cm). Females are significantly larger than male specimens, their more pronounced abdomen gives them a massive and stocky appearance – they are especially recognizable when carrying eggs, which you can see through their stomach.
Amano Shrimp nutrition
Shrimps are usually omnivorous, but they favor the vegetarian diet. In addition to algae, the natural menu also includes animal plankton, sediments (remains of dead plants, rotten foliage, etc.) and even carrion. In the aquarium, these natural nutrient sources are often not present in high enough quantities. As a basis for nourishment, in this case, a high-quality shrimp feed is recommended. As a food supplement you can also throw into the tank frozen feed, fresh vegetables (spinach, zucchini), or herbs (nettle) regularly.
Something peculiar in Amano shrimp is that thanks to their mainly transparent carapace you can see through their digestive tract as it changes color according to the food ingested.
Amano Shrimp Natural Habitat
Another name for the Amano Shrimp is Caridina Japonica – as the name suggests, it is originally from Japan and more precisely from the Yamato region (from which it gets yet another of its names), but it is also found in Korea and Taiwan. It lives mainly in rivers, streams, rice fields and water collections in communication with brackish areas, where they lay their eggs and larvae grow, after which the young specimens move to environments where the water is much sweeter, tender and slightly sour.
Ideal water conditions and environment
Because it originates from swampy areas, the Amano can tolerate low to moderate salinity levels, which means higher TDS water levels are usually not a problem. In fact, you can have your little pet swim in a pond and get rid of all the extra algae for you. It is actually recommended that you do not use “too clean” water (e.g. reverse osmosis water) for your Amano tank, as the presence of minerals and calcium favours the formation of new exoskeletons during molting. Interestingly, in the wild amano shrimp start their lifecycle in saltwater – as their eggs need a certain amount of salinity in order to hatch. Once they become adults, the migrate to streams of freshwater.
Ideal temperature should fluctuate between 70 ° F and 80 ° F (20°C to 25°C). Temperature should be occasionally raised for short periods in order to promote natural mating.
A word of warning regarding rimless tanks: these shrimp really like jumping out of water and will attempt to escape from your tank if given a chance to. Preferably keep them in enclosed aquarium tanks to minimize the risk of stepping on dried out shrimp.
How many amano shrimp per gallon?
Amano shrimp are type of dwarf shrimp suitable for nano tank setups, meaning you can keep them in a 10-gallon or even a 5-gallon aquarium. If you only keep shrimp in your tank, a good rule of thumb is to have 1 amano shrimp for every 2 gallons of space in a planted tank. This does not mean that you cannot keep more, but doing so will require more careful feeding and regular water changes. We also do not recommend keeping less than 3 amano shrimp in any tank setup, because this creatures are highly social and like to hang out in groups.
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