How to Take Care of Amano or Algae Shrimp
Amano shrimp are amazing algae eaters for a planted tank. They are not difficult to care for and are peaceful, as they do not attack other fish. They originated form South Eastern Asia and are used by many aquarists around the world. They were also frequently used by a famous aquacaper named Takashi Amano. This article will help you to prepare and care for your new shrimp.
Choose your tank.Amano shrimp can adapt to most environments in an aquarium; they can live in a small tank of 5 gallons (a little more than 18.92 litres), but they thrive best in a larger tank of 10 gallons (about 37.85 litres).
- Make sure that your tank is planted, as these shrimp love planted tanks; they love objects that catch detritus in the water. They eat the mess in the plants, making your tank a lot cleaner.
- Amano shrimps prefer plants such as aquatic "moss" or marimo moss balls. They hang onto them and eat as well as clean your tank.
Make a safe environment.Amano shrimp are vulnerable to water fluctuations and predators. They need their tank mates to be peaceful and not extremely aggressive. Tank mates should also be able to survive the same environment as the Amano shrimp.
- If you are looking to breed Amano shrimp, then you should have brackish water ready (half salt-water, half fresh-water), but they are also able to survive fresh water too.
- Don't add any fish that would try to harm Amano shrimp or their fry. They are very vulnerable; even the smallest species of tetra could gobble up a baby Amano shrimp.
Keep good water quality.The water quality is a key part to an Amano shrimp's survival. They need clean water with the right pH. They also need the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite to be kept at an all time low.
- They require their pH to be between 6.5-7.5; a little lower than 7.3 is ideal as this is the pH in where they thrive.
- They require the water hardness to be 8.0 dkh. They need to have their water changed at least 20-30% once a week or twice a week to be on the safe side.
Provide the correct filtration.Amano shrimp need their filter to give flow as this will help detritus get trapped in plants and they will eat it. They also need correct water flow to swim with ease. You should never get a filter with a big intake, as fry will easily get inside and die.
- Because sponge filters have an intake so small, they are an ideal filter for Amano shrimp fry, juveniles and adults.
- You may think that you don't need a sponge filter for adults, but this will make feeding cost less as they will not need that much food. They will get their food from the sponge on the filter as they like a cheap and easy meal.
Provide the right diet.Amano shrimp are omnivores and they love to eat anything that comes near their mouths. They poke around on driftwood to clean it from the bio-film. They also eat a lot of algae; they will always be on the look-out for plant matter or any other organic matter that is available.
- You can supplement an Amano shrimp's diet if it eats too much of the waste in your tank (this can actually happen). They will eat blanched zucchini or any other soft vegetable, and algae wafers are a favorite.
- It is difficult to breed Amano shrimp, so it is easier to buy them than stress over it.
- Make sure that your tank has a dense area filled with plants; you can also scatter the plants and watch them grow.
- Adding a lot of plants can also regulate the pH for these shrimp. Otherwise, you could use a substrate used for shrimp that will help in water quality.
- Make sure to get peaceful tankmates, either more shrimp or another peaceful fish such as an otocinclus.
- Keep a piece of driftwood with tiny crevices where they can hide. The driftwood can also help with growing biofilm which the fish eat.
- Keep them in groups of 5 as they feel more comfortable. They will also clean a lot faster with larger groups. However, you should not overstock the tank.
- Don't add any aggressive fish in the tank. Large fish such as bettas can wipe out a colony of small fry. Even the smallest species of tetras can fit shrimp fry in its mouth.
- Don't used an uncycled tank for keeping shrimp. They will die if the water chemistry gets out of whack.
- Don't frequently remove the shrimp from their tank. This will cause them distress, and you can also easily lose them when they jump (they don't jump out of water, but they do jump when outside of water. They try to avoid being in contact with air all-together).
Video: The Amano shrimp, Caridina multidentata-Species Spotlight
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