Anybody considering buying a fish tank for the first time—as well as experienced fish owners—should know what’s required to keep the environment of the aquarium healthy for fish as well as to minimize the cleaning to be done.
Amano shrimp are a popular addition to fish tanks and they can help with both. It’s important to know how many shrimp you need per gallon of capacity. Keeping too many shrimp in your tank can be as harmful as not having any, so you’ll need to understand why these shrimp are a necessary addition to your aquarium, how many to have, what to feed them, and how long they live.
Why Should You Have Amano Shrimp in Your Aquarium?
Amano shrimp are a type of algae-eating shrimp also known as Japonica Amano or Japanese Swamp Shrimp. They are commonly added to fish tanks because their preferred diet is algae and they do a good job of keeping fish tanks clean.
Amano shrimp grow to a maximum size of about two inches and can thrive in warm or cold water aquariums. Carnivorous fish do not make good Amano Shrimp tank mates as they may view them as food and eat them.
What Do Amano Shrimp Eat?
While the primary food source for Amano Shrimp is algae, they are bottom feeders who will eat detritus left behind by other fish after they eat. Aquarists who want to give their shrimp a treat can also feed them raw vegetables such as cucumber and zucchini.
One of the most common mistakes people make when they put Amano Shrimp in their fish tank is thinking that the shrimp can live on a diet made up exclusively of algae. Shrimp are omnivores and will do best when they eat a combination of vegetable and animal matter, so make sure to give your other fish enough to eat that there are leftovers for the shrimp.
Why Do You Need Amano Shrimp?
Adding Amano Shrimp to your aquarium can help to prevent algae overgrowth. These shrimp will eat most types of algae, as well as fish food and detritus on the floor of the aquarium. Having a sufficient number of shrimp in your tank will keep algae growth in check and help to keep the floor of the aquarium clean.
How to Care for Amano Shrimp
Amano Shrimp care is sometimes seen as an afterthought because they have a job to do, but it’s essential to provide your shrimp with the right environment for them to thrive.
Here’s some basic information from Aquaticarts. Amano Shrimp do best in an environment with these characteristics:
- Temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit
- pH range of 6.0 to 7.6
- Water type of kH 0-10; gH 4-14; TDS 80-400
In general, all dwarf shrimp like to live with live plants that provide them with cover, serve as a food source (shrimp will nibble the dead parts of plants), and help to keep the water clean. The Amano Shrimp lifespan is between two and three years, but they may live longer with good care.
How Many Amano Shrimp Per Gallon Should You Have?
Ideally, your aquarium should have enough shrimp to consume algae and keep the tank clean but not so many that other species in the tank are negatively impacted by their presence.
According to Fish Tank Report, a good guideline is that each Amano Shrimp needs between two and three gallons of water. A five gallon shrimp tank is not generally considered to be a good habitat for Amano Shrimp, but if you have a small tank that holds five gallons, you should have no more than two or three shrimp. Shrimp are social and prefer to live in groups, so keep that in mind. For a 10-gallon tank, you’ll need three or four shrimp, and for a 20-gallon tank, you can have six or seven shrimp.
If you’re not sure how many gallons of water your fish tank holds, you can use a tank calculator to figure it out based on the measurements of your aquarium.
Is It Dangerous to Have Too Many Amano Shrimp?
Fish Tank Report also notes that having too many Amano Shrimp in a tank can be a problem. Keep these risks in mind.
- With too many shrimp, the available algae will be consumed quickly and there won’t be enough for the shrimp to eat.
- Overcrowding the tank can cause problems for all the inhabitants, including fish and shrimp.
- Amano Shrimp are generally docile, but if you keep them in large numbers they may become aggressive and attack other fish.
Following the guidelines above will ensure that you have enough shrimp to control algae growth but not so many that it causes other issues in your fish tank.
Amano Shrimp Are Your Fish Tank Janitorial Squad
Adding Amano Shrimp to your fish tank will help keep algae growth in check and prevent detritus from accumulating on the floor of your aquarium. However, it’s essential to maintain the correct living conditions to keep your shrimp healthy and performing their daily job of eating algae.