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Caresheet: Amano shrimp | Caridina multidentata

January 24, 2013
caridina multidentata

Say hello to a long-time aquascaper favourite! With their exceptional cleaning skills, peaceful nature and interesting appearance, Amano shrimp make a great addition to the peaceful tropical community tank.

Tank size 10 gal (38L)
Temperament Peaceful
Diet Omnivore
Temperature 68-86°F (20-30°C)
pH 6-8
Length 1.5 inch (3-4 cm)


Caridina multidentata (also sometimes Caridina japonica), Amano shrimp, Japonica shrimp, Yamato shrimp, Algae Eating shrimp

Amano shrimp natural habitat

These shrimp are found in Taiwan, Korea and the Yamato river area in Japan.


Amano shrimp are larger than dwarf shrimp like Crystal Reds and Cherry shrimp – they grow to about 3-4cm (~1,5 inch). They can easily be recognized from their greyish transparent bodies with rows of small dots on each side, and are sexed by looking at the bottom row: males will have a line of dots, females will have a line of longer dashes. Females sometimes carry around small eggs, which they supply with oxygen by waving water over them.

amano shrimp

Amano shrimp requirements

Part of what makes Amano shrimp such a great addition to your aquarium, is that they don’t demand very specific water values or temperature. As with all aquarium fish and invertebrates, it’s a good idea to avoid extremes like pH crashes or temperature fluctuations. They are best kept in 10+ gallon (35+L) cycled tanks in groups of at least 5. Plenty of hiding spaces like live plants are also a good idea. Before purchasing Amano shrimp, make sure you know whether your other aquarium inhabitants will eat them or not! You really don’t want your new additions to end as dinner within a day.

Amano shrimp diet

Their diet is what made these shrimp famous! They first became popular after being mentioned in one of famous aquarium author Takashi Amano’s books as super effective algae eaters. They are also very effective at cleaning up leftover fish food, and make a great cleanup crew if you have messy fish. Don’t forget to feed them extra food when algae and detritus levels are low, though, or they might get too weak. This can become fatal when it’s time for them to shed!

Amano shrimp are omnivores, so they’ll accept pretty much any kind of food – shrimp foods are preferred, but normal fish food will happily be eaten as well. For some great extra variety in their diet, you can also give them blanched vegetables like cucumber and zucchini, but don’t forget to remove uneaten leftovers within 3-4 hours to keep the water clean.

Amano shrimp behavior

Apart from being slightly greedy during feeding time, these shrimp are very peaceful and fun to watch. They spend their time foraging for leftover bits of food together, but also swim around occasionally, especially after water changes and during mating time.

Breeding Amano shrimp

Unlike most dwarf shrimp species, that breed by carrying their eggs around until a bunch of miniature versions of their parents hatch, Amano shrimp start their lives as larvae that require brackish to salt water for a while. After their larvae stage, they need to be transferred back to fresh water. This means you’ll often see your female Amanos carrying around eggs and being chased by the males, but never any fry. It’s pretty difficult to breed Amano shrimp, but a few aquarists have reported succes.

Buying Amano shrimp

If you’re looking to buy Amano shrimp be sure to look for shrimp that appear healthy and are actively foraging and moving around. You can buy Amano shrimp online here!

We keep a very small group of Amano shrimp in our tropical community tank – even though they’re said to only live for about three years, 3 out of 4 are still alive after more than six years.

I can really recommend these little guys to anyone who’s looking for a cleanup crew or just an interesting addition to their aquarium. Their size makes them easier to watch than dwarf shrimp and because of the special breeding requirements the tank won’t be flooded with their offspring.

Have a group of Amano shrimp and want to share your experience? Still not sure whether to get Amano shrimp and want some additional info? Leave a comment below. Happy shrimp keeping!

Cover photo: Comiendo by sergio89

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  • Reply Michaet Wells January 28, 2016 at 4:40 am

    Are they as easy to breed as Cherry Shrimp?

    • Reply Mari January 28, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      As mentioned in the article, Amano shrimp are almost impossible to breed in the home aquarium because they go through a larval stage where they require brackish water. To answer your other question, Amanos and Cherry shrimp can definitely be kept together! Ghost shrimp are a little more aggressive, but it should still work as well. 🙂

  • Reply Michaet Wells January 28, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Can they be kept with Ghost Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp? Will that cause them to cross breed with each other?

  • Reply Izzy the Fish Girl February 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Hey Mari! Glad to hear you’ve had good experiences with Amanos. I want to get one for my community and was wondering more about your community. What size is it? What fish are in there? Just trying to research as much as I can before I buy!

    • Reply Mari February 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      We kept them in a 20gal for a very long time and just recently moved them to a 30gal when the old tank broke. We keep cardinal tetras in there, as well as one Chinese algae eater we bought when we didn’t know better and a whole load of cherry shrimp.
      If you do get Amanos, I’d recommend getting more than one, it’s fun to see them foraging together!

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