Amano shrimp are an excellent addition to the tank if you want a creature to help keep algae down. These fascinating crustaceans consume algae very efficiently without bothering your aquatic plants.
But if you have a betta fish, can you safely keep Amano shrimp with him?
Basically, you can keep a betta fish with Amano shrimp, with a few important caveats.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about keeping Amano shrimp and bettas together.
What Are Amano Shrimp?
Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) belong to the family Atyidae and are native to Taiwan and Japan.
In addition to their voracious appetite for algae, these shrimp are active, fun to watch, and easy to care for, making these little crustaceans a firm favorite with many hobbyists.
Amanos can survive for two to three years if provided with a suitable diet and the correct living conditions.
The shrimp are at their most vulnerable when first introduced to a new tank. That’s usually because the shrimp are quite sensitive to the water changes the creatures experience while being shipped around.
However, once acclimated, your Amanos should live to the full extent of their natural lifespan.
How Big Do Amano Shrimp Grow?
When fully grown, Amano shrimp can reach up to 2 inches in size.
How Many Amano Shrimp Can I Keep With My Betta?
As a general rule, you can keep one shrimp per 2 gallons of water in your aquarium.
However, in a 5-gallon betta tank, we recommend starting with three shrimp. If you have the space to keep six shrimp, you’ll reduce the likelihood of a dominant shrimp bullying the others.
The shrimp’s bioload isn’t a problem since it’s so small, you’ll barely notice it!
Amano Shrimp Behavior
Amano shrimp are fascinating creatures, especially when kept in groups.
The shrimp are mostly peaceful, showing no aggression toward each other or toward your fish and other tank residents.
You’ll only notice any belligerence between shrimp when you feed them. A dominant shrimp will be first in the queue, followed by the rest of the group.
Interestingly, a female shrimp is usually the most dominant, probably because females are larger than males.
Don’t panic if you don’t see your Amano shrimp for a few days. The shrimp often find hiding spots and keep themselves out of sight until they emerge to forage for scraps or eat any algae they discover growing in your tank.
Finding your shrimp is made trickier because they are almost transparent, making them hard to spot.
Finally, Amanos are most active when kept in large groups. In the wild environment, the shrimp live in large gangs in fast-flowing streams.
If possible, you should replicate that by keeping at least three shrimp or more if the tank is big enough.
Approximately once a month, your Amano shrimp will molt, completely shedding their old outer shell and growing a new one. The shrimp are extremely vulnerable to predators without a shell, so they will hide away to keep safe until the new shell has grown.
If you discover a molted shell, leave it in the tank for a few days. The shrimp will most likely eat the shell to extract its valuable nutrients.
Many shrimp owners mistake a molted shell for a dead shrimp. However, an old shell will be white and cloudy in appearance.
Can Amano Shrimp Live With Betta Fish?
Essentially, Amano shrimp can live in harmony with most betta fish.
However, there are a few caveats that you need to consider before adding a few of these cute crustaceans to your betta’s home.
Before adding any tank mates to your betta’s aquarium, it’s essential to consider your fishy friend’s temperament.
Some betta fish are extremely feisty, living up to the common name of Siamese fighting fish. If you have an aggressive betta, there’s a good chance he will attack your Amano shrimp, potentially injuring or even killing them.
If your betta is extremely aggressive, we recommend using freshwater snails as tank mates for him.
Shrimp are commonly regarded as a food source by many different kinds of fish.
Wild betta fish eat a diet consisting mostly of insect larvae, water-bound insects, and tiny crustaceans, along with a small number of algae and some plant matter. So, if your shrimp are very small, your betta will probably view them as a food source.
So, when buying Amano shrimp, ask the fish store clerk to give you the largest specimens they have. Hopefully, if the shrimp is too large to fit into your betta’s mouth, the chances are your fishy friend won’t eat it.
Caring For Amano Shrimp and Betta Fish
So, assuming you can get some large Amano shrimp, what tank conditions and water parameters do they need, and are your shrimps’ needs compatible with your betta’s requirements?
Bettas and Amano shrimp don’t need a large tank to thrive. So, if you have a small nano betta setup, both your fish and shrimp should be happy.
The ideal water temperature for a betta fish is 78°F. As luck would have it, Amano shrimp can live in temperatures from 70°F to 80°F, so the two species are a good fit.
Shrimp need slightly acidic water conditions with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0, and bettas can tolerate similar conditions.
Shrimp need a water hardness of between 6 and 8 dKH. A certain level of mineral content in the water is essential for the shrimp to maintain a healthy shell. Bettas are happy with the same dKH level, although they prefer slightly softer water than shrimp.
When setting up your tank for both bettas and Amano shrimp, you should include plenty of aquatic plants.
Bettas love to rest on flat plant leaves, and shrimp will seek shelter in dense clumps of plants and pick scraps of food trapped in the foliage. Good plants for your betta tank include Hornwort, Java Moss, and Anacharis.
In addition, your betta and shrimp will appreciate plenty of hiding places, and you can provide them with driftwood, smooth stones, caves, and shrimp tubes.
The substrate should be sand or fine gravel. Avoid using very coarse, large gauge gravel that could trap your shrimps’ delicate legs and make it difficult for them to sift through in search of food morsels.
Finally, Amano shrimps need plenty of algae to eat, so avoid adding them to a brand-new tank or be prepared to supplement the Amano’s diet with algae wafers.
Bettas and Amano shrimp produce relatively little waste. However, you still need an efficient filtration system to keep the environment clean and free from ammonia and nitrites.
Neither shrimp nor betta fish appreciates a strong flow through the tank, so you’ll need to buffer the outflow, if necessary with plants or decorations.
A sponge filter is the best choice for a tank containing shrimp, as that prevents the shrimp from getting sucked into the filter pump.
What To Feed Amano Shrimp and Betta Fish
It’s essential to remember that Amano shrimp and betta fish do not share the same dietary requirements.
Your betta needs high-quality betta pellets with some frozen meaty protein. If you have a home brine shrimp hatchery, you could offer your betta some life food, which he’s certain to appreciate.
However, we don’t generally recommend using live food unless you have a reliable supplier, as there’s a risk you could import parasites and bacteria into your betta’s tank with the food.
Your Amano shrimp eat algae and algae wafers, blanched vegetables, and high-quality shrimp pellets.
However, be careful that you don’t overfeed the shrimp. If you offer your Amanos too much food, they’ll get lazy and go for the easiest food source rather than eating algae and keeping your tank clean.
Shrimp also eat meaty protein, so the Amanos will happily tuck into frozen foods, such as bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and daphnia.
How Much To Feed Amano Shrimp
Your betta should be fed one or two pellets at a time. If you overfeed your betta, there’s a risk he could get constipated or bloated.
You can offer your shrimp crumbled algae wafers or drop a whole wafer into the tank so that the shrimp can eat it over time. However you decide to feed your shrimp, you’ll see the most dominant shrimp feeding first.
Beware of overfeeding your pets. Uneaten food will gradually decompose in the tank, polluting the water and increasing the load on your biological filter.
That could raise ammonia levels in the water, which will ultimately poison your fish and other livestock.
Marimo Moss Balls
Although Marimo Moss balls are not edible, they do collect lots of scraps of food that’s drifted down from the surface.
Watch the shrimp carefully, and you’ll see them sifting through the moss balls and picking out a juicy morsel or two. Your betta will probably join in the food fest too!
Will Your Betta Eat Your Shrimp?
In the wild, betta fish eat small crustaceans. So, in theory, your betta buddy might consider your shrimp as a lunch option.
However, a betta’s mouth is tiny, and it’s highly unlikely that your fishy friend would be able to eat or harm your shrimp, provided the shrimp is large enough not to fit in the betta’s mouth.
Health and Disease
Bettas and Amano shrimp don’t generally suffer from the same diseases. The key to keeping your pets healthy and happy is to feed them a correct, varied diet as described earlier and keep the tank clean and hygienic.
Check your water quality once a week to be sure that the water contains no ammonia or nitrite and that nitrate levels are below 30 ppm. Take care that the water parameters and water temperature in the tank remain constant, as shrimp are sensitive to fluctuations in conditions.
If using any form of fish medication or treatments in your tank, be wary of using anything containing copper. Copper is highly toxic to shrimp and will probably kill them.
So, treat your fish in a quarantine tank rather than adding copper to a tank containing shrimp, snails, and other aquatic creatures.
In this part of our guide, we answer some of the most often-asked questions about keeping betta fish and shrimp together.
Q: Can Betta and Shrimp Live Together?
A: Shrimp can be good companions for your betta fish. Shrimp are peaceful creatures that live on the bottom of the tank, so they won’t come into conflict with your betta, who prefers the upper area of the water column.
Shrimp also make a good cleanup crew, happily eating organic waste and algae to keep your tank clean and tidy.
Q: What Kind of Shrimp Can Live With Bettas?
A: Most species of freshwater shrimp can live safely and companionably with betta fish. Shrimp species you could consider keeping with your betta buddy include:
- Ghost shrimp
- Bumblebee shrimp
- Cherry shrimp
To create the perfect cleanup crew, consider adding a few snails to the setup too.
Q: Will My Betta Eat My Shrimp?
A: Although betta fish are mostly carnivorous, it’s highly unlikely that your betta fish will try to eat an adult shrimp. However, if the shrimp are tiny enough to fit into the betta’s mouth, he might make a meal of them.
The general rule of thumb when keeping shrimp and bettas together is only to add larger shrimp to your fish tank.
Your betta’s temperament will also have some bearing on the suitability of shrimp for your betta tank.
A betta that’s extremely aggressive might attack any other living creature in his tank, including a shrimp. So, monitor your betta’s behavior closely.
I hope you enjoyed our guide to keeping Amano shrimp with betta fish. If you found the article helpful, please share it!
Overall, Amano shrimp make awesome tank mates for betta fish! The shrimp share similar water requirements to bettas, and their ideal habitat is very similar.
Shrimp are peaceful creatures that go about their daily business of scavenging and eating algae without hassling your betta. However, if your betta has a very aggressive temperament, he might not appreciate sharing his home with any other creatures except perhaps a large snail.
What species of shrimp do you keep with your betta fish? Did your betta buddy eat any of your shrimp? Tell us in the comments box below.