An amano shrimp male.

 

Same male, different pose.

 

Ovigerous amano shrimp female.

 

Closeup of amano shrimp eggs.

 

Common Name:

Amano Shrimp, Algae Eating Shrimp, Yamato Shrimp, Japonica

Scientific Name:

Caridina multidentata (formerly known as Caridina japonica).

Size:

usually around 4-5cm

Temperature:

will tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but best kept at 70F-78F

Water Parameters:

wide range, not important

Food:

algae, biofilm, fish food (flake, pellets etc)

Origin:

Japan, Taiwan, may be introduced elsewhere

Larval Development Type:

Normal: larvae go through several planktonic stages before metamorphosing into post-larvae (miniature shrimp) and assuming a benthic lifestyle.  For this process they need brackish water to full strength saltwater.

The Amano Shrimp is the "Granddaddy" of the shrimp hobby.  It was because Takashi Amano featured these shrimp in his book about planted aquaria that people got interested in this very efficient algae eating shrimp.  This shrimp is very useful in eliminating all types of algae and is an all around interesting creature.  In fact, there are very few shrimp that can match its skills as an efficient algae eater. It gets quite a bit bigger than other algae eating shrimp and is a joy to watch. One should not buy this shrimp as *the* solution to one's alge problems, though. Shrimp never eliminate algae in a tank, they keep it at bay. Plus, if the Amano shrimp does not find much other food in the tank, it actually starts eating certain types of very fine leaved plants such as certain mosses.

I want to stress that this shrimp can only be propagated if its larvae are transferred into saltwater/brackish water and back into freshwater when the larvae develop into postlarvae (i.e. mini-shrimp)..  There are some dubious reports on the internet (one with a picture of an amphipod/scud claiming to be a "baby amano") purporting the "breeding" of this shrimp in total freshwater, but these "reports" are not to be trusted.

Similar to the red cherry shrimp the Amano shrimp can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and can be kept outside in garden ponds in frost free areas.

 

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