In my opinion amano shrimps (Caridina Multidentata), also known as the yamato shrimp and japonica shrimp, are the most effective algae eaters out there. They eat different varieties of algae and food debris, easy to care for their temperament liven your aquarium.

takashi amanoThey are named after the Japanese Hobbyist Mr. Takashi Amano who introduced these little guys to the fishkeeping scene back in 1988, they have caught the attention of fishkeepers during early 2000s.

They are a bit difficult to breed compared to their cousins such as the cherry shrimp and the ghost shrimps. Therefore they carry a somewhat hefty price tag. However they are worth every penny you spend as these little guys who do not grow past 2 inches. They really do a commendable job in cleaning your aquarium of algae and other detritus during their life span of 2 – 3 years.

They are peaceful and shy creatures so make sure you add enough plants and rocks and may be roots for them to hide behind when they feel like it. Keep in mind they ‘molt’ (growing a new exoskeleton) every month. During this period they feel really vulnerable without a protective shell so having a thoroughly planted aquarium is a must.

You can easily separate the males from the females as the females tend to become significantly larger. Females also have a sack underneath in order to carry eggs and they have dashes scattered all over their body while the males have dots. They are very susceptible for the changes in the water as 97.5% of them are caught from the wild than bred, so they can not cope with the sudden changes in their environment. They can not tolerate nitrite and ammonia well so the post cycling nitrite and ammonia levels should be kept at zero. Ideal temperature range should be between 70 °F and 80 °F (21°C and 27°C). pH level should be around 6.5 to 7.5 while 7.2 being the ideal. Water hardness range should be between 6.0 – 8.0 dkh.

The only time they become aggressive is the feeding time. They eat a variety of food in addition to algae and decaying plants (they don’t eat live plants so another plus point as to why you should add these guys to your fishtanks). They enjoy algae wafers, blanched zucchini, dried pellets.

Amano shrimp co–exist with almost all of species out there except some fish varieties such as cichlids, oscars, arowanas and invertebrates such as tangerine lobster and blue lobster.