Snail and egg eaters, too. And, they'll clean up smashed snails. I discovered quite by accident, as I was doing some netting and crushed a small pond snail. There was a rush for the Escargot entree, with the largest female finally winning the battle. So, if you want to clean your tank of snails, have the patience to smash them against the sides, the Amanos will do the cleanup job for you. They also love fish eggs. I observed them cleaning the spawning mop of all Celebes rainbow eggs, much to my dismay! I'm trying to feed the Amanos well to prevent their attaching the eggs again, but I fear that they may also eat the fry. I have had them in tanks with live-born fry (guppies) with no problems, but the smaller egg-hatched fry might be an easy target.
I have had a wonderful and unexpected success in keeping and breeding the Amano Shrimp. Four months ago, I set up a 760 liter tank with 4 cm of potting soil (without vermiculite) and about 5 cm of Fluorite over the potting soil for the substrate. My goal was to have a heavily planted semi-high tech display tank (a combination and modification of the Amano and Walstad study). I introduced about 30 Amano Shrimp and about as many Otocinclus after planting the tank with a variety of rooted and floating plants. I set the temperature at 28°C, provided 520 Watts of compact fluorescent light, and incorporated a system of automatic CO2 injection (not really all that necessary). Water started out with pH 7 and after water changes, I reduced it to 6.5 pH with RO water, with hardness being very low. My secondary objective is to raise and hopefully breed discus, as I’ve had one discus that spawned many times in a previous and similar set up. I determined to “cycle” the tank for about a month before introducing the discus. After 2 weeks the water went very green and stayed that way for more than a month until I introduced hornwort, salvinia and duckweed to clear the “green water”. The aquaria finally cleared, and to my surprise, I observed 2 or 3 new generations of baby shrimp...literally hundreds in the tank. I want to emphasize one thing...I did nothing to the tank except feed the few otos and shrimp. I went to the effort of a couple of big water changes to control or eradicate the “green water” (another story altogether), and I delayed the introduction of the discus because of the “green water” condition. At the time of this submission the baby shrimp are thriving wonderfully, and many more generations have succeeded...with the expectation of many more to come. I believe that the now introduced discus are feeding on some of the smaller shrimp but, by now, so many larvae are constantly being released by some of the earlier generations and are able to hide in the thick plants, that there should be a continued large existing population of Amano Shrimp for the future of this aquaria, (safety in numbers...helps). I may start giving some shrimp away to friends and selling some to the LPS. I am fairly certain that, because I had cardinals, rummy nose, and cories in the previous set up, there was no chance of having any baby shrimp succeed much past the larval state. These shrimp have been a real joy to the whole family and friends! Oh! And the planted tank is fabulously gorgeous...the only way to go, and I believe some of the best conditions and a more natural way for the shrimp population to increase!
I have 5 of these shrimp in my Eclipse System 45 liter tank. They are all over one year old, seem to be very healthy and hardy and are delightful to watch. Today I noticed a very young shrimp. I'm excited to have this baby after much reading about the difficulty for survival in a fresh water tank. Tankmates are 8 Cardinal Tetras, 2 Otocinclus, 1 Lemon Tetra, 1 Bushynose Plec.
These shrimp are the most efficient algae eating shrimp around. From the day they arrived in my tank, they never stopped eating the algae on my plants, relieving me of a big headache. As much as these shrimp eat algae, they never touch bloodworms. They do occasionally eat flake food though. These shrimp should be kept in a planted tank because they can find adequate cover there. I find that my shrimp like to use their long antennae to 'tickle' fish that come too close to them. Anyone can keep these wonderful shrimp, as long as they have a planted tank.
I absolutely love these creatures. They are so cute and playful. They swim all the way across my 130 liter tank, from the substrate up into the top of my plants. I have a water sprite (I think) bundle that's up to forest mode. They love climbing around in it eating the algae off of it. Whenever I put an algae wafer in there, they go crazy and try to fight over it, but they don't have claws so they can't really fight. I've been having some algae blooms lately, looks like spray paint on the front of the glass, and I will see them climbing up the glass on the algae eating it. Great swimmers too! If you have a planted tank, I highly recommend these. They are so fun to watch.
Here are two points which I think need to be cleared up:
1) If your shrimp have reproduced successfully in a freshwater (non-brackish) tank, then they aren't Amano shrimp (Caridina japonica) - perhaps they're Glass/Ghost shrimp which look similar at first glance, or one of the Neocaridinas. Though Amano shrimp are freshwater shrimp, their larval stage requires fairly high salinity. In the wild, the eggs hatch in freshwater streams and the larvae are either washed to the sea-side or they swim there themselves (nobody really knows the details). Once they approach adulthood, they swim back to freshwater. Breeders trying to reproduce this move larvae to brackish tanks about 7 days after hatching. Neocaridina species, such as the popular Cherry Shrimp, do not require brackish water to reproduce - they actually skip the larval stage altogether.
2) Amano shrimp do not require brackish conditions as adults, as stated in one of the comments. They do require a little calcium in their diet or environment, but they are a completely freshwater species (again, as adults).
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