The Amano shrimp (Caridina multidentata) has a bright and transparent body. Small black dots decorate the trunk. The dots are arranged laterally and in lines. The 2 cm long legs round off the distinctive appearance.
On the basis the appearance one can hardly distinguish the sexes. The striking difference between males and females is the body size. The larger female can reach a body length of 5 to 7 cm in adulthood. Another distinguishing feature is the spawning point.
The female shrimp carries this on her neck. If kept in good conditions, this shrimp species has a life expectancy of between six and eight years.
The keeping of the Amano shrimp is uncomplicated. The fresh water can have a temperature between 23°C and 27°C. The hardness of the oxygenated water can reach up to 20 °dH. In addition, the pH value may be between 6 and 8. The quality of the water must be kept constant. Extreme fluctuations are harmful to the health of amano shrimp. They react sensitively to water contaminated with heavy metals. Checking the water used can prevent damage to Amano shrimp’s health. If necessary, a water conditioner should be used. Regular water changes promote the health and well-being of these animals. The equipment of the aquarium should be adapted to the preferences of the shrimps. A sandy bottom with plenty of planting provides a nice optical picture.
Delicate and delicate plants interspersed with moss offer the shrimp numerous possibilities for foraging. They find hiding places through roots and clay pipes. This genus is not suitable for individual keeping. The number of shrimp varies depending on the size of the aquarium. A water volume of 20 litres is sufficient for five animals. Ideally there should be at least 10 Amano shrimp in a group. The habitat must meet the requirements of this species. These peaceful aquarium inhabitants like to live in larger groups. An ideal keeping is not limited to the minimum requirements.
The main food of this shrimp species is algae. They constantly search the ground for this food. For many aquarists, algae control is the main reason for keeping these animals. If no algae or too little algae are formed in the aquarium, one should feed supplementary food. Dried algae in different forms are available in the trade. Another possibility would be to promote the growth of algae. Increasing the duration of the aquarium lighting promotes algae growth. Special shrimp food provides a change in the diet. The Amano shrimp are omnivores. In addition to algae, they like to eat mosquito larvae, cooked vegetables and fruit. As health police, dead microorganisms (detritus) are eliminated.
The breeding of Amano shrimp is difficult and success is not certain. There are two special features to be observed with Amano shrimp. Firstly, their young are not fully developed at birth and secondly, these young animals need salt water for development. The strong female forms the spawn. The development takes 4 to 6 weeks. When the eggs are “ripe”, the female sheds her skin and “lures” the males with sexual substances. The female carries the fertilized eggs under her abdomen. About one week later the colouring of the eggs should change from dark to light. The whole maturing process takes 3 to 5 weeks. Shortly before hatching the eyes of the larvae can be seen. From here on you can use two different methods. One possibility is to move the “expectant” mum. The shrimp is placed in a separate aquarium. After spawning, the mother shrimp is returned to its old tank.
The water of the breeding tank is enriched with sea salt. The second possibility is that the shrimp remains in its normal environment until spawning. After hatching, the larvae are transferred. The transfer must take place within a few hours, as the shrimp larvae are not viable in fresh water. The larvae are caught by a landing net and placed in the prepared brackish water basin. The small larvae go through several phases during their development and moult regularly. They feed on the existing algae. The development phases can be supported by supplementary feeding. After completion of the development (40 days) the “finished” Amano shrimp can be transferred to the freshwater tank.
These peaceful animals live in an aquarium with fish of the same size without problems. The Amano shrimp behave inconspicuously in such communities. This type of shrimp cannot defend itself against aggressive or larger fish. Therefore, you should make sure that the characteristics of the fish match those of their fellow inhabitants. Otherwise the shrimp could be hunted for food. The Amano shrimp feel very comfortable in larger groups and are peaceful towards their conspecifics.