Amano shrimp are hardy little creatures and one of the best choices out there when it comes to managing algae. With a life expectancy of 2 to 3 years, they are the preferred choice for cleaners for many tank owners. Despite their expected longevity, however, Amano shrimp have some strict requirements in regards to their water level and temperature. These factors are going to have an effect on their behavior.
Let’s talk about Amano shrimp Temperature variables and what they mean to your colony.
What’s The Ideal Temperature For Amano Shrimp?
One of the advantages of Amano Shrimp is that the temperatures which they are used to in the wild are quite flexible. This means that your shrimp are perfectly happy for a comfortable, 20-degree range of 65 to 85 degrees. That said, we’d recommend 70 to 80 degrees as the optimal range.
This is ideal because they will be at their most active, and this range is also a great fit for a number of compatible tankmates.
Do Amano Shrimp Need Heaters?
If your average room temperature never drops below 65 degrees, then you might not actually need a heater at all. Due to their flexibility where the temperature is concerned, a heater is technically not going to be a requirement for some.
It IS still preferable to employ a heater, however, just to micromanage the environment. Amano Shrimp water levels are very particular, so it’s good practice to employ as complete control of the environment as possible to ensure the best results.
What Happens When The Tank Is Too Cold?
Many species of freshwater shrimp come from colder climes. This means that they will have a large range of temperatures that they are comfortable in or which they may simply still survive in. In this section, we’ll address the Amano shrimp specifically so that you know what you may expect should the temperature drop.
Your Shrimps Will Become Less Active
The first thing that occurs is that your Amano shrimp will start to slow down. This is natural. Freshwater shrimp are poikilothermic, which means that their internal temperatures will change to match the temperature of their environment and adjust activity accordingly.
Slowing down is not the only behavioral change, however.
Amano Shrimp Will Not Eat As Much
Your Amanos will eat less as their slowed-down systems are geared to conserve their energy. So, they will need less food to survive. While this saves you on 3rd party feeds, however, this also means that they’ll be eating fewer algae and biofilm from your plants and your tank.
Increased water testing is therefore going to be a good idea to ensure that levels haven’t become potentially toxic for your Amanos.
Their Growth Rate Will Be Reduced
Keeping your shrimp in colder temperatures will affect their growth rate, so younger shrimp are going to take appreciably longer to mature. This is just another inevitable side-effect of functioning in colder temperatures.
Some May Simply Adapt… But It Depends On A Few Variables
Amano shrimp can adjust to temperatures as low as 50 degrees, but it needs to be a gradual thing. As you may have learned when you first acclimated them to their new tank, these shrimp are very sensitive to sudden environmental changes.
This means that if you are opting not to use a heater and have an issue where the temperature drops suddenly and dramatically, say a power outage, then the water will cool much more quickly than if it was heated. This may result in some shrimp being unable to adjust quickly enough, and you will likely lose some members of your colony.
While Amanos are notoriously hard to breed in the first place (due to salinity requirements for their eggs), a reduction in temperature will actually cause them not to even try at all. Amano shrimp only tend to breed in temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees, so a colder environment will stop this instinct in its tracks.
The Chance Of Bacterial Infection, However, Is Lowered
Below 72 degrees, your Amano shrimp will actually enjoy a decreased chance of bacterial infections. At these temperatures, the bacterium is less likely to thrive, so a cold tank may actually be beneficial in this regard.
What Happens When The Tank Is Too Hot?
Now that we’ve taken a look at the effects of cold on Amano shrimp, let’s check out the inverse and see what a little heat does with this species. While temperatures between 77 and 80 are ideal for accelerating their growth rate, the highest temperature that they do well is 85 degrees.
Let’s explore what happens when it gets hotter.
Your Amano Shrimp May Simply Adapt
If your temperature is right at the 85 mark and occasionally ventures into 86 and 87, then your Amano shrimp may simply adapt. These shrimps are comfortable in warmer environs than many other species of freshwater shrimp, so your shrimp might do just fine.
Molting Failures May Occur
While they will likely adjust to warmer temperatures, consistently warm environments can and do take their toll. One area where this may be fatal is in molting. That accelerated growth which we mentioned in the introduction to this section means that your shrimp may grow too fast for proper molting.
Conditions like White ring, where a shell fails to break off properly during the molting process, may well occur. Most of your shrimp will probably survive, as this is a hardy species, but you are going to lose some in consistently warm water from the molting factor alone.
Breeding Activity Will Increase
The warm waters are a signal that it’s time to mate, and while 70 to 80 degrees is all that you need to kickstart this instinct, warmer temperatures than that will put it into overdrive. Amano shrimp require brackish water to lay their eggs, but in a freshwater tank, they won’t have that.
This generally translates out as your water levels will require closer monitoring, and your shrimp’s tankmates are going to be enjoying a lot of delicious eggs.
Lifespans Will Be Reduced
Increased activity means increased physical strain, and this will take its toll over time. This is going to result in a shorter life expectancy, which means that you will need to replace colony members more regularly if you are using them in a tank with warmer environmental requirements for the accompanying tankmates.
(Find out about 12 great freshwater shrimp you can add to your aquarium.)
Some Closing Commentary On Amano Shrimps And Their Tank Temperature
Today we’ve discussed the effects of temperature on the life expectancy and general habits of your Amano shrimp colonies. In a nutshell, it boils down to the fact that your shrimp are poikilothermic and will generally adjust to a wide range of temperatures.
Those adjustments will basically amount to reduced performance and food intake in colder climes, which the inverse will be true with heat. Amano shrimp in warm waters will be hyperactive, eat more, breed constantly, and subsequently will have reduced lifespans.
If the room housing your shrimp never drops below 65 degrees, then you may well not need a heater, but it is generally going to be a good idea to monitor their temperatures so that the environment is neither too cold nor too hot but just right.
This will ensure that your shrimp stay active, keep your tank clean, and that they’ll live for a good, long time.
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