When you are adding some shrimp as feeders or for maintenance, it’s important to select the best fit for your tank. With Amano Shrimp Vs. Cherry Shrimp you’re going to need some specific data and that’s where we come in today. In this article, we’ll give you the facts that you need to choose the right shrimp for your tank.
Let’s take a look at the facts that you’ll need to know!
Your first consideration is going to be, of course, your environment. While their requirements are similar, each type of shrimp has optimal conditions where they are going to be the most active and comfortable.
Below you will find the requirements for Amano and Cherry shrimp so that you may factor these variables first.
Amano shrimp are tough little crustaceans, quite comfortable in a temperature range of 70° to 80°, with a water hardness rating of DKH 6.0 to 8.0, along with a PH level of 6.0 to 7.0. This versatility makes them an excellent choice for your tank.
While they can thrive in both large and small environs, it is recommended that a 10-gallon tank is a minimum for hosting 5 Amano shrimp. For every extra shrimp that you wish to add, you should follow a basic rule of 1 gallon per Amano shrimp to get the best results.
While they can be aggressive, they don’t have any natural defenses to speak of when it comes to the fish that you’ll be housing them with. As such, your best bet is to put them together with passive, small or mid-size fish. Examples include Neon Tetras, Bamboo shrimp, Cherry shrimp, and Tiger Barbs.
Note: If you are breeding Amano shrimp, the babies are going to have some special requirements as well, which we will cover in the ‘breeding’ section shortly.
With Cherry Shrimp, tank parameters need to be a little tighter, at least with the higher-end variety. While lower-grade Cherry shrimp may do okay with more lax requirements, higher-grade Cherries need a temperature range of 65° to 85° with a water hardness of DKH 6.0 – 8.0, and a preferred PH of 6.5 to 8.0.
Cherry shrimp have a wider tolerance of temperature range than Amanos, but they are pickier about PH so this is a consideration to keep in mind. As far as tank size, to keep your inverts happy it’s recommended that you go with 2 – 4 shrimp per gallon. While they breed quickly, this should be a sufficient volume to keep them happy and healthy.
This takes us to tankmate considerations, and due to their diminutive size, medium-sized fish are not going to be a good fit unless you intend for them to be eaten. Smaller fish are a better idea with Cherries, such as Dwarf Tetras, Cory Catfish, or Freshwater Snails.
If you just intend to breed them, then put them in their own tank, but medium-sized fish will definitely not work… they see these little guys as food and will gobble them right up!
Diet & Feeding
Next, we’ll take a look at the diet of both Amano and Cherry shrimp so that you can get a better idea of what sort of feeding schedules that you will need to whip up for each type of shrimp. We’ll also give you an idea of their appetites so that you’ll get an idea of their general maintenance performance.
While they are going to need quality pellets to help to ensure that they are getting all the right nutrients that they’ll need to grow up strong, Amano shrimp are certainly going to take advantage of their environment. Of the two shrimp, Amanos are the superior tank-cleaners, voraciously gobbling algae, bits of plant debris, and leftover fish food.
Be sure to feed their pellets on a regular schedule and to keep the amounts small, so that you minimize the risk of pellets becoming contaminated on the floor of your tank, but beyond these pellets, your shrimp will eat quite well as they clean up your tank.
Cheery Shrimp are little omnivores, so if they catch anything in their tank then they will certainly eat it up, provided that it’s not simply too big or tough for them. They eat a lot of algae too, just a little less than Amano shrimp, and like the Amanos you will need to supplement their diets with small quantities of pellets to keep them happy and healthy.
Lifespan And Size
Now that we have discussed the environment and dietary requirements, it’s time to move on to lifespan and size, as this is certainly another important factor when setting up ‘living tank maintenance’. Let’s break down the basics so that you will know exactly what to expect with each species.
Amano shrimp are longer lived, with an expected lifespan of 2 to 3 years, provided that their diet and environment meet ideal conditions. They are also the larger of the pair, with their full-grown size maxing out at around 2 inches, making them suitable for less aggressive, medium-sized tankmates who should generally leave them alone and let them do their jobs.
Amano shrimp will generally take a period of 3 to 5 months before they fully mature into adulthood.
Cherry shrimp have a notable difference in lifespan, with an average life cycle of approximately 1 year. With regular testing of the water to ensure an ideal environment, you may increase their lifespan a little, but not appreciably.
As far as sizes, it differs a little, with the males measuring in at approximately .8 to 1 inch when fully grown, while the females will reach up to 1.5 inches in length. Babies are very tiny, and it is recommended that a pre-filter consisting of a fine sponge be placed in the intake when you spot Cherry mothers carrying eggs under their tails.
These little guys are very tiny and can easily get sucked into the intake!
Cherry shrimp may mature a little more slowly than Amanos, but not by much. They have an average period of 4 – 5 months before reaching maturity.
Our final comparison is going to be in breeding and there are definitely some facts here that you will need to consider. So, how do these two shrimps compare? Below you’ll find what you need to know about Amano and Cherry shrimp breeding behavior and requirements.
Breeding is where you are going to have problems with Amano shrimp. While they are more durable and longer-lived, the problem lies in their breeding habits in the wild. Once their eggs have been fertilized, female Amanos will carry them around for a period of about 6 weeks.
Pretty standard, right?
The problem is, that she will then place them in brackish water, with a high saline content that you aren’t going to have in your freshwater tank. The Amano shrimp larvae need that salt to develop, but then they are going to need to move on to freshwater before the saline kills them.
While you can gradually increase salinity in a breeding tank, the mature Amano shrimp can die if the levels aren’t perfect, so basically, breeding is going to be next to impossible for anyone but the most experienced shrimp-keepers.
By contrast, Cherry shrimp are one of the easiest types of shrimps to breed. You just need to know a little about their natural breeding cycle and it’s fairly simple after that. To start, Cherry shrimp traditionally breed in the warmer summer months, so you’ll need to raise your aquarium temperature to encompass a range of 78°F – 82°F.
This will kick off their breeding instincts and then we’re cooking!
Provided that the shrimp involved are well acclimated to the tank and around 5 to 6 months of age, then breeding should begin around this point. You’ll notice the mothers carrying eggs in their tails and it will take the eggs around 30 days before they start to hatch.
Again, we remind you that a fine sponge filter for your intakes is going to be crucial if you don’t want to lose your baby shrimp. Also, while you probably already have a lot of plants in the tank, if you don’t, then this might be a good thing to change before you kick off a breeding cycle.
That way the babies will have good places to hide so that they may mature without getting eaten!
The best approach, if you’ve got the patience, is to transfer the babies to a tank that you should prepare in advance. Cycle it and let it mature a little so that there will be organisms and little algae in there for the little guys to snack on. A newly cycled tank won’t do, as it will be a bit too sterile.
If you prepare one and age it a bit then it should be perfect.
Don’t worry about transferring the moms, just get the little hatchlings. They’ll be fine on their own and as a species, Cherry shrimp moms are not exactly ‘mother of the year’. The newly separated shrimp babies should be fine on their own as long as there is plenty to eat and once they mature, then they can back to their original tank.
We’ve gone over their contrasts, so it’s only fair that we give you a brief summary of the similarities between Amano and Cherry shrimps. Below you will find an overview of what these two have in common.
Ease Of Care
Both Amano and Cherry shrimp are quite easy to care for and to maintain. Provided that they are carefully acclimated to their tanks, most of what they need to eat is already in the tank. With algae wafers and pellet supplements, fed sparingly, these shrimps get the additional nutrients that they need to thrive easily in your tank.
Both shrimp are quite easygoing and do not tend to display aggressive behaviors unless overcrowding is a factor. As long as they have sufficient space, they get along with each other and the fish with which they cohabit the tank (provided the recommended tankmate sizes are followed).
The PH and temperature ranges, along with the hard water requirements, are wide enough that these shrimps are going to do well in most tanks, as long as you undertake the due diligence of checking your water weekly. As most tank-keepers monitor their water religiously, this should not prove difficult in the slightest.
Amano Shrimp Vs. Cherry Shrimp: Recap and Conclusion
In this article, we’ve taken a deep dive into the similarities and differences between two popular shrimp choices for keeping your tank sparkly clean. As you can see, both are quite accommodating about their environmental size and living conditions and require simple diets, but longevity and breeding present some serious differences that you would do well to keep in mind.
Whichever shrimp you decide to keep, the facts and tips that we’ve shared today should help to ensure that you are well prepared to treat them right! Good luck with your new shrimps!