How Long Do Amano Shrimp Live? (& How To Maximise It)

When it comes to freshwater inverts, Amano shrimp are highly prized. They are hardy creatures, hard workers, and only aggressive when it comes to cleaning algae out of your tank. So, how long do Amano shrimp live?

If you are thinking about adding Amanos to your tank, then today is your lucky day. We’ll tell you how long these shrimps live, what conditions may decrease or increase their lifespans, and what you can do if your Amano shrimps aren’t doing so well in their new tanks. Let’s explore how to get the most longevity out of these amazing inverts!

How Long Do Amano Shrimp Live?

Amano shrimp are quite durable and hardy, with lifespans ranging from 2 -3 years in a tank with ideal conditions. With a varied diet to ensure they are getting the proper vitamins and minerals, as well as weekly water checks to ensure proper PH, DKH and temperature ranges, you can expect your Amano shrimp to be around for a long long time.

What Can Shorten An Amano Shrimps Lifespan?

While Amano shrimp are tough, they do still require some minimal care, and unlike Cherry shrimp, these guys can’t survive on just algae alone. Below we’ve compiled some of the most common factors that contribute to shortened lifespan where this inverted species is concerned. Let’s take a look!

Water Conditions

While some shrimps don’t have a problem with hard water, this is not the case with the Amano shrimp. Amanos have a DKH range that needs to be observed and followed when it comes to their longevity. The DKH levels should be between 6.0 and 8.0.

Their PH levels and ideal temperatures are also quite specific, with a recommended PH of 6.0 to 7.0 and a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees. If the water conditions vary quite often in your tank, then this can greatly reduce the expected lifespan of your Amanos.

Insufficient Calcium

Shrimp have exoskeletons, and as such, their calcium levels are very important. If your Amano shrimp are not getting enough calcium then you can see issues when a shrimp grows too large for its shell and needs to molt it. Tiny white rings appear when the shrimp needs to molt and this condition is called ‘White Ring’.

White ring is named for those signs, which are actually produced when the shell doesn’t break properly, and the rings that you are seeing are exposed flesh! If you are seeing this in your shrimp then more calcium needs to be introduced into their diets as this condition is generally quite fatal.

Too Many Amano Shrimp For The Tank Size

Due to their comparatively small size to their tankmates, it’s easy to end up adding too many Amano shrimp to your tank when you are trying to build up a colony. As a general rule, you want a ratio of 2 gallons of water for every 1 Amano shrimp.

If you have more than this, then this is going to affect your PH, and nitrite levels and spikes in these values can put the whole colony at risk! Ensure that you are following the recommended ratio of water to shrimp to avoid this.

Acclimation Issues

This is the most common reason for a shortened lifespan in Amano shrimp. If you keep adding shrimp to your tank and they are dying within a few days of introduction to the new tank, then this is likely an acclimation issue. Go to Google and do a search for ‘drip method acclimation’ and you can find some great instructional videos to learn this technique.

The Drip method is a slow acclimation process that is well worth your while, as it can greatly reduce acclimation losses so that your shrimp will have a very good chance of thriving after introduction to their new home.

How Can You Increase Your Amano Shrimp’s Lifespan?

Now that we’ve discussed some of the more common reasons for a reduced lifespan with Amano shrimp, let’s take a look at some of the things which you may do to extend their life expectancies. While nothing is guaranteed, the tips below will certainly maximize your chances of the colony doing well so be sure to consider each of the points below.

Vary Their Diet

Amano shrimp are omnivores and varying their diets is a good idea for keeping them around longer. Thankfully, this is quite easy to do. One thing that you can easily and cheaply add to their diet is blanched vegetables. Zucchini, lettuce, and spinach are popular examples and all you need to do is boil them for 2 – 3 minutes before adding small portions to the tank for your Amanos.

Bloodworms, fed twice a week after a 10-minute defrosting period for the cubes, are also a fine way to get your Amanos some much-needed proteins. Aside from veggies and Bloodworms, algae wafers and shrimp pellets are a quick and easy way to help ensure that your Amano shrimp are getting the nutrition that they need.

Finally, consider calcium supplement tablets to help to make sure that your little guys are prepared for molting and to keep their current exoskeletons strong!

Weekly Water Checks To Monitor Conditions

We’ve mentioned that Amanos are very sensitive to their environment and this cannot be stressed enough. A weekly or even a bi-weekly check of the temperature, the PH level, and the DKH/hardness level of the water is a very good idea.

It may seem a bit much, at first, but while these shrimps can live a long time, the water conditions do need to be ideal in order for this to happen. You’ll get used to the routine within a week or two and when you see how clean they are keeping your tank, it will be well worth the time.

Make Sure That There Are Plenty Of Plants And Algae

If you don’t have a lot of algae in your tanks then you will definitely want to be using algae wafers and perhaps even leaving the lights on for a little extra time to promote growth. Amano shrimp love algae and they will eat it voraciously, so you need to make sure that this important part of their diet is present.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have plenty of plants in your tank, as Amano shrimp eat dead plant matter and they will also graze the leaves for more algae, so be sure that your mini-ecosystem has plenty of plants to keep your Amanos happy and full.

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Why Do Your Amano Shrimp Keep Dying?

If your Amano shrimp keep dying, then we need to take a look at the most prominent causes of this in order to rule them out. Generally, once they are acclimated, Amanos are fairly easy to take care of – this is one of the things that make them desirable. That said, we do need to ensure that the following factors are considered when shrimp are becoming ill and dying.

Colony Size And Conditions

The colony size must not exceed the recommended volume of the water. 1 Amano shrimp for every 2 gallons is the maximum amount that you should be hosting. Further, let’s take a look again at their specific requirements because these shrimps are much more sensitive about them than some other shrimp species:

  • PH – 6.0 to 7.0
  • DKH – 6.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature – 70 to 80 degrees

If you’ve got ammonia and nitrate levels spiking, it is good to get into the habit of cleaning excess foods after feedings. Also, consider your food amounts. Ideally, you want the food that you provide to be finished up within 3 – 4 hours of introduction. Any leftover food should be removed and the amounts for future feedings reduced until you find the perfect amounts.

Dietary Concerns

Failing to vary Amano shrimp diets can also cause them to sicken and die. If you aren’t using blanched vegetables, give this a try. These little guys love spinach and carrots are also great for getting their attention and helping to ensure that they are getting their vitamins.

Calcium supplements are also going to be crucial for molting and low calcium levels can be fatal during this time, so be sure that you are adding calcium pills or other calcium supplements on a regular schedule to help to keep this possibility at bay.


Amano shrimp will do well with small to medium-sized, non-aggressive fish. You want to avoid housing them with more aggressive species such as Clown Loaches, and Polka Dot Botias. They should also never be housed with more aggressive species such as Discuss, Angelfish, or Oscars, as your Amanos will be attacked and are likely to be quickly devoured!

Breeding Is Likely Not Going To Be Successful

If the dying shrimp are babies, then we have a little bad news. Amano shrimp are notoriously difficult when it comes to breeding. This is because they lay their eggs in brackish water, as their young require a salinity that is not going to be present in your freshwater tank.

That same salinity is toxic to the adults and it’s hard enough to reproduce that even separating the babies into a specialized breeding tank is likely going to fail. The gradual introduction of salinity is even hard for many experts and because of this, any breeding attempts are likely not to be successful.

In Closing: Amano Shrimp Should Live For 2 – 3 Years In Ideal Conditions

Amano shrimp are an excellent addition to your tank. With a little regular care, these guys consume many types of algae and keep your tank looking nice. Just be sure that you watch their water variables and keep their diets varied. A little variety laced with plenty of calcium should do the trick nicely.

Take good care of them and these little cleaners do their jobs for a good, long time!