Amano shrimp are a lovely addition to your tank. Most commonly a pearly, translucent color, they can also show hints of rust, brown, or even lovely greens. You’ve likely heard of them and want to add them to your tank, so what do Amano shrimp eat?
In this article, we’ll tell you all about Amano’s appetites. We’ll go over what’s ideal, what they eat in the wild, and what they like to eat at all ages. We’ll even tell you what to do when they don’t seem to feel like eating so that in the end, you’ll be well-prepared to host and feed your new Amano shrimps!
What Do Amano Shrimp Eat?
The first thing that you’ll need to know is simply what they WILL eat. While largely simply viewed as ‘algae-eating shrimp’, Amanos are omnivores and do best with a balanced diet that takes this into consideration. Let’s look at what they tend to eat the most.
Most Kinds of Algae
Algae, even types that other fish won’t eat like Bearded algae, is regular and even the preferred fare of Amano shrimp. They also like most types of string algae and will definitely devour Brush and Hair algae as well. As far as ‘cleaners’ go, this makes Amano shrimp some of the best shrimp to have in your tank.
Leftover Fish Food
As you deposit in fish flakes and pellets, your fish tend to race towards them and snap them up, generally producing a small amount of discarded food that falls down to the bottom. Amano shrimp will often catch it on the way down, but if they don’t, then they’ll find it at the bottom later and gobble it up.
Waste From Your Fish
Like many shrimp, Amano shrimp will sample fecal matter to look for undigested bits of food and vitamin content that has managed to make it through.
Dead Plant Matter
Amano Shrimp love dead plant matter and will graze on your live plants for algae. They generally don’t eat plants live, but there are exceptions. Reports have advised that they sometimes will actually eat bits of Alternanthera Reineckii from time to time, and they do occasionally enjoy fresh greens.
Generally, however, they prefer dead plant matter when it comes to their favored form of organic snacks.
What’s The Ideal Diet For Amano Shrimp?
Ideally, you want plenty of algae in your tank for your Amano shrimp to devour regularly, but you also want to supplement their diets so that they are getting enough vitamins and minerals. Calcium is especially important for these shrimps, as it is crucial when it comes to molting.
The best choices to start with for supplementing their diet include bloodworms, blanched vegetables, algae wafers, and fish flakes. Shrimp and fish pellets are also welcome additions to their diet, just research new foods that you are considering to ensure that they do not have a high copper content, as this is toxic to your Amanos.
What Do Amano Shrimp Eat In The Wild?
Native to Japan and Taiwan, these translucent little creatures spend their time at the bottoms of rivers taking advantage of a large assortment of available food. While primarily their diet is herbivorous, they are technically omnivores and opportunists, which has helped them survive and thrive.
Let’s look at what they eat in the wild.
Algae is a huge part of their diets, and they eat it voraciously. This is why they are so desirable to add to your tank at home, though they may not eat the algae as aggressively if you overfeed them on supplements. If they seem a little ‘lazy’ about algae cleanup, try reducing the amounts of supplements for a brief time to see if it helps.
‘Aufwuchs’ are tiny animals and plants that tend to cling to the surface of various things that you’ll find in the river. Logs, stones, and other surfaces are ripe with small organisms which make their home there and are subsequently devoured by tenacious Amaro shrimp.
Dead Plant Matter
Next to algae, dead plant matter is another foodstuff that the Amano shrimp highly prize, and they regularly sift the river bottoms to eat dead plant matter as one of their diet staples.
Further increasing their usefulness, dead fish are a welcome supplement to this shrimp’s diet, and Amano shrimp will definitely take advantage of this gourmet opportunity when it arrives. You’ll see this in your tank as well the first time that a fish or a snail dies.
What Do Baby Amano Shrimp Eat?
You likely will not see any Baby Amano shrimp due to their extremely specific requirements. While your Amano shrimp will certainly breed, the mother always lays her eggs in brackish water, and the saline content of this water is going to be hard for you to reproduce.
Even experts have a hard time with this.
The biggest problem, even if you make a separate breeding tank, is the salinity levels. The salt is toxic to the parents, but the babies need it to mature. This means that you’d have to gradually increase the levels, then isolate parents, all while ensuring that the babies have food sources that they can actually eat.
We’ll go over what they eat in the wild, just so that you will know, but breeding them is likely going to be an impossibility for all but the most expert aquarium keepers.
Algae is always welcome, and the little ones will take advantage of any which they find in order to fill up their bellies and to mature in a period of 40 to 50 days.
Tiny organisms are just right for baby Amano shrimps in the wild and will be eaten up regularly in order to ensure proper nutrition that they will need to mature.
Dead Plant Matter
Discarded and dead plant matter is consumed at this age, provided the fragments are small enough for the baby Amano’s mouths.
How Often Should You Feed Your Amano Shrimp?
For mature Amano shrimp, 2 -3 times per week is ideal. Overfeeding is discouraged, as this will certainly spike up your nitrites and ammonia levels and your Amano shrimp are quite vulnerable to this. You can reduce your chances of overfeeding by simply having a lot of plants in your tank, at which point 1 – 2 feedings a week will be just fine.
How Often Should You Feed Baby Amano Shrimp?
If you still wish to try your hand at breeding Amanos, make sure that your tank is cycled and aged to build up little algae, and feed them small, powdered algae or commercial ‘fry food’ from your pet store every 3 – 4 hours, cleaning up excess after the babies stop eating.
Again, it is unlikely that they will survive due to their salinity requirements, so for best results, you may want to consult experts at your local aquarium.
What Does It Mean If Your Amano Shrimp Isn’t Eating?
If your Amano shrimp don’t seem to be eating their supplements, then there are 2 main reasons for this. You’ll want to check your water parameters and consider the amount of food already present in the form of waste and available biofilms or algae.
We’ll elaborate a little on this below.
Their Water Parameters May Need Adjustment
Amano shrimp are comfortable and most active in a temperature range of 72 to 78 degrees. They also have a preferred PH of 7.2 to 7.5. This is a pretty tight range, and these little guys are sensitive, so regular checks of your water are a very good idea with Amanos.
They May Be Getting Enough Nutrition From Biofilms And Other Foods In The Tank
If you have a lot of plants and fish already in the tank, then your Amano shrimp might simply be full. Reduce the amounts of supplements or switch to a less aggressive supplement schedule, and you should see better results.
How Can You Encourage Your Amano Shrimp To Eat?
If the PH is perfect and the temperature is well-suited for Amano shrimp, then there are 2 strategies that you may employ to help to get your Amano shrimp eating a little more aggressively. These will break down to taking advantage of supply, demand, and variety!
Introduce New Foods
Blanched vegetables, shrimp or fish pellets, brine shrimp (live or dead), and bloodworms are all welcome additions to an Amano shrimps diet that might get you a little more attention if they seem bored with the current offerings.
Make Sure You Have The Optimal Amount Of Ghost Shrimp In Your Tank
Consider the tank size in relation to the amount of shrimp that you are hosting. Since they are hearty eaters and fairly good-sized for cleaner shrimp, 1 Amano shrimp for every 2 gallons of water is the recommended ratio. Since breeding is a non-issue, you won’t have to worry about overpopulation.
Having the recommended ratio helps to ensure that algae are getting dealt with quickly and as efficiently as possible, giving you a better chance that these little guys will be hungry when you drop in their vitamin-packed supplementals.
In the spirit of being thorough, we’re including a Frequently Asked Questions section with the most common questions we get about Amano eating habits. Check below for useful tips about their eating so that you can make their diet both healthy and as diverse as you like.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Poop?
Yes… probably. While some sources say that shrimp always spit poop out, many owners report that their Amano shrimp do indeed consume fish feces. It is believed that they do this in order to consume any undigested foodstuffs or vitamins which this matter might contain.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Algae?
Definitely yes! Amano shrimp love eating algae. They will even consume most String algae, Bearded algae, and other types that other fish will normally leave alone.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Hair Algae?
Yes. Amano shrimp will devour Hair algae until they are full. This is definitely a welcome part of their diets.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Brown Algae?
Yes. Amano shrimp will eat Brown algae, but you will still see spots on your tank. This is because it is hard for them to get all of the residues off of the slippery glass.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Snails?
They’ll try if the snails are babies. Typically, the baby snails will simply hide in their shells, and the Amano can’t eat them. Dead snails, on the other hand, make a nice feat for hungry Amano shrimps.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Algae Wafers?
Yes. You’ll need to break them up into tiny bits, but algae wafers are a welcome addition to your Amano shrimp’s diet. If you have enough algae in your tank, however, fish pellets and flakes should make up more of the supplemental diet.
Do Amano Shrimp Eat Each Other?
No. While they might aggressively tussle over a chosen bit of food, they are not going to fight to the death. Amano shrimp WILL, however, eat dead Amano shrimp in your tank. They will also eat smaller or baby shrimp from other species, such as Sakura Reds or Cherry shrimp, so be aware of this if you are hosting multiple species of shrimp in your tank.
Some Final Words
In this article, we have discussed the eating habits of those algae-eating machines known simply as ‘Amano shrimp’. While algae are their favorite, these little scavengers are omnivores and should be treated as such. You can supplement their diets with bloodworms, brine shrimp, and blanched vegetables, along with calcium supplements of your choice.
Watch out for any fish foods with copper, which is toxic to them, and keep a close eye on their PH levels – these little guys are great cleaners but highly sensitive when it comes to their PH. Finally, consider keeping the optimal amount per gallon for best results since breeding them is going to be unlikely.
Now that you know what they like to eat, just be sure to take good care of your Amano shrimp, and they’ll take excellent care of your tank and the other fish inside!