Plant eating capacity: Low
Algae eating capacity: Moderate to High
The Amano shrimp, named after the person who introduced it to aquarists, is called by the following additional names: Yamato Numa Ebi, Japanese Marsh Shrimp, Yamato, and Caridina japonica (the scientific name). It looks somewhat like the rainbow shrimp I have kept. Apparently, it is rare to find one in the United States. This shrimp prefers brackish (which means some salt, between freshwater and seawater) waters and grows to about two inches. They should be kept below 80 degrees F since they are not a tropical species. Temperatures in the 60's and 70's are preferred.
They have not spawned often in captivity often because they require saline waters with lots of plankton. The larvae require brackish water to grow. A female can carry 1000 to 2000 eggs so the larvae are very small and need protozoans and algae to eat. Some breeding is reported in Germany. One idea is that Amano shrimp naturally live in streams and release their eggs there. Then the larvae float to the sea where they undergo nine changes before migrating back into the streams.
One aquarist had success breeding the shrimp by alternating cycles of lights on for a few weeks with a week of lights off. The dark period apparently allowed the baby shrimp to remain "invisible" to hungry adult shrimp and small fish. Java moss and Amazon swords were the predominate plants in the tank.
Amano shrimp are brown with a tan stripe down their back and brown lines on their sides according to one report but that describes my rainbow shrimp! Most photos of Amano shrimp show a shrimp that looks nothing like that. They are mostly clear with spots along their sides. They lack large claws and live longer than most freshwater shrimp. They are supposed to eat soft and red algas. Unlike other shrimp, one shrimp web site says that they eat directly with their mouth and do not use their hands while a few people who have kept them say that they do use their hands (they have seen it). On 2/1/02, I added three shrimp sold as "Japonica" shrimp to my 20 gallon tank. One was dead the next morning. They are larger and lighter than my rainbow shrimp and have little dashes along their sides. They like to sit on leaves and use their little hands to bring algae to their mouths. I have seen it! I hope they can survive in my tank. A photo is above but it is not very good. By 5/10/02, I have not seen the Amano shrimp in many months. They are presumed dead. I did see a rainbow shrimp in that tank on 5/4/02 though which I had not seen in a long time so who knows.
Info used with permission from Robyn
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