Caridina multidentata, or the amano shrimp, is one of, if not the most popular invertebrate to exist in the fishkeeping hobby. Popularized by acclaimed aquascaper Takashi Amano, this shrimp is an unmatched algae eater, especially at a juvenile stage when growth is their sole objective. Once these shrimp achieve an adult size, however, they are still very good devourers of filamentous algae, and at times a bit of diatoms here and there as well. This shrimp, while not really a dwarf shrimp like cherry shrimp, crystal shrimp, or bee shrimp, does not reach very large sizes either. It gets to about 2½ inches long or so and is very peaceful. On top of that, these are one of the most actively algae eating shrimp that are in the hobby, They typically are a translucent gray or brown, with a series of reddish dots and dashes along their carapace, but they take on the color of their food very readily, it seems, and you may have fun seeing what different colors they turn in your tank!
Amano shrimp are native to coastal Japan, Taiwan, as well as a bit further south into the Indonesian archipelago. As such, in the wild they are commonly found in areas that are high gh, as well as sometimes measurable salinity. In these high mineral, and sometimes brackish environments, these shrimp are easily able to absorb all of the minerals that they would need in order to build strong shells when they molt, and this is something that you should keep in mind when keeping amano shrimp. Rarely will you ever be able to make water that is too hard for them, and chances are you will encounter problems with other livestock far before any problems occur with amano shrimp. Do not allow your water hardness to go below 50ppm or so, and you should encounter no problems, and this should also help you keep your ph in the slightly acidic to slightly basic zone. This lines up perfectly if you want to add these as a cleanup crew to your community tank!
In any sort of tank, you can expect the amano shrimp to do well, and be very successful at hiding from predators while cleaning your tank. Once you get them, you can expect them to reach a ripe old age of several years in your tank, which is great, since this is also one shrimp that is not simple at all to breed. Their nauplius stage requires something near full marine saltwater conditions, and then again requires transition to freshwater with some fairly specific timing. You’ll be enjoying the same shrimp for a long time, as long as you don’t allow these escape artists to climb out. This is easier said than done, however, and may require some ingenuity on your end, since they can even climb over the plastic trim of your tank if they set their minds... er… ganglia to it! These animals do not ship individually bagged.
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