Yamato Numa-Ebi is the other name for the Amano shrimp; they originally came from the Japanese swamps.
These types of shrimp are not very tolerant of captivity but will surely help reduce the build of algae in your aquarium as they love to feed on them. They are also very timid and have a larger than life attitude if a type of fish doesn’t swim the way they like they will go into hiding for a very long time.
Also if they feel threatened you may never see them though they are just in the aquarium, being eaten is not a familiar case, as they also don’t allow it. The Amano shrimps feature two sets of colors, so you will find them in either reddish-brown or grayish-blue. Their tail is translucent and has a narrow stripe running along the length of their body.
Keeping a large number of the Amano shrimp and expecting them to feed on algae only is not right and the reason you should introduce other foods unless you want them to starve to death. They do feed on the food sources that are available in the aquarium tank but can also feed on the food that has been provided for the bottom-feeding fish.
Given their size and their transparent body structure it is a wonder where the food that they spend the whole day eating goes to? During the day you will find them scavenging for algae on plant surfaces, and substrate, you might also see them graze on the surfaces of the tank.
They also tend to fight for food once you drop it inside the tank, and when they get a hold of it they will rush into hiding to eat.
Breeding the Amano Shrimp involves a steep learning curve, as they rarely survive in freshwater. For starters, the Zoeas (fry) need saline water and have to be provided with special food. The hard work comes in when you gradually have to introduce the frys into salty water then back to freshwater but remember they cannot live in freshwater up to adulthood.
Telling the male and the female Amano apart is not hard, for starters, the female features a large body structure, and even more distinct is the row of dashes that run down their body. For the females, you will notice that the dashes are kind of disorganized thus irregular.
For the males apart from the small body structure, they do feature circular speckles, that are also well-spaced and arranged.
Amano shrimps do grow in size but the problem is in the shells as they cannot expand with growth, so what happens they molt? Molting gives them a chance for a new bigger shell to grow back, the old shell, therefore, begins to detach itself from the shrimp. And to remove it from its body, the shrimp curls its body several times until the shell cracks open in the area that the cephalothorax meets the abdomen.
During this period you will notice that the shrimps have disappeared from your tank; without the shells, they become too vulnerable and it’s best that they grow one back before coming out.
The new shell takes a few days to grow back and stiffen up. So to encourage a successful molting process to ensure that you provide the right water parameters and include calcium packed foods in their diet. The different species of shrimps have special needs, meaning that you have to check on the amount of magnesium and calcium present in water.
Conditions for the Amano Shrimp Tank
1. Size of the Tank
Amano’s are scavengers by nature so keeping them in a cramped space will stress them out. A 10-gallon tank should provide enough room for graze as they feed on algae. The large-sized tank will enable you to put about five Amano shrimps as they tend to move in groups while in their natural habitat.
Lighting in the tank is important for illumination but not necessarily for the shrimp, remember that shrimps feed on some of the plants found in the aquarium and algae, so to promote the growth of the two, it would be best if you provided enough light.
3. Substrate type
The Amano shrimp will do well in any kind of substrate just make sure that it does not have large particles that can harm the shrimp as they cruise at the bottom part of the tank. If you plan to include a planted substrate, ensure that it is not going to interfere with the PH of the water.
Amano rarely has issues with water temperatures but it would be best if you kept them at 65 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A tank heater might not be necessary unless of course, the temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The reason as to why you should filter your aquarium water is to avoid fish from poisoning themselves. Remember that the fish does excrete in water; there are also the excess food, the free-floating particulate, and the decaying organic matter. Filtration will therefore, help get rid of toxins, failure to which it will build up to high concentrations and cause ammonia stress and if not taken care of then it will easily transform to ammonia poisoning.
Particulates floating in your aquarium water will make the water cloudy. Also the type of filter that you use for your tank matters because if you use the hang on the back type it might end up sucking in your shrimp and killing it. The best remaining option is the sponge filter, that apart from filtering the water they also act as a food reservoir for the shrimp, offering a buffet of all the scum that has been collected
Sponge filters trap most of the waste that floats around your tank and it also plays hosts to the beneficial bacteria.
Amano’s are very peaceful shrimps and should thus be kept with the smaller peaceful fish, such as the platies, guppies, the Neon Tetras, and the harlequin Rasboras. Don’t for one-moment think of pairing them with the Goldfish as they are very subtle and competitive and will eat anything that doesn’t pounce on them first.