Amano shrimp are among the best algae eaters you can include in your Betta tank. They consume algae efficiently, and you won’t have to worry about them eating the live plants in the tank the way you would with some species of snails (another excellent algae eater).
Bettas aren’t the most accommodating fish species, being extremely territorial, which may make you think twice about including Amano shrimp in the same tank.
Therefore, this article explains whether Amano shrimp and Betta fish can coexist peacefully and the considerations you should make when keeping them together. So keep reading to learn about these unlikely tank mates.
- Reasons for Including Amano Shrimp in Your Betta Tank
- Betta Fish Considerations
- Interesting Characteristics of Amano Shrimp
- Ideal Living Arrangements for Your Betta and Amano Shrimp
- Feeding Considerations for Amano Shrimp and Bettas
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthy Amano Shrimp
- Breeding Amano Shrimp
- Frequently Asked Questions
Reasons for Including Amano Shrimp in Your Betta Tank
There are many reasons why Amano shrimp will make good tank mates for your Betta fish. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Excellent Algae Eater
As mentioned above, Amano shrimps are excellent at eating algae and are a fantastic alternative to snails. They get their name from the aquascape professional called Takashi Amano, who used them to rid many of his projects of algae.
They Can Live In Smaller Tanks
Another reason an Amano shrimp can make an excellent tank mate for your Betta fish is it doesn’t require too much space. For example, you won’t be able to keep many other algae eaters in a nano tank with your Betta fish, whereas you could easily fit around three to five Amano shrimp in with it.
Extremely Low Bioload
Amano shrimp are small algae eaters, which means they have an equally small bioload. Thus, if you keep a couple of Amano shrimp in a 5-gallon tank, they won’t produce a lot of noticeable waste in the tank. Keeping the bioload in a smaller tank down is crucial for good water conditions because ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites build up in them a lot quicker.
Betta Fish Considerations
So we know why Amano shrimp are a fantastic addition to a Betta tank. The question is: will your Betta fish see things the same way? Here are some factors to consider about your Betta fish to keep it from harming the Amano shrimp or vice versa.
Will your Betta fish see the Amano shrimp as a viable meal? The size of the Amano shrimp you get will determine the answer to the above question.
The poor organisms will most likely be on the menu.
Therefore, ask for the largest Amano shrimp available when shopping at fish stores.
Cases of Bettas attacking their fellow tank mates aren’t rare, so if your fish has an aggressive temperament, it’ll be hard to give it some company. Additionally, Amano shrimp aren’t the most affordable algae eater you can buy, so definitely think twice before including them in the same environment as an aggressive Betta.
Interesting Characteristics of Amano Shrimp
We’ve spoken a lot about how aggressive Bettas can be, but what about Amano shrimp? Let’s look at some of the common characteristics of Amano shrimp.
Amano shrimp are peaceful aquatic creatures that won’t make waves most of the time. They’re not very domineering and can be described as docile.
The exception to the above description is when it’s feeding time. Then, you’ll notice the most dominant shrimp displaying dominant behavior toward its fellow shrimp, getting the first bite of any food you provide. Astonishingly, the most dominant shrimp is usually a female, as it grows much larger than its male counterparts.
Going days without seeing your Amano shrimp is possible if you have a tank with many hiding places. Moreover, spotting them can be difficult due to their translucent color. However, you’ll usually see them foraging for algae when they’re not hiding.
Amano shrimp prefer to be in large groups, and you can tell by how active they get. During fish keeping, it’s always best to mimic the natural habitat of your aquatic pets. Thus, keep a minimum of three to five of these shrimp together in a tank, using the tank size you can afford to determine how many shrimp you include.
It’s also very common to see your Amano shrimp molting once per month. Amano shrimp molt by shedding their former shell and growing a new shell.
During molting, Amano shrimp are extremely vulnerable to being eaten by other fish (who’ll see them as food) before their shell hardens. Therefore, providing them with adequate hiding spaces is essential to their longevity.
Another dead giveaway is the shell will usually be on its side and immobile, whereas you’ll notice movement from the living shrimp.
Additionally, these shrimp feed on the old shells, so don’t be too quick to take them out when you spot them. They’re full of nutrients the Amano shrimp can take in for sustenance.
Amano shrimp have an average lifespan of between two and three years when kept healthy. During this time, they’ll grow to 2-3-inches in length.
You shouldn’t be surprised if some of your Amano shrimp die when introduced to the tank. The cause of death is usually some of the shrimps’ failure to adapt to the new water change after being shipped for so long.
Ideal Living Arrangements for Your Betta and Amano Shrimp
Before keeping two different species of aquatic creature together in the same tank, it’s essential you know whether the two species can live together in the same environmental conditions. Therefore, let’s look at the ideal habitat for Bettas and Amano shrimp in this section.
Aquarium Water Parameters
Amano shrimp can thrive in similar water conditions as Bettas, so a water temperature of 70-80 degreesFahrenheit and a pH level of no more than seven and no less than six will be ideal.Additionally, (as mentioned above) their small bioload means they won’t alter the water conditions with their waste, keeping nitrate levels down.
While Bettas may become stressed by too-frequent water changes, Amano shrimp won’t face this issue.
Both Amano shrimp and Bettas appreciate a heavily planted tank. In the wild, live plants provide both creatures with good hiding places when predators are nearby. Neither creature will feel confident enough to swim out in the open without the plants.
Adding live plants like java moss, anachris, and hornwort to tanks with enough space gives your Amano shrimps an excellent place to hide and get food. Meanwhile, live plants give your Betta something to interact with every once in a while, keeping boredom away.
Regarding the tank’s substrate, it’s best to avoid including large pebbles that can trap your Amano shrimps’ legs. Additionally, the larger pebbles will make it difficult for the shrimp to forage for food, and smaller rocks minimize injury to the shrimp’s body.
There’s no point in adding Amano shrimp to a new tank unless you’re willing to supplement the shrimps’ diet with algae wafers. Otherwise, there won’t be any algae in it for them to eat, which is why you’d want to include them in the first place.
Feeding Considerations for Amano Shrimp and Bettas
Naturally, Bettas and Amano shrimp have different nutritional requirements. Betta fish need high protein foods, which may take the form of pellets or live food. Meanwhile, Amano shrimp may subsist on algae, algae wafers, and blanched veggies.
When feeding both of them, avoid providing too much food. Otherwise, you risk raising the tank’s ammonia levels due to uneaten food slowly rotting away in the substrate.
And if you overfeed your shrimp, you’ll defeat the purpose of why you included them in the tank: to eat algae. After all, you don’t want a tank overrun by algae due to lazy Amano shrimp that have lost the will to scavenge for food.
Also, even though Amano shrimp love algae, it doesn’t mean they aren’t partial to meat. Luckily, you can feed them some of the same live meat sources as Betta fish, including mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and daphnia. There are shrimp pellets available too.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthy Amano Shrimp
There are a couple of factors you’ll need to pay attention to when choosing Amano shrimp for your Betta tank. They include:
Potential Amano shrimp candidates for your Betta tank should come in one piece. So, they should have two sets of antennae on the side of their heads and two sets from the front of their heads.
Carapace and Abdomen
A healthy Amano shrimp will sport a translucent carapace. Also, you may notice it arch its abdomen in an inverted U-shape. The latter is normal behavior.
Always check the shrimp to make sure it isn’t damaged or injured. Missing body parts will tell you everything you need to know about their condition.
Breeding Amano Shrimp
Amano shrimp aren’t the easiest shrimp species to breed, so you should be up for a challenge should you decide to do so. Below, we’ll explain how to breed these creatures in four simple steps.
1. Assemble your Amano Shrimp
Get together an even number of male and female Amano shrimp. As mentioned above, the females grow to be bigger than the males, so making the distinction between them on this characteristic alone is enough.
2. Provide a Safe and Stable Tank
Amano shrimp will mate naturally in a stable environment. When a female is pregnant, she emits pheromones to attract males, whose task is to fertilize her eggs.
3. Monitor for Eggs
Female Amano shrimp will carry fertilized eggs underneath their abdomens. There can be as many as 3,000, and all of them will look green until they’re ready to hatch (they become yellow at that point). Expect the eggs to hatch after five weeks.
4. Keep an Eye on the Young
Once the eggs hatch, extract them to a separate tank that replicates the environmental conditions where Amano shrimp rear their young. These conditions include brackish and salty water.
Fun Fact: Have you ever thought about pairing a betta with a crayfish? Impossible? Take a look at our post titled, Dwarf Crayfish And Betta: Aquatic Enemies Or Allies? and post your comments on this article’s website!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can add Ghost shrimp and Cherry shrimp to a tank instead of Amano shrimp. Ghost shrimps usually stay at the bottom of the tank, keeping them out of the Betta’s way. Meanwhile, keeping cherry shrimp and Bettas in a tank size of ten gallons or more reduces the risk of the shrimp being eaten.
Is it okay to add Bamboo shrimp to the same tank as a Betta fish?
We wouldn’t recommend you do that because the pair is a mismatch with the environmental conditions they enjoy. For example, Bamboo shrimp won’t thrive in a Betta tank with a weak current, preferring a more substantial water flow.
How many Amano shrimp should you keep in a tank?
One Amano shrimp per two gallons of water is the recommended rule of thumb to follow when including them in your tank. A 5-gallon tank can host three Amano shrimp at once, but you must remember that they grow to be quite large in adulthood.
What other algae eaters can you add to your Betta fish tank?
Besides shrimp, you can add snails like Malaysian Trumpet and Nerite snails and catfish such as Corydoras catfish.
Amano shrimp and Bettas can coexist in the same tank under the right conditions. The two aquatic creatures enjoy similar water conditions, while the algae eater has a calm temperament in contrast to a Betta’s fiery character.
Amano shrimp are excellent tank mates for Betta fish for many reasons, including a low bioload, excellent algae-eating efficiency, and the ability to thrive in smaller tanks.
However, hiding places are crucial because Amano shrimp are particularly vulnerable when molting. Additionally, some may be small enough to fit into a Betta’s mouth and are more likely to be eaten.
Last Updated: July 13, 2022