Can You Keep Amano Shrimp With Cherry Shrimp? 7 Helpful Tips


Amano Shrimp are the favorites of some aquarists, while Cherry Shrimp contrast well with their red coloration against the green backdrop of a planted tank. So why not keep them both in one aquarium?

Do Amano Shrimp Get Along With Cherry Shrimp?

Before you put Amano Shrimp with Cherry Shrimp in the same tank, it’s best to determine whether they’re compatible or not. Otherwise, you’d end up losing your pets.

Yes, Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp get along fine in a single tank as long as they have all they need. Those basic requirements include clean tank water, enough food, and enough cover.

These simple elements ensure that all Shrimp in your tank have low stress levels, have their own territories, and are healthy. You can see that they don’t need much, really.

Will Amano Shrimp Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Amano Shrimp grow up to 2 inches in length, while Cherry Shrimp only reach a little more than half of that. It’s normal to feel concerned about the welfare of the smaller Cherries.

Despite their bigger size, Amano Shrimp are not known to kill other Shrimp including Cherry Shrimp or fish. While it is not common, it is a possibility. What usually happens is that Amano Shrimp scavenge whatever carcasses they find.

We have personally not seen any Amano Shrimp actively hunt live Cherries or fish. So if you find them holding a beheaded Shrimp or part of a fish, it doesn’t mean that the Amano killed it. Most likely, the Shrimp or fish have died of other causes and the Amano just took advantage of it.

However, we’ve heard of stories from fellow hobbyists horrified of how capable their Amanos are of carnage. These stories are few and far in between but it still poses the possibility of Amano Shrimp attacking Cherry Shrimp.

Amano Shrimp in Cherry Shrimp's aquarium
Can Amano and Cherry shrimp be kept in an aquarium?

If this happens to you, separate the aggressive Amano. It’s pretty difficult to catch a “fugitive” Amano Shrimp but we suggest you re-home that cold-hearted criminal before it causes more problems.

Now to greatly reduce the chances of Amano Shrimp attacking Cherry Shrimp in the first place, we suggest the following:

Tip #1: Remove possible stressors

Water quality is the most obvious reason for stress in any aquatic environment. All aquarists should have a water testing kit, preferably an accurate one. We recommend the API Master Test Kit as test strips sometimes don’t give you accurate values.

Spikes in any toxin including nitrate (yes, nitrate) might stress your Shrimp and make the Amanos aggressive or restless. This level should always be less than 20 ppm. High levels of stress might result in the Amano Shrimp attacking Cherry Shrimp or any other smaller species in the tank.

Tip #2: Keep your Amanos well-fed

If you don’t provide enough food especially for the Amanos, they will feed on your Cherry Shrimplets… and probably the adults if they’re really hungry!

Aside from algae, other food sources for the Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp are Shrimp flakes, dead leaves, and soft vegetables such as lettuce and zucchini.

On the other hand, don’t overfeed them! You’ll know your Amano Shrimp are overfed if they stop eating the algae in your tank. You will only need to give them food around 3 times a week.

Tip #3: Make more algae if needed

Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp love eating algae, the Amanos even more so.

Amano Shrimp are one of the few creatures that eat black hair algae. As a matter of fact, most people buy Amanos specifically to get rid of the algae problems in their tank.

If you think you don’t have enough algae to keep both species satisfied, you can increase the intensity of your aquarium light or keep it on for 1 to 2 hours longer each day to grow more algae.

Tip #4: Keep everyone healthy

Even if Amanos will not actively hunt live food, they may prey on weak and sick Shrimp. Keep your Cherry Shrimp healthy by making sure the food is reaching them.

We know that the bigger Amanos have a more aggressive personality and will fight the Cherry Shrimp for food. So powdered food like Bacteria AE is a good choice. You can also take an algae wafer, break it up, and spread the food all over the water. Smaller particles will be harder to steal from the Cherries.

Tip #5: Provide lots of cover

Plants and other hiding places are essential to keep the territories of both species separate. Adding ornaments, rocks, and driftwood will help, too. Cherry Shrimp especially love those little spaces as they are shyer than the Amanos.

Tip #6: Don’t overstock

Amano Shrimp are bigger than Cherry Shrimp. Because of this, there should be fewer Amanos than Cherries in your tank to balance out the numbers. These bigger Shrimp are such greedy eaters that having too many of them will be quite dangerous for the Cherries.

If you keep 2 to 5 Cherry Shrimp per gallon of water, then you should only keep 1 Amano Shrimp per 2 gallons of water. It’s even better if you keep less than that.

Tip #7: Keep a lid on the tank

Amano Shrimp love moving around. Keep a lid on your tank and make sure there are no holes big enough for them to go through. Amano Shrimp are known to crawl away from the tank and take long trips, sometimes at the expense of their own lives.

A lid also helps avoid unwanted things like chemicals and dirt from going into your tank. And it also helps slow down water evaporation.

Can Amano Shrimp Breed With Cherry Shrimp?

Some Shrimps will cross-breed if left together, but this is not the case for Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp.

Amano Shrimp will not cross-breed with any other species, not even with the Cherry Shrimp. Besides, they each belong to a different genus: the Amano is from the genus Caridina while the Cherry Shrimp is from the Neocaridina.

Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp are not compatible and have different ways of breeding.

For Amano Shrimp, that process is not that simple. You will need to take their eggs and put them in brackish water to hatch because their larvae cannot survive in a freshwater tank. After they hatch, you will then have to keep adjusting their water over a period of time until they can tolerate living in a completely freshwater environment.

Because of this difficulty in rearing Amanos, many hobbyists don’t bother at all. This is good news for those who don’t prefer a population explosion of Amanos. They just keep buying new ones if they lose some. At a price of about $3 each, that’s pretty fair, don’t you think?

A Peaceful, Happy Shrimp Tank

Keeping Amano Shrimp with Cherry Shrimp will make your tank livelier, especially since Amanos are really great cleaners. They will go through every nook and cranny of the aquarium grazing for food.

They’re also quite bold so you can see them often and enjoy their presence. Cherry Shrimp are not as bold to come out in the open but their vibrant red color will let you spot them.

Together, they’re a good combination in a simple freshwater setup.

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