It can be difficult to choose appropriate tank mates for dwarf shrimp, including Amano shrimp. Due to their small size, many tank mates may see your Amano shrimp as a snack. To keep your Amanos safe, you will need to choose from a specific pool of potential tank mates. You might be pleased to find out, though, that this pool of potentials provides you with a lot of great options!
Table of contents
- 15 Best Tank Mates for Amano Shrimp in 2022
- What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Amano Shrimp?
- Where Do Amano Shrimp Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?
- Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Amano Shrimp in Your Aquarium
15 Best Tank Mates for Amano Shrimp in 2022
1. Ember Tetra
Ember Tetras make great tank mates for Amano shrimp due to their small size and peaceful nature. These fish stay small enough that they are not a risk to an Amano, especially a full-grown adult. They are shoaling fish, so they require a group of at least 6-10 to feel safe and comfortable. When they are comfortable, they become active and curious but usually will not bother other animals in the tank.
2. Otocinclus Catfish – Best for Small Tanks
If you’re planning on keeping your Amanos in a nano type tank, then Otocinclus Catfish, or Oto Cats, are the perfect pick. These tiny algae eating fish are peaceful and laid back but will stay busy helping your Amanos keep the tank free of algae. They prefer to be kept in small groups and may spend most of the time hiding if they are not kept in groups. When kept in a group, Oto Cats become very active and can be seen socializing with each other.
3. Pearl Gourami
If you’re looking for a larger Amano tank mate, Pearl Gouramis are a wonderful pick. These beautiful fish can be kept alone, but they do best when kept in small groups or a full shoal. Although peaceful, they are curious, and it isn’t outside the realm of possibility for a Pearl Gourami to eat some of your Amanos. However, if your tank is large enough and well planted, your fish and shrimp should both be happy and safe.
4. Bamboo Shrimp
These interesting large shrimps are a blast to watch. They have filter feeding “paws” that allow them to catch small plant matter and nearly microscopic animals in the water column. They can be kept alone or in a group. They are somewhat timid and are mainly nocturnal, so it’s not unusual to go a few days at a time without seeing them. They will help keep the tank clean, though, and are completely non-aggressive.
5. Vampire Shrimp
This rare shrimp variety is like the Bamboo shrimp, but larger and more full-bodied. They appear threatening and have large, thick forelimbs, but they are extremely peaceful. Like Bamboo shrimp, they are filter feeders. Vampire shrimp are usually nocturnal and can easily be startled by tank maintenance and rapid changes in lighting, so they do require a low stress environment. They prefer to be kept in small groups but can be kept alone, and they will pay no attention to your Amanos.
6. Bolivian Ram
Bolivian Rams, also sometimes called Butterfly Rams, are a small Cichlid variety. They are generally peaceful but can become territorially aggressive during breeding. They are social and will form bonded pairs, so they should at least be kept in pairs or small groups. These curious fish will generally leave your Amanos alone, especially in a well planted aquarium that allows plenty of hiding places and has enough space to keep the fish busy.
7. Blue Ram
Blue Rams are peaceful and social fish that are unlikely to bother your Amano shrimp. They are usually considered to be on the friendlier side of Cichlids and don’t get particularly large. Provide plenty of space and plant cover to give your Amanos places to hide, just in case your Blue Rams get too curious. These fish are known to require pristine water and are a medium care level.
8. Corydoras Catfish
These cute, chubby fish are omnivorous, but they will not hunt for shrimp and are generally too small to eat Amano shrimp. They can be kept alone but do seem to prefer small groups and may be more active and social in groups. If kept in a low stress, clean environment, they will usually readily reproduce. They will help keep the tank clean and will pick up detritus and leftover food that your Amanos miss.
9. Neocaridina Shrimp
Neocaridina shrimp are more commonly known as Cherry shrimp, but there are multiple shrimp varieties that are Neocaridinas, including Blue Jellies, Orange Sakura, and Neon Yellow. These shrimps are a different species than Amano shrimp, but like Amanos, Neocaridinas are highly social, peaceful, and fun to watch due to their active nature. They also tend to be hardier than some other varieties of shrimp and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.
10. Malaysian Trumpet Snail
Often considered to be pest snails, Malaysian Trumpet Snails, or MTS, are shaped like ice cream cones. They can reproduce asexually and give birth to live young. This leads to many people considering them pests, but they do a great job of helping to keep your tank clean. They also burrow in substrate, which helps to prevent the build up of gas bubbles, especially under dense substrates like sand. MTS are nocturnal and it’s not unusual to rarely seem them because of this and their burrowing habits. Avoid overfeeding your tank and the population should self-regulate.
11. Mystery Snail
These gentle giants are available in multiple color options and make a great addition to Amano shrimp tanks. They do produce a heavier bioload than most other snails, so ensure your tank has adequate filtration to account for this. One Mystery snail can live in a 5-gallon tank, but it’s a good idea to provide 5 gallons for every snail. They will not eat live shrimp but will help keep your tank clean if one of your Amanos dies and you don’t see it. Mystery snails are loved for their curious nature and their active antics, including climbing to the top of the tank, only to let go and fall back to the bottom.
Guppies are one of the most popular freshwater fish because of their eye-catching colors, playful personalities, and rapid reproduction. Guppies are curious and it isn’t out of the question for you to spot them curiously nosing at an Amano from time to time. However, they are too small to eat adult Amanos and will usually leave them alone. Be prepared to provide a large enough environment to ensure your Guppies do not overpopulate the tank too quickly.
13. Bristlenose Plecostomus
There are tons of varieties of Plecostomus that may be appropriate for Amano shrimp tanks, but the Bristlenose Pleco has an unusual appearance and stays small enough to be appropriate for a shrimp tank. They are docile but do have moderate care needs, so be prepared to ensure the water parameters and quality stay in healthy ranges for your Bristlenose Pleco. These fish will help keep the tank free of detritus, dead plant matter, leftover food, and algae.
14. Harlequin Rasbora
These small, shoaling fish are a pleasant addition to Amano shrimp tanks. They are appropriate for a small tank but do require more space than a nano tank would provide. They are active and are usually too small to eat your Amanos, if they even attempt to. Usually, they will stay in the middle to upper portions of the water column and won’t interact with your shrimp at all.
15. Cherry Barb
Barbs have a bad reputation for aggression, but Cherry Barbs are peaceful fish that are unlikely to bother your Amano shrimp. These cute, petite fish can brighten up your Amano tank with their bright colors. They are active, bold fish that can be a lot of fun to watch. They should be kept in shoals of at least 6-10 fish to help them feel safe and to see them at their most active.
What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Amano Shrimp?
The best quality you should look for in a tank mate for your Amanos is that the tank mate won’t eat your Amanos or bully them. Amano shrimp are large enough to not be eaten by small fish, but they will fall prey to large or aggressive fish and invertebrates. Avoid keeping Amanos with invertebrates like crayfish and freshwater lobsters that will become aggressive.
Also, make sure you choose tank mates with similar water parameter needs. Don’t force your Amanos or their tank mates to live in an inappropriate environment. There are plenty of great options without subjecting any of your animals to an improper tank environment.
Where Do Amano Shrimp Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?
Amano shrimp spend most of their time on surfaces within the aquarium. They will usually be found near the floor of the tank, finding detritus to eat. It’s not unusual to spot them elsewhere in the tank, though, like on plants at various water levels. This includes the trailing roots of floating plants. While they can swim, they prefer to find a surface to search for food on.
Amano shrimp originated in Japan and are also sometimes called Japanese Swamp shrimp. They prefer relatively hard water but do need a well-established tank with no ammonia or nitrite. They should be kept between 64-80˚F (17.8-26.7˚C) with a pH of 6.0-7.0. They can be kept in a pH as high as 7.5, though. Amanos can be kept in ponds in enclosed environments where the water stays at an appropriate temperature.
These shrimps are on the larger side of dwarf shrimp, generally reaching around 1-2 inches in size. This means they get slightly larger than Neocaridinas and other Caridina shrimps. However, they stay smaller than Bamboo and the much larger Vampire shrimps. They do best in tanks of at least 10 gallons to allow plenty of space for scavenging and exploring.
Amano shrimp are extremely peaceful freshwater shrimp. The odds of you encountering aggression in your Amanos are slim to none. However, sometimes Whisker shrimp are misidentified as Amano shrimp. Whisker shrimp are aggressive and will actively hunt for prey. Sometimes, people purchase what they believe are Amano shrimp, only to bring them home and have them begin killing tank mates. The best way to prevent this problem is to compare pictures of Amano and Whisker shrimps to see the recognizable differences between the two.
Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Amano Shrimp in Your Aquarium
Amano shrimp are an excellent pick if you’re interested in dwarf shrimp. Their peaceful nature and hard work at cleaning the tank make them great additions to community tanks. Make sure you’re choosing tank mates that are safe for your Amanos. There are lots of great options, and this list isn’t all-inclusive. The peaceful nature of Amanos mean that they can be great tank mates for all kinds of animals.
Before you choose tank mates, identify if you’re interested in adding shrimp, other invertebrates, or fish, and then begin narrowing down your preferences. Ensure you’re choosing a tank mate that will suit the water parameters your Amanos are used to living in.
Featured Image Credit: Grigorev Mikhail, Shutterstock