Since both Amano and Cherry shrimp are common in the aquarium industry, many aquarists wonder if they can coexist in the same tank. I had the same question when I first started growing Cherry shrimp. As time passed by, I learned how to successfully mix the two without creating conflicts.
Amano shrimp can peacefully live with Cherry shrimp since both share similar water requirements, including temperature, pH, and water hardness. Also, both species are close in size, so one is unlikely to attack the other. However, Amano shrimp fry won’t survive in a Cherry shrimp environment.
As we move forward in this article, I will take you step-by-step through the process of mixing Amano shrimp with Cherry shrimp. Then, I will show you what other kinds of shrimp can live with those species so that you can create an exciting environment in your tank.
Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp: Can They Live Together?
Yes, cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp can live with each other. Of course, as with all aquarium creatures, you cannot predict your Amano shrimp’s response to the presence of a Cherry shrimp. For all you know, the Amano shrimp could become hostile.
You won’t know until you try. However, as far as most people are concerned, Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp can coexist. The evidence supports this conclusion. For instance:
1. Similar Water Requirements
People think that temperament is the most important aspect where the coexistence of two aquarium creatures is concerned. But that is not true. The temperament of your shrimp won’t matter if they cannot survive in the same tank conditions. Fortunately, Cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp have a lot in common.
Cherry shrimp require temperatures of 59 to 84 degrees F (with 72 degrees F being the ideal temperature) and a pH of 6.5 to 8.0. Their water should be slightly alkaline.
The hardness should range from 6 to 10dGH and 8 to 20dKH, and you have to keep their nitrate levels below 20ppm. The ammonia concentration should be zero.
Amano shrimp require a temperature of 70 to 80 degrees F, a pH of 6.0 to 7.0, and hardness of 6.0 to 8.0dKH. They also require nitrate levels of less than 20ppm and zero ammonia.
As you can see, both creatures can survive in the same freshwater tank. They live within a similar temperature, pH, and hardness range. You don’t have to inconvenience one shrimp by changing the parameters to accommodate the other one.
2. Both Species Are Peaceful
Once you know that both types of shrimp can live in the same tank, you can look at the temperament. Amano shrimp are peaceful. They may misbehave under the wrong conditions.
But if you can keep them in a well-established tank filled with other friendly creatures, the Amano shrimp will leave their neighbors alone.
Cherry shrimp are the same. They tend to live peacefully with other creatures. Even if you paired them with aggressive fish, it wouldn’t really change their attitude because they do not have the means to fight back against aggressive fish.
Because aquarists are always encouraged to keep cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp with peaceful and friendly tankmates, you are correct to assume that both species can thrive in the same tank without attacking or attempting to eat one another.
3. Minor Size Differences
A massive size difference can compel even the most peaceful of aquarium creatures to eat their smaller neighbors. They can’t help it. Most of your aquarium’s inhabitants are the same way. If their tankmates can fit in their mouths, they are more likely to surrender to the temptation to eat them.
Amano shrimp are larger than cherry shrimp. They can grow to a size of 2 to 2.5 inches. Cherry shrimp, on the other hand, grow to 1.5 inches. This is not a massive size difference. Cherry shrimp are at a disadvantage.
The Amano shrimp can bully them if push comes to shove. But cherry shrimp cannot fit in an Amano shrimp’s mouth. Therefore, Amano shrimp have less incentive to eat the cherry shrimp.
Why Can It Be Challenging To Grow Amano And Cherry Shrimp?
Most aquarists won’t have any issues in growing both Amano and Cherry shrimp in the same tank. That is mainly due to the reasons listed above.
However, some cases might pose a challenge in a tank that features both species. Consider the following:
1. Both Species Eat The Same Food
Food is the only major factor that can create animosity between Amano and Cherry shrimp in a well-maintained tank. Amano shrimp are omnivores, meaning that they require a blend of animal and plant matter. Cherry shrimp are the same. They need animal and plant matter in their diet.
Both creatures eat algae, biofilm, and the matter that plants shed. They can survive on the leftovers at the bottom. But if their aquarium doesn’t have enough algae, detritus, or leftovers, you must add enough food to keep them satisfied.
Why is this a problem? Amano shrimp are the best tank cleaners around. They have a voracious appetite for algae and various forms of dead and decaying matter. That appetite makes them possessive of their food.
If you have baby cherry shrimp, they may starve because the Amano shrimp keeps taking all the food and swimming away. Adult cherry shrimp may suffer the same fate. The absence of food will make the Amano shrimp a threat to the cherries.
2. Amano Shrimp Will Find It Hard To Breed
Breeding complicates things. It won’t generate hostility between the Amano shrimp and their cherry shrimp neighbors. But it can affect your decision to keep the two shrimp in the same place.
Amano shrimp reproduce in brackish water. The larvae are fragile. They need brackish water to survive. If you don’t want your Amano shrimp to breed, this doesn’t matter. But if you want them to breed, you shouldn’t keep them in the same freshwater tank as the Cherry shrimp.
How To Make Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp Coexist?
If your Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp are acting aggressively towards one another, you can use these methods to control them:
1. Grow Your Shrimp In A Community Tank
In normal circumstances, Amano shrimp won’t eat Cherry shrimp. But if they are starving, they will eat anything they can find, including other shrimp. They can also do this if they do not get enough meat during mealtimes.
Yes, Amano shrimp eat algae, and so do cherry shrimp. But some tanks are bare. They don’t have enough algae to sate all the shrimp in their aquarium. The creatures need food from the outside: algae wafers, fish flakes, pellets, vegetables, and the like.
If your Amano shrimp are well-fed, they will leave the Cherry shrimp alone.
One way of preventing starvation in shrimp is to keep them in community tanks. The presence of fish will ensure that the tank has enough leftovers and detritus to keep the shrimp happy.
2. Avoid Overcrowding The Tank
Don’t overcrowd the aquarium. Overcrowding causes stress, and stress can cause shrimp to develop violent tendencies. Amano shrimp already have a reputation for being possessive with their food.
If they are forced to live in cramped conditions, they may attack any cherry shrimp that cross their feeding spots. Overcrowding can occur because you have too many fish and shrimp. It can also occur because of an abundance of plants and decorations.
3. Introduce Enough Hiding Spots
Speaking of plants and decorations, you should add some to the aquarium. You have various types to choose from, including java fern, Cladophora, Egeria, and water sprite, to mention but a few.
The shrimp will use the plants and decorations to hide from bullies. Plants and decorations can also alleviate stress. I personally got the JIH Aquarium Fish Tank Decor Set (link to Amazon). It is stunning and pretty affordable.
4. Adjust The Aquarium Conditions
Maintain the right conditions in the tank. Like overcrowding, the wrong conditions will induce stress in your tank’s inhabitants. Amano shrimp are more likely to misbehave in a poorly maintained aquarium with dirty water and the wrong pH, hardness, and temperature.
You have to test the water with testing strips and kits to ensure that all the parameters fit the ranges that Amano and Cherry shrimp require.
I personally use the API FRESHWATER MASTER TEST KIT (link to Amazon). This bundle is the most accurate I’ve found so far. Within minutes, it will measure your pH, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.
In an aquarium that holds both Amano and Cherry shrimp, aim for these parameters:
- Temperature: 70-80 degrees F.
- pH: 6.0-7.0
- Hardness: 6.0-8.0dKH
- Nitrates: <20 ppm
- Nitrites and ammonia: 0 ppm.
It is worth mentioning that shrimp require sponge filters. Also, make sure they have enough oxygen by adding powerheads, air stones, and air pumps. The devices will ensure that the oxygen is evenly distributed throughout the tank.
I use the Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit (link to Amazon) in my tank. This is probably the quietest device I’ve installed so far. Just place it in the middle of your tank, and the air stone will take care of the rest.
Try to secure the largest tank possible (20 gallons or more). Most aquarists know that you have to carry out water changes every week to keep the tank clean. But they don’t realize that it is easier to maintain a large tank than a small one.
Small tanks require more frequent water changes because the concentration of waste and toxins like ammonia spikes so quickly. Frequent water changes will cause stress in the shrimp. A large tank gives your fish more room to breathe because it dilutes the waste and toxins.
5. Choose The Proper Tankmates
I highly suggest surrounding the shrimp with friendly tankmates. Violent fish will agitate the Amano shrimp, making them more likely to attack the Cherry shrimp.
As was noted before, the cherry shrimp are at a disadvantage because they are smaller. Some suitable tankmates include Blue Rams, Pearl Gourami, Mystery Snails, Vampire Shrimp, etc.
What Shrimp Can Live With Amano and Cherry Shrimp?
If you want to add more shrimp to a tank that has Amano and Cherry Shrimp, you have several options to choose from, including:
1. Ghost Shrimp
Ghost shrimp are excellent tankmates for Cherry shrimp, as I discussed in this article. They can also coexist with Amano shrimp. Like most shrimp, ghost shrimp are peaceful. They do not attack, antagonize, or intimidate other creatures in an aquarium.
For your convenience, here is an article where I discussed what kinds of shrimp can live with Ghost shrimp in the same tank. The species listed there can also live with Cherry shrimp, so it is definitely worth checking it out.
2. Bamboo Shrimp
Bamboo shrimp are simple creatures that can grow to a size of 4 inches. They are larger than Amano shrimp, so you don’t have to worry about the Amano shrimp attacking them. But they are also peaceful. They won’t use their size to antagonize the cherry shrimp.
3. Vampire Shrimp
Vampire shrimp are large. They can grow to a size of 6 inches, which is impressive. They also have a strong shell. But despite their bulky bodies, they have a peaceful temperament that allows them to coexist with other peaceful creatures like Amano and Cherry Shrimp.
4. Blue Tiger Shrimp
Blue tiger shrimp have an average size of 1 inch. They are small, omnivorous shrimp whose peaceful temperament allows them to coexist with other peaceful creatures. Because they are aggressive eaters, they are less likely to permit Amano shrimp to take their food.
If you found this article helpful, these may also interest you:
- Can Female Bettas Live With Shrimp? (Cherry, Ghost, Amano & Others
- What Shrimp Can Live With Tiger Shrimp? (With 5 Examples)
- What Do Ghost Shrimp Do In Tanks? (5 Surprising Facts)
- What Do Cherry Shrimp Do In Fish Tanks? (5 Essential Benefits)
- Do Amano Shrimp Eat Algae? (Hair, Brown, Black Beard & More)
Shrimp tanks look incredible. The right combination of plants and clutter can create a fascinating sight. But freshwater shrimp tanks can be challenging to maintain. If they are not properly maintained, the shrimp will die, and you will lose your investment.
If you want to use Amano and Cherry Shrimp as tank mates, follow the tips in this article. They will help you maintain a healthy tank that is balanced and optimized for all its inhabitants.