Amano Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp – Who Wins The Best Pet Shrimp Award?

Dec 19, 2020

Amano Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Often my friends mistake Ghost shrimp with Amano shrimp when they gaze in my shrimp tank. So I thought about what made it hard for them to determine which one’s which. I believe many of you are also confused about how to differentiate an Amano shrimp from the ghost shrimp and vice versa. So, let’s discuss Amano Shrimp vs. Ghost Shrimp.

Amano Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp:

Caridina Multidenata, commonly known as Amano shrimp, is native to Japan, Taiwan, and several islands and Fiji and Madagascar. Palaemonetes Paludosus, also known as ghost shrimp, are found in the freshwater of North America. Both the Amano shrimp and ghost shrimp are reared as feeder fish for home aquariums.

Facts About Amano Shrimp

Originally from the freshwaters of japan and Taiwan, the Amano name is derived from the Japanese dialect. These shrimps are mostly found in freshwater; however, they need brackish water for breeding.

An energetic aquatic animal, they are a delight to every aquarist for keeping an aquarium lively. A small size aquarium of 10 gallons will be enough to house at least one troupe, which sums up to ten Amano shrimps.

They need lots of plants in their habitat, so if you plan to keep Amano shrimps, get some live plants.

Body Type

One can find it hard to differentiate Amano shrimps from the rest of the shrimps because of how similar shrimps are to each other at first glance. So let me tell you how you can know for sure that you have an Amano shrimp in your care.

Amano shrimp have lucent bodies through which you can see shades of their internal organs. On each side, they have red or brown points. On the dorsal, you will see a white stripe from their head to tail. Most of the Amano shrimp will look like what I just explained, but some Amano shrimp are bluish. This is because of them feeding mostly on Cladophora algae. This type of algae is greener and more stringent than the rest of the hair algae.

If you plan on getting Amano shrimp from the local pet store, you must buy it from a genuine pet store because there are lots of imposter shrimp. It is hard to breed Amano shrimp in aquariums, so most sellers sell wild Amano shrimp, which, for you, is excellent news as an aquarist.

An Amano shrimp costs anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars. You can buy them in a pet store or online. Buy at least a troupe because they look great in groups.

Required Water Conditions For Amano Shrimps

Amano shrimps survive well in aquariums. Water temperature can be from 75 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH level of 7.2 to 7.5. Hardness can be up to 8.0 dkh, so you won’t require top-notch maintenance and care if you plan to keep them.

If your aquarium has tannins, then also you need not worry about keeping Amano shrimp in them. Amano shrimps can survive in aquariums, where there’s a presence of tannins. You won’t be needing a new aquarium if you have tannin in your aquarium.

How To Set Up Tank For Amano Shrimps

As I said earlier, 10 gallons will be enough for your troupe of Amano shrimps, or you could say 10 gallons for 10 Amano Shrimps. These shrimps dwell most on an aquarium substrate, so get a tank that is longer than height. For filters, sponge filters work fine for Amano shrimps.

To provide an ample amount of oxygen, keep power heads, water pumps, and air pumps.

For decors, use plants and sandy substrate with smooth pebbles and stones. You need to mimic their original habitat of the wild, so have plants in your aquarium. I mean, lots of plants. Like I mentioned before, you need not worry about the tannins in your aquarium.

Amano shrimps like to hide and go underthings. So make 3D models of caves and troughs to let them explore their surroundings. Female Amano shrimps are recluse than male, so you will find mostly female Amano shrimps in these hiding spots.

Some plants that Amano shrimp loves are Java Moss, Anubias, Java Fern, Water Lettuce, Cladophora, etc.

Is Copper Dangerous To Amano Shrimps?

Not only Amano Shrimp, but copper is also lethal for every invertebrates like crab, other species of shrimps, and oysters. Copper sulfate can cause 100% mortality, even with just 0.5 mg of concentration.

Therefore, you need to avoid any copper-related decors in your aquariums where there are shrimps and snails or other invertebrates.

How Long Do Amano Shrimp Live?

Amano Shrimp can live up to 3 years in captivity. In the wild, several factors are to be overcome by an Amano shrimp with its troupes. So the mortality rate is relatively shorter than a captive one.

How Big Is Amano Shrimp?

Amano Shrimps can grow up to 2 inches. A baby Amano shrimp can grow to become an adult within a few months. After these few months, they reach their maximum height.

How Does Amano Shrimp Breathe?

Amano shrimp breathe through gills instead of lungs, and their respiratory organ is known as Branchia. This respiratory organ is at the top of their head or carapace.

Are Amano Shrimp Peaceful?

Yes, Amano shrimp are peaceful than most aquatic animals. They dwell on the bottom and nibble on decayed plants, fishes feces and own molded shells.

Do Amano Shrimp Have Fins?

No, Amano Shrimp do not have fins but have muscular tails, which they use as a propeller to swim.

What Are Some Of The Best Tank Mates For Amano Shrimps?

Some of the best tank mates for Amano Shrimps are Pearl Gourami, Apisto Borelli, Bolivian Rams, Blue Rams, Corydoras, Black Neons, Lemon Tetras, Guppies, Danios, Vampire Shrimp, and, obviously, the Ghost Shrimp.

Foods For Amano Shrimps

Like every other shrimp, Amano shrimps are also easy to feed. These shrimps feed on phytoplankton, and algae are one of their favorite food to munch. They will also feed on veggies, plants, fish food, and consume almost everything. They even eat their shedding.

You can feed them low-grain pellets, low-grain fish flakes, and algae wafers for sustenance food. Their nutritional diets can comprise spinach, frozen fish food, blood worms, brine shrimp, fishing worms, etc.

Just like fishes, you need to feed them daily.

Now that you’ve known everything about Amano Shrimp, let’s discuss Ghost Shrimp.

Ghost shrimp are easy to take care of and are equally popular in the crustacean family among the aquarists. They are found in the freshwater of the North American region. Their translucent body is the reason we commonly know them as Ghost Shrimp.

Facts About Ghost Shrimp

Native to North American freshwater, Ghost shrimp are great at scavenging any uneaten food in your aquarium. They love eating algae relentlessly and will keep the algae level low in the tank.

Body Of A Ghost Shrimp

Their body is so translucent that you can see their internal organs while digesting food. They grow up to 1.5 inches, and females, in particular, can grow bigger than males. Their body has colored dots on the back.

They have two pairs of antennae, which they use for finding their way in the dark. Further use is the detection of toxic chemicals in the vicinity. It is believed that the antennae also helps a male Ghost shrimp for attracting female Ghost shrimps.

They have a beak-like rostrum between their eyes. They have a robust carapace under which they protect their vital organs.

How Long Do Ghost Shrimps Live?

Ghost shrimp has a shorter lifespan than other breeds of shrimp. They live up to a year or more if their habitat is well maintained and there’s no lack of plants in it.

Often used as a feeder fish, the aquarists have been mistreating and give minimum care. This could be the reason their lifespan has been shorter than other aquatic animals.

How Often Do Ghost Shrimps Molt?

Ghost Shrimp will often molt every month or two if it has been fed regularly. They molt whenever they get big because of the abundance of food in the tank.

You shouldn’t throw the molted shedding from the tank because shrimps will also eat these molts and clean your tank. Nothing gets wasted when you keep shrimp in your tank.

How To Set Up A Ghost Shrimp Tank?

First, you need not worry about the tank size for a Ghost Shrimp. Take a ratio of 1:1 (1 gallon for 1 Ghost Shrimp). Your 10-gallon tank will be enough to keep a troupe of Ghost shrimp, considering ten shrimps for one troupe.

Now, get a troupe of Ghost shrimp and put them in the tank. You shouldn’t overstock on these shrimp because they are voracious eater and can cause food scarcity soon.

Consider adding lots of aquatic plants, which causes the growth of algae in your tank. Ghost shrimps love eating algae, so the more plants, the better. Add hornwort, java moss, and Cabomba to your tank.

For decoration, caves, and sandy substrate allow lots of hiding places for your Ghost shrimps. Ghost shrimp like to burrow through sandy substrate while resting and only come up during scavenging.

Beware of any copper involved decors as copper reacts badly with the shrimp and can cause a massive holocaust in your tank.

Maintaining Water Quality And Temperature

Ghost shrimps require minimum care to thrive. Maintaining water quality for them is easy too. The water temperature in the tank should be like the tropical conditions in which they thrive in the wild.

Water temperatures from 65 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit will suit them. pH value can be anywhere between 7.0 to 8.0.

If you have stocked quite a bit of Ghost shrimp in your tank, then you need to make sure they have enough oxygen for everyone. Install air pump and foamy filters.

As for cleaning, worry the least because these Ghost shrimps will do this part. They are superb at scavenging and will clean everything.

However, you need to lower the amount of ammonia and nitrate in your tank as they are toxic to almost all aquatic animals.

What Do Ghost Shrimps Feed On?

Ghost shrimp feed on everything (literally). The broad range of diet helps you with the shopping list for your little pet. You can feed them everything like flakes, pellets, and algae wafers.

They will feed on any extra food that your fish has left in the tank. This extraordinary shrimp will eat sunken pellets and even the feces of your fish.

What Tank Mates Best Suits A Ghost Shrimp?

The gentle nature of a ghost shrimp allows you to keep it with other gentle aquatic animals. However, if the tank mates are bigger and more aggressive, the Ghost Shrimp will get eaten.

Some of the best tank mates for Ghost shrimp are Tetras, Hatchetfish, Cherry Barb, Danios, Zebra, and Kuhli Loaches, Amano Shrimp.

Now that you’ve known about each Amano Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp, let’s start with both shrimps’ similarities.

Similarities Between Amano Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Similar In Size

Both these shrimp can grow up to 2 inches and are similar in size. This similarity could be due to the feeding of a similar diet in an equivalent amount. In both Amano and Ghost shrimp, the females are bigger than males.

Food They Consume

Most of the food they consume is similar. They both feed on anything that’s on the water. What sets them apart in the feeding is that Amano likes to dwell on the surface to eat algae. Therefore, some Amano shrimp have different colors because of feeding on too many algae.

Behavior

Both the shrimp are peaceful and display similar behavior traits. Both of them get along with each other and other tank mates.

They like to play hide and seek among the plants in the fish tank. They love digging through the sandy substrate and pop out when there’s feed in the tank.

Most of the time, males and females will engage in chasing each other. Record this on your smartphone and show it to your friends.

Differences Between Amano Shrimp And Ghost Shrimp

Feeding

Although claims have been made that Ghost shrimp like to eat algae, too, I haven’t found that in my tank. Ghost shrimps are ground dwellers and seldom eat algae if there’s food in the tank’s bottom.

Amano shrimp like to eat the algae on the surface and will rid you of the algae in your tank.

Appearance

In size, Amano shrimp are relatively bigger than Ghost shrimp. Ghost shrimps have a translucent body with little markings on their body. It is hard to distinguish which one’s male and which one’s female. The only way you can differentiate is by looking at their body shape. Female Ghosts shrimps have rounded belly whereas the males have a slender, elongated shape.

Amano shrimps have several markings on their body. You can find Amano shrimps with colors like red, brown, grey, blue, grey, etc.

Ghost Shrimps Can Get Predatory

Despite being a peaceful animal, ghost shrimps can develop predator instinct and attack other shrimps. Ghost shrimp are also a cannibal and will eat their offspring if there’s not enough food in the tank. Amano, in retrospect, does not show such instincts.

Breeding

One of the critical differences between these two breeds is also breeding. Amano shrimps require brackish water to reproduce, whereas; Ghost shrimp can breed in your tank. The good thing about Ghost shrimp being able to reproduce in a tank is that they will self-sustain their population, which Amano shrimps cannot do.

This is the reason ghost shrimps are used as feeder fish.

Price

Amano Shrimp are hard to breed in a tank; however, you can easily breed Ghost shrimp in your home tank. This is the reason Amano shrimp cost more than Ghost shrimp.

The fact that Amano shrimp are used for cleaning tank also makes it relatively expensive than Ghost shrimp.

You can get Amano shrimp anywhere from $2 to $5 per shrimp, whereas Ghost shrimp is sold in a troupe and cost much less than Amano shrimp. So Ghost shrimp are used as feeder fish.

Final Words On Amano Shrimp Vs. Ghost Shrimp

Both the Amano shrimp and Ghost shrimp have their unique characteristics. Amano shrimp are great at eating algae and will keep your tank clean. The Ghost shrimp can breed quickly and dwell on the ground and eat your fishes’ remaining food—both the shrimp help keep your tank clean and free of algae.

However, your Amano shrimp needs brackish water for breeding. This will cause you to refill them in your tank every two years. But the lifespan of a Ghost shrimp is only one year. However, they can breed in aquariums and can maintain their population.

So, if you are planning to keep either of them or both of them, make sure that you do not overstock from the start. Put one or two troupes and observe how your shrimps are faring in the tank.

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.