Algae can become a natural problem in any tank. With the right amount of light and other factors, it can take over in no time, being both unsightly and potentially troublesome. There are many choices when it comes to getting algae under control, but having an algae eater, like shrimp, in the tank is one of the easiest and most efficient. It eliminates the need for things like chemicals to stop the algae growth and is safe for an aquarium. Of course, some shrimp do a better job than others, so having the right shrimp for the tank is important.
When it comes to choosing what shrimp is right for the job, there is one that is always a great choice. Amano Shrimp (or Caridina japonica) are algae eating shrimp that are spotted with a line going down the back. Not only are they interesting to look at, but they also tend to get bigger than your average Cherry Shrimp.
Amano shrimp are the best algae eaters out there, as far as shrimp go. They eat hair algae, brush algae, most types of string algae, and are one of the few things that will even eat black beard algae. However, there is a trick to their success; they are only really good algae eaters when they’re hungry. To get them hungry you have to refrain from feeding them food so they will go after the algae.
Amano Shrimp can be found at most local fish stores for around $3, and a little more online. Buying them is usually the better option than breeding. Getting Amano Shrimp to breed is time-consuming; you have to get them to berry up and then they hatch out into larvae instead of baby shrimp. They have to hatch out in brackish salt water as well. It can require a difficult setup so not many hobbyists do it since the shrimp can be found for cheap and are usually bred on a massive scale. Breeding one batch can take about six months to grow out and it would only save a few bucks in the process.
While breeding these shrimp might be useful for proving a certain level of breeding skill, it simply doesn’t make sense money-wise. On the other hand, one nice feature of Amano Shrimp is that they won’t cross breed with any other kind of shrimp you might normally keep, this includes all the variants of Cherry Shrimp, Crystal Shrimp, etc. So there is no worry of accidentally having them cross-breed.
Having Amano Shrimp is an effective method of algae control, by adding them you have a natural way to keep algae at bay. They are widely used and available and make a great addition to most planted tanks. Not only are they reasonably priced but they are also super hardy. They are not finicky about water parameters and temperature. If you’re having some algae problems on plants and tanks, we really recommend you give them a try. They are a great choice and, in our opinion, are one of the best natural solutions for controlling algae.