How to Keep Your Algae-Eating Shrimp           Aqualand inside info on Caridina japonica 

 
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Algae-Eating Shrimp Factoids

Origin

Japan

Sexual Differences

Nothing obvious

Temperature

Flexible

Attitude

Hungry

Biggest Threat

Hungry tank mates

Schedule

Day shift

Security

Nearly invisible in planted tanks

Size

About two inches

Foods

Scavenger with a taste for most algae

Water

Not demanding

Breeding Comments

Nothing from us yet

 

 

LA
Algae-eating shrimp -- powerful little critters even at one-inch.

Origins:  With a name like Caradina japonica, you have to suspect the algae-eating shrimps originally came from Japan.  Different species came from different swamps.  All these similar species like to eat algae.

LA
Algae-eating shrimp are also known as Amano shrimps.

Appeal:  Plant-growing expert Amano-san popularized these hard working crustaceans in his series of incredibly beautiful books of natural aquaria.  He extolled their well developed algae-eating talents.  So effective were his mentions of the algae-eating shrimps that many people call them Amano shrimps.  He recommended two per gallon.

LA
Not all algae-eating shrimps look alike.

LA
Cute little beady eyed critters.

Size:  Algae-eating shrimps hit the market at one inch and grow to about two inches.

 

LA
Algae-eating shrimp careful comb your sponge filters for bits of algae and other snacks.

LA
Out of algae?  They also eat green beans and fish food.

LA
Algae-eating shrimp also eat vacation food blocks.

LA
Algae-eating shrimp also eagerly eat a deceased tetra.

Foods:  Obviously algae-eating shrimps eat algae.  They also eat fish food (first).  Don’t feed them anything if you want them to get rid of your algae.  When they run out of algae, they will eat your plants.  Add food at this point.  They also munch on deceased fish.  We’ve never seen them attack fish but would not put it past them.  They do not like the blackish, furry algae.

                     
LA
Algae-eating shrimp climbing from net and running across the counter.

Housing:  If you need an algae eater for a small tank (or tank with small fish), put algae-eating shrimps on your payroll.  Keep yours covered.  We’ve watched them crawl out.  They are not helpless out of the water.  They run like a cockroach. 

LA
Algae-eating shrimp do not hesitate to exit the water when they feel like it.

Out of the Water:  Most shrimps go limp when caught in a net – not the algae-eating shrimps.  They instantly crawl out of your net and drop to the floor.  They can jump straight up about four inches.  They flip laterally as much as a foot per flip.

Tank Mates:  Algae-eating shrimps get along great with smaller fishes -- tetras, moons, corys, dwarf cichlids and others until the “others” grow large enough to scavenge your scavenging shrimp.  Gouramis with their smaller mouths get along well also.  We’ve never mixed these guys with ghost shrimps.  They’re tough enough to turn them into real ghosts. 

Temperature:  Your average tank temperature works fine. 

  LA
You often find your algae-eating shrimps crawling on your sponge filter.

 

Temperament:  Some people say algae-eating shrimps are shy.  Others say they are nocturnal.  We’ll just say they’re small and not stupid.  If you provide a forest of hiding places, they will use them.  In sparse tanks, they’re out front.  They love to crawl on sponge filters.  They like sorting thru the detritus they collect.

LA
They blend in like the Predator in the Schwartzenegger movie of the same name.

Décor and Plants:  Algae-eating shrimp love java moss.  They munch on it continuously.  Otherwise, decorate to your taste, not to their taste.

LA
Algae-eating shrimp are huge compared to cherry red shrimp.

Water:  Unless you plan to breed them, don’t obsess over their water.  Since they come from swamps, you know what you provide will usually be better.

LA
Captured algae-eating shrimp relax for a moment, then take off for Tokyo.

LA
Here's the first one we've seen with eggs.  They're black.  01.02.05

Breeding:  We don’t know how to breed the little rascals, but the Chinese have it figured out.  Our last price list included 300-packs of three different species of algae-eating shrimp from Taiwan.  Apparently brackish water affects the equation.  Protecting the tasty babies from the adults also ranks high.  Try making a breeding cage out of nylon netting.  The babies should escape thru the mesh.

LA
Stubborn algae-eating shrimp do not necessarily pour out of a catching cup.

Last Word:  When teamed with otocinclus, algae-eating shrimp complete your algae-eating team.  LA.
 

Tyler Musialek, August 1, 2012
On your algae-eating shrimp page I noticed you said you do not know how to breed algae shrimp. It is very hard to breed and must slowly turn the water entirely saltwater and then the larvae are hard to keep alive because one must slowly change the water back

LA

A:  Sounds logical.  I'll add your info to my algae-eating shrimp pages.  LA

 

© 2004, © 2012 LA Productions

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