Although amano shrimp are rarely the primary addition to a tank, they are one of the most common secondary additions due to their excellent algae eating abilities to help keep hair, brush, and most types of string algae down in your tank.
This coupled with the fact that amano shrimp are cheap, easy to care for, and rarely cause aggression in the tank has made them one of the most popular algae eaters out there.
With many people who keep aquariums often having multiple amano shrimp in their tanks, there is a high chance that their amano shrimp will end up pregnant.
Due to so many people having amano shrimp in their tanks as well as it being very common to end up with pregnant amano shrimp in your aquariums, we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask how to care for a pregnant amano shrimp.
Due to seeing so many people reaching out about it, we have decided to publish this dedicated article going over exactly how you are able to care for your pregnant amano shrimp as well as the baby amano shrimp that they produce.
Our goal is to try and help our readers better understand how they can care for amano shrimp when they are pregnant to increase your own shrimp populations for your tanks to help you keep the algae at bay.
How To Care For A Pregnant Amano Shrimp!
Caring for a pregnant amano shrimp is extremely easy due to the ideal conditions for a pregnant amano shrimp usually being the same as most aquariums anyway.
This means that the amano shrimp will usually act the same as it normally would during the six weeks it carries its fertilized eggs and continue to eating the algae in your tank and going about its business.
The main problem with trying to care for a pregnant amano shrimp is during the egg release period as an amino shrimp needs fresh water but the larvae that hatch from her eggs requires brackish water.
In the wild a pregnant amano shrimp chooses when to release her eggs so she will travel to some brackish water, release her eggs and then quickly travel back into fresh water with minimal exposure to the salt.
Getting the timings correctly in a fresh water aquarium to move the amano shrimp to a separate tank with brackish water in it so she can release her eggs can be difficult to time.
This is why it is easy for most aquarium owners to end up with pregnant amano shrimp in their tanks but difficult for them to develop the released eggs into larvae and eventually into fully grown amano shrimp.
How Can You Tell If An Amano Shrimp Is Pregnant?
It is easy to tell if an amino shrimp is pregnant and carrying fertilized eggs as the eggs will be visible and easy to identify.
The eggs are transparent with a very small dark dot in them similar to what you would imagine miniature frog spawn to look like and the pregnant amano shrimp will carry them under her tail until she chooses to release them.
Unlike some other shrimp species, amano shrimp tend to be able to keep their eggs under control even the first time they are pregnant due to their eggs tending to be stickier than that of other shrimp species.
This helps to ensure that the mother will be able to keep as many of her eggs as possible attached to hr with only a small number driving off and becoming fish food.
Some types of fish that you have in your aquarium may try to bully a pregnant amano shrimp due to them wanting to eat her eggs. Due to this, some people do choose to move a pregnant amano shrimp to their own tank until she has released her eggs.
What Are The Pregnant Amano Shrimp Stages?
There are five stages of pregnancy for amano shrimp with the first being the swelling of their dorsal fin to allow for easy release of her eggs.
The second is the release of a pheromone to attract male shrimp to fertilize the eggs.
The third is the actual breeding and fertilization of the egg.
The fourth stage is the female shrimp dropping her fertilized eggs into her swimmerents and the fifth and final stage is the mother carrying the fertilized eggs for around six weeks prior to releasing them.
Keep in mind that if you have multiple make amano shrimp in the same aquarium, they may start to squabble and fish during phase two of the pregnancy when the pheromone is in the water.
Although it is rare, this can result in injuries to your amano shrimp but most of the time, multiple males in the same tank will be fine.
Although each of the pregnancy stags in your amano shrimp do follow each other in a sequential order, there really isn’t much you can do as some of the stages take days or even hours where as others take weeks.
Unless you are paying very close attention to your aquarium, you will probably miss some of the stages, especially stage two, three, and four as they can happen within hours.
How Long Is An Amano Shrimp Pregnant?
An amino shrimp is considered to be “pregnant” for around six weeks after her eggs are fertilized but she can be at one of the five stags of amano shrimp pregnancy for much longer depending on the situation.
For example, if there are no male shrimp in the tank to fertilize her eggs she may be stuck releasing pheromones into the tank for up to two month before she gives up.
Due to this, you can consider an amino shrimp to be “pregnant” for up to three months at a time due to her eggs being ready for fertilization for so long without having anyone to fertilize them.
That said though, this is not strictly classed as a pregnant amano shrimp as her eggs are not fertilized so no larvae can be produced by her eggs.
Although most amano shrimp will retain their fertilized eggs for around six weeks, if conditions are perfect, it can be as little as four weeks and if conditions are not ideal it can be around seven weeks.
All of these variables have to be taken into account when caring for a pregnant amano shrimp as you can have two females start their pregnancy cycle on the exact same day and end up getting fertilized the next day but then releasing their eggs weeks apart from each other.
How Long Do Amano Shrimp Carry Eggs?
A pregnant amano shrimp will carry her fertilized eggs for around size weeks on average.
Depending on the conditions of the tank she is kept in when carrying her eggs she may carry her eggs for as little as four weeks and as long as seven weeks.
This is why it is so difficult to breed amano shrimp in captivity unless you have specialist tanks as the egg release time scale is too broad for you to plan for.
This makes it virtually impossible to move the pregnant female amano shrimp to a tank with brackish water ready for her to release her eggs and then move her back to freshwater while her eggs hatch their larvae into the brackish water.
Although there have been some successful breeding attempts with amano shrimp for the average hobbyist, it is very difficult and the odds are stacked against you.
This coupled with the fact of amano shrimp being so cheap makes it much easier for the majority of people to just purchase amano shrimp rather than try to breed them.
Do Amano Shrimp Have Live Babies?
Amano shrimp do not have live babies and will usually carry their fertilized eggs for around six weeks before releasing them to hatch.
The eggs will then hatch into larvae with the larvae requiring brackish water to live before evolving into an amino shrimp and needing fresh water to live.
This life cycle of the amino shrimp needing the mother to be moved from fresh water to brackish water to release her eggs and then the larvae needing to be in brackish water that is close enough to fresh water for them to get to once they grow into amano shrimp make it difficult to breed them in captivity.
Although there are specialist pieces of equipment available that can make this easier, they literally cost thousands of dollars and as most people who keep aquariums don’t care about breeding amano shrimp, they decide to put their money elsewhere.
There is no need to worry about a pregnant amano shrimp having problems due to not being moved into brackish water though as she will eventually decide to release her eggs in her normal tank.
Although these eggs will rarely hatch and any that do will result in the larvae not surviving very long due to the fresh water, they essentially become a part of the food chain for the other animals in the aquarium.
That brings our article going over how to care for an amano shrimp that is pregnant to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand how to look after your pregnant amano shrimp but as we have touched on throughout the article, it is usually easy for an amino shrimp to end up pregnant but it can be very difficult to actually bring her eggs to term and have them successfully hatch into larvae and then grow into adult armano shrimp.