After we published our article going over if you should keep ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp together in the same aquarium, we have noticed people asking about keeping amano shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same tank too. Due to there being a number of common misconceptions about keeping various types of shrimp in the same aquariums, we wanted to publish this dedicated article on the topic as amano shrimp are even larger than ghost shrimp so can cause issues for cherry shrimp in some situations.
In larger tanks you can often keep amano shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same tank without issue, especially if you have a long tank design with plenty of floor space rather than a tall tank design. If you keep a smaller aquarium that is 20 gallons or less then the space can cause issues with the amano shrimp attacking and potentially eating your cherry shrimp so keeping one species in smaller tanks is usually recommended.
Rather than keeping amano shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same aquarium you can look to set up a specific shrimp tank for your cherry shrimp as they can thrive in smaller shrimp tanks due to a lack of predators with these smaller shrimp only aquariums becoming very popular. Both amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are usually kept to serve the same purpose in an aquarium anyway with their jobs being to eat detretus, algae, and left over fish food so there is often no need to keep both species in the same tank anyway.
Are Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp The Same Species?
Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are not the same species and amano shrimp are from the Caridina genus where as cherry shrimp are from the Neocaridina genus. Many people do presume that all shrimp are just different colors of the same animal but this is not correct and there are a number of differences between amino shrimp and cherry shrimp.
Amano shrimp are the largest of the commonly kept shrimp species within the fish keeping hobby with cherry shrimp usually being the smallest. Cherry shrimp tend to be more passive and just get on with life too and although amano shrimp will often be passive in larger tanks, they can become aggressive in smaller tanks of if there is not much food available.
The two types of shrimp also look very different with the bright color of the cherry shrimp being great to view but making them an easier target for some species of fish who eat shrimp. Amano shrimp tend to be more plain with their color helping them hide better against your substrate and tank decorations reducing the chance that shrimp eating fish species will hunt them down and eat them as a treat.
Can Cherry Shrimp Live With Amano Shrimp?
If you have a large enough aquarium tank that will have plenty of food available for the shrimp that you plan to keep in it the amano shrimp and cherry shrimp can usually live in the same tank as each other with minimal issue. Amano tanks can become more confrontational in smaller tanks though and they are strong enough to attack, kill, and eat cherry shrimp.
For the most part, even someone brand new to fish keeping should be able to keep cherry shrimp and amano shrimp in the same tank with minimal issues. This becomes even easier if you are keeping a planted tank with live plants as there will be plenty of detritus available for both type of shrimp to eat without the amano shrimp becoming aggressive to each other.
If you are a brand new fish keeper then we would usually only recommend that you add both amano shrimp and cherry shrimp to the same tank if your aquarium is over 20 gallons to offer plenty of space though. If you are a more experience fish keeper then you can usually mix the two in smaller aquariums, just make sure that there is plenty of food available with live plants being one of the best food sources for most shrimp species to eat the deterus the produce.
Will Amano Shrimp Attack Cherry Shrimp?
Amano shrimp are usually peaceful in most aquarium setups and can be mixed with other shrimp species with minimal issue. Although they are larger than ghost shrimp, they are not as aggressive as them so they can work well in a tank with cherry shrimp. In some situations amano shrimp can start to become aggressive though and may attack and eat your cherry shrimp.
One advantage of keeping amano shrimp in your tank with your cherry shrimp rather than ghost shrimp is that amano shrimp usually only go through their breeding cycle hormonal changes when in brackish water and then never occur in a normal aquarium tank. This helps to keep their behavior more predictable and keep their aggressive territorial side in check.
If you don’t have live plants in your aquarium then you may want to look into adding shrimp lollies to your aquarium as a good food source for your shrimp. This can help to make sure that there is plenty of food available for both types of shrimp to prevent the amano shrimp from attacking your cherry shrimp. The best thing about shrimp lollies over other types of shrimp food is that the rightly colors food on the stick is easy to see so you know when they need to be replaces to prevent issues with the food supply occurring in your tank.
Will Amano Shrimp Breed With Cherry Shrimp?
Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are not able to breed with each other due to amano shrimp being from the Caridina genus and cherry shrimp being from the Neocaridina genus preventing cross breeding between the two species. This helps to prevent any wild color cherry shrimp being produced due to the cherry shrimp cross breeding and with ensure that they keep their bright red color in their offspring.
This can be a common problem for people who are looking to breed their shrimp as it is surprisingly difficult to crossbreed shrimp to create new color lines. For example, breeding neon yellow shrimp and cherry shrimp with each other will almost always result in the baby shrimp being the natural wild type brown color rather than a bright color.
As we touched on earlier in the article, amano shrimp require brackish water to successfully produce offspring too so they will not be breeding and producing young in your aquarium. If you are wanting to create a self sustaining shrimp colony in your aquarium to consume as much detritus, algae, and discarded fish food as possible then opting to go with cherry shrimp will be the better option.
Are Cherry Shrimp Or Amano Shrimp Better?
Both amano shrimp and cherry shrimp have their advantages over each other with both being great options in the right situation. Amano shrimp usually only push ahead of cherry shrimp if you know that you will be keeping shrimp eating fish in your aquarium though as they are better at hiding but in all other cases, cherry shrimp will usually be the better option.
In the right situation, cherry shrimp can hide from predators too but they may be eaten at a faster pace than they can reproduce. The more hiding places and live plants in your tank to provide cover the better if you are keeping cherry shrimp in an aquarium with shrimp eating fish species though. Even a cheap shrimp breeding cave can be enough to drastically improve the survival rate of your cherry shrimp from predators.
If you are wanting to breed your cherry shrimp then breeding caves are an excellent tank accessory too. The caves serve as a safe place for the female shrimp to lay their eggs where fish and snails will not be able to eat them. Just keep in mind that this can end up backfiring though resulting in a large spike in the cherry shrimp population in your aquarium.
Amano Shrimp Vs Cherry Shrimp Size
Amano shrimp are far larger than cherry shrimp as far as aquarium shrimp go with the amano shrimp being stronger than cherry shrimp too. Although amano shrimp are not usually aggressive in optimal aquarium setups, this can make it easy for an amino shrimp to fight cherry shrimp and end up eating them if it chooses.
Still, if you are wanting to mix the shrimp that you keep in your aquarium then amano shrimp are still one of the better options available. Neon yellow shrimp and blue shrimp are both morphs of cherry shrimp so they are all from the Neocaridina genus meaning that they are able to breed with each other. Unfortunately, if different colors of these shrimps breed, their young will almost always be brown and not the bright colors of their parents quickly transforming the shrimp in your aquarium into wild types that are not as appealing to look at.
If you are only looking for shrimp from a practical standpoint though then this will not be an issue as the baby shrimp will still consume just as much detritus, algae, and discarded fish food as their parents making them excellent clean up crew members for your aquarium. Most people do usually want bright colored or translucent looking shrimp for their main display tanks though rather than the generic wild type color.
That brings our article going over keeping amano shrimp and cherry shrimp in the same aquarium as each other to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand why we would usually only recommend that you keep a single species of shrimp in your aquariums if possible. Although you are able to mix amano shrimp and cherry shrimp if you really want to, some tank setups may result in your amano shrimp eating your cherry shrimp.