Caridina Japonica also known as Amano Shrimps or algae shrimps are freshwater shrimp said to have been introduced to aquarium keeping by the famous Japanese aquascaper Takashi Amano.
These shrimp are found in the Yamato river area of Japan living amoungst the algae which grows along the banks, particually in the delta areas.
Capitve breeding of this species has been done but is difficult as in the wild the adults lay eggs which are washed in to more saline waters where the young hatch before beginning the journey upstream to restart the process, this means that to suceed in beeding, relative salinity must be achieved at each stage as well as correct hardnesses, temperature and PH.
The fish make an excellent addition to any aquaria that meets their parameters and does not contain any fish large enough to eat them. They really are facinating to watch as they travel around the aquarium floor, constantly sorting debris and eating algae using their 4 feeding limbs, shovelling food into their mouths.
If you do decide to add these to you aquarium beware that those on sale on ebay are usually very young and thus small when purchaced so easily eaten by even reletively small fish. Check with the seller when purchacing and if you do go ahead and buy young specimins, set up a breeding net in which to feed and seperate the new additions to the tank, do not try and use a floating breeding trap as they can be small enough to pass through the slats. They can also spend time out of the water so make sure that you cover the top of the container you use to house them and that you have a tight fitting hood on the tank.
The shrimp will prefer the following parameters;
Temp : 18 - 27oC ideally 24oC
Hardness : 6-10 dGh
PH : 6.1 - 7.1
Adult Size : 5CM
Feedng; Algae based sinking Feeds, suppliment with fresh veg ie weighed down cucumber, blanched spinach etc. Flake
If kept well these little shrimp are fascinating and well worthy addition to the aquarium, try to keep in groups of 5 or more if possiable and never use any copper based medicines.
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