Amano Shrimp – Will they Eat Fry, Snails, other Shrimp

Written by Randy Martin
Two Amano Shrimp sitting on plant

Amano Shrimp are excellent algae eaters and tank cleaners. Something people wonder is if Amano Shrimp will eat baby fish fry or other animals in the tank. Even though supposedly they are “herbivorous” the answer might surprise you.

So will Amano Shrimp eat fry? Amano Shrimp mainly feed on algae and uneaten food waste off the bottom floor. However, there has been many documented cases of Amano Shrimp eating fry. The Amano Shrimp could be the culprit if your fry are mysteriously disappearing.

There is a lot more surprising behaviors of the Amano Shrimp that you wouldn’t initially suspect, but it would be good to be aware of.

Amano Shrimp and their unusual eating habits

For the most part Amano Shrimp are a fun pet to keep, and usually employed in an aquarium to help with cleaning duties. They thrive off of algae and waste food particles.

You will be able to watch them always busy at work cleaning through the gravel or tending to plants and eating away anything dead and unusable.

One thing you wouldn’t likely count on however, is them feeding on your baby fry that you are trying to grow in your aquarium.

They only eat plant food right? So where are all the fry disappearing too?

The fact is many people have witnessed Amano Shrimp actually hunt, catch and consume fry. And many other people have had their fry population disappear quickly and mysteriously in a tank that is stocked with Amano Shrimp.

I personally remember the first time I had guppy fry in my aquarium. It was exciting to see these tiny little fish swimming around the plants, and it was totally unexpected, I had baby fish! And I couldn’t wait for them to start growing up before my eyes.

Then… Some of my Ghost Shrimp (which are very similar to Amano Shrimp) started swimming up and catching the slow moving fry and eating them.

They ate every single fry within days. So, dreams shattered, but it was interesting to witness none the less. That’s nature.

Others have reported similar stories. Adding fry to a tank stocked with Amano Shrimp, and then the shrimp making quick work to catch them and eat them.

More commonly is the fry simply disappearing and people left wondering what happened to them, all while the innocent looking Amano Shrimp is sitting on the bottom of the tank all fat and happy.

The fry aren’t the only ones that could be targeted by an Amano Shrimp. People have witnessed some of their mature fully grown fish get tangled up in plants, and Amano Shrimp have jumped at the opportunity to pick at it and eat it.

Also common—is for the shrimp to clean up, or pick at dead fish that are left in an aquarium.

All of this behavior is not actually the norm. A lot of the times Amano Shrimp will leave fry alone. But it’s definitely not unheard of and should be something to watch out for.

How to keep Amano Shrimp from eating your fry

If you are breeding and have a new crop of fry that you want to protect, there is a few things to consider to up their chances of survival.

First off you can simply put them in an isolated tank away from Amano Shrimp and other potential predators completely. Most serious breeders are going to have designated breeder tanks.

But if you wanted to brave them in a tank with other species, including Amano Shrimp. Then a few things that seem to help out is:

  • Keep them in a larger tank
  • Keep them in a heavily planted tank

If there is more space in the tank, then there is less chance that the Amano Shrimp will be able to find the fry. In bigger tanks the Amano will be more content to stick to it’s own work with cleaning. As typically larger tanks are going to have more food sources for it anyhow.

Important: Food supply doesn’t determine if the Amano will eat fry or not, FYI. Most people who had the Shrimp consume fry all said that the Shrimp were well fed and taken care of.

The other key that will help is if your tank is heavily planted, with lots of natural cover.

This is a common method for many breeders to make sure the fry have lots of plants and heavy cover to hide in, because in some species the parents themselves might consume the fry.

This is how it works in nature also. It’s survival of the fittest.

The fry will go into hiding in the thick cover. If the hiding spots are good enough then the Amano Shrimp might get some, but not all.

Will Amano Shrimp eat other shrimp

You wouldn’t have to worry about Amano Shrimp eating other mature shrimp.

When it comes to babies though, people have reported that happening. One fish keeper I know had Red Cherry Shrimp that had babies and the Amano Shrimp ate all the babies.

Then many others got lucky and haven’t really experienced this. So it all seems hit or miss. But yes, Amano Shrimp can eat baby Red Cherry Shrimp and other shrimp species.

Will Amano Shrimp eat snails

This is very uncommon but Amano Shrimp have tried to attack and eat snails. Usually the snail can easily hide in it’s shell and avoid the threat.

Though I have seen people on fish forums talk about an Amano Shrimp ripping an assassin snail from it’s shell and eating it.

Of course it should be assumed an Amano would eat a snail that is already dead. It being able to kill a healthy snail would seem unlikely, but at this point we should believe that Amano Shrimp are capable of anything.

Related Questions

Will shrimp eat Betta fry? Considering many freshwater shrimp species have been observed eating all sorts of other fry species it would be safe to assume that a shrimp could eat a Betta fry.

Do Guppies eat shrimp? Guppies may eat very small shrimp, or baby shrimp, but it is not common. Typically fully mature shrimp like the Amano Shrimp, will be compatible with the Guppy fish.

Keep reading

Leave a comment