Putting together a community fish tank is something that should be a ton of fun. You can put different types of fish in the tank that will look good together.
Many people like to keep otocinclus catfish in community aquariums. They do this because they have a reputation as peaceful community fish, but they also help with cleaning the tank.
Since otos are known to eat algae, it can be beneficial to have them in the tank. Can these fish be kept with Amano shrimp, though?
Amano shrimp are fairly popular because they’re known to eat algae. Are they better algae eaters than otos, or do they do a similar job?
Comparing the two options should help you to decide if you only want one for your tank. You might also want to know whether they can share a tank.
Read on to learn about Amano shrimp and otocinclus catfish. This will help you to know what to expect when putting them in the same fish tank as well as which option is best for keeping fish tanks clean.
Amano Shrimp and Otocinclus Can Live Together
It’s perfectly fine to keep Amano shrimp and otocinclus catfish in the same tank. Otocinclus catfish are incredibly peaceful, and they aren’t going to try to eat the shrimp.
These catfish are among the best tank mates that you can find for shrimp. They’re so peaceful that they don’t even seem to go after baby shrimp.
You might choose to keep both Amano shrimp and otos in the same tank for cleaning purposes. These fish can coexist just fine, and they won’t bother each other in any way.
It’s also nice that they have similar enough requirements that both can thrive in the same aquarium. Don’t hesitate to put Amano shrimp in a community tank with otos if you’re interested.
Amano Shrimp Are Better Algae Eaters
What if you’re just looking for an algae eater for your fish tank? Which of these options will do a better job of keeping algae to a minimum in the tank?
Most agree that Amano shrimp are much more efficient when it comes to eating algae. You’ll see a noticeable difference in the amount of algae in the tank when you’re keeping Amano shrimp.
Otocinclus are also good algae eaters, but they might not eat as fast as the Amano shrimp do. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either option.
Both of these options will not completely eliminate the algae in a tank. You don’t want to eliminate all of the algae.
Some algae need to remain in the tank so the fish will have something to eat. Algae is the primary food source for both Amano shrimp and otocinclus catfish.
How Long Do Amano Shrimp Live?
If you’re deciding between Amano shrimp and otocinclus catfish, it’s wise to learn more about each of them. You might be wondering if one option lives longer than the other.
Amano shrimp have lifespans that last between two and three years. They don’t always live this long, though.
Sadly, Amano shrimp often die when first introduced to a tank. It’s said that this is likely a result of stress due to being transported.
If you can get the shrimp to survive and get used to the tank, they’re fairly easy to care for. Pay attention to the water parameters, and you shouldn’t have trouble keeping these shrimp in your aquarium.
How Long Do Otocinclus Catfish Live?
Otocinclus catfish can live for quite a bit longer than Amano shrimp. The average lifespan of otocinclus catfish is between five and seven years.
They have similar problems when first being introduced to a tank, though. Sometimes otos will die early on, but this problem can be mitigated by paying close attention to the water parameters.
Also, it’s good to have hiding spots in the tank. These fish like to be able to hide, and it’s important for them to feel comfortable in the aquarium.
Once established, otocinclus catfish are hardy enough that they won’t be tough to care for. You’ll have a good experience keeping these algae eaters in your fish tank.
How Big Are Amano Shrimp?
Amano shrimp are fairly large. They grow larger than other dwarf shrimp that people commonly keep in aquariums.
You can expect Amano shrimp to grow to be two inches long. Sometimes they grow to be a little bit longer than this.
You’ll need a minimum of a 10-gallon fish tank to keep these fish in your home. It’s best to keep at least four of these shrimp in the tank.
How Big Are Otocinclus Catfish?
Otocinclus catfish are fairly small fish. Common otos only grow to be between one and a half and two inches long at maturity.
Since they’re fairly small, they can be kept in 10-gallon fish tanks comfortably. You should keep at least six of them together in one tank.
These fish are shoaling fish that live in large groups in the wild. They live in communities with thousands of fish in the wild, but they’ll be fine in groups of six or larger in a fish tank.
When kept in groups that are too small, they become stressed. Keep this in mind when buying the fish so you can plan ahead.
Which Should You Choose?
You don’t have to choose between Amano shrimp and otocinclus catfish if you don’t want to. It’s fine to keep them together since they’re known to get along.
However, you will need to make sure that there’s enough food to go around. You must do your best to keep algae growing in the tank.
As long as you do this, it’ll be easy to take care of both in a community tank. If you only want one or the other, it comes down to preference.
Amano shrimp are the better algae eaters, but they might not be compatible with quite as many other fish. Otocinclus catfish are good community tank members.
Simply make the choice that makes the most sense for your aquarium. You should have a good experience either way.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.