Cherry and Amano shrimp are two of the most popular species for freshwater aquariums. They don’t just add unique colors to aquariums. Both species also have ravenous appetites for algae, leftover food, and waste, which keep their aquariums clean.
That said, given how aggressive Amano shrimp can be when it comes to food, can you keep both species in the same aquarium?
In this Cherry shrimp vs. Amano shrimp comparison, we’ll dive deep into the similarities and differences between these two popular aquarium invertebrates to see if they can coexist.
The short answer is yes. Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp have more similarities than differences. Both shrimp species are hardy, thrive in similar water parameters, have similar diets, and enjoy living in a planted aquarium.
As such, they can coexist and thrive in the same aquarium if certain conditions are met.
Understanding the similarities and differences between Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp allows you to create an ideal environment for both.
Even though both species fall under the “dwarf shrimp” category, the Amano shrimp are larger than the Cherry shrimp.
A mature Amano shrimp can grow to be 2 inches long. However, in pet stores, Amano shrimp are often a little under 1 inch long. They mature and grow quickly once placed in an aquarium with ideal conditions, though.
Cherry shrimp, on the other hand, can grow to be only 1–1.5 inches long. In some rare cases, they can grow up to 2 inches long with proper conditions and diet.
Because Amano shrimp are typically twice the size of Cherry shrimp, Amanos can view Cherries, especially baby Cherries, as snacks. It’s a rare occurrence, however, as Amano shrimp only eat other shrimp under certain conditions.
One of the main reasons that Amanos and Cherries can live together is the similarity of their water parameter requirements.
An ideal temperature for Amano shrimp is between 70°F and 80°F. Cherry shrimp, on the other hand, can handle temperatures ranging from 65°F to 85°F.
What’s more, Amano shrimp prefer pH levels within the 6.0–7.0 range, while Cherry shrimp prefer a pH level within the 6.5–8.0 range.
Given that the water parameter requirements for both shrimp species are within a similar range, neither species is likely to suffer from health issues.
That said, Amano shrimp can be more sensitive to changes in their environment. Any changes in the water’s temperature or chemistry can stress them, which can be fatal. When stressed out, Amano shrimp have been known to jump out of their aquariums.
Because both Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp are omnivores and scavengers, they have similar diets.
Amano shrimp are one of the best, if not the best, algae eaters. They eat all kinds of algae, even black beard algae, and they’re voracious eaters.
They also eat leftover food, plant debris, and animal waste, which is why they’re considered excellent aquarium cleaners.
Nevertheless, for Amano shrimp to maintain their health, they need to eat high-quality pellets. They also need to consume animal-based protein, like daphnia or mysis.
On the other hand, while Cherry shrimp aren’t as hardy scavengers as Amano, they’ll eat almost anything edible. They eat most types of algae, uneaten fish food, plant debris, and plankton.
Like Amanos, Cherry shrimp also need high-quality pellets and live foods to thrive.
Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp are both peaceful species that can coexist with other fish and invertebrates. They’re also quite active, swimming from plant to plant or scavenging the aquarium for algae and waste.
The only problem is that Amano shrimp can be insatiable and possessive of their food. These traits can make them semi-aggressive with other aquarium mates, especially smaller ones.
Aside from food, Amano shrimp are rarely ever aggressive to other fish or shrimp.
Under normal circumstances, Cherry shrimp aren’t part of Amano shrimp’s usual diet. So, Amano shrimp don’t usually feed on healthy Cherry shrimp or other healthy aquarium mates.
More often than not, reports on Amano shrimp attacking and eating Cherry shrimp are the result of aquarium owners mistaking a carnivorous Ghost shrimp for an Amano shrimp.
However, certain conditions can prompt Amano shrimp to eat Cherry shrimp.
Amano shrimp are well-known for being excellent scavengers and opportunistic omnivores. These traits are also the reason why they may eat Cherry shrimp from time to time.
Like many shrimp, Amano shrimp eat dead or dying organic matter. They can sense when an animal is injured, ill, or dying before we can.
As such, if a Cherry shrimp is sick and doesn’t have much time left to live, Amano shrimp will likely attack and eat the unhealthy shrimp.
It’s just in their nature, so Amano shrimp won’t hesitate to feed on sick or deceased Cherry shrimp even if you feed them an adequate diet.
One of the main reasons why Amano shrimp may attack and eat Cherry shrimp is a lack of food.
Amano shrimp have voracious appetites. So, if there’s a lack of plants or algae, Amano shrimp will start looking for other sources of food to satiate their hunger, including smaller shrimp.
In most cases, however, Amano shrimp have to reach a point of starvation before they start feeding on their aquarium mates.
What’s more, if you have an insatiable Amano shrimp, it may accidentally inhale baby Cherries while feeding.
While Amano shrimp have a large appetite for algae, they’re also omnivorous. That’s why a balanced Amano shrimp diet should include both plant-based and meat-based foods.
If Amano shrimp don’t receive enough protein in their diet, they may start looking for any source of protein available. Given that Cherry shrimp are small and easy to prey upon, Amano shrimp may find them an appealing source of protein.
That said, not all Amano shrimp eat healthy Cherry shrimp to increase their protein intake. Most Amanos will look for leftover fish food or animal waste first, which can provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive.
While it’s unlikely, overpopulation in an aquarium can indirectly result in Amano shrimp eating Cherry shrimp and other small aquarium mates.
Amano shrimp can be a bit aggressive and greedy when feeding, quickly snatching food left and right. Generally, this voracious eating style can put other shrimp and fish in harm.
So, in an overcrowded aquarium, Amano shrimp can attack Cherry shrimp or inhale baby Cherries in a feeding frenzy.
Although Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp are excellent aquarium mates, they can’t crossbreed. The two shrimp species breed in different ways.
What’s more, Amano shrimp are among the most difficult shrimp species to breed in aquariums. Their breeding process is complicated, and the slightest change in the environment can be fatal.
In their natural habitat, female Amano shrimp don’t lay their eggs in freshwater. Freshwater is fatal to Amano shrimp larvae, so they lay the eggs in brackish water, where they’ll hatch.
On the other hand, saltwater is toxic to adult Amano shrimp. So, once the Amano shrimp babies metamorphose into small Amano shrimp, they migrate back to freshwater.
This breeding process is impossible in aquariums without human intervention. Even then, moving pregnant female Amano shrimp to brackish water to lay their eggs and then bringing the babies back to fresh water at the right time is incredibly difficult.
So, if you find a baby shrimp in your aquarium, it’s most likely a Cherry shrimp baby.
By comparing Cherry shrimp with Amano shrimp, we can see that both shrimp species are a lot more similar than they are different.
As a result, when provided with an ideal environment, Amanos and Cherries can coexist and thrive without issue.
Most importantly, make sure to provide both shrimp species with enough food. That way, the voracious Amano shrimp eat their fill while the Cherry shrimp eat the rest.
In addition, keep the water in pristine condition and within ideal parameters to avoid escapees!
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.