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Breeding Amano Shrimp Question (for real!)


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I have a question for anybody who has ever tried to breed Amanos. Yes these are real Amanos- I've done the whole pipette the tiny larvae out of the breeding tank and transfer to saltwater, feed phytoplankton and diatom algae, change lots of water, etc. and I believe some of them are getting close to morphing! (This was my big project when quarantine started what seems like forever ago.) So my question is, how do you know when they have morphed? From what I understand it's fairly obvious, but I'm getting paranoid about not being able to tell and not transferring them back to freshwater quick enough. I'm also concerned because the oldest larva is moving around quite slowly... maybe it's just preparing to morph? Maybe I need to feed them something different at this stage? It's just been so much work to get them to this stage, I don't want to screw it up now!

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I found this really decent video.

There are images and tips on metamorphosis at about 5:50-6:ish. I got amanos recently, and kinda still like my cherry shrimp better. But It looks like a heck of a fun project, and they would be a profitable project if you were into that sort of thing.

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I'm super impressed, I always thought this was too difficult for a home aquarist. Well done.

It may make sense to do some research on general animal husbandry strategies. There could be some good ideas. My thought is  you could transfer say 10% only to see how they do so you're not risking them all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ended up losing all of the larvae. I think the oldest ones were probably 5 weeks, so they were getting close to morphing to actual freshwater shrimp. I was trying to raise them in a 2.5 gallon tank with just an air stone and ~20% water changes every 2 days. When I try again in the future, I'll probably either use a 5 or 10 gallon or change water daily along with a few other changes mentioned below. For anybody who is interested, here are a few observations from my several failed attempts. I totally think this is doable if you set it up correctly, it just takes some trial and error!

  • I fed small amounts of Seachem's Phytoplankton daily, tiny amounts of Sera micron, and kept a strong light on the tank for ~16 hours/day to encourage diatom algae growth. I never saw them eat the micron, I was just feeding it because I had seen similar foods recommended. I will do without this next time since I think it contributed to water quality issues. I think the phytoplankton and diatom algae were the best foods.
    • Some people recommend feeding plain dry yeast. I tried this a few times, but I never saw the shrimp gravitate towards it, and it just sat at the bottom of the tank.
  • I kept my salinity at 34 ppt using Instant Ocean sea salt. I noticed significant die-off if it fluctuated much (not surprising).
  • Toward the end I noticed them eating on the diatom algae quite a lot. Next time I try this, I'll set up the tank ahead of time so that the algae is established.
  • They did best with a low amount of bubbles from an air stone. Too much flow caused them to blow around too much and not be able to settle anywhere.
  • Part way through I added some caulerpa macroalgae to help control water quality since that's what I could get for free. I think it helped a little. Most people recommend chaetomorpha, so I'll probably try that next time.
  • I found this detailed post to be the most helpful and consistent with my experience: https://gabhar.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/breeding-amano/. The video that Brandy posted above was also very informative when I watched it at the beginning of my Amano journey, and I would definitely recommend it as well.


I'm not a super experienced breeder, so I think there are a lot of people here who could do a much better job than I did. I would encourage people to take a crack at breeding them! I think they have gotten a reputation for being impossible, and while they are pretty difficult and very specialized, I think it's totally doable if you dedicate yourself to the effort. I don't think they're feasible on a large scale, but if several people started trying it and sharing their experience we could learn a lot as breeders! Again, I haven't breed them successfully so I'm far from an expert, but I'm happy to share other details of my experience if anybody has questions.


Happy shrimping!

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