Breeding Amano Shrimp - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Breeding Amano Shrimp

So I have recently taken on the task of breeding Amano shrimp. I have had success however, the final tank that they are transferred into immediately after metamorphosis is riddled with seed shrimp, flat worms and so on. I am sure a lot of you would have seen this coming but since I am new to the aqua game, it was not anticipated. So I have two questions.
1- Anyone else breeding Amano shrimp?
2- Does anyone have a brilliant idea as to a fish that would be small enough not to eat a freshly morphed Amano shrimp, yet large enough to eat these crustaceans and other various critters that are ruining my view?
All constructive replies are appreciated.

As for breeding Amano shrimp... Here we go...
-First of course is identifying males and females. Males will have rows of perfect dots along the shell while Females will have a combination of dots and slashes.
- In terms of getting them to mate, idk... Its my understanding that with adequate water parameters, temperature and food they can't help but get romantic. Keep your NH3 - 0, NO2 - 0 and nitrates low with a nice temp around 78 degrees and i'm sure it will happen. Even at my LFS they have a 180 gallon planted display tank with 100+ amanos in there and every female I seen was pregnant. Btw asked if I could buy some of the pregnant females out of the display and they said no
- When the female becomes pregnant (Buried) she glues them underneath her shell, You can't miss it. Initially they will be a very dark green color. After 5- 6 weeks they will become a much more light khaki color. Around the time of this khaki color you can even look very closely with a magnifying glass and see a tiny black eye for each individual egg. This is when her release date is right around the corner. So you need to isolate her into a holding tank to await her full release. My female released them in waves lasting a few days and I am pretty sure she is more inclined to do so at night. I am trusting that anyone who is actually considering trying this is experienced with fish keeping so they know the usual aspects of this process such as acclimating her carefully to the new tank(water parameters and temp), give her something to hide in, have circulation, plenty to eat and so on. Also do not be like other people I have seen and as soon as she is pregnant take her out. She can stay in her real/already established home for 4-5 weeks before isolation so she i'snt spending most of her life alone in a iso tank. ALSO DO NOT PUT HER IS SALT/BRACKISH WATER. Remember that your female is more important then the fry so take care of her.
- In the wild the Amano eggs hatch in freshwater streams and migrate into the ocean. They live in the ocean up until metamorphosis and then swim back up the brackish water to reach a fresh water stream as it's final resting place. This is the environment/process you are trying to recreate.
- When the eggs the female released hatch, cut off the lights and shine a flashlight in. you will be able to see them clearly. They have a head and tail and honestly look like a animation that you would see of sperm. They are attracted to light so after staging the flashlight by the glass for some time go back and collect them with a syringe. Note.... Some of them do not go towards the light. I am not sure if this is because they have not hatched properly or have not had enough time etc. My first batch I would grab them anyway but I have a experiment in place this next time around to test the success rate with only the none light followers to compare to the light followers... Sorry I forget the Photo word to describe something being attracted to light.
- You are capturing them into a syringe to transfer them into salt water. I believe they will not survive in fresh water for more then 2-5 days at this point so stay on top of it. DO NOT PUT THE MOTHER SHRIMP INTO SALT/BRACKISH WATER. There is various information about what salinity (ppt) to put the fry in. I and others that have had success have landed on 33-35 ppt. I try to stay at 34ppt. Have 24 hour light to grow algae for the fry to eat. Have circulation going but not to much so the fry can float to the algae and eat. Do not feed fish food.
- After 45-60 days the fry will start to morph. Once they are fully morphed they will not live in the salt water for more then a few days so stay on top of it. There are three ways to tell they have morphed. color, appearance and behavior.
1. Color - The healthy fry become orange in color but once they morph they change into the silver color of a amano shrimp
2. appearance - The fry are the head and tail mutant looking creatures but once they morph they no lie look exactly like .4 - .5 mm long amano shrimp, Legs and everything. If they look like amano shrimp, legs and everything but still have a little of the orange color to them then wait 24 hours because they are still in the process of morphing.
3. Behavior - you will have noticed that the fry just kind of float around aimlessly but once they morph they are hanging out on the glass, Swimming quickly around the glass jar, crawling around and so on. Acting like a amano shrimp does
It is important to make sure that you at least have Number 1 and 2 before transferring them to fresh water but also not taking to long to start the transition.
- Transitioning to freshwater is simple. In the wild once they morph I believe the swim back to fresh in a matter of hours so... Drip system. Drip water (Water taken from the tank they are going to be placed in) into a jar of the salt water they where living in to start slowly acclimating them for a span of 1-4 hours. Then you are finished.
- (Notes) As mentioned above they are very small after metamorphosis, So in fresh water tank sponge filter is a must. As for the fry they do create ammonia so keep up on good water parameters. Water evaporates but leaves salt behind so keep up on your salinity. Remember that the mother is more important so make sure to take care of her. There is information out there on this subject and even a few you tube videos I've seen that are pretty good including a guy named happy chappy. Id recommend watching these videos.
Let me know what you think or better yet, how it goes.

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Last edited by symstep; 05-07-2019 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Requested
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post #2 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:29 PM
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The flat worms would be my biggest concern. Have not tried it yet but this is suppose to work https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E877CPW/?tag=8121-20

The daphnia are gonna compete for food I think but not sure.

Anyhow good luck and congrats on having some success.
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post #3 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 04:34 AM
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Would be great to hear how you've had success with the amanos!

As far as the critters go... any possible way to just remove the shrimp (depending on how many are in the tank?) then heat up to 104į for a few hours, then do massive water change and put shrimp back in? Or maybe just introducing a guppy (endlers seem to be best?) or other hunting fish to get the pests? (with no shrimp in tank during fish)
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post #4 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hello. Thank you for your reply and concern. I should have clarified in the original post that the flat worms are not planeria, they are rhabdocoela which I believe are harmless. Also the crustaceans are seed shrimp not daphnia, if that even makes a difference. I'm now under the impression that most tanks have these critters in them but the fish eat them quickly so we don't really see them. So I started the thread for the two questions asked in the original post. You are right about the competition for food but it hasn't been a concern yet. If i can figure out the right fish to balance this system then all will be perfect. Also thank you for the congrats, I really appreciate it. Let me know if you want to start breeding them yourself.

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Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
Would be great to hear how you've had success with the amanos!

As far as the critters go... any possible way to just remove the shrimp (depending on how many are in the tank?) then heat up to 104į for a few hours, then do massive water change and put shrimp back in? Or maybe just introducing a guppy (endlers seem to be best?) or other hunting fish to get the pests? (with no shrimp in tank during fish)
Hello. I mean if I managed to get every seed shrimp out of there wouldn't they still return? Why I am thinking a crazy small fish that maxes out at a seed shrimp eating size but not a 50 day old amano. As for the breeding, if you would like me to write a detailed explanation on how to do so I will. Thank you for your reply. Let me know

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post #5 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 06:39 AM
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Would be great just so there's more info out there on raising amanos as I know it's difficult!

If you got rid of all the pests then there shouldn't be a way for them to get back in if you made sure not to reintroduce them. I can't imagine that they are harmful right now but if they bother you... might be worth getting rid of.
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post #6 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 07:00 PM
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Yes please to details

Hi,
[this is an original hi, as in my first post - I haven't even written an intro message yet]
I've had very limited success breeding amanos, managed to keep 5 survivors out of my first batch, but haven't been able to replicate that "success". I keep losing them betwee days 5-20 or so.

I think I've got the salinity nailed (able to keep it relatively stable, in a good range), but I'm not sure if I'm over feeding or underfeeding, or if I'm overcleaning or undercleaning.
So I would love it if you were willing to share what has worked for you.

- What salinity?
- What size salt container/tank?
- Source of your salt water (existing marine tank, fresh mixed, etc.)?
- Water changes?
- What do you feed the babies? How often?

Thanks 1,000,000!
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post #7 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidburg View Post
Would be great just so there's more info out there on raising amanos as I know it's difficult!

If you got rid of all the pests then there shouldn't be a way for them to get back in if you made sure not to reintroduce them. I can't imagine that they are harmful right now but if they bother you... might be worth getting rid of.
I think the process from mother to end result they would get back in there but actually I am going to try this out to see. As for the breeding process I edited me original post for you and others that may want my take on it so you can check it out now. Keep in mind that it was done rather quickly but I think I got most of the details in there. Enjoy
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post #8 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 09:08 PM
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Thanks so much for taking the time to share this info. Very cool and inspiring!

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post #9 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:57 PM
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Thanks for the added info! 🙂
Between you and chappy, that’s 2 sources I’ve seen saying zero food and 24 hr light.
But what if I’m using fresh-made saltwater (okay aged for some days, but not from a running system)? Even with the 24hr light, where does the algae come from? I could imagine it spontaneously arising after a few weeks (a la alchemists of old), but would there be enough early on? What’s your experience/method?
Re 24 hr light, I’m currently set up on the top shelf of my basement rack, and am reluctant to keep a light on all night, since I have other tanks with fish nearby, and I think they deserve some true dark thru middle of night. Thus far I’ve done 6am-9pm on the salt jar, which the nearby tanks tolerate well.
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post #10 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
Thanks so much for taking the time to share this info. Very cool and inspiring!
You are welcome Thank you very much for your kind words. If you try it yourself let me know how it goes or ask any question you want. Good luck!
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post #11 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OpinionUnFiltered View Post
Thanks for the added info! 🙂
Between you and chappy, that’s 2 sources I’ve seen saying zero food and 24 hr light.
But what if I’m using fresh-made saltwater (okay aged for some days, but not from a running system)? Even with the 24hr light, where does the algae come from? I could imagine it spontaneously arising after a few weeks (a la alchemists of old), but would there be enough early on? What’s your experience/method?
Re 24 hr light, I’m currently set up on the top shelf of my basement rack, and am reluctant to keep a light on all night, since I have other tanks with fish nearby, and I think they deserve some true dark thru middle of night. Thus far I’ve done 6am-9pm on the salt jar, which the nearby tanks tolerate well.
You are very welcome! I am glad you are trying this out! It would be nice if we all can get this process nailed down and have less amano shrimp taken from the wild Some of your questions where asked prior to me editing my post so I will touch on the ones that were not answered in the edit and I will try to stay organized...

1. Algae - I have another fish tank that has brown (diatom algae) and a soft green algae (not hair) in it. My girlfriend keeps saying its spirulina but I do not think it is haha. I simply steal a small amount of each one and add it manually. Takashi amano said diatom algae is imperative to a amano shrimp diet so I more focus on the brown. A visual reference I would say imagine the size of a nickel. 3/4 the nickel being covered with brown algae and the other 1/4 being covered with green (not hair) algae. That's the amount of algae I add. I will be doing experiments on RO vs Tap water soon but FYI tap water grows algae faster but keep in mind your tap water could end up being the reason for you lack of success. So maybe split a batch in half for your own experiment.

2. Feeding - What are you feeding them? Chappy did say he likes to toss some spirulina flakes in towards the end prior to metamorphosis and says they grow faster but that is at the end. I have not tried this and do not plan on it since I do not feel there is a need. Also for all i know my green algae I add is in fact a natural spirulina. I am new to the planted aquarium So I have a ridiculous amount to learn still.

3. I literally run a 5 dollar desk lamp from walmart 24/7. It is in a different room from my 120 gallon. In terms of lighting, can you accomplish something more like this?

4. I use mason jars and pet smart bought marine salt.

5. Do you have circulation? If so lets talk container and source of circulation.

6. Water changes - Big subject for you because based on what you told me I wonder if ammonia is killing your fry. Of course except those five that were strong enough during that first batch. The amount of food that those fry eat are so small you hand feeding them may just be creating a spike and that's why you are losing them in 15-20 days? I did a 20-30% water change every 3-5 days to try to compensate for salinity fluctuation (plus adding water based on the line I made to compensate for evaporation), ammonia made from the fry and the seeded algae decomposing that I added until it took off. I forget what chappy did but I think his was way way less often but its possible he had his algae growth already prepared which would of course be ideal.

That's all for now. Look forward to your reply.

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post #12 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symstep View Post
- You are capturing them into a syringe to transfer them into salt water. I believe they will not survive in fresh water for more then 2-5 days at this point so stay on top of it. DO NOT PUT THE MOTHER SHRIMP INTO SALT/BRACKISH WATER. There is various information about what salinity (ppt) to put the fry in. I and others that have had success have landed on 33-35 ppt. I try to stay at 34ppt. Have 24 hour light to grow algae for the fry to eat. Have circulation going but not to much so the fry can float to the algae and eat. Do not feed fish food.
I have read in a few places, your post included, that they shrimp breed better at around 78 degrees. Do you keep the water at 78 degrees in the holding tank (Birthing tank) as well? Do you also keep the fry tank at 78? I ask because I have a saltwater refractometer from my saltwater days. At 78 degrees I would have to keep the salt level at 1.024 to maintain 34.1ppm.

I am not sure how to calculate the salt ppm besides doing it this way. If there is another way please let us know.

I have also read that around day 30 to drop the salinity to 15ppm (1.0113 specific gravity). Is this something you have been doing or thinking about doing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by OpinionUnFiltered View Post
Re 24 hr light, Iím currently set up on the top shelf of my basement rack, and am reluctant to keep a light on all night, since I have other tanks with fish nearby, and I think they deserve some true dark thru middle of night. Thus far Iíve done 6am-9pm on the salt jar, which the nearby tanks tolerate well.
Might I suggest putting a hood on the light so it only shines into the tank, and then wrapping paper around the tank so the light does not bleed out to the other tanks. You could even wrap the tank with cloth held up with Velcro so you can remove it to view the tank when needed. That way you still get the 24 hours of light but your other fish can still sleep in the dark.


Tim
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post #13 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 12:11 PM
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I like the wrapping idea.
My setup includes a 1 gallon jar for the babies, and I also aim for 34-35ppt salinity.
The gallon jar, and reserve saltwater (for next change) are kept in a water bath. 76deg, roughly.
I have been operating on the assumption that any algae or diatom that is from my fw tanks will immediately die in my salt jar, but now you've got me thinking on that. I certainly have some diatom deposits in a couple tanks, and adding a finger scrape would be quite easy.
In terms of feeding, I fed the first batch brewers yeast. Just the tiniest tip of a sharp knife daily. Can't recall if I included spirulina flake as they aged (need to keep better records). Since then I've tried some other options, and frankly have been messing with too many variables. So I know that's an issue. I got a bottle of seachem reef phyto, which has a wonderful nori-like smell, I can't imagine that's not good stuff for them. I also have just picked up a small container of NLS Reef Cell, which seems to be their version of golden pearls. And the powdered spirulina. I don't feel all these at once, and I feed super-sparingly. But I still think I might be overdoing it, based on the growth of what appears to be fungus on the bottom and sides of the jar. White slimy film/clumps.
My salt is seachem Vibrant Sea. Always mixed and aged for at last 1-2 days before adding, with aeration.
My last batch I changed about a litre (1 mason jar) every day or other day.
My lighting is an 18" t5HO above the water bath, so I think the power's there, to grow algae/diatoms.
I also try to keep a bit of green marine hair algae in the rearing jar, just a pinch I got from the live rock tanks at the lfs. Mostly I got that cause I figured it would bring in some phytoplankton, in small amounts.
I currently have a berried female in a separate jar, I'm expecting her to shed eggs any day. I think this time around I'll find a way to stick with 24hr light, daily water changes, and little-no feeding. I've been running the salt jar empty for almost 2 weeks now since I lost the last of the last batch, with 6am-9pm light, so it should be nice and ready for the larvae when I move them over.
Here's hoping!
And thanks for all your help!
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post #14 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 03:48 PM
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post #15 of 145 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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First of all, nice concept idea of just trying to block the light!
The holding tank for the mother is actually at 75 degrees and my fry are kept at room temp. I actually used to make wine so I use that style hydrometer. lol
You are bringing up a great point about the temperature for the salt water. I have a index I printed out. To find this just google specific gravity ppt and refractive index. This should be consider while trying to create your salinity.

As for dropping the salinity to 15ppt on day 30... I read that from one source but other sources and success stories did not suggest that so I didn't try. Maybe a few batches down the line I will try this as a experiment but I do not see how this resembles the amanos true habitat (based off of my understanding). Funny but if i remember correctly Takashi amano himself allegedly said he raised the fry from start to finish in 15ppt but no one I have seen has been able to do this well. I feel that this process is not nailed down so all info/ideas is appreciated to assist with future understanding. We must experiment haha. Have you attempted a batch yet?
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