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Amano Shrimp Destroying my Alternanthera Reineckii Mini Help!

2822 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  oneill8902
Ive had 4 amano shrimp in my 60 p for about 2 weeks now. Starting a few days ago i noticed small holes on some of my Alternanthera Reineckii Mini. I thought it was odd trimmed them off and moved on. now a few days later all of them have massive holes and if i come into the room at night and pop the light on i notice the amano shrimp feasting on the leaves. Is there anything I can do to get them to stop eating them?

I tried to get some algae wafers but they seem to largely ignore them in favor of continuing to eat on the plants.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You can see one of them scurrying away shortly after i turned on the light to take this shot. before this he was on top of the leaves feasting away.
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130 Posts
I think that means the leaves are not doing well and dying/melting. Usually shrimps don't go chomp on healthy plants and only eat if the plant parts are dead.

You may need to look at other factors (fert/light/co2...) why the plants are not happy imo.

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734 Posts
Dennis Wong has documented hole eating Amano on AR.

AR is tasty to a variety of algae eater, and collaborate damage from Amano is unavoidable. If AR is healthy and has enough plant mass, the damage may become insignificant. I have several variety of algae eater, and collaborate damage of nibbled holes and tips happen here and there but not enough to damage the appearance.

· Administrator
18,186 Posts
Do you mean collateral damage, @Tiger15?

Dennis is partially wrong/mistaken about this. Rather, he doesn't delve deep enough in explaining this at least as far as Amano Shrimp go. He just scratches the surface in an attempt to quickly deal with things. That's fine and dandy but it leads to quite a bit of confusion.

Amano Shrimp only eat plant leaves - AR, specifically - when they're nearing the end of their plant life or when they're freshly grown/really tender. And when freshly grown, only usually in the first few hours of opening up. If they're tissue-cultured, though, all bets are off and pretty much any shrimp will devour them until they adapt to their new environment. I've only really seen AR get devoured by Amanos when there's a deficiency that's not yet fully apparent or diagnosed. Almost always in tanks that aren't ideal for shrimp to begin with. (Tank is too new, there's not a well-established food source, et al similar issues.)

My guess is since AR is also such a finicky, complicated plant in terms of what we usually keep in the hobby? It's tougher to get right all the time. Hence people struggling to keep it fully red/pink on a regular basis. So it's frequently devoured by shrimp and other herbivores/detrivores.

In the photo above, it looks like the AR is relatively new to the tank. About 5-6 weeks? I see roots/runners that aren't usually noticeable when AR is mature and fully adapted to a tank. I think I recall this being a newly set up tank, so I'd chalk this up to the plants still adjusting to their new environment. Edit: Yep, your tank is new. Almost too new for shrimp, even.

Amanos never touch mine once plants are well-established. Most of the folks you see posting about this issue ultimately have some underlying issue with the plant that they aren't considering.

And a note about Downoi being eaten by Amanos (as mentioned by Dennis at the link above in attempt to justify his claim) - It's one of the most delicate plants you can grow in the hobby (contrary to what the the Buce drop-shippers & smugglers claim) and will melt in a heartbeat if you aren't careful with CO2, ferts and water parameters. It's so easy to screw up that some of us still consider it a bit of a fad. On top of it only being in the hobby for about a decade. Pogostemon helferi is also one of those plants that grows like Utricularia graminifolia in a partially emersed natural environment.

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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your responses. As you mentioned somewhatshocked the tank is about 2 months old now and I added amonos 2 weeks ago friday after my nitrites hit 0 and i had some algea growth on the rocks. My error was I feel like I added them before enougth bio load was there as they had cleaned everything off of the rocks in about a week before turning towards the plants. I'm going to get some shrimp foods this evening as it seems like they were primarily attacking them much more as they were hungry and hopefully they level off.

Ive been feeding them algea wafers every 3 days since I 1st noticed them attacking the plants but after the 1st instance of feeding them they seem to nibble on it and leave it alone for me to pull out of the tank later so it doesn't cause a spike. Any advice on a good alternative food for them to suplimen their diet would be greatly appreciated.

The AR grows incredibly fast under the lighting i have now (85% on Twinstar 600S III) and ive been dosing ada K and Mineral every day and soon to be adding Iron. I dont think they have any deficiencies but this is the 1st time ive ever kept them. My Hopes is that the growth will outpace the hungry amanos. They DID start their lives as culture plants and as you stated they only seem to go after longer fully grown leaves that have a slight green sheen of algae on them

This weekend ill probably adjust the lighting up to 90% as my goal is to eventually get it to 100 little by little to get the H'ra to go completely red.

Any recommendations on how to better maintain them would be greatly appreciated as always :D

Here is a picture of the full tank after trimming

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