As Amano shrimps are known as a great scavenger, possibly you are thinking that you have to continue providing enough food to keep them satisfied. In this article, I will discuss how often you should feed your Amano shrimps and the types of food you should provide them.
In a matured planted tank, you will need to feed your Amano shrimps 2-3 times a week. The gap between the two feedings will vary depending on the abundance of algae, biofilms, and other microorganisms in your tank.
Some of you might be surprised to know it that you do not have to feed your Amano shrimps daily. Shrimpsdo not need food daily. If you add food to your tank every day, they will keep the maximum of food uneaten.
Besides algae, if you have Indian almond leaves, leaf litter, and other decorations- driftwoods, moss balls, sponge filters, you may have to supplement their diet even less than that (once a week or so) as they will graze on the driftwoods, leaves, biofilm, sponge filters all day.
So, as you can guess, naturally, in a less matured and less planted tank you have to provide more food supplement that too, more frequently.
Here I am discussing the types of food they will devour happily and the recommended gaps between two feedings for these foods.
What Types Of Food You Should Feed Your Amano Shrimps And How Often?
As Amano shrimps are primarily omnivores, try to give them a mix of plant-based and protein diet. But, even then a significant percentage of their diet should come from the algae in your tank.
Besides algae, Fresh veggies can be a healthy plant-based supplement for your Amano shrimps that you can give them several times a week. They love any blanched veggies like spinach, kale, cucumber, squash, carrot, zucchini which will be also good sources of vitamins and minerals.
You can also put leaf litters, Indian almond leaves to allow the growth of biofilm which will be a great food source for your Amano shrimps when you will want to elongate the gap between two feedings.
Dried cuttlefish bone pieces can be a good source of pure calcium carbonate that you can bury in the substrate once and forget about it. This will be great for forming their shells. Besides, it will provide your water with a little amount of calcium to benefit your shrimps.
Commercial shrimp foods are not the most suitable food for your Amano shrimps. Some commercial shrimp foods contain a higher percentage of animal protein than the required percentage. Excessive proteins fuel the rate of their growth and drive faster molting that eventually shortens their lifespan.
However, if you want, you can pick up plant-based shrimp foods as the main food for your shrimps and offer them two times or so in a week. Besides, you can give meat-based food supplement once a week to meet up their needs.
Bacter AE, Shrimp King Mineral, MK-Breed Cheeseburger are some of my top food recommendations for shrimps. These foods will ensure your shrimps are getting all the nutrition & minerals they need to grow properly. If you want to know more about foods, check out my best foods for shrimps guide.
On the other hand, Hikari Crab and Lobster Bites, Ken’s Premium Sinking Pallets -this type of foods will break in the water quickly where you have no option than removing the uneaten food particles with a gravel vacuum. These microscopic particles may get stuck into the substrate and eventually bring in planaria, hydra, flatworms, and other unwanted guests.
Why Should You Feed Your Amano Shrimps Even In An Established Aquarium?
Amano shrimps have more appetite than the other common shrimps because they are bigger and naturally needs more food than the smaller shrimps (like the cherry shrimp). So, you have to provide food supplements to keep them well fed.
The basic food for your Amano shrimps is algae and biofilm (a collection of microorganisms), which is already present if you have an established and fully cycled aquarium.
This will meet up the most need of your shrimps, particularly young shrimps. When there is a few numbers of Amano shrimps, the naturally grown biofilm will be enough for them. They may not even take any notice of the food you are offering and continue feeding off the available biofilm.
But, when your shrimp colony grows more, these naturally grown algae and microorganisms cannot keep the whole colony stay full and healthy. From that time, you have to start feeding your shrimps to supplement what they are eating on their own.
Again, as the shrimps molt once in a month, they need a certain amount of minerals in a particular ratio in their diet (or in the tank water) to form their shells well. They will not get these minerals from the available algae or biofilms in the tank.
If they are not supplied enough minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) in that time, their new shells will not harden and they will get infected and eventually die.
At first, you should try with a small amount of food to be sure that they are eating that. If they do not, you must remove that food within a few hours. They would eat it within an hour if they wanted.
How Will You Start Feeding Your Amano Shrimps?
Once you notice that your Amano shrimps have started eating the food, you can add food several times a week considering their needs. Always add the types of food that they show interest to eat. Similarly, add the right amount of foods that they can finish within a few hours.
As you can guess, you have to go through a trial and error process to know their gest and capacity for consuming foods. Start trying with a very low amount and increase the amount slowly and gradually.
How Will You Understand That It Is Time To Feed Your Amano Shrimps?
As the shrimps do not need daily feeding, in the beginning, it may seem confusing when you have to feed your shrimps.
And you might know overfeeding is prohibited in a shrimp tank. The general rule of thumb is that sometimes you can even let them fast but never overfeed them.
The uneaten foods will foul the water quality later on that will end up with deadly ammonia and nitrite spikes for your Amano shrimps.
So, when you notice that they have already finished the food you have given, drop more food in the tank only then.
When you will see that they are getting agitated or swimming around the tank crazily, it indicates that they are hungry and are not getting something to eat. If you notice such behavior, drop some pellets or blanched veggies in the tank so that they can eat.
When you will see them swimming and grazing around the tank and scraping up algae, be sure that they are getting enough to eat and you do not have to drop in any food.
How Will You Offer Food To Your Amano Shrimps-Whole Or Ground Up?
You can ground up the Fish flakes, shrimp pellets, and algae wafers into very small pieces or drop in the whole pieces in the tank. As the Amano Shrimps snatch pellets from other shrimps and fishes, if you drop it without grounding, the dominant ones will instantly grab them.
If you ground the pellets and pour in, there will be a cloud of food and the shrimps will be busy to consume them. Do not overfeed and only feed what can be eaten in a reasonable amount of time.
But if you are yet testing what your shrimps do eat and what they do not, you would better drop the whole flakes and pellets into the water so that you might remove them easily if they do not eat.
While offering vegetables such as cucumber, sweet potato, zucchini, peel them before putting in the tank. As your shrimps will not eat the peel, that will lead to water issues and growth of hydra, planaria, and other infestations.
How Often To Feed Your Amano Shrimps If Your Aim Is Only To Clean Algae?
Many shrimp keepers include Amano shrimps in their tank only to clean algae. If you are one of them you should know that they clean algae like a pro only if they’re extremely hungry. Because the algae are not their favorite food. If you supply enough sinking pellets, they will not even look at the algae.
Yes. As you are guessing, if you aim to make them clean your tank, sometimes you will have to starve them.
So, to let them clean algae, cut back on their regular food so that they are compelled to eat algae.
Note: If you notice that they are indifferent about algae cleaning, it indicates you are spoiling them with enough supplementary foods.
Do You Have To Feed Also The Baby Amano Shrimps?
If you have bred Amano shrimps and have baby Amano shrimps, you have to get full saltwater established tank with enough phytoplankton because they will only live on phytoplankton and microorganisms present in the saltwater.
You have to just ensure them extra minerals by adding marine salt in your tank water.
If you have bought young shrimps and they have gone through the metamorphosis process, in freshwater they can be fed commercial shrimp pellets and flakes, protein supplements just like the adult shrimps.
Determining how often you will feed your Amano shrimps may be a little confusing to you at first. But after a few trials and errors, you will be able to figure out how often your Amano shrimps need extra food supplements to stay full and graze cheerfully.
With a moderate and balanced diet mostly comprised of algae and plant-based food, your shrimps are good to go towards a long and healthy life.