Why Is My Amano Shrimp Changing Color?

Why Is My Amano Shrimp Changing Color

If you are keeping Amano shrimps for some time now, you might have discovered Amano shrimps changing color of their body. This can come as a shock to the new shrimp keepers, especially if they don’t know why the Amano shrimp is changing its color.

Amano shrimps can turn into different colors depending on what they consume, their age, and health condition. Stress during transportation or a new and unfavorable aquatic environment can be largely responsible for changing their color within a very short time.

While Amano shrimp’s color normally varies from brown to grey/watery with some blue or green speckles, you may sometimes discover them in various colors: blue, green, pink, white, red, orange, yellow, etc.

In such situations, it is very natural that you will think that you have been given the wrong fish. From my experience and research, I am sharing some common issues and causes behind this color change so that you do not get confused.

amano shrimp and blue cherry shrimp feeding on cucumber
Owner: Natalie Skinner

Why Is Amano Shrimp Changing Its Color?

These can be some potential causes of why you are experiencing your Amano shrimps turning to different colors.

1. If Amano Shrimps Are Stressed For Some Reasons

Shrimps get stressed easily, which can affect their appearance and color. Even many dark-colored shrimps may turn pale due to some stress factors.

Amano shrimps are translucent and grey/brownish. If your Amano shrimps are stressed for some reason, they can look very pale. The possible reasons behind their getting stressed are-

  • They can be stressed for new and different aquatic environments. Or, they are only stressed due to being transported. They will take time to get accustomed to your tank. So, when you bring them from the fish store aquarium to your tank, they can look pale or white and even turn into different shapes within a very short time.
  • Again, if you have kept them all alone or kept a very few shrimps, they will not roam around and take food that can result in reducing their size and color.
  • Sometimes you will see that the parameters are okay, and no one is bothering them either. In such cases, get more companions for them so that they can eat and chill all day. Thus, they will get healthy and show their true color naturally.
  • They also can get stressed due to the large water change.
  • The older shrimps can also get stressed due to bad water quality, pH or ammonia spike, etc.

Note: Sometimes, they can even shed their skin. So, do not be panicked. They will take a day or a few days to recover their normal color. 

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Amano Shrimp Breeding

2. For Bacterial Or Fungal Infection

If your Amano shrimps had their natural translucent color at first but are turning opaque gradually, they may be sick due to some bacterial or fungal infections.

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3. If They Ingest Colored Foods

As Amano shrimp’s body is semi-transparent, when they consume colored food, their inner organs turn to that color, and you can see that through their semi-transparent body frame.

So, the colors can keep changing, depending on what they are getting to eat in your tank.

4. If They Have Been Fed Color Dye

Some traders can feed the Amano shrimps color dye to bring blue/green color or speckles in their bodies so that they become more eye-catchy. So, when you bring your Amano home and feed them regular food, their bodies get the colors out, and they get back their translucent grey/brownish color. 

5. As They Get Mature

The fish stores normally sell young shrimps, which are great to acclimatize easily. As the Amano shrimps get mature, the color segments develop, and they get brighter and more colorful.

So, if your Amano shrimps are getting brighter or more colorful, that indicates you are providing them proper diet and maintaining optimum water conditions.

6. For The Effect Of Colored Lights And Ornaments

There are certain lights that can deceive your eyes and show a different color of the stuff in your tank. So, this can be why you are discovering your shrimps in a deeper, brighter, or yellowish color.

You may have noticed, most of the hobbyists select black or dark substrate, driftwood, and green plants for their tank so that their shrimps contrast well with the overall decoration.

As Amano shrimps are of translucent grey/brownish color, if you have kept them in a tank where the substrate, decorations, and plants are not dark, they may be appearing dull or pale for this.

For example, if you have selected red or yellow ornaments and plants in your tanks, they may not be looking as bright as they would do against dark ornaments and green plants.

7. For The Diet

Some minerals and nutrients enhance the coloration in shrimps as they grow. You will notice-many commercial shrimp foods also advertise that those foods will enhance the color of the shrimps.

So, if you notice that your shrimps are looking pale/dull, it may be because they are not getting good nutrients and minerals for boosting up the coloration along with their growth.

8. In Case They Are Not Eating

If they are introduced to a new tank, they may not have taken the food you have offered simply because they may be used to other types of food in the store. In this case, they only need to take some time to get used to the environment.

9. Before Molting

Their color can also slightly change before molting. And shrimps tend to molt more often due to some change or stress. But, even then, if they graze around normally, there is nothing to worry about. They are hardier than the other species.

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10. If They Have Lived Up To Their Expected Lifespan

It may happen when your Amano shrimps reach their maximum life expectancy. This applies when they have grown up to a considerable size and have lived for a long time in your tank.

Now I will discuss the common issues that the Amano shrimp keepers experience.

How Often Do Amano Shrimps Molt

Why Is Your Amano Shrimp Turning Blue/Green/Dark?

If Amano shrimps consume a good amount of green hair algae, they will develop blue tints in their bodies. However, when you provide them with enough food supplements (like algae pellets), they forget the tank algae and start eating the provided foods.

Shrimp that only feeds on algae and other green plants will develop green tints in their body and sometimes even look like a fully green shrimp. This can happen when you do not offer any supplementary food in your well-established tank.

Sometimes, they even graze on driftwood, cholla wood, and eat only wood bits. If this continues for long, naturally, they will develop a deep brown or blackish color.

Why Are Amano Shrimps Turning White Or Opaque?

Amano shrimp’s clear body can turn into white or pale color due to any stress.

Their inner body can turn opaque due to sickness or the presence of bacterial, fungal, or other infectious diseases in other fishes in your tank.

If their colors turn white or opaque, it may also indicate that they are facing issues with molting. Again, when the shrimps die, they turn white if their bodies are left in the tank for long.

Why Is Amano Shrimp Turning Pink?

Your shrimps have carotenoid pigments named astaxanthin in their exoskeleton. The astaxanthin is wrapped up by the protein chains.

If the protein chains loosen and break and the astaxanthin releases, the shrimp’s body will turn into pinkish-red color. Normally, this occurs when your shrimp dies.

So, take measures to remove that shrimps from your tank and sincerely look into the condition of your tank and other shrimps/fishes.

Why Are Your Amano Shrimps Turning Orange?

If your Amano shrimp has turned a bright orange color, it indicates that it has already died or will die very soon. If you leave it in your tank for long, it may turn to a white and pale color.

You can be sure about its death when you find that the other shrimps, fishes, or snails have started eating it.

Though dead shrimp will provide essential mineral to the other inhabitants, you should remove it soon to avoid an ammonia spike.

Why Is Amano Shrimp Turning Red?

Amano shrimp can turn into reddish color if you offer them red-colored micro pellets or bloodworms a lot. Their shells can also develop a reddish color when they are about to molt (in such case, the inner body is still transparent, not opaque).

Why Is Amano Shrimp Turning Yellow?

Sometimes Amano shrimps develop yellow color or frequent yellow tints in their body. This coloration may occur because of their diet. Sometimes they turn yellowish after they molt.

What Will You Do If Your Amano Shrimp Changes Color?

  • If your Amano shrimp has changed its color to any of the mentioned colors except white, bright orange, pink, or opaque, there is nothing to worry about. They will soon recover their true color. 
  • If they turn into an unusual color, but you find them still active, do a water change. Though Amano shrimps are hardier than most other dwarf shrimps, do not opt for more than 15-20% water changes.
  • If your shrimps start dying, closely examine the condition of your tank and take the necessary steps.
  • If you think that your Amano shrimp is sick and that is why it is changing color, you can move it from the tank and do a water change.
  • Again, if your Amano shrimp gets sick due to a new fish and changes its color, you can treat the entire tank to avoid any bacterial /fungal infection or other diseases.
  • To get rid of the bacterial infection in the other shrimps in your tank, do an 80% water change as early as possible. Do it several times to get rid of the bacteria completely.
  • Besides, use 3% hydrogen peroxide for treating this infection for at least 5 days. You can also use GlasGarten-Betaglucan to treat the bacteria-infected shrimp.
  • In case of fungal infection, get a hospital tank to treat the affected Amano shrimp and repeat the salt bath technique several times in your tank. You can use Freshwater aquarium salt for this purpose. Do not use regular table salt. Seachem ParaGuard is good medicine to get rid of fungal infection in your Amano shrimps.
How To Acclimate Amano Shrimp

Frequently Asked Questions

Can shrimp change color?

Aquarium shrimp can change color for various reasons. Shrimp’s color can change under stress, and they can become paler or more muted in coloring.

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It is important to identify the cause of color loss in shrimp as soon as possible because this could be a sign of a far more serious issue.

Why do shrimp turn pink when they die?

When a shrimp dies, it is natural for it to change color to pink, orange, or red. This is because of the carotenoids in their body, which are pigments that can change color depending on the pH level. 

When a shrimp dies, its body will begin to decompose, and this process can cause the shrimp’s color to change as well. However, it is important to note that not all shrimp turn pink when they die, and this may depend on the species of shrimp.

What color should Amano shrimp be?

Amano shrimp’s natural color is usually glassy or watery with some speckles. They have a lucent body with a glass color and streamlined dots on the dorsal area, stretching from head to tail. The dots can vary in color, with red, brown, gray, blue, and green being common.

What are some of the common Amano shrimp diseases?

Common Amano shrimp diseases include bacterial infections, fungal infections, and parasites. Bacterial infections can cause symptoms such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and discoloration, while fungal infections can cause cotton-like growths on the shrimp’s body.

Parasites can also cause discoloration and lethargy, and the shrimp may also flick their tails or rub their bodies against objects in the tank.


Most of the color change cases in Amano shrimps give you an alarm that something is wrong with the shrimp or the tank. So, if you notice that your Amano shrimp is changing its color, look into the matter seriously and take steps as required.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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