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Home > Tropical Fish

Algae Shrimps for Tropical Fishtanks

These shrimps are known by various names, including Yamato Shrimps, Algae Shrimps and also by their latin name, Caridina japonica. As their name suggests they eat algae in the tank. According to the fish shop I bought them from they are suitable for both tropical and cold water fish tanks. They are an interesting addition to the tank and an alternative to buying more fish.

Unfortunately they're not really suitable for cleaning algae off the glass in the tank. They will, however, clean the gravel, ornaments and plants. They appear to collect food by scraping it with their hands, then passing it into their mouths. They will also eat algal wafers. They are pretty good swimmers as well, and with so many legs they can even hang upside down to clean the underside of floating plants.

I did have three Algae shrimps, but one died two days after I bought them.

Although the Algae Shrimps are peaceful and haven't worried any of their tank mates, due to their small size I'd be wary of introducing them into tanks with larger fish. They look too much like food for larger fish!

Some fish retailers sell a similar shrimp called the Bamboo Shrimp. This shrimp is more of a carnivore, and will appreciate a diet that includes small worms and brine shrimp.

Incidentally, if intending to use the shrimp for algae control then it is a good idea not to overfeed the other inhabitants, as the shrimps will eat any leftovers in preference to algae! They are especially fond of the occasional bloodworm if they can find one. My Algae Shrimps are becoming increasingly aware of the concept of "feeding time", and will often swim through the water to carry away newly added food!

Algae Shrimp

Closeup of an Algae Shrimp

 

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