8 Reasons Your Amano Shrimp Are Hiding A Lot!

Amano shrimp often hide due to factors such as molting, changes in water parameters, bright lighting, and the presence of predators. Providing proper tank conditions and minimizing stressors can encourage them to be more active and visible in the aquarium.

I recently introduced a group of Amano shrimp to one of my heavily planted tanks to combat algae growth and help manage any uneaten fish food that settles on the substrate.

After not seeing the shrimp for a day or two, I decided to do some research and share my findings with my readers.

Is It Normal For Amano Shrimp To Hide All The Time?

An Amano Shrimp Coming Out Of Hiding

Amano shrimp are generally quite confident and are often seen out and about searching for food.

While they may appear to be hiding when grazing on algae and biofilm in areas on driftwood and rocks, they are actually eating. Once they have consumed the food in a particular spot, they typically move on, often venturing into open areas to continue their search.

If your Amano shrimp are constantly hiding, there is likely an issue with your tank that needs to be addressed.

What Causes Amano Shrimp To Hide?

An infographic on why Amano Shrimp Hide
Why Amano Shrimp Hide

The eight most common reasons Amano shrimp may hide in their aquarium are:

  1. Molting
  2. Problems with water parameters
  3. Predators
  4. Bright lighting
  5. New environment
  6. Lack of cover
  7. Tank maintenance
  8. Water flow

There are several less common reasons why your Amano shrimp might hide, but most of my readers will find their shrimp hiding due to one of the reasons listed above.

Molting

When Amano shrimp molt, they shed their exoskeleton to grow.

During this phase, they are particularly vulnerable as their new exoskeleton is still hardening, making them more susceptible to injury or predation.

As a result, Amano shrimp often seek refuge and hide to protect themselves during this sensitive stage of their development.

Amano shrimp typically hide for two days after molting, but this depends on water conditions, the availability of hiding places, and the presence of potential predators.

Problems With Water Parameters

Amano shrimp are sensitive to changes in their aquatic environment. Fluctuations or deviations in water parameters such as pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate levels can cause significant stress for these invertebrates.

In response to unfavorable conditions, Amano shrimp often seek refuge and hide until the environment improves.

The recommended water parameters for Amano shrimp are listed in the table below. If your tank’s parameters fall outside these ranges, it could be why your shrimp are hiding.

Water Temperature65-82°F (18.5-28°C)
Water FlowStill-Low
pH6.5-8
GH4-15
KH0-10
TDS80-400
Ammonia0 ppm
Nitrite0 ppm
Nitrate<20 ppm
Amano Shrimp Water Parameters

Lack of Cover

Tanks that lack suitable hiding spots, such as plants, rocks, and other forms of cover, can make shrimp feel exposed and vulnerable.

As a result, some Amano shrimp may hide more frequently due to feeling insecure in their new environment.

The photograph below shows my shrimp tank just days after the initial setup. You can see the numerous hiding spots I included for my shrimp even before the plants had time to grow.

My Planted Shrimp Tank
My Planted Shrimp Tank

Bright Lighting

Amano shrimp tend to prefer dimly lit areas of the tank, especially if they share the space with large predatory fish.

You may notice that your Amano shrimp are much more active if you limit the lighting period to a maximum of eight hours.

Many aquarium lighting units on the market come with timers and adjustable settings, making it easy to manage the lighting duration.

New Environment

Being introduced to a new tank can be a stressful experience for Amano shrimp. The unfamiliar surroundings, potential threats, and the absence of recognized safe zones can be overwhelming resulting in the shrimp hiding.

You can try adding your Amano shrimp to your aquarium and then turning your tank lights off for 8-12 hours to help your Amano shrimp feed safe enough to explore and feel comfortable.

Predators

Amano shrimp may assume that any large fish in their aquarium are predators, causing them to hide more frequently than they would in a tank with smaller fish.

Since your shrimp can’t distinguish whether a large fish is predatory or not, they often choose the safest option and hide while the tank lights are on.

The Amano shrimp in the clip below is the one I mentioned earlier. Initially, it hid for a day or two after being added to the aquarium, but now it confidently steals fish food directly from my fish and runs away.

An Amano Shrimp That Steals Fish Food

Tank Maintenance

Routine maintenance activities, such as water changes, cleaning, or rearranging decor, can disrupt the tank’s environment.

These disturbances can be unsettling for Amano shrimp, causing them to seek refuge and hide until they feel that the disturbance has ended.

If your Amano shrimp are hiding due to recent maintenance, you can typically just leave the tank alone, and they will come out after an hour or two.

Water Flow

A strong or turbulent water current can be uncomfortable and challenging for Amano shrimp to navigate.

Instead of constantly battling these strong currents, they might prefer to hide in sheltered areas where the water flow is gentler, allowing them to rest or feed without exertion.

All of my tanks use a simple sponge filter with live plants, providing only a slight, gentle water flow for my Amano shrimp.

You can try adjusting your filter to reduce the water flow in your tank and see if your Amano shrimp come out of their hiding spots.

Final Thoughts

Amano shrimp are intriguing aquatic creatures that may occasionally exhibit hiding behavior due to various reasons.

As elucidated to in the article, the primary factors, including molting, water parameter inconsistencies, predators, and environmental conditions, which can influence their tendency to seek shelter.

Ensuring a comfortable and stable environment, with attention to tank conditions and potential stressors, will ensure the active and visible presence of Amano shrimp in your aquarium.