Amano Shrimp Vs Cherry Shrimp – What’s Better For Your Tank?

Cherry shrimp are perfect for anyone interested in starting a breeding tank or looking for ornamental shrimp for their aquarium, while Amano shrimp are the ultimate algae-eaters.

Having kept Amano and cherry shrimp in my aquariums since I started with tropical fish, I decided to publish my comparison to help you choose the ideal shrimp for your needs.

Both species have their merits, and I enjoy keeping both in my tanks!

Appearance And Coloration

amano shrimp vs cherry shrimp
Amano Shrimp vs Cherry Shrimp

Amano shrimp have a transparent appearance with blue, green, grey, or brown tints, while cherry shrimp come in various colors.

Cherry shrimp or their wider neocaridina species come in:

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White

Depending on your needs, this color difference could be crucial. The bright colors of cherry shrimp contrast beautifully with the green plants in aquariums, making them ideal for display tanks.

The transparent color of Amano shrimp makes them hard to spot in heavily planted tanks, leading most people to choose them primarily as effective algae eaters rather than for display purposes.

Appearance Winner – Cherry Shrimp: The vibrant red of cherry shrimp, along with the wide range of colors available in other types of neocaridina shrimp, makes them the top choice for anyone seeking decorative shrimp.

Diet And Feeding

A Cherry Shrimp And Amano Shrimp Feeding
A Cherry Shrimp And Amano Shrimp Feeding

Although Amano shrimp are renowned as the best algae eaters in the hobby, they enjoy a wide range of food. This diverse diet helps prevent leftover fish food from fouling your tank water and causing problems with water parameters.

It’s advisable to target feed Amano shrimp every two to three days to ensure they have a sufficient diet, especially once they have consumed all the algae in your aquarium.

In contrast, cherry shrimp eat significant amounts of biofilm in their tank as well as some types of soft algae. To ensure they get enough calories, I recommend target feeding cherry shrimp at least three times per week.

For target feeding my shrimp, I use the following foods:

  • Fluval Bug Bites
  • Hikari Micro Algae Wafers
  • Snowflake Shrimp Food
  • Bloodworms

If you’re seeking an algae-eating shrimp for your tank, Amano shrimp are the best choice. However, if algae control isn’t a concern, cherry shrimp are likely a better option due to their visual appeal.

Habitat And Tank Requirements

My Shrimp Tank
My Shrimp Tank

Both Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are ideal for beginners due to their low-maintenance nature and ability to thrive in simple aquarium setups.

Most people keep Amano shrimp to control algae rather than creating dedicated setups. However, they can thrive in a variety of popular tank configurations.

Adding live plants, driftwood, and rocks benefits both species by providing additional grazing areas and creating hiding spots that are especially useful for shrimp after molting.

Although both species can tolerate a range of pH levels, it’s recommended to use an inert substrate that won’t lower the aquarium’s pH.

This makes sand, gravel, and most clay substrates a great option for both species.

Behavior And Temperament

An Amano Shrimp In My Tank
An Amano Shrimp In My Tank

Both Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp are peaceful and community tank-friendly, showing no aggression towards their tank mates.

Their calm nature allows them to be kept in a variety of tank setups. However, while these shrimp are non-aggressive, it’s important to note that the same cannot always be said for their fish companions.

Larger fish, especially insectivores like bettas and gouramis, may view the shrimp as food rather than tank mates.

In my experience, most of my shrimp prefer to stay on driftwood and plants, grazing throughout the day without interacting much with their tank mates. Their low activity levels make Amano and cherry shrimp ideal for tanks with skittish fish that are easily spooked.

Breeding Requirements

Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp In One Of My Tanks
Amano Shrimp And Cherry Shrimp In One Of My Tanks

Cherry shrimp are easy to breed, making them an ideal choice for anyone interested in setting up a shrimp breeding tank.

In contrast, breeding Amano shrimp requires expensive, specialized equipment due to the need for higher salinity levels for their eggs and larvae, which significantly reduces the success rates of freshwater breeding operations.

In the wild, Amano shrimp typically breed in or near brackish water, a condition challenging to replicate in captivity without specialized equipment. Therefore, breeding Amano shrimp is more complex and costly.

On the other hand, breeding cherry shrimp is usually straightforward. Although mistakes in tank setup can hinder breeding, I recently wrote an article addressing common issues that prevent cherry shrimp from breeding successfully, which can help you resolve these problems.

Cost And Availability

Amano shrimp usually have a fixed price tag while the cost of cherry shrimp fluctuates based on their grade.

My table below offers a rough guide on the price of each grade of cherry shrimp.

Cherry Grade$
Low Sakura$
High Sakura$$
Red Fire$$$
Painted Fire Red$$$$$
Cherry Shrimp Color Grades

I have used dollar signs to represent costs as the price of cherry shrimp increase and decrease with demand but the more dollar signs in the table, the higher the price point.

Cherry grade and low Sakura grade cherry shrimp are usually only used for algae/detritus control due to their poor color with Amano shrimp usually being a far better choice for this task.

For those seeking decorative cherry shrimp, high Sakura grade shrimp are typically the best choice, offering the best balance between aesthetics and cost.

High Sakura grade cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp typically have a price difference of plus/minus 10% so they are usually around the same price.

Cost Winner – Draw

While High Sakura grade cherry shrimp and Amano shrimp often share a similar price point, Amano shrimp are generally more affordable than the Painted Fire Red cherry shrimp.

Final Thoughts

Both Amano and Cherry shrimp offer distinct advantages and requirements for aquarium enthusiasts.

Cherry shrimp are an excellent choice for those keen on breeding and display tanks, while Amano shrimps are easily the best option for algae control.

Incorporating live plants and choosing a suitable substrate can help optimize your tank, leading to a vibrant and thriving aquatic environment for your shirmp.

As I mentioned back at the start of the article, I prefer to keep both Amano shrimp and cherry shrimp in my tanks to get the best of both worlds!