Amano Shrimp vs. Cherry Shrimp – What’s the Difference?

Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp are perhaps the most common shrimp in aquarium tanks. They have a lot of similarities and differences.

Below is a comparison between both types of shrimp for your aquarium tank.

Tank Requirements

If you plan on keeping shrimp, the very first thing you should consider is the tank requirements.

There are certain conditions that are different for both shrimps.

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp prefer having a water temperature of between 70 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees to 26.6 degrees Celsius) and a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.

For water hardness, the optimum level is 6.0 to 8.0 dKH.

Amano shrimp are quite resilient and can adjust to various conditions. At the very least, they require a 10-gallon fish tank for them to live comfortably.

In a 10-gallon fish tank, five Amano shrimp can live peacefully with each other.

If you wish to add more Amano shrimp, add two gallons of water for every shrimp. This may be followed as a general rule of thumb.

Cherry Shrimp

In case you have lower-grade Cherry shrimp, your tank requirements don’t have to be that strict.

But with high-grade Cherry shrimp, people need to be extra careful.

Cherry shrimp require a pH level between 6.5 to 8.0.

The water temperature should ideally be anywhere between 65 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees to 29.4 degrees Celsius).

Cherry shrimp have stricter pH requirements when compared to Amano shrimp. However, Cherry shrimp have more tolerance for differences in water temperature.

It is easy for Cherry shrimp to survive in small tanks. However, their breeding capabilities are higher; consequently, it is best if you keep a large tank.

For every gallon of water, you should have two to four Cherry shrimp. These are the ideal conditions for them to live happily.

Shrimp Size and Appearance

Let’s now look at the difference in size and appearance of amino and cherry shrimps.

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp are comparatively bigger than Cherry shrimp. The adult Amano shrimp can go up to 2 inches (5 cm).

These shrimp come in different colors – brown, gray, or tan. They often have dark stripes on their backs.

Amano shrimp have a characteristic ability to change their colors. This can happen if their dietary pattern has been changed.

Amano shrimp also change colors if they are under stress.

Female Amano shrimp are known to have long dashes. Males, on the other hand, have dots spread evenly on their bodies.

The females are bigger in size when compared to males.

Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp are smaller in size, growing up to only 1 inch (2.5 cm) long.

Under proper conditions and diet, they can even grow to 2 inches in length in rare cases.

Unlike Amano shrimp, which have various colors, Cherry shrimp feature only the red color.

The grading of these shrimp is dependent on the redness. The deeper the red color, the higher the grade of Cherry shrimp.

Female Cherry shrimp are typically larger than males. They also have a more vivid appearance.

Young cherry shrimp have almost identical features between males and females. The sex becomes more apparent as the females grow and develop their saddles for holding eggs on their stomachs.


Amazon and Cherry shrimp have different lifespans.

Amano Shrimp

With proper diet and tank conditions, Amano shrimp can live up to 3 years. This is significantly greater than the lifespan of Cherry shrimp.

Amano shrimp reach maturity after 3 to 5 months from their birth.

 If the Amano shrimp is suffering from stress (could be because of a sudden change in the environment), they might even die when they are put in the new tank.

Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp have a smaller lifespan. They can live up to a year.

It is possible to extend their lifespan by making sure the water and the environment are ideal. However, the difference isn’t too much.

Diet and Feeding

Understanding the difference in diets of Amano and Cherry shrimp would be useful in case you decide to keep them together (or keep them with other fishes)

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp are particularly useful in cleaning the tank. They can eat leftover food and plant debris quite easily.

They also have a strong affinity for eating algae.

The diet of Amano shrimp should consist of high-quality pellets for their growth and nourishment.

However, Amano shrimp should be fed in smaller quantities. This helps in avoiding a mess on the tank floor.

Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp are omnivorous creatures, meaning they can eat both plants and other organisms.

Cherry shrimp can also eat algae but not as much as Amano shrimp.

Similar to Amano shrimp, Cherry shrimp should be fed high-quality pellets but only in small quantities.

Failure to do so will disturb water chemistry and contaminate the tank floor.

Tank Mates

Here are details about the tank mates you can keep with Amano and/or Cherry shrimps.

Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp are quite peaceful creatures and will get along well with other peaceful fishes.

It is important to note that many fish species will consider Amano shrimp as their food source.

The ideal tank mates for Amano shrimp can be:

  • Bamboo Shrimp
  • Zebra Dinos
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Cory Catfish, Discus      
  • Tiger Barb
  • Malaysian Snails
  • Guppies
  • Nerite snails
  • Neon tetras
  • Mystery snails

Since Amano shrimp are quite defenseless, you should avoid putting them with large plecos, goldfish, Oscars, Arowanas, Cichlids, and bettas.

Cherry Shrimp

Cherry shrimp are quite small, smaller than even Amano shrimp. Hence, they are easy prey for large fish in the tank.

Unfortunately, even medium-sized fish can gobble them up by mistake.

It is best to put high-grade Cherry shrimp in tanks exclusively for shrimp. Cherry shrimp should be put with:

  • Freshwater snails (Malaysian Trumpet and Gold Inca)
  • Small plecos
  • Small tetras
  • Dwarf gouramis
  • Cory catfish
  • Other shrimp, such as the Amano and Ghost species

Just like Amano shrimp, avoid putting any aggressive creatures in tanks.


In case you’re planning to breed Amano or cherry shrimp in the tank, here are some details.

Amano Shrimp

When it comes to Amano shrimp, their breeding process is a little complicated. For starters, the Amano shrimp babies need to live in a saltwater tank.

After a certain time, you will have to put them back in a freshwater tank.

Female Amano shrimp carry their eggs for six weeks before laying them. They are often seen wafting their tails. This is done so the eggs can receive oxygen.

Once six weeks are over, the larvae will be taken to brackish water. They will then start to grow into young Amano shrimp.

Once they are at this stage, they will go back to freshwater.

You need to make sure this process is undergone for your Amano shrimp to grow and develop healthily.

Cherry Shrimp

With proper conditions, Cherry shrimp are quite easy to breed. Cherry shrimp typically breed at a warm temperature.

You might have to increase the water temperature to anywhere between 78 degrees Fahrenheit to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will need to make sure your tank is full of aquatic plants. This gives a lot of comfort and security to the shrimp.

Don’t forget to give them a diet consisting of high-protein food.

Once the increased temperature has started the breeding process, the female Cherry shrimp will be seen to wave their tails frequently, similar to Amano shrimp. This is done to provide oxygen to the eggs.

Cherry shrimp eggs hatch after approximately 30 days. After hatching, it is best to separate the babies into a new tank for their survival.

Below I have also summarized the difference between Amano Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp in a tabular format:

CharacteristicAmano ShrimpCherry Shrimp
pH Requirement6.0 to 7.06.5 to 8.0
Temperature Requirement70° to 80° F65° to 85° F
SizeUp to 2 inches (5 cm)Up to 1 inch (2.5 cm)
LifespanUp to 3 YearsUp to 1 Year
Diet and FeedingEat leftover food, and plant debris. Loves to eat algaeCherry shrimps are omnivorous and can eat both plants and other organisms. Can eat algae also (not as much as Amano shrimp)
Compatible Tank Mates– Bamboo Shrimp
– Zebra Dinos
– Cherry Shrimp
Cory Catfish, Discus      
Tiger Barb
– Malaysian Snails
– Guppies
– Nerite snails
– Neon tetras
– Mystery snails
– Freshwater snails (Malaysian Trumpet and Gold Inca)
– Small plecos
– Small tetras
– Dwarf gouramis
– Cory catfish
– Other shrimp, such as the Amano and Ghost species
Difference between Amano and Cherry Shrimp

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some common questions people have about Amano and cherry shrimps.

Which shrimp is good for breeding?

For purely breeding purposes, Cherry shrimp is the better option as their breeding is quite easy.

However, the babies need extra care; otherwise, they will quickly die off.

Cherry shrimp mothers aren’t much concerned for their offspring’s well-being. The newborn babies will find themselves in a situation where they have to rely on their own.

Hence, it is recommended to separate the baby shrimp into a different tank.

Which shrimp can eat algae better?

For algae consumption, Amano shrimp is the ideal type.

Not only do they consume a sizable chunk of algae, but they also bully other shrimp into warding them away from eating algae.

Cherry shrimp do eat algae and make the tank clean, but Amano shrimp are far more effective and quicker for this.

Can Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp be kept together?

Yes. You should have no difficulty in keeping both Amano and Cherry shrimp together.

Both of them are peaceful tank creatures and can co-exist together in harmony.

Perhaps the only concern that you should be addressing is making sure there is an abundance of algae for both shrimp.

Which of these shrimp is better?

Between Amano shrimp and Cherry shrimp, there is no answer for which choice is better. It all depends on your preferences.

Amano shrimp are more active and bigger in size. Cherry shrimp are comparatively smaller, and they are more fragile.

If you want to keep your tank free from algae, Amano shrimp are much better than Cherry shrimp.

If you are a beginner in all these matters, Amano shrimp are recommended. They are easier to care for and are more resilient.

Cherry shrimp are relatively more delicate, and they are more reactive to environmental changes.


Both Cherry and Amano shrimp are excellent tank creatures.

You need to make sure they are living in proper environmental conditions featuring the right water temperature.

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