Once you decide to bring in another fish and introduce a tank mate to your Betta, you need to think twice. Knowing the temperament of your Betta can bring many issues, injuries and can even be fatal to the tank mate. You should be well informed about the possible Betta tank mates and lower the chances of conflict before you even introduce a mate.
There are different opinions about keeping Amano shrimp with Betta fish and their coexistence. Amano Shrimp takes the second place by popularity among shrimps. We will tell you more about both Bettas and Amano shrimps, provide the facts about their compatibility and in the end let you bring the decision whether to join these two kinds.
In this article:
Water Conditions for Amano Shrimp and Bettas
Betta fish and their tank mates need to be compatible or close to a match in order to survive. This is valid not only for water conditions, but for many other things.
It is easy to set up a tank if you have only your Betta around. But now you are considering another kind and for that reason you need to see what conditions it requires. You need to make the habitat compatible for both species especially water parameters.
When it comes to water temperature, Amano Shrimps like their water the same as Bettas – warm, ideally between 72 and 78 degrees. With Bettas, it is between 76 and 82, which is almost a perfect match. Both kinds like warm water so they do not have to adapt.
Talking about nitrite level and ammonia level the parameters are the same, they are 0ppm. Amano Shrimp nitrates level should be below 30ppm while bettas tolerate between 10 and 20. Here you have to level this parameter so that it suits both fish.
If we talk about Betta fish, the pH of the water should be between 6,5 and 7,5 while the range with an Amano Shrimp is 6.5 to 8 which is again a great match. Keeping the PH at 7,0 will be perfect. The hardness of the water for an Amano shrimp should be in the range of 4 to 10 dKH while bettas prefer soft water, less than 25 dKH. This parameter also needs levelling if you want it suitable for both fish.
Another thing is arranging a tank for these two species. Add a lot of plants, especially live ones. That way, Amano Shrimps will have enough hiding places to feel safe from your Betta – the predator. Driftwood and caves as decoration are an excellent choice to provide extra hiding places. The substrate is also preferable, and you should avoid pebbles that can trap their tiny legs.
Do Amano Shrimps Get Along With Bettas?
Amano Shrimps are not aggressive and are very peaceful tank mates that do one thing all the time – eat. They are very active, especially when they come in groups and they occupy the bottom of the tank or climb on the leaves of the plants doing their daily job – cleaning the tank. In rare cases, you can see them swimming through the tank. Most of the time they are at the bottom of the tank while Bettas occupy the top.
The only case when you can notice aggression is when it comes to food. The dominant shrimp takes the first bite and does not allow others to approach the food until it’s full. That is usually the female because they grow bigger than males. They also like to hide so you do not need to worry if you can’t see it for a while, it is out there hiding.
Can Amano Shrimp Eat Betta Food?
Amano Shrimps are the kind that eats anything that falls at the bottom of the tank. That is, they can eat Betta’s food or at least what is left out of it and they will be fine.
They are great restless cleaners that can forage all day long as long as no one disturbs them. And another good thing is that you do not need many of them. Due to their size (they grow up to six centimeters), they are very efficient.
So, what do they actually eat? The first on their list is algae. But in case there is other tasty food they will skip it. Since they are omnivores, they need a plant based and meaty food mixture. A perfect choice would be shrimp pellets such as Omega One pellets which provide a perfectly balanced diet for them. If you are out of pellets, you could serve them with blanched vegetables such as spinach, cucumber, carrot, kale or squash. And if you forget to feed them there are always leftovers and algae, so it is hardly possible that your Amano Shrimps can starve.
How to Choose an Amano Shrimp?
If you decide to go for an Amano Shrimp the best advice is to try with a direct breeder but if that is not the option for you try with a reputable pet store.
What should you look at when choosing an Amano Shrimp? First, inspect the tank, it should be clean, it shouldn’t have waste or dead fish around. You need to pick a healthy specimen so check the antennae. They need to have two pairs at the side starting below the eyes and two pairs in front of the eyes. The carapace should be translucent with the legs attached underneath. The abdomen that is behind the carapace should be divided into sections that provide flexibility. The tail is attached to the final section and made of clear, thin and flat pieces of shell. So, before you choose your Amano Shrimp make sure that all parts are there, especially the antennae and the eyes. The color of the Amano Shrimp is generally light gray translucent but they can have shades of brown, green and reddish. They have many dots and dashes along the body that can be grayish-blue or reddish-brown.
The other thing is about their size. Fully grown Amano Shrimp can reach up to 6 centimeters in size but hardly that you will have that big specimen in the pet store. This doesn’t mean that it is unhealthy because they will quickly grow.
How many Amano Shrimps in a Betta Tank?
Depending on the size of your tank you can decide how many Amano Shrimps you can keep with a Betta. If you have a small tank of 5 gallons you can keep three to five Amano Shrimps with a Betta. But there is a rule that can be followed when deciding on the number of shrimps. 1 shrimp per 2 gallons of water, and our advice is to start with three even in a five-gallon tank.
The best number is a group of six but you need a bigger tank, that way the chances of Amano shrimps being bullied will be reduced to a minimum.
Something typical for shrimps is molting so you need to know about it. Once a month you can expect your shrimp to molt. That means that they outgrow their shell and a new one begins to grow. At that time, they become very vulnerable and usually hide for a few days until the new shell is fully formed. It is important not to take out rejected shells from the tank. Leave it and they will eat it because it contains nutrients. Sometimes it is hard to notice the difference between a dead shrimp or a shell but by careful observation you will see.
To sum up, in our opinion you can keep an Amano shrimp with Betta as they are very compatible. Apart from their compatibility connected to water requirements and the diet, they tend to occupy different parts of the tank, so it is highly unlikely that the conflict will arise at any point. You should always be extra attentive with your Betta since they are aggressive by nature.
Let’s recap what are the most important things you need to keep in mind:
- Provide a tank that is big enough, the recommended size is 5 gallons for one Betta and three Amano Shrimps
- Have plenty of plants, driftwood and decorations
- Do not worry about the size of a shrimp if it is small, it will grow fast
- Provide a lot of hiding places carefully arranging the tank
- Nothing special about the diet is required because they can live on Betta’s food, but it is preferable to serve them with shrimp pellets from time to time.
- Keep the water parameters within the range so that it suits both kinds
- Introduce a healthy Amano shrimp specimen to your Betta pet, and be careful to choose the one with all the positive features we have mentioned above.
- Always have an extra tank ready in case you need to separate them
After everything is said now you know the tank requirements, the diet and behavior characteristics so we say that you can keep Amano Shrimp with Betta fish but the decision is on you.