Amano Shrimp vs Ghost Shrimp: What Is the Difference?

Amano and Ghost shrimp are both beautiful crustaceans that are similar in size, but very different in appearance. They’re like a pair of cousins you know are a part of the same family, but have significant characteristic variations.

The differences between Amano shrimp vs Ghost shrimp range far and wide. If you’re interested in adding one - or both - of these crustaceans to your hobby tank in the near future, it’s important to know their appearance, breeding capabilities, and how to tell them apart.

Here’s everything you need to know about Amano vs Ghost shrimp:

Native Land and Scientific Names: Amano Shrimp vs Ghost

Amano shrimp, more formally known as Cardinia multidentata, is native to Japan and Taiwan. The Amano shrimp can be found in freshwater swamps and can be found in troupes within freshwater rivers and streams.

Ghost Shrimp, or Palaemonetes paludosus, are regional, native to the southeastern part of the U.S. They tend to populate on the coast of New Jersey and Florida but have recently been introduced to the waters of California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Appearance and Size: Amano Shrimp vs Ghost

Amano shrimp closeup in an aquarium

The biggest difference between the Amano and Ghost shrimp is the fact that Ghost shrimp are transparent. Many have small gray or brown speckles on their bodies but appear mostly clear. These shrimp are also very small and tend to grow up to be around 1.5 inches in size.

Ghost shrimp scaling the water column

Amano shrimp are not completely transparent; they tend to have a gray hint to them and blue and gray or red and brown lines and dots along the sides of their bodies. The colors can also change based on their diet; an Amano shrimp that feeds on greens may end up with a green tint to its details. In terms of size, Amano can grow to be up to 2 inches long.

Breeding Capabilities: Amano Shrimp vs Ghost

Breeding habits range from one shrimp to another. Of the two, Amano shrimp are more difficult to breed.

Breeding Amanos is more intricate. Males fertilize the eggs and then the female carries them around for six weeks. Once this period is over, the larvae are released into brackish water. The larvae need salt water to mature and freshwater to grow, which can make this difficult when you’re breeding in an aquarium.

Ghost shrimp have a little longer of a wait before they start to reproduce based on their gender; female ghost shrimp are mature enough to breed around the age of nine months, while males can mate around four months old.

Unlike Amano shrimp, Ghost shrimp can breed easily in freshwater. When purchasing your Ghost shrimp, we recommend getting a mix of 20 females and males to increase your chances of successful breeding.

The temperature in the aquarium should be around 75 degrees, as it can simulate the warmer months of the year when Ghost shrimp are more likely to breed. The heightened temperature can also contribute to increased metabolism, which also plays a role in breeding.

Expected Lifespan: Amano Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp

The life expectancy of freshwater shrimp ranges from one year to 12 years in an aquarium. When you’re dealing with Ghost and Amano shrimp specifically, their lifespan is on the lesser end.

Ghost shrimp tend to live up to a year; even with great living conditions, these shrimp likely won’t live longer than two years in a tank. As for Amano shrimp, the lifespan is a little longer - on average, these shrimp live between two and three years.

Can Amano Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp Cohabitate?

Based on the similarities between the Amano shrimp and Ghost shrimp, these two can cohabitate as long as they are similar in size. Feeding them separately is also recommended; Amanos may try to steal food from Ghost shrimp if they’re hungry enough. Ghost shrimp are also known to eat smaller shrimp, so we recommend keeping these guys separated.

If you’re interested in adding these guys to your tank, check out our assortment of shrimp! We have a variety of freshwater aquarium shrimp to choose from so you can have a robust, colorful collection to enjoy.

Shop our freshwater aquarium Caridina shrimp at Shrimpy Business today!
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