Meet the Amano shrimp, also known as Caridina multidentata, the rascal shrimp species that is notorious for its tendency to hide in various places in the aquarium.
Since you are here, you probably own one of these critters and simply can’t figure out why they vanish from a tank from time to time. If you are wondering why your amano shrimp are hiding, then we got a lot of answers for you!
Well, let’s start this by saying that hiding is a natural behavior for these shrimp, and they will often find various hiding spots in the tank.
There are several reasons why they behave like this, and we are going to describe each and every one!
11 Common Causes Of Amano Shrimp Hiding
Some common causes of Amano shrimp hiding behavior include poor water quality, aggressive tankmates, and a lack of hiding places.
But, there is a lot more to this story!
We present you with 11 reasons why these shrimp hide, and we also added a few helpful tips on how to get these shrimp out of hiding!
1. They’re Afraid Of Other Species
These lovely shrimp are very timid and laid-back critters that mean no harm to other species. However, there are some fish that lurk in the shadows, waiting for the shrimp to come out so they can help themselves to a yummy meal!
You see, wild Amano shrimp have numerous natural predators such as birds, large fish, and even larger invertebrates. This is normal, of course, because these are wild shrimp. But, what about the ones in your tank?
In an aquarium setting, the biggest threat to these shrimp are large tetras that love to feast on small shrimp and krill. Their top predators are typically larger fish that may see them as a yummy food source (we’ll get to that later).
Here are some examples of tank species that you should avoid matching with the Amano shrimp:
- Large tetras – Larger tetra species, such as Congo, Diamond, and Piranha Tetra may be aggressive towards the shrimp. These large fellas will happily nibble on the shrimp and make a meal out of it!
- Cichlids – No matter if it’s a Kribensis Cichlid, a Convict Cichlid, or a Peacock Cichlid, all of them are pretty aggressive and may attack or eat the shrimp.
- Catfish – Suckermouth catfish species, Plecostomus, and Raphael catfish are notorious for eating shrimp and other small invertebrates.
- Crayfish – Some aquarium crayfish species such as the Red Swamp crayfish can be very mean towards shrimp and may attack or eat them.
Naturally, the shrimp will try to find the best place possible to hide from these predators, and you may not be able to find him for a few days.
This is why it is important to carefully research the temperament of any potential tank mates before introducing them to the aquarium to ensure that they will not pose a threat to the shrimp.
2. Getting Used To Their New Environment
Our lovely Amanos like to take some time to adjust to their new environment. Some may be very shy and try to hide, while others may immediately start exploring the tank. More often than not, they tend to hide rather than act brave!
After they have been introduced to the tank, some shrimp may hide for more than a week. In this case, make sure to provide them with nutrients by adding food to the tank and do not disturb them with flashing lights and loud sounds.
3. It’s Molting Season
Out with the old and in with the new!
All shrimp species shed their exoskeletons (external skeleton) throughout their whole life cycle. This process is called molting and it triggers the body secretion of enzymes that aid in loosening the existing skeleton. After the enzymes do their work, the exoskeleton starts to shed.
Amano shrimp molting allows the shrimp to grow larger and replace its exoskeleton with a new, shinier one. Some species like the Blue Velvet shrimp change color before or after molting!
So, why does this shrimp hide during molting?
Well, molting season is a vulnerable period for any shrimp, as the new exoskeleton is soft and not yet fully hardened. As a result, Amano shrimp will often hide during this process to protect themselves from predators. Their “shield” is in the process of being made, so it’s better for them to hide!
After molting, the shrimp must wait for the new exoskeleton to harden before it can continue on with its normal activities. Therefore, it is important to avoid disturbing the shrimp while they are molting, as it can be stressful and potentially harmful to them.
Keep in mind that the frequency of molting in this shrimp species can vary depending on the conditions in which they are kept.
However, there is no exact timeframe of Amano molting as this process is greatly influenced by water temperature and quality, as well as diet and tank environment. It can take anywhere from once every five to seven weeks.
These shrimp will molt more frequently when they are young and growing rapidly, and the interval between molts will typically increase as they get older.
4. Inadequate Hiding Places
Amano shrimp are shy little critters that often seek out hiding places to feel secure. Wild shrimp usually hide under rocks, between plants, in cracks, crevices, and in many other places where they can avoid predators and other threats.
If your tank has too many decorations and live plants, chances are that your shrimp is hiding behind or underneath them. However, not all tank decorations are safe for them. It is important to avoid items under which the shrimp can get stuck and die.
Don’t put too many items in your tank because these shrimp may stay hidden for a while and you won’t be able to find them.
Best Amano Shrimp Hiding Places
In a tank environment, these shrimp like to hide under and behind rocks and artificial caves, or other decorations.
Another hiding place aquarium shrimp love are various live or artificial tank plants. These plants mimic a natural-looking environment for the shrimp which is why they rush to hide beneath them. Live aquarium plants such as Java moss and Water Wisteria can provide a great hiding spot for the shrimp.
In order to keep them healthy and happy, while giving them a sense of security in your aquarium, make sure to provide plenty of these hiding spots for the shrimp.
5. Alternation Of Day And Night
Like other animals, shrimp are affected by changes in light and dark periods a.k.a alternation of night and day.
If you are new to the whole shrimp keeping world, you may be surprised to find out that Amano shrimp are nocturnal critters! This means that they are more active at night and tend to sleep or rest during the day.
This means that a regular alternation of day and night can have an impact on their behavior and physiological processes.
In a tank environment, shrimp are under the influence of artificial lightning. Therefore, it is important to mimic their natural light cycle as closely as possible to provide a healthy and stress-free environment.
If these needs aren’t met or the day/night cycle is incorrectly set, then the shrimp are likely to go into hiding. This is due to the fact that the shrimp tend to feed more in the dark and they may become more inactive and less visible when the lights are on.
So, if you think your Amano shrimp vanished into thin air, don’t worry – you are likely to see him forging in the tank after turning the lights off. However, it is important to avoid disturbing the tank or stressing the shrimp by shining bright lights or making loud noises, as this can be harmful to them.
6. Poor Water Quality
Poor water quality can be harmful to shrimp and can cause them to become stressed or sick. Such shrimp do not behave normally – stressed or sick shrimp are lethargic and tend to search for places to hide.
So, if the water quality in your aquarium is poor, you may notice that your shrimp are hiding more frequently or behaving differently than usual.
This can be a sign that there is a problem with the water quality that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. After running some basic water tests, make sure to perform a full water change.
7. Uncycled Tank
All aquarium critters are sensitive to an uncycled tank. This is a tank that has not yet completed the process of establishing a stable and balanced ecosystem. What this means is that such a tank contains high concentrations of harmful compounds such as:
- Hydrogen sulfite
- Heavy metals
These compounds are very toxic to all shrimp species, fish, and other aquatic animals. But, that’s not all! High levels of these compounds may lead to growth of pathogenic bacteria in the tank. This can lead to bacterial infections of shrimp and other fish.
Besides that, uncycled tanks diminish the presence of beneficial bacteria, which play a key role in the tank nitrogen cycle.
All of these lead to a very unhealthy environment with poor water quality. As a reaction to such an environment, stressed and disturbed Amano shrimp hide underneath the tank decoration.
8. They Ate Too Much
If a shrimp eats too much, it will probably go to a nice and snug place for a nap! Well, I don’t know about you, but I would do that!
Joke aside, be careful when feeding your shrimp because they can become overfed and have trouble moving. Overfeeding happens when there are excess food particles floating in the tank.
Not only are they there for the shrimp to eat, but they also make the tank’s water quality worse.
So, if you are consistently noticing uneaten food in the tank, it could be a sign that you are feeding your Amano shrimp too much. Additionally, the water becomes very murky due to shrimp feces and algae overgrowth.
What Else Might Have Happened
Imagine this – you think that your Amano shrimp is hiding in its tank, but it actually isn’t in its tank! What is going on here?
Well, these adventurous shrimp are known to get themselves into plenty of tricky situations. Here are a few of them:
1. They Jumped Out Of The Tank
Believe it or not, Amano shrimp are known to be excellent jumpers! No, I don’t mean they jump inside the tank, they jump out of it! Although this sounds odd, it is very real and very possible to happen.
Some aquarium hobbyists had their Amanos climb out of their tank and switch into other tanks – on their own!
However, not all shrimp are lucky. Some of those that climb out of the tank unfortunately end up dried up on the floor (if the owner isn’t aware). That said, if you happen to find a shrimp that has jumped out of the tank, you should try to return it to the water as soon as possible.
Now, there are a couple of reasons why they do this: one being high water temperature, another being lack of hiding places, and a crowded tank.
Shrimp are not able to survive outside of water for long periods of time, and they may not survive if they are out of the water for too long.
Covering your tank with a lid is a secure solution to prevent these sneaky shrimp from escaping!
2. They Became Snacks
The aquarium species that we mentioned at the beginning of this article, often see the shrimp as a food source. It is just how it goes – nature has its incredible ways!
For this reason, you should consider choosing fish that are known to be compatible with this shrimp species. You can even add other shrimp species like Blue Velvet shrimp or Peppermint shrimp.
If you are unable to find a suitable tank mate for your shrimp, you may want to consider keeping them in a separate tank to ensure their safety. This can also be a good option if you are interested in breeding shrimp, as it will give them a more stable and controlled environment in which to reproduce.
3. Harmful Medication And Chemicals Killed Them
There are many medications for aquarium species that can be bought in specialized pet stores. Even though most of them are specifically designed for aquarium fish, they may have adverse effects on the overall health of the tank.
Amano and other shrimp types are very sensitive to medications that are commonly used in aquariums to treat various bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases. While certain medications may help the fish, they may as well kill the shrimp that are in the same tank.
This is why it is important to thoroughly read the label and follow the instructions for any medication that you use in your aquarium.
In case you are not sure whether you can use a specific medication in your tank, call your veterinarian and ask them for advice.
Why Is My Amano Shrimp Hiding In Filter?
If your tank lacks hiding places, your Amano shrimp may find peace inside the water filter. This is the most obvious sign that the shrimp is feeling unwell in its environment. So, it is time to redecorate the tank!
Why Is My Amano Shrimp Hiding All Day?
Don’t panic! This type of hiding is perfectly normal for this shrimp species. Amano shrimp hide from time to time, especially when they are feeling threatened or when they are in the process of molting. While they are hiding, most of them munch on leftover foods and live aquarium plants.
However, it is important to keep in mind that your shrimp may be hiding all day because they are not doing well. This behavior is especially worrisome if they are not coming out for food.
By providing a natural light cycle for them, maintaining good water quality, and feeding them high-quality food, you can help your lovely shrimp feel more at home.
Why Is My Amano Shrimp Hiding After Adding To My Community Tank?
These shrimp are very shy, just like their Crystal Red cousins, so it is very common for them to hide after being introduced to a new tank. It might take some time for them to get used to their new environment.
Some Amanos may become stressed or feel threatened, which is why they may hide for longer periods of time.
How To Get Amano Shrimp Out Of Hiding
Make sure you do not have any incompatible tank mates in the tank as they may frighten, stress out, and even eat the shrimp.
Regularly check the water parameters to ensure that your shrimp thrives in a healthy and clean environment.
Add lots of hiding places that your shrimp will adore sneaking in!
Lastly, give your new Amano shrimp time and space, especially if you have just introduced them to a new tank.
Amano shrimp hiding is a natural behavior that happens both in the wild and in tank settings. These shrimp may hide for a variety of reasons, including stress, illness, or as a natural behavior.
It is important to monitor this behavior and try to identify which one of these eleven reasons may be causing them to hide.
By addressing the root cause of the problem and creating a stable and stress-free environment, you can help your shrimp feel better and stress-free.
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.