Best Bamboo Shrimp Care: Diet, Lifespan, Size

Bamboo Shrimp are common freshwater aquarium shrimp that feed by filtering food from the water column. They are peaceful shrimp and spend most of their time in search of food. Here’s everything you need to know about caring for Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium.

NameBamboo Shrimp
Other NamesFan shrimp, Filter Shrimp, Asian Filter Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, Timber shrimp, Singapore Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, Mountain Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, Maluku shrimp, and Flower shrimp.
Scientific NameAtyopsis moluccensis
Tank Size20 gallons
Size2 – 3 inches
Optimal Temperature70°F – 88°F
Optimal PH6.5 – 7.5 (6.0 – 8.0)
Optimal GH6 – 8 (<15)
Optimal KH2 – 6 (<11)
Optimal TDS150 – 200 (100-300)
NitrateLess than 20 ppm
DietDetritivore /omnivore
Lifespan1-2 years
ColorsBrown, red, green, creamy white, and blue.
Bamboo Shrimp Overview

Table of Contents:

Bamboo Shrimp Image Gallery

Bamboo Shrimp Appearance

Bamboo shrimp have thick bodies that become thinner nearer to their tail. The typical color pattern is yellow or brown. Their color resembles that of rock or wood (hence their other names, the rock shrimp or wood shrimp). However, there are instances of red.

Bamboo Shrimp
Bamboo Shrimp (notice the fans on the front legs)

These shrimp have even bands and strikes of color along the side of their body. These streaks of color are usually lighter than the rest of the shrimp’s pigment. They have little fan-like hands that they use to collect food from the water (“Fan Shrimp“).

Bamboo Shrimp Behavior

Bamboo shrimp are very peaceful and won’t bother other tank mates. They keep to themselves and thrive in a tank with other peaceful fish, snail, and shrimp.

They spend most of their time scavenging and filtering the water for food. You can see them positioning themselves and their fans to catch bits here and there.

Bamboo Shrimp Size

A well-cared-for Bamboo Shrimp grows to about 2 – 3 inches in size. With proper care, some shrimp can grow to 4 inches.

Bamboo Shrimp Lifespan

The average lifespan of Bamboo Shrimp is 1 – 2 years. They can live longer if they are well-care-for and healthy.

Bamboo Shrimp Color

The Bamboo Shrimp color is usually reddish-brown. On the back, there’s a wide off-white/beige stripe. Their colors change a bit as they grow or molt. They can be green, yellowish, or brown-orange. After molting, they are usually pale.

Bamboo Shrimp Tank Size

Bamboo Shrimp are filter-feeding shrimp. They depend on water currents to move food particles so they can catch them with their fan-like limbs. Water volume is essential for this, so the bigger the aquarium, the better. A 20-gallon long tank is excellent for keeping a single Bamboo Shrimp.

Bamboo Shrimp Water Parameters

Bamboo Shrimp care is easy. They prefer tropical water conditions and lots of live plants or mini-caves. They thrive in hard water that has proper circulation.

  • Aquarium pH: 6.5 – 7.5 (6.0 – 8.0)
  • Hard-Soft: Hard Aquarium Water.
  • Lighting: Standard lighting.

Bamboo Shrimp Diet & Feeding

Bamboo Shrimp feed on small bits of fish food, plant matter, and algae drifting in the water. You need to supplement their diet with ground-up algae wafers, ground flakes, crushed pellets, or spirulina powder. Food particles need to be fine/tiny so that the Bamboo Shrimp can eat. Do not overfeed the shrimp as excess food particles can affect the water conditions.

Bamboo Shrimp Tank Mates

Bamboo shrimp can live in a tank with other peaceful animals like danios, zebra loaches, Otocinclus, and other algae eaters. Other shrimps are also good tank mates—for example, cherry shrimps, bamboo shrimp, and vampire shrimps. You can also add aquarium clams like the Asian Gold Clam.


Freshwater Shrimp can also do well with snails such as:



Bamboo Shrimp Breeding & Reproduction

Bamboo shrimp are usually difficult to breed in captivity. Baby bamboo shrimp need brackish water to survive. However, adult bamboo shrimp cannot survive in brackish water. So, it is difficult to transfer and acclimatize the larvae. This is not the shrimp to keep if you are a beginner and want to start a shrimp breeding tank

Things To Consider


Add lots of live aquarium plants because shrimp like to explore. They also find scraps of food/algae on plants. Rocks, small caves, and other decor are also for Bamboo Shrimp. These additions also provide hiding places for the shrimp when it molts.


When a Bamboo Shrimp is ready to molt, it looks for places to hide. They usually hide between plants, behind rocks, in caves, or behind aquarium equipment. Bamboo shrimp molt once every two months.

Bamboo shrimp molting
Bamboo shrimp molting

Bamboo Shrimp do not eat their shells after molting, so you need to remove the shell from the aquarium. But, if you have Amano, Ghost, or Red Cherry Shrimp, they will nip at the shell. Never leave the shell in the tank for more than 24 hours.


Copper is fatal to freshwater aquarium shrimp. So, be sure to check medication, plant fertilizer, fish food, etc. The smallest amount of copper in the water can kill all your shrimp.

Plant fertilizers are ok so long as bits of it don’t get mixed into the water. For instance, when moving plants or other items, fertilizer in the substrate may enter the water current. Bamboo Shrimp can mistake these bits for food and eat them.

Buying Healthy Bamboo Shrimp

You can buy Bamboo Shrimp at local fish stores or online. A healthy Bamboo Shrimp will have all its legs, antennae, and eyes. They should have at least three fan-like limbs and a few long antennas. Note the color and activity level to help determine if the shrimp is healthy.

Vampire shrimp vs Bamboo shrimp

FeaturesVampire ShrimpBamboo Shrimp
Scientific NameAtya gabonensisAtyopsis moluccensis
Other NamesGiant African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, and Gabon ShrimpWood Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, and Asian Fan Shrimp
Natural HabitatWestern Africa (Senegal to Congo), South America (Venezuela to Brazil)Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia)
Size3-5 inches2-3 inches
Food GroupDetritivore /omnivoreDetritivore /omnivore
Colorslight blue, dark blue, pink, green, reddish-browndark red, woody brown, green, orange, yellow
Care LevelEasyEasy
BreedingVery DifficultVery Difficult
Lifespan~5 years~1-2 years
Tank Size15-20 gallons15-20 gallons
Tank MatesNon-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snailsNon-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snails
Temperature24 – 28°C  (~75°F – 84°F)20 – 25°C  (~68°F – 77°F)
PH6.5 – 7.56.5 – 7.5
TDS150 – 200 (100-300)150 – 200 (100-300)
NitrateLess than 20ppmLess than 20ppm
Body structureLonger and bulkierThinner and shorter
Bamboo Shrimp vs Vampire Shrimp Chart