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.
|Other Names||Fan shrimp, Filter Shrimp, Asian Filter Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, Timber shrimp, Singapore Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, Mountain Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, Maluku shrimp, and Flower shrimp.|
|Scientific Name||Atyopsis moluccensis|
|Tank Size||20 gallons|
|Size||2 – 3 inches|
|Optimal Temperature||70°F – 88°F|
|Optimal PH||6.5 – 7.5 (6.0 – 8.0)|
|Optimal GH||6 – 8 (<15)|
|Optimal KH||2 – 6 (<11)|
|Optimal TDS||150 – 200 (100-300)|
|Nitrate||Less than 20 ppm|
|Colors||Brown, red, green, creamy white, and blue.|
Table of Contents:
- What do bamboo shrimp look like?
- Are bamboo shrimp aggressive?
- How big do bamboo shrimp get?
- How long do bamboo shrimp live?
- What are the different bamboo shrimp colors?
- What is the best tank size for bamboo shrimp?
- What are the best water parameters for bamboo shrimp?
- What kind of food do bamboo shrimps eat?
- What kind of tank mates can I keep with bamboo shrimp?
- Are bamboo shrimp easy to breed?
- Important things to know about bamboo shrimp care
- Vampire shrimp vs Bamboo shrimp (comparison chart)
- References, further reading, & videos
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.
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:
- Nerite Snails
- Mystery Snails
- Gold Inca Snails
- Ivory Snails
- Trumpet Snails
- Japanese Trapdoor Snails
- Rabbit Snails
- Red Ramshorn Snails
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 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
|Features||Vampire Shrimp||Bamboo Shrimp|
|Scientific Name||Atya gabonensis||Atyopsis moluccensis|
|Other Names||Giant African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, and Gabon Shrimp||Wood Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, and Asian Fan Shrimp|
|Natural Habitat||Western Africa (Senegal to Congo), South America (Venezuela to Brazil)||Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia)|
|Size||3-5 inches||2-3 inches|
|Food Group||Detritivore /omnivore||Detritivore /omnivore|
|Colors||light blue, dark blue, pink, green, reddish-brown||dark red, woody brown, green, orange, yellow|
|Breeding||Very Difficult||Very Difficult|
|Lifespan||~5 years||~1-2 years|
|Tank Size||15-20 gallons||15-20 gallons|
|Tank Mates||Non-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snails||Non-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snails|
|Temperature||24 – 28°C (~75°F – 84°F)||20 – 25°C (~68°F – 77°F)|
|PH||6.5 – 7.5||6.5 – 7.5|
|TDS||150 – 200 (100-300)||150 – 200 (100-300)|
|Nitrate||Less than 20ppm||Less than 20ppm|
|Body structure||Longer and bulkier||Thinner and shorter|
- This Shrimp acts like a FILTER- Bamboo Shrimp – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsuheXE1wwE
- Chace, Fenner Albert, Jr. 1983. “The Atya-like shrimps of the Indo-Pacific region (Decapoda: Atyidae).” Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1–54. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.384
- Marxen, J.C., Pick, C., Kwiatkowski, M. et al. Molecular characterization and evolution of haemocyanin from the two freshwater shrimps Caridina multidentata (Stimpson, 1860) and Atyopsis moluccensis (De Haan, 1849). J Comp Physiol B 183, 613–624 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00360-013-0740-9
- First Look: Bamboo Shrimp – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDrsG4-kRvg
- Bamboo Shrimp Filtering Food In A Freshwater Aquarium – Video (YouTube)
- Atyopsis – Wikipedia
- Molting and the exoskeleton: A double-edged sword
- The First Filter Feeder | Smithsonian Ocean
- Should I add a vampire or a bamboo shrimp? : shrimptank