Bamboo Shrimp: Appearance, Lifespan, Size, Diet, Care, Tank Mates, Breeding & More

Bamboo Shrimp may be the perfect choice if you are looking for a unique and fascinating addition to your aquarium. This article will examine their appearance, lifespan, size, diet, care requirements, ideal aquarium partners, breeding options, and more. So, let’s dive in and learn everything you need to know about bamboo shrimp!

Overview of Bamboo Shrimp

The bamboo shrimp, scientifically known as Atyopsis moluccensis, is a freshwater species native to Southeast Asia. Some of the places it is found are Sri Lanka, Okinawa, Malaysia, and Thailand. They are popular in the aquarium trade and have several common names, such as fan shrimp, filter shrimp, and Asian filter shrimp.

Fast currents and flowing rivers serve as natural habitats for bamboo shrimp. These extraordinary creatures attach themselves firmly to rocks and plants to ensure their unshakable stability.

These peaceful creatures are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. Bamboo shrimp exhibit an interesting filtering behavior, using their specialized fins to capture micro-particles in the water and feed on them.

Overall, bamboo shrimp are interesting and low-maintenance pets that bring a touch of elegance to any aquatic environment.

Appearance and Size


Description of Bamboo Shrimp’s appearance

The appearance of Bamboo Shrimp is really unique and fascinating. These freshwater crustaceans have a reddish-brown color, but some specimens may have a more yellowish or even reddish hue. Their bodies have stripes and stripes that run from end to end, adding to their visual appeal. They have a rather thick body that tapers towards the end of their tail.

One notable feature of bamboo shrimp is their fan-like appendages known as pleopods. These fans serve as mini nets that they use to capture small food particles and organisms from the water.

Difference between Male and Female

It’s a breeze to tell males and females apart once they reach about two inches in length.

Males have a bigger body size compared to females. Regarding their legs, males have a noticeably larger first pair, while females have all sets of walking legs that are about the same size as each other.

The average size of Bamboo Shrimp

The average size of the bamboo shrimp is about 2 to 3 inches when fully mature. These shrimp are relatively larger compared to other freshwater shrimp commonly found in aquariums. It is important to note that their size can be affected by the quality of care, water parameters, and the diet they receive.

Providing a well-maintained habitat with suitable water conditions and suitable food can help ensure the healthy growth of these shrimp.


The average lifespan of bamboo shrimp is about 1-2 years. Although this may seem relatively short, it is normal for shrimp species to have shorter lifespans compared to other animals. The quality of care and source of acquisition can greatly affect the lifespan of a Bamboo Shrimp. If you buy them from a reputable seller and provide them with proper care, they have a better chance of living a longer life.

Maintaining water parameters and providing suitable habitats for these shrimp to thrive is important. Regularly monitoring their health and providing them with a balanced diet can also contribute to their overall well-being and longevity.


Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders, extracting their food from the surrounding water. Their diet consists mainly of small organic matter and organisms that float in the water, such as microalgae and plant matter. Here are some important points to know about what bamboo shrimp eat:

  • Powdered food: Bamboo shrimp cannot eat large food particles like shrimp pellets. To thrive, they require powdered food that remains suspended in the water for an extended period. Pond plankton, micro-worms, finely ground food flakes, crushed food tablets, and spirulina powder are all suitable options.
  • Plant matter and detritus: Bamboo shrimp can feed on tiny pieces of decaying plant matter and detritus that break off and enter the water. Having live or dried leaves in the tank can provide additional nutrition and improve water quality for the shrimp.
  • Food supplements: If you don’t have specialized shrimp food, you can use fish fry food that contains essential ingredients. It’s essential not to overfeed them, as excess food can lead to high nitrate levels and other problems in the tank.

It’s important to ensure that the water currents in the tank mimic their natural habitat, providing enough suspended particles for them to filter and feed on.

Tank Setup and Care

Creating an ideal aquarium setup for Bamboo Shrimp is critical to their well-being and overall health. Here are some key considerations:

  • Tank size: Bamboo shrimp thrive in larger tanks, preferably around 20 gallons or more.
  • Lighting: Bamboo shrimp prefer lower light conditions. Using a dimmable or dimmable light fixture can help create a comfortable environment for them.
  • Plants: Incorporating plants into the bamboo shrimp tank is critical. These little creatures are used to having lots of vegetation in their natural environment. Adding plants to their environment makes it much easier for them to find natural food. When small pieces of plant matter break off and enter the water, your shrimp can catch them. Don’t worry too much about the type of plants, as any popular aquarium plant will work well. These shrimp won’t actually eat the plants directly, but they will benefit from their presence in the tank.
  • Substrate and decor: They are not very picky about the substrate, but using a fine-grained substrate on which the shrimp can easily walk and move is good. Combining stones and wood can also enhance their environment, apart from the mentioned plants. Make sure the aquarium decorations and plants are shrimp-friendly and do not have sharp edges or small gaps where shrimp can become trapped.

Water parameters and maintenance

It is critical to maintain the correct water parameters and perform regular maintenance to ensure the health and well-being of your bamboo shrimp. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Temperature: Bamboo shrimp thrive in tropical water temperatures ranging from 70°F to 78° degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a stable temperature within this range is important to prevent stress or potential health problems.
  • Water hardness: Bamboo shrimp prefer moderately soft to slightly hard water, with a total hardness (GH) between 3 and 10.
  • pH Level: The ideal pH range for bamboo shrimp is slightly acidic to neutral, usually between 6.5 and 8. Monitor the pH level regularly and take necessary measures to maintain stability.
  • Filtration and water flow: Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders and rely on water flow to bring them food particles. Ensure proper filtration in the tank and create a light to moderate water flow. Using a sponge filter in combination with a feeding head can create areas of higher flow where bamboo shrimp can stand to filter their food.
  • Water quality: Regular water changes of about 25% every week help to maintain optimal water quality. Remember that consistent water parameters and regular maintenance are essential to your bamboo shrimp’s health and long-term well-being. Test the water parameters regularly and make the necessary adjustments to ensure optimal conditions for these fascinating creatures.

Tank Mates

When choosing suitable tank mates for Bamboo Shrimp, it’s important to consider their peaceful nature and nonpredatory relationship. Bamboo Shrimp get along well with a variety of peaceful community tank inhabitants, including medium-sized tropical fish. However, avoiding mixing them with aggressive species or those that may see the shrimp as food, such as Goldfish, Oscars, Jack Dempseys, and other cichlids, is important.

It is advisable to keep Bamboo Shrimp with their own kind or with compatible tank mates such as Amano Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, and Otocinclus Catfish. However, always consider the species’ compatibility. Creating a peaceful and harmonious environment is essential for the well-being of Bamboo Shrimp.

Molting Process


Understanding the molting process of Bamboo Shrimp

The molting process is crucial to a Bamboo Shrimp’s life cycle. During this process, the shrimp sheds its exoskeleton in order to grow and regenerate. Understanding the molting process can help shrimp keepers provide the necessary care and support during this vulnerable time. Here are some key points to understand about the molting process of Bamboo Shrimp:

  • Frequency: Bamboo Shrimp typically molt roughly every  45-65 days, although this may vary depending on various factors such as age, diet, and overall health.
  • Signs of Molting: It’s important to recognize the signs of molting to provide the conditions for a successful molt. These signs include reduced activity, hiding, and decreased appetite.
  • Molting Behavior: Before molting, Bamboo Shrimp often find a secure hiding spot to protect themselves during the process.
  • Shedding Process: The Bamboo Shrimp will gradually emerge from its old exoskeleton during molting. The process can take several hours or even a few days, during which the shrimp is vulnerable and sensitive.
  • Post-Molt Care: The Bamboo Shrimp’s new exoskeleton will be soft and delicate after molting. Providing a safe and calm environment is crucial to allow the shrimp to harden its new shell fully.

By understanding and providing proper care during the molting process, shrimp keepers can ensure the health and well-being of their Bamboo Shrimp. Regular monitoring and observation can help identify any potential issues and ensure a successful molt, promoting the growth and longevity of these fascinating creatures.

Difficulties in breeding Bamboo Shrimp in captivity

Breeding Bamboo Shrimp in captivity can be quite challenging and has proven to be difficult for most shrimp breeders. There are several reasons why breeding this species is not commonly successful:

  • Brackish water requirement: Bamboo Shrimp larvae require brackish water to survive and develop. This poses a challenge, as transitioning the larvae from freshwater to brackish water can be risky and complicated.
  • Complex larvae development: Bamboo Shrimp larvae go through several developmental stages before becoming shrimplets. These stages require specific environmental conditions and appropriate food sources, which can be difficult to provide in a captive setting.
  • Low success rates: Even with the best conditions and breeding efforts, successful breeding of Bamboo Shrimp is still rare. The survival rate of larvae is typically low, resulting in limited breeding success in captivity.

Considering these challenges, breeding Bamboo Shrimp in captivity requires expertise, patience, and a deep understanding of the species-specific needs.

Common Health Issues

Bamboo shrimp are generally hardy and do not require much maintenance, but there are still some health problems, such as bacterial infections and fungal infections. Here are some tips to keep them in optimal condition:

  • Stress: Bamboo shrimp can be sensitive to water changes and can become stressed if there are sudden fluctuations in water parameters. It is important to maintain stable aquarium conditions to prevent stress-related health problems.
  • Copper Poisoning: Bamboo shrimp are highly copper-sensitive, like all shrimp. Even traces of copper in water can be toxic to them. Avoid using any medications or treatments in the tank that contain copper. If you must use medication, remove the shrimp temporarily and make sure you thoroughly remove all traces of honey from the water before reintroducing them.
  • Poor water quality: Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders and rely on a clean and well-maintained tank environment. Poor water quality can lead to various health problems and even be fatal to shrimp. Regular water changes, proper filtration and monitoring of water parameters are essential to keeping your Bamboo Shrimp healthy.
  • Molting Problems: Bamboo shrimp go through the process of molting every few months. During this time, they are vulnerable and may go into hiding or become less active. Providing plenty of hiding places and a safe environment without aggressive tank mates can help prevent injury or disturbance during molting.

By properly caring for your bamboo shrimp and addressing any potential health issues promptly, you can ensure that they thrive in your aquarium. Monitor water quality regularly and provide a stress-free environment for these adorable creatures.


How long do Bamboo Shrimp live?

Bamboo Shrimp have a lifespan of 1-2 years with proper care.

Can Bamboo Shrimp be kept with other fish or shrimp?

Bamboo Shrimp are peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish and shrimp species that share the same water requirements. It’s important to avoid housing them with fish large enough to eat them.

How often do Bamboo Shrimp molt?

Bamboo Shrimp go through a molting process every 45-65 days, where they shed their old shell and grow a new ones.


Responsible ownership is crucial when it comes to keeping Bamboo Shrimp in captivity. These fascinating creatures rely on their owners to provide them with suitable habitats and optimal conditions for their well-being. By practicing responsible ownership, you ensure your Bamboo Shrimp can thrive and live a healthy life.

Here are some key reasons why responsible ownership is important:

  • Ethical treatment: Responsible ownership means treating your Bamboo Shrimp with kindness, respect, and care. Living creatures deserve to be provided with a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Proper habitat setup: Responsible owners understand the specific requirements of Bamboo Shrimp and ensure that their tank is set up correctly. This includes maintaining appropriate water parameters, providing enough vegetation, and maintaining a suitable current for feeding.
  • Regular monitoring: Responsible owners regularly monitor their Bamboo Shrimp’s health and behavior. Look for any signs of stress, disease, or other issues and take appropriate action when necessary.
  • Responsible breeding: Breeding Bamboo Shrimp in captivity is challenging and requires expertise and careful consideration. Responsible owners understand the complexities of breeding and make informed decisions to avoid unnecessary harm or stress to the shrimp.
  • Education and awareness: Responsible owners stay informed about the latest research and advancements in Bamboo Shrimp care. They seek education and resources to improve their understanding of the species, ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge to provide the best care possible.

By practicing responsible ownership, you contribute to the well-being and conservation of this unique species, creating a positive impact in the world of freshwater aquarium keeping.