Bamboo Shrimp: Breeding, Care, Molting and Tank Mates


Are you looking for a unique addition to your community tank? Consider investing in some Bamboo Shrimp as they are quite peaceful and not fussy. Keep on reading this article to find out anything about them.

Bamboo Shrimp Overview

Bamboo Shrimp belong to freshwater aquarium species which is native to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Philippine, and Thailand.

They are also known with some other popular names, such as Asian Filter Feeding Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, Singapore Shrimp, Singapore Flower Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Singapore Wood Shrimp, Fan Shrimp, and Atyopsis moluccensis.

In the wild, they usually inhabit rivers or streams coming from the mountains or hills. They tend to hide under submerged roots and rocks due to the high flow. Besides, their hiding spots typically provide microorganisms and small particles of food.

Appearance and Behavior

Bamboo Shrimp Appearance

Bamboo Shrimps are generally peaceful and non-aggressive due to the absence of claws. They usually come in brown with a white stripe that lies across their back, right from the antenna to the tail.

The interesting fact about this white stripe is it can only be visible whenever they are happy. By looking at it, you can tell the mood of your Bamboo Shrimp.

Sometimes this shrimp can display red, brown, yellowish-brown, reddish-brown, orange, green, and blue. This usually happens after they molt. It also depends on the environment and water parameters.

While some theory even states that the changes of color can represent the will of the females to mate.

Bamboo Shrimp features 3 feathery fans, compound eyes, and a couple of long sensory antennas. The eyestalks found on top of their head are located on either side of the rostrum.

They seem to be thick at the base and can be immediately pulled down when these shrimp feel threatened.

The front legs of the shrimp are longer than the back ones, which are shorter and thinner. This species can grow up to 2 or 5 inches. They can live for 1 or 2, or even 3 years as long as you can maintain the top-notch water conditions in your tank.

These species are quite peaceful. They usually spend most of the time swimming through the water to look for some food.

Also, these shrimp can be very active at night. They like climbing near the power filter, which can make them accidentally fall out of the tank.

Therefore, covering the tank properly is necessary to avoid them from falling out of the tank. If they happen to escape from your aquarium, they will not last long.

Tank Requirements

Being hardy, Bamboo Shrimp is good at acclimating to a new tank as long as you provide the appropriate water parameters.

To thrive well, these shrimp have to live in a tropical freshwater community tank with the temperature of between 68-77 ºF, and pH ranging from 7.0 to 7.5. The aquarium water has to be on the hard side.

Like much other freshwater shrimp, this species loves hiding. Therefore, adding lots of aquarium plants into your tank is highly recommended as they can make a great shelter and hideaway for Bamboo Shrimp.

The natural habitat of these shrimp is in the streams or rivers in Asia. To resemble it, consider placing some rocks in your tank. Lava rocks would be wonderful as this species likes to explore rocks by climbing on, in, around, or under them.

You may also consider using a sponge filter since Bamboo Shrimp are fond of hanging out around the HOB power filter intakes. The sponge will help to collect the edible matter and prevent them from getting sucked up into it so that the shrimp can eat it.

The biggest problem that you need to pay careful attention to is copper. Freshwater shrimp such as Bamboo cannot put up with copper because it is harmful to them.

For this reason, you should double-check the medication and supplement your diet to see whether they contain copper.

You will also need to be careful with plant fertilizer pellets because they can be trapped in the substrate and dissolve slowly, which can pollute the water column. So, make sure that your fertilizer will not cause any harm to your shrimp.

How Many Bamboo Shrimp per Gallon

Although Bamboo Shrimp can be kept in a community tank along with other fish, placing them in a single-species aquarium will always be your safe bet.

You can keep a group of 6 to 8 shrimps in a 20-gallon tank. The larger, the better, though.

Tank Size

Bamboo Shrimp is one of the most prominent filter-feeding shrimp. They can get some food by pulling it from the water column. It means you have to provide sufficient water volume in the aquarium.

A 20-gallon tank would be just fine. However, since they need more water to support their food needs, the bigger it is, the better.

You had better choose a 20-gallon long tank instead of the high one as it allows the water to move constantly and quickly, which is good for your Bamboo Shrimp.

What do Bamboo Shrimp Eat

Just like many other filter feeders, Bamboo Shrimp eat algae. They can also consume plant debris, very fine particles all fish food, microorganisms, and other floating matter in the tank.

You still need to consider giving them a supplemental source to make them robust.

Try feeding them with a very finely pulverized algae wafer that has been softened into a light paste by concocting it with a few drops of the aquarium water. Then drop it into the upstream flow.

Make sure you are not overfeeding them since all the extra food can contribute to too much organic material to the aquarium, which can cause a bacterial bloom.

Bamboo Shrimp Feeding Is Unique

Apart from being one of the best tank cleaners, Bamboo Shrimp are kept for their unique way of feeding.

These shrimp have four Chinese-fan-like legs at the front part of their faces. Some people think that they look like baseball mitts. Whatever you call them, Bamboo Shrimp use them to grab the fine particulate matter and drive it to their mouth.

It looks as if they were eating with their hands. Every couple of seconds, they move one of their fans into their mouth. Then they do the same thing with another one. They keep doing it steadily.

You’ll see how fun it is observing their simple-yet-unique way of feeding. Once you keep watching them eating, you will find yourself mesmerized by it.

What to Give to Bamboo Shrimp for the First Time

When you introduce Bamboo Shrimp to a new tank for the first time, you will be likely to find them picking at the substrate and searching for the edible matter. This is their common behavior because they are starving.

These shrimp usually lack nutrients in stores. Thus, you should give them a food supplement. They will also look for some food by standing on a sponge filter and eating up the debris. It will last for a few days before they are back on the right track.

Suitable Tank Mates

Bamboo Shrimp Suitable Tank Mates

Bamboo Shrimp are generally peaceful. They do not even have any claws, nor pincers that many crustaceans use to attack or defend themselves. Thus, you can put this species in a community tank mates along with other medium-size tropical fish.

These shrimp can get along well with:

  • Amano Shrimp
  • Vampire Shrimp
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  • Red Cherry Shrimp
  • Nerite Snails
  • Mystery Snails
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Gold Inca Snails
  • Rabbit Snails
  • Japanese Trapdoor Snails
  • Ivory Snails
  • Ramshorn Snails
  • Assassin Snails
  • Cory Catfish
  • Otocinclus Catfish

Bamboo Shrimp will not do well with betta and any other aggressive fish, such as Goldfish, Cichlids, Oscars, Aquarium crayfish, and Jack Dempseys since they will probably eat them.

If you are thinking about keeping a group of Bamboo Shrimp in a tank, please do. They are not the type of territorial species that tend to hurt others that wander in their territory.

You will find them hanging out together in the intense current. When one gets closer, they will just move around a bit. That’s it! There will be no aggressive behavior.

Breeding Bamboo Shrimp

Breeding Singapore Wood Shrimp

Like Amano, Bamboo Shrimp are usually caught in the wild and kept in aquarium stores before a hobbyist buys them. It happens because breeding this species is no picnic.

What makes the breeding become a challenging task is these shrimp do not hatch as small adults. They come in the form of larvae, instead.

They are vulnerable as other fish will see them as food. Besides, the larvae will not survive in freshwater. They need brackish. So, you should move them in a tank containing 33 grams of salt per liter as soon as possible.

The larvae have to stay in the brackish tank until they grow up. Once they have turned into adult shrimp, they will have to go back to the freshwater aquarium. But, again, it is not an easy job to do.

Bamboo Shrimp Size and Lifespan

If you can maintain good water parameters, Bamboo Shrimp’s lifespan should be around 1 or 2 years. They can even live longer with proper tank conditions and a little bit of good fortune.

However, some of them can die as soon as they are transferred to a new tank after being purchased from a store. It happens because of the stress that they experience after being transported from the store or the shift in water parameters.

Dead or Molting

As you have Bamboo Shrimp in your tank for one or two months, you will notice that they are motionless and missing. If that happens, do not panic! They are probably molting. This is normal because they usually do it regularly.

However, there is also a chance that they die, especially if they are not seen and do not feed for a couple of days.

If you encounter this issue, go check the area under a plant leaf, under a rock, behind a decoration, or behind a power filter intake since they are probably there.

Bamboo Shrimp Molting Process

The molting process happens once every two months or so. You need to be aware of the signs of it, which is the same as the other species.

Before the time to molten comes, Bamboo Shrimp will hide behind rocks, plants, a power filter intake, the heater, or a sponge filter. This is the reason why you need to provide lots of hiding spots in your tank.

Once they have molted, they will leave their old empty shell in the water. If you let it stay in the water for a couple of days, you will find these shrimp eat it to re-ingest the nutrients. This happens occasionally but not all the time.

If you happen to keep them with Amano Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, or Otocinclus Catfish, you will notice that their tank mates are interested in picking at the empty shell. The snails will begin to eat off it.

You do not need to worry about the remaining uneaten shell left by the snails because it will just dissolve away and will not contaminate the water.

Dead Bamboo Shrimp and Its Shell

Once you check your motionless Bamboo Shrimp, and it turns out that they are dead already, you should remove them from the tank immediately. However, it is not an easy task. They can be somewhere behind the rock, plants, or any hiding spot.

If you cannot find them, Amano shrimp and snails will do this job for you. They are more interested in the dead Bamboo shrimp than the empty molted shell.

You can even notice their speed when ingesting in the shell of the dead shrimp compared to when they eat the molted one. It seems that it is more appealing to them.

They will soon eat the shell of the dead shrimp and leave the body. Then it is your turn to remove the dead body.

Those are what you need to know about Bamboo Shrimp. Before you buy them, make sure their legs, antennae, and eyes are complete and in A-1 conditions. They are supposed to be active and in good coloration, if they are healthy.

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