Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis Moluccensis): Ultimate Care Guide


Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis Moluccensis) is a freshwater invertebrate that originates from Southeast Asia.

In the aquarium trade, Bamboo Shrimp are also known as Wood Shrimp, Singapore Shrimp, Asian Filter Feeding Shrimp, Singapore Flower Shrimp, Singapore Wood Shrimp, and Fan Shrimp. They are usually brown in color, but it be light brown, red, orange, green, and yellow as well. Even on the same specimen, the colors on the shrimp can appear different after molting.

Unlike many other popular shrimp in the aquarium hobby, Bamboo Shrimp are filter feeders. They will often position themselves in a place with some water current, and allow their specialized appendages to catch microscopic particles in the water.

Bamboo Shrimps is an interesting aquarium shrimp, and this guide will help you understand how to take care of them.

Bamboo Shrimp Care

Bamboo Shrimp are relatively hardy and easy to care for. They are very peaceful and usually keep to themselves, which makes them the perfect choice for many freshwater community tanks. Their water parameter requirements are not abnormal, so they will be able to thrive in most existing tank setups. However, they can suffer if there is a sudden change in the water parameter, so any changes should be very gradually.

Therefore, regular maintenance and monitoring is important for the well-being of the Bamboo Shrimp. Even if there are issues in water parameter, early detection can often help avoid a larger problem.

Here are specifics on how to take care of Bamboo Shrimps:

Bamboo Shrimp
Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis Moluccensis)

Bamboo Shrimp Temperature

Bamboo Shrimp are native to the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, and that native habitat means they prefer a warmer water temperature when held in captivity. Bamboo shrimp are a hardy species, but they still prefer specific water parameters. For example, they like their tank’s water between 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you manage to keep your tank within that range, your bamboo shrimp should be very happy and should be able to stay very healthy and live a long and fulfilling life in your tank.

Bamboo Shrimp Water pH

The waters in Southeast Asia that the bamboo shrimp are native to are slightly acidic, which means they prefer their own tanks to be somewhat acidic.  For bamboo shrimp, you want your tank pH level to be between 6.5-8.0. You need to monitor the pH level regularly to help maintain this level, which is especially important early on when they’re still adjusting to their new environment. The wide pH range of Bamboo shrimp also allows for a wide variety of potential tank mates, but we’ll get to those later.

Bamboo Shrimp Size

When considering potential species for a community tank, size is always a parameter that needs to be taken into account. The size of the fish is essential for two reasons; you have to make sure it’s not too large for the tank you have in mind, and you also have to be sure it’s not small enough to get eaten by some of the larger fish. Bamboo shrimp can surprisingly reach up to 3 inches in length when fully grown; this is much larger than most freshwater shrimp usually found in aquariums. Their larger size also means they’re not as likely to become a snack for another species in your tank. Keep in mind that they will likely only reach this size if adequately cared for. That means you need to monitor their tank and feed them a healthy and balanced diet.

Bamboo Shrimp Tank Size

On average, most experts recommend a tank size of around 20 gallons for Bamboo shrimp. While that may sound like a lot for these smaller crustaceans, it is actually perfect. The larger size gives the bamboo shrimp more room to explore and find their food. But, yes, you could get away with a smaller tank, but it is likely to negatively impact the shrimp’s lifespan. You don’t want to stress your shrimp out with a small tank, do you?

How many Bamboo Shrimp can you keep per gallon of water?

Bamboo shrimp filter feed, for those that don’t know, filter feeders eat by pulling their food straight from the water. This means if you have too many filter feeders in the same area, they’d be competing for the same food sources. Bamboo shrimp’s filter feeding means that you shouldn’t have too many of them in the exact location, or some will be underfed. One bamboo shrimp per 20 gallons is, on average, what you should follow, and any more than one per 20 gallons isn’t a great idea, and the bamboo shrimp will likely suffer from it.

Bamboo Shrimp Food and Diet

Bamboo shrimp are filter feeders, which means that they filter their food out of the water. That means that you don’t actually have to feed them, which is a challenging idea for many aquarists or basic owners to wrap their heads around. I know it may seem like it, but you are not neglecting your bamboo shrimp if you don’t drop food in their tank. As long as you have sufficient water flow and plenty of plants, your bamboo shrimp will not go hungry.

What do Bamboo Shrimp eat?

Bamboo Shrimp filter feed, so that means they pull their food out of the water surrounding them. The food they usually filter out is plant debris, micro-organisms, micro-algae, and other matter floating around your tank. If you have a bamboo shrimp in your tank, you likely won’t have to supplement their diet with any other food as long as you have a well-planted tank. This just is one of the many reasons that bamboo shrimp are extremely easy to care for and likely a great addition to your tank.

Do Bamboo Shrimp eat algae?

Bamboo shrimp filter feed off of small things in the waters surrounding them. As such, they’re likely to eat microalgae that you can’t even see. They’ll also occasionally munch on other plants but likely won’t go out of their way to eat algae. If you need a dedicated algae eater, there are several viable options for freshwater tanks. An excellent choice for most tanks is the Siamese algae eater; they are considered by most to be the best algae eaters in the world for freshwater tanks.

Bamboo Shrimp Lifespan

Shrimps, on average, don’t tend to live very long lives, and bamboo shrimp are unsurprisingly not an outlier. They live for around 1 to 2 years, on average, and this short life span can be shortened even further by poor care. As with all species kept in tanks, poor care will quickly shorten their lives. That is why it is imperative to check the water for any change regularly. If you’re lucky enough to catch any changes early, you can work to prevent them from impacting your fish or any species in your tank. Another unfortunate reality of buying any fish is that their care before purchasing them could’ve been subpar. And unfortunately, that inadequate care likely will impact the rest of their short life.

Bamboo Shrimp Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for Bamboo Shrimp, making sure it is well planted is vital. Those plants in your tank are what your bamboo shrimp will eat, and they’ll feed on tiny pieces of plants that have snapped off and are floating around the tank. Bamboo shrimp will also climb around on the plants! They love to hide in plants in the wild, and interacting with them is excellent for enrichment. Another critical element for a tank containing bamboo shrimp is water flow, and they need a current to grab the small organic matter they feed on to be moved. Bamboo shrimp also love to have plenty of spaces to hide in and around, so don’t hesitate to add some driftwood or rocks.

Bamboo Shrimp Breeding

Breeding Bamboo shrimp isn’t a task you should consider undertaking. Despite how easy they are to take care of, breeding them is the opposite. Bamboo shrimp larvae need saltwater to survive and develop, but adult bamboo shrimp can not survive in saltwater. Trying to breed bamboo shrimp in captivity seems to be a nightmare that not even aquarists experienced in breeding other fish wish to try. It’s a task you shouldn’t attempt because you’re very likely to fail and lose several shrimp in the process.

Bamboo Shrimp Male vs Female

Bamboo Shrimp are straightforward to tell apart once they’ve matured. Male bamboo shrimps are overall larger than their female counterparts. The first set of legs on male bamboo shrimp are also larger than those of the female. The front legs of the male are powerful and well built and even feature a giant claw. The females don’t have those solid legs or a claw; they only have slim walking legs. The differences in bamboo shrimp are so noticeable that an inexperienced person should have no trouble telling them apart even without practice.

How long does it take for Bamboo Shrimp eggs to hatch?

Not much is known about the breeding habits of Bamboo shrimp, and this is because they are notoriously hard to breed. What we do know is that the female can carry upwards of 2000 small eggs; after about a month, the eggs will be ready to hatch. Once they hatch, they need to be moved to saltwater; otherwise, they will not survive and will perish. This is because bamboo shrimp larvae can not survive in freshwater; this is one of the many reasons they’re so notoriously hard to breed.

Bamboo Shrimp Disease

Despite their hardy and easy to care for nature, bamboo shrimp are still highly susceptible to changes in their water. If the water in their tank suddenly changes, the chances are that it’ll be fatal to the bamboo shrimp. Another thing to be on the watch for is copper. As with all species of shrimp, copper is deadly. This means you need to be extra vigilant that nothing you add to your tank contains copper. The biggest issue is that most medications include copper, so by trying to help one of your other fish, you could accidentally poison your shrimp.

How often do Bamboo Shrimp molt?

Bamboo shrimp molt around once every two months. Around a day before they start the molting process, they’ll begin to hide in or around things in the tank; this is why it is so important to give them something to hide behind. The bamboo shrimp will emerge from its old shell and leave it behind. It’s recommended to leave the old shell in the tank, as the bamboo shrimp or other species will feed on it for its nutrients. After that, whatever is left of the shell will likely just dissolve into the water and disappear.

How long can Bamboo Shrimp live out of water?

Most species of fish can survive out of water for a few moments, and that is because they breathe through their gills, but once their gills are dry, they can longer breathe. Bamboo shrimp breathe through their gills, meaning if they are taken out of the water, they’ll likely only last a few minutes before their gills dry up and they can no longer breathe. Basically, you shouldn’t take your fish out of their tank for more than a few seconds; not only does it stress the fish out, it could quickly kill them.

Bamboo Shrimp Colors

Bamboo shrimp are known to change color but don’t worry; it’s not indicative of any sort of illness or infection. It’s actually really normal and only makes the bamboo shrimp more interesting. Bamboo shrimp usually tend to be brown or red, but they can sometimes be brown or redder. Occasionally, bamboo shrimp can turn orange, green, or yellow, and they can even have a light brown hue after molting. This wide range of color changes only makes the bamboo shrimp a more exciting choice for community tanks.

Bamboo Shrimp Tank Mates

Bamboo shrimp are peaceful, somewhat small species, and that means they shouldn’t be kept in a tank with fish that don’t share that same temperament. Finding peaceful fish for a freshwater tank isn’t a difficult task at all. They’ve very compatible with nearly every other species of fish, and they likely won’t compete for food since the bamboo shrimp are filter feeders. You also need to ensure that the tank mates you select for your bamboo shrimp aren’t too large either. If they are too large, it is likely they will try to eat your bamboo shrimp.

Are Bamboo Shrimp Aggressive?

Bamboo shrimp are not known to be aggressive, and they’re timid and will most likely spend their time in your tank, playing around the plants or hiding behind the rocks or driftwood. That is why when selecting tank mates, you need to pick ones that are also as timid. Anything more aggressive could attack your bamboo shrimp. Even if the more aggressive species don’t kill the bamboo shrimp, they will likely stress them out, which will shorten regardless.

Compatible Tank Mates for Bamboo Shrimp

Finding compatible tank mates for Bamboo Shrimp isn’t that hard, and you just need to consider their preferred water parameters, size when fully mature, and temperament. Suppose you can’t find any species that fits that criteria on your own; we’ll go over a few that we’ve found.  Corydoras are an excellent option for a community tank that includes Bamboo shrimp. Dwarf Gouramis are another great option, so are several different species of snails.

  • Corydoras: Corydoras, or Cory Catfish, are a species of freshwater fish. Catfish have a reputation for eating nearly anything that fits into their mouth. Thankfully, cory catfish don’t grow large enough to do that to bamboo shrimp. The max size for cory catfish is only around 3-4 inches, which isn’t much larger than the bamboo shrimp. Corydoras and bamboo shrimp share similar tank requirements, meaning they’d likely make great tank mates.
  • Snails: Snails tend to be an option that some overlook when establishing a community tank, and Ramshorn snails are an excellent option for a community that includes bamboo shrimp. Both species are very peaceful, unlikely to cause trouble with any other species in their tank, and they share similar tank requirements. The only thing to be wary about when picking a snail to put in your tank is that they produce of ton of waste, which could easily pollute your tank.
  • Dwarf Gourami: Dwarf gouramis are a species of tropical freshwater fish, which means they prefer warmer water. That’s a theme they have in common with bamboo shrimp, and they both share similar attitudes and aren’t likely to get into any fights in your tank. Bamboo shrimp and dwarf gouramis should make great tank mates as long as the tank is large enough for the two of them.

Incompatible Tank Mates for Bamboo Shrimp

Finding species compatible with bamboo shrimp was easy, but finding incompatible species is even easier. Any species that doesn’t have the same water parameter preferences as the bamboo shrimp wouldn’t be compatible with it. The same can be said for any significantly larger species, as they’ll likely try to eat the bamboo shrimp. Housing bamboo shrimp in a tank with any species more aggressive than it probably wouldn’t end well for the bamboo shrimp. Some species you should avoid housing with your bamboo shrimp are Oscar fish, Redtail catfish, and cichlids.

  • Oscar fish: Oscars are freshwater fish that can grow to be over a foot in length, and that large size easily dwarfs the bamboo shrimp. As such, the bamboo shrimp and Oscars should never be contained in the same tank, and Oscars will not hesitate to make a snack out of your bamboo shrimp, which is likely not what you want to have happen.
  • Redtail Catfish: Redtail catfish grow to be around 4 feet in length. That means they don’t have many compatible tank mates to begin with, as they’re likely to eat them all. Bamboo shrimps are no exception to that; redtail catfish will quickly eat them. Redtail catfish take a ton of work to raise and need an absurdly large tank to keep them comfortable. Because of that, you should avoid keeping them.
  • Cichlids: Most cichlids are gorgeous and a coveted part of most tanks. Despite that, some of them should be avoided in community tanks – especially those housing bamboo shrimp. Bamboo shrimps and cichlids can not coexist; the bamboo shrimp with be dinner for most species of cichlids.

Bamboo Shrimp and Cherry Shrimp

Bamboo shrimp and cherry shrimp are very compatible in the same tank, and they have very similar tank needs; both of them like to have well-planted tanks so they can hide among the decorations and plants. Cherry shrimps are omnivores and scavengers, which means they’ll eat basically anything in the tank. That is a stark difference to the Bamboo shrimp that filter feed and will only eat things they filter out of the water around them.

Bamboo Shrimp and Amano Shrimp

Amano shrimp are known for eating algae; something bamboo shrimp don’t tend to do. They’re both very peaceful species of shrimp and prefer very similar tank conditions. Bamboo shrimp and Amano shrimp should be compatible in the same tank, and they grow around the same and don’t compete for the same food source. Both of them also love well-planted tanks so they can hide among the plants.

Bamboo Shrimp and Vampire Shrimp

Vampire shrimp and bamboo shrimp are very similar but have some exciting differences. Vampire shrimp can be a light blue color, one of the few colors a bamboo shrimp can not. Vampire shrimp can grow to around 5 inches, while bamboo shrimp tend to max out around 3.  Bamboo shrimp and vampire shrimp are very compatible tank mates; just be wary that they share the same food source, so the tank needs to be large enough to accommodate them both.

Bamboo Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bamboo shrimp and Betta fish likely aren’t going to be the best tank mates. Bamboo shrimp prefer a strong water current; they swim through it and filter it to get their food. Betta, on the other hand, like a slow-moving current. Betta are also aggressive and may try to fight your bamboo shrimp if you put them in the same tank.

Bamboo Shrimp and Goldfish

Bamboo shrimp and goldfish are not compatible, and you should avoid housing them in the same tank, as the goldfish will attempt to eat your bamboo shrimp. The success of that attempt depends on the size of the goldfish, but goldfish can grow to be around 14 inches, which is much larger than bamboo shrimps grow.

Bamboo Shrimp and Angelfish

Bamboo shrimp and Angelfish aren’t compatible and shouldn’t be kept in the same tank. The angelfish will likely try to prey on the bamboo shrimp. Even if the bamboo shrimp is too large to be eaten by the angelfish, the angelfish will probably bully the bamboo shrimp. The bullying can cause a ton of undue stress that will likely shorten the life of the bamboo shrimp.

Bamboo Shrimp and Guppies

Guppies are an excellent choice for a tank mate for bamboo shrimp. Guppies are very peaceful and grow to around the same size as bamboo shrimp, which means they will not become a snack. Guppies are a very hardy species, meaning they can survive in a wide range of tank conditions, making them a perfect choice for a community tank.

Bamboo Shrimp and Pea Puffer

Pea puffers are the smallest pufferfish in the world, which makes them an appealing choice for tanks. Who doesn’t want to own a pufferfish? Unfortunately, pea puffers can be aggressive and territorial, which means it’s not a great tank mate for any species, including bamboo shrimp. Pea puffers should be kept in a species only aquarium.

Bamboo Shrimp and Discus

Discus can grow to be up to 10 inches, and that size means they aren’t the best match for bamboo shrimp. Bamboo shrimp are much smaller than the discus and, as such, would likely get bullied or even become food for the discus. You can find plenty of other options for tank mates for both the discus and bamboo shrimp.

Where can I find Bamboo Shrimp for sale and price?

Bamboo shrimp are quickly gaining popularity in the aquarium scene. This means that more stores are beginning to carry them, making them easier to purchase. Bamboo shrimps are likely available at some pet stores but are more commonly available at specialty stores and online. Bamboo shrimp tend to sell for around $10.

Bamboo shrimp are a unique option for any community tank, and they’re easy to care for and don’t require much attention. Bamboo shrimp are entertaining and exciting, and as long as you do your research and keep a vigilant eye on your tank, you’re likely to have a great time with them. So, don’t hesitate, add a bamboo shrimp to your tank today!

Fish Laboratory

With decades of collective fishkeeping experience, we are happy to share the fish care tips that we've picked up along the way. Our goal at Fish Laboratory is to keep publishing accurate content to help fishkeepers keep their fish and aquarium healthy.

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