Very few invertebrates add to the grace of your home aquarium like bamboo shrimp do. No wonder the species is so popular as a pet.
The bamboo shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) is a filter shrimp species found in Southeast Asia. It is not just used as a food source, but is also quite popular as a pet. It is also called the flower shrimp, wood shrimp, Singapore wood shrimp, Asian fan shrimp, and the marble shrimp. In the United States, it is sold as a community-tank invertebrate.
Bamboo shrimp are one of those invertebrates that require minimum care. They are filter feeders and eat microorganisms from the food debris left by the fish. They require a steady current in the aquarium due to their feeding habits. These shrimp don’t have any specific requirements, and are adaptable to most marine aquarium setups.
They feed on the algal growth and microorganisms within the water for sustainability. If you find them scavenging for food at the bottom, it means they are hungry. You need to feed them finely flaked food, pleco wafers, pellets, etc. Additionally, small Daphnia and newly hatched brine shrimp will also do.
It has been observed that it is very difficult to breed these shrimp in captivity. They hatch as larvae and need salt water for growth. In some cases though, individuals have managed to successfully breed them.
Bamboo shrimp need a planted tank as they cannot tolerate ammonia or nitrate in water. They love caves or hiding places in the tank. You can use driftwood as they tend to colonize on it. The water pH should be about 6.5 – 7.4, ammonia and nitrites should be 0 ppm, and the temperature should be about 73 to 82ºF.
Unlike most of the other shrimp species, bamboo shrimp don’t have claws, and this makes them harmless for humans and most of its tank mates. The species will peacefully co-exist with tetra fish, and other non-aggressive varieties like guppy fish, mollies, platy’s, etc. Chichlids and other aggressive fish are best avoided. You can also include other shrimps and non-aggressive bottom feeders as its tank mates.
In a well-established fish tank, a healthy shrimp will develop stronger colors. It will be found in high flow areas of the aquarium, happily filtering the water. They will remain in the same position for hours on end waving their fans in the open and licking the nutrients from them by swiping them across the mouth. It will find a suitable hiding place if it feels threatened or has just molted. If you see them picking at substrate, it means it is hungry and needs food. A shrimp that is hiding all the time, and not just when threatened or molting, is probably suffering from some health problem.
These are attractive additions to your tank that keep your tank clean. They scrub and clean the tank keeping it neat and tidy. Their life span is about 2 to 3 years. Maintenance free and interesting creatures, you will enjoy having them in your aquarium.