People often turn to invertebrates as a way to add interest to their aquarium. Bamboo Shrimp is a common species that can definitely do this. They offer some distinctive behaviours that you won’t see from fish or even other shrimp species. The way they filter feed can be particularly captivating. These creatures are incredibly simple to look after so even beginners can give them a go. It’s just a matter of maintaining a healthy environment, which is what all aquatic pets need.
Maximum size: 12cm
Ideal number kept together: 2+
Hardness: 250-700 ppm
Temperature: 20–28 °C
Ease of care
Starting with the bottom of the tank, layer the floor with a substrate. These shrimp will be fine with gravel, but fine sands are preferred by much tropical fish, so consider what potential tank mates might need. Spread rocks, decorations, and plants on top of the substrate. Your Bamboo Shrimp will climb over these in an effort to find a current to feed on. Plants are also useful because they ensure that there are small bits of vegetation floating in the water for your shrimp to remove and eat. You will need a heater to maintain a temperature of 20-28°c. The pH should be 6.5-7.8ph. A filter is essential for keeping the aquarium clean. Bamboo Shrimp enjoy sponge filters because they can sit on them and use the current from the filter inlet when feeding. The filter outlet will likely create enough water movement throughout the tank. An air pump could help with this (and oxygenate the water) but a water pump would be excessive.
This species is a filter feeder. After finding a spot with a moderate current, they sit there and extend specialized appendages to extract any plant matter, microorganisms, or particulate fish food that moves past. If you watch closely, you’ll see them move these appendages to their mouth every couple of seconds. This is how they get the majority of their food, both in the wild and in the aquarium. Filter feeding is not a feature of all freshwater shrimp. This means that most of the time they can be left to their own devices. There should be food in the water column, especially if you’re adding food for fish. If the substrate gets disturbed, particulate food can be mixed up into the water column, providing extra food. This could happen while cleaning the tank or if a decoration is unearthed. Your shrimp will likely become more active during these times. Keeping plants in the tank also helps to ensure that there is some plant matter circulating through the aquarium.
Any food you add should be very fine. This could be dried foods like high-quality ground up flakes; frozen foods like daphnia, or live foods like brine shrimp nauplii or decapsulated eggs.
It’s rare that Bamboo Shrimp will search the bottom of the tank for food. It is usually a sign that there is no food in the water, so you should feed them more.This behaviour is particularly common in newly added shrimp because shops often starve their stock. You may have to feed them extra portions for the first few days.
These are incredibly peaceful crustaceans that can be kept with a wide array of tank mates. Natural populations would be used to living around a mixture of fish and other invertebrates, so they make great additions to a peaceful community aquarium in captivity. When choosing fish, stick to small-medium sized species. Shoaling species like Tetra, Danio, and Guppies are good options. Other mid-water swimmers include Gouramis and Bettas. To give your Bamboo Shrimp company in the lower regions, you could choose Yoyo Loaches, Kuhli Loaches, or Otocinclus Catfish. Avoid larger fish or cichlids because they will view shrimp as food.
Breeding / Sex
Breeding Bamboo Shrimp is no easy feat. This is not the species to choose if you want to start a shrimp breeding tank, Ghost Shrimp or Cherry Shrimp would make easier options. Perhaps the biggest problem is that juveniles need brackish water to develop properly, but adults cannot survive in brackish water. This makes transferal and acclimatisation of larvae to the brackish water difficult.