Known to science as Atyopsis Moluccensis, the bamboo shrimp has long been a popular choice with aquarium hobbyists. This fascinating creature is native to Southeast Asia, but the aquarium trade has brought it into homes all over the world. When this filter shrimp was first introduced to the aquarium hobby it could be difficult to find, but these days bamboo shrimps are available at many local pet stores and even large pet superstores.
Bamboo Shrimp Profile Facts:
- Species name: Atyopsis Moluccensis
- Common names: Bamboo Shrimp, Asian Filter Shrimp, Fan Shrimp, Wood Shrimp
- Family: Atyidae
- Order: Decapoda
- Class: Malacostraca
- Maximum length: 4-5 inches
- Minimum tank size: 20 gallons
- Hardiness: easy
- Aggressiveness: Peaceful
- Distribution: Southeast Asia
- Diet: Filter feeder shrimp.
Unlike many other varieties of shrimp for the home aquarium, bamboo shrimp are filter feeders. What this means for the hobbyist is that these shrimp need a steady current in the aquarium in order to feed properly. Other than that this shrimp is a fairly undemanding and uncomplicated species. Unlike more delicate species the bamboo shrimp is able to tolerate a fairly wide range of temperatures, pH levels, and water quality compositions. Even so, these shrimps prefer a neutral to somewhat high pH level, and hobbyists who are able to accommodate those needs will generally meet with more success than those who ignore them. And as with all species of shrimp, it is important for bamboo shrimp owners to avoid the use of any aquatic medication that contains copper. Copper is quite toxic to this shrimp, and even a small amount could wipe out the entire colony.
The unique feeding technique of the bamboo shrimp means that hobbyists will also need to supply it with a special diet. If supplemental feedings are required it is important to use a food designed for filter feeding invertebrates. Powdered algae can be a good food source as well.
The good news is that in a large well-established tank these shrimps may not need any supplemental feeding. Bamboo shrimps are quite good at swimming through the current in the tank in search of uneaten food, decaying plant matter and other sources of food. Bamboo shrimps will also happily eat algae right off the aquarium glass, and many hobbyists find that introducing a colony of these shrimps is a very effective way to keep algae at bay. If these shrimps are seen picking through the gravel on the bottom of the tank it is a sign that they may not be getting enough food and that supplemental feeding will be necessary.
Bamboo shrimps will often be seen hanging out in the highest flow areas of the tank, often huddled around an air stone or the outflow of a strong power filter. Once they have found their place they may not move for hours as they filter food from the surrounding water. Only when the bamboo shrimp feels threatened will it retreat to a hiding place, only to reappear once the threat has passed.
The Asian filter shrimp is a notoriously difficult species to breed, and there have been relatively few successful attempts since the species was introduced to the home aquarium hobby. Most bamboo shrimps sold in pet stores are captured in their native Southeast Asia and shipped to stores around the world.