Bamboo Shrimp – A Complete Guide On This Freshwater Shrimp!

Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) graces freshwater aquariums with its enchanting presence, captivating enthusiasts through its distinctive appearance and mesmerizing filter-feeding behavior. Originating from the fast-flowing waters of Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Thailand, these graceful crustaceans showcase unusual fan-like appendages resembling bamboo leaves. Wood shrimp become delightful aquarium additions with transparent bodies and a penchant for anchoring to submerged structures. As serene filter feeders, they play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance of aquaAdd New Posttic ecosystems, offering aquarium enthusiasts a glimpse into the fascinating world of these remarkable freshwater crustaceans.
The underwater realm is a mysterious and captivating world filled with many fascinating creatures, each contributing to the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems. Among these unique inhabitants is the Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis), a species renowned for its distinctive appearance and intriguing behavior.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Bamboo Shrimp, exploring their natural habitat, physical characteristics, behavior, and breeding propensity and providing essential insights into their care in aquariums.

Bamboo Shrimp – Species Overview


Description Category
Family Atyidae
Scientific name Atyopsis moluccensis
Common name Bamboo Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Singapore Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, Mountain shrimp, Fan Shrimp, Moluccas Shrimp, Timber Shrimp, Asian Filter Shrimp, etc.
Origin South East Asia
Type Fresh Water
Color Form Brown, Yellow, reddish, greenish, creamy white, and blue
Diffiiculty Easy to Medium
Breeding Difficult
Max. Size about 3 inches (8 cms)
Life span 1 to 2 years
Temperament Peaceful
Diet Omnivores
Minimum Tank Size 10 gallon ( about 40 liters)
Temperature 15 – 26°C (59 – 80°F), ideal 24°C (76°F)
Acidity 6.5 to 7.5 pH
Hardness 5 – 8 dGH
Carbonates & Bicarbonates 0-10 dKH
Nitrate >20 ppm
Ammonia & Nitrite 0 ppm


About The Species – Fan Shrimp/Wood Shrimp

Wood Shrimps are one of the species of the Atyopsis; Atyopsis moluccensis trace their origins to Southeast Asia’s freshwater rivers and streams, predominantly in Indonesia and Thailand. 

Fenner Albert Chace Jr., a curator and zoologist, named 200 taxa in the Decapoda and Stomatopoda. One of the shrimp species he named in 1983 is the genus Atyopsis.

It was first discovered by Evolving in the high current waters of their native habitats; these intriguing crustaceans have adapted to thrive amidst dense vegetation and submerged branches. However, they prefer moderate water flow when kept in the aquarium tanks.

Their ability to forage through the substrate makes them one of the most sought-after members of the cleaning crew of the aquarium tank.


Natural Habitat-Asian Filter Feeding Shrimp

Native to the freshwater rivers and streams of Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, etc., Flower Shrimp find their habitat in the delicate ecosystem wherein the interplay of fast currents, dense vegetation, and submerged structures creates an ideal environment for their filter-feeding lifestyle. These discerning crustaceans position themselves strategically amidst lush vegetation and submerged branches while using their unique fan-like appendages for filter-feeding; they anchor themselves to engage in their distinctive behavior. 

The presence of underwater structures and the natural camouflage of these transparent creatures provide both shelter and a rich source of microscopic particles, contributing to the optimal conditions for the Rock Shrimp or Wood Shrimp to display their unique behavior and maintain their well-being.

The Bamboo Shrimp’s natural habitat is a delicate ecosystem where the interplay of fast currents, dense vegetation, and submerged structures creates an ideal environment for their filter-feeding lifestyle. While aquarium enthusiasts seek to recreate these conditions in aquariums, understanding the intricacies of their native homes becomes paramount. Replicating the Southeast Asian waterways ensures that the Flower Shrimp not only thrive physically but also exhibit their captivating behaviors, offering aquarists a glimpse into these remarkable crustaceans’ authentic and fascinating world.


Physical Characteristics – Bamboo Shrimp/Wood Shrimp

The Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) boasts a distinctive and visually striking appearance that sets it apart in freshwater aquariums. Characterized by transparent bodies, these shrimp showcase a range of colors from pale beige to darker brown, allowing for a clear view of their internal organs. However, the shrimp’s unique fan-like filtering appendages capture the attention of aquarium enthusiasts; these appendages resemble bamboo leaves, hence the name “Bamboo Shrimp.”

The large, bamboo leaf-shaped appendages extend elegantly, creating a surreal display as the shrimp methodically filters microscopic particles from the water. This feature defines their aesthetic appeal and serves a vital purpose in their submerged branches and vegetation natural habitat, where they anchor themselves efficiently to sift through the debris.

Flower shrimp are between 2 and 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters) and exhibit a size that adds to their allure. Generally, the male shrimp are smaller than their female counterparts. The graceful and deliberate movements of these shrimp, combined with their transparent bodies and distinct filtering apparatus, make them a mesmerizing addition to aquariums, offering enthusiasts a captivating glimpse into the unique beauty of these remarkable crustaceans.


Bamboo Shrimp – Lifespan

The lifespan of bamboo shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) in captivity typically ranges between 1 and 2 years, although some specimens may live slightly longer, even up to 3 years under optimal conditions. Like many freshwater shrimp, the lifespan of Filter feeding Shrimp is influenced by factors such as water quality, diet, and overall aquarium care. 

Maintaining stable water parameters, providing a balanced and nutritious diet, and ensuring a suitable environment with proper filtration and water flow contribute to the longevity of Bamboo Shrimp. As they age, these fascinating filter feeders may molt more frequently, a natural process essential for their growth and development. Regular observation and attention to their specific needs can help to ensure a healthy and fulfilling lifespan for Bamboo Shrimp in the aquarium.


Singapore Shrimp – Behavior

The behavior of Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) is a captivating spectacle that adds a unique charm to freshwater aquariums. These shrimp are renowned for their distinct filter-feeding technique, employing large, fan-like appendages to sift through microscopic particles in the water column. Positioned strategically, they actively catch and consume detritus, contributing to their nutrition and the maintenance of water quality in their natural habitat.
FIlter feeding Shrimp are generally peaceful and solitary creatures, preferring high-flowing waters with dense vegetation and substrates. In aquariums, their social behavior is characterized by a calm demeanor, making them suitable additions to community tanks. However, providing ample hiding spaces is crucial to prevent potential territorial disputes.
Overall, the behavior of Bamboo Shrimp is a harmonious blend of filter-feeding prowess, peaceful coexistence, and molting intricacies, making them a fascinating and rewarding species for aquarists to observe and appreciate.

Bamboo Shrimp Molting

The molting process of Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) is a fascinating and essential aspect of their life cycle, contributing to their growth and development. Like many crustaceans, Bamboo Shrimp undergo molting to accommodate their increasing size. The shrimp shed their exoskeleton during this intricate process, revealing a softer, more vulnerable new one underneath.

Molting is a carefully orchestrated dance of nature involving the secretion of enzymes that facilitate the separation of the old exoskeleton from the shrimp’s body. Once free, the shrimp emerges from its old exoskeleton, showcasing a delicate and freshly molted appearance. This newly molted state is vital for the shrimp’s growth, allowing them to expand and develop a larger exoskeleton to accommodate their growing size.

While molting is a natural and necessary phenomenon, it can also render the shrimp temporarily vulnerable. The post-molting period is crucial as the shrimp’s new exoskeleton is soft and pliable, making them more susceptible to stress and predation. Careful observation and consideration during this phase ensure the well-being of Bamboo Shrimp, adding to the allure and complexity of these captivating aquatic creatures in the aquarium setting.


Aquarium Care

Caring for bamboo shrimp in an aquarium requires attention to specific details to ensure their well-being and longevity. These unique freshwater crustaceans, known as wood shrimp, Singapore shrimp, Moluccas Shrimp, etc., thrive in well-established aquariums with stable water parameters. Maintaining clean water is crucial, as bamboo shrimp are highly sensitive to water quality, especially during molting. 

Although they live in strong water currents in their natural habitat, in aquarium tanks, they prefer a moderate water flow, and they often position themselves in areas with moderate currents, using specialized fan-like appendages to filter tiny particles from the water for food. Providing a substrate with fine particles allows them to sift through and feed more effectively. 

A varied diet is essential, and supplementing their meals with powdered or liquid invertebrate foods helps meet their nutritional needs. Monitoring water temperature, pH, and ammonia levels is necessary, as flower shrimp are sensitive to fluctuations. Overall, a well-maintained, mature aquarium with suitable conditions ensures the health and spirits of bamboo shrimp, creating an ideal environment for these fascinating creatures to thrive.


Tank Setup

plants and decors


Creating a suitable aquarium environment is crucial for the well-being of Bamboo Shrimp. A spacious tank with a minimum capacity of 10 gallons is recommended, allowing ample space for the shrimp to move and feed. Decorate the tank with live or artificial plants, driftwood, and other structures to replicate their natural habitat. Ensure the water flow is moderate, as Bamboo Shrimp prefer a strong current in their natural habitat and an average water flow in the tank.
Creating an optimal tank setup is paramount for the well-being of Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) in the aquarium environment. These graceful creatures thrive in carefully curated habitats that mimic their natural surroundings. They prefer the dark backdrop to the lighter one. Start with a spacious tank, ideally with a minimum capacity of 10 gallons, providing ample room for the shrimp to move and explore.
Incorporating elements reminiscent of their native Southeast Asian waters,  they love hardscapes and scrape algae and biofilms growing on these hardscapes, such as driftwood and other structures. Live plants, such as Java fern, Water Wisteria, Java Moss, etc., should be part of the tank decor. Bamboo Shrimp enjoy moderate to high current waters, so ensure the water movement is average to replicate their preferred conditions.


The substrate can be fine-grained, gravel, sand, or clay to accommodate their filter-feeding behavior without causing harm to their delicate filtering appendages. Maintaining a well-planted environment adds aesthetic appeal and provides essential hiding spots, promoting security for these peaceful shrimp.

Water Parameters

Maintain water parameters within the range of 72-78°F (22-26°C) with a slightly acidic to neutral pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Additionally, keep water hardness between 5-80 dGH and carbonates and bicarbonates 0-10 dKH.
Regular water testing and adjusting the pH, water hardness, and temperature are crucial, as Bamboo Shrimp are sensitive to changes in water conditions. With a thoughtful tank setup, enthusiasts can ensure a thriving and harmonious environment for these captivating filter-feeding shrimp.

Feeding Asian Filter Shrimp

Feeding filter shrimp in an aquarium involves catering to their unique filter-feeding habits. As the name goes by, these crustaceans are proficient filter feeders, utilizing specialized fan-like appendages to sift through water for microscopic particles. To ensure proper nutrition, providing a balanced and diverse diet is essential. Bamboo shrimp thrive on organic detritus, algae, and microorganisms in aquarium water. Supplementing their diet with powdered or liquid invertebrate foods ensures they receive the nutrients for optimal health and growth.
The aquarium should have a moderate water flow to facilitate their feeding behavior, as bamboo shrimp often position themselves in tank environments with moderate currents. Regular observation of their feeding patterns helps aquarists adjust their diet and maintain a suitable environment, fostering the overall well-being of these intriguing filter-feeding crustaceans.


Tank Mates for Bamboo Shrimp aka Singapore Shrimp


Choosing suitable tank mates for Asian Filter Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) involves selecting species that are peaceful, non-aggressive, and compatible with the unique filter-feeding behavior of these captivating crustaceans.
Bamboo Shrimp exhibit a calm and non-aggressive demeanor, lacking claws or pincers for self-defense. They prove compatible with various community tank inhabitants, including medium-sized tropical fish. It is not recommended to keep Bamboo Shrimp with Goldfish, Oscars, Jack Dempseys, or other cichlids due to potential issues. The predatory nature of these fish may pose a threat to the shrimp. Furthermore, Aquarium crayfish should be avoided as tank companions, as they have been known to attack and consume Bamboo Shrimp, potentially jeopardizing their well-being.
Ten tank mates can coexist harmoniously with Bamboo Shrimp in a well-maintained aquarium.

Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)

The blend of Neon Tetras and Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium can create a visually stunning and dynamic aquatic community. With their vibrant blue and red hues, Neon Tetras add a lively and colorful dimension to the tank. Paired with the unique filter-feeding behavior of Bamboo Shrimp, the aquarium becomes a captivating display of contrasting movements and colors. 

These two species generally coexist harmoniously, as Neon Tetras are known for their peaceful nature and small size, while Bamboo Shrimp are non-aggressive. It is essential to maintain stable water conditions with a gentle water flow for the well-being of both species. Providing a well-balanced diet that meets the nutritional needs of Neon Tetras and Bamboo Shrimp contributes to this captivating aquarium combination’s overall health and vibrancy, offering aquarists a delightful glimpse into the diverse and interconnected world of freshwater aquatic life.


Ember Tetras

Ember Tetra - hyphessobrycon amandae
Combining Ember Tetras with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium can create a harmonious and visually appealing aquatic environment. Ember Tetras, known for their vibrant orange and red hues, add more life to the tank, while Bamboo Shrimp contributes a unique and fascinating filter-feeding behavior.
Like Neon Tetra, these two species can generally coexist nicely, as Ember Tetras are peaceful and small, and Bamboo Shrimp are non-aggressive. However, it’s crucial to consider the specific needs of both species. Ember Tetras prefer slightly warmer water with well-maintained parameters, while Bamboo Shrimp thrive in stable water conditions with high to moderate currents. Additionally, a varied diet ensures both Ember Tetras and Bamboo Shrimp receive the necessary nutrients. This combination can offer aquarists a captivating and diverse display of aquatic life in a well-maintained and appropriately decorated tank.

Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

These schooling fish are known for their peaceful nature, making them ideal companions for Bamboo Shrimp in a community tank.

Introducing the graceful Harlequin Rasbora alongside the intriguing Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium can create a captivating and harmonious aquatic display. The subtle bronze with the black wedges of the Harlequin Rasbora, coupled with its schooling behavior, provide an energetic and visually appealing contrast to the more subdued and filter-feeding Bamboo Shrimp. 

Harlequin Rasboras are known for their peaceful disposition, and Bamboo Shrimp are non-aggressive. Maintaining stable water conditions with moderate to gentle currents is crucial for the health and comfort of both species. Harlequin Rasboras enjoy swimming in the mid to upper levels of the tank, while Bamboo Shrimp may position themselves in areas with moderate currents for efficient filter feeding. A well-designed aquarium with suitable hiding spots and a varied diet that meets the nutritional needs of both species ensures a vibrant and thriving aquatic community for enthusiasts to enjoy.


Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras sp.)

Combining Corydoras catfish with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium can create a captivating and diverse underwater ecosystem. With their playful and social nature, Corydoras add lively activity to the lower levels of the tank. 

These catfish are known for their distinctive appearance, often featuring striking patterns and a unique armored appearance. Bamboo Shrimp offer a contrasting yet complementary presence with their intriguing appearance and filter-feeding behavior. Both species are generally compatible, as Corydoras are peaceful, and Bamboo Shrimp are non-aggressive. 

Maintaining stable water conditions, including a suitable substrate for the Corydoras to sift through, is essential for their well-being. Additionally, providing hiding spots and a gentle to moderate water flow contributes to the overall comfort of both Corydoras and Bamboo Shrimp. As both are bottom feeders, a balanced diet that addresses the specific nutritional needs of each species ensures a thriving and visually appealing aquarium community, showcasing the beauty of these unique freshwater inhabitants.


Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp.) 

Combining Otocinclus Catfish, specifically Otocinclus sp., with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium offers a harmonious blend of distinct aquatic personalities. Otocinclus Catfish are renowned for their small size, peaceful demeanor, and efficient algae-cleaning habits, making them excellent tank companions. 

Their presence at the bottom of the tank complements the filter-feeding behavior of Bamboo Shrimp, creating a dynamic and visually engaging underwater environment. 

Otocinclus Catfish thrive in planted tanks with stable water conditions, and their compatibility with Bamboo Shrimp stems from their non-aggressive nature. Both species contribute to a well-balanced ecosystem, with Otocinclus maintaining the tank’s cleanliness and Bamboo Shrimp adding a fascinating filter-feeding aspect. 

Providing a suitable substrate, ample hiding spaces, and a varied diet ensure the overall well-being of this captivating combination, making it a delightful addition for aquarium enthusiasts.


Dwarf Gouramis (Trichogaster lalius)

Pairing Dwarf Gouramis with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium introduces a captivating blend of vibrant colors and unique behaviors. Dwarf Gouramis, known for their striking hues and peaceful disposition, make excellent tank mates for Bamboo Shrimp. 

The gouramis’ mid to upper-level swimming behavior complements the filter-feeding activity of the shrimp, creating a visually dynamic underwater scene. Both species generally coexist harmoniously, given that Dwarf Gouramis are not aggressive and Bamboo Shrimp do not possess defensive mechanisms. 

Maintaining stable water conditions and providing adequate hiding spots for the shrimp ensures their comfort. Additionally, a varied diet meeting the nutritional needs of both Dwarf Gouramis and Bamboo Shrimp contributes to the overall health and vitality of the aquarium community. This combination offers aquarium enthusiasts a delightful and diverse display, showcasing the beauty and interaction of these fascinating freshwater inhabitants.


Bristlenose Plecos (Ancistrus sp.) 

Introducing Bristlenose Plecos, specifically Ancistrus sp., to an aquarium alongside Bamboo Shrimp creates a dynamic and visually appealing aquatic community. Bristlenose Plecos, known for their distinctive appearance and algae-cleaning abilities, are excellent companions for Bamboo Shrimp. 

The Plecos, with their bottom-dwelling nature, complement the filter-feeding behavior of the shrimp, resulting in a well-balanced ecosystem. 

Both species are generally peaceful and can coexist harmoniously, given appropriate tank conditions. Bristlenose Plecos require stable water parameters, and providing suitable hiding spots, such as caves or driftwood, enhances their well-being. Bamboo Shrimp benefit from a moderate water flow and a varied diet to thrive. 

Together, Bristlenose Plecos and Bamboo Shrimp offer aquarium enthusiasts a captivating display of contrasting behaviors and contribute to the overall health and vibrancy of the underwater environment.


White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes) 


White Cloud Mountain Minnow

These small and peaceful schooling fish thrive in similar water conditions, making them compatible companions for Bamboo Shrimp.

Combining White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes) with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium creates a visually appealing and harmonious aquatic setting. White Cloud Mountain Minnows, with their shimmering silver bodies and red fins, add lively movement to the upper levels of the tank. 

Their small size and peaceful demeanor make them compatible tank mates for the filter-feeding Bamboo Shrimp. These two species generally coexist well, as White Clouds are not aggressive, and Bamboo Shrimp lack defensive mechanisms. 

Maintaining stable water conditions with a moderate current is essential for the comfort of both species. White Cloud Mountain Minnows appreciate a well-planted tank, providing additional hiding spots for Bamboo Shrimp, and a varied diet ensures the nutritional needs of both species are met. This combination offers aquarium enthusiasts an engaging and diverse display, showcasing the beauty and compatibility of these unique freshwater inhabitants.


Snails (Neritina sp.) 

Pairing snails freshwater snails, such as Nerite snails, Malaysian trumpet snails, Ramshorn snails, Ivory snails, etc., with Bamboo Shrimp in an aquarium creates exciting and mutually beneficial dynamics within the aquatic environment. 

Snails, often appreciated for their algae-cleaning capabilities, contribute to maintaining a clean tank by consuming excess algae and organic debris. Bamboo Shrimp, with their filter-feeding behavior, focus on extracting microscopic particles from the water, complementing the snails’ role in keeping surfaces free of algae. 

Both species are generally peaceful and can coexist harmoniously in a well-maintained tank. Providing adequate hiding spots and a suitable substrate for the snails is essential, as they may benefit from these features. Monitoring water conditions, including temperature and quality, ensures the health and well-being of both snails and Bamboo Shrimp. This combination not only aids in maintaining a balanced ecosystem but also offers aquarists an intriguing display of diverse aquatic life in their tank.


Other Shrimps 

Introducing Bamboo Shrimp to an aquarium alongside other shrimp species can create a fascinating and diverse community. Bamboo Shrimp, with their unique filter-feeding behavior, often coexist peacefully with other shrimp with similar temperaments. 

Popular choices for tankmates include smaller and non-aggressive species such as Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, or Ghost Shrimp. Ensuring an appropriate environment with stable water conditions, moderate water flow, and sufficient hiding spots is essential for the well-being of all shrimp species. 

While Bamboo Shrimp do not possess defensive mechanisms, the overall success of this combination depends on the specific needs and compatibility of the shrimp species involved. A varied and balanced diet ensures that each shrimp species receives the nutrients for optimal health, contributing to a vibrant and harmonious underwater community. Regular observation and consideration of individual species’ requirements enhance the likelihood of a successful and thriving multi-shrimp tank setup.


Breeding Bamboo Shrimp

Breeding Bamboo Shrimp (Atyopsis moluccensis) in captivity can be a challenging yet rewarding endeavor for dedicated aquarium enthusiasts. Successfully rearing Bamboo Shrimp requires careful attention to their specific needs and behaviors; like Amano Shrimp, Bamboo Shrimp needs brackish water for their larva. From the egg to larva to shrimplets, it goes through many developmental stages to become shrimps.

The issue is not only the need for saltwater for larvae; the adult shrimp can’t survive in the saltwater. In their natural habitat, the eggs are swept down to the Estuary, Coves, Creeks, etc., where they develop into shrimplets before swimming back to upstream freshwaters. 

Breeding Bamboo Shrimp in Captivity

Many aquarists have tried to produce Bamboo shrimp postlarvae; however, challenges persist, including inconsistencies in larval stages, the duration of development, nutritional needs, environmental conditions, and morphological transformations throughout the larval life cycle. 

Although there are anecdotal reports of successful captive breeding by certain shrimp breeders, more substantial evidence is needed to verify such claims.

The intricacies in replicating the Bamboo shrimp’s natural reproductive processes within captivity underscore the ongoing predominance of sourcing these unique shrimp from their native habitats.

Introducing a mature pair of Bamboo Shrimp into the breeding tank may increase the likelihood of successful reproduction. Remember that breeding in captivity can be unpredictable, and patience is vital. Observing their natural behaviors, such as increased feeding and molting activity, can be indicators that the breeding conditions are suitable. It’s essential to provide a varied diet rich in microorganisms and planktonic particles to meet the nutritional needs of both adults and potential offspring.

Female shrimp molting and tank setup

Shortly following molting, the female Bamboo Shrimp prepares for mating and spawning. Carrying up to 2000 fertilized eggs for approximately 30 days, the female releases them into the water. These eggs metamorphose into larvae, known as nauplii, undergoing various developmental stages before maturing into juvenile shrimp. You want to establish a separate tank with specific water parameters to facilitate this intricate process.

Utilizing a spawning mop can assist in capturing the eggs, which can then be transferred to a designated breeding tank; this facilitates the hatching and subsequent developmental stages until the nauplii evolve into juvenile shrimp. This entire reproductive cycle demands meticulous attention to water quality, the proper configuration of the tank, and a well-rounded diet to ensure the shrimp’s successful reproduction.


Final Thoughts – Bamboo Shrimp

Bamboo Shrimp are captivating creatures that add a unique charm to freshwater aquariums. Their distinctive appearance, filter-feeding behavior, and peaceful nature make them an excellent choice for hobbyists seeking an intriguing and visually appealing addition to their tanks. By understanding and replicating their natural habitat, providing suitable care, and creating an optimal environment, aquarists can enjoy the beauty and grace of Bamboo Shrimp while contributing to the well-being of these remarkable crustaceans in captivity.

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