Bamboo Shrimp

The Atyopsis moluccensis, commonly known as the Bamboo Shrimp, fan shrimp, Singapore Flower shrimp, wood shrimp, flower shrimp, is a captivating freshwater invertebrate that has gained immense popularity among aquarists. Its unique appearance, peaceful nature, and intriguing behavior make it a desirable addition to any aquarium. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the size and appearance, region, behavior, diet, and optimal care techniques for keeping Atyopsis moluccensis in your home aquarium.


The Bamboo Shrimp boasts an impressive size, with adults typically reaching around 8 to 10 centimeters (3 to 4 inches) in length. Its body is slender, elongated, and adorned with a remarkable set of feathery appendages called pleopods. These fan-like hands stand out the most and these pleopods resemble bamboo, hence the common name of the species. The pleopods are often a vibrant shade of red or pink, creating a stunning contrast against the shrimp’s translucent body. The pleopods act as small nets that can be used to catch small particles and organisms from the water to eat. It’s very mesmerizing to watch these in action, and it’s one of the reasons we like this species so much!


Originally hailing from Southeast Asia, Atyopsis moluccensis can be found in cool, fast-flowing freshwater mountain rivers and streams of the Maluku islands in Malaysia, hence the name moluccensis. But they are also found in Sri Lanka and Thailand. It is important to note that the Bamboo Shrimp is a sensitive species that thrives in stable water conditions, so replicating its natural habitat in an aquarium is crucial for its well-being.


They are fun because they are always busy looking for food, filtering the water. It can even be meditative to watch this continuously ongoing interesting behavior. The Bamboo Shrimp is a peaceful and solitary creature that spends its time perched on rocks or plants, utilizing its fan-like pleopods to filter feed. These shrimp possess a mesmerizing feeding behavior, extending their pleopods into the water column, capturing tiny particles and microorganisms for sustenance. Their gentle movements and delicate feeding mechanisms make them a joy to observe in an aquarium setting. Often they use their fans sweeping surfaces of plants and rocks looking like they are vacuuming the surface. When cleaning your tank or you have fish that dwell in the sand expect to see the Bamboo Shrimp up close and personal to the action to catch any released food particles.


Being primarily filter feeders, Atyopsis moluccensis relies on a constant supply of microscopic food particles in the water. In the wild, they consume algae, plankton, and other organic matter. To mimic their natural diet in a home aquarium, provide a well-established tank with ample live plants and biofilm, which will serve as a constant source of sustenance for the shrimp. Additionally, you can supplement their diet with high-quality commercial shrimp foods and powdered algae or spirulina-based supplements.

Keeping Bamboo Shrimp at home

When creating a suitable habitat for Bamboo Shrimp in your aquarium, there are a few key considerations. Firstly, ensure your tank is spacious enough to accommodate their size and provide ample swimming and climbing areas. A tank size of at least 40 Liters (10 gallons) is recommended for a single Bamboo Shrimp. Provide a lot of plants because of their feeding habit and because they are used to a lot of vegetation in their natural habitat.

Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for their well-being. Aim for a temperature range of 15-26 degrees Celsius (59-79 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pH level of 6.5-8.0. Ammonia and nitrite levels should be kept at zero, and nitrate levels should be below 20 ppm. Regular water changes and diligent filtration will help maintain optimal water quality.

Compatibility is another vital aspect to consider when keeping Bamboo Shrimp. They are generally peaceful but can be easily outcompeted for food by more aggressive tankmates. Opt for calm and non-predatory fish species like small tetras, rasboras, or peaceful dwarf cichlids as suitable tankmates. Avoid housing them with fin-nipping or overly territorial fish.

By providing them with a well-maintained aquarium, suitable tankmates, and a balanced diet, you can enjoy the beauty and serenity they bring to your aquatic setup. As always, remember to research and understand the specific needs of this species before embarking on your Bamboo Shrimp-keeping journey.

Scientific nameAtyopsis moluccensis
Type of aquariumFreshwater aquarium
Size8-10 centimeters / 3-4 inches
RegionSoutheast Asia
Ideal tank sizeAt least 40 liters / 10 gallons is recommended for a single Bamboo Shrimp.
Ideal water temperature15-26 °C / 59-79 °F
pH6.5 – 8.0
DietFilter feeders
Life spanUnfortunately short, 1 to 2 years, but that is a normal range for shrimp.


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