Bamboo Shrimp: Lifespan, Behavior, Care, & Breeding

Bamboo Shrimp (sometimes also known as Wood Shrimp, Flower Shrimp or Fan Shrimp) is a freshwater shrimp species originating from volcanic islands of South Asia. These shrimps are pretty unique with behavior, characteristics, and colorfulness. They’re not very demanding except for some basic requirements like moderate water current since they’re a filter feeding species. They’re relatively small so that they won’t require a large tank. They are a very peaceful freshwater shrimp, and that’s one more reason to pick them up – even if you’re a beginner, they won’t be too hard to maintain. If you’re searching for some great additions for your peaceful aquarium community, you need not look any further. Now, let’s take a more in-depth look into what makes Bamboo Shrimp so special and rewarding to have.

Bamboo Shrimp Lifespan & Size

Bamboo Shrimp is a relatively small creature; it’s a little bit bigger than your average Dwarf Shrimp for comparison. They’re known to grow up to 5 inches at best, although most of them will be between 3-4.5 inches in size. Females are slightly larger than males. As for their lifespan, you can expect them to live 2-3 years in captivity. Overall, they’re pretty flexible and can be used with smaller tanks.

Behavior & Characteristics

Bamboo Shrimps are small creatures with no claws, which makes them peaceful and non-aggressive. They won’t annoy other fish at all. However, if you keep aggressive, carnivorous fish they might try to abuse and even eat your shrimps, so make sure you keep them strictly within peaceful communities.


They are mostly brown in color with a single, highlighted white stripe across their back. However, they also display red, orange, yellow, green and even blue colors, especially after molting. This makes them melt beautifully with the aquarium environment providing you with an awesome new display.

Unique Feeding Process

Ah, here comes the fun part. What makes Bamboo Shrimp special is its unique behavior. More specifically – their feeding process is really unique and entertaining to spectate. They have small, feather-like fans that they use as filtering tools to gather food and consume it.

Bamboo Shrimps are filter-feeding creatures which mean they consume food by filtering small food particles (leftover food, algae, plant debris, micro-organisms, etc.) from the water current and consume it as food. This will often lead them to search for food in really weird places, usually where the strongest current is. It’s very fun to watch them constantly reposition themselves to get the best angle to catch their food from the current. During this process, they’re very flexible, and you can often find them hanging down from the plants just because it gives them the best angle – cool, isn’t it? Sometimes they will even search the surface for leftover foods to eat.

If you pair them with other Bamboo Shrimps, you may notice that they all hang around the same area. The reason this happens is simple – they found the best place to feed with intense water current, and they love it! Despite this, they still remain calm and peaceful with each other; they won’t fight for territorial dominance. Instead, they will gracefully move and reposition themselves in case they’re bothering each other – food is their only goal. Observing this peaceful shrimp community just doing their thing is perhaps the best part about keeping them.


Change is Good

Here’s another very special thing that Bamboo Shrimps do – in order to grow, they shed their old exoskeleton and come out with brand new, fresh body. This process is called molting and shrimps just love doing that. It happens usually every 2-3 months and you they will give you a sign when they’re about to molt. Since the process of molting makes them very vulnerable, they will seek cover and privacy in order to stay away from any prey that might disturb them. You will notice your Bamboo Shrimp is becoming passive, trying to hide in different places and shortly after that (a day or two), it will begin to molt. If you want to give them the best experience, make sure your aquarium has a lot of plants, rocks and driftwood or more specifically – caves or caverns where they can hide and molt in peace.

When this process is over, their old skeleton will remain in the tank, you can either remove it or let other shrimps consume it as they sometimes do. After molting, your Bamboo Shrimp may have changed it’s color a little bit – so pay attention and see what kind of attractive change have they gone through. They will remain passive for a few days so just make sure you feed them a lot and give them enough space to grow their new bodies fully.


As mentioned earlier, Bamboo Shrimps are a filter feeding specie, so they will mostly just seek for leftover food parts within strong water currents. However, they may sometimes search the surface for foods. This is often a sign of hunger and desperation so if you notice your shrimp doing that, make sure you throw in some additional food for it as it probably means that he’s starving. Here’s some additional foods you can serve them:

  • Pellets
  • Algae powder
  • Baby shrimp foods
  • Flakes

This food will keep your shrimp well-fed and happy. Just keep in mind for hunger signs and provide them with some extra food if you do notice them.

Bamboo Shrimp Care & Housing

Bamboo Shrimps are relatively undemanding creatures and won’t require any special conditions to thrive. However, one thing that you want to give them is moderate/strong water current, so they can use it to feed themselves. Apart from that, you can have regular aquarium settings such as:

  • At least 15 gallon tank
  • Moderate lighting
  • Temperature of 75-83 °F (24-28 °C)
  • pH 6 – 7.5

One thing you should note – since they’re molting species, provide them with lots of hiding spots that they can use to molt safely. This means you will have to use plenty of wood, rocks & plants to create a cover for them.

And the last reminder that we already touched upon keep them away from aggressive fish and stick to the peaceful communities.

Bamboo Shrimp Breeding & Reproduction

It’s possible to breed your Bamboo Shrimp in captivity, but it appears to be a very difficult task to pull off. The reason it’s so hard to get them to reproduce is that their eggs go through larvae stage that requires brackish water to survive and fully develop. They require salt levels of about 120 grams per gallon and specific food until they’re fully grown to adult shrimp.

The best way to get them to reproduce is to have a secondary tank with brackish water. To pull this off, you will have to pull the eggs out right after spawning and transfer them to the secondary tank. Here you can treat them with specific care until they’re fully grown shrimp. After that, you may return them to the original, freshwater tank.


Bamboo Shrimp is one of those creatures that will not disappoint you in any way. They’re colorful, entertaining, peaceful and easy to take care of. If you’re looking for some awesome additions for your aquarium, make sure you give Bamboo Shrimps a fair shot!