Discover what bamboo shrimps eat, how they eat, and what you can feed them in this informative guide.
What Do Bamboo Shrimps Eat?
Bamboo Shrimps are filter-feeders, so they filter feed from the water column and eat microorganisms, plant matter, and fish food particles. As long as the tank has enough plants and appropriate water current, they don’t need to be fed.
They have a special feature – their “Fan-like Hands,” which allows them to catch food from the surrounding water.
These fish are known by various common names like Flower Shrimp, Wood Shrimp, Fan Shrimp, and Singapore Shrimp. However, out of them, the Fan Shrimp is specifically because of their little fan-like hands.
How Do Bamboo Shrimps Eat?
The bamboo shrimps spend a significant time in the tank holding their baseball mitts like hands in front of them.
They first find a suitable spot in the tank where the water current is fairly strong.
Their preferable location can be a piece of driftwood or rock where they can cling.
You can also notice them at the top of the plants where the Hang On Back filter returns.
Or they can also be hiding beneath plants or other locations of the tank, provided the water current is adequate.
In general, they tend to prefer porous surfaces or ones with crevices.
They use their legs to cling to the crevices or pores, and the action begins. Like baseball catchers, they extend their fan-like appendages and start extracting organic matter and organisms floating in the water.
Every now and then, you will notice them bring their fans to their mouth and enjoy the meal. So that’s how these awesome shrimps eat.
Here’s a great video demonstrating how bamboo shrimps eat in the tank from the water column.
Since the rate at which bamboo shrimps intake food corresponds to the speed of the water current in the tank, it’s essential to have a good water flow.
Usually, bamboo shrimps prefer sponge filter as they can position themselves on it and use the water flow while feeding. The shrimps intercept the food particles that would have otherwise got sucked into the filter.
Why You Don’t Need To Worry About Feeding Bamboo Shrimps:
In their natural habitat, bamboo shrimps stay on rocks and tree roots. And there, they feed on algae, microorganisms, or bacteria that come carried with the water current.
Since bamboo shrimps can take food from the surrounding water, you don’t need to worry about feeding them.
If you add food for your fish in the tank, there should be enough food in the water column. Also, plant matter will circulate throughout the fish tank if there are plants.
They also enjoy it whenever aquarium gravels or substrates get stirred, and fine food particles are released into the water column.
So whenever you clean your tank or move decorations, expect your bamboo shrimp to be more active because it’s like feasting time they can’t miss – they’ll be like yum, yum, yum!
And likewise they can also become active when you do filter media cleaning or water changes.
In short, if there are enough plants in the tank and a suitable water current, you don’t have to worry about feeding the bamboo.
How To Know When Bamboo Shrimps Need Your Help In Feeding?
Unlike most shrimps that scavenge food on the tank bottom, the bamboo shrimps are filter feeders capturing food particles from the water column.
It’s rare to see bamboo shrimps searching for food at the tank bottom. And if they do so, that’s an indication that you need to intervene and feed them.
So if you find them picking in the substrate, it highlights that they are not finding adequate food in the tank.
Plants are one of the most crucial things to have in the tank of bamboo shrimps. In their natural habitat, they are well-adapted with a lot of vegetation.
So by adding plants, you make them feel at home and also make their job easier by finding food on their own using their fan-like hands.
The tiny parts of plants can break off and enter the tank water, where the bamboo shrimps remain ready to grab and munch on them.
But, if you don’t have enough plants in the tank and feel like they are not getting enough food, that’s also a case where you have to intervene and start feeding them.
What To Feed Bamboo Shrimps?
Generally, if bamboo shrimps are not getting enough food from the tank water, you can supplement their diet by adding finely ground algae wafers or other food.
Bamboo shrimps are typically omnivorous, so they don’t fuss too much about what to eat.
Remember that any food you give them should be very fine.
If you just try to feed them shrimp pellets directly, it won’t work that well. As filter feeders, they consume smaller food particles suspended in the tank water. So giving them powdered food is a must.
Here’s a list of food items that you can give to bamboo shrimps:
- Algae Wafers
- Baby Brine Shrimps
- Dried Foods like Ground-Up Flakes
- Frozen Foods like Daphnia
- Spirulina For Veggies
One thing to note while feeding algae wafers to bamboo shrimp is to soften them first.
You can use some drops of aquarium water and make a soft, light paste of algae wafers.
Then, you can drop it in the water current in front of the bamboo shrimp.
The algae wafer particles will eventually fill the water current; thus, your bamboo shrimp can easily grab and start munching.
In short, you don’t need to actively feed the bamboo shrimps. They feed microorganisms from the surrounding water using their fan-like appendages.
However, if they struggle to find enough food by filter feeding, adding supplementary foods like algae wafers is a good idea.
If you have enough plants in the tank and a good filter for adequate water current, you are good to go with these awesome shrimps!
1. Do Bamboo Shrimp Eat Algae?
Yes, bamboo shrimps eat algae. They use their fan-like hands to grab small microorganisms and algae and eat them. Due to their unique feeding technique, they can eat microorganisms and free-floating algae. However, you can’t expect them to clean the tank too much.
2. Will Bamboo Shrimp Eat Fish Fish Fry?
Generally, bamboo shrimp don’t harm any fish, including the fish fry, so it is safe to keep with a wide range of tank mates. Bamboo shrimps are peaceful, and mostly they keep to themselves, looking around for food and finding the right spot for filter feeding.
3. Do Bamboo Shrimp Eat Plants?
Bamboo shrimps don’t eat aquarium plants directly; instead, they use their filter-feeding technique to eat the tiny plant matter that breaks off and circulates in the tank water. So you can keep them with well-known aquarium plants.
4. Do Bamboo Shrimp Eat Other Shrimps?
Typically, bamboo shrimps don’t eat other shrimps in the tank, so you can add tank mates like cherry shrimps and ghost shrimps. Bamboo shrimps don’t have a predatory behavior; instead, they prefer filter feeding from the tank water column.
5. Are Bamboo Shrimps Bottom-Feeders?
No, Bamboo Shrimps are not bottom feeders; instead, they are filter feeders. They use their fan-like hands that work as mini-nets to capture particles from the water.
Hi! I’m Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of eFishkeeping.com. Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.