Bamboo Shrimp vs. Other Shrimp Species – What’s the Difference?

Fact Checked by
Sheldon Myers, MS / Aquarist


If you’re an aquarium enthusiast, you’ve probably heard about the growing popularity of freshwater shrimp as additions to home aquariums. With a variety of species to choose from, it’s essential to understand the differences between them before making a decision. In this article, we’ll explore the Bamboo Shrimp and compare it to other popular shrimp species, including Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, and Ghost Shrimp. Let’s dive in!

Bamboo Shrimp: A Brief Overview

What are Bamboo Shrimp?

Bamboo Shrimp, also known as Wood Shrimp or Asian Filter Shrimp, are a unique and fascinating species of freshwater shrimp. Scientifically called Atyopsis moluccensis, these shrimp are known for their fan-like appendages, which they use to filter-feed on microorganisms in the water.

Habitat and Distribution

Bamboo Shrimp are native to Southeast Asia and can be found in fast-flowing rivers and streams. They prefer areas with strong currents and rocky substrates, which provide ideal conditions for filter-feeding.

Other Popular Shrimp Species

Cherry Shrimp

Cherry Shrimp, or Neocaridina davidi, are small, colorful shrimp native to Taiwan. They come in various colors, with the most popular being the vibrant red Cherry Shrimp. They are excellent scavengers and will consume algae and detritus, helping to keep your aquarium clean.

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp, or Caridina multidentata, are native to Japan and are widely recognized for their exceptional algae-eating abilities. Named after the famous Japanese aquarist Takashi Amano, these shrimp are larger than Cherry Shrimp and have a more translucent, grayish color.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp, or Palaemonetes paludosus, are small, translucent shrimp native to North America. They are named for their almost invisible appearance, making them great additions to an aquarium if you prefer a more subtle shrimp species.

Comparing Bamboo Shrimp with Other Shrimp Species

bamboo shrimp
bamboo shrimp

Appearance and Size

Bamboo Shrimp are one of the largest freshwater shrimp species, reaching lengths of up to 5 inches. They have a brownish-red color with white stripes and fan-like appendages. In contrast, Cherry Shrimp are much smaller, only reaching about 1.5 inches, with a bright red color. Amano Shrimp are slightly larger than Cherry Shrimp, reaching 2 inches in length, with a more transparent appearance. Ghost Shrimp are the smallest of the group, growing up to 1.5 inches, and are characterized by their translucent bodies.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Bamboo Shrimp are filter-feeders, using their specialized appendages to catch microorganisms in the water column. They require a constant supply of fine particles to thrive and are not known to consume algae. Cherry Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, and Ghost Shrimp are all scavengers, eating algae, detritus, and leftover food in the aquarium. Amano Shrimp are particularly famous for their algae-eating prowess.

Behavior and Temperament

Bamboo Shrimp are peaceful, non-aggressive shrimp that prefer to spend their time perched on rocks or driftwood, filter-feeding. They can be shy and may hide when first introduced to an aquarium. Cherry, Amano, and Ghost Shrimp are also peaceful and can coexist with other non-aggressive tank mates. They are more active, constantly scavenging for food on the substrate or plants.

Lifespan and Reproduction

Bamboo Shrimp have a lifespan of 2-3 years, while Cherry and Amano Shrimp live for around 1-2 years. Ghost Shrimp have the shortest lifespan, typically living less than a year. Breeding Bamboo Shrimp in a home aquarium is challenging, as their larvae require brackish water to develop. Cherry Shrimp are the easiest to breed, as they give birth to fully developed young, while Amano and Ghost Shrimp produce larvae that need specialized care to survive.

Caring for Bamboo Shrimp in Your Aquarium

Tank Setup and Requirements

Bamboo Shrimp require a well-established aquarium with a stable water environment. A minimum tank size of 20 gallons is recommended, with a strong water current to mimic their natural habitat. Provide plenty of hiding spots with rocks, driftwood, and plants.

Feeding Bamboo Shrimp

To ensure your Bamboo Shrimp receive enough nutrients, you may need to supplement their diet with powdered foods designed for filter-feeders. This can be done by directly adding the food to the water column or using a turkey baster to target-feed your shrimp.

Tank Mates and Compatibility

Bamboo Shrimp are compatible with other peaceful shrimp species, such as Cherry, Amano, and Ghost Shrimp. They can also coexist with small, non-aggressive fish species. Avoid keeping them with aggressive or predatory fish, as they may become stressed or targeted.


Bamboo Shrimp are a unique and fascinating addition to any freshwater aquarium. While they may require more specialized care than other shrimp species, their peaceful nature and intriguing filter-feeding behavior make them worth the effort. By understanding the differences between Bamboo Shrimp and other popular shrimp species, you can make an informed decision on which shrimp are best suited for your aquarium.


1. Can Bamboo Shrimp live with other shrimp species?

Yes, Bamboo Shrimp can live with other peaceful shrimp species, such as Cherry, Amano, and Ghost Shrimp.

2. How big do Bamboo Shrimp get?

Bamboo Shrimp can grow up to 5 inches in length, making them one of the largest freshwater shrimp species.

3. What do Bamboo Shrimp eat?

Bamboo Shrimp are filter-feeders, consuming microorganisms found in the water column. They may require supplemental feeding with powdered foods designed for filter-feeders.

4. Can Bamboo Shrimp breed in a home aquarium?

Breeding Bamboo Shrimp in a home aquarium is challenging because their larvae require brackish water conditions to develop. It is not common for Bamboo Shrimp to successfully breed in a home aquarium.

5. How long do Bamboo Shrimp live?

Bamboo Shrimp typically have a lifespan of 2-3 years when kept in a suitable aquarium environment.

Elliot Galindo
Elliot Galindo
Elliot Galindo is a highly educated expert on freshwater shrimp and their care as pets. He received his Bachelor's degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon and has used that knowledge to become an authority on shrimp care.



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