Vampire Shrimp vs Bamboo Shrimp

Vampire Shrimp vs Bamboo Shrimp

Vampire shrimp and bamboo shrimps are the two commonly found types of aquarium pets. Both of them have different colors, sizes, behaviors, natural habitats, food requirements, tank mates, and other characteristics.

Vampire Shrimp vs Bamboo Shrimp

 Shrimps are amongst the most popular aquatic pets to keep at home because of their beauty and easy to take care of nature. There are 300 different species and variations in colors, size, food habits, and other traits. 

We will present the characteristics-wise comparison of these two species for aquatic pet lovers to choose any one of them for their aquarium according to their choice.

Comparison chart about Vampire Shrimp vs Bamboo Shrimp

Features Vampire Shrimp Bamboo Shrimp
Scientific Name Atya gabonensis Atyopsis moluccensis
Other Names Giant African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, and Gabon Shrimp Wood Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, and Asian Fan Shrimp
Natural Habitat Western Africa (Senegal to Congo), South America (Venezuela to Brazil) Southeast Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia)
Size 3-5 inches 2-3 inches
Food Group Detritivore /omnivore Detritivore /omnivore
Colors light blue, dark blue, pink, green, reddish-brown dark red, woody brown, green, orange, yellow
Care Level Easy Easy
Breeding Very Difficult Very Difficult
Behavior Peaceful/non-aggressive Peaceful/non-aggressive
Lifespan ~5 years ~1-2 years
Tank Size 15-20 gallons 15-20 gallons
Tank Mates Non-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snails Non-aggressive small fish, dwarf shrimps, and snails
Temperature 24 – 28°C  (~75°F – 84°F) 20 – 25°C  (~68°F – 77°F)
PH 6.5 – 7.5 6.5 – 7.5
TDS 150 – 200 (100-300) 150 – 200 (100-300)
Ammonia 0 0
Nitrate Less than 20ppm Less than 20ppm
Nitrite 0 0
Price Costly Affordable
Body structure Longer and bulkier Thinner and shorter

Scientific Name

Bamboo shrimp has the scientific name Atyopsis moluccensis. However, they are commonly known as Wood Shrimp, Flower Shrimp, Marble Shrimp, and Asian Fan Shrimp.

The scientific name of the Vampire shrimp is Atya gabonensis. It has many famous names like Giant African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, Gabon Shrimp. 

Size of Vampire shrimp and Bamboo Shrimp

Vampire shrimps contain a slightly larger size as compare to bamboo shrimps. Adult bamboo shrimps can grow up to an average length of 2-3 inches, while their maximum length is 04 inches in an aquarium.

Vampire shrimps have a 3-5 inches average size. However, you will find some of them 06 inches long. You can choose either of them according to your tank area and the number of pets you want to keep in there.  

Physical Appearance

Both of these shrimps have beautiful appearance because of their colors. Baby bamboo shrimp have a brownish skin color, while adult ones have various colors from dark red to woody brown, with a variation of green, orange or yellow.

They have three pairs of fan-like appendages to filter food, two long antennas on the head for sensing purposes, and compound eyes. They have a thinner physique and softer exoskeleton. 

Vampire shrimps can change colors with every molt. They have various colors ranging from light blue, dark blue, pink, green, reddish-brown. They have a bulky body with a hard shell as compared to other freshwater shrimps. They have also fanned arms to filter food from water and a pair of sensory antennas. Many people like to keep blue velvet shrimps.

Natural Habitat

You can find the Bamboo shrimp in freshwater sources like rivers in South East Asia. They are native to the countries of Singapore, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

They like the heavy current flow of water in their natural habitat as well as in the aquarium. Dense plantation along with rocks help them to hide and filter their food from the sand.

Vampire shrimp are also freshwater organisms and reside in Western Africa and South America. Their native regions are areas between Senegal to Congo (Africa) and Venezuela to Brazil (South America). They like to hide in thick vegetation and the roots of mangrove trees.  


Both Vampire and Bamboo shrimps are peaceful and non-aggressive living organisms as they have no claws or fangs to harm other aquatic creatures like fish, etc.

However, Vampire shrimp are more docile and shy as compared to Bamboo shrimps. They do not like to eat or come out in daylight. If they get scared for some reason, they will hide under the rocks or plants and won’t come out for days. 

On the other hand, Bamboo shrimp like to swim in high current flow and remain active both day and night. They can also eat in plain sight during daylight or night without any hesitation. Both of them like to live in groups.  

Eating habits

Both Bamboo shrimp and Vampire shrimp are omnivores in their natural habitat and have the same eating habits. However, Vampires have more diverse food charts as compared to Bamboos.

They are also known as filter feeders because they filter their food particles from the water or sand. They eat microorganisms in water and decomposed organic matter. Some large-size vampire shrimp also like insects and algae. 

Both of them need microscopic and powdered food dissolved in water to filter it with their fans. Therefore use powdered food with organic waste that can stay in water for a while.

Avoid frequent water changes to have enough microorganisms in the water to feed these filter shrimps. Calcium is a mandatory part of their diet as it is a requirement for their shells during the molting process.


Bamboo and Vampire shrimp species are easy to keep, but it is almost impossible to breed them. They need salty water for about three months for their larvae to survive.

The experts do not recommend breeding them at home as it is a tedious and time-taking process with failure in the end. Most of them you buy caught from wild or special hatcheries run by professionals for commercial purposes. 

Tank Size and Water Requirements

The aquarium size recommended for Bamboo shrimps is about 20 gallons for each individual. The same or slightly larger tank is the requirement for Vampire ones. Water quality requirements, including PH, KH, and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), are also the same for both.

Vampire Shrimp thrive in high temperatures as compared to Bamboo Shrimp. Therefore, taking care of the temperature requirements for both of these species is a tricky job. Always remember that water should be free of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. 

Living with Other Pets in Aquarium

Both of these species are peaceful and friendly creatures. They can be tank mates with other non-aggressive fish with a tiny mouth, snails, and freshwater shrimps. They are also known as fish tank cleaners as they clean the tank water, its substrate, and surface by filtering it through their fans. 

Avoid putting them with other aggressive fish or having big mouths like goldfish, Oscars, Crayfish, or other cichlids in the same tank as they can eat them during their molting phase. Therefore it is a recommended practice to keep them with other species of dwarf shrimps and snails. 

Vampire Shrimp are endangered species and difficult to breed. Therefore, you can rarely find it and very expensive. It’s adult individual costs around 15-20 dollars or higher price according to its color and size. 

Bamboo Shrimp are widely available as an economical alternative to the Vampire Shrimp. It costs up to 10 dollars for a single piece. 

Easy to Handle

You can easily handle Vampire and Bamboo Shrimps. They have basic needs such as water quality, tank size, vegetation, rocks, and moderate water current to keep food particles suspended for their feeding.

Bamboo shrimp, according to the size, is more suitable than the vampire shrimp, however, shrimps can jump out of the tank.


Both the shrimps undergo a molting process after every two months in which their old exoskeleton replaces with the new one. The main difference is that the shed shell of Bamboo shrimp is softer.

Therefore, other shrimps can take it as a meal. The removed exoskeleton of the vampire shrimp is hard and difficult to eat by other species. 

Similarities between vampire shrimp and bamboo shrimp

● Both shrimp species are filter feeders.

● Both are peaceful and non-aggressive.

● Both are difficult to breed.

● Both have the same food requirements.

● Vampire shrimp and bamboo have a high mortality rate when introduced in a new water environment.

● Both are easy to handle.

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