Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Freshwater Shrimp:
Atya, Atyoida; Mountain & Rock Shrimps

Related Articles: Freshwater CrustaceansInvertebrates for Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Forget Crawfish Pie, Let's Make a Crawfish Tank! By Gage Harford

Related FAQs:  FW Shrimp 1, & FAQs on: FW Shrimp Identification, FW Shrimp Behavior, FW Shrimp Compatibility, FW Shrimp Selection, FW Shrimp Systems, FW Shrimp Feeding, FW Shrimp Disease, FW Shrimp Reproduction, & Shrimp by Family, Genus, Species: Atyids: Genera Caridina & Neocaridina (Japanese Marsh, Yamato Numa Ebi, or Amano Shrimp, Bumble/Bee, Crystal), Genus Atyopsis (Bamboo, Wood Shrimps), Freshwater/Brackish/Marine Palaemonidae Rafinesque, 1815 & FAQs on: Palaemonetes (Ghost/Grass/Glass Shrimp), Macrobrachium (Blue "Lobsters), & FW Crustaceans 1FW Crustaceans 2, FW Crustaceans 3, FW Crustaceans 4, & & FAQs on: FW Crustacean Identification, FW Crustacean Behavior, FW Crustacean Compatibility, FW Crustacean Selection, FW Crustacean Systems, FW Crustacean Feeding, FW Crustacean Disease, FW Crustacean Reproduction & Terrestrial Hermit Crabs, Hermit ID, Hermit Behavior, Hermit Compatibility, Hermit Selection, Hermit Systems, Hermit Feeding, Hermit Reproduction, Hermit Disease/Health, & Crayfish FAQs, Crayfish 2, Crayfish ID, Crayfish Behavior, Crayfish Compatibility, Crayfish Selection, Crayfish Systems, Crayfish Feeding, Crayfish Disease, Crayfish Reproduction,


Vampire Shrimp   9/13/12
Hello, I have read the discussions on this shrimp on your website already however it does not fix my problem. I have a 26 Gallon community tank with Rummynose Tetras, Ghost Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, Zebra Danios and Galaxy Danios. I recently added a Bamboo Shrimp which was shy to come out in the open for the first two days but I saw her in the back of the tank amongst the plants and wood. She is now out in the open almost all the time and feeding in the current. I give her crushed flakes when I see her in the direct water flow. My problem is, however, that I purchased soon after a vampire shrimp and I saw "him" the first day after acclimating him in the shadow of the driftwood fanning. However "he" then vanished. I have not seen even a glimpse or sign of "him" in about 3 days. I want to make sure he is eating but can't because I don't even know if he is alive. What should I do? I don't want to stress him, if he is still alive, by moving things in the tank to look for him. I read on another forum that someone had the same problem and the shrimp did not show up for 6 weeks and when it did it was to die! :(
<Vampire Shrimps (Atya gabonensis) are African filter-feeding shrimps that naturally inhabit clean, oxygen-rich, moderately fast-flowing streams.
While they can do well in aquaria, you do need to understand their requirements. Given the choice, they'll normally move towards the area with fastest water movement. Like any other filter-feeder, they do need regular supplemental feeding and can't be left to "scavenge" in the same way as you can with algae-eating shrimps (such as Amano shrimps). Starvation is a very common problem, and if the shrimp hasn't been properly fed by the retailer, it might be very underweight by the time you buy it, and that in turn means any additional stresses could easily kill it. On top of this, Atya species are strong jumpers and easily able to jump out of the aquarium. So, bottom line, yes, check your aquarium thoroughly, moving rocks and plants if needed. If that doesn't help, look for its remains -- if it died, the other shrimps and any scavenging fish and snails could easily have eaten some of its body, so it might not be obvious. Finally, look around the outside of the tank and on the carpet. Any small gaps in the hood could easily be an escape route for a shrimp that made a lucky/unlucky leap. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Vampire Shrimp
Thank you for the advice I hope I find him
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Vampire Shrimp   9/13/12

EXCELLENT NEWS! I was looking around again trying to see every angle of my piece of wood and I saw fans at first I was sure it would be the bamboo but then I saw her elsewhere!!! I'm so excited! Now to keep these guys healthy
I need to go and buy iodine. I have Fluval shrimp minerals but it doesn't say it contains iodine.
<Indeed, good news. Fluval shrimp mineral mix is apparently calcium chloride, which will help buffer the water and provide good material for their shells, but as you say, won't do much in terms of the iodide/iodate salts many crustaceans need. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Vampire Shrimp    9/13/12

Thank you for all the help! One last question, if I have a fairly heavily planted tank and use a CO2 injector should I run an air pump for the Vampire shrimp or will the plants make enough oxygen?
<An air pump will drive off the CO2, so the combination doesn't make much sense! For now, carry on with the CO2 on its own, and see what happens.
Provided the aquarium isn't heavily stocked, and the plants are growing well and photosynthesising happily, you shouldn't have any problems.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Vampire Shrimp    9/13/12

Alright sorry one more question, since you are well versed in aquarium care. I have some rocks from outside I want to add to my tank. I put each one in vinegar to see if they fizzed and the two that did I wont use. The others seemed not to react. Is it safe if I soak the rocks for a couple days and then put them in my tank or do I need to monitor the pH of the water and test the rocks with muriatic acid and hydrochloric acid (from nitrate test)?
<If the rock doesn't fizz, then it's lime-free. But you've also got to make sure the rock is non-toxic. Look out for metallic seams, for example. As a general rule, buy rocks known to be aquarium safe (or pond safe, that's just as good, and often cheaper). Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Vampire Shrimp    9/14/12

Okay, I will look for some rocks at the LFS and keep these ones for my outdoor fountain. Thanks again:)
<Doesn't have to be your LFS. Rocks (such as slate and granite) are widely sold in garden centres for a fraction of the cost IDENTICAL rocks are sold at aquarium shops. That's where I get mine! Cheers, Neale.>

 Question about Atya gabonesis, hlth.    2/25/09 I had a vampire shrimp (Atya) about five weeks and he seemed fine until we moved him to a larger tank. After a few days he started turning more orange/pink instead of bluish gray. and he seemed fine. The last few days he started turning more orange/pinky looking instead of bluish gray. He was seen out and about eating, etc, then started lying on his side. He appeared to be trying to molt (wriggling about, shell cracked open) but lie on his side twitching for hours. We went to bed and in the morning, he had molted but was dead, his shell beside him. He seemed unmolested by the other fish in the tank. Is this common when shrimp molt? Our LFS told us we needed "trace elements" in the water to help them and sold us a bottle of some magic solution we're supposed to put in every few days. I bought another the next day and substituted him (it was my son's shrimp and I didn't want him to be sad it died). This shrimp was slightly larger and bluer and more active. We've had him about 9 days now and yesterday he started looking a bit pink/orange but this guy laid on his side only a minute wiggling about then shot out like a cannon, leaving his entire shell, feathers, feelers and all on the floor, he is pink and new now, with blue only around his head. He's been sitting in the back preening and waving his antennae around, occasionally venturing out. I'm quite happy he molting without dying, do you think it was the extra minerals we added to his water or do you think the other guy was traumatized from the move, or just had a "bad molt"? I'm anxious to avoid any bad molts in the future and I'm hoping this guy is fine from now on, we're really quite fond of him. He lives in a 40 gallon planted shrimp and snail only tank with a bamboo shrimp, 10 cherry shrimp, 3 ghost shrimp and 3 mystery snails. The fish were moved out to another 20 gallon tank bare hospital tank to combat a case of ich, I found that easier to do that ruining my landscaping, plants and shrimp/snails. Which leads to my next question: how long to leave the tank fallow to ensure ich is completely gone before putting more fish in? I've read anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks which is quite a range. I have no plans on doing anything other than routine water changes and gravel vacuums, I don't want to medicate it. Melissa <Hi Melissa. The "trace element" they need is Iodine. While it isn't clear that small (e.g., Cherry) shrimps need iodine added to the water, big shrimps as well as crayfish and crabs apparently do benefit. Normally the moulting process begins with the shrimp out of sight for a day or two in its cave as it puffs up its body with water. The moult itself takes a few hours, and then the shrimp stays hidden in its cave for another day or so while the shell hardens up. It should roll on its back or side, and shouldn't be twitching. Normally all it does is stand up as it usually does, but with the shell peeling off its body from head to tail. In any case, if your shrimp is fine now, then I wouldn't worry too much. As for Whitespot/Ick; the length of time the tank should be fallow varies with temperature and whether you're taking about freshwater or marine Whitespot. In theory freshwater Whitespot parasites can only survive about 24 hours without a host, but in practise it's better to leave a much more generous period than that. One week would probably work fine for tropical tanks. You will of course need to ensure Whitespot parasites can't get into the tank from anywhere else, so take care with nets, buckets, etc. Cheers, Neale.>

The King of Freshwater Shrimp Someone on my message board was looking for info on these guys.   <Would you mind sending along a link to the discussion?  I would be very, very interested in participating....> I searched all over the web myself and can't find anything but a single picture.  I was wondering if you could help me out a bit here with some info on these really neat looking shrimp.  Their common name I guess is Vampire Shrimp and the scientific name is Attya gabonese. <Ahh, Atya gabonensis!  Dear me, these are my ALL-TIME FAVORITE shrimp - and that's saying a lot, with my major shrimp addiction!!  I have never heard of them being called "vampire shrimp", though.  In fact, I do not believe there are *any* widely used common names for this animal.  Try a search under the accurate Latin name, this should yield some pics.  The only good, solid information available on the web is located at:  http://www.wirbellose.de/arten.cgi?action=show&artNo=030 .  This is in German, so it may or may not be of much help to you.  You can translate the page (somewhat) at Google, using their language tools.  Some basic info - they get about 6" long at their largest.  Juveniles are orange, females (and possibly sub-dominant males?) are grayish-brownish-bluish, and the big head honcho male will get lustrous black and blue.  They are a filter feeder, and are of absolutely no threat to even tiny fish or fry.  There are actually perhaps even three or four different animals that fall under this name somewhat loosely....  can be found in eastern South America with some variances from their central-western African cousins.  As with all filter-feeding shrimp, these MUST be fed in the aquarium; it is a common misconception that the animals will take what they need from the water - our tanks are simply too pristine for that to happen.  Sinking foods which break up into a fine dust, or frozen foods that can be mushed up (I like Ocean Nutrition's Formula One and Two for this) are great.  These shrimp are largely nocturnal and very shy.  Provide them with a lot of rocky places where they can hide - stressed shrimp are *not* long-lived shrimp.  To facilitate seeing them once in a while (again, VERY nocturnal), provide with subdued lighting, or lots of floating plants to block out some of the light.  They prefer to have areas of open substrate that are not planted, as well; they are quite clumsy.  Lastly, and perhaps most important with these and any other freshwater shrimp - please dose your tank with iodine. I use Kent's marine iodine at a rate of one drop per ten gallons every week (NOT the marine dose!).  This really, really, REALLY makes all the difference in the world.  Another tidbit - I got mine from Toyin at Rehoboth Aquatics ( http://www.rehobothaquatics.com/ ).  They were (still are) in EXCELLENT shape and great health.  They had poked holes in the nice, thick bag (double bagged) with their pointy legs and all but a couple tablespoons of water had leaked out, but they still did absolutely fine.  He is a wholesaler, and may possibly have a store near you that you can get these from, and if not, he may sell to you directly.  Another 'site you should check out:  http://www.franksaquarium.com/ - he has several species of not-very-common freshwater shrimp, and has been an invaluable source of info for me, too.> Thank you in advance for any help you can give.   <Ahh, no, thank YOU for giving me a chance to discuss my favorite critter!  As uncommon as they are in the US, it is WONDERFUL to hear of increasing interest in them.> Regards,  Kristen <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

The King of Freshwater Shrimp - II - 03/01/2004 Thank you soooo much for all the info on these really neat little critters.   <You bet.  And again, thanks for mailing us.  I could talk the ears off of corn regarding these shrimp.> Here's a link to the thread on my message board.   http://www.aquatiqterrors.com/forums/index.php?s=248e4199c7eb812b3d38122b7b82f115&act=ST&f=46&t=15336&st=0& <Excellent.  I've joined (am "vintage_fish") and hope to chat there!> Thanks again, Kristen. <And thank you for helping to increase interest in these awesome little beasties.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: