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Filter shrimp – species description

Filter shrimps (Atyopsis moluccensis) it is also sometimes called bamboo shrimp. They are most often kept in social aquariums as companionship for smaller fish. However, many aquarists decide to arrange tanks exclusively for these creatures. Under what conditions should these small crustaceans live? We advise!

Filter shrimps – where do they come from?

Atyopsis moluccensis is a freshwater species. It comes from Asia and in natural conditions inhabits the islands of Indonesia. You will meet them at:

  • I know;
  • Sumatra;
  • Bali;
  • Okinawie;
  • Samoa.

They are also found in Thailand and in the mainland of Indonesia.

Atyopsis moluccensis – what does it look like?

This species of shrimp has a brownish yellow color. In breeding, however, you can find slightly more expressive specimens, such as blue, orange or red filter shrimp. There is a wide light strip on the back. Depending on the conditions in the aquarium, some individuals are lighter or darker.

The most interesting part of the shrimp’s body are its front legs which filter the water. At first glance, they look a bit like spinning fans. They are covered with small cilia along their entire length. They are also used to catch food.

These are quite large crustaceans that can grow up to 10 centimeters. Females are usually slightly larger than males.

Filter shrimp – disposition

You must remember that filter prawns are quite shy and skittish crustaceans. They feel best in a group, so buying a few at once will be a good solution. In the herd, they feel more confident and bolder.

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Shrimps of this species most often spend their time near the aquarium filter. Their activity is most often limited to searching for food. If they spend more time near the bottom of the tank, it may be a sign that they are suffering from a food shortage. Healthy and well-fed prawns hang out in the upper part of the tank.

What tank do filter shrimp need?

Filter shrimps are very often chosen due to their size and interesting structure. However, you must remember that these animals are quite difficult to keep. Aquarists point out that filter shrimps often die as soon as they are put into a new tank, for no apparent reason.

It is very important that the water in the shrimp aquarium is clean and very well filtered. In the way of the water flow, it is worth placing stones, roots or other decorations on which the shrimp can sit and “catch” the filtered water.

The size of the aquarium is important. It is recommended that several pieces of filter shrimp have at least 60 liters of net water for themselves. In too small tanks, these normally calm animals can become too territorial and compete with each other.

If the conditions in the aquarium tank are bad – it is too small or the water is too poorly filtered – the shrimps will try to escape from it. The way these animals spend their time is therefore a very good measure of how they feel in your aquarium.

Water parameters for filter shrimps

Prawns are very sensitive to dirt in the water. You already know how important filtering is. It is also necessary to ensure that the appropriate water parameters are maintained.

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Its hardness is not particularly important. However, an important parameter is the temperature, which should be between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius. Filter shrimps can live in tap water. It should have a pH of 6.5 to 10.

Filter shrimp – who can it live with?

Filter shrimps may live in a social aquarium. However, it is recommended to choose neighbors for them, who do not tend to feed on the smaller inhabitants of the reservoir. Larger fish are also often scared away by the shrimp. In their aquarium, for example, the following will be great:

  • rapids;
  • neonki;
  • glow plugs.

Avoid predatory cichlids, including scalars! After moulting, the filter shrimp is completely defenseless and will be seriously injured or even eaten very quickly.

What does filter shrimp eat?

Shrimps most often eat whatever they find in the aquarium. Unfortunately, many aquarists assume that they do not need to be additionally fed, which often leads to starvation. So let’s throw the shrimps soaked food for small fish, zooplankton or frozen artemia.

Shrimps of this species eagerly eat Javanese moss. They also belong to the so-called aquarium cleaning crew, helping to get rid of excess algae. They are useful pets, but they should not be neglected.

Filter shrimp – reproduction

Filter shrimp breeding is extremely difficult. Under natural conditions, the shrimp larvae are transported to the sea by currents. They drift in it in the form of plankton and then return to freshwater. Adult prawns cannot live in the sea as they cannot tolerate the salinity of the water.

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It is therefore impossible to propagate the filter shrimp in the home aquarium. The larvae must remain in salt water for a certain period of time. Then they return to fresh water for the first moult. It is almost impossible to recreate this process in captivity, so the filter shrimps available in stores are primarily harvested.

Filter shrimps – price

Filter shrimp prices in aquarium shops and kennels are slightly higher than for smaller specimens – for example, neocardina shrimp. Usually, one specimen in a standard color scheme costs from 25 to even 50 zlotys.

Filter shrimps – molt

Shrimps usually drop their shells every 6-8 weeks. Sometimes it happens more often. For about 2 days after moulting Atyopsis moluccensis she moves to the hideout and waits there for her new armor to harden.

During this period, the crustacean is extremely fragile and practically defenseless. So it is very important to provide him with as many safe hiding places as possible. There should be no predatory fish in the shrimp aquarium.

Filter shrimp – summary

Filter shrimp is one of the largest home-grown crustaceans. Its reproduction in an aquarium is practically impossible, therefore the prices are also not low.

If you decide to buy this crustacean, you must remember that it is very sensitive to any dirt in the water. A strong filter and the right temperature are essential. Another very important issue is the capacity of the aquarium, which should not be less than 60 liters. Otherwise, these herd creatures may turn out to be much too territorial in relation to each other.

These sensitive pets often die for no apparent reason. Unhappy with the conditions they have received, they may also try to escape. This will be a signal to you that the conditions you provide to your wards are inadequate.