Do I need to feed my Bamboo Shrimp? He's picking through the gravel...
I have a 10 gallon tank with 2 guppies in it, and a few months ago I added a bamboo shrimp. I'll admit I didn't do the homework I should have before adding the shrimp... I just saw him at PetCo, he was really cool, and the PetCo guy told me he's basically maintenance free, so I got him. I figured I could use a scavenger, as the only other one in the tank was a moon snail (who's since died, but he had a good run for a snail).
Well, I always assumed the shrimp was doing well... he's skittish, but I often see him out of his hidey holes, picking food off the substrate. This seemed normal shrimpy behavior.
Then he molted, and realizing I didn't know anything about these animals or how normal that was, I started reading up. Of course now I've learned they're filter feeders, and I've read online that if you see your shrimp actively combing the bottom for food, he's probably starving.
Well geez, the poor guy, I'd be glad to feed him... but what? How? I really figured, between left over fish food and algae, there'd be enough to eat. Since I read molting can be difficult on these creatures, and he came through it just fine, I assume he's fairly healthy. Water quality should be good - I do frequent changes and tests and the guppies have been in there for around 6 months with no problems.
I am running 2 filters, just because I have an extra and figured "why not"? Is it possible I'm over-filtering the water and not leaving anything for him? I really doubt it since whenever I do a water change there ends up being plenty of specks floating around until things settle again... so it's not like there's no detritus in the tank.
So I can't figure out why he might be starving. Or maybe he's not and does filter feed sometimes when I don't see him, and he's just a glutton and likes picking the bottom too? I'd love to hear any thoughts from you folks that have experience with these guys.
Never had one [Not available locally and haven't ordered one] but I have looked into them. It definitely sounds like he is not eating what he would prefer.
From what I recall daphnia, rotifers, powdered spirulina & PhytoPlan [From Two Little Fishes] all fit the bill for your shrimp.
It's a start and I hope it helps.
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Thanks for the reply. All good ideas, and I'll definitely pick up one of those.
Coincidentally, right after I wrote that first post, I walked by the tank, and there was the shrimp, perched halfway out the hole of his cave, happily filtering away. He's spent the majority of each day since doing that, so maybe it took him a few months to figure it out lol. I'll still add a supplement for him though.
Some people have succes with fry food, the liquid kind. You could also look into starting an infusoria culture that's going to be a lot cheaper in the long run if you get the hang of it.
I was going to suggest perhaps there wasn't enough current for him - but with two filters that likely isn't a problem. I'm was also thinking that a ten gallon tank might not be enough water capacity to naturally hold the amount of suspended particles he needs. I had a few of these in a 75 gal cichlid (therefor messy) tank and I almost never saw them combing the substrate, tho I did see that a couple times over the year I had that tank. They do get pretty big tho, if he's moulting he's growing, which to me means he's likely not starving.
A little bit of supplementing and he should be ok. You might want to move his cave to where there is more current in order to facilitate his feeding...?
From what I've heard they need about 30 gallons per shrimp. Also for emergency feedings, you can grind up some flake food really fine, or algae wafers, mix it with water, suck it up in a dropper or syringe and shoot it directly at the shrimp.