Vampire AKA Viper Shrimp (Atya gabonensis)
From its size, hardiness & longevity, to its color-changing ability, the Vampire Shrimp is the king of freshwater shrimp species!
The Vampire Shrimp (Atya gabonensis) is certainly among the most fascinating and unique aquarium shrimp available. Also known as the African Filter Shrimp, Viper Shrimp, Gabon Shrimp, and Cameroon Shrimp, this peaceful species is very rare, but ideal for the nano and planted aquarium. It has highly variable blue, gray, brown, white, or pink coloration that can change several times per year. While sometimes reclusive, this shrimp can often be seen waving its “fans” in the water current in an attempt to gather particulate food matter. Unlike many shorter-lived shrimp, the Vampire Shrimp can live for as long as 5 years with proper care!
The Vampire Shrimp is a filter feeding shrimp and will position itself in areas of highest water flow and use its filtering appendages to pull microorganisms, shed plant matter, and other fine food items from the water. In aquariums with multiple specimens, it is fun to see several of these shrimp gathered in one area feeding together. This species is completely safe for dwarf shrimp aquariums, but it does not tolerate temperatures as low as the temperatures that most dwarf shrimp enjoy. The Vampire Shrimp requires oxygen-rich water with a heavier current than many other shrimp species. Ample cover and hiding places are also necessary for the long-term well-being of the Vampire Shrimp. Like all invertebrates, it is extremely sensitive to copper and must never be exposed to this metal, even in very small amounts.
This shrimp is known as a low-form spawner, meaning that its fry go through several complex larval planktonic stages in a wide variety of water conditions, including brackish and marine salinity. As a result, large-scale spawning in captivity has not yet been reported.
What We Like About This Shrimp:
- A rare alternative or companion to Singapore Flower/Bamboo Shrimp
- Completely peaceful with non-aggressive tankmates, including dwarf shrimp
- Safe with all plants
- Variable and attractive coloration
Recommended Tank Parameters:
- Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
- Temperature: 75° - 84° F (24° - 28.8° C)
- pH: 6.8 - 7.5
- dGH: 6 - 20
- dKH: 2 - 15
- TDS: 150 - 300
Vampire Shrimp Care Guidelines:
- Diet: Omnivorous filter feeder and scavenger. Accepts most high quality flake foods and small filter foods
- Social Behavior: Peaceful. Can be kept singly but will also happily congregate in groups.
- Origin: Western Africa, South America
- Average Adult Size: 5 - 6 inches (12.7 - 15.2 cm)
- Average Purchase Size: Small: 1 - 2 inches (2.5 - 5 cm), Medium: 2.25 - 3.25 inches (5.7 - 8.3 cm), Large: 3.5+ Inches (