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Vampire Shrimp, Atya gabonensis, also known as African Fan Shrimp, Giant African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, Giant African Filter Shrimp, Gabon Shrimp, or Viper Shrimp, are natives of parts of Western Africa and parts of South America. Vampire Shrimp are fan feeders that snatch their food from the water current in the tank with their little fanned hands. They are peaceful, tranquil, on the shy side and they like little places to hide. At the same time, Vampire Shrimp seems to be very social with other filter shrimp. They appear to be very comfortable hanging out in the water current with other freshwater shrimp, especially Bamboo Shrimp.

Vampire Shrimp Care: Considerations

Vampire Shrimp care is generally the same as with other types of aquarium shrimp. Avoid copper as it is fatal. Keep Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels in check. Keep water parameters stable, and be careful with medications. Vampire Shrimp care should be easy provided good fish keeping habits are present: regular partial water changes, frequent water testing, avoiding over feeding, avoiding overstocking, and the like.

Vampire Shrimp need a decent amount of water volume to feed, so the bigger the tank, the better. A 20 gallon aquarium can be a good tank size to start with. Of the 20 gallon tanks, a 20 gallon long tank can be a good choice because the dimensions are 30 x 12 x 12. A 30 inch length means there is a decent amount of aquarium bottom to walk on. The 12 inch height means it isn’t very hard to keep the water current moving quickly throughout the tank.

Environment & Water Parameters

Vampire Shrimp are filter feeders so there should be plenty of food floating in the water column to keep them well fed. Keeping a tank well planted is a good idea because live aquarium plants shed little bits of edible matter into the tank water. Live plants also give shrimp places to explore, climb on and hide in. Aquariums with live plants are traditionally a little messier than tanks with plastic plants. Live aquarium plants prevent the tank from becoming “too clean”. Tanks that are “too clean” may not have enough natural edible matter floating around for these shrimp to eat.

Vampire Shrimp seem happy with established and stable aquarium water parameters in the tropical fish tank range:

Water Temperature: 74 – 84 Degrees Fahrenheit
Water pH: 7.0 – 7.5, although some sources suggest a pH as low as 6.5 is ok.
Ammonia: 00 ppm
Nitrite: 00 ppm
Nitrate: 20 ppm

They also seem to be healthy with aquarium water that is on the hard side, with a constantly moving oxygen rich current. There also should be a couple of places to hide: under rocks and decorations, under thick plants, or around a sponge filter.

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