Vampire Shrimp (Atya gabonensis) – The Complete Guide

Vampire Shrimp Featured Image

Atya gabonensis is a type of freshwater shrimp found in West Africa.

It’s an omnivorous filter feeder, which means it eats both plants and small animals by filtering them from the water using its feather-like claspers.

This shrimp can grow up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) long.

It has many common names, such as Vampire Shrimp, African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, African Giant Shrimp, Blue Rhino Shrimp, Gabon Shrimp, and Cameroon Fan Shrimp.

Where Can You Find Vampire Shrimp?

Vampire Shrimp is found in West Africa, from Senegal all the way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There have been reports of this shrimp being found in South America, from Venezuela to Brazil, but these are cases of mistaken identity with another species called Atya scabra.

How Can You Care for Vampire Shrimp in Aquariums?

Despite their scary-sounding name “vampire”, Vampire Shrimp is a non-aggressive species that do well in community tanks.

They need places to hide during their molting process when they shed their old shell.

These shrimp also need a moderate to strong water current to catch their food.

Feeding Requirements

  • You can either have a very well-established tank with enough plankton for them to eat, or you can give them supplemental feedings of finely ground fish food, spirulina powder, and other similar foods, preferably spot-fed.
  • If the Vampire Shrimp starts to patrol the bottom of the tank and sift through the sand, it means they are not getting enough food from filter-feeding and might starve.

Water Conditions

Vampire Shrimp needs a pH level of 6.5 to 7.8 and water temperatures between 74°F to 84°F (23°C to 29 °C).

They are very sensitive to medications used to treat fish diseases, especially copper, which can be deadly. They are also at risk of ammonia and nitrite poisoning.

Color Variations

Vampire Shrimp can have different colors, ranging from creamy white to rusty brown and even deep blue.

It’s believed that water conditions affect their color, with harder water causing the blue color. They can also change color several times a year.

You can check out what this invertebrate looks like over here.

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Atya gabonensis
Also Known As:Vampire Shrimp, African Fan Shrimp, African Filter Shrimp, African Giant Shrimp, Blue Rhino Shrimp, Gabon Shrimp, Cameroon Fan Shrimp
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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