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FAQs about Debelius', Scarlet, Fire or Blood Red Shrimp, Lysmata debelius

Related Articles: Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimp, A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree,

Related FAQs: Hippolytids 1, Hippolytids 2, Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Compatibility, Hippolytid Selection, Hippolytid Systems, Hippolytid Feeding, Hippolytid Disease, Hippolytid Reproduction, & FAQs on All Cleaner Shrimp 1, Cleaner Shrimp 2, All Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, & Coral Banded Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Change in Blood Red Fire Shrimp Behavior, and leaking Fluval f'     6/3/13
Hello Friends, it has been awhile since I have had to call out for help.
Things have been going well until today. I need to check to see if it is a full moon. My Fluval 406 Filter has sprung a leak around the o-ring, so I've scrambled to find a solution for that,
<Dang Fluvals... Likely need a new O-ring... can be ordered... to/through Hagen... USE ONLY suitable Silicone-based lubricant on such, NOT oil-based materials like Vaseline>
 however the reason I am writing is to seek your insight into the change in behavior with my two Blood Red Fire Shrimp. Their normal behavior is to be shy and creep out between the rocks from time-to-time. On rare occasions that get bold and come out into the open. They are beautiful. They always got along. We were under the impression they had paired, because they did so well together. However, today they have flipped a switch and seem like different creatures. One is bullying the other and chasing it around the tank. I've been startled by a sound of something jumping out of the water, only to look up and see one of the shrimp have darted away from the other one as they skimmed the water's surface. They have been hang out in the open towards to top of the tank One of them has been hanging out near one of the power heads. All of the chemistry is steady and normal. Any suggestions as to what flipped their switch?
<Growth, hormones, the season...>
 Any ideas as to what their change in behavior means?
<Time to move or if this isn't practical to at least separate... floating plastic colander, hanging breeder trap...>
 I would appreciate any insight you can give.
Thanks so much.
Brent Wells
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fire Shrimp Disappearance and Potential Flow concern    1/27/12
I started a 25 - 30 gallon tank about three weeks ago. Size is approximate because it was an old custom tank I found. Dimensions are 40" long, 14" high, 10" thick.  Initially had two damsels and about 10 lbs. of live rock.
Tank cycled in one week,
<... quick>
 parameters as checked by LFS
<Mmm... change w/ time, movement>
 (in process of obtaining kits myself). I then replaced the damsels with a clown, a fire fish and a fire shrimp. Within about 2 days of initially having them in there the fire shrimp molted and seemed fine for the first 2 days, pretty much stayed hidden in the back without moving. On the third day in the morning I went to check on the molt process and couldn't find the shrimp anywhere.  The only thing I can think of is we had a small white fuzzy crab with dark brown claws that was maybe 1/6th the size of the shrimp. Tried getting this crab out but it is very difficult as he stays in the holes in the rocks beyond my reach.
<Perhaps bait/trap it out. Read here re:
The only other possible explanation is that he has hidden inside a rock...
<May be>
but it's now been 3 days and I haven't seen any evidence of him, including flashlights at night. I have since added 10 more lbs. of live rock in the hopes that he would come out (if he still exists) if there were some darker places/overhangs for him to hide away. Thoughts?
<Could be another predator at play... Alpheid, Mantis, another crab... or some anomalous cause (biomineral, alkalinity, iodide-ate... I would not place shrimp in such a new system>
The second issue is the flow. I have an in tank filter that is placed in the back right. One hose is near the bottom of the tank and points along its length. The other bends around and points into the front right corner.
There is a mass of live rock that runs along the center of the tank. I also have a power head that is positions on the top middle of the left hand wall and aims down the length of the tank angled slightly down so it hits the rock in the middle. It seems like the two fish we have avoid those areas of high flow but as our tank is small and size is strange I am wondering if there is a better way to set it up or if the way I have it is going to cause zones where the fish won't go?
<They will very likely adjust in time. But you can read here:
and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>
 Any ideas would be helpful.
Thanks for your time!

Two Feather duster worms and blood shrimp gone on same day 1/11/12
<Hi Janice>
We have a 55 gallon salt water tank with about 53 pounds of live rock and live sand.  About a month ago we added a blood shrimp and two feather duster worms.  The blood shrimp stayed hidden in the rock from the day we put him in there.  The feather duster worms did great. However, over this past weekend we woke up in the morning to the blood shrimp dead.
<Mmm, are you sure it's not the skeleton from a molt?>
One feather duster was hanging out of his tube and eventually lost his crown.  That same day the other feather duster was hanging almost completely out of his tube and also lost his crown.  Not sure if either worm are back in their tube.  If I had to guess I would say they are not. 
Also there was this spider web like string floating in the tank.
<Have you since taken an ammonia test?  Did any foreign substance find it's way into the water that you are aware of?  Were these animals fed properly?
 There is generally not enough food in a system to sustain tubeworms and cleaner shrimp and supplemental feeding must be done.>
We have two clowns, one damsel, one yellow tang, four Chromis and one scooter blenny which all appear fine.  We added some coral on Christmas eve.  We checked the water levels and everything was perfect.  Really confused on what happen.  Hoping maybe you can give some insight.
<I do suggest reading/learning here and related FAQs/articles.
Thank you,
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Janice Waters
Re Two Feather duster worms and blood shrimp gone on same day 1/11/12

Thank you.
<You're welcome Janice.>
I had checked out both the sites you recommended and found them very helpful.  Not the skeleton :(  He had molted two times previously. No ammonia either. The only test we do not have is the calcium?
<For future reference it is a good idea to dose iodine when keeping crustaceans.  It makes molting a little easier for them.>
I'm assuming that they didn't get enough food.
<More than likely.>
We did not supplement their food.  We feed twice a day dry flake food and some pellets for the blenny and once a week some frozen brine shrimp.  We have a power head as well to help circulate everything.  The live rock as plenty of healthy algae that the tang and other fish munch on as well.
Thank you for your advice.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
 Greatly appreciated.
Janice Waters

royal gramma Basslet attacking fire shrimp?    11/22/11
Hi I have a 14 gallon biocube. I just bought a fire shrimp last night and noticed this afternoon that his front legs seem to be ripped off.
I think that my royal gramma Basslet did this.
<Could be>
I saw him pull on his antenna when the shrimp went behind the rockwork which he wont let any fish go back there
Now the shrimp stays on the back wall behind the heater and wont come down.
I am afraid he is going to get attacked again or starve if he won't come down. Is there anything I can do? should i put a divider in the tank?
<Better by far to move one or the other to another system>
I have a ceramic cave that I could put into the tank.
<Not likely to work for long>
I appreciate your help asap.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Red Fire Shrimp and Black fungus? mold? parasite? what is it?? Can it kill my fish?   6/9/11
First, Thank you so much for keeping this wonderful site. I am new to Marine tanks, (have fallen in love fast!) and have a Nano (or pico?) SW tank with 2 fish, a Red Fire Shrimp, a turbo snail and tiny hermit crab.
<I see most of these>
Our family's favorite, the Red Fire Shrimp,
<Ah yes; named in honour of a friend, Helmut Debelius>
developed this black, uneven marking/spotting on its body overnight. (photo attached) I noticed it after we added our 2nd filter to the tank. (our tank is a Fluval Edge, we are running the standard filter and have recently added a Duetto 50 for extra filtration.) The carbon filter in the Fluval is being changed every other week.
<Mmm, what variety of carbon are you employing?>
We just added the Duetto a day and a half ago and we noticed the black spotting this morning, as well as him hiding behind his favorite rock & not going crazy to eat the minute I get to the top with food. We have been getting water tests (almost obsessively!) about every 3 days or so, and I have been replenishing with purified water. We had the fire shrimp a little over a week before adding the Duetto, and he even molted once. Before adding the 2nd filter, the levels were 8.3 PH, Ammonia 0, Nitrates 5 and Nitrites 0. Salinity was always "good" (forgot the number, but person at the fish store said it was within invert. range and looked good) Said the levels might be high because of the filtration not being good enough, which is why we added the Duetto. I did an about 15% water change this morning to help with the Nitrates, will have the water retested tomorrow. I also target fed him before that with a turkey baster which he took. Seems a little happier since the water change, but he still has the black stuff. (also some almost undetectable tiny white spotting in addition to the black--not the larger white polka dots that are part of his markings..the spots actually do not show up in pics)
(PRE-DUETTO 50 PIC ABOVE) I know it won't immediately fall off, but I want to know if this is contagious to my other guys...
<Is not>
his fish tankmates are a little, yellowtail damsel & a small false Perc clown.
(we will be getting a larger tank in a few months as they grow, but for now, they seem to like it and are thriving. (and are BEST friends! :) Should I remove the fire shrimp?
<I would not>
I'll be bummed if I lose him, he's all of our faves. I'm doing weekly, 10% water changes and just started "Turkey Baster-Vacuuming" the sand. Never knew that the smaller tanks were the harder ones! : / Turbo snail has also been in the same spot for the whole day, just stuck on the glass, but not eating. (any correlation perhaps?)
<Mmm, I'd add a bit more "life" in the way of live rock here, or at least a bit of live macro-algae... and want to ask re your use of supplements. Do you add Iodine/ate at all? Shrimp and other crustaceans (et al.) need this.>
Thanks so much for reading!
<Please do here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpdis.htm
and the linked files above, particularly Feeding FAQs...>
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Red Fire Shrimp and Black fungus? mold? parasite? what is it?? Can it kill my fish?   6/9/11
Thank you for your prompt reply! :) Relieved that "Captain Hook" is not contagious :) I will read up on the iodine. The carbon we are using is the one made for the Fluval.
<Mmm, I'd only change this out monthly>
That filter is the one that came standard with the Edge.
<Am hoping that especially at night there is sufficient gaseous exchange in this system>
I only have about 4 pounds of live rock in there now with the live sand. I'll go and get another couple of pounds of rock plus maybe a saltwater fern?
<A macro algae would be better. Please see WWM re selection/stocking>
In the meantime, are the tiny white spots on our fire shrimp normal too? They really are little, so small I can't capture them in a photo. Do you recommend anything other than the iodine?
<Not really, no. Too much chance of real trouble caused by supplementing in such small volumes>
I just want to make sure everyone is ok.
At some point, when I have the proper lighting (just ordered some blue led lights) I'd like to add a polyp. (going to get this tank and its inhabitants good 1st before though!) We are really happy about starting this hobby...I grew up in South Florida where we went out on the boat to go snorkeling and swimming almost every weekend so I really LOVE SeaLife!
I have 3 little boys who are learning a lot (alongside us) and we are looking forward to a larger tank once we are ready for the financial commitment :)
Thank you again for your time. Your site is very much appreciated!
<And you, BobF>

fire shrimp color change  3/22/11
I have a question about my fire shrimp. I have had him in a 10 gallon tank for about two months now, water parameters checked frequently and all where they should be.
<Good. Am sure you know how inherently unstable small volumes can be>
Everything has been fine until a week ago when my fire shrimp molted and turned white. He has not regained his original red color, and has only red on his legs and around his eyes. He has not moved around
the tank as much as he used to, and yesterday my cleaner shrimp shed, and he, too, has lost his red coloring. He is now a pale yellow with white stripe down his back. I have searched your site and also others and cannot find anything relating to this. I would appreciate any help you could give me.
They are fed flakes, sinking pellets, occasionally frozen brine shrimp and there is a supply of algae in my tank kept for my crabs.
Thank you.
<Mmm, Crabs? Of what sort? Not likely compatible... but/though not an issue w/ the colour here. There are a few inputs to sustain this red... nutrition (carotenoids, vitamins and minerals...), water quality aspects (biomineral, alkalinity balance), and some micronutrients, esp. iodide-ate. IF these can all be supplied, next molt this animal may be more colorful. I would be moving/keeping Lysmata debelius in a larger, full-reef type system, sans Decapods. Bob Fenner>

Just a few questions. Hippolytid (L. debelius) incomp. -- 03/20/11
<For equines?>
I've been fan of your website for quite awhile. I've definitely learned a lot reading the WWM forums. GREAT stuff!
<Ah good>
My first question is in regards to my saltwater reef tank... I have what seems to be a problem with one of my clean up crew. He has been in the tank about 4 months now. I've noticed recently that my Blood Shrimp Lysmata debelius has become very aggressive as of late. I've watched it attack my Haitian Reef Anemone (pink tip) Condylactis sp.. The next morning I noticed that there was visible damage to the anemone. There were several tentacles ripped off the anemone which hasn't been the same since that night (second question). I also added 2 more Astrea snails about a week ago which are not with us any longer due to that shrimp. A few days after being introduced to the system I noticed the shrimp dragging one of them under the LR and start tearing into the fleshy part of the snail (R.I.P.). I looked around the substrate and noticed the other had already met them same fate. I have 5 other Astrea snails that I added at the same time as the shrimp and they are all perfectly fine and don't seem to be targeted like the recently deceased.
I don't understand the sudden change with the Blood Shrimp but I was just wondering what you guys at WWM think of my situation? (P.S. Water is pristine-parameters' are perfect. Shrimp eats well on brine, mysis and hand feed pieces of mussels, squid and clam meat)
<It's not uncommon for this species, the genus to feed on slow and non-motile invertebrates as you relate>
Second question is about the mauled anemone. It definitely is looking stressed out and I haven't saw <seen> it fully extend during the day since the incident e.g.. mouth open (on occasion) and deflated tentacles (a third the time). It also doesn't want to take any food. I'm just curious if you think that my anemone is on it's way out or if it is traumatized?
<At least the latter...>
I don't know. If you can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it.
<I'd be separating the Lysmata and Condylactis. Bob Fenner>

Fire Shrimp is dying?! 11/7/2010
Hi, This morning I found my Fireshrimp on his back with his little legs slowly moving. I was shocked. Now I am trying to figure out why. I have a 14 gallon
<Hard to keep such small volumes stable>
Biocube tank that has been running for about 2 months.
<Too soon for stocking shrimps/Natantians>
(I had actually sent you a previous email regarding a limp coral which I had to throw away.) I have had the shrimp in my tank for eleven days. I was feeding him tropical granules from LFS. My temp is 80 salt is .025
<Uh, no>
no nitrates/nitrites/ammonia
<... need some NO3>
I have been using tap water in my tank. I use water conditioner. I notice that I have phosphate at about .25? and possibly silicate as I have brown algae (diatoms) and some red fuzzy algae on my live rock. Tuesday I added macroalgae to my tank thinking they would help clear the algae outbreaks. they are red grape, fire fern and red Gracilaria.
I am trying to figure out if I should use RO water or distilled water from a store or prepared salt water from the LFS.
<RO from home is best>
I don't have a test kit for calcium, magnesium or iodine. He did shed most of his exoskeleton the second day I had him.
<... I'd be reading more>
I have been doing 40% water changes trying to clear the water. I am wondering if he actually had enough to eat as I didn't want to overfeed him as I thought he would be eating from the bottom. I am so sad about this. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks, Michelle
<Mmm, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpdis.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fire Shrimp is dying?!
Hi again, I took a water sample to Petco and they said the PH was low at 7.8! I bought a liquid that is supposed to raise it up to 8.3. Do you think the addition of the macroalgae messed it up?
<Can't tell from the data provided... you should do a bit of reading re alkalinity... B>
thanks, Michelle

Fire Shrimp Hurting Fish... stkg., sys. size prob. really  7/30/10
Thank you in advance for the advice on this!
<Soon to be welcomed>
I have a 2yr old 29g reef tank that I absolutely love. It contains 2 false Percs that host in a large toadstool, one tomato clown that hosts in BTA, 2 spotted cardinals that hang out with the Percs, a medium size purple torch coral and several leather finger corals. It also includes an electric blue hermit, Halloween hermit a few zebra hermits and a handful of Margarita and turban snails.
<Mmm... not a long-term tenable mix... the Sarcophyton alone gets bigger than this volume>
About a month ago I added a fire cleaner shrimp that seems to be anything but shy, he cruises the whole tank devouring any food source he can find.
<Healthy Hippolytids are ravenous>
He will actually swim into mid to upper tank levels to try to snag food that is floating. I feed him chopped table shrimp, frozen brine, pellets and flakes 2-3 times a day. None of the fish utilize the fire shrimp for cleaning although it seems like he is always trying.
A few days ago the LFS finally had a yellow watchman goby
<This small volume is already way overstocked>
that I have been waiting for (last addition to the tank). I had the employee at the shop feed the goby some brine shrimp and watched him eat.
After bringing the goby home I noticed he was not eating much and never seems to relax. I didn't think it was unusual for the first day or two in a new home. Last night I saw something I couldn't believe. The fire shrimp pounced on the goby, grabbed him, dragged him under some rock work and started going to town attempting to clean. The goby's mouth was wide open as if it was screaming and he broke loose from the shrimp a few seconds later, closed his mouth and swam away. I then noticed the goby's tail fin is all split up and the shrimp actually picked him raw. All the yellow is gone and its just white where the shrimp was "cleaning". This did not seem normal to me, what would you advise?
<Removing the Debelius's shrimp>
Oh the shrimp is about the same size of the goby, about 2".
The tank has 6.7w per gallon cf lighting (2 month old bulbs), a BakPak 2r+ skimmer with MJ 1200 and air stone mod, 15x turnover, 2-3" live sand bed and plenty of live rock that include numerous caves and hiding places. Tank parameters are always spot on and I usually use NSW collected from the various reefs here on Okinawa (unless its been raining a lot, then I mix).
Please help. thanks- Dave
<What you really need is a larger system, perhaps some reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Fire Shrimp Hurting Fish  7/31/10
Thank you in advance for the advice on this!
<Soon to be welcomed>
I have a 2yr old 29g reef tank that I absolutely love. It contains 2 false Percs that host in a large toadstool, one tomato clown that hosts in BTA, 2 spotted cardinals that hang out with the Percs, a medium size purple torch coral and several leather finger corals. It also includes an electric blue hermit, Halloween hermit a few zebra hermits and a handful of Margarita and turban snails.
<Mmm... not a long-term tenable mix... the Sarcophyton alone gets bigger than this volume>
>This is not a long term tank, my tour in Okinawa is over in less than two years, I figured this would be a good place to learn since there are so many resources available. I suppose I should have said the toadstool is large relative to the Percs. The disk is about 5" max and the Percs are less than 1".<
<<Two years is too long for what you list>>
About a month ago I added a fire cleaner shrimp that seems to be anything but shy, he cruises the whole tank devouring any food source he can find.
<Healthy Hippolytids are ravenous>
He will actually swim into mid to upper tank levels to try to snag food that is floating. I feed him chopped table shrimp, frozen brine, pellets and flakes 2-3 times a day. None of the fish utilize the fire shrimp for cleaning although it seems like he is always trying.
A few days ago the LFS finally had a yellow watchman goby
<This small volume is already way overstocked>
> Overstocked in terms of fish? I have just over 1" per 5 gallons, I thought I was still good here. Should I consider something else, perhaps the inverts? I have never read that anywhere. All the corals and BTA have
several inches separating them and I have no problem with water quality<
<<There is less than six inches total for all you list? Actinarians and other Cnidarian groups mixed in such small volumes are treacherous. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above for the groups/Classes you maintain>>
that I have been waiting for (last addition to the tank). I had the employee at the shop feed the goby some brine shrimp and watched him eat.
After bringing the goby home I noticed he was not eating much and never seems to relax. I didn't think it was unusual for the first day or two in a new home. Last night I saw something I couldn't believe. The fire shrimp
pounced on the goby, grabbed him, dragged him under some rock work and started going to town attempting to clean. The goby's mouth was wide open as if it was screaming and he broke loose from the shrimp a few seconds later, closed his mouth and swam away. I then noticed the goby's tail fin is all split up and the shrimp actually picked him raw. All the yellow is gone and its just white where the shrimp was "cleaning". This did not seem normal to me, what would you advise?
<Removing the Debelius's shrimp>
Oh the shrimp is about the same size of the goby, about 2".
The tank has 6.7w per gallon cf lighting (2 month old bulbs), a BakPak 2r+ skimmer with MJ 1200 and air stone mod, 15x turnover, 2-3" live sand bed and plenty of live rock that include numerous caves and hiding places. Tank parameters are always spot on and I usually use NSW collected from the various reefs here on Okinawa (unless its been raining a lot, then I mix).
Please help. thanks- Dave
<What you really need is a larger system, perhaps some reading. Bob Fenner>
>There is nothing I would love more than a larger system and when I return to the US I will definitely have one. When you live in GI housing with a family in Japan, there's not much room left over.
<<I grew up in these>>
I am slightly surprised to learn this system is "way overstocked" I have spent countless hours reading before set up and over the past few years.
Aside from the potential size of the toadstool (learned something there) I didn't think I was that far off from a healthy set up.
<<The shrimp's agonistic behavior is intensified due to crowding>>
Your time and honesty is greatly appreciated. Thank You. - Dave
<<Thank you, BobF>>

Damsel compatibility with Blood Shrimp   3/6/10
<Hello Shawn>
Really enjoy reading your responses
<there certainly are quite a few interesting and occasionally fruity exchanges for sure!>
and am hoping for some valuable information for my dilemma.
I have an 8 gallon Bio-cube with 7lbs of live rock and 5lbs of live sand,
My original occupant is a Yellowtail Damsel (the bully),
<too small a system for this fish>
I have a green bubble tip anemone hosting a True Percula Clown,
<way too small a system - this Anemone will easily fill this whole aquarium if looked after well>
various snails a couple of hermits and the recent addition of a Blood Shrimp. The Damsel won't leave
the shrimp alone.
<There is not enough space here for the animals you have listed>
It seems to swat it with it's tail, backs up into it, nips its antennae.
It doesn't bother the clown or the Anemone, but it won't leave the shrimp alone. Is the behaviour normal?
<Yes, for a small aggressive fish, housed like this with no space, it will pick on the easiest target>.
Can it pester the shrimp to death?
Or is it trying to get a cleaning?
<The way you have described the fishes actions indicate aggression>
it doesn't act like it's trying to be cleaned. In the meantime, I've sequestered the damsel to the pre-filter sump section of the aquarium until I decide what to do.
<Take it back to the shop>
I think I know that I have to find a new home for the Damsel but wanted some verification of the behaviour I am seeing.
<Consider this action/ behaviour verified! With the Clown and Anemone you have no space for anything else, and not enough space for what you have>
Thanks in advance,
<No problem>

Flame Head Dottyback or Lyretail Dottyback. Hippolytid shrimp comp.   9/17/09
I got a Flame Head Dottyback today, and it's a male, with the fluorescent orange head, and it's gorgeous and in good shape, however, the store told me he would be safe in my aquarium and when I went online, I saw someone in a forum writing that they are aggressive toward shrimp.
<Can be>
I have two fire shrimp and although they are fully grown, I am concerned.
They are my favorite thing in the whole tank.
Is this rumor that they are tough on shrimp true? Can they kill my fire shrimp?
If so, how would you go about catching a Dottyback from a reef?
<Might require dismantling the rock... even draining the water down a bit.
Use two nets... Bob Fenner>
Thank you in advance,

Shrimp Question, comp.   7/31/09
Hey all,
I have a 24 gallon Nano cube with about 20 lbs of live rock. I currently have 2 cleaner skunk shrimp and was thinking of adding either one or 2 blood fire shrimp.
<Mmm, I wouldn't... not enough room here>
Will they coexist together?
<Maybe not; particularly during moults>
At first, I got 2 cleaner shrimp because they are more active and less shy than the fire shrimp. However, my 3 yr old son loves the fire shrimp and I would love to get one for his birthday this weekend. Will they
coexist together?
Will it be more beneficial if I get a single red blood or a pair? Current tank mates are one orange and one black/white clown and a royal gramma.
Thanks again for all your help.
<I'd stick with what you have or trade them for the L. debelius. Bob Fenner>

Shrimps Dying 7/14/09
Dear WWW crew
Hope you can help me
<Will try.>
Over the course of 3 weeks, I have lost all my shrimps (3 Lysmata debelius and 2 Lysmata amboinensis) I have had them all for more than 2 years.
<Were they being fed a few times per day. Most shrimp identified as cleaners will consume one another to a degree, if a lack of alternate food or cover exists. Any sudden change of pH and/or salinity can also be
detrimental to their health.>
I started to check my water, and the only thing out of order were nitrates that were at 10. Everything else checked out at 0. Salinity 1.025.
I have a little bit of Cyanobacteria. Today I bought a Lysmata debelius and it died almost instantly, when it went into my tank. What is going on?
Temperature is at 27.5 degrees. I am a bit puzzled, and I am almost tearing my (remaining) hair out.
<Did you drip acclimate this shrimp? As above, sudden changes in pH/salinity..... Do read/search here for more help.
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
<Great country, have been in Copenhagen (enjoyed Tripoli Gardens) and other cities years ago. >

Re Shrimps Dying 7/16/09
Hi James
I have been dosing some iodine, but not on a regularly basis, it has been more sporadic. Ca is at 300 and Mg at 1220, could that have any effect? My Ca is usually between 300-350.
<Not directly, but best to keep Ca at 400ppm and Mg at 1280-1300 or somewhere close to that.>
You mentioned food (in another mail) Do you think that cold have been the culprit?
<Based on what you have told me, I'm thinking it is likely the major reason. Do dose iodine on a weekly basis, shrimp in good health generally molt on a monthly basis.>
Of course that doesn`t explain why the new Debelius I bought died.
<I believe we are on another train here. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s I have only been to the States once. In 2000 my wife and I went on a 3 week holiday. Driving around the states of California, Arizona, Nevada and a little bit of Utah. The Californian coastline is so dramatic and beautiful. It was a great holiday.
<Never been to any of those states, but do agree with you on the California coast line. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
<Hello Michael>
Thanks for your reply
<You're welcome.>
I did drip acclimate the shrimp, over the course of an hour, but I did notice toward the end that it seemed to be struggling, so I rushed it into the tank.
I started to think if there was something seriously wrong with my water. I added a couple of hermit crabs to today (Calcinus elegans) they seem to be doing fine.
<Much hardier than the shrimp.>
About a month ago I added some new substrate to the tank, but it wasn`t much. Could that have anything to do with it?
I did another test of pH. the first one was done one Sunday. Today it reads 8.5. That is a bit high is it not?
<No, not alarming, could be the test kit.>
I used to do weekly water changes, but stopped doing it by the beginning of March, on the basis of some advice I received. I wonder if that had an effect?
<Would have. Shrimp need to molt to survive/grow and iodine is needed to do this. Have you been dosing iodine/iodide?>
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s So you have been to Tivoli Garden that is indeed a wonderful place
<Yes, very peaceful atmosphere. Did shoot across to Norway also, liked that too. People were so helpful/friendly.
Food and bier wasn't too bad either.>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
I have never fed my shrimps intentionally. But I have been cutting down on feeding over the last couple of months to avoid overfeeding.
<Not good. Likely that food availability on the live rock diminished with time and your shrimp slowly starved to death.
Supplemental feeding is required for survival. Personally, I use a pellet type food and they do not waste any time getting to it.
Too many folks think these type critters can survive on whatever they find and this is not the case in our systems. In a moderately stocked tank, there isn't going to be too much food left for scavenging.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/19/09
Hi James
Thanks (again) for your reply. so why do you think that the "new" shrimp died?
<Could be from handling/bagging, acclimation, etc..>
Also if I start to do water changes regularly again (which I am considering). Would enough iodine from that be sufficient?
<On average, natural seawater contains .064ppm of iodine, not much, is it? In that regard, I would dose weekly with iodine as I have no information on how much iodine is present in various salt mixes. Standard mixes likely contain none, while some reef mixes may provide a small amount equal to natural seawater. You may want to read the iodine FAQ's here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
P.S Go and visit those states someday, the landscape is absolutely amazing. And you got to see places like Bryce Canyon, which in a way is even more fantastic than Grand Canyon.
<Yes, I plan on it someday. My daughter moved to Arizona and is always wanting us to move there, sooo, the day
may come.>

Lysmata amboinensis, Lysmata debelius.- compatibility/behavior 01/23/09 Hello crew, good day to you. It's me again...with another question for you. Seems like I am constantly worrying about my tank. I have 2 skunk cleaner shrimps that are well acclimated, and both are pregnant. <These animals are almost continuously pregnant (especially when there are males about-- as I'm sure there likely were where you got them).> They used to love crawling all over my rockwork, but recently, they just hang ON my Clavularia at the corner of my tank. <This is normal... they picked a spot they like, and now they'll likely stay there unless they find a spot they like better.> They started doing this when they both decide to get pregnant. My Clavularia looks disturbed by their incessant crawling! Both shrimps are fine, feeding, cleaning, basically, normal. However, it is quite weird to see them just hanging on my Clavularia and wonder when they are going to continue exploring the tank like before. <They might not ever start doing this again (unless you rearrange the tank or add new live stock that disturbs things).> I hope there is nothing wrong with them, like, psychologically. <nope> Also, I have a Blood fire shrimp, that I recently acquired from a fellow reefer. All he does is hide hide hide behind rocks and crevices, and I do not even see him at all! <Again... is normal.> Not in the day or night! It is a little bit disappointing as I was attracted to this shrimp due to its intense red and white colouration. Now all I see are its antennae sticking out of the rock..Ok, one last quick question. I have bought a Yasha goby and a Randall's pistol shrimp as a pair, and a diagonal high fin goby and a tiger pistol shrimp separately. After introduction into the tank, the high fin goby and the Randall's pistol shrimp paired. The tiger pistol shrimp and the Yasha goby are both separated, but hiding in individual holes. Will the Yasha and the tiger eventually pair up? - Regards, Kai <I don't know... maybe. You'll have to wait and see. :-) Best, Sara M.>

Lysmata shrimps, SARA.M 01/23/09 Hi Mrs. Sara, <Hehe... Mrs.? Not after Feb.10... will be back to Ms. ::sigh::> appreciate your reply regarding my shrimps :) I can start to see my fire shrimp peeking out of his hidey hole now haha. Hopefully he will showoff his pretty carapace ;) Also, bought 3 US Zoanthids today.. Excellent colours and even better, got them at a steal. US zoos are much better than those from Indonesia IMO. <Really? I thought they were pretty much all from the Indo-Pacific. Or, are you referring to captive propagated ones?> Once again, really appreciate your help. Thanks again! <De nada> Regards, Kai, And here in Singapore, we are celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR WETWEBMEDIA :) <And to you! Sara M.>  

Sara and my Lysmata 01/24/09 Haha! They are called US zoos everywhere I go, I'm not sure why. The polyps are smaller.. and more colourful!! :) Sorry to hear about Feb 10 =( All the best to you and hope you live happily =)Regards -Kai Happy year of the Ox! <Ah... my mom's year/sign! I'm the less exciting, but compatible rooster. ;-P Cheers, Sara M.>

Lysmata and Sara 01/23/09 Hehe, Hi again Sara, thanks for all ur help thus far. Sorry if you find it offensive I associate your name with a Lysmata shrimp :) <Oh, no, of course not... they are beautiful shrimp.> But hey, you are helpful, and so are they. Anyway haha, I have one last question. I currently have a fire shrimp, Lysmata debelius, in my tank. Will adding another one cause aggression? Is it possible to add another one? Thanks once again. Regards - Kai I love lemons. <They are non-aggressive towards their own kind. However, they do sometimes go after/attack/chase cleaner shrimp. Right now your cleaner shrimp out number your one fire shrimp, so maybe that's why they're doing ok all together. If you add another fire shrimp, who knows what might happen? I'd proceed with caution.... Cheers, Sara M.>  

Lysmata saranensis :) 01/25/09 Hehe hello Sara! Thanks for all the help and wisdom you have planted into my head. <my pleasure> I will add another fire shrimp, but will monitor the behaviour towards my other cleaner shrimps. Right now, the 2 L. amboinensis have staked their claim to a piece of rock, covered with Clavularia on the extreme right end of the tank. Don't think they are going anywhere soon. My blood fire shrimp is nowhere in sight today, so I am assuming it is hiding in some cave.... Hopefully, the 2 fire shrimps will find a home for themselves somewhere on the left or middle of the tank, and ignore the 2 cleaner shrimps. <Is possible/likely... maybe not together, but they will likely each find their own little niche.> Ty for your time and effort Sara, I wish you all the best. Regards- Kai, your number one fan <Heheee! Cheers, Sara M.>

Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp/ Ammonia levels 03/28/2008 Hey guys, <<G'Morning, Andrew here>> OK here we go. I have a question within a question. First my tank info: 20 gal (salt water) tank is 3 months old Whisper 20 power filter (Activated Charcoal) Generic small skimmer rated for a 30 gal tank Temp: 79F Salt: 1.025 Nitrate: 2.0 (yes I know) Ammonia: .23 (again I know) 1 x Brown Saddle Back Clown 1/2"-3/4" 1 x Lawnmower Blenny 3"-3 1/2" 1 x Fire Fish 1 1/2"-2" 1 x Coral Beauty 3" 1 x Butterfly Fish 3" 3 x Turbo snails 1 x Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp 4 x small assorted hermit crabs 30-35 lbs live rock 3"-3 1/2" Crushed coral/shell live substrate All was well till 2 days ago. The snails were doing their grazing, the Blenny eating everything in sight, the Coral Beauty being the Diva she is, getting cleaned every 10-20 minutes. All in all everything was going well, then everything went to hell in a hand basket. All levels started to sharply rise to dangerous proportions. I did a 70% water change last night. The ammonia is now slightly higher than it was yesterday. I think I may be over feeding the fish so I cut back. What can I do besides another 70% water change or starting the tank from scratch. <<Yikes...In all honesty, that is far far too much livestock for a 20 gallon tank. The Coral Beauty and the Butterfly do need a lot bigger homes than their current habitat. Suggest around the 50 gallon mark. The stocking levels of your tank are not helping water parameters. It could well of been, as you mention below, over feeding and this is causing the bio-load to be raised higher in the tank>> This I do not want to do. The fish have been very stressed. Also I am noticing my cleaner shrimp has tiny hairs and "fuzz" like stuff growing on her since the water change. She is my favorite in the tank cause she has such personality. She runs around seeking out the fish and cleans them nonstop, and my hand as well if offered. I would hate to loose her. Any ideas? <<As above, I think if you removed the Butterfly and the coral beauty, the bio-load levels on the tank will drop considerably as I feel its too much for the filtration of the system.>> <<Thanks for the comments, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Blood Shrimp Babies! Raising Lysmata debelius -- 2/14/08 Hi crew, <Happy Valentine's, Lex!> I was just feeding my starfish before I turned the lights off and "bam" my Blood Shrimp has just given birth to a 1000 babies (give or take). <Neat thing to see, isn't it!> I managed to capture a dismal few before they were all consumed and have them floating in a cup at the top of the tank. Question is, how can I raise them? <See below.> I read on your site to give them some crushed flake food, but is that it? <Nope, there's much more to it.> Do I have any chance of rearing them to maturity? <It can be quite a challenge, but with proper food and care, yes!> If so, how long for them to reach about an inch so they wont be eaten? <I'm not sure, but I would imagine many months. It generally takes 6-8 weeks just to metamorphose out of the larval stage, at which point, they're still very small and vulnerable. I have some links for you to read that will explain the entire process much better than I can! Please note that some articles relate to other shrimp species within the same genus (Lysmata). Although they might be different species, the basic care/rearing should be very similar. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2004/breeder.htm http://www.breedersregistry.org/database/LYSDEB01.htm http://www.breedersregistry.org/lamboinensis.htm http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen10.html http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-10/nftt/index.php I would also highly recommend WWM's Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction FAQ's (as well as the highlighted links at the top of the page): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrprepro.htm > Cheers Lex <Best of luck to you and your little shrimp offspring! Take care, -Lynn>

Did my Red Fire Shrimp eat my Purple Goby?   2/11/08 Hey crew, <Stormy> Hope ya all are staying dry. <I am, out in Hawai'i> This is in regards to a missing purple Firefish. I've a 72g bow and had two purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora) gobies. They got along great - stayed together during the day, and hung out together at night under a rock that also housed a red fire shrimp. Maybe 3 weeks later, one of the gobies was missing - no sign whatsoever. Other inhabitants include a sunburst Anthias, a Perc clown, a yellow striped cardinal, 2 Scissortails, 3 orange Firefish who hang out on the opposite side of the tank, and a lone peppermint shrimp (I started with two but only see one now.) It appears that the lone purple Firefish now hangs out at night with the 2 Scissortails. Could the fire shrimp have eaten the purple goby? <Is the most likely suspect, though this Lysmata species is generally not (relatively) aggressive> If so, I should pull it because I don't want the lone purple goby to also be dinner? <More likely "something" was wrong with the other, and perhaps the shrimp helped clean up the body> And, I suppose at this late date I cannot add another purple Firefish after the first has been in the tank for a month? A shame because the two of them together helped make the tank. <Could easily try adding another individual of this species in this setting> On a different note, one of my rocks keeps sprouting bubble algae. Do I dare add an emerald crab? Or shall I just "rent" one and place the rock in a QT tank? <I'd siphon/scrape and remove for now... See WWM re> thanks so much for your help, stormy btw: have you found You Tube videos on life in the aquarium? Just do a search on mantis shrimp, or whatever - homemade videos of life in the aquarium - pretty cool. <Thank you for this. We're hoping to add such video service soon... on a new BB> Earlier I lost one of my sunburst Anthias to a mantis shrimp. On video, one can see how it was done. In fact, there is a video with a red fire shrimp grabbing at a goby, which prompted my first question. <Yikes! Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Raising Lysmata debelius larvae - 12/18/07 Hello, <Hi there!> I have scanned the net as well as WWM archives for info on Lysmata debelius larvae. I have roughly fifty from what I can see to count. Eye stalks and pink coloration are present as are rapid flicking movements. <Neat.> Currently the larvae are hovering just above the sand bed. It would be difficult to remove them. I realize the survival rate is almost nil, but is there the possibility of assisted survival? <Yes, there is, and I've got some links that will explain it much more thoroughly than I can! The first covers both L. amboinensis and L. debelius. The second relates solely to L. amboinensis, but will likely have some helpful information since the two species are so similar. http://www.ifmn.net/nachzuchten/garnelen_l_amboinensis_debelius.html http://www.breedersregistry.org/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm > Thank you so much for your time! <You're very welcome and good luck with the kiddos! --Lynn>

Fire shrimp (dis)coloration... 11/25/2007 Hi! Hope you're doing fine! A quick one today (hopefully...:) My Fire shrimps (L. debelius) always get paler after a while in my tank. I believe they are otherwise healthy, they even spawn. They look good but they don't have the striking vivid deep red color they had. I got a third one yesterday and the difference in color is even more obvious as I can compare one beside another... What could be the cause (nutritional problem?) and what would be the remedy to this? Many thanks! Dominique <I have seen this over and over... though not always... and don't know for sure what the real cause/deficiency/ies might be... Perhaps nutritional as you state... likely, if so, tied to biomineral or other water quality issue/imbalance... The Debelius' shrimps that seem to retain their color have been in well-established reef systems... Perhaps someone will read this message and write in to supplement... I did visit TMC in the UK during the time when they were working out Helmut's Fire Shrimps practical aquaculture... and theirs were brilliant red, sans the presence of LR... the foods offered were told to be enriched with carotenes, HUFAs... Bob Fenner>

Re: Fire shrimp (dis)coloration... 11/25/2007 Hi Mr. Fenner, Thanks for the reply. I'll try feeding them on a regular basis with Cyclop-eeze wafers soaked in Selcon. Be assured I will write back in a few weeks to tell you the result (even if negative). Have a nice day! Dominique <Thank you for this. Cheers, BobF>

Follow up regarding L. debelius discoloration, beh. fdg.   -02/20/08 Hi Mr. Fenner,> Hope you're doing great. If you remember last time I told you I would try to boost HUFA's in my L. debelius diet (Cyclop-eeze soaked in Selcon) in an attempt to counter discoloration and said I would report the result. <Yes> Unfortunately it's inconclusive. I have the impression it helped to an extent but it's not so clear. The problem is that they 3) are very shy and reclusive and are somewhat difficult to target feed especially in presence of more outgoing shrimps such as L. amboinensis. An employee at my LFS believes discoloration comes from the fact that this species lives naturally deeper, in low light situation. <Interesting> I think indirectly he's right. They might not get optimal nutrition and not enough HUFAs because we place them in shallow water / intense light biotope tanks were they are stressed and too shy to come out and take the offered food (even when kept in group). That's just another illustration that it's best to stick to species that fit a specific biotope I guess (which I usually do). Long story for a too obvious fact probably... I will avoid that species for that kind of set-up in the future. Ok, just wanted to let you know as I said I would... Thanks! Dominique> <Thank you, BobF>

Fire shrimp acclimating -- 07/24/07 <Hey Joe.> I bought a fire shrimp at a reputable salt water store near where I live. I put him in and he seemed fine all day just moving on the live rock. He is in with 3 damsel fish, 1 Bali starfish, 1 chocolate chip starfish and 4 turbo snails. I turned the light in the tank off at about 12am and woke up to the kids screaming hat he was bit in half. It turns out that he must have molted in that time, because his shell was off and there were no signs on him that he had been bit. He did die though. <Did you find the carcass or did you only find the empty shell?> I was wondering if this is common or just a fluke? <They are very sensitive to changes in water quality, temperature and need a very long period to acclimate (several hours) during which water from the tank is slowly added to a bucket with the shrimp and the water in which it was transported in. Many of them die in the first days when acclimated too fast or when water used for larger water changes differs too much from the tank water. Disturbing crustaceans while they are molting might also result in a loss.> Any reasons or suggestions before I look at getting a new one? Thanks Joe. <http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i2/fatheree%20shrimps/james_w.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpselfaqs.htm ; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpdisfaqs.htm could be interesting. Cheers, Marco.>

Cleaner Shrimp Molt question - 4/17/07 I am wondering if it is normal for my Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp to molt more than once in a 15 day period? < No, could be due to stress. Check water parameters/chemistry. Normal is every 3-8 weeks.> Thank you Dee <You're welcome! -Lynn>

Scarlet cleaner shrimp and clown triggerfish together I am thinking of getting a saltwater fish tank and buying a scarlet cleaner shrimp and a clown triggerfish. Do you think I will be able to put them in the same tank or will the clown triggerfish nip/ kill the shrimp. Thanks Josh <Have seen stranger things, but the vast likelihood is that the trigger will consume the shrimp. Bob Fenner>

Re: Scarlet cleaner shrimp and clown triggerfish together I just went to a store and they had very small clown triggerfish about 2-3''. The Scarlets there were almost bigger without their antennae. do you think that, that would make a difference? <Mainly just smaller bites, longer meal. Please read through our Triggerfish sections (articles and FAQs files) starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/triggers/index.htm on to "selection", "compatibility". Bob Fenner>

Breeding Lysmata [Cleaner Shrimp] Dear Bob, <<not Bob, but JasonC - Bob is away diving>> I have several pairs of Lysmata debelius shrimps. I have been trying to get them to mate for a couple of months. they constantly molt and are old enough to mate (3.5-4cm length). conditions are constant.. temp at 27 degrees Celsius, salinity at 34-35ppt. they feed an grow and have shown no major signs of being stressed. however they have not been producing any eggs, which they would carry under their tail. I have added a filter of 1000 micron to the water flowing through my system to catch any larvae if they are produced and have not found anything. should I just be patient or is something not right? how influential is light to reproduction of these shrimps? at present they are under natural light, near a window. <<I'm afraid I don't have any experience with these. My quick guess would be that many of the shrimps need a more salt-marsh/lagoon/tidal pond-type environment to successfully breed. I would likewise guess that the light does have influence... is that the only light on the tank? If I were you, I would pose this same question on the WWM forum which is patrolled by many knowledgeable, friendly folk - and someone just might have done this. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ >> thanks, Avinash Singh <<Best of luck in this endeavor. Cheers, J -- >>

Lysmata debelius Hi. I am writing from the University of the South Pacific (USP), located in the Fiji Islands. I am about to begin my Masters Program on Shrimp aquaculture and was hoping to work on Lysmata debelius. Part of my funding is being provided by Walt Smith International, an Aquarium Goods exporter and they are also very keen at aiding work on this species. <I know Walt... we are old friends, well, middle-aged friends> At USP we do not have very sophisticated equipment to carryout many large projects. however we are developing our lab systems and we have great access to the natural coral reefs and relatively untouched ecosystems to study. we have access to seawater of good quality, are developing new equipment and hence can carry out some good experiments. <Hmm, you may want to contact friends at TMC who have bred, reared Helmut's shrimp through all cycles... their address, a review of their business can be found on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> I have obtained some information on this species. However more information is required by myself before I can begin. I was hoping that you could provide me with more information regarding the reproductive biology and feeding behaviour of these shrimps - or of any contacts of people who could provide me with this information. Thanking you in advance, Avinash Singh. <Have Walt contact me, or you can contact Derek Thompson et crew through me... at TMC. Bob Fenner>

Invert problems Hi- I have had two shrimp die on me, one coral banded, and one blood shrimp. Here is my set up: 72 Gallon tank, Millennium 3000 filter, two power heads, and 100 lbs Fiji live rock. Tank is two months old, and I have the following fish, 6 percula clowns, 1 yellow tang, 1 bi-color dotty back, and 1 watchman's goby. <May be the Dottyback... perhaps the Goby... any bodies left? Chewed on?> The water tests are normal. I tested the copper level as well. I use DI water. The fish are doing fine, but the shrimp, and will as the crabs have done so well. (Some of the crabs are still doing ok) <Ah... > A couple of questions. 1. Are any of the fish I have incompatible (I was told before buying them that they were, and everyone I ask seems to have a different opinion. <Yes to different opinions... likelihood that these animals were eaten... killed by the two fishes mentioned exists> 2. Should I avoid shrimp, starfish, or sea urchins? <Perhaps> 3. I feed them 2 cubes per day, (one daphnia, one brine or 1 shrimp) I feed them once per day to make sure some gets to the bottom for the goby. Is this too much food. <Don't know... what sort of measures of... nitrates, phosphates do you have? Any food left over after a few minutes?> 4. What type of protein skimmer would you recommend. <Many choices here... hang on, sump models... for a seventy two gallon system that's up and going... Maybe a AquaMedic product like a Turboflotor T-1000...> 5. Looking ahead what might be some compatible fish to consider adding? <Too big a category... read over the Reef and Marine Selection articles and the many survey articles posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site> Sorry to pile on the questions, but I'd appreciate any help you could give me! Thanks!! Ron :) <Ron, do you pour in "supplements"? The crustacean losses (if there are no signs of outright foul play (could be from Alpheid shrimp, Mantis... hiding without your seeing them... nocturnal), I strongly suspect the "additives" as a/the cause... especially if all are dying, soon, about the same time. Bob Fenner>

Re: invert problems Hi Bob- Thanks for the reply. I bought the goby after both the shrimp had died. The Dottyback was around for both. The coral banded seemed to be able to take care of himself. After he died I took the body out and it was intact. I did see the dotty pecking at the blood shrimp. When he died he was between the rocks and I couldn't get a good look at him. <Thanks for this info.> Nitrates are low, so I guess I need to check the phosphates. I don't add any supplements. The only thing I added was a chlorine neutralizer after the DI process to make sure there was no chlorine, and I used about half the recommended dose. <Hmm, maybe trouble here... I would dispense with the water conditioner period, and strongly suggest you pre-make and store your new synthetic water for a good week. Please take a read through the seawater use sections posted on the www.WetWebMedia.com site re this protocol and the rationale for it> I use instant ocean for sea salts. The algae was brown, now I am starting to get some coralline algae. (at least I assume it is as it is purple) <Likely, yes> Thanks for the help! Ron :) <You're welcome. Bob Fenner, who is working on the "shrimp" areas of WWM in part due to your prompting.>

Compatibility Hi, is one Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp compatible with a Banded Coral Shrimp in a 30 gallon fish-only tank. Thanks <<Yes, if both are fed, given adequate cover so that there are no hassles during molting periods. This being stated, the actuality is that in general the CBS will become larger, hungry enough and sooner or later consume other shrimp species in close quarters. Bob Fenner>>

Update : Shrimp Mix Hi Bob, I appreciate your encouragement on my fish mix. Here's a report on a past question: I asked what shrimp could be mixed in a 300 gallon reef tank to avoid the Shrimp Wars. You indicated that I should be able to add some Lysmata debelius to the five large L. amboinensis that are already there. I added two L. debelius to the tank. They hide most of the time, <Very typical... the Debelius' Shrimp will become more evident with time... but not as much as the Ambon's> whereas the L. amboinensis are always putting on a song and dance for the tangs. Too bad; those white legs are something! Both types of shrimp even seem to like the same area of live rock; no problems that I have seen. The only time I really see the L. debelius is at feeding time. Once the food hits the water, they are out with their boxing gloves on ready to take on any fish that get in their way! Do you suppose they may come out more as they become more used to the environment? Or are these guys just the hiding types? <Oh! Yes and yes> Next step is to add three more L. debelius and see if the congeniality continues. If I am successful, I am inclined to add a mated pair of Stenopus hispidus. Do you think they would fit in OK with the others? <Yes... likely on trouble might come with molting, possible hunger... Provide plenty of hiding spaces, regular feedings, and leave molts (the exoskeletons) in place for speedier regeneration/hardening of new external structures... by ingestion of old> As always, thanks for the input. It is reassuring. <As the universe is, so should we be, as we are. Bob Fenner> Dale.

Lysmata debelius -fire shrimp larvae Hi Everyone. Well thanks to your advice I have finally got pairs of fire shrimp to breed and produce few larvae. however so far I have got so few larvae- less than 10 .. not good. <Actually, not bad... took the folks at TMC a good many tries, dollars/Pounds to get this far> I have had a look at a latest molt and have seen that there are hundreds of unhatched eggs present on them. the eggs are at their last development stage.. the eyes being clearly visible. I don't really know what went wrong... the larvae that are there are healthy but too few to work with.... <Could be infertile eggs, not enough viable sperm/atophore, some aspect of water chemistry...> (Fire shrimp adults naturally release the larvae into the water and then go on to molt)-- something went wrong here. I'm not certain if physical factor or may be nutrition maybe the key.. but how did the other larvae survive? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Avinash Singh USP Fiji islands. <Bob Fenner>

Fire Shrimp Died Something killed my Fire Shrimp a couple of days ago. One minute he was on the gravel grazing (which I found rather peculiar, since he's usually underneath something where it's dark), then the next he was on his side. I pulled him out and put him in a specimen tank to see if he'd molt, or whatever. He died very soon thereafter. He had some sort of "erosion" on both sides of his body where the guts are, behind the head, and also on the left side in the middle of the tail. Not sure what it is, but I'm assuming it can only be some sort of parasite / fungus / bacterial thing. I recently started feeding live brine (but I soak them in fresh water for about ten minutes or so beforehand!), and last night I thought that maybe the metal in the net I am using had something to do with it, except for the fact that the hermits and my duster are OK. This doesn't look to be a copper related death, but I'm too new to know. He had also molted a couple of days before this. And he wasn't getting picked on. Also please note the white spots on top of the shrimp are probably because he started to get covered in fungus; he was dead for about a day when I took the pics... I tried to take him out of the water and he split in half, and all this gray goop came out of where his guts should have been. I included it only because it may help you put a finger on the problem. It's a wonder he hung on as long as he did with this kind of erosion of his innards. Kinda gross... Sorry. Any ideas? Also, I had my Yellow Tang get a whole bunch of little black spots on him, so I pulled him out, dipped him (about 3 minutes. Freshwater, about 5gals, a fair amount of Methylene Blue added, PH and temperature corrected) and quarantined him (had to net him - that was nasty. He evidently has quite a few pointy protrusions that like to get stuck in the net...). The spots went away entirely, but I'm going to dip him again, just to be sure. After I dip him, I'll put him back in quarantine and let him get a slime coat up before I put him back in the display tank. The other inhabitants aren't affected, by the way. One of the contributing factors is possibly that I had tried to clean the algae from the back of the tank and when I did that he started fighting with his ghost. It was shortly thereafter that I noticed the spots; maybe he was getting stressed to the point that his defenses were down and that gave them the ability to attach. ??? Please let me know what you recommend. Like I said, the spots DID go away, and I don't really think it was ich (I thought it was the Oodinium (or whatever), but somebody told me it was another parasite, I forgot the name). I also have some pics of my tank and the sump, if you'd be interested in seeing them. I didn't send them right off because: A: AOL has a 3MB limit, and I might get real close to that as it is with the limited shots I'm sending you here, <got them, just fine> B: Since I'm assuming you're downloading all this stuff via modem, this message alone will take you quite some time to download, so I'm already being intrusive enough, and <Never a bother, a treat actually> C: You've seen a million of 'em, anyway, so you just may not care.  <Not in the last 32 years in the trade... always amazed at what is new... everyday> I'm only trying to send you the pics I think are critical for the diagnosis for the cause of the death of my shrimp. I'm holding off on all further stocking until I get the parasite thing wrapped up (well, maybe not; maybe I'll get them now and just have a little more lengthy quarantine duration, until I identify the cause... Can't hurt!). Any thoughts you may have are, as always, greatly appreciated. Thanks. Bruce Webster <<Hmm, well, regarding your Fire/Scarlet Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)... the root cause of the loss is hard to pin down... Do agree that from your description (the animal being out and about in the open... especially so close to having molted...) and images (the body seems secondarily decomposed... difficult to ascertain if the appearance has much to do with the real cause of death) but does seem "soft" as if the animal didn't have the wherewithal to remake its exoskeleton... Did you see it ingest its old skeleton (this they do as a valuable source of biomineral to build the new, larger one... and it should be left for such purpose in the tank)? Do you do much, anything to supplement minerals, alkalinity in the system? This over, under abundance could adversely affect the animal... The Tang complaint is actually a flatworm, a Turbellarian of the genus Paravortex... my old grad. school roomie worked on their life history... you can read bits about this animal and its control (mainly just found on Yellow Tangs), in an article about its host posted at www.wetwebmedia.com Your treatment thus far sounds fine... I would continue with the dipping procedures and quarantine for all new fish livestock.... and not worry about infectious agents re the shrimp. Bob Fenner>>

Another Dicky Shrimp and Mandarin Question >Hello hello!  Good-day to all!  Arg, I must be going through a transitional phase with my tank because I am just swimming (hehe, or is that "oh no"?) in questions!  This is going to be a long one, so please forgive me! :)   >>We shall try.  ;) >I wrote in about a very sick Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp recently -- I thought it might be a lack of iodine, but I failed to mention that I do weekly water changes, about 5 gallons (from a 55 gallon tank) and in asking around I hear this should be sufficient to keep the iodine in the tank at respectable levels.  If that's true then there's definitely something else going on with my shrimp because he's looking worse every day.  (Btw, I have had a miserable time finding an Iodine test kit so I added the lowest suggested dose as a precaution until my LFS can get a kit, Wednesday -- if the planets align properly). >>Honestly, it would be better not to dose at all until you can properly measure.  In the meantime, you should be able to feed it raw shrimp as a dietary source of iodine.  Another question for you is - Is this the only arthropod in the tank?  If so, then we might look to insufficient iodine/calcium levels as the culprit.  If NOT, then that is far less likely (assuming the others are healthy). >>In addition to the symptoms mentioned in my first email (weak legs that bent in funky ways, missing leg and antennae tips) I noticed that one of his little body parts -- something like a pair cilia-type deals located directly above his gills, inside his clear carapace, are moving *very* slowly in comparison to the much healthier looking shrimp I have in the tank.   >>That just answered question one.  I would have to surmise that there is something wrong specifically with this one shrimp, and unfortunately for it and the hobbyist, there is a real dearth of information on diseases of these animals.  I would recommend isolation (separate system) and watching the other animals. >(The healthy shrimp's "cilia" move impossibly fast, faster than I can count, the sick one's cilia flop up and down less than once per second).  I've searched for some sort of identification so I could give you the proper name of the part, but I could barely find pictures that were detailed enough to mention maxillipeds much less this tiny little inner appendage thing.  At any rate, this little gadget seems to have some brownish gunk at it's base.  Before he shed the last time the gunk was *very heavy* and the little thingie barely moved and it seemed it moved with great difficulty.  The gunk disappeared when he finally shed but it almost immediately re-infected him and is seemingly getting worse than the last time.  So, if this isn't an iodine dilemma what is it and do you think it's contagious?   >>It could be a bacterial, parasitic, viral, or other infection.  It's really very difficult to tell.  Isolate, and should you like to experiment with antibiotics I recommend Spectrogram. >My other shrimp doesn't seem to have any related problems and I'd like to keep it that way.  eek. >>Then definitely separate the sick one. >Whew ok, now to less-stressful things.  I have a minor (so far) problem with Cyanobacteria.  I used to keep a golden-headed sleeper goby (until I lost him in a very unfortunate heater mishap over a weekend when I was out of town) and he kept all that under control, but since that sleeper goby died I purchased a psychedelic mandarin dragonet to keep the prolific and newly-unchecked microfauna (namely Planaria) under control.   >>You, my dear, have a terrible nutrient export/control problem.  I suggest upping the weekly changes to 50% minimum, starting with one full water change (do be sure it's properly aged and matched for temperature, salinity, pH). >The mandarin eats just about anything it can find, including the Mysis I feed, but my concern is that those two fish seem to fill very roughly the same niche and I worry that adding a sleeper goby might take away a lot of the mandarins "wild" food, do you think these guys could happily live together?   >>They won't quarrel, but your system is likely slim as it is for just the mandarin.  Deal with the excess nutrients that are likely the cause of the Cyano issue, and the rest should fall into place.  Along with water changes, consider the addition of a refugium (make it approximately 1/3 the volume of the tank).  If you don't skim, a good skimmer might be very helpful.  You may also have an issue with phosphate/phosphorous (I don't know anything about the source water for your w/c's). >Like I said, the mandarin eats the food I feed the rest of the fish in addition to the "wild" stuff he finds in the tank, and my old Sleeper did the same.  When I kept the Sleeper he was fat and sassy and now that I have the Mandarin *he* is nice and rotund, but I don't want to compromise that by keeping them *together.*  And on that same note, I'm partial to the beauty of the V. strigata, but I've seen some other sleepers that seem to be just as dutiful, for my purposes (stirring the sand bed) would you suggest something else instead?  I don't mind the way sleepers re-arrange things at will, I just want something to shake up the sand a bit. Thank you for your patience and time!  Have a fantastic week! >>For the time being, I really think you should deal with these other issues first.  Worry about adding a fish to stir sand later, as a 55 is rather small.  If you MUST have sand stirring, consider an Archaster typicus (sandsifting sea star).  One ONLY. >Rachael >>Have a good weekend.  Marina

-It Was The Brittle Stars In The Tank With The Dead Fish- Please respond at your earliest. Thanks! Dear WWW Crew, <Hello J.D. , Justin here.> I have a 'Who Done It?' mystery in need of solving. <Heehee, I will do my best Sherlock Holmes impression.> I recently lost my second Fire Shrimp/Scarlet Cleaner after it molted. Prior to this loss, I had a smaller Fire Shrimp that disappeared under mysterious circumstances, but prior to that I had a regular Cleaner Shrimp in this tank for years with no problem. So I¹m trying to figure out who most likely snacked on a couple of $25 shrimps. It¹s a 175 g. FOWLR, which at this time only contains: * A Fijian Blue Devil damsel * A 6-Line Wrasse * 4 Blue-green Chromis * A large (1.5" - 2") Electric Blue Hermit * A medium (1") Blue Hermit * A couple of small (<1") Halloween Hermits * A couple of Serpent Stars (Short-spined brittle stars) * A bunch of snail-like critters (conch¹s, turbo snails, et al) that certainly can't be suspects. Any thoughts? Thanks!! J.D. Hill <Well "Watson" I believe that your culprits are those brittle stars. If they are greenish, they are notorious for eating fish and anything else they can get their arms on. I would try to remove them if you would rather have the shrimp. Otherwise feed them meaty foods to keep them satisfied and away from your expensive "snack menu".> <Justin (Jager)> <Editor's note: Ophiarachna incrassata is the infamous Green Brittle Star, but we can expect other brittles to behave in the same manner.>

Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp Sudden Death after Water Change? Hello Just wondering if you have any information on scarlet cleaner shrimp that relates to water changes.   <its extremely common with all arthropods and many mollusks. They are all quite sensitive slight errors in temperature and especially salinity differences between new and old water. Are you sure the new water SG was exactly the same?> I Never had a problem before. The only thing that I did different from before is that I switched to Coral Reef Red Sea http://www.redseafish.com/Products/Coral_Reef_Salt/body_coral_reef_salt.html from my Kent brand.   <actually... I don't hold either brand in high regard for their quality control/consistency compared to Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin and Omega brands> Is there something that could be in that mix that causes instant death to shrimps?    <not likely... but if a batch had too much of a common metal like magnesium... that would do it> I just finished doing a water change (about 10 gal out of a 55 gal - new water temp perfect match, chlorine removed and matched salt density). My shrimp was fine when I was siphoning the tank, but as soon as I finished filling it back up again he looked listless and was slightly on his side.   <has the water been mixed and aerated over night or was it raw? If raw... you've been dodging bullets for a while> He jittered a bit and everything stopped "running" inside him and that was it.  He molted last night and I fished out his dead skin first thing this morning.  Was the water change too traumatic for his freshly molted self?   <not at all likely> I am very concerned as I wish to do a water change in my other tank containing 2 shrimp and I don't want them to suffer the same instant death.  For age - I am guessing a year to year and a half (I've had him for about 8 months and he was medium sized when I purchased him).  Nothing in the tank is threatening so I can rule that out.  I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to offer.   <I am sorry to hear of the loss... but be assured that they truly are strict and sensitive about water chemistry issues. It could even have been the simple change between brands of slightly different composition. 10 galls was not too much... all else sounds like good husbandry. Let me suggest you try another bag or brand of salt for a water change on the other two tanks for perspective then follow later with the current bag (perhaps even blend it to wean from the old Kent mix).> My complements on the best site out there!  Kudos! <best regards, Anthony>

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