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FAQs about Sexy Shrimp, Thor amboinensis

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Sexy and Anemone Shrimp; incomp. w/ clowns/anemone already established       4/24/14
Dear Wet Web Crew,
Hello again, many thanks for all that you do so generously. I have a curious situation I would like to share with you all. Upon shopping at my local fish store, I found two little critters that caught my attention. A Sexy Shrimp, and an Anemone Shrimp. Now throwing caution to the wind I immediately purchased them both. With jubilant excitement I added both to my tank thinking this would be a great addition to my Rose Bubble tip Anemone. How wrong I was. First was the Sexy Shrimp, upon entering the Anemone he seemed to struggle against the tentacles, eventually settling in between the tentacles on the flat part of the skin. Well my two clowns (Ocellaris) did not take well to this intruder and quickly chased the poor little guy to a crevice deep within the live rock. The Anemone Shrimp was then added hoping it would go better since he was bigger. This went horribly wrong as the poor shrimp got immediately wrapped up by the Anemone to be consumed. Now I question if he really was an Anemone Shrimp in the first place,
<Do you have images? A species name?>
but all my research shows that it was. I have no picture but I describe him as being 3/4 inch long, almost all clear with 2 white spots on his abdomen and 2 more on the tip of his tail. He also had slender pincers with a purple hew to them.
<... could be one of many Periclimenes spp.>
I know this is vague as descriptions go, but why did he get gobbled up so quickly. Is it possibly because of the type of Anemone (Rose Bubble Tip).
I can ad that it is in a 90 gallon tank, with the Anemone being 14-16 inches across hosted by 2 Ocellaris clowns. I assume to never see the sexy shrimp again. Any insights, thoughts, or info to make sense of what happened would be greatly appreciated. I was also hoping to ad a porcelain crab to the Anemone, but now am second guessing.
<I wouldn't be adding any more symbionts for this BTA. Bob Fenner>
Thank you all.

Mixing crustaceans in a bucket         3/12/14
Can I house a sexy shrimp and pom pom crab in a 1 gallon hob refugium with rock rubble, Chaeto, and Mysid?
<Maybe... the crab may eat the shrimp if it gets the chance, becomes hungry. Bob Fenner>

Sexy Shrimp Compatibility, 6/6/2012
I have a six gallon tank with two Maxi-Mini anemones, one Aiptasia anemone, two Calliactis tricolor anemones and one mantis shrimp -- (small, less than an inch) almost certain it's the smasher type. I want to add at least three sexy shrimp to this tank. Can sexy shrimp safely walk on the Aiptasia and tricolor anemones?

The rock (island) that contains the mantis and Aiptasia is on the opposite side of the tank that the rock with the two Maxis are on and the tricolors are on a shell in the sand bed in the middle of the tank. Would it be likely that the sexy shrimp will stay close enough to the Maxis or on them so that the mantis won't be able to get them?
Would the mantis even be interested in eating these shrimp?
<Only for breakfast, lunch or dinner.>

And FYI: I feed the mantis and anemones Mysis (will be adding mixed ocean meat stew to their regimen soon though) about every five days or so.      
Thank you,
<These would be mantis food.>

sexy shrimp breeding tank    9/2/11
Hello Guys!
First I want to say you guys are amazing! it's a pleasure to read articles on your site every day! OK, I have a 90 Gallon reef tank with leather corals, mushrooms and a few other softies. My tank has about 70-100lbs of live rock and the fish are as follows: Yellow tang, green Chromis and a little baby Catalufa. I also have 40 turbo snails, 20 hermits and a Coral Banded shrimp.
<Yikes... the Big Eye will eat this in time>
my sump is very basic. a 55 gallon tank with a filter sock, some LR, Octopus 250 skimmer and a Mag 9 return pump with one overflow almost in the middle of the tank. I want to convert this to a sexy shrimp breeder tank, maybe purchase about 50 of them. I want to add a variety of plants and macro algae in the tank. I also want to keep peppermint shrimp as well. I know I will need to get rid of the Catalufa and Coral banded shrimp, but will I need to lose the yellow tang and Chromis?
how will the sump / Mag 9 affect the shrimp?
<Will destroy them if they go through>
I know I will need to install some sort of sponge barrier for the overflow. The substrate is 2" of sand, not bare bottom.
The list of plants/macros I was thinking of getting are as follows.. Cactus Caulerpa, Chaeto, Fern Caulerpa, Flame Algae, Halimeda, Laurencia, Oar grass and Ulva. I know all will not survive in my tank but I'm hoping a few will and then I will purchase more of the ones that do.
<Won't have to... likely one or more of the Caulerpa will come to predominate... poison the others, over shadow>
Lighting is 6 x T5HO's and the bulbs should be 6.5k according to the plants I want to keep. I do plan on keeping a 10 gallon tank and raising some sort of live food such as brine shrimp for the baby sexy shrimp.
how does this sound for now?
<Like a neat experiment, experience>
Thanks in advance!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Tubastrea aurea... Rambling re SW stkg... reefs   4/14/10
I have 2 salt water reef tanks. I have one a 30 gal Nano tank with a yellow watchman goby, a purple fire fish, a peaceful serpent star-Ophiolepsis superba, Nassarius snails which I love, one or two turbo snails, green striped mushrooms, branching frogspawn, some polyps that grew from a live rock I had for 4 or 5 years first, pulsing xenia and a yellow polyp rock.
4 inch sand bed (had 6 inches but was 1/3 tank so removed some).
I would like to know if it would be safe to add sexy anemone shrimp (3 of these) and a feather duster.
<Mmm, not likely... too easily consumed here, no likely symbiont...>
I do a water change every 7-10 days and all the parameters are so far perfect. Because I have been feeding more I have been careful to keep up the water changes and noting for any nitrate increases. This tank has been up for 2 years. A Bak Pak protein skimmer as this is a oceanic BioCube and I use the back empty (no balls for filters just a pump a kind of sump)
The first tank we had is a 75 gallon reef tank with about 75 pounds or more of live rock(had so much more but used some in the 30 gallon and some seems to crumble or dissolve away. Still have plenty. Sand is variable, in a wave so that the front center has 4 inch sand bed around the bases of the rocks less and to the back less.
I have a huge large cantaloupe sized open brain who is just happy as can be, and branching frogspawn that has really grown (given some to a friend who started a tank, and have some in the 30 gallon) I have some pulsating xenia.
And a blue mushroom. I just added a green striped mushroom rock.
I am trying to keep with the LPS as it seems they grow so wonderfully, at least the 2 I have in the tank.
I have just added fish, a midas blenny and 7 small green Chromis. 2 serpent stars (Ophiolepsis superba), 3 reef crabs who are also ancient and getting bigger, my Nassarius snails, a turbo or two. I would love to add to this tank a feather duster, a fire shrimp (just one) and 3 skunk cleaner shrimp.
I also have a pencil sea urchin who has lived there since we started up the tank--8 years ago.
I don't see any copepods in either tank. I do have bristle worm dusters in the sand. I could add live copepods or get some from my friend/
I would love to had a Tubastrea aurea--is it better to start with smaller size (3-4 in) or larger size(4-5in) as I have a choice.
I realize I have to feed each of the tubes but I have a great time feeding the fish and I am a night owl so I could feed at night each polyp by a turkey baster. Any other ideas,
is this a good choice to try to care for.
<Not generally hardy, no>
I have a sand bottom that has areas where the frogspawn lean over decreasing the light or a area of a cave with a outcrop overhang. I am understanding that they need less light.
<Actually very little... are not really photosynthetic>
I would love for any comments about the new my new additions to the tanks-shrimps and are they OK with the serpents I have. Feather dusters.
And the Tubastrea aurea. I hate to try things that will not last as it is such a waste of life. Which is why I have few items in the tank and relatively peaceful fish.
The fish are funny, the midas blenny about 4 inches long and the 7 small green Chromis all like to swim together the swim upstream in front of the powerhead sort of like finding their own treadmill. I appreciate everything that this crew has done for people like me. Thank you so much. What a beautiful site. Even more so with the new format.
I feed a variety--Cyclop-eeze (frozen) Mysis shrimp formula 1 and grow my own algae. I have compact fluorescent lighting with 2 bulbs 65 watt 10 K and 2 bulbs 65 watt actinic lighting. I have used a variety of salt and found that I like Tropic Marin salt the best. I also used Oceanic, Kent but still go back to Tropic Marin. I have a protein skimmer CPR Bak Pak on the 75 gal tank. I will add a third pump as it seems the critters love the water flow.
<The Shrimps and tubeworms should be fine here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tubastrea aurea, reef stkg., Lysmata amboinensis comp....    4/15/10

Thanks for the quick response.
I am a little confused, the 30 gal as described below--
I was wondering if I could put in 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp and a tube worm fan into this tank.
You said they might be consumed but by what?
<The two fishes listed>
And, in the 75 gallon tank as described below-- for the 75 gallon tank with the 4 65 watt bulbs I can put the Tubastrea under a rock overhang so the light doesn't reach them. I would think then I would have to carefully feed them by turning off the protein skimmer and using a turkey baster with Cyclop-eeze (is what I thought to feed them) for each polyp a couple times a week.
Is this a good idea or would you recommend I finding a different LPS that might be easier to work with.
<I'd peruse WWM re>
I have been encouraged to stick with the LPS.
And, I wanted to also add to this tank 1 fire shrimp, 3 skunk cleaner shrimp and the tub worm fan.
I am sorry if I seemed to be rambling, I was hoping to give you a idea of my tanks and the inhabitants.
I would appreciate clarification.
And, I love they way your new site is set up. It is wonderful!!
<Thank you Sue. BobF>

Re: Acanthastrea having issues, Thor amboinensis comp. w/ Cnid.s  3/2/10
Thanks for the advice. I have a bit of an update and am only following up because I'd hate to lose this specimen and it does not appear to be improving so far.
I think I've isolated the culprit(s); my Thor amboinensis. Have you heard anything about them picking at corals?
<These little Hippolytids will do so if very hungry... I consider them more opportunistic than predaceous>
I've heard that elsewhere amongst all of the proclamations that they are "Reef safe" or "reef safe with caution".
However, in the past months I've seen them constantly pick at my Zoas and a large Palythoas that I have, as well as the Acan. Before I was not sure whether they cause damage but they certainly keep the Zoas closed and annoyed quite often.
Anyhow, I saw one of these shrimp perched on the Acan and picking at it... maybe "tearing" is a more suitable word, because it was literally pulling off pieces of the tissue. It wasn't just the dead/dying tissue, but healthy-looking portions of the polyps. The shrimp appeared to be putting quite a bit of effort into each "yank" with its claws so it was clearly pulling something off of the coral. I isolated this shrimp and put it in a small plastic container within the tank, and soon saw another shrimp doing the same thing. They're now cellmates. The corals are open more than usual and I will keep an eye on the Acan but it is really suffering. Is there any insight that visual inspection can provide?
I've read that color of the revealed skeleton can indicate bacterial infection. Should I continue feeding more or less often?
<I'd check all over again, continue with best practices, intervals>
Move it to higher or lower lighting/flow? Could continued harassment by these small shrimp have caused progressive tissue damage and eventual deterioration/death? How "far gone" can the coral be and still recover?
<To the point of very little live tissue being extant>
I will probably be trading in these two meddlesome shrimp, and possibly the other two if I see a pattern in their behavior. Maybe the appetite for coral meat is an individual thing.
FYI my two clowns just finished their Maracyn 2 treatment in a hospital tank and the fin is already recovering.
Thanks again,
<And you. BobF>

Sexy shrimp, porcelain crab, Perc clowns, and rbta compatibility?  2/11/10
I have a large BioCube
<An oxymoron... jumbo shrimp, military intelligence...>
currently with a RBTA and 2 juvenile (est. 6-8 months old) onyx Percs hosting in it, running on DIY LEDs.
The BioCube has SteveT's fishguard installed, and plastic mesh (sewing grid guide for yarn projects, as per Karen's Rose Anemones site) tied completely around the powerhead intakes, as part of my efforts to anemone- and fish-proof the tank.
I'd like to introduce sexy shrimps and/or porcelain crabs to this system.
I did some quick Googling and reading WWM FAQs and noted from some forum posts that porcelain crabs may attempt to boot my clowns out of the rbta, which is why I'm considering adding another (r)bta.
<Mmm, I wouldn't do this... unless they're genetic clones, there's too much chance of trouble twixt>
I'd probably get one from a fellow area reefer whose rbtas regularly clone themselves (in fact my current one is from him, it's healthy, feeding, and very colorful, etc.).
Is there any compatibility information on sexy shrimp, porcelain crabs, and clowns in a tank with a limited number of host anemone?
<I can/will only offer my personal observations here. Have seen Porcellanids and Clowns together in Carpet Anemone species in the wild... and Sexy Shrimp in Anemones that had or lacked Amphiprionines, but have not
"run" (or swam) into a situation where all three were resident in one such Actinarian species, and have never seen two of them in an Entacmaea. I don't know, but don't think this will work. Bob Fenner>

Sexy Shrimp and Ricordea Compatibility, and Elacatinus repro.   12/5/07 Hello to the crew of WWM, I want to start by saying that I find myself browsing the FAQs frequently and really love the wealth of information you all have compiled. I have a 14 gallon BioCube loosely set up as a Caribbean species tank. It contains: Fish/inverts: 1 Lysmata amboinensis (skunk cleaner shrimp)* *2* *Elacatinus multifasciatus (Green banded goby) <Neat fish> 3 Thor amboinensis (sexy shrimp, I realize these also come from the Pacific but it goes with the "theme") 1 Mithrax crab <Keep your eye on this... Mithraculus often become predaceous> 1 Lybia tesselata (I believe this is the name, its a Pom Pom crab) and a small cleanup crew corals: ~14 polyps of assorted Ricordea florida which aside from maybe two other small frags are the focus of my tank. My main question concerns the Ricordea and the sexy shrimp. The sexy shrimp like to pick on one color morph in particular, they leave all the others almost entirely alone. I have looked around on various forums and find lots of conflicting info to whether they will cause any damage to the corals or not, although they seem to have a reputation for picking on Zoanthids. <Mmm, this species lives in association with a few Classes of Cnidarians... does little actual damage to their commensal hosts...> The Ricordea in question shrivel up after being picked at, but so far always eventually open up again. This has been going on since I added the shrimp (approx. 2-3 weeks). Tonight however, I noticed 2 of the Ricordea they usually pick on had open mouths and small amounts of brown material coming out of them. I have read on WWM that this is their "intestines" <Most likely...> and I am worried that they are going to be stressed to the point of death. I have included a picture of how they looked just after getting picked at a few days ago (forgive me if I did not attach it correctly, it is a jpeg and under 200Kb). I am looking for advice on whether they will be alright or not and what I should do, ideally I do not want to get rid of either animal as I love them both but I realize this may not be possible. I have heard that sometimes sexy shrimp will host LPS and maybe this would keep them off the Ricordea. Any insight you could offer would be greatly appreciated. <Well... I see the damage... and the shrimp... and am concerned as well... IF you had another system I would move the shrimp likely> My secondary question is regarding the gobies. Right now I have two, from what I understand most gobies are territorial towards other gobies and many sites will say to keep singly or as mated pairs, but it seems that the green banded gobies in particular live in small groups of multiple females and a dominant male. <Yes, have seen this species in such associations in the wild> My goal is to have them spawn and am not sure if I should just stay with two, or add a couple more to maybe establish some type of harem. <I would go with this last arrangement... at least till a pair-bond was formed, the two did mate for the first time> I know that they would do just fine as just a breeding pair and although I don't plan on trying to rear the young, having satisfied their needs to the point of establishing spawning behavior is something I am striving for. Should I stick with the two or add more? <I would try adding at least one more here. There are folks who raise this genus and Gobiosoma... that employ a similar protocol to generate pairs...> Thank you for your assistance, Kurtis
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Six-line bullying anemone?!?! Little Hippolytid food item needs temp. protection   7/8/07 Hello to you! <And you> A bit of background: we have a six-line wrasse that has been in our 125 G tank for many months now, and a recently acquired bubble-tip anemone that has been with us for just over a week now, in the hopes that a pair of little Ocellaris clowns (currently in the QT tank) will take to it later. Unknown to us, a "sexy dancing shrimp" (that's what they're called in our LFS, anyway...) <Mmm, it their name if this is Thor amboinensis: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hippolytidae.htm> hitched a ride in the anemone at the LFS and continues to make its home in the anemone even now. <Is what they do... among other things, for needed protection> OK, on with the problem... As strange as this might sound, our six-line seems to be "bullying" the anemone. <Not strange... this species can be particularly pugnacious...> The six-line's behavior is so odd! For the last couple of days, he has been swimming around the anemone constantly; to the point that the anemone is frequently "shrunken" in the same way it is when it's expelling waste after eating. During the night, because the six-line is sleeping, the anemone gets some peace and swells back to its normal size; in the morning, it looks great...until the six-line starts in on it again for the day, that is! This can't be good for the poor anemone! <... or the Shrimp... which is HIGHLY likely what the Wrasse is after> My husband and I are wondering if the bullying revolves around the "sexy dancing shrimp," that lives in the anemone, in that maybe the six-line is trying to get at the tiny shrimp to EAT it, and the anemone is simply in the way. <Yes> Perhaps you have another, more possible explanation. Have you ever heard of such a thing happening, and do you have any ideas on how we can make life more enjoyable for the anemone again? <Yes... do place a structure over the anemone for now... that will allow circulation, light to get through (If the anemone is small perhaps a "strawberry basket" inverted... but something chemically inert) to separate/exclude the Wrasse for now... When you introduce the Clowns... this is going to sound a bit weird... do place a "clown shaped" algae clip (see your LFS re...) stuck to the tank inside near the anemone... this will hopefully prompt/stir your Clowns into more soon/readily associating with the Anemone... a useful technique, particularly w/ tank-bred/raised Clowns that often have little "clue" as to what an Anemone is. The Clowns will patrol, stave off the Wrasse> We don't want it to be so clearly distressed! It is a beautiful addition to our tank! Thank you so much in advance for your help and advice! We did already look on WWM and were unable to find anything related in the FAQ's or the articles. Have a great day! Beth <Thank you my friend. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Thor amboinensis, comp.   -- 03/15/07 Hello Bob, I was wondering if you think it would be worth a shot trying to keep a  few Thor amboinensis with a Euphyllia glabrescens in my  90 gallon reef. Would the coral benefit from the shrimp? Are any "critters" I  can or should add to the tank that will benefit the other animals? <Too likely that some of the fishes listed below would consume them. BobF> My tank inhabitants are: 1 Zebrasoma Flavescens 1 Pseudocheilinus hexataenia 1 Cirrhilabrus solorensis 1 Synchiropus splendidus 1 Amphiprion percula 8 Chromis viridis 1 Pterapogon kauderni 1 Centropyge bispinosus 3 Stonogobiops yashia 1 Pseudanthias ventralis Inverts: 3 Lysmata amboinensis 3 Sabellastarte sp. 11 Sabella species 2 Sabellastarte magnifica 3 Tridacna Crocea 7 Clibanarius sp. (red tip hermits) 7 Nassarius sp. 5 Astraea tecta 11 Trochus sp. 18 Nerita sp. Coral: 2 Caulastrea furcata 1 Caulastrea curvata 1 Euphyllia glabrescens 1 Briareum sp. 1 Xenia sp. 1 Cespitularia sp. 1 Cladiella sp. 2 Sinularia sp 2 Acropora (bushy Acropora) Thank you again for your time, Brian

Tank safe for sexy anemone shrimps? - 02/09/2007 Greetings! <Evening> As part of an order headed my way, I will be receiving 3 sexy anemone shrimps (Thor amboinensis). <Oh yes... am wagging my tail in emulation> My plan was to put them in my 65 gallon reef tank, but since placing the order, I have begun to wonder just how vulnerable they actually are given their small size (I've only seen them at my LFS but never kept them in my own tanks).  I think all of my fish will leave them alone... with the possible exception of the Banggai Cardinal (who seems to LOVE "anything meaty looking" that he finds in the water column - though I've never seen him "hunt" anything hiding in the rocks/coral). <Mmm, I'd separate the shrimp (and their anemone for a few days...)> Here's the complete lineup of fish in the tank: '¢ 2 clownfish (one percula, one ocellaris - they've paired up and spend most of their time in my branching hammer coral!) '¢ 2 purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora) '¢ 3 "bar gobies" (Ptereleotris zebra) '¢ 1 Banggai Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) '¢ 1 Rainford's Goby (Amblygobius rainfordi) '¢ 1 spotted mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus) '¢ 1 red headed goby (Elacatinus puncticulatus) '¢ 2 green-banded gobies (Elacatinus multifasciatus) (yes, before I get in trouble, the mandarin and Rainford's goby are both getting plenty to eat... my refugium is rockin' with 'pods, and both fish also have taken to eating processed food as well <g>). <Good> While there are no anemones in the tanks, <Uhh... no good... this animal lives in close association...> there are several Acropora and Montipora colonies in the tank (and a few other types of SPS as well) for the sexy shrimp to find homes in (I am under the impression the shrimp will be content with these corals as "homes" since that's how I've seen them at my LFS?). <Mmm, no, not likely> Anyhow - do you think the Banggai (or perhaps the Bar Gobies) will have them for lunch if I put them in the tank... or should they be fine as long as they are placed near a good coral colony to start? <Need to be placed with a symbiotic anemone... the fishes will avoid this> I do have 10- and 12- gallon tanks set up as well that the shrimp could go into if you think the 65 will be "unsafe" for them after all, though those two tanks are dedicated to lower light soft corals (Capnella, etc. which don't seem as conducive to becoming homes for   the shrimp?)... <I would place the shrimp elsewhere...> What say the gurus of WetWebMedia?  Thanks for your help!!  -Nate <Bob Fenner>
Tank safe for sexy anemone shrimps? - II - 02/11/2007
Thanks for the reply... and confirming my suspicions! <Welcome> I appreciate you giving me "the real scoop," since, as mentioned, I have seen the shrimp on Acropora before at my LFS (I am now guessing it was only because there was no anemone provided by the LFS?!), <Yes> and this blurb on LiveAquaria's site certainly implies that corals are "fine homes" for these shrimp (see end of the first paragraph). <Mmm... maybe w/o potential predators present... love that ona mata peia...> Either way, thanks for the insights - if I decide to track down an anemone for the shrimp (and set up another tank - I do have a 20   gallon sitting vacant and I'm sure my wife would LOVE it if I set up ANOTHER tank in the house <g>), <Heee!> is there an "ideal" anemone I should try to find for these  guys? <Mmm, yes... depends on where your specimens originated... could be a Condylactis if from the TWA... other if from the Pacific... is posted on the Net, WWM> Thanks again for your insights and wisdom... Nate <Mmm, little to no wisdom... some accumulated knowledge. Cheers, BobF>

Thor amboinensis - requirements  - 04/27/06 Hi crew, <Nick> I have a 30g FOWLR tank that has been running for about 15 months. Livestock at the mo is: 2 x Amphiprion ocellaris (tank-bred) 1 x Gramma loreto 1 x Centropyge eibli (still only small but hates my Gramma so its going to a friends new 250g reef) <Too crowded...> When I remove the angel I'm not going to add any new fish as I'm aware I was pushing it livestock-wise. I'm currently thinking of inverts I could add to the tank, I need something that is relatively easy to keep and that preferably isn't a L. debelius or L. amboinensis as I've kept these in the past and fancy a change. I was thinking of maybe a small group of Thor amboinensis but after reading conflicting reports on this species I'm not too sure of its requirements, does it require an anemone or host coral to survive or can it thrive without assuming there are no predators in the tank? <... a risk in this size system... Best kept with host anemone...> Do you think my tank could sustain 2-3 of these shrimps? <Not likely, no> Many thanks
<Bob Fenner>

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