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FAQs about Pistol (including Goby) Shrimps, Stocking/Selection  

Related FAQs: Pistol Shrimps 1Pistol Shrimps 2, Alpheid ID, Alpheid Behavior, Alpheid Compatibility, Alpheid Systems, Pistol Shrimp and Goby Biotopes, Alpheid Feeding, Alpheid Disease, Alpheid Reproduction, & Shrimp Gobies, Shrimp Gobies 2, & Marine Shrimps 1, Marine Shrimps 3, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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


Pairing gobies     2/18/19
Hi crew, I currently have a large (6") pink spotted watchman goby in a 6 foot 150 gallon aquarium. His territory takes up the left 3rd of the tank, he never ventures to the other side.
A friend is selling a 3" 'blue spot' watchman goby (which I believe is just a different colour variation of a yellow watchman goby?) with a red banded pistol shrimp.
<Might be the Cryptocentrus cinctus. See my pix here:
I am curious what you believe the likely outcome would be if I added this goby and shrimp to my setup.
<Likely will get along, possibly pair up!>
A. The two gobies would pair and/or share a cave. B. The new goby would setup territory on the right hand side of the tank and both gobies would ignore each other or C. The existing goby will harass or kill the new goby.
I have read a lot on pairing watchman gobies and I believe they would pair if they were both pink spots or both yellow but really haven't been able to find any info on two different watchmans pairing.
Thank you for your assistance on helping me make my decision :)
<Were this my system, set up, I'd try putting all together. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pairing gobies     2/19/19

Thanks so much Bob, you give me confidence :). I will give it a go and let you know the result.
<Thank you Nicole! BobF>
Re: Pairing gobies     3/21/19

Hi Bob, it's been a few weeks since adding my ywg and pistol shrimp and I said I would give you an update.
<Ah, good>
While the two gobies did not pair up there has been 0 issues housing them together. Honestly I am not even sure they know the other exists lol.
<These "meeting up" affairs often take time; just "happen" all at once at times. Patience>
Thank you for giving me the confidence to try it!
<Thank you for your report Nic. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Pairing gobies     3/21/19

That would be great if they paired eventually but all I really cared about was that they could coexist, so I am happy either way!
<What would our late mum state? (Just) Wait and watch... B>

Wrong id: Shrimp Goby POTD; and Alpheid comp. q.      5/27/17
Hi guys,
<Dr. Andrei>
Was browsing WWM for some answers.
Noted on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SWPOTD722.htm
The first photograph tagged "Amblyeleotris latifasciata, the Red-banded Shrimp-Goby. Western central Pacific in distribution. To a little over three and a half inches in length. Occasionally imported as an aquarium species. Bali 2014" shows an Amblyeleotris diagonalis pair with a single Alpheus bellulus. No A. latifasciata in there.
<Ah, thank you for this correction>
Now to jump to the my pain:
I have formed the forth Amblyeleotris latifasciata pair and managed to form a Alpheus bellulus to go on the same team.
They've went through a six weeks quarantine with an Alpheus bellulus shrimp, then moved in my RSM130.
All was well for a week. This video is from yesterday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooPVVypqxXY and as you can see they were a happy quartet.
This morning, one of the shrimps was displaying erratic behavior (leaving the nest type), going around the edges and swimming into the open, ignoring any goby protection offer. An hour later, he was fully fitted inside one's goby mouth. The other goby was picking pieces, so finally the shrimp was successfully swallowed.
Now it's job as always, with a pair of Amblyeleotris latifasciata and only one pistol shrimp.
<Mmm; I'd stick with this arrangement, having just the one Alpheid>
The tank is a RSM130, is six months and two weeks old, livestock is - pair Amblyeleotris latifasciata with (now) one Alpheus bellulus, 1x Ecsenius stigmatura, 1x Ecsenius pictus, 1x Lysmata amboinensis, 4-5x Paguristes cadenati, 2x Cypraea tigris, 5x Monetaria annulus, 6x Turbo fluctuosa, 20+ Nassarius vibex (20 adults and now countless babies), 3x Nerite sp, some Stomatella.
Last water parameters (from yesterday):
- temp 27.5°C (termometru JBL)
- pH >8.0 <8.3 (Salifert)
- Alk 9.3 dKH / 3.30 mEq/L (Salifert)
- NO3 25 mg/L (Salifert)
- Ca 380-390 mg/L (Salifert)
- Mg 1200-1230 mg/L (Salifert)
- SG 1024.6 (Hidrometru Tropic Marin)
- PO4 - no clue, I run some Rowaphos in a sock though and have no algae growth on the glass anymore
The tank journal link is http://www.acvariu.ro/forum/posts/list/80/36966.page , unfortunately the forum is in Romanian, also littered with NSFW photos (my forum members appreciate everything natural and beautiful, not restricted to fish) - :blush:.
I do not know what to make out of this, but my previous pair of A. latifasciata consumed both their shrimps at the same time within a week of being moved in the same RSM130 tank from a smaller tank where they've lived peacefully for a lengthy (+ two years) amount of time (see here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNJ1z6DDuk8 ). Needless to say, I've lost that pair sometime after the incident (upon return from a ten day holiday in January 2017, the girl stopped thriving, became emaciated and wasted away, the male followed a week later - stopped eating upon the death of his partner). Video prior to introduction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8gSh6hCBIQ with very excited gobies and soon after introduction in the tank https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpblO17FYfU
My theory around these killings is that the Amblyeleotris latifasciata as a species is developing more marked attachments then other Amblyeleotris species and upon being left they become jealous. I feel these fishes suffer when I'm not taking some time near the tank as they are always attention seekers and this goes beyond begging for food (if I just throw the food and neglect them they keep flashing). Also, they cannot stand being left by their shrimps as it sometimes happens and upon no other alternative, proceed on consuming them. I must also mention that they do not hide when I introduce my hand in the tank and that all the transfers (from the LFS bag to tank and from tank to tank) have been made by hand.
Please feel free to import and use the photos and videos from my YouTube channel and from my tank journal at your own will.
Kind regards,
<I'd offer a bit more meaty food/s more frequently... pipetted directly to their area; and hope for the best here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Wrong id     5/27/17

Hi Bob,
<Dr. A.>
Thank you for the quick answer.
<Certainly welcome>
I'm aware there is no clear cut answer, just wanted to leave a trace of this unusual behavior.
<Ahh; good>
I'm currently feeding them (and my other four nano tanks) a mixture of frozen food (Gamma Marine Quintet: Mysis, brine shrimp, krill, seaweed, razor clam) at each meal with some occasional dry food snacks to calm down the begging. They are not slim by any standards.
<I see>
I'll come back if there is any progress or progression on this.
<Thank you>
Kind regards,
<And you, BobF>

Alpheus Shrimp- Pistol Shrimp Compatibility      2/19/16
Dear Bob & Crew,
Thanks again for your on going passion for aquatics! Still waiting for a follow up to "Reef Invertebrates"!
<Ahh! I would tell you that I've been working on; and am almost (within a few hundred hours) of finishing the two Reef Fishes books/volumes; and am serializing the "Corals" tome via the UK magazine UltraMarine>
I had a brief question today. I had a Alpheus bellulus tiger pistol shrimp in my 155g reef tank but discovered that it was killing most of my snail population.
<Yes; common... can/will kill hermits, other small crustaceans as well as small fishes>
It was a rather large pistol, going on 3", with mostly gray stripes- not much coloration. It has long since been removed. I have seen many smaller, more colorful pistols (not sure if they are the same genus) and was wondering if they would be more compatible with snails.
Thanks so much!!Joe
<Not as far as I'm aware. The predatory behavior is very likely a function of size (as you state); as well as hunger and opportunity. IF trying another, I'd start it small and keep it well fed (as in with a feeding stick). Bob Fenner>

Cryptocentrus feeding/ compatibility conundrum      11/29/15
Much gratitude from myself and my fish...Firstly, I have a little something to share. I have a yellow watchman goby and Randall's pistol pair living happily under a mushroom rock in my 55. They both eat well and I would say that little yellow guy guards his shrimp at least as well as my dog guards my home. So I believe I have mostly read...and read, and read....that YWGs are carnivores. Some have called them omnivores leaning towards carnivores.
So I feed NLS pellets, NLS flakes, others, frozen: emerald entree, mysis, Cyclops....sometimes fortified with Vita Chem. I have other foods, but those are the staples. The YWG eats whatever floats past his little cave, never venturing more than 5 inches from the entrance. I have almost fully recovered from a bout of green hair algae, (compulsive over feeder in recovery) with the exception of the back glass. This is mostly because I haven't cleaned it off in 6 months or more, not out of laziness, but an outdated concept of leaving the back glass alone.
<Which I'm still a fan of!>
Today I decided to gradually clean it off, slowly, over time, as not to pollute my water with 3" strands of green hair. I thought I had all my pumps off....I didn't ..took a swipe with a sponge..and much of the algae went swirling around my tank. Thankfully, it wasn't a whole lot. But oddly, at least to me, my YWG went crazy. He started darting out of his cave, gobbling up every piece he could, even the largest ones. And he just ate a half hour ago. I have never seen him so excited over any food. I have never seen him pick at algae on rocks or algae anywhere. I guess, at least in my tank, a YWG will eat green hair algae, so long as I offer free delivery.......
Now my question. In my 55 gallon, I have the YWG/ Randall's pistol shrimp pair, a bicolor blenny, and a royal gramma. Inverts....two peppermint shrimp, about 10 dwarf hermits, two jumbo Nassarius (travel together...cute!), about 6 Nerite snails, one green mushroom and two small Palythoa colonies. No signs of chemical warfare, but I'm watching.....
In my 30 gallon, I have a tail spot blenny and a black Ray (yellow rose ) goby. Inverts.....5 dwarf hermits, 5 Nerites, 4 small Nassarius, and two small Zoanthid colonies.
Both tanks are peaceful and I don't NEED to add any more fish to either one. See....I ought to just stay out of the LFS because now they have a cute little aurora (pink bar) goby and in the very same tank, a YWG.....black and white kind (juvenile) with a tiger pistol shrimp. I've watched this tank several times, and neither goby seems to mind the other but I know what I've read about YWG...they don't tolerate other shrimp gobies.
<Not usually>
I assume this tolerance is due to the YWG being a juvenile as both gobies have been in this tank for two weeks together. I can find little info on the aurora goby as to whether or not he will tolerate other shrimp gobies.
<About as readily as any other of the same genus... which is to say; not typically>
I did find a photo online of a black Ray, yasha, and aurora sharing a borough. So my question is this.....do you think it possible that either one of my tanks could accommodate the aurora and a tiger pistol shrimp?
<It is possible.... I'd have a floating/plastic colander ready to isolate/separate the resident goby if WWIII breaks out>
The YWG in the 55 is stationed all the way to the left of the tank. I have a "two separate piles of live rock" style aqua scape. One pile is on the right, the other is on the left. Could the pink bar possibly live on the right, given careful, purposeful placement and ample live rock?
<Yes; could possibly>
The LFS has another tiger pistol, goby less, in another tank. Would the shrimp possibly help to keep him on the other side of the tank?
<Again; a gamble... I'd be sinking at least two, three small lengths of PVC tubing with the end above the gravel>
OR..in the 30 gallon....would the black Ray, which I have read will sometimes share his borough with other gobies, possibly welcome the aurora and pistol into his hole?
<This is more unlikely; a smaller possibility>
If I put them in together, might the black Ray think the aurora just part of the price of gaining a pistol shrimp?
<Even smaller potential>
I ask because I can't find any info on whether or not auroras will tolerate other shrimp gobies...aside from the aforementioned photo. Am I just asking for trouble either way? Thanks so much! Alyson R.
<There is margin for good/bad to happen with these additions... better done using screw cap plastic containers w/ holes in them (drilled is better vs. melted; ask your dealer/LFS if they have some to lend.... to keep all the new parties separated, but in view, smell of the established, for a few days. Bob Fenner>

Experiences with Cryptocentrus cinctus and Alpheus bellulus       1/26/15
Hi :)
<Hey Borja>
Just adding data points to the success/failure rate of goby and shrimp pairing. In my case it was clear that the right species were involved, I wonder if some of the failures are due to species mismatch.
<Undoubtedly your statement is correct. I'd throw in "mis-introductions"; the use of too small a system, insufficient habitat, mis-matched sizes even>
I have a goby shrimp nano running for four years now. The first pairing was done when I set it up (after leaving it be for two months in order to stabilize) and I had no issues. Although both Toby and shrimp came from the same store, I didn't add them at the same time. There was no trouble and the pair got along perfectly.
A couple of months ago the goby passed away and the Alpheus was alone in the tank. I immediately noticed that it was much harder to see it, except of course when I added food to the tank.
And this last Friday, visiting my usual LFS, I noticed something that immediately put me in "rescue" mode. A ragged, thin and small Cryptocentrus cinctus was swimming around an hexagonal tank, close to the surface, in circles. The tank had some small Perculas and several blue damsels, although I didn't witness any aggression. Anyway I was planning to bring a new flat mate for the shrimp, so I purchased it.
After acclimation I released the goby into the tank. The behavior was so different, which can only stress how critical is to provide the right environment.
<Ah yes!>
After the stress of being netted twice, transported in a bag, etc, the fish got much calmer immediately upon being released on a sand bed. No quick gasping, no frantic movements, just resting.
In a minute or so it turned around, had a look at the tank, noticed one of the burrows made by the shrimp and it got inside. No trouble, no clicks, nothing. And in 10 minutes I could get a quick shot of this domestic scene.
The Alpheus is visible again, the fish keeps really calm, and it gorges with my generous feelings of krill Pacifica, mysis and Masstick.
So much for aberrant "phone booth" and similar tanks featured in disgusting TV shows, pretending that some kind of magical, professional skill will prevent fish stress.
<Uggh.... both Tanked and the Kings/FLA artificial coral shows are such poor over-dramatic representations>

I must admit I was worried because the goby is smaller than the shrimp (it's a young one) and it's rather thin, and I read that thin gobies perceived as "too weak" could sometimes be attacked by the shrimp. But so far so good, the only "violence" I've witnessed was a lot of pushing when the shrimp was trying to release a lot of sand held between its pincers and the goby was standing in the middle of the way, actually quite funny.
<Thank you for this report; sharing. Bob Fenner>

Red pistol shrimp... comp. match for a Yasha?        12/13/14
I was wondering if this pistol shrimp will be ok with my yasha goby.... I was told that this would be ok at the lfs. Thank you
Below is a sample pic of the exact shrimp. He is about 2 inches.
<Mmm; I do think this will work... I would introduce them slowly... in an uncrowded setting of at least a few tens of gallons... with pieces of small diameter (1/2" likely) plastic pipe dipped into the substrate for both to find, hide in. Bob Fenner>

Adding another pistol shrimp?     8/17/14
Hello and thanks for your wonderful service--really appreciated. I have a
29 gallon nano with one pajama cardinal fish and one yellow watchman goby/tiger snapping shrimp pair (as well as some mushroom coral, macro algae, blue legged hermit crabs and snails) which has been up and running
for a year and a half. I love the goby/shrimp pair--they've settled in at
the front of the tank where I can sit and watch them. I realize that adding another watchman goby and hoping to have them pair off is a futile hope--but wondered about adding another pistol shrimp?
<Mmm; if you don't mind possibly losing livestock... trying to get another Alpheid of the same species... might work>
From what I've
read, usually (in nature) there are whole colonies living together,
<Mmm; no... either single or pairs of both shrimps and gobies... never more as far as I've ever encountered>

but I
realize that aquaria live changes behavior--so wondered what you thought or knew.
Very much appreciate your answers and your wonderful website.
Best Regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding another pistol shrimp?
Thank you Mr. Fenner-thrilled that you replied-but not clear on the answer.
<Ahh; clarity is pleasurable... let's begin again. The choice of trying another Pistol shrimp that will get along w/ your present symbiotic pair in such a small volume (29 gal. shape, size) is problematic. I give you some odds, though not good, that adding another that might get along might work.>
So far, they've been very peaceful--no losses in livestock, as I've been
very careful with stocking and with targeted feeding. Read an article about them (

) and got excited about the possibilities, but recognize that actually
re-creating the relationships in the tiny aquarium I now have would be difficult. Really appreciate your web page--and your book. The extensive
information (and the passion) are remarkable.
<Am grateful for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

More re Stonogobiops; now symbiotic shrimp matching, comp. w/ other livestock      10/1/13
Hi Bob,
Sorry to keep bothering you, my pair of high fin goby's have taken up residence In the Jawfishes old home, and they are being very timid and not coming out for feeding
I was thinking of getting them a pistol shrimp to help with digging but was wandering what type of pistol will pair with them? We have a pair of mandarins, 1 Jawfish, and 2 bicolour blenny's.
<... I'd very likely skip placing an Alpheid here... Too likely (highly) to have trouble, even if the Pistol is commensal to mutual w/ the Stonogobiops (nematodes BTW, not yasha)... You can/could look up which species are found "naturally" together... The real trouble is size of the system AND the other fishes here. Too much probability that the latter would/will "get punched"... Keep reading. B>

Pistol shrimp issues; non-compatibility of currently offered spp.  8/31/13
I was browsing your site looking for other information when I thought I would check out the information on pistol shrimp. I found there lacked some crucial and important distinctions in the information provided. Lately there has been a flood in the pistol shrimp market of shrimps belonging to the *Alpheus armatus* species complex. These shrimp, despite what most LFS say, rarely play nice with gobies as they naturally host with curly cue anemones. This has been giving a lot of people and gobies unnecessary grief. People need to know that not all members of *Alpheus *are goby lovers
* *and trying to force them into this unnatural relationship may end very badly.
*                Thank-you,
<Thanks much for this valuable input Jen. Will post/share. Bob Fenner>

Reef tank Question - Adding mated Pair Prawn Goby's and Red Banded Snapping Shrimp with existing Red Banded Snapping Shrimp   3/15/12
I have a few questions regarding new additions that will arrive March 16th 2012... In advance, thank you for your time in reading this... 
I have a 72g Bowfront tank, up and running 8 months 
13 gallon Tidepool 2 BioWheel filter
Nautilus Kent Marine Protein Skimmer
85lbs live rock
60 lbs Hawaiian black, and 40 lbs Tahitian moon
pink and green Pocillopora ** Not doing well, added 3 weeks ago.. all polyps inverted..
Polyps, mushrooms,
toadstool leather,
trumpet coral, Xenia,
radioactive dragon eyes
Bristle worms - ewe, some night crawler size
some Halimeda algae
4 inch ORA Derasa Clam (Tridacna derasa) - (Named Miss Clam)
Large Variety of Hermits, Electric Blue, Orange and Black legged,
Halloween, blue legged, brown legged, zebra legged.
3 Turbos, 2 giant snails, 
Fish include:  ** Listed in order they were entered, names included :^)
Green Clown Goby (Lil Gobies)
Lawnmower Blenny (Lawny) - He runs the tank
Mated pair Black ocellaris (Midnight and Moon),
One Spot Blenny (Lil Tyke),
Purple Pseudochromis (Worm Burner) ** Worm burner has been ented into solitary confinement i nthe Corner overflow box..
Mated pair of peppermint shrimp ( Pepper and Minty) - Very pregnant at this time...
Large Blood shrimp (Claymore)
Trapezia Crab (Mr. Muscles)
3/4 inch Red Banded Snapping Pistol Shrimp (Clicker)
Water Parameters
Ammonia - 0
Nitrates - 0
Nitrite - .1
PH - 8.2
KH- 12
Calcium- 470
<High... I take it Mg is in proportion>
Dosing -I add a product called FORM
<Weiss... Mud, okay>
 every 2 weeks with 10 gallon water changes consistently. occasionally Seachem Reef Buffer ** Do I need to do more frequent or increase Gallons of changed water?
<Apparently not>
My testings seem fairly stable, PH occasionally drops but easily stabilized.
I feed often, minimum 2 times per day, but usually 3, 4 or 5 times a day..
I would say Im in the over feed category - Lawny likes a full belly. about a month ago I decided to add the red banded pistol shrimp and an aurora goby, 4.5 inches. (Ruby) The first day she jumped into the overflow somehow and Wormburner the pseudo messed up her tail pretty bad. I rescued her and she was fine, but a week ago, she Lawny the blenny started chasing her. It all started when the green clown goby finally got enough courage to come out and scoot around.. I saw Lawny chasing the Aurora Goby, and the goby seemed tired, Lawny was just biting her back repeatedly when she stopped, Then the next time I looked, I couldn't find her anywhere. Until the next morning... she had jumped out the hole for my Air bubbler hoses... she was crispy. The pistol shrimp is still digging away. He is in the same corner as the Black Ocellaris, Green clown goby, and the one spot blenny, it seems Lawny has claimed the rest of the tank. Lawny allows the shrimps and the Trapezia but loves to pick up crabs and swim with them. The Clownfish are becoming more territorial recently.
Here's the problem. I ordered from the Diver Den
Orange Stripe Prawn Goby (Pair) with Red Banded Snapping Shrimp
Trapezia Pocillopora/Acropora Crab 
I chose these goby's because they are semi aggressive, I figured they can hold their own. The aurora goby seemed Too peaceful.. should be an early entry into the tank in my opinion.
<Do "lay in" a few pieces (a few inch lengths) of PVC pipe...  1/2 or 3/4"... in the substrate, edge up... to make ready hiding spaces>
They will be here Friday 3/16/2012, I cannot find any information on Trapezia crabs,
<Hide in stony corals... use the search tool on WWM re the genus>
and I don't know how to tell if they will pair up, or compete for they dying Pocillopora.. do they change sex?
<Not as far as I'm aware>
  Do they need a host coral to survive?
 Is it normal for Pocillopora to change color and suck in its spores?
<Under many conditions, yes>
The Trapezia does not sit in it, but under it and he often roams the tank for food.
 <Unusual... give it time>
Also, should I enter the Orange Prawn Goby Pair and the Snapping shrimp to the same corner as the existing red banded snapping shrimp? Or should I place them on the other side of the tank where there is more space?
<The other side>
 Both snapping shrimps are approximately 3/4 inch. Is it likely they will pair up?
or fight.. are they able to change sex? Do I need to worry about my rock formations to fall?
<Not if they're stable and set on the bottom (not on the sand)>
I have 3 separate caves, formed of 4 to 5 rocks just over a foot high on the outer two caves... seem fairly stable with the sand under them,
<Scoot away the sand>
 but I'm not so sure after the pistols get bigger..
<Some a bit more>
Do you think my clam will ever be in jeopardy from the Pistol shrimp?
  I know you guys (or gals) aren't fortune tellers, but your compatibility knowledge far exceeds mine..
 Do you think I am to maximum stocking after these additions?
<Mmm, not really, no>
 Any suggestions or warnings on my setup or conditions?
<None other>
Thanks much, I know this is a bit lengthy but I wanted to make sure I covered my bases. I check your site often before making my purchase selection, but I wasn't able to find much with similar conditions to mine.
Kudos to your team for answering the variety of questions asked... Your team is FABULOUS ...
Thanks Much !!
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Lost my Randall's pistol shrimp    8/12/11
Greetings again, crew.
<Hello Dustin>
It seems like lately I've sent you more e-mails than the rest of my address book combined, and you've been a wonderful help.
<It's a pleasure!>
About two weeks ago, I purchased a Yellow Watchman and a Randall's Pistol shrimp. Both were quite small, the goby being about 1.75 inches, the shrimp about 1.25inches. I drip acclimated both of them, who stayed practically glued together the entire time in the bag, and introduced them into my system...and may have sabotaged my viewing pleasure of them.
Upon entering the tank, the shrimp immediately took off under my live rock. This is supported by a single piece of egg crate, to help keep it from digging down in the sand bed. The goby stuck to the corners of the tank and milled around a bit, but didn't take to "hiding" anywhere until the lights went out at night. In an attempt to coax him to a place I could enjoy him more, I took a piece of PVC and crammed it down in the front right corner of my sand bed, creating a nice little den for him. He took to it right away, and now I get to enjoy watching him frequently.
The shrimp, however, has disappeared somewhere under the rock.
Potentially, he may have been pretty frightened by my Coral Beauty taking a curious nip at him when he was introduced. Despite giving his buddy a shelter, I have yet to see him, though I've searched during daylight, dusk, and night time hours. I've neither seen nor heard him, though I notices that there are shallow spots under the egg crate base of the rock now.
<They do tend to hide out of sight. What other fishes/ invertebrates do you have? Anything that might cause problems other than the Coral Beauty?>
I at least thought I would hear him "snapping" by now. Is there any way to lure/trap him to see if he's even still alive in there?
<Mmm, not really without ripping up your structure. I suspect that he may still be in there, you could try the 'inverted bottle neck' trap, but I do not have much hope that it will work here. An alternative is to try moving the pipe that houses the goby more in towards the rocks, or have a good search in there yourself>
<No problem>

Pairing Tiger Pistol Shrimp  8/8/10
Wet Web Media,
I have a Yellow Watchman Goby Paired with one Tiger Pistol Shrimp, *Alpheus bellelus. *I have an intricate PVC pipe system that these two inhabit. I was wondering if I bought another Tiger Pistol Shrimp and set him at the entrance of the PVC burrow whether my current Pistol shrimp would be inclined to allow the newcomer in. Is it possible to pair Tiger Pistol shrimp?
<It is... but can be a tricky proposition... I would only do this if there is sufficient room (like four square feet plus of bottom surface area) to accommodate two separate burrow sets, animals>
If so do I need to distinguish between male and female shrimp?
<Can be helpful, but not necessary>
Or take the Clownfish route and simply add a much smaller Tiger than the one I currently have?
<A reasonable approach IMO/E>
I know these things are never 100%, I am just curious whether anyone has any experience regarding keeping two Tiger Pistol Shrimp in the same burrow.
<They can/do live as pairs mostly in the wild.>
<Bob Fenner>

Seeing Double - Yellow Watchman Gobies Goby compatibility    8/7/10
<Hi Laura>
Hope you are all doing well on this fine Saturday morning.
<Not bad actually,. just got my DIY Sulfur Denitrator online>
I don't know if I have a "problem" or not, so I wanted your opinion.
Two weeks ago I added a juvenile (1.75") yellow watchman goby to my 85 gallon reef tank. The first night the watchman disappeared, went into the overflow, and was found the next morning in a filter sock in the sump, alive.
<Glad he made it.>
I put him back in the tank, covered the overflow (it is already covered with eggcrate and screening - this fish got through a 1/4" opening) as best I could, and hoped for the best. Sure enough, that night, the fish swam up to the overflow and was laying on the screening. I thought it was dead, held it in the cup of my hand, and poof! It twitched wildly, and literally flew out of my hand. I had NO idea where it went. I didn't know if it flew back in the tank, over the back or side walls, or on the floor.
It was like a magic act. I searched EVERYWHERE.
<Fish rule of anti-matter, a 1 inch guppy can vanish from a 1 gallon fishbowl and never leave a trace.>
Fast forward, two weeks later, no sign of the guy. I assumed he was dead (this should tip you off right here).
<Heheheh. Yes, I've been surprised by critters in my tank that I thought were long gone.>
Yesterday, I added another juvenile yellow watchman goby. Guess what I woke up to this morning? Two little yellow watchman gobies, side by side behind a rock in the bottom of my tank, tails wiggling, looking at me like a pair of prairie dogs.
Can these little gobies live together in my tank?
Will they fight,
<Maybe a little.>
change sex
and become a mated pair, or simply coexist?
<One or the other.>
Right now, they are glued to each others side. Also, my reef is not something I can take apart to get one out. It would be a virtual nightmare.
<Enjoy them. They really do better in pairs.>
Please let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance for your advice.
<Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobycompfaqs.htm>

-Goby shrimp w/out a shrimp goby!- Crew Person: <Kevin person here tonight> I was able to get a "paired" Randall's Prawn Goby (Amblyeleotris randalli) & Pistol Shrimp.  Unfortunately, a week into QT, the Goby died.  Now I am sitting here with a pretty expensive shrimp (that looks more like a lobster).  Anyway, my question is this:  can I get another fish to pair up, or am I up shrimp's creek without a Goby? <Haha, I suppose that would depend on the goby. Shrimp/goby pairs are actually very easy to set-up, so I hope you didn't pay too much for the luxury. I would just get a hold of another Randall's (after making sure what happened to this one won't happen again) and you've got a pretty good chance it will pair up. Make that a 95% chance.> It doesn't sound likely, but I had to ask the pros.  If the possibility exists, can I get any species of shrimp goby, or stick with Randall's? <The Randall's are pretty promiscuous as far as shrimp are concerned, so I'd go with that one. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks for all you do, Rich.

- Uninvited Guests, More Follow-up - Hi, I setup my tank about 3 weeks back, the night before setup, I discovered lots of pistol shrimps. It was nightmare for me. It is now ok, took care of the problem. <Oh... ok. Well, thanks for the update but do bear in mind that pistol shrimp aren't generally considered "harmful" and do have a role to play in a functioning ecosystem. Cheers, J -- > 

Pistol shrimp/goby joy  8/13/07 Hi guys. For once this isn't a panicky question about an aquarium disaster. We just wanted to thank you for all the information on the site about shrimp gobies and their shrimps. We (rather naughtily) bought a "tangerine striped goby" from our LFS yesterday, having gone there intending to buy a Copperband (they didn't have any). Admittedly, this goes against your golden rule of never buying anything on a whim and without reading up on it first, but our trusted LFS manager said it should be fairly easy to keep. We got him home and found that he's really a Randall's Shrimp Goby, did a bit of reading, and decided we'd try to find a shrimp to keep him company. Today we've brought home a tiger pistol shrimp, and within an hour of putting the shrimp in, the two have become completely inseparable. It's amazing to watch, and the shrimp is very entertaining to watch as he tries to build a burrow. Just felt we should share this with someone! Jim+Jo <Greetings. A while back I kept a whole tankful of snapping shrimps, and it was one of the most fun tanks I've kept. It's funny, but things like snapping/pistol shrimps and mantis shrimps are often written off as pests by reef keepers, but when the focus of their own tanks, become engaging pets. Snapping shrimps are incredibly hardy (these were, at least) and because of where the tank was set up, water changes were something that happened once a month, if that. It was the most basic aquarium imaginable: undergravel filter, no chiller (these were coldwater shrimps), and certainly no skimmer or living rock for water quality management. But they thrived! I can't be sure if they bred, but they certainly grew, and their numbers seemed to remain steady. The noise that came from the tank was quite eerie sometimes, like crumpling leaves. Anyway, all this is by way of saying I'm glad you're trying something a bit different, and wish you every success with your new pets. Cheers, Neale>

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