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FAQs about Gnathophylliid Shrimps  Compatibility

Related FAQs: Gnathophylliids 1Gnathophylliids 2, & FAQs on: Gnathophylliid Identification, Gnathophylliid Behavior, Gnathophylliid Selection, Gnathophylliid Systems, Gnathophylliid Feeding, Gnathophylliid Disease, Gnathophylliid Reproduction, & 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, Pistol 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: Harlequin Shrimp, Shrimp A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree,


Bumblebee Shrimp and Starfish...Can they co-exist??? Not for long  -4/6/10
Hey Crew,
I have used your site extensively over the five years I have been in the reef hobby. I have a question that I was unable to find a definitive answer to. I recently added a bumblebee shrimp (Gnathophyllidae species)
to my 65 gallon reef tank (the online company said they were reef safe).
<Mmm, except for Echinoderms with tube-feet...>
I didn't suspect that the little guy would be a problem and going against my better judgment and knowledge, bought it before I had done adequate research. I noticed him staying on my Pacific Jewel starfish (Nardoa spp), which probed me to do some digging. What do you know, I found out that they eat the tubes from starfish! I know, always do your research first.
I was wondering if the shrimp would do any remarkable damage to the overall health of the starfish.
<Oh yes>
The shrimp is about 1/2 inch long, while the starfish is about 6 inches in diameter. I haven't been able to find any information about the extent of damage the bumblebee shrimp cause to the starfish. Could you possibly shed any light on this matter? Thank you so much for your time!
Brolin Evans
<These organisms are mutually exclusive; have to be housed separately. Bob Fenner>

Harlequin Shrimp And Urchins/Compatibility 3/11/10
Hi there!
<Hello Julia>
In a reasonably sized tank (100+ gal), could you house urchins (long spine and tuxedo) and a harlequin shrimp if the shrimp is routinely provided with meals? In addition to the chocolate chip stars there are also
LOTS of Asterina stars roaming the tank.
<First off, Harlequin Shrimp do best when kept as mated pairs. Although they feed primarily on starfish, they have been known to eat the tubed feet of some species of urchins. I am not aware of which specie of urchins these may be and Bob may input here re.><<Will try to eat most any/all. RMF>>
Thanks for your time!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Harlequin Shrimp <Greets - JasonC here, at your service.> Do Harlequin Shrimp eat Cucumbers too? <not in my experience> I know that they eat Echinoderms but Cucumbers are somewhat different I think, even though they do have the 5 part mouth which is why they are an Echinoderm. <Actually, the phylum, Echinodermata, of which Cukes and Seastars are both members means 'spiny skinned' - you can check them both out on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seacukes.htm > I don't know that's why I am asking. Also, if I got a pair of Harlequin Shrimp, how often should I toss a starfish in the tank for them to consume. <I feed mine one chip every two to three weeks, give or take. It's not really an exact science. I have a single Hymenocera elegans, and this particular specimen is fairly large for a harlequin shrimp. She wastes absolutely no time getting to the Seastar and will usually do-in a 2.5" specimen in two to three weeks, and smaller stars can go quite quickly - nothing left but the chips. I usually then wait until the shrimp makes regular appearances around and about the tank before I drop the next meal, which is usually not much longer than a week or two. Did I mention that I don't see it very often?> (I will be getting some small Blue Linckias and Chocolate Chip Stars) Thanks, Tim <As a final note, I usually limit my feeding stars to chocolate chips as they are among the most common and inexpensive. A Linckia Seastar in this area is quite expensive for what you are actually getting [isn't really a lot to a Seastar] and more of a decorative species than the lowly chocolate chip. Do keep in mind that while the Hymenocera will discriminate between a Cuke and a Seastar, it will not hesitate to kill and eat your favorite Fromia, so feed wisely. Cheers, J -->

Harlequin shrimp/Emerald crab question Greetings, JasonC here. I've not actually heard that Emerald crabs can be a threat to Harlequin Shrimp directly. That being said, there aren't many crabs that can be trusted much farther than you can throw them. They're quite often too opportunistic for their own good, and the well being of other tank inhabitants. I do know from my own Hymenocera that they will use their flat paddle-like forelegs to wave about and chase off the too-curious. I would just keep an eye on the crabs. Good luck, J --

Harlequin Shrimp and Wrasse Dear Crew: <Scott F. here today> I would very much like to put a Harlequin Shrimp pair in my 58 gallon reef.  I realize their eating requirements.....starfish only.  The inhabitants of my tank include a royal Gramma, pajama cardinal, midas blenny, 2 neon gobies and a 6-line wrasse.  It's the wrasse I'm worried about.  Would it bother the Harlequins?  Thanks for your help......Janey <Well Janey, there is no 100% guarantee, but if it were me- I'd feel comfortable with this combination. Keep in mind that a larger Sixline wrasse could potentially attack a shrimp-not likely, but not outside the realm of possibility, either! Regards, Scott F.

- Copepods & Harlequin Shrimp - Hi! My harlequin shrimp recently molted (there were several pieces of shell and all her legs).  I don't believe she survived. <Hold out hope, shrimp often go into hiding after a molt.>   My tank has a significant population of copepods - can copepods attack a vulnerable harlequin shrimp? <I suppose that is possible, but not probably. What is most likely is that the shrimp simply didn't live long after the molt - molting is an exhausting process and many crustaceans succumb during and after the process. Still, I'd hold out for it to still show up - best way to find out is to toss a Seastar in there... it will need nourishment after molting.>  Thanks for your help! Tracy L. <Cheers, J -- >

Harlequin Shrimp diet 9/28/04 I had a few questions regarding the eating habits of the harlequin shrimp.  First would the shrimp eat brittle stars? <They target primarily the tube feet, so brittle stars should be safe (safer?).> <<Uh, no. RMF>> Second when the harlequins eat the chocolate chip could the chocolate chip eat any of my corals?   <Chocolate chips are fairly indiscriminate feeders and may damager corals.> Third, are the shrimp reclusive?  I've seen some mixed opinions on the last question and was wondering your opinion.  Thanks, Willis   <IME, they are no more reclusive than other ornamental shrimps, especially once they become comfortable with their surroundings.   Best Regards.  Adam>

Multiple pairs of Harlequin Shrimp  9/6/06 I recently bought a pair of Hawaiian Harlequin shrimp that I've had for a couple months.  I'm looking at buying another mated pair and keeping them in the same tank.  I currently have my pair in an 8 gallon nanocube.  Do you know anything about the compatibility of multiple pairs of Harlequin shrimp? Thanks! <Yes... Gnathophylliids are not compatible in such small volumes. Bob Fenner>

Asterina Seastar Populations, control  -- 03/20/08 How to control these creatures? They multiply so quick. They eat the purple algae; make the tank look weird and ugly because of white spot. Thanks. Vinh <<I have seen postings where it was reported Harlequin Shrimp (Hymenocera sp.) will eat/reduce populations 'but be aware; once the Seastars are gone the shrimp will starve. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Asterina Seastar Populations, & Gnathophylliid f'  - 03/21/08 Thanks Eric. <<Welcome Vinh>> Do Harlequin shrimp is reef safe, and peaceful with other inverters? Thanks, Vinh <<Depends on your definition of 'reef safe' I suppose'¦but other than Echinoderms, your other inverts should be spared from the shrimp's diet.

Harlequin Shrimp And Serpent Stars? -- 03/25/08 Hello, WWM Crew! <<Hey, Kirk!>> I have a plague population of Asterina stars. <<Oh?>> I have had no issues with them until lately, when they decided to start eating my Zoanthids <<Perhaps you're not feeding the tank enough>> ...they sit on top of the polyps, extend their little guts, and start digesting the polyps from the top down. <<A problem, for sure>> I have been told that harlequin shrimp would help, <<I have heard/read this as well>> BUT, I also have a very large, beautiful crimson red serpent star in my tank (about 11" across), as well as a 5" tiger striped serpent. Will harlequins eat these too, or, do they mostly stick to chocolate chip stars and similar. <<Hmm'¦if hungry, I suspect most any Echinoderm is at peril 'unless motile enough to get away (maybe by digging in to the sand)'¦or big and scary enough (like a large Serpent Star) to possibly pose a risk to the shrimp themselves>> Someone told he that they fear serpent stars and will leave them alone, <<Mmm, haven't heard that myself 'but let me tell ya, if big enough, 'I' would be afraid of Serpent Stars! [grin]>> but, I do not want to risk losing this, what I consider to be rare (this is the first one I've seen in 5 years of being in the hobby), bright red serpent. <<I have seen a few of these (bright orange too)'¦beautiful creatures>> Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Kirk <<The two larger species you have are possibly safe, if only due to their mobility 'but perhaps a visit to one of the marine forums (Reef Central, Reefs.org'¦or even'¦Wet Web Media's newly revised forum!) to inquire/chat with someone who has kept these animals together will yield a more definitive answer. Cheers, EricR>>

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