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FAQs about Harlequin Shrimps Selection

Related FAQs: Gnathophylliids 1Gnathophylliids 2, & FAQs on: Gnathophylliid Identification, Gnathophylliid Behavior, Gnathophylliid Compatibility, 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,


Harlequin Shrimp I was recently considering purchasing one of the Harlequin Shrimps (Hymenocera picta) from FFE. My question is are they cleaner shrimps and could you tell me a little more about them? Thanks for the info! <<Not Cleaner Shrimp at all... and obligate feeders on Starfishes... If it were me, I'd look into more appropriate livestock... this novelty species hides all the time, drives owners into the poor house with starfish acquisitions...Bob Fenner>>
A Harlequin Shrimp underwater in Hawai'i

Hymenocera picta Bob,  I just recently bought your book and have learned much. I was hoping you could help me with a species not mentioned. I recently spotted a pair of Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta) together in a tank at my LFS. They are absolutely beautiful. I see them eating starfish when I am in the shop. These are the first two I have ever seen. I would probably think that because of their diet they would be a species you wouldn't recommend, but how do you feel about these beauties??? I have a 55 gal w/LR , 3 clownfish, yellow tang, anemone, and pulsing xenia. Brad <Well, yes, the two standard statements to make re these shrimp: keep in pairs and they eat only echinoderms (more than Seastars... urchins, etc.)... and so, almost all folks who want to maintain these crustaceans keep them in a "species" tank pretty much by themselves... and develop an expensive, time-consuming habit of providing them with spiny-skinned animal meals and removing the carcasses so they won't foul the water... does this sound THAT interesting to you? IMO, for public aquarium display only. But, to each their own. Bob Fenner>

Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... -- 08/26/07 Hi Guys : <Hi there! Mich here.> I'm in Australia (if it matters), <In that case, G'day mate!> and I have seen a pair of Harlequin Shrimp for sale at a local aquarium. <OK.> I have done a lot of research on this species, and I have been keeping marines now for over 20 years, so I feel I can adequately care for them, <Hopefully you have don't all you homework re their specialized care requirements, i.e. a diet of echinoderms, primarily live seastars.> but my question is - Do you think that $350.00 is over priced for a pair of these? <RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED!!!! At that price, take the money and go to the GBR and collect yourself! http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=749&N=0 Approximately $A73 from this website, you may be able to find cheaper. Happy shopping! Mich>

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... -- 08/27/07 Hey there Mich : <G'day apparently nameless Aussie marine aquarist ;) > Love your sense of humour ... <Heehee! Thank you!> Thanks so much for your reply. <Welcome!> I appreciate it immensely. <In that case, you are immensely welcome!> I have been doing lots and lots of additional research on these little guys, so that I am assured I provide the best care possible. The species I see for sale on the net is Hymenocera picta, but the species for sale here is H. elegans. Would that make a difference to the price issue, or am I still being extremely ripped off? <I'm sticking with the latter! http://aquaticaonline.net/shrimp.html Still under $A100 for two.> (I must say though that I have never seen any for sale before, and these little guys are just gorgeous). <They are quite pretty... I just have a hard time with their eating habits personally. More info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/harlequinshrimp.htm > The other issues are - 1. It's illegal to collect them myself, or I damn well would  <Heehee! Me too at that price!> (I've been a scuba diver (Divemaster) for as long as I have been keeping marines), <Am not familiar with collection practices there, but sometimes there are variances for personal or educational use. You might want to explore this option if the GBR is a possibility.> 2. The species for sale here is different to what is for sale on the net, and <I still don't think this justifies the price difference.> 3. If, (and I do mean IF, though I would put all efforts into it), I could get them to breed, my return would be worth the effort. <Mmm, I would caution you here, generally any breeding is quite challenging for most aquarists, and profitability is seldom the motivation for dedicated breeder. You can read of some trials and errors here: http://www.projectdibs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1112 I am not aware of harlequin shrimp being successfully raised by the hobbyist.> Just wondering if you know of somewhere else I can get H. elegans that would export to Australia, because these guys are extremely rare to see for sale over here. <I'm sorry, but I am not well versed in import/export issues. But I do see them being offered for sale on line http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/213707/product. the website picture shows H. elegans but is not specific as to the species.> Like I said previously, I have never seen a pair for sale before. <I'm not sure what the reason is for this. I know they are not terribly uncommon here in the USA and frequently see them at the LFS. Wish I could be more helpful. Good luck to you, my nameless friend, I would do more research before parting with that kind of cash for these lovely creatures. Mich>

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No Supply and Demand  8/28/07 Hey again Mich - <G'day Ray! My no longer nameless friend!> I'm really beginning to like conversing with you. <Nice to hear and I with you.> Your sense of humour is very appealing. <Heehee, if only everyone thought that... :) > My name is Ray Grinberg (no longer nameless) ... ; ) <Nice to meet ya Ray!> While I was waiting for your last reply, I did some extra research on the availability of H. elegans, <Glad you could be productive!> and I discovered that for some unknown reason, Harlequin shrimp are incredibly rare to get in Australia. We do have very, very strict laws about collecting on the GBR. <As MarthaS. would say, "a good thing".> You require a permit, and there is no getting around it. The government is very strict on that issue, to stop exploitation, and I agree with it, having dived it for 20 years now. <So you likely see the benefit.> The other big problem is that we are not allowed to import invertebrates into Australia from other countries, <Was not aware of this, thank you for edifying me!> which is why aquariums don't out-source their stock, and Harlequins very rarely appear on stock lists for sale, therefore, they are very rare and expensive here. <Ahh, makes sense.> It looks like I may just have to live with that... <Yikes, better you than me!> I am aware that breeding these guys is rare and very difficult, (and I wouldn't do it specifically for profit), but the challenge of breeding and raising them would, (for me at any rate) become a natural progression to paying such a high price. <Understandably.> For something so rare over here, I would have to take the challenge and try. <Couldn't hurt.> If you ever see a site that sells in Australia, or can somehow export over here, I think there would be a lot of people that would love to know ... <I would imagine.> Thanks for all your help, and friendly conversation. <You are most welcome, the pleasure is mine.> Ray Grinberg ... <Michelle Lemech>

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand... What the Market Will Bear... 8/28/07 Dear Michelle - <Hello Ray.> It seems our conversation is nearing its unfortunate, though inevitable end. <Possibly.> I wish there was more I could write to you about, as I have loved communicating with you, but, alas, I don't wish to waste your valuable time talking rubbish. <Communication/interaction/sharing is seldom wasteful.> It seems that the price for the Harlequins I have seen is a little extravagant, even by Australian standards, <Yes.> but I doubt I will ever see another pair for a very, very long time, so I may have to just accept it. <Is your choice, lies with in your control ultimately.> These little guys are extremely beautiful though, and in perfect condition, so I may as well get them as someone else. <That's one way to justify it! Heehee!> I will be dedicating a tank just to them, and be assured that with such a high price, the greatest care will be given to provide for their every need and desire. I think they may well become the most spoiled, pampered shrimp in the world... <Sounds like they could be in the running!> May I keep in touch, and ask questions on their care if needed? <Of course! Why we're here! Please let us know how any breeding attempts fair.> Thank you for all your help. <You are quite welcome Ray. Mich> Ray

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand... What the Market Will Bear... Future Breeding Efforts   8/30/07Michelle - <G'day Ray!> I just had to reply ... (any excuse) <Heehee!> I guess it is just a justification for paying so much, but if I don't get them, someone else will, and I will miss out. <It's OK. It is up to you. It is your decision. It is your money (I'm presuming you didn't rob a bank! Or if you did, then it is not your money and give it back!) and your decision as to whether you choose to use that money to have the privilege of being solely responsible for the care and health of these beauties.> I think these little critters are worth getting hold of, and I do so knowing full well that I am being taken for the ride of my life. <You are making an informed decision. You know that they sell for significantly less in other countries, but that does help you when importation is not possible (or doesn't appear to be possible). So this price, thought exorbitant elsewhere, is likely what your current market will bear.> I will be trying to breed them, and rest assured that I will indeed let you know how the breeding attempts fair. <Look forward to that! I do wish you much success. The Project Dibs (Desirable Invertebrates Breeding Society) website may be a good resource for you. Their mission is to create an online community collaborating on openly sharing knowledge of how to breed marine invertebrates. They do have a good deal of information and is a worthy project.> I don't expect to be successful, but if I pamper them enough, you never can tell. <Well, I can tell you it will take a lot more than pampering! There is a lot of work that is required of such an effort. At this point the care requirements of the fry is not understood. Success may come, but only after a lot of trial and error, and likely a good bit of frustration and perhaps heartbreak. But, hopefully success will be achieved!> I have been looking for all the info I can get on the subject and I think feeding will be the greatest challenge (as it usually is with fry). <Mmm, feeding the fry is a challenge, but from what I read, I don't think that is the biggest challenge; the unexplained deaths would be my biggest concern. Feeding might be less of a challenge if you are near tropical water which perhaps you (hopefully) you are.> I've bred a few marine species in my time, <Then you may have some good experience to draw from. It is likely good that you are considering purchasing these beauties. You have the means, experience and desire to perhaps advance the reproductive efforts of these lovely shrimp.> and I definitely think they will be well worth the challenge. <Will be a challenge for sure! I wish you much enjoyment and much success! Mich> Ray.

Re: Question on Harlequin Shrimp... Price Gouging... No, Supply and Demand... What the Market Will Bear... Future Breeding Efforts My dearest Michelle - <My dearest Ray, how shall I start the love letter? Heehee!> Rest assured, I did not rob a bank in order to afford the Harlequins <Whew! I can sleep now!> ... but a bank loan was definitely an option ... <Heehee... such is this hobby/illness/addiction...> Actually, it was plain old desire. If you want something enough, you'll find the money. <So has been said.> The DIBS will be a place I will frequent, in my search for knowledge. Thank you very, very much for that little gem. <My fellow crewmember, Brenda, pointed me to this little gem, so we must thank her as well!> I think that success in breeding such a difficult species may well lie in scientific rationale + trial and error, rather than hope and heartbreak. <Oh I absolutely agree, hope and heartbreak are often the emotional products of trial and error for those who are gifted enough to connect to their emotional being.> I don't assume to be the person the "break the code", but I may achieve some limited success, and in doing so, pass on what I learn, so that the progression of knowledge will lead to success for someone else in the future. That is my realistic view, <A noble goal.> but my heart still wants me to be the one (we can dream anyway) ... <The dream is often the first step.> I appreciate, and thank you for your encouragement. <You're very welcome my friend, and I do hope your dreams come true. Mich> Ray Grinberg.

Solo Harlequin -05/11/08 Hi Crew I purchased a solo Harlequin shrimp and put it on my 10 g tank 3 days ago, I threw in a choc chip star and right away it grabs the star and start munching on it... since then the shrimp never let go, for 3 days now its just sitting on top of it (day and night). <This is very typical/normal behavior.> Will it ever let go of it at least once in a while or after it consume the whole thing? How many days before I remove the star from the tank cause I'm worried that it might foul the water since it's very small system? <The "cruel" thing about these shrimp is that, even while feeding, they have an interest in keeping the star alive as long as possible (I believe they might even feed the star). So it might be quite some time before the starfish actually dies. To know when to remove it, monitor your nutrient levels frequently and regularly. When your nutrients spike (or when the shrimp lets go of the poor creature) that's the time to take the star out.> The shrimp is the only inhabitant in the tank (at least for now ?) and it is a SOLO! I've read somewhere in this site that this type of shrimp will not live long unless they are in pair? <Nah, they're fine by themselves. But do be VERY diligent with top-offs, maintaining salinity at 35ppm. They don't like salinity swings.> pls pls pls advise as this tiny creature fascinates me and my family . If ever, can I purchase another one? and take my chances if they will pair...not even sure how you can tell the male and female? how can you tell? Also, will they fight ? I mean, if it so happen that they're both male or female? <I would not risk adding another to a nano tank. They don't need to be in pairs and if the resident shrimp doesn't like the new addition (or vice versa), they can be quite mean (kill each other even).> How many of this species can you keep in this size of tank? <I wouldn't keep more than two. But again, since you already have one, I wouldn't add another.> Can I also add at least 1 goby? maybe a yellow watchman? <Probably, but please read about them first.> how 'bout a clown fish? <I wouldn't.> or some corals too? <Some small soft corals and/or a hardy LPS coral could work. Please see our pages on nano tanks.> I think I'm asking too much for such a small tank! pls enlighten me before I start killing these livestock and my wallet...not to mention my wife. <Nano tanks are tricky, please start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/small.htm> 10 g , 2" sand, 2 -10g whisper filter(1st w/ carbon, 2nd w/Chemi pure), 20 lbs LR, heater, 1 Sm Rio (for added circulation) and 15w 50/50 coral life fluorescent. Thanks in advance.... Nemo 1 <De nada,
Sara M.>

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