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FAQs about Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimps, Compatibility

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

Related FAQs: & FAQs on: Hippolytid FAQs 1, Hippolytid FAQs 2, Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Selection, Hippolytid Systems, Hippolytid Feeding, Hippolytid Disease, Hippolytid Reproduction,  & by species: Atlantic Cleaner Shrimp (L. grabhami), Blood/Debelius Shrimp (L. debelius), California Cleaner Shrimp (L. californica), Pacific Cleaner Shrimp (L. amboinensis), Peppermint Shrimp (L. wurdemanni), Saron ShrimpsSexy Shrimp (T. amboinensis), & 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,

May pick at Cnidarians/"Corals", may steal food from Anemones... might even eat small fishes! In turn eaten by most all fishes that don't "recognize" them as cleaners... particularly if sick or molting. Other shrimp, crabs... will indeed eat them.

Shrimp compatibility   10/27/16
Hi. I currently have 2 Fire Shrimp and am looking to get a Pederson anemone shrimp and just wanted to know if they are compatible. I have a 200 gallon mixed reef with docile fish, no aggressive fish, and 2 bubble tip anemones.
I'm not worried about any other tankmates except for the Fire Shrimp. I know the sizes are significantly different so just wanted to know if it would be a problem. Thank you.
<These all should be fine in such a large volume. Here's hoping you can find, enjoy the Periclimenes.
Bob Fenner>

Moving Cleaner Shrimp; beh., comp.      2/14/15
Hi, I have a 75 gallon reef tank with two clown fish, a coral beauty, and a canary wrasse. I recently added a skunk cleaner shrimp. I have had them before and really like having shrimp in the system. The problem is this shrimp has decided to hang out about an inch underneath the clown fishes' territory. The coral beauty is constantly going near the shrimp to get a cleaning (which the shrimp refuses to do, but that is another issue). The problem is that the clown fish are not happy with the coral beauty being in their territory. Today the larger clown fish fins are torn. I'm worried they will continue to injure each other if the shrimp stays where he is. Is there a way to get the shrimp to move to a different area of the tank?
Thanks. Ann
<Mmm; yes. Given the choice to make the present spot less attractive or further away more; I'd opt for the latter. Do build a nice bommie of rock, and consider adding another Lysmata or two of the same species. They are social and will want to hang together in the nicer digs. Bob Fenner>

Something attacking my Fromia monilis  6/23/11
I have a Fromia monilis that I added to my tank in October. It has done very well for 8 months, moves about the tank constantly and is a delight to observe. Unfortunately last week I noticed a little nibble out of the tip of one of his arms. Seemed very strange to me as nothing much has changed recently. Now yesterday I noticed that another arm has an even worse bit off the tip of a different arm. I suspect that something in the tank is attacking him, and have since moved him to my refugium for recovery and for me to determine what has been attacking him. His tankmates are:
2- Amphiprion Ocellaris
1- Zebrasoma Veliferum
1-Nematelotris Decora
1-Valenciennea Strigata
1-Salarias fasciatus
1-Paracanthurus hepatus
1-Centropyge loricula
1-Lysmata amboinensis
2-Lysmata wurdemanni
1-Conomurex luhuanus
<Mmm, of these listed, the Lysmata spp. are most likely culpable... the
Strombid is a detritus and algae eater>
Any of those a likely culprit? I suspect the Lysmata wurdemanni.
Thanks for your help,
Aaron Coady
<Or might be a non-listed individual... a hitchhiking worm, crustacean of some sort... or even "just" decomposition from some aspect of environment, lack of nutrition... Please peruse here:
and the linked files above re the genus Fromia. 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>

Lysmata compatibility   1/22/11
To the great crew at WWM,
<Ave Phil>
Just a quick question about adding a skunk cleaner shrimp (Lysmata) to my 29g (3g refugium) 1.5 year old tank. I have two Yasha Gobies (Stonogobiops yasha) with a Randall's Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus Randalli)
<Mmm... I would not do this addition here... the system is too small to be very sure of not having adverse reaction/s from the Alpheid>
and two Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica). The tank is also has a large and small finger leather coral (Sinularia Sp.) and some mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp), yellow polyps and Zoanthids. Everybody in the tank is healthy and happy (weekly water changes and mild vodka dosing)
<Do be careful w/ this source of Carbon>
and the Yasha's have become much more extroverted in the last month as they've finally recognized that a person in front of the tank means food.
I am considering adding a small cleaner shrimp to the mix (and as the final critter) but am concerned about some issues: 1) Will the pistol shrimp and cleaner shrimp be able to coexist given the pistol shrimp's benthic habitat preferences and the cleaner shrimp's preference to be "up" in the rock work?
<Again... I have a concern that they will not get along>
2) Will the cleaner shrimp be likely to crawl all over the leather corals too much and irritate them into retracting their polyps?,
<This is also a good possibility is such a small volume>
and 3) IS it likely that the cleaner shrimp will put the Yashas back into high alert and cause them to revert to more shy behaviour?
<Possibly as well>
Thanks in advance - you guys are the only web source I trust for intelligent and educated advice!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

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>

Gramma/Lysmata comp.  4/21/10
I've been reading your website faithfully since my fish store guy told me about it, but haven't seen an answer to my question: I have a 6 mo. old 90 g. FOWLR, wet-dry sump, protein skimmer, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates about 2, salinity 1.023. So far, I have a royal gramma and an orange-spot shrimp goby--in the tank until just yesterday I added a skunk cleaner shrimp. The shrimp took up residence behind a live rock, next to the gramma's home. Of course, the gramma ("Rainbow"--I always name my fish) resents the intrusion. He makes darts at the shrimp, but so far, nothing else. I rearranged the rocks, and the shrimp decided to move behind the very rock the gramma claims! So I put all back as it was, and the two are now about 6 inches apart. Is the gramma going to eventually do serious
harm to the shrimp (I'll name him when I'm sure he will make it), or will they eventually calm down?
<Unless the shrimp is very small, likely they will do fine together in this 90 gal. system>
The shrimp is not shy about coming out to eat, but otherwise, stays hidden. Incidentally, I have had saltwater fish for over 20 years, and have been enjoying your books, and others. I lost my last fish, all at once, due my mistake in not cycling a new tank properly. I kept careful records, and my Longnose angel was 16 yrs. when he died, the hippo tang was 11, and the flame angel was 15! I even had a cleaner wrasse that was over 5. Needless to say, I was sick about my goof. That is why I am being especially careful this time. I have a raccoon butterfly in QT for another 2-3 weeks, but I don't expect him to bother the shrimp. Please let me know what you think of this aggression of the gramma's, and what I can do about it (if anything). Thanks so much for any help you can give me.
<Gramma loreto can be tough/mean, but this usually translates into trouble only in small, crowded settings. I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>
royal gramma and cleaner shrimp compatibility 4/21/10
Hi again,
I just sent you an email (my first, obviously, or I would know what I am dong). I forgot to put in a subject, so I hope it is not too late.
Thanks again,
<No worries Edie. BobF>

Peppermint Shrimp Attacking Small Fish?/Attack Of The Steroid Killer Shrimp 3/25/10
<Hello Mark>
I recently purchased 4 peppermint shrimp for my new 150 gallon reef to rid an beginning Aiptasia problem. They seem to have eaten all the Aiptasia but now when I try to add small fish, green Chromis and reef safe wrasse.
They disappear over night and I think the shrimp are attacking and killing the small fish. Is this possible?
<Highly unlikely. Peppermint Shrimp are actually considered part of the "cleaner" grouping of shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni (Florida Bay/Atlantic area) is more of a scavenger and is likely the specie you have. I have never heard/witnessed these shrimp attacking/killing fish.>
The fish have all seemed healthy and eating with no apparent health issues.
<Is possible you may have an unknown predator in the tank.>
Thanks for a great site!
<You're welcome, and glad you enjoy. James (Salty Dog)>

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>

Shrimp And Goby/Blenny/Compatibility 2/15/10
Hi, James (salty dog)...
<Hello Jordan>
Anyways I have 2 questions, 1st can a skunk cleaner and a Coral Banded Shrimp live peacefully in a 37 gallon FOWLR?
<No, your cleaner shrimp will be at risk.>
(at my LFS I've seen a gold coral banded shrimp and a skunk cleaner live together in a tiny tank, but the gold CBS in that tank was much much smaller than mine.) and my 2nd question is whether a Bi-Color Blenny and Diamond Goby can peacefully in that same 37 gallon?
<Your size tank will not support a Diamond Goby long term. The Diamond Goby requires a larger system (50+ gallons) with an active live sand bed to supplement prepared offerings of food. You may want to read the FAQ's here on Valenciennea/Sleeper, Sifter Goby systems.
thanks for your insight.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

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>

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>

Rose Anemone Being Eaten. BT Anemone Compatibility 4/21/2009
<Hi Toby>
I have had a rose anemone for about six months.
<Bubble Tip Anemone: Entacmaea quadricolor>
I have had no problems with it until about a week ago.
It looks like several tentacles have been bitten in half and some cut down to the base. Is something eating it or are the tentacles dying?
Here is a list of what is in my 55 gallon tan:.
2 clown fish,
1 flame angel,
1 skunk clown,
1 bi-color blenny,
1 sand sifting blenny,
1 yellow tang,
3 peppermint shrimp, <Ding... We have a winner>
turbo snails,
red and blue legged crabs.
I have never seen anything bother it.
<You won't, Peppermint shrimp generally will not come out unless it is dark. Peppermint shrimp eat anemones.>
The clown and skunk both occupy it. I also had a sand sifting star fish for months with no problems then almost in a weeks time something nibbles away all its arms. I cant figure it out.
<Difficult to say definitively, but I would suspect the peppermint shrimp here as well, as they are not "reef safe".>
Thanks, any info would be appreciated.
<My pleasure>

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.>

Missing fish... Lysmata, really "cleaning"   4/25/08 Hello wet web crew <Keith> I have posted a few times before and you have been a wonderful help To refresh I have a 30 gal long reef that I have been having many (To date I am missing 3 peppermint shrimp, two sally light foot crabs, 1 green Chromis, a scooter blenny, and a Purple back Pseudochromis. All of this has disappeared without trace.) animals come up missing. <Mmmm> Since I last posted I moved my tank to another house completely broken everything down and did not find any serpent stars or any predators that I could identify. The move went smoothly no deaths and it has been 2 months set up at my new place. With the move I set up a 46g square refugium and plumbed it directly via overflow to the reef. This has all been going good the nitrates are down to almost zero and everything seems to be running smoothly. <Good> I had had no disappearances until the last week. When suddenly my six line wrasse up and vanished. The tank is well sealed so there is no way the fish can jump. Then a few days after that I had my favorite fish that I had have over a year now my cherub pygmy angel disappear. This is becoming a real problem where I am afraid to restock my tank I test my tank weekly and have a very rigorous upkeep schedule I am really trying to keep everything as best as I can. The stock I have left is an Ocellaris clown, a 3-stripe damsel, a skunk cleaner shrimp, a blood shrimp, a number a blue leg hermits, a Mexican turbo snail, and some Nassarius snails. <Either one of the Lysmata species could actually be the perpetrator here. This small volume is impossible to get away from a predatory shrimp> If you can think of anything I can do I would greatly appreciate your input. <Feed the shrimp better...> Other than this problem all my corals and the rest of the tank looks beautiful with no problems at all. So I am kind of stuck. I think I may have been a little bit overstocked anyways so I want to get another pygmy angel and leave it at that any suggestions? <Will likely be consumed...> Thank you all for your help Keith Fontes <Again... perhaps better observation, feeding... moving the shrimp/s to the 'fuge... Bob Fenner>

Attacking peppermints? Aggression, a symptom of overcrowding (marine Nano) 3-24-08 & to Sm. SW stkg... Hello all! <<Hello.>> I've had my 20 gallon Nano for about 3 years. <<Not a bad run for a Nano.>> All running great till now. <Uh-oh.>> 1.025, 4.5 Alk mEq, undetectable ammonia, nitrite, 5ppm nitrate. <<Acceptable.>> Inhabitants are 3 peppermint shrimp, 4 hermits, and an emerald crab (picked up as a hitch hiker a year ago), <<Just keep a close eye on the latter.>> tomato clown, blue damsel, and scooter goby (I know small tank, but for some reason I have a lot of tiny inverts growing the scooter eats...I see them on the glass and sand. My tank never seems to run out. <<Yes but how long have you had the dragonet? This is still not an ideal environment for him, especially with the two other tankmates which will compete for said microcrustaceans as well.>> Which is another reason I'm scared to move him into the 150gallon. <<Depending on the specifications of the 150 gallon, it certainly sounds like a more desirable niche for him based on size alone.>> Anyhow I've had him for 2 years and he gets bigger and bigger...I'm sure he'll be moved at some point). <<I just hope you realize that you are an exception to the rule and that others SHOULD NOT follow suit.>> Okay onto my point. Being a Nano the tomato and damsel are now in the 150gallon as they are too big for the little cube. <<Agreed good move.>> I bought 2 ocellaris and one fire fish, about 2 inches or less each for the Nano. <<Too many fish.>> The new fish were great in quarantine. When I moved them into the Nano all appeared easy breezy. 2 hours later one of the ocellaris fin was ragged. So I'm thinking the 3 new comers are no longer friends. Next morning the clown is dead and being devoured by all, hermits, peppermints, green emerald. <<Normal behavior for said detritivores.>> I've since replaced the clown but now the fire fish looks stressed. So, Here's the deal. At night, with lunar lights on, the fire fish wants to lay in its hole or on the sand but the peppermints chase it. The emerald, with claws up is trying to catch him as well. So I remove the emerald (his old mates were too big to touch but it seems the new guys aren't). <<Now you know what the phrase opportunistic omnivore means.>> I'm thinking Friday night fights are done...not soooo! All the peppermints are actively chasing this poor fire fish! What's the deal? <<Shrimp can be territorial as well, you have too many denizens vying for space in this small tank.>> They are going at him like wolves, following him and jumping on him. Fire fish has been moved back to quarantine to recover. Have you seen or heard of such behavior? <<Yes, though it is amplified in small closed systems.>> Do you think the peppermint know if a fish is stressed and go after it or they just really like him a lot and want to give him a good cleaning? <<They don't want him in their cave (space).>> oh yeah peppermints have been in the Nano for 2 years. <<They are in effect 'rejecting' the newcomers. Time to evict some tank mates my friend.>> Thanks a bunch! <<Anytime, - Adam J.>>

Re: attacking peppermints? 3-24-08 Definitely agreed about being an exception to the rule. <<Hey at least you know...all to often people encourage their bad habits to be copied.>> I'm wondering if the buried oyster shells is the source of the tiny delicious dragonet buffet. <<That and porous live rock.....I'm only assuming.>> He will be moved once the 150 matures a bit more. <<Good to hear it.>> Anyone have an Aiptasia problem...lol my guys devour'em! <<Yes unfortunately, they also pick on other Cnidarian life as well. You may want to consider this before moving them to the 150...that is if you plan to.>> Now the hard part...catching them. <<Shouldn't be to hard in a Nano, drain half of the water...remove some of the rock.>> I will try the all mentioned avenues, first attempt...bottle and food (for me and the shrimp...;>). I figured my problem was aggression due to overcrowding...just needed to hear from the guys and gals of a very trusted site!!! <<Good luck, - AdamJ.>>

Re: question, Shrimp / goby / Fireworm 03/25/2008 Thank you for the advice. Sadly, the non-eater has died. I found him yesterday morning. The other one seems OK for now, but that's what the QT is for, isn't it? <<Sorry to hear this...Yes, for sure, that's what its there for...Good luck with the other>> Thanks again, Mandy <<A Nixon>>

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>

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>

Peppermint Shrimp and Duncanopsamia axifuga compatibility. Peppermint vs. LPS - 4/7/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Tim!> Thank you for taking my e-mail.<Anytime!> I've read that peppermint shrimp can and will pick on certain large polyp stony corals.<Along with other things as well.> I just got a Duncanopsamia axifuga polyp shipped to me today.<Neat - don't see those too often.> I have acclimated it and put it in my refugium.  Is it likely that the shrimp will go after this coral in my 75 gallon display? <It's possible, just depends on the shrimp. Some are well behaved, some not.> If so, I will remove them.<I'd keep an eye on both and remove if necessary.> Thanks for the help, Tim <You're welcome, and good luck! --Lynn>

Heniochus; the Lysmata hunter?   4/2/07 Hello, <Hi.> I had a question about the Heniochus Blank and White Butterflyfish. <Go on...> I haven't found any information about this fish that would lead me to believe that it will eat various types of shrimp. <What type of shrimp? Some shrimp are very, very small...pelagic plankton type....others are shall we say considerably larger.> I currently have 1 skunk cleaner shrimp and 5 peppermint shrimp in my 75g tank. <So we're referring to Lysmata then?  Well Heniochus (and there are more than one species in this genus) are in large part quite "flighty" fish, they lack the weapons to be predatory...feeding on mostly pelagic plankton (though some act as cleaners to larger fish as juveniles). It is unlikely that a well-fed Heniochus, in captivity or the wild would attempt to hunt down a healthy Lysmata shrimp...and even if it did attempt it, it would be unlikely to be successful.  If a Lysmata is on the blows of death or already dead though, a Heniochus (or most other fish for that matter) would not be above feeding on the carcass.> I have a few corals, mostly just some xenia and a bubble coral.  Would this fish eat any of the shrimp in my tank? <No the corals/sessile invertebrates are at more of a risk than the shrimp, though keeping Heniochus in reef displays seems to have grown more popular and successful at that; Adam J.>

Marine Aquaria Compatibility....and more reading needed   4/2/07 Hi again, <Hello.> you all made a big mistake by answering one of my questions fast <Oh?> im <I'm> starting to rely on you all but my eyes do dry out on a regular basis from reading through the thousands of questions on your site so i <I> guess were even :). <Perhaps...> Anyway I was thinking of adding a flying gurnard to my tank BUT I <I> have one cleaner shrimp that doesn't clean -_- and I <I> plan on getting one that does.  So will this guy eat him? <Yes, likely so...'Mmm...more than likely.> If so what's a cool conversation fish preferably a predator that wont eat it in your opinion since I <I>know the list is probly <probably> long. <Mmm...most "true" predators will easily make a snack of a Lysmata eventually. I guess if you count predators of 'pods and microfauna then the there would be some acceptable choices...but just about all reef denizens fall into that category. Cardinals (which are small but predatory in behavior) may be an option. Keep reading my friend...> Also to narrow down the possible suggestion id <I'd> prefer it to be a fish not an eel or shark. <Most don't have the room/experience for these anyway.> Anyway last question for today I have a sand sifting starfish <'Mmm not long lives/easily kept in your average aquaria.> and was wondering if there was any way I <I> could put food into the sand for it so it doesn't starve (rumor I <I> heard) <Not a rumor....a fact.> after its done cleaning out the sand bed. <Depending on the animals size you can attempt to target feed it with meaty foods of a marine origin, squid, Mysis and so on. But even then the chances are slim for this one.> Thank you again for your time and knowledge. <Adam J.>

Lysmata wurdemanni vs. Coral   3/21/07 Hi Everyone, <Hello Bill.> Thanks for all your help over the past few years.   <I'm glad it has been useful.> Your expertise has been amazing.   <Thank you.> My question basically applies to Peppermint Shrimp and corals. <Okay.>   I have a 75 gallon tank.  I had a lot of Aiptasia in my tank during the first year, and added 3 peppermint shrimp.  I know they can be evil critters, but I think they hilarious to watch, and they killed my Aiptasia in less than a week. <They are rather comical and hardy compared to many of their cousins. And not to get off the subject but I surmise you figured out the source problem of the Aiptasia?> One of my favorite fish has been flame Hawkfish.  I added him, without consulting your site first, and he killed 2 of my shrimp.   <Yes, expected behavior.>   (Actually saw him dart across the tank and knock the snot out one peppermint that came out for some food).  I liked the shrimp more than the Hawkfish, and trapped the Hawkfish and donated him back to my local fish store.  I added one more peppermint so that I now have two.   <Lesson learned.> Fish in my tank are: 1 clownfish, 1 black cap Basslet, 3 Firefish goby and 1 bicolor blenny.   <A good mix in this size tank.> I have recently been adding corals to the tank.  I have: Candy Cane, Frogspawn, Toadstool Mushroom, Colony Polyps and Brain Coral (Wellsophyllia). The Brain and Frogspawn were added two days ago. <And you are concerned about  the shrimp'¦> My lighting in this tank is an Orbit Lighting Fixture: 48" w/4-65W (SunPaq Dual Daylight (6700°K/10000°K) and Dual Actinic (420 nm and 460 nm) bulbs). <Fine for what you are keeping, just replace the bulbs every 6-9 months, a year at the VERY latest as PC's depreciate in lumens rather quickly.> I work from home and came down this morning to work, and saw one peppermint on the frogspawn munching away, and the other peppermint on the brain coral munching away. <Uh-oh.> I was assuming this wasn't good and just moved these two corals to my Nanocube in my bedroom.  After reading your site again today, I see that some folks have problems with these peppermint critters and their corals. <Correct.> So my question to you is: Are there any types of corals that are 'Peppermint Safe'?   <I have found that they are less prone to picking at larger noxious colonies of soft corals, such as Octocorals and Sinularia.  Keepers of hermatypic corals like Acroporidae seem to have 'luck' with them as well (but you don't have the lighting for those)'¦what's important to keep in mind is that there are no guarantees and there is always a risk.> I like my shrimp, and would like to keep them.  Mine are out and about all the time.  They are friendly and I can hand feed them.  But I also have a reef tank, and would like to add some more coral life to it as well.  I have not seen them pick on the other corals, but who knows what happens at night? <Another thing to keep in mind is that when animals do become predatory, they will pick on the easiest, least resistant targets.  Just because the shrimp may be ignoring one colony as of present does not mean they will continue to do so once the others are removed.> Best regards, <To you as well.> Bill <Adam J.>

Cleaner Shrimp and Queen Angel Bob, I have a dumb question. I need to combine two tanks for several weeks to do some work on the one. I have several cleaner shrimp in the one tank , and a 5 inch Queen angel, 3 green Chromis and a mated pair of Tomatoe clowns in the other. I could find no information on if the queen (boss of the show tank) will make a meal of the cleaner or not.  I have seen the angel eat a 2 inch brown colored worm off the live rock in a flash. <Mmm, hopefully not... there is some chance of this, of course... but there are Cleaner Shrimps (e.g. Stenopus hispidus) in the Caribbean... where this Angel species is found... and they are known to develop symbiotic relations with non-indigenous cleaners... You could always do the wholesaler technique of floating a colander, or placing the shrimp in a container with perforations... to keep water coming through, but keeping predators away. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help.

Cleaner shrimp and Queen Angel Bob, This is not a question, but a follow-up to what I asked you last week. I put the cleaner shrimp in my show tank, and watched the reaction of the Queen Angel. Well to make a long story short, the angel went right up to the shrimp, head up and fins flapping. The shrimp jumped on him and proceeded to clean the inside of his mouth and gills. I was amazed at the symbiotic relationship. It is not uncommon for the shrimp to be on the angel six or seven times a day. There has been no parasite outbreak in my tank, so I wonder what the shrimp is finding if anything on the angel. <Necrotic tissue, bits of this and that...that are not discernible to you and I> I have also noticed a change in the Queen. Before the shrimp was added he would bully the other fish if they even got close to his favorite spot in the tank.. He has calmed down a lot and seems to tolerate them in his spot in the tank, unlike before. Thought you would be interested in the outcome. <Yes> Thanks again for all your help. <You are welcome my friend. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Advice Clown, shrimp compatibility Hi, Mr. Fenner <Steven Pro this evening.> I have a good deal on a cinnamon clown fish and some peppermint shrimp. I want to put them in a 50 gallon tank by themselves, do these two get along and could I add other inverts, fish, and coral later on, <Yes, will get along with each other and many other animals. If you give specifics on what else you want to keep, I can give you a more detailed recommendation.> if not please recommend a better fit for me. I want something that is beautiful but easy to take care of. I only have time to service the tank on the week end but I can do simple feeding every day. Thanks a lot, Ryan Blankenship <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Eels and Shrimp? Hey guys, I've read several FAQs and I've been through the WetWeb moray section several times. I've read something more then once that I was shocked and I just wanted to clarify without you all. Now from what I've read, it sounds like smaller eels like snowflakes will eat any and all inverts (shrimp is what I'm really concerned about.) But, I've also read that most of the Gymnothorax (spelling) seem to leave cleaner shrimp alone while they will eat cleaner wrasses/ neon gobies. I wouldn't get a cleaner wrasse anyway as per your site. My question is, I am thinking of pursuing a Gymnothorax permistus (spelling again!). The one that looks similar to a tessellated but with bigger spots and much smaller in size. I have a cleaner and a coral banded in my FO tank. Would this eel make quick work of my shrimp or would he leave them be? Would a smaller eel of this species be more likely to eat them then a larger one? Thanks ........keep up the great work. Joe <what works/is safe in the wild and what happens in captivity are sometimes two very different things (like yellow tangs schooling in the wild and generally beating the tar out of each other in small groups in aquaria). IMO, the cleaner shrimp will probably be safe... but all bets are off. You really have to be cautious and willing to take the chance. Kindly, Anthony>

Peppermint Shrimp I recently set up a reef aquarium. It's gone through a number of ups and downs, I asked you about fish lice in another correspondence. <Okay> Shortly after setting it up, I had the usual assortment of Aiptasia anemone. I rid my aquarium of many of them with the solution of Calcium Hydroxide. However, there were a number of smaller ones and several that were difficult to get to. After reading a number of articles on the problem, including yours, I decided to try biological control and purchased half a dozen peppermint shrimp. Also from reading the article, I was aware of the left coast imposters. I am quite certain that these were the wurdemanni species. Appearances are that they did their job rather well. I haven't seen one in months. But, however, ... Peppermint shrimp appear not to be particularly finicky eaters. It shouldn't take a real leap of faith to believe that the similarities between one polyp and another might lead to some problems. Some of my first purchases were yellow polyps, green star polyps, Zoanthus, and a carpet anemone. <Yes> I had seen them acting suspiciously around the yellow polyps, green star polyps, and Zoanthus, but never caught them red handed (pun only slightly intended). However, upon introducing the carpet, they began to show a rather intense interest in it. I also noticed that the anemone was reacting rather severely to their proximity. I got a closer look and they were picking at individual tentacles. The next morning, there were a couple of circular patches about 6mm in diameter that were tentacle free toward the edges of the carpet. The next night, there were a few more such patches. I withheld food from the system after the first night and decided to trap the shrimp. Further, they began to show increased interest in the other polyps and I began to see some damage on them. The shrimp are now out of the system, having learned a lesson in the law of unintended consequences. One of the other Aiptasia eating critters is the Berghia Nudibranch. I had chosen the Peppermints because the Berghia are somewhat pricey, due to their small size, they are somewhat less than aesthetically pleasing and once they eliminate Aiptasia, they die off. As it turns out, the quantity of Peppermints was similarly priced to a pair of Berghia, the appearance of the bald spots on my carpet (the one in the aquarium, not the one by the tank I wore on the floor biting my fingernails as I watch my carpet take a beating,, and not many folks seem to want to take back peppermints due to quarantine, etc., so they are likely to meet their demise. In conclusion, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these were indeed Lysmata wurdemanni and that they were consuming my carpet anemone. Although I have no direct evidence that they do eat Aiptasia, the anecdotal evidence supports that conclusion. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they were eating my carpet anemone, I saw them on several occasions picking violently at the polyps, distorting the shape of the anemone considerably in the process. <They do, will eat anemones> I would suggest to anyone who still desires to put wurdemanni in a reef tank keep a wary eye on them and that they ensure that the system is overfed. Renaming the species to Lysmata alquaidaii might not be a bad idea, either, they were little terrorists in my tank. :) <Agreed> Thanks for your pages, by the way. With the exception of information on Argulus, your pages seem to be absolutely the best sources of information on the web. <Okay> Best regards, Dale Chatham <Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp, polyps, Heniochus Hello again, I recently added a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata grabhami, I think) to my 75 gal. setup which includes some yellow polyps and green button polyps. I've seen the shrimp "sampling" the polyps several times, causing them to close up. Do you think this causing harm to the polyps? <The shrimp is probably bugging them more than anything else, I doubt they are in any danger.> On a similar note, I'm interested in Heniochus Bannerfish. I've read that H. diphreutes is reef safe, but H. acuminatus is not. Do you agree? <yes> Would a pair of H. diphreutes be suitable for a 75 gal. that is otherwise lightly-loaded? Thank very much, and thanks for maintaining such a valuable site. John H. <Thank you for the kind words, and I promise, the site is only going to get better. A pair of the H. diphreutes would be much better suited than the H. acuminatus. You can find more information on Butterflyfishes at the link below. Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm>

Cleaner Shrimp - Reef Safe? Hello how are you? <Pretty darned good Angelo! Hoping you are as well.> My question is how reef safe are Cleaner Shrimp - Lysmata amboinensis? <A popular reef and fish tank inhabitant. Quite safe.> As far as I  know, they are not coral eaters, but they do seem to >steal food from corals. It makes it hard for me to spot feed them because my cleaner shrimp is right there to grab the food! <"Spot" feed your shrimp first, then feed corals. A 1/4" hunk of shrimp, krill, clam, mussel, etc. should keep him busy.> Also it seems to irritate them when it walks on the coral causing them to retract there polyps. Do they cause stress to corals? <Locally, they retract, but it would need to be continuous, in one place, to have a big effect. I wouldn't worry. I have two that are stationed on my Tubipora musica causing some of the polyps to retract on occasion, but it continues to grow vigorously.> Am I better off without it? I originally started my tank as a FO so the shrimp has been there since then. Thanks, Angelo <These shrimp are wonderful little inhabitants. You can train them to come to the surface for food and they will clean and hang on your fingers. It is unlikely he is doing anything negative to your corals but more likely he is keeping things cleaned up.  Craig>

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>

- Neon Gobies and Cleaner Shrimp - Hi! <Hello to you. JasonC here...> My question for right now is - Will a Neon Blue Goby attack a cleaner shrimp? <Not in my experience.> I was under the assumption that they would get along (especially in a 38 gallon tank), but a guy at my LFS said that pretty much any goby or blenny would mess with any kind of shrimp. <For the most part untrue, but could happen due to territorial matters. Or perhaps if was a fang blenny, which are worth avoiding anyway.> That leaves me with a choice to make, if he is correct. <No worries.> I really would like to have both, but am now confused if they will co-exist. <Buy them both.> Thank you very much. - Alex Mills <Cheers, J -- > - Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility - Ditto for a Firefish Goby. Will it get along? <I think so, sure.> Thanks.  - Alex Mills <Cheers, J -- >

Wrasse and Shrimp I recently purchased a Pseudocheilinus ocellatus and he is attacking my two cleaner shrimp. Is this normal? <Not uncommon> I expected cleaner shrimp to have anonymity from all fish. <Not so> Did I make a mistake by feeding him fresh cut up shrimp to start him feeding? He just bit one of the feelers off of one, and they are both hugging the side of the tank. <They should be separated post haste. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp and Liopropoma Thanks so much for the quick reply. Problem is, I have a Liopropoma swalesi in the refugium. Will they fair any better with him? I'm afraid to put the swalesi in the same tank as the ocellatus to avoid fighting, although the swalesi never moves more than a couple of inches from any cave. <Worth trying... a better gamble than with the wrasse. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp Hi Mr. Fenner I am writing you once again with yet another question. I know that a cleaner shrimp along with all other types have their antennas for an obviously important reason <Make that for reasons... taste/smell, feeling, balance, defense, communication...> but what I would like to know is how this will affect him. I have a royal Gramma that nips at my cleaner shrimps antennas, and in the last two days, two or three of his antennas have gone down from around a nice 5 inches long to maybe an 1 1/2 and the rest are now about 2 or 2 1/2 inches. He is still out in the open and active, even trying to climb onto the Gramma when he comes near but I'm wondering if this will affect his well being. Or do they just break off every so often, and grow again, <More like be like new when they molt...> and even though I see the Gramma nip, it's not really him that's making them shorter?  <Likely is> He hasn't molted recently, so he's not in that sensitive stage at the moment. Thanks again Greg <Do keep up your alkalinity and calcium levels... and have plenty of cover... especially for molt times. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp & anemones I just purchased a Scarlet Striped Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) and he has been spending all of his time around the base of my quadricolor anemone. Will he hurt the anemone? <Possibly, but probably not... may be hanging out there for "protection"... as in the wild> I figure the anemone may eat him but, I was wondering if he would harm it. The shrimp is a lot smaller than the anemone so I don't think he can just eat the anemone but, can he pinch the anemone and cause it to die? <Again, not likely> Also, I was wondering if you might have any idea what the 'blob' is that I have in the same saltwater tank. The 'blob' has been there for like 2 years and has only grown like 1/4of an inch. The 'blob' I'm referring to is a group of gravel and shells from the bottom of the aquarium that are like cemented together. You can kind of see a whitish looking material within the group of cemented shells but other than that it's just a 'blob' of cemented gravel and shells that is slowly getting bigger. Thanks for the help! Ann <Your blob is likely a type of Sponge... Phylum Porifera... nothing to worry about. You can see some of these on our site here: http://wetwebmedia.com/sponges.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: cleaner shrimp & anemones Thanks for the quick response. I didn't think it would hurt it but, I wasn't sure. The Maroon clown who lives in the anemone doesn't seem to care that the shrimp is hanging out there. Thanks again! Ann <Ah, and rest-assured, the Maroon Clown will not tolerate anyone messing with the anemone... even you! Bob Fenner>

Re: cleaner shrimp & anemones I know about the little guy's attitude (Maroon clown) he just loves to charge me and bite me whenever I put my hand down into the tank. I wasn't too sure how aggressive he would be towards the shrimp though because the shrimp is only a little bit smaller than him. He is only like 1 and 1/2 inches long but he is full of attitude! Thanks again! Ann

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.

Cleaner shrimp Hello Zo: Is 100 gal. large enough for a skunk cleaner shrimp and a flame shrimp? <Should be. Bob Fenner, who has returned> Thanks, Ken

2 Cleaner Shrimp Can I have 2 Pacific Cleaner Shrimp in a 55 gallon reef? My current shrimp is busy in my quarantine tank, but I would like to get another so it can be in my main tank in the meantime. Eventually though, the one in the quarantine tank will move back into the main tank and I'm wondering if the two would get along.  <<Almost always yes... two Lysmata amboinensis should do fine in a fifty five with plenty of live rock. Bob Fenner>>

Peppermint shrimp Bob- I recently purchased a Peppermint Shrimp. Since day 1 it has been missing in action. The only other inhabitants in the tank are a Percula Clown, Yellow-Tailed Damsel, and a host of red legged, blue legged and left handed hermit crabs. The shrimp never comes out when I feed the tank, which is unlike my old Coral Banded Shrimp which aggressively ate. Is it in the nature of Peppermint Shrimps to hide or should I assume he is dead? Thank you, Rob <<Hmm, they (Lysmata wurdemanni) do hide almost all the time... better kept in a small number if they'll fit... I wouldn't give up just yet.... Especially if it is molting... you won't see much of it for a while. Bob Fenner>>

Re: invert compatibility The shrimp I'm suspecting is eating the hermits is Lysmata amboinensis, and there is nothing else in the tank that I have seen bothering the hermits and nothing that I think really would. Is this species of shrimp ever been know to eat hermits?  <<Yes, unfortunately... most don't. Bob Fenner>>

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>>

Peppermint shrimp and Sebae question??? Help :-( Today I bought a Sebae purple tip anemone with two tomato clowns. Can't wait for the clowns to get in the anemone, but as soon as I put the Sebae in, my two peppermint shrimp, which did a great job eating my Aiptasia 2 months ago, hopped into it. Does the peppermint have a relationship with the Sebae? <Not a mutualistic one...> Are they eating it? <Possibly, likely yes> Do I need to remove them? <I would if you can> Will they keep the clowns from entering the Sebae? <More likely the other way around if the Clowns would begin associating with the (Heteractis crispa) anemone>... they only naturally occur with Entacmaea quadricolor... take a look through the references listed on the Anemone and Clownfish sections on the www.WetWebMedia.com site... though they may become symbionts with your Sebae... shooing off the pesky Shrimp.> Thanks. Need help ASAP. Michael <Happy netting! Bob Fenner>

My angry little Hawkfish Hello Mr. Fenner! <Howdy> Today, I'm writing about my Cirrhitichthys falco (Dwarf Hawkfish). He's a wonderful little tank mate, that is much more active than others that I've seen. Unfortunately, he just cost me a bit of money. My Hawkfish is about 1.5 inches in length, max. I put in a cleaner shrimp that was more than twice his size (I had read your site and made sure that I didn't introduce anything too small, that the Hawkfish would eat). He IMMEDIATELY attacked the shrimp until it could get itself into the reef area of my tank (my mistake, I should have introduced the shrimp in a more docile fashion, placing him immediately into the security of the reef). However, the shrimp got away and did fine for about a week. He even molted successfully after 2 days in the tank. I had purchased him with a bicolor angelfish, and the two of them sort of "hung out" together, with the shrimp cleaning the angelfish. Once the shrimp found his "cleaning station", other fish started coming up as well. Surprisingly, the Hawkfish even started coming up to be "cleaned" (or maybe to "case" the scene . . .). <Maybe both... but Cirrhitids do use as well as consume such animals in the wild> Well, my bicolor angel died about 5 days later, and the Hawkfish immediately started attacking the shrimp again. He would come along, overturn the shrimp and attack his belly. I tried to separate them, but it was too late. The shrimp died within a day. So, my question is, is this normal behavior for a dwarf Hawkfish, even with shrimps larger than itself?  <Commonly, yes> Furthermore, are there any decorative crustaceans that I could introduce to my tank that would be safe with this little angry fish AND would be safe to my anemones and other fish?  <Crabs, real and false/Hermits...> I don't want to introduce any trouble, but I really enjoyed having that cleaner shrimp in the tank. As always, thank you for your wonderful advice! You've been a great help to me in my marine tank endeavors. <Glad to be here. Bob Fenner> Deborah H. Colella

Shrimps I would like to keep cleaner shrimps will they be eaten by a flame hawk , Thanks Bob, Ron from R.I.  <<Too likely so...Bob Fenner>>

Cleaner shrimp (expensive meals) Hi Mr. Fenner I've written to you before, and appreciated your answers in the past. Now, I have a new question. I'm having lots of trouble keeping my shrimps alive. They, at first were being attacked, and killed off during the night one by one. (if you remember me writing you about an assassin in my tank about two weeks ago). I finally found the culprit, who was my royal Dottyback. After I wrote to you, I decided to try one more shrimp, and this time we actually saw the culprit swoosh right in, and start attacking. <Yes, some Pseudochromid species/specimens have unrelenting appetites for shrimps...> Needless to say, the little shrimp guy did not make it. So I took the Dottyback out, and brought him back to the LFS. They even have a big warning on their tank now, not to sell him to anyone with shrimp in their tank. Now my problem is mostly with the cleaner shrimps I put in. They don't last past one day. My water parameters are all good, except I have my salinity low, it's always around 1.017, or 1.018. on purpose. I introduce my shrimp the same way as all my other invertebrates, and fish, yet they go down till they find something to rest on, and there they stay, alive for a while, but they just don't seem right. They don't really move at all, and I find them hours later dead, in the same place. No sign of attack, or anything. Even watching them I see that they just perish. <You are right on target in stating the case of low Spg... the new shrimp can't make this chasm/gap in one go... you might try acclimating them to lower salinity/specific gravity over a couple months time from near seawater conditions in a separate tank... and be careful from there on to match the Spg of new water> My other types of shrimp, such as my camel shrimps, survive fine. One other thing, I've always been buying my cleaner shrimp on the small side, thinking that a younger one will last longer, and have time to grow. Is this a factor because I've noticed that you don't recommend buying some types of fish on the small side. Is it possible that the LFS that I buy my shrimp from don't get good quality shrimps.  <Possibly, but not usually> (I have another store that I can go to, but haven't yet because they are almost double the cost then at the first store). I know you always say you get what you pay for as far as the catching, transportation, etc..., but it seems like this is more with the fish quality then shrimps, or am I wrong? Is there anything specific that the cleaner shrimps need: water parameters, water quality that differs from fish in general, or other types of shrimp, or should I just try one from a different store. I thank you greatly in advance, Greg N. <You need to acclimate them very slowly... like a thousandth of a point per week. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp picking at clam I placed 6 cleaner shrimp (purchased from FFExpress) in a reef tank with an assortment of hard and soft corals, 2 clarkii clowns, a coral beauty, a Christmas wrasse, a flame hawk, and a turquoise clam. A couple of days later I noticed one of the shrimp picking at the clam, so I moved the shrimp away with a food poker. By the next day the clam was dead and the shrimp had eaten almost the whole thing. Is this natural for cleaner shrimp to eat live clams? I don't remember seeing any warnings to this effect. Clam Lover <<Dear CL, sorry to hear of your loss. Yes, some cleaner shrimps will take to consuming captive clams... especially if they're not offered much else to eat. What species are these, Lysmata amboinensis? (the most common), and why so many? For how big a tank? Except for very large systems, one or two will do functionally... and more are real potential trouble with other invertebrates.  Bob Fenner>>

Who ate the cleaner shrimp? My cleaner shrimps keeps getting eaten by a/some fish. Who did it is the mystery? Was it the clown trigger, purple tang, small moray eel or the queen angel? <<Could be most anyone of the above characters. In order, I'd suspect Clowny the Butler, Mr. Eely, The Queen of Decapods, and lastly, the not so vegetarian Yellow Tail Tattler. Bob Fenner>>

Cleaner shrimp antennae and xenia pom-pom getting eaten 10/19/03 Thank you Anthony, <always welcome, my friend> I will remove the shrimp. Do you think that the Lysmata shrimp is also responsible for the cleaner shrimp antennae being eaten? <no... peppermint and cleaner shrimp are both Lysmata and not likely to cannibalize each other as such. Your cleaners have lost their antennae due to incomplete molts (lack of iodine/poor water quality) or aggression from a fish> Thanks again for your help!  I'll be removing the shrimp today. Chris <best regards, Anthony>

Puffer + Cleaner shrimp?? (12/16/03) Hello, Big fans of the site  =) <Hey, I resemble that remark! Ananda here...apologies for the delay; I just saw this.> We are keeping a 54G swim tank of fish we saw while snorkeling in Tahiti. We realize that as the fish grow, we will have to remove some of the inhabitants due to overstocking. <Good that you know it now...do consider setting up a "tank fund" at the bank now!> Filtration: 1) Fluval 303 powering a reverse flow UG filter; <Not my first, second, or even third choice for filtration in a saltwater tank. Do read up on these in the WetWebMedia pages.> 2) ViaAqua Multi Skimmer (protein skimmer/UV/power filter). <This is something I have no experience with, and I haven't seen it either, so can't comment on... are you getting dark skimmate, at least 1/4 cup, daily?> Salinity: 1.018. Temp: 76. Status: cycled. Live Rock: 1 lg & 2 smaller pieces. <Initial suggestions: raise the specific gravity to at least 1.020, get more live rock, ditch the undergravel filter....> Inhabitants: 3" porcupine puffer (name: Mr. Puffer/Puff Daddy  =); 2" Humu Humu trigger; 2 2" threadfin butterflies; 1 3" Heniochus butterfly; 2" yellow tang; 1.5" brackish spotted puffer; <How's he doing in this specific gravity? (If he's stressed -- check the belly barometer for grey/dark markings -- try putting him in a tank with a lower specific gravity. I have yet to find any hard data about when in their life cycles the spotted puffers move into near-marine conditions, like those you have in your tank.) Do realize that he's probably going to end up chasing those long fins on some of the other fish.> 1" yellow tail blue damsel; chocolate chip star; several snails & hermit crabs (for janitorial services & food supplement). <Glad you realize the latter. Hmmm. Start tank-shopping now; I think you're already overstocked.> Everyone is happy in this tank & has been for about 6 weeks, we feed a wide variety of frozen Mysis, frozen brine, live ghost shrimp, frozen ghost shrimp, krill, seaweed, flake & plankton. <Yummy.> We are working on a small ich outbreak. The fish do not appear to be in distress, but the spots are visible. We have read extensively on this and have treated mainly by lowering the salinity to 1.012, raising the temperature to 81 and performing daily small water changes to skim off parasites from the bottom. <Ah, good. Drop the salinity a bit more, to 1.010. Do you have a refractometer?> We have added Greenex 2 times. <Eek! That will likely kill all the inverts and the live rock. And I've read reports of it killing the fish, as well.> We did some 1/3 salt and 2/3 fresh water dips on fish that had the most spots. <You really can go with all-fresh-water, as long as you adjust the pH to what it is in your tank. That's less harmful by far than a brackish dip that has a different pH from the main tank.> The 2 worst infected were removed to a hospital tank for copper treatment, did well & were returned. We almost have this beaten by now. <Okay...keep in mind that the absence of spots does not mean the absence of the parasite from the tank!> Would it be safe for the puffer to add a cleaner shrimp/wrasse for the duration of this outbreak? <Nope. The cleaner shrimp would likely get eaten, and the wrasse would likely fare poorly.> The butterflies lean up against the live ghost shrimp as if waiting to be cleaned. We are fully aware of the danger to the shrimp, but are mainly concerned with the puffer (he's one of our best friends  =)  we have heard that cleaners might bother the skin of the puffer. <After you deal with the ich, use some heavy-duty chemical filtration to get the gunk from the Greenex out of that tank. I would try a good activated carbon first, then a Polyfilter. Then you could split the puffers and trigger off into their own tank and get a couple of cleaner shrimp for the other tank. (The live rocks you have are likely dead...but could probably be used in the puffer/trigger tank, where the inverts are going to be snacks anyhow.)> Thx!!! You're the best  =) <Thanks so much for the kind words. --Ananda> Michael & Patty AZ

How big is big (Emperor Angel) and cleaner shrimp tankmates  12/12/03 Good Evening- <same to you!  Adam here by the way.> I have an adult Imperator Angel, approximately 6-7" long, that I've had for 4 years, having raised it from a juvenile.  When I first got it, I had it in a 125 FOWLR, but after reading Bob's advice, bought a 180 where it has been for the last 2 1/2 years. <Congrats on your success with this fish, and kudos for having the dedication to upgrade it's home!> The tank has about 125# of LR, with 7 assorted and much smaller tankmates.  While I have no desire to get rid of him/her, how will I know if it's outgrown the tank?  It does seem very happy and is doing quite well. <You have largely answered your own question.  After four years, you know your fish and your success is a clear indication of your skills.  As long as the fish isn't showing signs of stress, I wouldn't worry too much.  As your fish approaches it's full grown size of 15" or so, you may have to remove some live rock to improve swimming room or start thinking about larger quarters again, but that should be a while down the road.> At some point, will it stop growing and just maintain it's size based on the tanks size or can I expect it to continue getting bigger? <You have fallen for the oldest and greatest fish keeping myth.  Regardless of tank size, fish will continue growing until they reach their natural full grown size unless water quality, nutrition or disease enter as limiting factors.  You do have some time though as most fish grow more slowly as they get larger.> Thanks for the advice.  I couldn't think of how to do a search in the archives, or I would have started there. <always a pleasure.> Are there some fish that don't get along with cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)?  I have had quite a few disappear over time and have always thought it was the angel, however during the day it seems to leave them alone if they are out cruising around.  Other possible candidates are maroon clown or hippo tang? <Any predatory fish could potentially turn on a cleaner shrimp, especially if they get a bit too hungry, and all of the fish that you mentioned could be suspects.  If you only had the shrimp for a short period of time, I would look to poor handling or rough acclimation first though.> Andy

Cleaner Shrimp in FOWLR (4/20/04) Thanks Steve, <A pleasure> Just to let you know, I took a chance and purchased a cleaner shrimp. The lionfish and Niger can't get enough of the grooming treatment. My tangs aren't interested though. <Give them time. Let us know how long the cleaner lasts. If it has some good spots to hide and provides good service to the Trigger, it may not be dinner after all.> Kind Regards, James. <To you as well.>

Malu anemone and cleaner shrimps <Hi, MikeD here> I would like to know if my 2 candy striped cleaner shrimps could be hurting the Malu anemone? They are constantly picking on it and steeling its food whenever I feed it.<I'm not familiar with a Malu anemone and almost gave this to someone else when I remembered some of my own experiences. Some of the long armed spider and arrow crabs are adept at reaching inside anemones to remove food, almost using them as a personal larder.  I also suspect that if really hungry they might dine on the gut of the anemone itself, but that's just a suspicion.  With the long arms of the Candy Striped  Shrimp there's a chance they might be guilty of this too, and if so spot feeding them specifically might help>. Thank you<You're welcome. I hope this helped> - Grace

-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.>

Snowflake moray and cleaner shrimp. hey, I was  wondering if a snowflake moray would eat my cleaner shrimp. Or if he would leave  it alone because it is a cleaner. best  regards Miles >>>Hey Miles, Based on experience, I'm betting he'll eat it. :) In captivity, you really can never tell with these things. Cheers Jim<<< Cleaner shrimp Is a 29g tank enough to house two cleaner shrimp?... <Most definitely> I already have one but thinking about adding another...or will they eat each other? <They should not eat each other. In fact, Cleaner Shrimps are hermaphroditic and pairs commonly breed in marine aquaria, but the fry are next to impossible to rear. Check this link for more general information on Cleaner Shrimp: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/clnshrpf.htm  Good luck, Mike G>

Lysmata are NOT reef aquarium safe 2/3/05 I was given some nice soft coral frags from some other salt water enthusiasts at work (some mushrooms and some branching corals).  The other day, I noted one of the soft corals was withdrawn and looking rather "leathery" rather than "frilly" (not exactly technical terms, but I'm guessing you get the idea).   <yes... no worries> It stayed that way for a couple of days, but started to return to its normal shape. Today, another friend and I noticed that my pregnant Lysmata amboinensis was picking away at the coral that was looking withdrawn.  The coral has withdrawn again.  This same shrimp was picking away at algae on my live rock and even looked like it was eating some of the patches of Cerith snail eggs that recently got laid down (I'm pretty sure it was munching, but it was moving its legs so fast that I couldn't see what it was putting in its mouth). Is this normal behavior for this shrimp? <yes... although often sold for reef aquaria, species of Lysmata are categorically NOT reef safe. They are not that dreadful either... usually just picking away. Really only a problem in small tanks and with LPS corals> Is "she" having food cravings (protein)?   <heehee... no. Er, well... sort of. Just indiscriminate> I've got a single A. ocellaris and a pair of Lysmata amboinensis in the tank (3 month old tank) and I've cut back the feeding of spectrum A to every other day (phosphate and algae issues). Should remove the shrimp and put her in my QT tank and generously stock it with pickles and Ben & Jerry's Ice cream? (Mmmm ice cream) David <put it into QT, but send me the pickles and ice-cream. I'll eat  them separately :) Anthony>

Shrimp Compatibility and Ich Control First off, I want to say that your website has been an invaluable resource to me over the past couple of months.  I can't express my gratitude enough.  Anyway, I have a mini reef with a few corals (bubble anemone, yellow polyps, mushrooms), some snails, hermit crabs, a clam, and two peppermint shrimp.  I would like to add a couple "cleaner" shrimp that can take care of any ich in the event that they may present themselves.  I realize the peppermint shrimp are considered cleaners, but will they also take care of parasites (namely ich)?  I got them in the first place to take care of my glass anemone, which they took care of readily.  So my question is, what specific cleaner shrimp would be compatible with my existing ones to take care of ich (I read about the coral banded shrimp and its violent nature towards other shrimp)?  Or if not a cleaner shrimp, will any other type of animals do the job without disturbing the reef or sandbed?  Thanks in advance.  Sandy. >>Hi Sandy.  The lords and masters are always pleased to know that they and their minions are helpful to all who seek knowledge. >>What you haven't mentioned yet is the presence of the animals that suffer from ich--fish--that would be in need of cleaning services.  If you have no fish in the system, then you have no need to be concerned, as the invertebrates don't suit the protozoan's lifestyle. >>If you do have fish, then as far as cleaners go, Lysmata amboinensis and L. grabhami (the Eel or Skunk Cleaner Shrimp) are the most effective and reliable for these duties.  However, they'll also need to be directly fed (especially in systems with small fishes only). There should be no compatibility issues between these and your other shrimps, assuming you have a suitably roomy tank (minimum 40gals). If possible, please try to find out more specifically which "Peppermint" shrimp it is you have, as some erroneously labeled as such have been known to cause problems with cnidarians, Zoanthids, Corallimorphs, corals, and anemones.  You don't appear to be having a problem, but it's better to be safe than sorry.  (I apologize for the cliché©.) Marina

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> Cleaner shrimp  - 02/20/06 Hello, <Hello RC> I have a 29 gallon tank with a yellow tailed damsel, 4 striped black and white damsel, a fire fish, a chocolate chip star fish, hermit crabs, and some snails. There's also plenty of live rock. I wanted to know if it would be a good idea to put a cleaner shrimp in this environment. And also, what's their diet? Thanks for the help.  <Will add a splash of color along with scavenging for uneaten food which aids in keeping the tank clean.  The shrimp will eat anything the fish will.  James (Salty Dog)> RC

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