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FAQs about Hippolytid Cleaner Shrimps 2

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

Related FAQs: Hippolytid 1, Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Compatibility, 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 Shrimps, Sexy 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,

Lysmatella <Lysmata> prima /Hippolytidae Shrimp 8/29/10
Dear Crew,
I have in my reef tank a pair of what I am fairly sure are Lysmata prima, (or Lysmatella prima?). I originally thought I had acquired peppermint shrimp, but they didn't look quite the same as the ones I had researched via Google and your site. Having identified them, I cannot find very much information on these shrimps at all. Can you help me with this? They seem
to be living happy in my reef set up at the moment, but knowledge is power to prevent problems!
<Their care is very similar to other Lysmata species. Although they have been known to attack other ornamental shrimp, I believe this occurrence would be rare.>
Thanks in anticipation.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
120 litre (32 gallon?) reef tank
1 small banana wrasse (I think this is called a canary wrasse in your parts?)
<<Mmm, no... another species of Halichoeres... very different size and possibly temperament-wise. Will eat your shrimp/s. RMF>>
1 pair black and white clowns
1 decora goby
1 coral beauty
1 anemone shrimp
Various soft and lps corals
bubble tip anemone

Peppermint Shrimp 8/10/09
Hey there,
Beginners panic, I'm sure, but a bit of reassurance from someone who knows better is always good, right?
Just cycled my tank (350 litres, 45 kg of cured live rock), so I assumed it was okay to start putting in my cleaner crew. Among these, I decided to buy a couple of peppermint shrimp
<Mmm, not really "cleaners">
- I thought that some growths on the rock may be Aiptasia!
Now - I did a drip method to acclimatize the shrimp. I first left the bag floating in the tank for the temperatures to equalize. Next, I started some of my tank's water siphoning into the bag, using a clamp to get roughly one drip a second. I left this for longer than is needed, a whole four hours
(adverse effects?).
<Mmm, not necessarily>
After this, I netted the shrimp and put it into the tank. Obviously, they disappeared quickly into my live rock, I assumed that this was normal.
However, 2 minutes later, I sat down to have a look at the tank, and saw a shrimp's skeleton floating past in the current. Obviously, I wasn't too pleased, being a beginner I didn't really know what to make of it. I know that shrimp do molt, and wondered if they were perhaps stressed into doing this?
<Maybe a predator... in your live rock>
I also wondered whether (eek!) the shrimp may have died...
<That... or... could be a moult, brought on by stress>
It think it's worth noting that only one shrimp molted - I heard that this was part of mating for peppermints. They had been the only two in the shop's tank for some time, but I would of thought it very unlikely for
mating to be the case, due to the stress of movement and whatnot.
<Doesn't necessarily imply reproduction or even growth>
As for my parameters - SG of 1.024, temp of 26 degrees C, no ammonia is present - or at least not a traceable amount, nitrites and nitrates (I keep getting confused between the two!) are both at what my Red Sea Marine Lab kit says is normal, pH is 8.1 - 8.2 (is that a little on the low side?).
For future reference, when posing questions, what other information is needed?
<Please peruse WWM re... various shrimp group's needs... for these sorts of animals, Ca, Mg, Alkalinity...>
I thought it is too much of a coincidence to be something not worth mentioning, but I could be wrong!
Thanks so much for any help!
<Don't panic! (shades of Doug Adams)... But do keep reading, enjoying. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

L. amboinensis (Cleaner Shrimp) 6/11/09
Dear WWM Crew,
As always, thank you for your wonderful site. You folks have been a real help to us over the years!
<You're welcome.>
We have a 75g reef tank that has been established for over 3 years now.
For the past two years, plus a couple of months, we have had a mated pair of L. Amboinensis Cleaner Shrimp.
Last night we found the female dead. These shrimp had grown to a couple of inches in size and both appeared healthy and vigorous.
They molted and spawned regularly. All of the other livestock (including shrimp) are still doing fine.
The surviving male has been staying in his favorite corner since she died.
We know that these are only shrimp and that they do not "grieve" but he seems out of sorts.
Should we replace her with another L. Amboinensis Cleaner Shrimp?
<Is best to have a pair or a group of three or more if you intend to replace. Cleaner shrimp have been known to dine on each other given a lack of alternate food. Do keep this in mind.>
How long does this species usually live?
<Tough to answer, will depend on environmental conditions, foods, etc. Bob may generalize here.>
<<Mmm... 3-5 years or so. RMF>>
Thank you for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Jan & Ellen
Broomall, PA


Pregnant cleaner shrimp 3/14/03 Good morning, well I realized that I have a pregnant Cleaner Shrimp, I would like to some how isolate her to keep some of the babies. <Interesting tidbit about cleaner shrimp... your "she" is actually is an "it". While most shrimp have separate sexes... cleaners are hermaphrodites... thus any two can breed successfully together> Is it possible?? <challenging but possible... the move to an isolation tank was helpful> what should I buy? I saw a breeding unit online- Let me know Thanks, Athena <successful rearing really cannot be summed up in an e-mail. Let me suggest you buy and read a book on a similar species: "How To Raise & Train Your Peppermint Shrimp -- April Kirkendoll. Its available from Amazon.com and many other places. The rearing tips will be quite similar. Also, do a keyword search on this topic on a search engine for find specific articles perhaps on this species... alas, we do not have one on WWM. General info on the group can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp Sudden Death after Water Change? Hello Just wondering if you have any information on scarlet cleaner shrimp that relates to water changes. <its extremely common with all arthropods and many mollusks. They are all quite sensitive slight errors in temperature and especially salinity differences between new and old water. Are you sure the new water SG was exactly the same?> I Never had a problem before. The only thing that I did different from before is that I switched to Coral Reef Red Sea http://www.redseafish.com/Products/Coral_Reef_Salt/body_coral_reef_salt.html from my Kent brand. <actually... I don't hold either brand in high regard for their quality control/consistency compared to Instant Ocean, Tropic Marin and Omega brands> Is there something that could be in that mix that causes instant death to shrimps? <not likely... but if a batch had too much of a common metal like magnesium... that would do it> I just finished doing a water change (about 10 gal out of a 55 gal - new water temp perfect match, chlorine removed and matched salt density). My shrimp was fine when I was siphoning the tank, but as soon as I finished filling it back up again he looked listless and was slightly on his side. <has the water been mixed and aerated over night or was it raw? If raw... you've been dodging bullets for a while> He jittered a bit and everything stopped "running" inside him and that was it. He molted last night and I fished out his dead skin first thing this morning. Was the water change too traumatic for his freshly molted self? <not at all likely> I am very concerned as I wish to do a water change in my other tank containing 2 shrimp and I don't want them to suffer the same instant death. For age - I am guessing a year to year and a half (I've had him for about 8 months and he was medium sized when I purchased him). Nothing in the tank is threatening so I can rule that out. I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to offer. <I am sorry to hear of the loss... but be assured that they truly are strict and sensitive about water chemistry issues. It could even have been the simple change between brands of slightly different composition. 10 galls was not too much... all else sounds like good husbandry. Let me suggest you try another bag or brand of salt for a water change on the other two tanks for perspective then follow later with the current bag (perhaps even blend it to wean from the old Kent mix).> My complements on the best site out there! Kudos! <best regards, Anthony>

Cleaner Shrimp Question - 2/12/03 Hello, <cheers> I just found your site and I love it. <thanks kindly... do keep reading, sharing and growing! Tell a friend too please> I have one cleaner shrimp right now...I plan to get at least one more but I was wondering how often the shed their shells? <varies by feeding and nutrient levels (iodine)... but not by gender like some other shrimps. Cleaner shrimps are hermaphrodites... any 2 can breed together> I've had this one 2 weeks and he has shed 2 times. <awesome! Once or twice monthly is common> He seems very happy and healthy. He eats, cleans himself and cleans my damsel. (My Regal Tang won't go to him...yet) Is this normal for them to shed so much? <a very good sign> Thanks for your help. Kit "In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." <best regards, Anthony>

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 how's it going <Doing good... just check'n the questions...> I just setup my 75 gal reef tank about 10 days ago it has about 70 lbs. of live rock in it and I am waiting for it to cycle. A friend gave me a couple pieces of live rock from his tank to make room for something else in the process I ended up with 1 of his cleaner shrimp in the rock and I can't catch it does it stand a chance of living and if so does it need to be fed anything
<Well... if the tank is just starting to cycle it most likely will not survive. But stranger things have happened! I feed my cleaner shrimp: in the morning, marine fish flakes, in the afternoon a small amount of krill/silverside. He loves it!! If you want to try and catch the shrimp, take an old panty-hose and put some food in it. My shrimp always rush right into it. Hope this helps! Phil>

Cleaner shrimp feeding Hi, I've had cleaner shrimp in the past and I usually lost them after about 4-5 months from what I think was lack of nutrition. I had the right amount of calcium and iodine etc to let the skeletons shed but I don't think the shrimp were getting enough to eat because the food would always get eaten by the fish first since they swim much faster. What would u recommend I do in order to make sure they get something to eat? <A practice of feeding the fishes, more aggressive invertebrates first and at one end of the system (at the surface likely) and using a "feeder stick" (dowel of wood or plastic) that you can/could quickly dunk the food to the shrimp directly down in front of them. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time -Matt

Re: Feeding Cleaner Shrimp Bob: <Steve> Saw your post about feeding cleaner shrimp with a feeding stick. I though I'd share a method that works great for me. <Great> I use an air tube with a medicine syringe (from the drug store) on one end. I glued the tube into a larger rigid tube with aquarium silicone (before finding narrower rigid tubing available at a different LFS). I put various frozen foods in a finger bowl with some tank water and suck it into the tube. I then squirt the food down near my jawfish's burrow so he gets food. Otherwise, the other fish eat it all an he doesn't get any. <Yes> Anyway, I discovered that if I gently approach my Lysmata shrimp wit this tube and slowly eject the food, they will grab on and voraciously pull the food right out of the tube with their front legs and eat it. They really chow down this way. (Impressive appetites!) They'll eat brine shrimp, Mysis, krill, mussels and squid. <Very good> Perhaps this will help for the person whose shrimps starve. <Thank you for this input. Bob Fenner> Steve Allen

Breeding Peppermint Shrimp Greetings and salutations everyone: Around 11:00 last night I was giving my reef tank one last check and noticed one of the Peppermint Shrimp was acting rather erratic. So I turned on my blue actinic light to make a closer observation, just in time to see one of them giving birth to hundreds of tiny Peppermints. What a beautiful sight. <wow... how wonderful!> Is there any way to ensure any survivals? <absolutely. It is somewhat tedious to rear the larva but very possible and done by many aquarists. Some articles have been written on the subject like here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-10/nftt/ Thee is also a new book written on the subject for interested aquarists just like you: http://www.lysmatapublishing.com/shrimp.html > I think my LPS corals had a feast last night because I do not see any left this morning. >indeed...very good food. Many aquarists keep breeding peppermint shrimp in fishless refugiums for this purpose> I also have noticed quite a few of white semi-transparent larva's around 1/8" long with a large mouth and a dual tail on the other end sliding around on the glass. Does this sound like some kind of Nudibranch? They seem to be multiplying rather rapidly, should this be a concern? <hard to say without an ID or image> I've also noticed several small brittle stars (around 1/2 inch in length) hanging around in the live rock. Do they pose any threat? <nope... very beneficial filter feeders and detritivores> Besides the obvious physical beauty of our underwater ecosystems, don't you find it truly inspiring that life always just seems to "find a way"? What a tribute to our creator! <remarkable by any definition :) > My Tube Anemone is growing a little too fast and its tentacles were getting too close to my candy coral. <wow... I'm not thrilled about such an aggressive anemone in a tank with coral or other anemones... I'd remove it to a species tank for proper feeding any way (without polluting coral tank or starving anemone in the long run> The Candy Coral has not been a happy camper lately (nitrates got a little high the other day, .40 PPM, so I quickly made several water changes and things are already looking a lot better). I relocated the Candy Coral on the sand. Is this an acceptable location? <perhaps not... they cannot purge sand easily and may suffer if sprinkled or buried. Its an unnatural place for this coral> I wasn't sure it would be happy there as I am rapidly running out of space since all of this is going on in a 5 gallon Nano reef. <oh, my heavens! Brother, please remove that tube anemone from this tank ASAP or pull all else to a reef. There are serious issues here with chemical warfare on your coral beyond issues of actual contact> I've read your information regarding the feeding of corals and it was very informative. I purchased some DT's Phytoplankton to supplement the Corals (one Euphyllia, one Candy, one Hammer, one leather tree coral and assorted button polyps). <hmmm.... only the leather tree coral eats (perhaps) a little phytoplankton. None of the other corals here feed much if at all on phyto. They are zooplankton feeders. I suspect that the only thing your phyto is feeding is nitrate levels> If I feed according to directions, that would be 1/3 tsp in 5 gallons every other day. Will this amount increase my nitrates or should I just be concerned with the freshness of the phytoplankton? <a fine food but inappropriate for these corals> More along the line of twice a week sounds more reasonable given the size of my tank. Can you recommend a product for zooplankton that is equally fresh, besides using a refugium? <indeed the refugium is best, frozen Cyclop-eeze would be a fine runner up (hard to find though... an Argent product), fresh hatched baby brine is good after that (less than 9 hours old). After that, minced meaty foods (Gammarus PE Mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton)> I have been also feeding a frozen food rich in Kill and Sponge but, again, am concerned with nitrates (is twice a week on this one also acceptable?). <way too little food for the LPS corals and definitely not enough for the tube anemone> Please don't suggest an upgrade in equipment, we are in the process of adopting two otherwise homeless children and at this time any upgrades just is not in the budget. <no worries bud... but I must say that you need to remove the anemone or the corals for both to have a chance at surviving long term> Nitrates are my big concern, <in such a small tank, a weekly water change of 2-3 gallons should make it all go away nicely> but I still want to give the corals everything they need and still keep nitrates as low as possible, considering the size of my system. I try to keep Nitrates around .10 PPM, which is quite a challenge and still feed everything. You guys perform a great service and I can't thank you enough for your assistance. I called the LPS where I bought the coral frags and all I got was "I am too busy". How sad for them. I think they're missing out in the real meaning in all of this. <agreed. You'll do fine here my friend if you are simply realistic about the limitations of the tank and what is humanely possible. With kind regards, Anthony>

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 -- >

Snail health, shrimp nutrition Mr. Fenner thank you for the quick response. Regarding the questions below: (2) "Help, my snails have fallen and can't get up!!!" (a) I noticed many references in the "Marine Snail FAQs" to two products (I) B Ionic and (ii) Sea Balance. I have not been able to locate these products (although I did find Kent Marine products at DrsFostersSmith.com). Can you point me in the right direction? <These calcium and carbonate products are sold by many e-tailers and retailers. If interested in them you might try the folks listed on the Marine Links page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlinks.htm> (b) I also noticed that you recommend 4 watts of appropriate lighting. I only have 22 watts of "cool white" on a 29G. Is the lighting contributing to the snails issues? <Not directly> (3) Cleaner shrimp and damsels have not developed the relationship I had hoped. (a) What exactly is a "feeding stick"? <A store bought or DIY device (a wood or plastic dowel, length of rigid tubing) for delivering food down to the animals> (b) the scarlet cleaner has been in the tank 5 weeks and has never been target fed. How can I tell if he is properly nourished and healthy? <If it's out and about, looking like it's trying to eat (other organisms) it is likely hungry> Thank you <You're welcome. Bob Fenner> Rex.merrill

29G FO Husbandry Season's greetings to all of the WetWebMedia Crew!!! <And thou> Ok, thanks to all of your support I am now on the path that will hopefully bring health and happiness to all of my marine "guests". I would be grateful for clarification on a couple of questions: (1) Santa is bringing an Eheim ECCO 2233 (rated for 60G) and a CPR BakPak skimmer for the 29G tank. Would live rock find enough "food" to remain alive with the implementation of the Eheim and the skimmer? Would 30lbs still be a reasonable amount? <Yes, and yes> (2) "Help, my snails have fallen and can't get up!!!" What's the deal with my turbo snails, are they handicapped? I keep finding them upside down. If I don't upright them will they be able to right themselves? How long can they survive "upside down" before they expire? <Please see WetWebMedia.com re "Marine Snail FAQs"... a few possibilities here. Likely alkalinity anomaly> (3) Cleaner shrimp and damsels have not developed the relationship I had hoped. One of the damsels began to show an interest in the scarlet cleaner shrimp.... unfortunately I have discovered it is not the "cleaning" that he is interested in. The damsel periodically tries to kick the shrimps butt. Charging, nipping, even swam under his tail and tried to up-end the shrimp one time. Is my shrimp in danger? Oh why oh why couldn't I find all you helpful people before the LFS told me to put damsels in my tank? <Give them more time together. Purposely feed the shrimp with a "feeding stick" in a corner, on a daily routine> Thanks for any advice you can share. <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Raising Cleaner Shrimp Babies Dear crew: I have just collected the larvae of my cleaner shrimp on a net. I don't know what to do with them. It is a pity to watch them get "filtered out from my overflow. Right now, I have them in my net in the main aquarium, with no fish, since the tank is fallowing. Is there anyway to successfully culture little cleaner shrimp? What do I need to feed them? And do they need a separate tank to raise them? Were there any successful breeding trials? Please tell me what to do! <It must be that time of year or something. We have received a question about spawning cleaner shrimp everyday for the past several days. Please take a look here http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm? Sincerely, Eric <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Shrimp Follow Up and Pods Hello again! Thank you! My fish and crabs will probably eat whatever eggs these shrimp deposit, eh? Caviar to the salties! <Them and your corals, too. Excellent food for all!> Another quick question, do 'pods come in all colors, or just gray? <I have seen mostly tan to gray.> I have some REALLY big black ones, twice the size of the gray. <Interesting, could you send us a picture?> They love the filter pads and my refugium. I'm not sure what eats them (in my tank), but I have tons. Here's the fish list, one of each: bi-color blenny, Foxface, engineer goby, blue/yellow tail damsel, maroon gold bar clown, Firefish, and the junior angel (Pomacanthus). None are mentioned to eat these "bugs" in my books. <Actually, they will all eat some.> Should I get a mandarin to eat them, or just leave the 'pods? <I would leave them. They and their spawn are excellent food for fish and corals as well as having the added benefit of consuming a fair amount of algae, detritus, uneaten food, etc.> Thanks once again, your patience is outstanding! -Cathy in Texas <>< <Have a lovely day! -Steven Pro>

Cleaner Shrimp Howdy! <Hi Cathy! How's it going down there?> Just yesterday (I think) there was a question regarding Cleaner Shrimp on the Daily FAQ page - now I can't find it. The reason I am looking for articles - I have two Lysmata amboinensis (cleaner shrimp with white markings on the tail) - and both are carrying green matter in the lower part of the tail and that look like the tiniest of green dots. <These are eggs.> Does this mean I have two females? <It means you have two males and two females, but only two shrimp total. Confusing? You should try being the shrimp. They are hermaphroditic.> They have been carrying these "dots" for about two weeks - maybe it is something else? <No, it is a textbook description of eggs. They should change color to an orange/red in a few days.> I've tried using the google search for WWM, but nothing about this shows up. At first, I thought this was because I had a green algae bloom in my tank, and they ate the algae. But the bloom is gone, and the green remains. Any ideas, help would be appreciated! If a picture is needed, I can get one :-) Cathy in Texas <>< <The article I referenced on the Daily page is here http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm Chat with you later! -Steven Pro>

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>

Breeding Shrimp We have a pair of Lysmata amboinensis in our tank, the large of the 2 has been in there for about a year now - the 2nd one we added about 4 months ago, and is a little smaller than the other. A few days ago - the larger one appeared to have lots of little green "eggs" (for lack of another term) in the swimmerets under the backside. <No better term needed, in this case, that is what they are, fertilized eggs.> It was interesting - we saw her (assuming) perched on a piece of live rock, "playing" with them, she had the swimmerets tilted out, and it was almost like she was moving the "eggs" around. Well, this morning - the other shrimp has em now. They both do! <Yes, they are hermaphroditic, both able to function as both sexes simultaneously.> The interesting thing is that this morning, we caught the larger one almost chasing the smaller one - going at the smaller one with her pinchers. In fact, she got the smaller one in the tail, and the smaller one jumped and some of the little things came out of the swimmeret's. <Now that sounds kind of strange.> Are they eggs, and if so - can we do anything with them? Bill Yazji <I can give you a couple of leads if you wish to pursue raising the babies. The Summer 2002 issue of SeaScope, a free newsletter from Aquarium Systems that comes out quarterly, has a related article on breeding Lysmata rathbunae. Also, check out the Breeder's Registry, an online source for captive rearing information. -Steven Pro>

Breeding Shrimp II I would be interested in attempting to raise them. Is it something very difficult? <I would not describe the process as easy, but it could be worth the effort.> I had attempted to view the Breeders Registry, but the link wasn't working for me. <It did not work for me, either. Perhaps a problem with the server this evening. I did find a few online articles with a quick search. http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/SeaScope/v11_sumr/shrimp.htm Thanks - as usual! ~Bill <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Gourmet Shrimp! Kind Sirs, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I recently purchased a cleaner shrimp. From the tail markings it looks as though it's the Pacific White Stripe Cleaner Lysmata amboinensis, I read through the FAQ's and If I may, pose a few questions to see if I understand shrimp care correctly. Tanks size, 30 ga, His future clients consist of 2 percula clowns (2" and 1 ½" ) and a 1 inch yellow damsel. Because as much as the shrimp tries, the fish currently don't want anything to do with it. From what I read, It's a learning process and in about 2 weeks the fish should be forming a line to the cleaning station? <All depends on the fish!> As for the molting process, It was mentioned once in the FAQ's, But the way I understand it is, I should leave the molted shell in the tank and the shrimp will eventually eat it? <Wow! If it were me, I'd remove anything from the tank that has the potential to decompose and add to the level of dissolved organics in the water> Feeding? My impression, at first, was that the shrimp would scavenge for food. After reading more about it, It looks as though I should turkey baste some food in his direction? <Always appreciated!> Daily? I did that this morning and he had a feast with the blood worms. Not sure how to get flake food to him, except maybe crumble, mix with tank water and baste it to him. <Not a bad technique, but I'd stick to frozen, marine-based foods instead.> I slowly released the blood worms and he was able to catch them. My current feeding habits consist of 2 times daily of a mix of the following: blood worms (thawed, and every 3 days soaked with 5 drops of vita-chem vitamins), marine flakes, Spirulina flakes, freeze dried plankton (krill) as a treat, (also soaked with Selcon ? twice weekly), DT's (blended) and clam juice for the dusters (two). 2 days of each through the course of a week. My guess is that the vita-chem soaked blood worms would pose no problem for the shrimp? As well as the Selcon? <Certainly couldn't hurt- but I'd try to give more 'marine-based" foods as mentioned above. Do feed the clam juice sparingly to your 'dusters, as excessive amounts can pollute your water horribly!> My plans for this weekend are to mix up some fresh shrimp, clams, Spirulina flakes and vita-chem (need to check bob's recipe again) and freeze to feed the clowns as well as have the juice in the tank for the dusters. <Good stuff! Again, I urge caution not to overfeed the "juice".> Should I look to add anything for the shrimp? <I think your mix sounds just fine!> From what I've read on your site, Mysis(?) shrimp is the choice of frozen, but seems to be lacking at my LFS. I've found the fish take to the blood worms but feel I should switch to more of a marine type food. <My recommendation, exactly!> I have found frozen krill, squid (I think) and pro green at my LPS, would any be recommended over the other or should I stick with the blood worms and soon to be homemade stuff? <They all sound good- even the bloodworms, but I'd try to vary the diet as much as possible, again stressing the use of marine foods> As for the crew's Reef Invertebrates book, Will it be available for pre-order up to around Christmas time? <Sure! And it looks to be a good book! you can even get an autographed one if you preorder!> I kind of got "the look" when "Clownfishes" showed up after purchasing, and continually reading both Mike Paletta's "New Marine Aquarium" and Bob's "CMA". <All are great books!> And figured I'd better curb some on-line purchasing for a bit. <After you order the Crew's new book, of course!> Again my fish as well as myself thank you. Dave <And thank you for writing, Dave. Your animals seem to be in very capable hands! Good luck!>

Cleaner shrimp and crab not surviving in my tank Hi Craig, <Hi Jun!> It's me again. I purchased a cleaner shrimp and a sally light foot crab today (third or fourth cleaner shrimp and the second light foot crab in the last 6 weeks). Within several hours they're already dead. What am I doing wrong? Water parameters are all good. I followed the acclimation process and still no luck. Please help!!!!!!! Thanks.....Jun <Hmm, did you purchase these from a local fish store or have them shipped? If shipped, this could be from adding a normal pH water to a waste laden shipping bag, perhaps affecting the toxic ammonia levels. Also, these guys are incredibly sensitive to salinity changes. If there is a big difference in salinity it needs to changed very, very slowly, like over a day or so. A drip line works well for this and changes water very slowly. These guys are sensitive! I sure hope this helps you. Craig>

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>

Why's he doing that? Response to Cleaner Shrimp Good morning WWM crew! Hope all is well! <and to you as well> One quick question for ya this morning... My yellow tang has finally started using the cleaner shrimp (boy are they happy!) and they have gotten virtually all of the remaining black spot off of him (I am pleased, but still watching carefully in case of an "outbreak" that they can't handle). <very well> He sometimes seems to buck while they're cleaning him though. Earlier today I watched him buck quite a bit, actually. Is this just because they get a little rough? <perhaps... still a vulnerable position for the tang to be sitting still. Naturally nervous> (I know from experience that sometimes they do pick a little hard) He won't (intentionally) hurt them if he's going over to their "station" to be cleaned will he? <doubtful... no worries here> Thanks! TJ the Novice :) <Kindly, Anthony... the apprentice>

Why's he doing that? Good morning WWM crew! Hope all is well! One quick question for ya this morning... My yellow tang has finally started using the cleaner shrimp (boy are they happy!) and they have gotten virtually all of the remaining black spot off of him (I am pleased, but still watching carefully in case of an "outbreak" that they can't handle). He sometimes seems to buck while they're cleaning him though. Earlier today I watched him buck quite a bit, actually. Is this just because they get a little rough? (I know from experience that sometimes they do pick a little hard) He won't (intentionally) hurt them if he's going over to their "station" to be cleaned will he? Thanks! TJ the Novice :) <<Hi TJ, Craig answering your question. I wouldn't worry about this at all. If the Tang doesn't like it he won't go to the station or stay long. This is fairly common behavior for fish and cleaners. Kinda like a really good scratch. My Sailfin Blenny took one of my cleaners for a ride in response to something like this. Just imagine if they were like dogs and had rear leg scratching spasms....Enjoy the show! Craig>>

Lysmata amboinensis Hi there! Hope you all are well! Quick question... well, ok maybe a couple of questions... but I promise they're quick! :) #1 - I purchased some cleaner shrimp (L. amboinensis) yesterday (2 of the little critters) & have noticed that on one of the shrimp both of those legs they have in front of their little pincher claws are white and on the other only one of the legs is white, and the other one is clear. Does this mean anything re sex of the critter or is it just something that's eventually going to turn white like the other leg? <hmmm... interesting. I honestly don't know the answer to that question but I will look into it! My educated guess is that is has nothing to do with dimorphism> #2 - I have a yellow tail blue damsel who's a little feisty. He's in quarantine right now (the whole ich escapade) so I'm assuming upon return to the main tank he'll have "forgotten" where his "house" used to be... so maybe he won't be so territorial at first? <hahahhahahhaa.... that's a good one. My turn... , "I just flew in from Pittsburgh and boy are my arms tired!" Ba-dum-bum. OK... your turn again...> What I'm really getting at here is... is he going to mess with these shrimp in an adverse way? <seriously... if he messed with them before, he'll do it again. As sure as a bear brings a Reader's Digest into the woods> (he's been in the main tank for 4 years prior to his removal to QT) Thanks a lot for the input guys! TJ <my pleasure... take care, my friend. Anthony>

Peppermint Shrimp Dear Mr. Fenner (or WetWebMedia crew), Let me start off by giving praise to "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", it is the best book ever written. I would also like to thank you for this wonderful website and your feedback to our questions! I know your time is extremely valuable and that you read a BULK of e-mails. I will try and keep this short. I have a question regarding Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni). Do they clean parasites off of fish like the common cleaner shrimp? <I have seen them clean Moray Eels before.> I know they are known for going after Aiptasia. <Yes, their claim to fame.> The reason I ask is because my Clarkii (Amphiprion clarkii) keeps swimming over to a pair of Peppermint Shrimp I have in the tank. The Clarkii doesn't appear to have any ich (white dots) on his body. <Come on, scratch my back! Please!> If the Peppermint doesn't clean parasites, can I add common cleaner shrimp with the peppermint shrimp? <Depends on tank size and individual's disposition.> I have a 30 gallon setup with 10 gallon sump. <I would put your odds at 50/50. I have seen Peppermint's with Cleaner's, but I have also heard of several instances where one killed the other.> Light bio-load, only the clown fish, a green carpet anemone, two Peppermint Shrimp, and a couple turbo snails. If I can add the common cleaner shrimp, is there an easy way to identify the Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner (Lysmata amboinensis) from the Atlantic White-Striped Cleaner (Lysmata grabhami)? <Yes, the Pacific amboinensis has more dots on its tail. Baensch's Marine Atlas, volume 1, has excellent back to back photos comparing the two.> One last question, if my Clarkii does develop ich, what is the best way to treat him? <Quarantine and daily water changes to start would be my preference.> Move to quarantine? <Yes> Lower salinity, temp? <An option> I read that copper shouldn't be used with anemone fish. <I have seen the same thing in Wilkerson's book.> I've had the Clarkii for over six months, he seems healthy, will the problem go away on its own if I don't intervene? <I am not sure there is a problem.> Is the Clarkii going over to the shrimp a bad sign, or is it just natural behavior? <It could be either.> Thanks for your time and patience, Jeremy <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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>

Website address change (Note: chg on Shrimp, Lysmata pgs) Hello, Your link to my webpage, "How To Raise & Train Your Peppermint Shrimp" (listed under Business--Publications) has an old URL. The new address is www.lysmatapublishing.com. The old address redirects you to the new URL for now, but it will soon be a "broken link". Thanks for your time, A. Kirkendoll <Thank you for the update. Will change. Bob Fenner>

Killer Sailfin (& Cleaner Shrimp f') Hi Bob, how do I get my Sailfin Tang to stop attacking, my cleaner shrimp. Got the shrimp today at 12:00 pm, all of the antennas picked off by 5:00pm. <Put in more rock, hiding spaces for the shrimp and/or remove the Tang from its presence otherwise for a few days. The Sailfin is very likely only trying to "get the shrimps attention" for cleaning services... and the shrimp "suffering from jet-lag". It just needs a rest> Also, I noticed that they get wobbly after there antennas are gone, (fourth one he has killed). What purpose do the antennas serve, is it balance by any chance. Thanks for all the great resources. <At the base of the antennae there are spatial orientation sensors... but not the antennae themselves... These will "regenerate" next molt BTW. Just save it from dying from exhaustion, being knocked about for now. Bob Fenner>

Candy-Stripe Cleaner Shrimp Will my candy stripe cleaner shrimp be able to handle lower SG, say 1.018? <tolerable if acclimated to very slowly...no lower please> Also - I have a purple tang that every now and again gets "cloudy" in the side fins, almost looks like Ick, but I am not sure, I always thought ICK was more like a grain of salt? <correct... the turbidity could be mucous secreted from irritation by a parasite or other pest> They'll be there one day, and gone the next.. just stress? <something more> Tank "credentials" are all good, and I rarely see him get aggressive with other fish or vice versa... Thanks & have a happy Easter (if you celebrate!) ~bill <yes... thank you kindly. A blessed day to you and yours as well. Anthony>

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>

Breeding Lysmata [Cleaner Shrimp] Dear Bob, <<not Bob, but JasonC - Bob is away diving>> I have several pairs of Lysmata debelius shrimps. I have been trying to get them to mate for a couple of months. they constantly molt and are old enough to mate (3.5-4cm length). conditions are constant.. temp at 27 degrees Celsius, salinity at 34-35ppt. they feed an grow and have shown no major signs of being stressed. however they have not been producing any eggs, which they would carry under their tail. I have added a filter of 1000 micron to the water flowing through my system to catch any larvae if they are produced and have not found anything. should I just be patient or is something not right? how influential is light to reproduction of these shrimps? at present they are under natural light, near a window. <<I'm afraid I don't have any experience with these. My quick guess would be that many of the shrimps need a more salt-marsh/lagoon/tidal pond-type environment to successfully breed. I would likewise guess that the light does have influence... is that the only light on the tank? If I were you, I would pose this same question on the WWM forum which is patrolled by many knowledgeable, friendly folk - and someone just might have done this. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ >> thanks, Avinash Singh <<Best of luck in this endeavor. Cheers, J -- >>

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>

Peppermint Shrimp Anthony, I like your optimism. Thanks for the response about red algae. <quite welcome... and its easy to be optimistic when one has faith> I have one question what exactly can you feed peppermint shrimp and how often? OK two questions. <my first choice would be beer nuts... but for your peppermint shrimp... I'm thinking a more omnivorous fare. Truth be told, they will need little or no food in a reef aquarium where fish/coral are fed. Only slightly more food in a FOWLR tank. Only in a "sterile" display would I consider 4-5 times weekly feedings with mixed frozen meaty foods (both meat and plant based). Dry Shrimp Pellets (ironic name, huh?) are an attractive low grade treat...just don't get too frisky with using them (nutrients). They will most likely bring the shrimp (starfish, crabs, etc) out on command for company to enjoy though. Twice weekly with a mixed frozen food like Formula 1/2 should be fine in a tank with live rock. Feed more if trying to breed them. Anthony> Thanks, David

Cleaner Shrimp Hello again! I have a question about our one-eyed cleaner shrimp. (No, he's not some sort of Cyclops, he had a full complement of eyes when we acquired him five months ago but about three months back one eyeball mysteriously disappeared overnight!) <This will "come back" (regenerate) next molt cycle> During the last week we have noticed that he has developed small, black, irregular shaped markings on his body and legs, almost like freckles. They are not raised and don't seem to be bothering him at all. <Are they symmetrical? Likely just coloration, natural markings> My husband has been feeding him by hand since he lost his eye just to make sure he didn't lose out food wise. I was wondering if you have any ideas as to what these marks are and whether we should be concerned. Our other three cleaner shrimp are all fine and mark free (although none of them have ever cleaned a single fish since we've had them!) <Maybe a sexual, size, age difference... the others may be a different species even> Also (sorry, this is a second question), we have spotted a bristle worm - Aarrgh! After reading through your site we have decided not to panic but it is exactly like the photo on your website. It came out of the substrate briefly, saw us staring at it in horror and burrowed back in! <It may have felt the same way> It was just over an inch long. As far as we can tell, all corals and inverts are fine and unbothered (so far!) Are we ok just to keep an eye on things whilst containing our panic or should we be actively trying to remove it? <I'd leave it for now... and not worry> We do have a Pseudocheilinus wrasse but he's only a bit bigger in length than the worm. I imagine he's too small to view the worm as a tasty snack. Your views would be appreciated! Many thanks (again!) Lesley <Enjoy this life. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Hi again! And another prompt response - thank you, you work so hard! The markings are not symmetrical, one side of his body has more than the other (so far). <Mmm, likely "old age" sorts of markings next in line of probability...> I expect he's looking forward to his new eyeball though! <Yes... this animal will get the new eye, lose the markings next molt... you might want to try feeding it a bit more, and checking on alkalinity to "speed things up" here> Thanks again! Incidentally, will you be coming to the UK anytime soon to give talks, etc? <Most anytime am invited. Am on way past there a couple of times this year... for a big tradeshow in Germany in May and to visit with friends, my business associates family (they live in York) at some as yet undetermined time. Bob Fenner>

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>

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