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Marine Shrimp Behavior FAQs 

Related FAQs: Marine Shrimp, Marine Shrimps 2, Marine Shrimps 3, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

Hi Bob,

Just a really quick question: How often are shrimps supposed to shed? My cleaner sheds about once every three weeks. Do I take it that once the shrimp reaches its full size it will slow down?  


Ian Turner,

East Dereham

Complete, frequent shedding, moulting, ecdysis is common in younger shrimp species kept in good condition with decent nutrition, fair water quality, with as you speculate molt intervals increasing with size and age. I do want to note that folks should keep track of such behavior, and be on their guard if their shrimp no longer are molting period; as this may be indicative of a nutrient deficiency (including iodide-ate), and/or a misproportionality of biomineral and/or alkalinity make-up in their water. Further, Id state that one should leave such molts in the tank/system for reincorporation by the shrimp. Their shed exoskeletons will not pollute your water, and indeed are a useful source of material for making the new one. At the last, do remember that shortly after molting, your crustaceans are most susceptible to predation; make sure and provide them adequate cover, décor to hide in.

Shrimp shedding skin. 03/23/09
I have a cleaner shrimp and an anemone shrimp and they shed their skin about once a month?
<Yes, it's called "molting"... very normal.>
Is it better to leave the skin in the tank or take them out.
<It's up to you. But if you have a well filtered system, you don't need to.>
They seem to dissolve after about 2 days and I thought maybe the iodine goes back into the water. I did notice last time I did a water change with sea water the tank became very cloudy. The sea was very rough the day I collected it, is it a bacteria boom.
<Possibly... or just particulates from the sea...>
After 12 hours it had cleared 100%
<...then it was likely just particulate matter.>
I run 2 x 24w UV's so the tank water is turned over at least every 15 minutes. The reason I ask is that all the shrimps shed their skin the next night. Is that due to stress?
<Possibly... or maybe it's some chemical cue/irritant from the seawater.>
They are alive and well. Thank you in advance. Regards, Adam,
<De nada,
Sara M.> 

Decorative Shrimp Lifespan and Compatibility – 01/19/09 Hi wet wise crew! <<Hey Kai!>> I’m sending you guys an e-mail from Singapore regarding shrimp compatibility =) <<Okay>> After looking for a blood shrimp or fire shrimp, for 3 months, I FINALLY found a fellow reefer who is selling it off as he is quitting his hobby. Here's the problem... He has had it for 6 months, and I do not know what is the life span of the shrimp. I found little information online to answer this question. Will it die shortly after I get it? <<Maybe…depending on how old it was when it was obtained by the other fellow. I can’t say for sure, but I think these critters only live a couple 2-3 years…and is good reason for hobbyists to purchase small (young) specimens of these expensive little decapods. My own experiences with them over several decades would seem to bear this out>> Also, regarding compatibility, I have 2 skunk cleaner shrimps, and about 4 peppermint shrimps, although I NEVER see any of the peppermint shrimps, except for one, so it could either be that they are extremely shy, or dead. << They do tend to stay to the “dark” places in the tank…as is often the case with the Blood Shrimp>> I heard that they are nocturnal. <<And secretive…>> Will my future blood shrimp pose any problems to my existing invert collection? <<This is a possibility, I have found Lysmata debelius to be quite aggressive toward other shrimp at times…but this should be lessened if there is enough real-estate for all to occupy/escape to>> I do not want anything bad to happen. My aquascape has plenty of overhangs and cave for it to hide though. <<Good>> My two skunk cleaner shrimp basically owns the right side of the tank. Leaving the left side invert free as of now. <<Then this is where I would “introduce” the Blood Shrimp>> As for my peppermints... no idea where they are now haha. The blood shrimp is my current favourite shrimp, and I really hope that this works out. I apologize if my English is bad, I spent 30 minutes re-reading trough this to find errors, and this is the best I can do. <<Your English is quite good enough mate>> Thank you for the advice you guys have shared with me over the past few e-mails regarding my dusty water, and starfish, etc etc. <<Quite welcome I’m sure>> Especially Mr. BobF, thank you for your time in helping me =) Have a wonderful day Best regards- kai <<Cheers, EricR>>

Re: Decorative Shrimp Lifespan and Compatibility – 01/20/09 Thanks for the reply Mr. Eric! <<Ah, quite welcome Kai>> I'll be getting my shrimp tomorrow and see how it goes. <<Excellent>> All the LFS in my country do not carry blood shrimps at the moment, have been to all and every shopkeeper told me that they will not be receiving blood shrimps anytime soon. <<Likely of “seasonal” availability>> My last resort was to buy from a fellow reefer. <<No problem with that mate>> Let's just hope it lasts. <<I’ll keep my fingers crossed>> Thanks again for all your help! <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Lethargic Fire Shrimp 5/10/08 Hello again, Thanks for all your advice and yet here comes one more question.? I've had two fire shrimps in a 29G reef tank for several months. The have been happily living together and on several occasions produced offspring that float around until consumed by various plankton eaters. However, recently one shrimp has stayed in the same location (adhered to back wall of aquarium) for an entire day and will not come out to feed as usual. The other shrimp continues to act fine. The questionable shrimp also appears a bit lighter in color than usual. Any ideas what this could be?? <Hmm, maybe it's getting ready to molt? or stressed?> Both shrimp have molted successfully many times. They have developed into a mated pair so I would like to keep both healthy. Thanks for any advice. <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpbehfaqs.htm> Greg <Best, Sara M.>

What To Do With The Shrimp Molt? – 06/27/07 Hello WWM Crew, <<Howdy Mathew>> Having done some reading on shrimp molts and whether or not to leave them in (see below) I pose a question. <<Okay>> My shrimp has molted several times but never eaten his shell. <<Doesn’t always happen…often the shell simply “dissolves” away>> It sits there for a while then gets sucked up onto the intake. <<Another common event>> In one email Bob states that the shell won’t pollute the tank, but is that based on the fact that the shrimp will probably eat it? <<Mmm, no…the shell is made up of bio-mineral elements that usually are simply absorbed back in to the system>> I am having enough problems getting my chemical levels low already. <<No worries re the shed exoskeleton, mate…it will not impart any harmful material to your system>> So should I A: take it out B: Give the guy a chance to eat it but once it’s on the intake scrape it off C: Kill the circulation so the shell won’t get sucked up and give him a chance to eat it D: Just don’t worry LOL <<I wouldn’t worry about it…if it catches on your intake screen and restricts flow or you just don’t want to look at it then go ahead and remove and dispose>> Thanks for you help, Matthew <<Happy to share. EricR>> Title: Gourmet Shrimp! WWM Crew Member: Scott F. Question: 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? Answer: <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> Title: Cleaner Shrimp shell leftovers WWM Crew Member: Bob Fenner Question: Is it necessary to remove the molt of my cleaner shrimp from the tank? Sometimes it is a pain to dig out and I was wondering if it will pollute my tank if I just leave it to do its thing? Answer: <Won't pollute... s/b left in... please read through the Shrimp articles, FAQs files archived on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ Bob Fenner> Title: Some minor questions and big thank you WWM Crew Member: Bob Fenner Question: He has eaten the shell both times, which I believe is normal Answer: <Yes> Title: Questions about molting shrimp WWM Crew Member: Bob Fenner Question: I saw the old shells of the peppermint shrimp floating in my tank till I netted them out Answer: You (and others) are encouraged not to remove "old shells"... actually these are often re-incorporated into the (usually) larger specimen that shed them...

Molting of Shrimp, Iodine   5/18/07 Hi, <Hi LC, Mich here.> I have a fire cleaner shrimp in my reef tank.  He seems to molt every three weeks.  Isn't this a little too often?   <Sounds like it unless it is quite small and growing quickly.> I use 2 part calcium every day and a little bit of iodine & strontium made by the same company as directed.   <You may want to cut back on the iodine here.  It can stimulate premature molting.> I also do frequent water changes.  Should I stop the iodine? <I think I would, particularly if you are vigilant with the water changes.> please advise.  Thanks, LC    <Welcome!  Mich>

Shrimp Color?  3/16/07 Hello crew, <Hi Jana.  Alex here tonight.> Unfortunately I cannot find my question anywhere on your site, so here goes: I got two skunk cleaner shrimp in my 450 l <120 gal> reef tank. When I purchased the first one it was a nice white and red colour (as it should) but soon after the white on him turned into a dark yellow. The same happened to the second cleaner shrimp which I got 3 weeks later. <Lysmata amboinensis should have a yellow body and legs with red stripes and one white stripe in center of back, white antennae and front legs.  The body is normally yellow.  Sometimes they are faded when stressed.> Both shrimps seem happy, hang out together and are feeding, although both have not moulded <molted> yet. (Got them about 5 weeks and 2 weeks ago). <Maybe they had just molted when you got them, that will cause them to appear lighter.> My water parameters seem all good except for my nitrates are up at about 15 - 20 and the spg is at 1.021. <This is low spg.  Crustaceans don't like to be at low salinity.  Target natural seawater at 1.025.  Slowly increase by not topping off as much with fresh water.  Up your water change schedule to try to get the nitrates down.  Won't hurt the shrimp, but reefs don't like nitrates.> I only read about iodine levels tonight and am not quite sure what that is for and about, will research further, but have not supplemented with that and don't know where those levels are at. <Iodine is important for proper shell formation when they do molt.  Should not be a problem if you are using a quality salt mix.  You can test and supplement if it is low or if their antennae seem weak.  Keep researching...> I feed Mysis shrimps and different types of spectrum foods. Is the colour change a result of the nitrate levels or a deficiency of something? <I think darker is better with these guys, they do lighten under stress.  Keep reading and learning. Here is a link to one of the many pages about these shrimp: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/clnshrpf.htm > Thanks for your help in advance, regards, Jana <You are welcome.  Alex>

Peppermint shrimp beh./health   1/16/07 Hello, (Greetings) Thank you for maintaining such a wonderful site. It has been indispensable as I set up my first marine aquarium (an Oceanic Bio-cube with no modifications). (Glad we could help) Some of the live rock I used was infested with glass anemone, so I got two peppermint shrimp about three weeks ago. They made short work of the anemone and have since been eating flake food, frozen Cyclops and whatever they forage off the rocks. They have both started to lose color in the last 2 days, and one of them is nearly clear. (Quite normal for these shrimp) My water parameters have been good (Ammonia, nitrite, phosphate, nitrate all=0, SG=1.024, pH=8.2, calcium=420mg/L, dKH=8, temp=79) I have been supplementing with Reef Complete and performing weekly 15% water changes. (Excellent) What can I do to save my shrimp? They are still behaving normally, but I worry that the color loss is a sign of illness or malnutrition. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. -Siri (They should be fine.  Smaller ones usually have a lighter color.  The older they get, the darker the red will become.  Cheers!  Dr, J) I'm So Ticked Off... I'm Molting, redux...  10/1/06 So sorry, I sent this to Bob's email address first.. then I found this, correct address... <No worries> Hi gang, Here is a very odd set of circumstances that I came across. I am quarantining to Ambo shrimp in transit to my 225 reef tank (my first non-fish additions!). it's fairly standard; lots of live rock, 40 gal refugium, good protein skimming, etc, etc. I drip acclimated the new guys over 4-6 hours. Here is the oddity. I blew it on my quarantine. I used water from the main tank, since I timed with my bi-weekly water change. In setting up the quarantine, I did not check the heater setting, and ended up heating up the poor little shrimp to 88 degrees. Ouch. When I discovered the error, I brought in some more main tank water, and lowered the temperature over about 12 hours to 82 (where it is now). It's only bee about 24 hours since the heater mishap, but they seem fine. Here's the weird part (finally). When I first put them in the quarantine, one of the shrimp molted. In fact, I thought his antennae got sucked into the tiny Rio powerhead I am using in the quarantine, but it was the 'molted shell'. Well, the next day, when siphoning food and 88 degree water out, I discovered ANOTHER 'molt shell'. Still two shrimp, and now two 'shells'. This morning, I discovered ANOTHER one. I thought for sure it was a dead shrimp. I am flummoxed as to how these guys could molt so much. <Temp., stress...> But I got three moltings out of 2 shrimp. I am sure that it is somehow stress related with the temp mess, but have you ever heard of such a thing? So weird. And 12 days to go on the quarantine :P Thanks so much for all of your advice. I have bought both CMA and RI books and find them wonderful, Will Gawryl <Thanks for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner> Life expectancy of a skunk cleaner shrimp.  Fish Stocking   4/21/06 Hello crew, I was wondering what the life expectancy of a skunk cleaner shrimp is? <A few years...> I just noticed mine dead when I went to feed it today.  I've had it about 9 months.  He's been healthy and happy.  Ate well and molted often.  Water quality is good... nitrates, nitrites, pH, salinity all fine.  I last did a 25% water change a week and a half ago.  He last molted four or five days ago.  The only other tank mate is a strawberry Basslet (purple Dottyback, whatever you call it) that I've had nearly as long.  The only visible problem is some algae that needs scrubbing, but that's nothing new. -Chad Soucie <... okay. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp Molt question    4/20/06 Hi Guys, <And ladies> (Thanks again for you help in the past with questions with Live Rock, Shrimpies, Butterfly Fish and Aiptasia). I have a nanocube with a Blood Shrimp (Fire Shrimp) that just molted.  It's a 12 gal. Nano.  You guys suggest leaving the shell it in the tank.  I wasn't sure if this was appropriate for 12 gallon Nano that isn't heavily stocked right now.  (Only a couple of months old).  Could it harm the tank water quality?  This Blood Shrimp is pretty big - 3". <Not likely... but worth monitoring> I also have an established 75 gallon tank as well.  I could toss it in there. <I would not> I'm just curious what you think. Thanks again! Bill <Sorry for the delayed response. Bob Fenner> Suicide Snails/Shedding Shrimp - 01/24/06 Hi Guys! <<Hello!...and don't forget the gals we have here too...>> I have a 36 gallon SW tank, with about 30 lbs. of live rock.  I have a clownfish and a yellow-tail blue damsel. <<Alright!...glad to see you haven't tried to stuff a couple tangs in here!  Goodonya!>> In addition over the past four months we have had one fire shrimp, three peppermint shrimp, and probably 12-15 snails (fennel & astrea/turbo) <<Hmm...not saying I'm always the brightest bulb in the box...but the only Fennel snails I'm aware of are the ones that have been seasoned with same, i.e. - Escargots >> -- never more than six at a time) all die. <<Little buggers can be tougher to keep than many folks think.>> The peppermint shrimp didn't seem to last long at all.  The fire shrimp lasted a good couple months, but was molting every two weeks and finally gave up. <<Mmm, yes...metabolic burnout maybe.  Something does appear to be amiss here.>> The snails, however, seem to want to die.  They head straight for the intake valve of the protein skimmer (and subsequently get their guts sucked in...) or just jump off the walls of the tank and can't right themselves. <<An unfortunate design feature of the Astrea snail's shell (when it comes to captive keeping).  These critters are made for rocky/rubble areas where they can easily "right" themselves after a fall...not so easy on a flat sand bed.>> The two fish seem to be thriving, and we even have some corals (what I believe is pimpled mushroom corals) which are growing like crazy and doing very well also.  Any suggestions as to why we can't get the inverts to live? <<A couple thoughts...  Firstly, test your calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity and make sure all are at natural seawater levels/in balance.  Second, make sure to acclimate the snails and shrimp carefully as they tend to be sensitive to changes in osmotic pressure and pH.  And third, try dosing iodine/iodide, making sure to follow directions closely.>> Thanks! Becky <<Regards, EricR>> Shrimp molt 11/1/05 Hello folks and happy and safe Halloween to you all!  <Thank you, but I don't go Halloweening anymore. Getting a little too old for that and don't like the candy they are giving out now.>  <<You didn't come by our place.  I am the Grinch who would steal Halloween, but at least we give out good candy!  MH>> I know that you are busy so I will try to be brief in my question. I have 2 nano tanks, one is 2.5 gallon and the other is a 7 gallon mini bow front . The present inhabitants are seemingly happy, the corals are all open and splitting and the fish are in good color and eating well. We have been moving at a pace of slow and stop between additions . We try to go 2 months between additions , the last addition was a cleaner shrimp added 3 months ago. He has had multiple molts and has done so successfully. This Sunday we noticed that he had started to molt but seemed to be having difficulty ( I also wonder if he tangled with our power heads ). Our parameters are as follows: Ammo 0 ppm NitrAte 0ppm NitrIte 0 ppm Hi ph 8.5 Every Saturday I do a 20% h20 change on the fourth time a 30% to the tanks to replenish trace minerals and now I have been doing some research and have soon come to realize that I must be lacking Iodine. Bear in mind that I will NOT add with out a test kit to follow through with what ever it is I am adding but the question is, can or have you ever used successfully, Medical grade pure Iodine tincture?  (I have searched high and low for an answer on this for fear that I may some day come across the need for Iodine and have found none.) If so, what is the volume that you dose? i.e. 1 drop per gallon , I don't want the shrimp to suffer because I was a bum and lazy or cheap (not that you can be in this hobby LOL). I am getting a test kit tonight as soon as I send off this email to you folks . Please advise on the Iodine if it is safe and if not, what do you recommend . Thanks from the inhabitants of our 7 gallon tank and of course us as you have taught us a lot.  <I would stay away from the medical grade iodine called Lugol's solution. It is very easy to overdose. Get an iodine supplement from Sea Chem or Kent etc and follow directions on the bottle. As you have read, shrimp and crabs do need iodine to aid the molting process. Also, in future replies, please do a spelling and grammar check before sending as these queries do have to be edited before posting. We just don't have the time to edit spelling and grammar and keep up with the queries that have to be answered. Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> 

Shrinking Shrimp? Hi there! I have a question about a coral banded shrimp I hope you can help me with. I've had him for one year. He was very large but is now a 1/3 the size, antennae and arms. He has always stayed in one specific spot but now he wants to hang out with the cleaner shrimp and seems more active in the day than night! Weird. I think I'm losing him. I have never checked for Iodine,10% weekly water changes I would think would be sufficient. I consider myself a intermediate reef keeper so I'll say my water perimeters are very good, nitrates undetectable, etc.  P.S. I have never tried feeding him anything. My LFS. said he would not need anything supplemented. I feed my fish frozen Formula One. Thanks in advance Barry Munsell.  <Barry, crustys do require some iodine for proper molting. I'm thinking it's not growing because of difficulty molting. You might want to try some SeaChem Iodide supplement. First time I used it, both my cleaner shrimp and arrow crab molted the very same night. James (Salty Dog)> 

Shrimp Missing Thanks for the help Salty Dog,<You're welcome:)> One last question, I only have two Percs and two green Chromis.  Is it likely that they could have killed and eaten my cleaner shrimp? <Highly unlikely> The shrimp was bigger than them.  By the way I never did find the shrimp, he just disappeared.  So I assumed he was eaten. I searched the entire tank and couldn't find anything... not even remains.  He has been MIA for over two weeks now.  Thanks for your help on the last question, and thanks advance for this one.  Take it easy. Kurt <It's possible that a rock may have toppled on him or you have something in your tank that you don't know about, a mantis shrimp perhaps.  James (Salty Dog)> Tiger shrimp MIAs I've had a tiger shrimp for almost a year, and two weeks ago I bought another one. Yesterday I noticed that they are both missing - where could they be?  Can they get out of the tank ( I have a 55 Gallons tank ) or get eaten by other fish.  I have 2 Damsels and some Turbo Snails and a Hermit crab. Thanks, Virgil <Tiger shrimp?  Never heard that name.  Do you know the scientific name?  Shrimp can't climb out of tanks, so they may be hiding, or fighting, or even mating.  I would imagine they're not getting eaten.>

Lonely Shrimp? (9/7/04) Greetings all. <Greetings to you. Steve Allen tonight.> I have a Skunk cleaner and two Camel shrimps in a 75 gallon system, with about 70 lbs. of live rock.  The Cleaner has been in there for about 2 1/2 weeks and is finally starting to show himself more often.  When I reached in the tank today to move some things around, he got all excited and started trying to clean my arms and hands.  Is this normal?  <Yes. Tickles, doesn't it?> I am not too worried, as he only tried to bite the scars once or twice, but is he that desperate to clean something? <Simply engaging in natural instinctive behavior. Mine do it all the time too. I doubt such neurologically-simple creatures experience or act on "desperation."> I am guessing that he or she would probably benefit from having another companion Cleaner, but should I get a fish or two for them to clean? <Again, there is no reason to believe that shrimp would experience loneliness. Although they are usually peaceful, there is some risk of territorial aggression if you introduce another. As for needing fish to clean, these shrimps eat just about anything, including flake and pellet foods.> The only fish in there are two small (3") surf smelt I brought home from work to start cycling the tank a month ago, and they will not let the Cleaner clean them.  If it matters, Ammonia levels were 0, Nitrites almost 0 (like .1 ppm), and Nitrates were 10 ppm.  (The elevated Nitrites were probably due to the addition of some small rubble-sized pieces of live rock added 4 days ago.)  I am not particularly worried, everything seems healthy, just wondering if having a companion and/or cleanable fish would make his "stay" that much more comfortable. <Neither of these are needed. However, since cleaners are hermaphroditic, they will likely mate on an ongoing basis in your tank, thereby supplying live food.> Thanks for your time. <You're welcome. Hope this helps.> Jeremy

Fire Shrimp Turns To "Ice" Hi There, <Graham at your service.> I have two fire shrimp, (along with two cleaner shrimp), in a 240 gal. fish only tank for about 6 mo. Everything was going along fine 'till about one month ago.  After molting, one of the fire shrimps, was white. (A little icy?) I thought the shrimp was going to be gone soon, however, he's been eating and being normal except for his coloring. I'm happy he's still around and don't mind his change of "scenery". The tank's been up for 1 1/2 yr.s and everyone else's has been fine. I'm guessing his "temperature" change is here to stay, have you heard of this before? <I've never heard of such an event happening before. Iodine plays a significant role in the molting of invertebrates. Too much iodine can be fatal, however, too little may cause molting defects or abnormalities. I would be curious to know what your iodine level is. As well, I would also be interested in hearing if your other invertebrates such as Shrimp, Crabs, etc. are molting since the event, and if so, if you have noticed anything strange from the molts. Also, has the fire shrimp since molted after turning white?> Thanks a lot, <I apologize I haven't quite answered your question directly -- I'm puzzled myself. Possibly someone else will chime in. Take Care, Graham.> Q Mystery Shrimp? (6/2/04) I picked up a coral banded shrimp at the pet store 11 days ago.  This morning, there was another full-sized shrimp in my tank!  It's partially clear.  The first one is being very protective of it.  Is this normal? <Does this "new shrimp" move? I think that if you look closely, you will find that it's partially clear because it is the empty exoskeleton left from your shrimp molting. The shrimp will tend to hang around the remnant and eat it. Let us know. Steve Allen.>

Coral banded shrimp molting  Hi, I am a new marine hobbyist and I have a coral banded shrimp that just molted. Before I read that it is best to leave the molt in the tank, I removed it. I would like to know if it is okay to remove the molt since all I have in my tank right now are my cleaning crew? I will be putting my first fish in next week. Thanks for all your help.  <It's recommended to leave molted exoskeletons in a system (out of view if you'd prefer) for the possibility that they may be ingested by the molting animal, providing substrate for building their new one. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp is gellin 3/26/04 Hello folks.  Thanks for all the help, info, reference etc.  You people truly are my aqua bible. <Hmmm...  I do like the ring of "The Book According to WWM".> My current problem is my skunk cleaner shrimp.  He put his main claws into some fresh super glue gel propagations of my orange Ricordea) and it sealed his claws from opening.  I feel so irresponsible for not watching him better.  He's so friendly and nosey when I stick my hand in the tank he comes to clean it.  Since the incident he has removed one of his claws and is working on the other.  He still eats just fine with his secondary claws.  Will he be ok after his next molt?  Will these claws grow back? <These critters have excellent regenerative abilities, and if it is still able to eat, it should be fine.  The claws will likely come back after the next molt, but may take a few to grow back to full size.> Second I have a growth of algae that I can't find description or picture of on your site.  It is very green darkish and kind of glossy, looks like green dog turds piled up.  Each turd is about 3-4 mm long and  about 1mm wide.  It is growing very slow and only covers an area of about 1/4 x 1/4 inch.  Remove or keep? Tanks, Mark Houser <Sounds like a type of Valonia.  They are often described as looking like tiny balloons or bladders.  I would remove them since they can often grow to pest proportions.  Best Regards.  Adam>

CBS molting My newly acquired shrimp molted and I learned from reading through the Q&A's that it is best to leave the molt in the tank.  However, I noticed that the Condy had it in its clutches.  Is it something the anemone can consume or should I try to take it away from him/her (whatever)  Wouldn't want the poor thing to get choked and/or constipated. <If the molt triggers the anemones nematocysts (the stinging portion of the tentacle, located at the tip of the tentacle), then the anemone will most likely consume the molt. There certainly isn't going anything bad happening to your anemone for eating the molt, I'm actually certain that the molt will contain proteins which will help the anemone. As far as choking goes, the anemone will most likely not choke on such foods (unless the food source is larger than the anemone). As far as "constipation" comes, anemones will break down all available food sources and will spit up any uneaten sources (such as bones, scales, etc.). It's impossible for the anemone be constipated.> Have been feeding the shrimp, Condy and starfish by hand frozen Formula One every other day or so.  They seem to like it.  Any problem with that? <I doubt that there is any problem. As long as they're all healthy and consuming the food, I would stick with it> Thanks for the great service you provide.  You all have the patience of Job! <Thank you! Take Care, Graham.> Janie

Blood Shrimp molting 2/2/04  Hi WWM Crew ! Thanks for an excellent site.  <Hi Magnus. Adam here. Glad you enjoy WWM!>  I have noticed that when one of my blood shrimp molted, his antennae came out, not long and strait as they use, but shorter and a little curly. Even now one week later the antennae do not seem to have grown out to their normal shape. I wonder if this is a signal that some trace element is not where it should be ? My Calcium level is around 400 ppt.  <It could be nutritional or trace element related (doubtful that Ca is an issue). I would wait and see if they grow out normally after the next molt. If you feed one kind of food exclusively, you may want to add some variety. I am not generally in favor of trace element supplements, preferring regular partial water changes. If you perform very small and/or infrequent water changes, you may want to try upping it to the 20% per month range until the next molt to see what happens.>  Best regards Magnus Petersson  <Hope this is helpful! Adam>

Shrimp Behavior >Hi! >>Hello! >It's me again. >>It's me for the first time! >Sorry about the multiple emails, but I thought you'd be interested in this. I have 6 shrimp -2 true peppermints, 2 skunk cleaners and 2 scarlet cleaners. Only the scarlet cleaners do this.  About 20 minutes to an hours after being fed pellet food, these guys sit on top of a rock in broad daylight and spew a green pasty stuff out of their mouth parts, kinda like how ruminants chew the cud after a meal.  What is that green stuff? Strange! Narayan >>Hhhmm.. no kidding.  I couldn't really find anything on it doing a Google.  If you're a member of any of the reefing forums, I suggest you post it there, there's a good chance someone else has either seen it, knows what they're doing, or both.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help.  Marina

Shrimp struggling with his molt Mr. Fenner,   Thanks for your reply, but the first email was never answered so there is no thread to include; I just wanted to let you guys know there was no need for an answer to that first email I sent. <I see> The original question was how could I tell if a pistol shrimp was not going to survive it's molt, and how long I should give him, but I was testing for ammonia every few hours, and between the spike and the drifting he had obviously passed on. <Mmm, wonder if somehow alkalinity, biomineral content, even iodine/iodide would have a role here?>   It seems he got out of the rear section o.k. but had a problem coming completely away from the old shell and at some point passed away.   I have done multiple large water changes since and double checked my test results (0, 0, Nitrates 10, ph 8.2, salinity 1.24) with the LFS (they were the only inhabitants in our former QT).  The goby is still very anxious, but healthy.  One possible culprit the LFS mentioned was insufficient Iodine, <Possibly> though I would have thought that the weekly 20% changes (with Instant Ocean) would provide that (I will now add a vitamin supplement just in case).  The shrimp had not had any molt problems previously and had nearly doubled in size so I do not think diet/environment were previously an issue.   Thanks anyways, your site has provided a ton of valuable info that have helped us tremendously with our tanks.  If you do know of anything else I should investigate please let me know.  Take care and enjoy your day. v/r Christopher <Thank you for your input, information. Bob Fenner>

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