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FAQs about Marine Shrimp Compatibility 2

Related FAQs: Shrimp Compatibility 1, Marine Shrimps 1, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

Wouldn't it be nice to have a chart detailing the various/sundry groups mentioned and about how well they did/'nt get along here? Cnidarians...? Not always...
Crabs/Decapods? Generally not

Shrimp and crab compatibility     5/29/17
Hey guys!
I have a 45 gallon mixed (lps/softies) with about 45 pounds of rock. It currently houses various snails, hermits, a fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius), a blue porcelain crab (Petrolisthes spp) and several fish. Three of those fish are potential "shrimpivores and crabivores"...a redlined wrasse, a carpenters fairy wrasse, and an orchid Dottyback. Is there an appropriate species of shrimp that you would chance adding to the tank, and would it be appropriate to add an emerald crab or two?
<Mmm; well; given plenty of hidey holes (for molting, soft-bodied periods); most any of the larger shrimps would/could go here. I'd have you read here:
scroll down to the "Shrimp" tray; read at the family level. I'd avoid Stenopids and am not a fan of Mithraculus... as you'll see by reading re them on this same page>
Thanks so much for always being there!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

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>

Lysmata wurdemanni's killer/Shrimp Compatibility 1/24/12
Hi Crew!
I'm from Italy so pardon me for my English...
<Much better than from many English speaking queriors.>
I'm trying to win the war against the Aiptasia (Glass Anemones) that infested my LR/LPS/SPS/Fish 60g tank.
I've tried different solutions (Red-Sea AiptasiaX, Salifert one, vinegar, etc..) without success.
I've bought 4 Lysmata wurdemanni but after 3 weeks they suddenly disappeared. One of them I saw in the claws of my Stenopus hispidus, but I really don't know if the Stenopus killed the wurdemanni or someone else in the tank did the job and the Stenopus simply had the lunch.. :(
<The Coral Banded Shrimp is aggressive toward other shrimp including it's own kind unless a mated pair.>
Before introducing other, and so expensive, wurdemanni I was wondering which tank inhabitant(s) take out from the tank to avoid the wurdemanni to be killed again.
The tank inhabitants are:
1 Halichoeres Hortulanus - Checkerboard Wrasse (15 cm)
<Larger specimens have been known to attack/eat shrimp.>
1 Lo Vulpinus (12 cm)
4 Amphiprion Ocellaris (from  3 to 7 cm)
3 Chromis Viridis (3/4 cm)
2 Pseudanthis squamipinnis (4/5 cm)
1 Zebrasoma flavescens (7 cm)
1 Paracanthurus Hepatus (6 cm)
1 Stenopus Hispidus (6 cm - only the body)
<I would remove the hispidus.>
1 Blennius Gattorugine (8 cm)
6 Enctmea <Entacmaea > quadricolor (red BTA)
<Another good possibility, especially with six BTAs present.  You did not state your nitrate level and Peppermint shrimp will not tolerate high nitrate levels and do require an iodine/dide supplement.>
I know that the wrasses have shrimps in their diet, but I'm very afraid to take him out from the tank and not be able to see his amazing livery anymore... :(
Could be the Stenopus the wurdemanni's killer instead? In this case, say goodbye to a Stenopus will be not so painful to me.
<I would definitely start by removing this shrimp.  The Nudibranch, Berghia verrucornis, is also known
to eat Aiptasia as well as (depending on their eating personalities)
Copperband and Raccoon Butterflyfish, but your tank is a bit small for the later two.   You may want to read here as well.
Thanks in advance for any suggestion and for the great job all the Crew do.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Leonardo (Italy)
Re Lysmata Wurdemanni's killer/Shrimp Compatibility <<RMF>> 1/24/12

Thanks a lot for the prompt reply and for the precious suggestions.
<You're welcome.>
So I start with taken the hispidus out of the tank. I didn't understand the relationship between BTA's and nitrates.. :0
<Was relating to the Peppermint Shrimp although BTAs appreciated water low in nitrates.>
In my tank the nitrates are always not-detectable..and the BTA continue splitting.
Do you think that I may leave the wrasse in the tank?
<It's your risk to take.  At 15cm (6 inches) in length it would be very well capable
of making a meal out of a Peppermint Shrimp if not well fed.  I'd try adding one Peppermint Shrimp and observe.  Since shrimp have a hard exoskeleton, I'm not so sure now that a BTA's sting would be powerful enough to kill/stun a shrimp.  The shrimp are generally smart enough to avoid these creatures.
I will ask Bob for his valuable input on this.><<From ayer's mail, I see this is a Halichoeres hortulanus... will get bigger and VERY likely consume any shrimp in time. I would not place these together. RMF>>
<Ditto.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Lysmata wurdemanni's killer/Shrimp Compatibility 1/26/12

<Hello Leonardo>
This is what I suppose too.
I'll try to catch him and find him another home ;)..
<Good luck.>
Which is, in your experience, the best way to catch an hortulanus?
<I've never tried catching one but using two nets is definitely a plus.

Might want to read here for additional help/ideas. 
I know he used to sleep in the sand bed...May I try to catch him with a net while he's sleeping?
<Yes, might want to cover the area it sleeps in with a suitable glass/plastic container then hold a cover over the top once he is in the container.>
Any input will be welcome.
<Ditto.  James (Salty Dog)>
not so sure now that a BTA's sting would be powerful enough to kill/stun a shrimp.    1/26/12

<Indeed... the sticky, stinging cnidocysts... they are!>
 The shrimp are generally smart enough to avoid these creatures.
I will ask Bob for his valuable input on this.><<From ayer's mail, I see this is a Halichoeres hortulanus... will get bigger and VERY likely consume any shrimp in time. I would not place these together. RMF>>
The above is what I was asking for input on.  I believe I told the querior about the wrasse eventually making a meal of the shrimp.
<And you, B>

royal gramma Basslet attacking fire shrimp?    11/22/11
Hi I have a 14 gallon biocube. I just bought a fire shrimp last night and noticed this afternoon that his front legs seem to be ripped off.
I think that my royal gramma Basslet did this.
<Could be>
I saw him pull on his antenna when the shrimp went behind the rockwork which he wont let any fish go back there
Now the shrimp stays on the back wall behind the heater and wont come down.
I am afraid he is going to get attacked again or starve if he won't come down. Is there anything I can do? should i put a divider in the tank?
<Better by far to move one or the other to another system>
I have a ceramic cave that I could put into the tank.
<Not likely to work for long>
I appreciate your help asap.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Missing Shrimp 9/27/10
<Hello Dana>
I used to have 5 Peppermint Shrimp and 1 large cleaner shrimp. I am now down to 2 peppermints, but have never seen any parts of the missing shrimps. Also in the tank (29 gal) are 1 Six Line Wrasse, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, 1 small Emerald Crab, 1 Chocolate Chip Starfish and a few Nassarius Snails and hermits.
<In future queries, please cap proper nouns such as names of animals before sending. We just do not have the time to edit queries before posting.>
Do you think something is eating them? The cleaner shrimp was pretty big and it's hard to imagine one of the other guys eating him.
<Although Emerald Crabs are considered reef safe, they are opportunistic feeders as most crabs are, and when hungry, can and will eat shrimp. I'm guessing the crab is the likely culprit. The other possibility is that the shrimp are not getting enough food, die, and are eaten by other inhabitants.>
Thanks for your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

brain coral, hlth.  -- 01/03/10
I have had a brain coral for 10 years in one tank. I t is 3 -4 inches in diameter. I transferred it to another similar tank
<... similar>
overnight and it went into shock and emitted a cloudy white material and an some of its tissue is dying ... I put it back in its original tank
<Good move>
and I am wondering what his chances are for growing back more tissue and recovering. was it correct of
me to put it back in the tank he was in for 10 years?
<Yes. I would have done the same>
I think it has less toxins in it. Cleaner shrimp has been picking at him.
<Do keep an eye on this shrimp... In fact, if it were mine, I'd cover the Brain with a "strawberry basket" (inverted/upside down) to keep the shrimp off/out... it may well be causing more damage here. Bob Fenner>
Michelle Grangetto

Re: I killed my fish, shrimp incomp./Stenopus  -- 11/12/09
Thanks for the information - we were really beginning to wonder!
<Glad to help!>
If I can find a cleaner shrimp - can I put him in the tank as well?
<Mm, is a risk -- they are typically a bit territorial, with the Coral Banded usually being the instigator.>
I read somewhere that there should only be one shrimp in a tank. I have a 100 gal tank - is it big enough for 2?
<Hmm.. not sure -- you're right at that borderline that you MAY be able to get away with it, but as stated before, is likely a risk. If you're willing to intervene as necessary (or potentially lose one within your care
if you don't make it in time), it may be worth a try. Good luck!

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>>

Mystery Wrasse vs. Longnose Hawkfish for 24g Reef Tank  11/15/08 Hi, <<Hello>> Umm... Am I supposed to type the title like that? <<Perfect>> You can delete it if you want. <<Nope will use it thank you>> I look on this site all the time for info, but this is the first time I've sent an e-mail, sooo... (I'd also like to ask if you received this e-mail, but that's a bit pointless, isn't it?) <<Unless you're psychic [grin]'¦or until this gets back to you>> Anyways, here's my question: Which is less likely to eat shrimp, a Mystery Wrasse or a Longnose Hawkfish? <<If we are talking about the ornamental shrimp species most often kept by hobbyists would say the Hawkfish to certainly be the more likely of the two to partake of a snack re. Although this will have much to do with size differentials and/or how any new shrimp are introduced to the tank (i.e. � �dropped in� like food>> Also, will either of these hawrasse (this is just a very, very, VERY bad pun to conceal the fact that I can't seem to spell..."that word" at 10:42 PM) my Red Cave Shrimp (Parhippolyte uveae)? <<No more than any other similar sized ornamental shrimp>> I understand that it may not necessarily be the best idea to even try, but I love both these fish and don't have any smaller shrimp at the moment. Besides, who knows? Fish are individuals to-- maybe I'll end up with one that prefers vegetarian South Beach cuisine! (Ok, maybe not.) <<Indeed>> By the way, these are my current "fishie babies": 1 Green Chromis 1 Saddled Blenny 1 SMALL Potter's Angel (Which might be moving to a larger tank once it gets bigger/once I get a bigger tank-- probably like a 150g or something, if I can pay for it with my $10 per week income for doing nothing in particular(read: allowance).) <<Mmm, yes a bigger tank is definitely in order for this fish and goes for your two proposed new additions as well, in my opinion>> Oh, and after the fish, do you think I could squeeze in a Golden Dwarf Moray Eel? <<You're kidding, right?>> Or is that overpopulation of enormous-mutant-nuclear-blue-whale-plus-three-giant-squids-going-through-puberty-and-their-subsequent-acne proportions? <<Ah! Yes indeed>> Anyways, thanks for the help. <<Happy to share>> Oh yeah, any detailed info on my shrimp? I have a very helpful LFS dealer that told me it would work well in my tank, and it did.... But just out of curiosity? Since I can't seem to find anything online. Thanks again! <<This species is fairly widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific have a look here: http://www.tamug.edu/cavebiology/fauna/shrimp/P_sterreri.html. Cheers, EricR>>

Re: Mystery Wrasse vs. Longnose Hawkfish for 24g Reef Tank (PLUS Random Naming Ideas...Things)  11/16/08 So a Mystery Wrasse would be my best bet, then? <<Of the two, yes'¦ Though there's the possibility of aggression from this fish as well>> What does "snack re" mean? <<Means �in reference to�'¦as in making a �snack� of the �shrimp� just referenced>> And how do you recommend I introduce any future shrimp to give them the best chances, then (step-by-step or maybe a YouTube link would be easiest to replicate, but any info in this would be fine)? <<Mmm, its not that complicated. Simply introduce the shrimp by gently releasing them near rocks/cover where they can retreat to safety while they become acclimated to the layout of the tank and its occupants rather than simply dropping them in, which is much the way the fishes are accustomed to receiving foodstuffs. Understanzee?>> *Also, will either of these hawrasse (this is just a very, very, VERY bad pun to conceal* *the fact that I can't seem to spell..."that word" at 10:42 PM) my Red Cave Shrimp* *(Parhippolyte uveae)?* *<<No more than any other similar sized ornamental shrimp>>* Well, it's probably AT LEAST 2.5-3.0 (just guessing here based on the approximate sizes of my other fish) inches, <<Hmm, yes'¦ This is a large shrimp species'¦>> and stays in it's little corner of the tank until nightfall, except during feeding time. Does that sound "safe(r)" to you? <<Yes... Little danger to this shrimp I think. Conversely, as a very predaceous organism in its� own right, it may pose a threat to sessile organisms, smaller crustaceans, even very small fishes>> I also don't know if it will grow much larger. <<Neither do I, really'¦>> I understand that it may not necessarily be the best idea to even try, but I love both these fish and don't have any smaller shrimp at the moment. <<I think you're bigger problem here is the limitations/size of your tank>> *By the way, these are my current "fishie babies":* *1 Green Chromis* Name ideas: Midori (Japanese name meaning "green�) or Kiwi. What do you think? You don't have to answer if you don't want to! <<I like them both but the first is more �unique�>> >1 Saddled Blenny *1 SMALL Potter's Angel (Which might be moving to a larger tank once it gets * *bigger/once I get a bigger tank-- probably like a 150g or something, if I can pay for it* *with my $10 per week income for doing nothing in particular (read: allowance).)* *<<Mmm, yes'¦ A bigger tank is definitely in order for this fish, and goes for your* *two proposed new additions as well, in my opinion>>* Yeah, I know. I only got it because of the more favorable conditions in my tank. <<'¦?>> I'll probably always have algae growing in my tank, since my house has so many windows. This particular fish is also around 2.5 inches <<This fishs small size belies its need for a bigger tank than this. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pottersangel.htm >> (A bit longer than my Saddled Blenny) or so, and a very healthy and colorful specimen that appears to love grazing in said tank. So, I think she's (I looked at some pictures and her markings look more like a female's) good until she gets a bit bigger. <<I disagree>> If my angel's food supply gets too low or she shows any signs of stress due to overcrowding, I'll be asking my LFS to "board" her (I think they do that, probably isn't TOO expensive) until I can get a larger tank. I do twice a week water changes (about 5 gallons), and will soon be adding a protein skimmer to the sponge filter that came with the tank and the reef rubble that my LFS gave me to put in the bioball chamber. Is there anything else you would recommend? <<Improving the filtration on this tank is very good (and it certainly sounds like it needs it), but this is no substitute for the environmental requirements of space/swimming room. The Potters Angel will almost certainly suffer both physically and psychologically in the long term if kept in this tank>> I would hate for my fish to feel uncomfortable in their habitat (I like pampering my pets a little too much, so...yeah). <<Then I suggest you make that larger tank a priority>> *Oh, and after the fish, do you think I could squeeze in a Golden Dwarf Moray Eel?* *<<You're kidding, right?>>* So, no moray eel? <<No'¦>> What about a White/Ghost Ribbon Eel? <<An even worse choice for this tank>> Not for this tank, of course, for the future larger tank that I mentioned wanting to get. <<Mmm, the smaller/dwarf moray is a possibility then but you need to research these animals re their suitable tankmates and environmental requirements. Start reading here, and among the related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm >> I'm looking for an eel that's more on the hardy, peaceful, and somewhat less expensive side, yet less common than the oft-seen Snowflake Moray and others. <<These are �oft seen� for a reason>> I love Blue Ribbon Eels too, but given their lower survival rates... <<Yes please don't>> *Or is that overpopulation of enormous-mutant-nuclear-blue-whale-plus-three-* *giant-squids-going-through-puberty-and-their-subsequent-acne proportions?* And there I go again with the strange similes (or was that a metaphor?). <<Clever I thought>> *Oh yeah, any detailed info on my shrimp? I have a very helpful LFS dealer that told* *me it would work well in my tank, and it did.... But just out of curiosity? Since I can't* *seem to find anything online.* *<<This species is fairly widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific...have a look here:* *http://www.tamug.edu/cavebiology/fauna/shrimp/P_sterreri.html. Cheers, EricR>>* Thanks. I looked up the legend... Fascinating! It gave me some good naming ideas, too... <<Excellent>> What about Mekitabu? It's made up of the Fijian words Meki (Dance), and Tabu (sacred/forbidden). Or is that too weird? (Sorry about bugging you guys about the names, I'm just hoping that typing them down will help me remember. And I honestly can't decide!) <<Sounds fine to me>> Thanks again for the fast reply! Your site really helps me out a lot! <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Aiptasia... shrimp stkg. in small SW  08/12/2008 Hello, <<Good afternoon, Andrew today>> I have a 14 gallon marine tank with a skunk cleaner shrimp and a few small peaceful fish already occupying and I hope to be getting some corals soon. However, I have a few nuisance aiptasia I'd like to rid myself of and I've been looking into peppermint shrimp (a hit or miss, I know). <<Agreed>> Here're the questions now. Will the peppermint get along with the cleaner shrimp? Is the system too small to house two different shrimp species? <<From personal experience, they will get along fine>> I also am a bit worried about the corals. Is there a chance the peppermint will pick at them, or will it be fine as long as I keep it well-fed? <<Should all be fine, never had a problem with peppermints and corals>> Many thanks- Aubrey <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Aiptasia removal/shrimp comp. 08/14/2008 Hey Crew, <<Good afternoon, Andrew today>> I was just reading over your articles on ridding aiptasia. I have a few of these buggers in my tank, and I want to get rid of them ASAP. <<I agree, a true pain>> I would really like to avoid chemical treatment of any kind ( I like my corals better alive ). My first idea was to add a peppermint shrimp, but I already have a large skunk cleaner shrimp in the tank. <<Skunks and peppermints can live happily together>> It's only 55g and I have heard that sometimes these shrimp do not get along with one another. Do you think in a 55g they would have enough room to get along? <<They will be fine, by all means, add a pair of true peppermints to the tank>> I have also read that sometimes you can use elegance coral to sting to aiptasia into death. Will this work with frogspawn coral as well? <<Not an approach I would suggest or recomend>> Physical removal would be a tricky option in my case because I have a large Monti cap that is "gluing" several pieces of rock together. Also, I have about 3 red-legged hermits in the tank that have no interest in eating the aiptasia. Thanks for your time, <<Another method, if no coral is close by, is to get a syringe of boiling water, and squirt directly onto the aiptasia. Worked well for me and others in the past.>> Chris <<Good luck with the eradication, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Sick Fungia -02/25/08 Hi. I hope you can help me. <me too> I picked up a small orange plate coral (Fungia) about three days ago. I drip acclimated as I normally do any coral I get. The first night, he seemed as happy as a clam. Mouth was visible and his tiny little tentacles were extended. Sometime in the night, something horrible happened. Something in my tank seems to have snacked on him. <Hmm... no, looks like tissue recession to me.> It is missing tissue that was fine when the lights went off. My GUESS is a  peppermint shrimp. <not likely> I also have some blue leg hermits and snails. As far as fish, I only have a couple bar gobies, a canary wrasse and a Firefish. After I found him the next day, I quarantined it in the tank so nothing can get to it. It's now in a slotted breeder box (with sand in the bottom) held in the middle of the tank by a magnet scraper (feel free to laugh, but its working). It's little tentacles still extend, except for the part where the flesh is injured. I have given it a small piece of Mysis to see if it would still react to it, and it grabbed hold and pulled it slowly towards its mouth. However, his mouth is not visible. By that I mean, it's wide open. Maybe looking at a picture of it would help (see attached jpeg). That is actually a piece of Mysis he has in the 'mouth' (the black dot is a Mysis eye I believe). <It looks like, maybe, the mouth is just very, very retracted.> Should I keep spot feeding this guy every couple days to see if he comes back around? <Yes> Do you think there is a snowballs chance he'll make it?? <Oh yeah, sure there is. Though these corals are not necessarily easy to keep, they are capable of some remarkable recoveries. And your coral is not in all that bad a shape. It's struggling for sure, but it's far from doomed.> (in the photo, the missing tissue is towards the edge of the top left) :-( -wuf <Good luck, Sara M.>

Re: sick Fungia... shrimp bothering  3/2/08 Thank you for your response on my stressed out/damaged Fungia. However, after several days of it recouping in a segregated box, I have to respectfully disagree with your conclusion. Here is why (if you are interested): After keeping the plate coral in a separate container in the tank and spot feeding it, it came back to it's 'normal self'. It was polyping out fully and the mouth was no longer gaping. Not 2 hours after I placed it back in the bottom of the tank, I found TWO peppermint shrimp sitting on top of it picking at it. Of course, all tentacles were pulled back in and the mouth was starting to gape. I immediately pulled it out and put it back into it's separate area. I also found the peppermints harassing my tongue coral. That being said, I believe that peppermints can be more of a nuisance to these LPS's than some would like to believe. <Hmmm, I must not have been very articulate with what I was saying before. I didn't mean to say that these shrimp can't be a nuisance to these corals. Rather, I mean to say that it's unlikely that they are actually *eating* the coral. However, there are plenty of other ways they can be a nuisance. They can steal food (even from out of the mouths of the corals). They might also be picking at the coral's mucus. Even just their "standing" on the coral can cause the coral to retract and be stressed (as you've seen).> Just my 2 cents...... <Thank you for the update. Great to hear your coral is doing better! Best,
Sara M.>

Shrimp/Starfish Compatibility 02/14/2008 Hello WWM crew! <<Hello, Andrew today>> I had a question about compatibility between my starfish and a scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp. I actually have two starfish, a chocolate chip and also a red knobbed in my FOWLR tank. This morning, I couldn't find the cleaner shrimp. Using a long net, I (gently) lifted up both stars and sure enough my chocolate chip had him. The shrimp was whole (no bites anywhere) and the star had him in his grips but the shrimp was mangled by any means, it was just dead. I don't know if the shrimp simply died during the night and the star was passing by and came upon a free meal, or if the star actually killed him. <<These are quite good eaters really and will prey on slow moving inverts. It could be possible that the shrimp was injured and could not move, already dead or just caught un-awares>> I haven't been able to find anything about chocolate chips eating shrimp, but before I get another I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't be adding it in vain. <<Under normal circumstances, this is not an issue which would be common place with a cleaner shrimp in my opinion. The red knobbed starfish ( Protoreaster linckii ) is more likely to prey on inverts and corals and even other starfish as they get bigger>> I appreciate your thoughts. As always, thanks for the great information and help. Mike P. <<Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Shrimp Compatibility 1/18/08 I hear of Pistol Shrimp eating Cleaner Shrimps. Will they eat Sexy Shrimp as well? <The Pistol Shrimp is relatively safe with most invertebrates, but with small shrimp such as the Sexy Shrimp...I would not chance.> Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Carol

Re: Worm that I cant identify and is this worm bad for my tank? <Ed> BTW, I also forgot to ask if a Cleaner Shrimp or Peppermint Shrimp will be able to live in harmony with my two Fire Shrimp?  8/10/07 <Mmm, if kept well feed, these shrimp can and will cannibalize on each other if they get hungry enough.> I have read that these will also keep the worm in check? <Exactly how big is this worm? Are we talking something the size of a pencil in diameter? Thanks again! <Welcome again! Mich> Ed

Shrimp vs. Crabs: Overcrowding/mixed species issues - 7/24/07 Hello, <Howdy> I have been puzzled over the last few weeks and I am hoping you all can help. <Hope so!> I had a fire shrimp and two cleaner shrimp in my tank and they seemed to be thriving. Very active, the fire shrimp molted several times, and was a brilliant red. <They really are beautiful shrimp> Well, about 2 weeks ago, one of the cleaner shrimp had died, or been killed, and my sally lightfoot crab was eating it. <Sorry to hear that> I figured just bad luck. <More likely a hungry crab> About 1 week later, I added another <!> sally lightfoot <Houston, we have a problem> and within two days the other cleaner shrimp was dead and being eaten by the crab. <Yep, saw that one coming> I started to be concerned, and took some water to the LFS to check it out, and everything thing came back in great range (I'd list it all, but I don't have the exact #'s with me)<Okay>. This morning I awoke to my arrow crab <Yikes! There's an arrow crab in there too?> and sally lightfoot eating the presumably dead fire shrimp. Now these guys are <aren't(?)> the cheapest things in the world, and I <I'm> wondering if I should buy another one, or not, with the crabs in the tank? <Definitely not!> I have 2 sally lightfoot's, 1 emerald crab, 1 arrow crab, electric blue hermit crab, and a couple Cortez hermit crabs. Is it bad luck <It's more than that> or are they praying <preying> on the shrimp when they molt? <Possibly, but I'm guessing they just like shrimp.> Tank is a 14 gallon bio cube, with a few small corals, 20 lbs of live sand, and 14 pounds live rock. There are some mushroom colonies, a small clown, and purple Pseudochromis. <I'm sorry for your losses, but unfortunately, the issues here are: too many different/incompatible shrimp/crab species, in too large a quantity, in too small a tank. If you want to keep shrimp, I wouldn't put more than a single specie in a 14g BioCube, and no crabs. Crabs in general are not a good idea in mixed reef situations, much less in high concentrations. Sally Lightfoots and arrows, in particular, are known to kill small to medium fish and invertebrates -- pretty much anything they can get hold of. Emerald/mithrax crabs can go either way, IME. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. While it's possible that the actual deaths of the various shrimp could have been due to other factors (stress of overcrowding, starvation, etc), it's most likely the crabs did the killing. I would decide on keeping one or the other, and trap/return the rest. I would also recommend reading the FAQ's, and info at WWM re: keeping/compatibility issues for these species, and prior to any future additions. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabcomp.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/arrowcrabfaqs.htm Good luck!-Lynn>

Re: Shrimp vs. Crabs: Overcrowding/mixed species issues - 7/25/07 <Hello!> Wow, you guys/girls are awesome, thanks for the information and the advice. <You're very welcome and thank you for writing in! Although it's too late to save your little shrimp, your shared experience could save others down the road! -- Lynn> Camel Shrimp Aggression Towards New Cleaner - 7/18/07 Hi <Hi there, Susan!> I have a camelback shrimp which I've had for a couple of weeks and now I have a cleaner shrimp. Last night the camelback started chasing the cleaner all over the tank and wouldn't leave him alone. Will the camel kill the cleaner if I don't somehow separate them? <Hmmm, not directly (unless it was almost done for anyway). It's possible, though, that the camel could pester it/keep it from eating enough that it could weaken the shrimp. That, on top of any stresses from shipping, acclimating, molting, etc, could finish him off. Major factors in keeping these two species peacefully include having sufficient space for each, enough hiding spaces, and enough food. If the tank they're in is a nano - 20g or less, I'd remove one. If it's larger than that, you might be able to resolve the situation by rearranging the rock a bit. That would force the camel to re-establish a territory and hopefully allow the cleaner to claim one of his own. If you still have continued aggression after that, I'd remove one.> And do you have any ideas on an easy way to catch the camelback? <Unfortunately, not any easy ones! The first option I'd try is to net the little guy. If he's as bold as he sounds, this has a good chance of working (and it serves as a good test of coordination and patience! <G>). Attach a piece of bait (shrimp/clam/etc) to some fishing line, and drop this down into the tank. Have your net ready in the water, lure him out towards the front of the tank, then slowly bring the net in behind him. When you're close enough, *wham*, trap him against the glass. Slide net up and voila, you've got him! If after about two/three tries, this doesn't work, forget it. At that point, he's on to you and won't fall for it again. Not anytime soon, anyway! The next option is to try one of the 'critter', or crab traps, that can be homemade, or are readily available on the market. Just position it near his favorite spot and cross your fingers!> Thanks Susan <You're welcome, and good luck! -Lynn>

Starfish comp.  4/14/07 <Hi Jared, Mich with you again.> How's it going? <Fine, yourself? Are my two cleaner shrimp ok with a brittle starfish? <Yes.  Should be fine.  -Mich>

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.> Coocoo for copepods?  Peppermint shrimp... comp./fdg.  3/1/07 Hey crew! <Hi>    Quick question: do Peppermint Shrimp eat copepods?  <Yes, quite voraciously actually.>   I have set up a 6gal refugium, and has been going well. <Good.>  I'd begun to culture up my own copepods to aid a friends voracious Mandarin, and all was well. <Very kind of you.> 3 days ago I discovered a small Peppermint Shrimp in the 'fuge, and can only guessed that he hitched a ride in (which totally amazes me).  <Very nice, a little surprising though since they do so poorly after being exposed to air, must have found a nice spot for the trip.>  I did not have time to try to catch him, and left him alone for the last few days.  Yesterday I notice not a single copepod anywhere in the refugium.  I'm hoping that they were not gobbled! <A shrimp could make quite a dent, but I'm sure the population will rebound once you get a chance to remove him.>    BTW: 2 Catalina Goby fry are doing well!  One of the parents mysteriously passed, but my other 2 seem to be doing just fine! <Very nice, always good to see marine fish spawn in captivity and a tribute to your efforts in maintaining a healthy tank.  Do be aware that they are not a tropical species though, preferring cooler water, may be the cause of the parent.> <Chris>

Peppermint and Cleaner Shrimp... small sys. incomp.   2/24/07 Good Morning Crew, I have two questions regarding the two types of shrimp in my 29 Gallon marine tank. First is concerning a Peppermint Shrimp. Just yesterday I noticed my Peppermint Shrimp resting still, upside down under a live rock. This in itself is not unusual however it was not his normal spot and he did not come out during feeding time. <Mmm, may be getting near a molt... perhaps reproducing...> This morning I found him dead on the bottom. The only changes recently was about a week ago I added a Cleaner shrimp to help deal with a mid case of ich. <Mmm, won't... and these two may not have been compatible...> Are there diseases or anything else that may have caused his demise - all else appears to be normal in the tank. My other question in concerning the Cleaner Shrimp - I have noticed black blotches on either side of his main body. He appears healthy and very active at feeding time. Should these black blotches of concern to me? (he has molted once in the tank) <Mmm, no... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpdisfaqs.htm Likely similar... algal growths> Other info 29 Gallon Tank 1 Penguin 300 Biowheel Hang on Filter 1 Prism Protein Skimmer 2 Internal Powerheads Live Rock 4 Large Hair Mushrooms 3 Small Maroon Mushrooms <Not nearly enough room for these here> 3 Cromis 1 Ocellaris Clown <Territorial trouble... the two Pomacentrids above will lose to the winning Premnas> 1 Sailfin Blenny (very skinny - trying to feed) 1 Scopus Tang <Ditto> 6 hermit crabs 9 assorted snails Lots of Amphipods A number of assorted hitchhikers   Water levels are good however I have had issues with elevated Nitrates and Nitrites in recent past Thanks, Lance <Do be planning on a much larger system... soon, Lance. BobF>

Re: Peppermint  and Cleaner Shrimp  2/28/07 Wow - it appears that you really feel that the tank is to small - The guys at my LFS had a different opinion. I will let you know how the cleaner shrimp fairs after it's next molt. <Have seen Lysmata of different species eat each other... particularly in small settings, esp. when molting... BobF> How Many Shrimp is too Many?  When They Eat Each Other it's Too Many    2/16/07 Howdy folks! <Hello Jan & Ellen!  Mich with you tonight.> As usual, thanks for this wonderful service that you provide.   <You are quite welcome.  A pleasure to serve.> We have a 72G reef tank with about 80 lbs. of LR.  Currently we have a pair of clowns (A. ocellaris), a purple firefish (N. decora), a fat mandarin (S. splendidus), and a school of 9 Chromis viridis.  Various corals, a tube worm (Protula magnifica) 2 turbo snails and some blue legged hermit crabs.  In addition to this we have 3 peppermint shrimp (L. wurdemanni) & one big, beautiful fire shrimp (L. debelius). <Very nice!> All of the above are healthy, colorful & apparently happy. <Excellent!> We would like to add some more shrimp (as they are just a blast to watch -especially the fire shrimp).   <They can be a lot of fun.> Our question is whether this is advisable and if so, how many and of what type would you advise.   <Yes, is possible, as long as everyone is well fed.  Shrimp taste yummy... even to other shrimp.> Maybe another blood shrimp?   <Yes.  Best if similarly sized.  I like to have at least a pair so reproduction is possible.  Typically it is too difficult to raise the offspring, but it does provides nutrition to the system.> Or some common cleaner shrimp (L. amboinensis) <Most always a fine addition, again I'd opt for a pair, each of similar size.> We don't want a pistol shrimp due to their excavating habits nor any coral munching types. <I understand.> Also, in addition to all of the above, we were thinking of adding a yellow tang (Z. flavescens) and perhaps some type of goby.   <Both possible.> We're still trying to decide which goby would be best, if any. <Many option here, though not all do well in captivity.  Please research before making any purchases.> Anyway, what would you suggest? <A few favorites...  Cleaner Gobies (Gobiosoma spp.), Shrimp Gobies (Stonogobiops spp.) and Yellow Clown Gobies (Gobiodon okinawae).   Thanks so much for your help, <You are quite welcome!  -Mich> Jan & Ellen

Rabbitfish And Shrimp - 02/15/07 Hey crew, <<Hey Ian>> I have a quick question for you. <<Ok>> I was originally told by my LFS that Rabbitfish such as Siganus doliatus (Barred Spinefoot) and Siganus virgatus (Two Barred Rabbitfish) would make a meal out of ornamental shrimp, snails, and hermit crabs. <<Mmm, is possible I suppose...but not in my experience with this genus>> Reading on your site and seeing comments from others, is this a correct assumption? <<Is not a large concern in my opinion>> I know each fish has its own personality, but is it a typical trait for these fish to eat shrimp such as Scarlet Skunk Cleaner and Blood Red Fireshrimp or small crustaceans in general? <<Not typical, no...in my opinion.  I've kept several Siganus species over the years, and while they will consume frozen mysids/plankton with gusto, I've never seen (or heard of) one attacking ornamental shrimp, crabs, snails, etc.>> Thanks for your quick insight! Ian <<Happy to share.  EricR>>

Dolabella auricularia eviscerated?  Shrimp comp. 2/1/07 Howdy! <Hi there> I need some help with my Dolabella. <A Sea Hare, Aplysiid for you browsers: http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=dolaauri>   Although I have spent a good part of this day searching the web, I can't seem to find any info to help me.  I have only had my Dolabella for a few weeks.  As you can see by the picture, the Dolabella seems to be having a problem at it's upper/inhalant siphon.  I think this is the cause of one very nosy cleaner shrimp.   <Maybe. What species? A Stenopid? I hope not> Whenever the Dolabella goes to clean the side of the tank where the shrimp resides, the shrimp hops onto it's back and goes to town picking the dolabella's *ahem* rear entry.  I have watched this many times, and as far as I could tell, the Dolabella didn't seem too annoyed and usually closes it's siphons and hurries away.  However, today I found my poor hare in protective mode, and seems to have either eviscerated or the cleaner shrimp has gone way too far and hurt it.  I know that it is still alive, and for it's safety, I have moved it to the other side of the tank away from the shrimp. <I would move it out period, and pronto... if it does eviscerate... this could be very big trouble for your system> I have inverted a plastic strawberry container over it to give it sort of an in-house quarantine.  It is not crawling or really moving at all.    <Move it> Here is the picture of my Dolabella.  Please excuse the arrows, I promise I am not trying to insult your intelligence! <No worries... Precious little there to insult... thankfully with concurrently small ego> I am going to post my experience/problem in another forum and I didn't want people asking which end was which.  lol <I see... and agree> Will my hare recover/survive?   <If given "good conditions" very likely so... Aplysiids are tough animals by and large... and subjected to all sorts of insults...> Is there anything I can do to help it further?  I am hoping the prognosis is favorable.  We have really enjoyed watching this creature. Thank you so much for your time and knowledge, I really appreciate it. I have learned so much here at WWM and it has helped me make many sound decisions.   Thanks again and take care, Karen Parameters: 75g w/ 20g sump CA  420ppm No3  0 No2  0 Ammonia  0 Phos  0 Alk  1.8 meq/l (am working to bring it up) pH  8.1 salinity  35ppt <Mmm, well, "something" has to go ultimately... the Shrimp in question or your Hare... Bob Fenner>

Re: Dolabella auricularia eviscerated?    2/2/07 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Just Bob, please> I apologize for not giving the species on the shrimp, I meant to include it, but apparently forgot.  The shrimp is a skunk, Lysmata amboinensis. <Mmm, these are usually quite passive> Sadly, I discovered while transferring the hare to QT that it didn't make it.  I am very disappointed that I will not get to see it recover.  On a better note, my tank seems unaffected.  I did add a bag of fresh carbon just in case there are toxins. <Very good> Is there recommend any reading on these creatures pertaining specifically to husbandry? <Not as far as I'm aware in the popular literature... I have a bit of experience with the common S. Cal. Aplysia californica> It seems that there is surprisingly little information about keeping them in the home aquarium.   <Yes... though I strongly suspect that this and many other sea slugs/Opisthobranchs are going to be part of the near future "reef" experience... Some are very interesting, beautiful... and not difficult to culture> Although I would like to find more reading,  I will not attempt to keep one again until I can be sure that it can live in peace. I am very grateful for this site and the help.  I will, of course, help support WWM. Thank you.
<Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Horseshoe Crab/Compatibility 1/9/07 Hi, <Hi Joey> I purchased a horseshoe crab a week ago and just today bought some Camel Shrimp...I went to work and came home and just found their heads. <Mmmm cannibals in the tank.> Could my Horseshoe Crab have eaten them or did they die first?? I bought live cured rock today could that have been a problem?? <Well Joey, what else is in the tank besides the Horseshoe Crab?  Horseshoe crabs are mainly sand sifting filter feeders, although there are some species that are more predatory.  Depending on what specie you have, the crab could have very well ate them.  Again, you may have a fish or other invertebrate that had lunch on you.  As for dying first, could very well have happened depending on your acclimation method.  The newly purchased live rock; could have gotten a Mantis Shrimp as a not so nice bonus.> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Joey Chocolate Chip Starfish being cleaned by Peppermint Shrimp. Comp.  1/5/07 Good Day, <And to you> I have a 75 gal saltwater tank with a 32 gallon refugium.  The tank has been up and running since April 2006.  Currently stocked With a DSB, Live Rock, 3 Percula Clowns, a Coral Beauty, Purple Pseudochromis and a Royal Gamma Basslet.  In addition I have a few snails, hermits, 1 Coral Banded Shrimp and two Peppermint Shrimp. Oh! And a Chocolate Chip Starfish.  I am not planning To add any more creatures for approximately 6 months while my pod population grows to support a Mandarin. I have noticed that the Peppermint Shrimp are both "cleaning" the CCS for hours at a time, he does not seem to mind it, but I wanted to be sure that The shrimp were not causing any harm.  What are the shrimp finding to eat on the CCS ? <Mmm, might be some sort of epizootic, epiphytic life there... but more likely they re feeding on part of the star itself... Is this causing too much damage?> Thanks so much for your time. Bonnie Rose <Bob Fenner> Shrimp Massacre - 10/15/06 So... I returned home tomorrow to an unfortunate sight (and lack of sight) in my tank: the peppermint shrimp is nowhere to be seen, and the coral banded shrimp no longer has antennae or large claws.  Also, only one of the smaller legs, and one small "hand"-like claw remain.  I found in the filter an apparently shedded exoskeleton fragment (the head part).  The remnants of the shrimp are still alive.  I moved him to the quarantine tank, where he sits pathetically on the bottom of the empty tank. What's the chance for recovery, you think? <Hard to say... missing limbs will grow back after several molts but if the shrimp is otherwise impaired, then its odds aren't good.> Do you think it's more likely that there was a problem with molting, or that someone attacked? <Or someone attacked after molting, before the exoskeleton had hardened... very common.> I think I favor the latter given the simultaneous disappearance of the peppermint shrimp.  I've not any attacking problems in the past. <As long as you have Coral Banded Shrimp with any other shrimp, this possibility is very high.> Possible assailants would include the brittle star, pistol shrimp, shrimp goby, pajama cardinals (two), and Clownfishes (two, false Percs).   All the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH) are good. Your thoughts? <Not much... seems predictable to me, and you have more than one predatory shrimp in there so... your thoughts?> Thanks Daniel <Cheers, J -- >

Lionfish/shrimp compatibility 10/11/2006 Thanks in advance as you folks have been very diligent in answering my questions. <<You're welcome in advance!>> I've looked through FAQ's on the dwarf lionfish and now realize that if I get one, my peppermint shrimp is probably in trouble. <<Yes, if by trouble you mean eaten.>> The dwarf zebra lionfish at the LFS is aprox.  2" what I wanted to know is what about my 2" blood shrimp and my cleaner shrimp? I do not want to lose them.  All the FAQ's mention the cleaner as a possibility but none mention blood shrimp I do know from your site it depends on the individual lionfish but how likely is it? <<Lionfish eat shrimp, period.  The question comes into play weather or not they will leave a known 'cleaner' alone, which both of the aforementioned shrimp are.  In my experience, they will be consumed in time.  Now, if you're starting with a very small lion, and large shrimp, the relationship may be established, but don't bet on it.  If your shrimp are a real prize to you, I wouldn't risk it, but if their loss is less than tragic for you, you can try.>> Paul <<Good luck my friend. Lisa.>>

Peppermint shrimp, anemone and Dottyback compatibility   10/2/06   Hello, back for my weekly question.  Hope you are doing well.  I am sure there is a answer to my question somewhere on WWM, but I am having trouble finding it.  On my endless quest for a cure of Aiptasia, I am thinking of purchasing 4 or 5 peppermint shrimp.  My question is, will the peppermint shrimp go after my bubble tip (huge) or any of the LPS corals I have (yes, bad mix I know)?   <Likely so> Lastly in your opinion would my blue flavivertex Pseudochromis go after my peppermint shrimp?   <Maybe if/during molting if there is insufficient cover> If either of these answers are yes, I can put the peppermint shrimp in my sump with some Aiptasia covered rocks, right?  Thanks, Ryan. <Yes. Bob Fenner> Fire Shrimp Problem... new water? Cyanobacteria? Cat flea med.?   9/5/06 Hi Crew, <Tom> My Fire Shrimp has been having problems when I change water. <Very common>   He first appears to excitedly dash around the tank (very uncharacteristic) and then he will fall over and twitch.  I've seen this three or four times over the last couple of months - but not every time I change water. In the past, he has recovered after a day.  The two Gobies in the tank have never shown any sign of distress. <Need... to read... re the necessity of pre-mixing, storing, matching new and existing water quality...> Just over a week ago, I saw this again, and noticed that it occurred before new water went into the tank.  When it occurred, I was working on scrubbing what I believe to be Cyanobacteria off the rocks in preparation for siphoning it out.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and put new charcoal and a Polyfilter in the power filter. <Mmm, maybe an interaction here...> At this point, I remembered something about possible toxicity of Cyanobacteria.  Your site mentions possible toxicity, but provides no details of how toxic or what creatures are affected. <A huge topic... all affected to degrees> Later, my son mentioned the extreme toxicity of flea treatments for household pets. <Mmm, some... not all... to aquatic life. Can be investigated via the Net> I did some research and learned that the product we use on our cats (Frontline) has an active ingredient that is extremely toxic to shrimp (1 ppb kills some species) and furthermore that this poison gets onto a person's hands by handling a treated cat anytime within a month of treatment. <Yes, this is so> I had not been all that careful about washing before working in the tank (and I really find dedicated gloves just too hard to use).  So I became pretty convinced that flea poison on my hands was the source of my Fire Shrimp's difficulties. <I see> I resolved to be more careful about cleaning my hands and arms in the future before working in the tank. <Good> A couple days ago, I did another water change just after a shower and with no intervening contact with cats.  Everything seemed to go OK, though I did not make much effort to clean off the Cyanobacteria.  My Fire Shrimp did not seem bothered (though he has not fully recovered from the previous severe episode, and I don't think it likely at this point that he will).  I also re-introduced three Peppermint Shrimp at this time, and they had no problems.  (These had been removed on suspicion that they were eating my Xenia, but I later discovered a hitchhiker crab doing this, and so I am assuming the Shrimp are innocent.) <Mmmm> Today, I washed my hands with soap and rinsed my arms before spending half an hour using a toothbrush to clean off Cyanobacteria.  I tried to get the Cyanobacteria into a separate small container to be disposed off, as I was not planning to siphon the tank. After a half hour or so, I again noticed my Fire Shrimp looked disturbed, though not in truly extreme distress.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and began to compose this email.  Also notable is that the Peppermint Shrimp showed no signs of distress. So here's the puzzle.  Is the flea medicine to blame, and I really must shower or use gloves before working on the tank? <Doubtful... or all shrimp would be similarly mal-affected> Or is the toxicity of the Cyanobacteria to blame (or also to blame)? <Maybe> And, should we assume that the Fire Shrimp in its current damaged state is simply more sensitive to toxins, or perhaps by nature more sensitive to toxins? <I still am mostly placing the credit/blame on the new water...> By the way, I am also working on fixing the causes of the Cyanobacteria, which got out of control while we were away on vacation for a couple weeks this summer.  I'm running Polyfilter, changing 10% of the water weekly, and I've reduced the light (from 192 watts of 50/50 to 96 watts of 50/50 over a 30 gallon) in the hopes that the other algae will better compete for nutrients. <A good plan> Other algae present include Coralline, Halimeda, and an unidentified algae that is turf-like, attractive maroon under lower light conditions and faded yellow-green under high light conditions (hope this one isn't toxic too). Thanks, Tom <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpsysfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flame Hawkfish/Compatibility  - 08/15/06 Hi guys, <And gals.> Firstly - thanks for all the hard work and effort that you put into providing comparative-amateurs like myself learn about our favourite hobby! <You're welcome.> I might be breaking a rule here because the question I have to ask, has already been asked and answered a few (several) times before but the trouble is, there doesn't seem to be a consistent answer so please humour me! I am in the process of setting up another marine tank which will be a 20 gallon tank. I was planning on having a Flame/Scarlet Hawkfish as the only 'fish' in the tank and then a Fire Shrimp (should be slightly larger than the Hawkfish), plenty of snails and hermit crabs and a small orange Starfish. The books that I own all seem to advise that "the Hawkfish is reef safe but may eat smaller crustaceans"... Now I can fully understand it eating SMALL crustaceans such as 1" long Sexy Shrimp etc, but the jury seems to be out on whether a large Fire Shrimp and hermit crabs will be safe in there. <Large shrimp and hermit crabs should be OK with the Flame Hawk.  Your 20 gallon tank is a little small for this fish.  I'd recommend at least a 30 gallon.> I guess the only sure answer is that NOT putting the Fire Shrimp, hermit crabs and snails in there will prevent the problem altogether, but I'm not sure what I'd use in their place as a cleanup crew or whether I'd be happy to trade all the fun and interest the hermits and shrimps provide, for the Hawkfish... What are your opinions  in terms of whether the shrimp and hermits would be safe in my tank (assuming the Hawk was well fed)? Should the Hawk be kept entirely separate from any other inverts? <If the Hawkfish cannot swallow it, it should be safe.> <<... RMF would not advise this mix... when the shrimp molts... or the Hawk just "feels like it", will likely kill, destroy any shrimp, particularly in such small quarters>> Thanks again for reading this - I really appreciate your help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Andy Re: early stages of disease on clownfish (and now cleaner shrimp murder!) ... I'll say!   8/11/06 Bob, <Derek> Thanks for your reply. It's great to know the mail got to you. Again, I love the site and have spent a lot of time using your own advice for research. <Am glad you find the work of interest, use> Re the Leopard Wrasse - Yes it's a Macropharyngodon bipartitus... had it a month now and so far it's fine. <... a combination of a very good specimen (well caught, kept, transported...) and your good care. This species rarely does well in captivity> It eats pretty much any freeze-dried or frozen food greedily, especially loves freeze dried bloodworm, and seems very much at home and happy. It was incredibly shy for a week but now will eat from my fingers...Sleeps soundly in the sand... Maybe I just got lucky. <Plus> But your reply timing is good... My boxer shrimp has been chasing the cleaner for a couple of days, <Oh oh... time to separate them... The Stenopid can/will eat even fishes...> and today I found a very meaty, cleaner shrimp coloured, chunk on the sand. It didn't look like shed skeleton, very much more like a chunk of shrimp meat... soon grabbed and taken by the boxer as I looked. Do you think the boxer could have killed it? <Assuredly yes> And, the boxer has been very cocky since it grew back its missing claw, it has a pop at my very fat clownfish sometimes... do you think a rogue boxer could kill and eat a healthy clownfish (clown is slightly longer than the boxer's body and obviously much fatter)? <A good match...> The clown defends its territory easily, but I just wondered if it could be grabbed unawares at night.... <Could be> Anyway, the boxer is the only visible suspect for cleaner murder... but there are many unidentified things in my live rock... I've seen arms dart out of holes at passing Hermits...no idea what they could be. Thanks again, Derek <I'd be moving this Boxer Shrimp... pronto. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint shrimp 07/02/06 Hi gang! <<Hello>> So I just have a small stocking question. I had 2 peppermint shrimp in my 24 gallon Aqua Cube for about 6 months. They were great and   were doing fine, until one day my Clarkii Clown decided she didn't like them anymore. One was smart enough to hide for awhile in the   space between the tank glass and the powerhead! But alas, they both disappeared in about the span of 5 days (I think she may have 'fed' them to the anemone.)  :-( <<More than likely ate them herself.>> Any-who, I want to replace the shrimp, but I hesitate getting the small peppermint again. What other shrimp could I get that might do better with this Clown? <<You might get by with a coral banded shrimp as they have a wider stance and their "feelers" make them look too big to fit in her mouth.  Besides that, your only other option would be to remove the clown and go with a clown species that stays much smaller.>> Love the website BTW!! <<Glad you like it. Travis>> Thomas

A Very Aggressive Group!   6/27/06 Hello <Hi there! Scott F. here today>   My question is in regards to the possibility of adding a very expensive Blood Shrimp or Skunk Shrimp to my tank. I'm asking you so that I can avoid feeding my fish a $150 dinner. My fish are incredibly greedy when it's feeding time. I have 4 Clowns, 1 Flame Hawk, 1 Eibli Angel, 1 Singapore Angel in a 90 gallon tank. The Clowns, Hawk, and Eibli even try to eat my finger if I put it in the water near where I feed them! This should give you an idea of how aggressive they are. <That's really rough! I'm not surprised that the Flame Hawk would be somewhat aggressive, but the clownfish being so aggressive is a bit surprising, considering they are in a group. It depends on the species, of course, but you'd think that the aggression would be dispersed among the group. On the other hand, the Eibli can be a rather aggressive Centropyge angelfish.> A few months ago, I added a 3cm long Tiger Blenny, and the moment I released him out of the bag, my fish attacked him and ate him. I was dumbfounded! The main protagonist was the smallest fish in the tank-a 4cm long Clownfish. I don't even think they realize what they are eating. I think it maybe just a competitive thing where whatever is introduced into the tank must be eaten before someone else eats it. <Very possible. Some obvious things to investigate here...How large is your aquarium? In an over-crowded situation, fishes may often display more aggressive behaviour because of the tight quarters and the need to feed competitively. Another obvious question- how often do you feed? Ask yourself if your fishes are truly getting enough food. Another idea: Perhaps it may be time to break up the aquascaping and let the fishes develop new territories and a new social order...Just a thought.> So what is the chance that if i added a small aforementioned shrimp that it would be eaten instantly? <Under the current circumstances, it would be foolish. You need to get a handle on what is causing the aggression in your tank. Again, it could be stress brought about by an aquarium that is too small, or perhaps feeding that is not sufficient. Do ask yourself some focused questions in your search for answers. Are all environmental parameters in check? Stress of all sorts can initiate unusual behaviours in fishes. Go beyond the immediately obvious.> I have read through many FAQs which seem to suggest that the shrimp would be fine with these fish-but I just can't see it happening. <Actually, I would not advise adding a shrimp to this tank simply because of the known predatory nature of the Hawkfish. Shrimp are regularly on the menu for this fish!> Please reply. I don't want to spend this much money on a snack. Thank you. <Agreed- pass on the shrimp> PS- the pale flame hawk is still waiting in the dealer's tank. The poor guy-no one wants him. I wonder why you didn't reply to that question? <Not sure what question you're referring to, but do ask yourself some pointed questions and see if you can get to the bottom of this unusually aggressive crowd. Best of luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Stars and Shrimp 6/17/06 Hi guys... <Hi> My clean up crew comprises of 2 skunk cleaner shrimp, 2 blood shrimp, 2 brittle stars and about 10 hermit crabs and 5 turbo snails.  Additionally, I have 1 arrow crab because I like how they look. My LFS sold me the brittle stars saying they were good for cleaning the back of the tank and the live rock that I couldn't get to, which I admit is true.  However, today I watched a brittle star grab one of the skunk cleaner shrimp, snap its back and then munch it down. <Yikes.>  Is this normal? <For some species.>  And how can I prevent the same fate happening to the other three shrimp in my tank? <Remove the brittle star or the shrimp, otherwise the shrimp's fates are sealed.> I know there are many types of brittle star and that the green variety can by dangerous to fish, I'm not sure what type my stars are...one is grey in colour and the larger one is brown.  <Could be many different types.>  If I need to replace the stars with less dangerous ones, is the brittle reed safe? <Many different ones available.  There are several articles on WetWebMedia worth reading on the subject.  They can be found under the marine heading on the main page.> Thanks in advance, Ewan <Chris>

Shrimp incomp.  - 06/02/2006 Roy. You had a cleaner shrimp eat your peppermint shrimp? Interesting... very interesting indeed! This would explain the loss of both of the shrimp in a tank that only contained the Skunk Cleaner and a Powder Blue tang. I noticed the Cleaner chasing the little guys but I wouldn't suspect him of eating them... maybe it was not the Christmas wrasse that got the last one (Peppermint shrimp that did eat only Aiptasia) during QT after all. James <<James:  Yes I had a killer Skunk Cleaner Shrimp.  I have also read stories of Peppermints eating Skunk Cleaner Shrimp.  Though it's not common, it happens.  Best of luck, Roy>>  

Feeder/Cleaner Shrimp   4/9/06 Hi Crew. A few months ago I bought some feeder shrimp for my saltwater fish.  Not all of the shrimp were eaten and the remaining shrimp have grown a little too big to eat now although they are still small. They are often on the glass eating algae. Well, today I reached into the tank to pick up a powerhead that fell down. After I stuck it back on the glass of the tank side while my hand was in the water one of the little feeder shrimp got on my hand and started picking around my fingernail.<My cleaner shrimp does this, neat isn't it?> Soon another was on a different finger, then another. I could feel their tiny pinchers picking and pulling at the skin around my nails. When another shrimp was swimming close I moved my hand closer and it jumped onto another nail. I couldn't take my hand out because this was so fun! <Enjoy.> I had no idea that feeder shrimp would act as cleaners. Do you suppose they do this with the fish too? <Possibly, depends if the fish will allow them to.  Make sure they get enough food themselves, they were obviously looking for it!  Have fun with this!  Jen S.> Agnes Do I add a shrimp?   4/1/06 Good evening.  <Hello Dan.> I'm just starting a new salt water tank after a short break.  I currently only have live rock and sand in the tank.  I plan on buying a couple pounds of live sand and other pods to get my tank rolling.  I don't plan on adding fish for 3 to 4 months. <Good plan.>  Really let the critters populate.  My live rock has one or two dozen Aiptasia on it. <You can manually remove them.  Siphon them out, or take out the rock and manually scrub it.> I want to add peppermint shrimp to the tank with the hopes that they will eat the Aiptasia. <They are picky critters, some will eat the Aiptasia, others won't.>  Question: Weather or not the shrimp eat the Aiptasia, will they eat the pods that I'm trying to populate the tank with? <I've seen them eat pods too.>  Is this wise, or should I just leave out the shrimp?  I want a strong healthy pod population.  The tank is 150 gallons with a 60 fuge and 50 sump.  Thinking about adding 5-8 shrimp.  <I would manually remove the Aiptasia.  At this point its easier for you.  If you have the problem later down the line w/ fish present then add the shrimp.> Thank you for your time in this matter and for your excellent site.  It really is the best info site out there.  < No problem - read up here too for more info and critters that may help - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm    Have a good one, Jen S.> Dan

Peppermint shrimp to rid Aiptasia ? Or feed a wrasse?  - 2/4/2006 Hello to the crew !                           I have a relatively simple 50 gallon reef, which has slowly been over run with Aiptasia. I went to my LFS and was told peppermint shrimp should do the trick, so I purchased three of them. The following day I looked for them and they are no where to be found ? <Maybe> I'm wondering what could have happened to them. I only have two fish, one being a yellow tang and the other a six-line wrasse. <The last could have consumed them> Do either of these fish have shrimp on the menu ? <Yep> I also lost a cleaner shrimp about two months ago, which I had for approximately one year. One day he was there, the next gone. Any clues ? What about the possibility of a bristle worm ? If one of these guys is the culprit, what is the best way to deal with my quickly spreading Aiptasia problem ? <See WWM re... Bob Fenner>                                                                                                                     Thanks for the input.                                                                                                                                                    Trever from Santa Barbara, Ca. Shrimp After My feather Duster - 01/24/06 Hey there! <<Hello!>> I got two feather dusters at the pet shop, and when I put it where I want it to be my shrimp mess with it. <<Mmm, yes...these worms (and many others) fall prey to many of the critters we think of as "reef safe."  I don't know what kind of shrimp you have, some are more "safe" than others, but almost all are opportunistic omnivores...no telling what they may take a fancy too.>> I was also told <<?>> it cut off some feathers, and now I have the worms in my breeder to keep it away from the shrimp.  I'm afraid I'll have to remove the shrimp and transfer it to another tank. <<Very likely, yes.>> Can you guys tell me what can I do to stop it from hurting my feather dusters? <<Nothing really.. other than keeping the two apart.>> By the way, Adam J, my star polyp is doing just fine, thanks for your help. <<Regards, EricR>>

Hawk and Shrimp Mixing   1/17/06 Recently I've seen a fish sold as a geometric hawkfish which is really a Perchlet (Plectranthias) <Yes they have been much more common around here as well lately.> at my local fish stores.  Are these fish good aquarium residents? <There small size and level of activity, or lack there of makes them a good choice for many tanks. Due to their deep water collection they often do not recover from collection and shipping, but those that do survive acclimate and eat well in my experience.> I'm thinking about purchasing one for a 40g tank with numerous shrimp. <What type of shrimp, larger shrimps such as adult Lysmatas should be okay but smaller shrimps may be lunch.> Would the shrimp be a nice meal for the fish? <If they are small enough.> On the other hand would my Coral Bands enjoy hunting down the Perchlet.    <Likely would be too quick for the shrimp to catch, though that isn't to say I haven't seen a CBS snatch a fish before.> Adam helped me a while ago with a P. ataenia wrasse. <I remember.> Let him know this fish is doing great and has become the family favorite. <Awesome.> Thanks for your help! <No trouble.> Myles Goldfein <Adam J.>

Re: Hawks and Shrimp   1/21/06 Dear Adam, <Hello again.> Thanks for your response! <Anytime.> My shrimp are larger/medium size species: Lysmata cleaners, peppermint shrimp, dancing shrimp, and the pair of coral bands- so I guess they should be ok. <Should be, and take that "should" with a grain of slat as there are no guarantees in this hobby.>   I never lost a fish to a coral band when I kept them singly but my experience with mated pairs has been different. <Had one that I had to get rid of myself for this behavior.>   I have had an occasional loss with a small fish in a small tank usually within the first few days. Assuming I can find one who is eating do you have any  suggestions regarding fishy tankmates.   From what I gather they would benefit from relatively nonboisterous tankmates? <Correct, smaller blennies, gobies, cardinals and th like will be good tankmates.> I really do appreciate your help because I hate to make avoidable mistakes with live animals. <No problem, you are welcome.> Myles Goldfein <Adam Jackson.> Shrimp Salad - 01/01/2006  1/1/06 Didn't find anything re compatibility on the site, so here go's: Are Harlequin Shrimp compatible with Coral Banded and cleaner shrimp? <Not good to mix any of these unless in a rather large system. The Harlequin has a very special diet also.> Thanks, DB in SD <Sure. - Josh in '06>

Dead Cleaner Shrimp chopped in half and picked clean...or molting? - 10/28/2005 Hi, <Hello Dave.> I came home today to have my 4 year old daughter point out that one of our cleaner shrimps' head was laying in the back of the aquarium. <Distressful I'm sure.>  Indeed its head with all appendages attached was lying in the back behind a rock and also its tail was laying about 6 inches away. It was totally picked clean and it is really just an empty shell left. <Sounds like it molted to me.>  Yesterday I purchased 2 cleaners and 1 red sea star (which incidentally is also not doing so well but that's another story). <Another novel more likely;)>  About 2 weeks ago I added about 12 pounds more of cured live rock, mainly larger pieces with plenty of hiding spaces. In my tank I have a 3 inch blue tang, 2 damsels, 2 clownfish, and a Bicolor Pseudochromis. I also have 3 very small hermit crabs and 1 - 1 1/2 inch hermit crab. I know only now that the Bicolor Pseudochromis will attack shrimp, but these shrimp are the same size if not larger than the Bicolor Pseudochromis. The only thing I can think of is A) Bicolor Pseudochromis or B) Mantis Shrimp. <Any loud "cracking" lately?> If it is the later, how would I find the mantis? <Usually overrated as a problematic species. However best kept (most appreciated) in specific set-ups.>  Setup a Video camera? <Good luck there! May wish to include infrared sensors, motion trackers, androids and perhaps No Doze.>  The only reason I don't think it was the Bicolor Pseudochromis is because the shrimp's innards are 100% gone and the tail is empty as well. <Main reason I suspect molting.>  Plus its a clean cut in half which I don't think the little Pseudochromis is capable of doing... <Could break easily as a shrimp pushes himself out.> Any ideas, opinions, or advice for me on this? <Just the above from your info. Keep an eye out for his reappearance; also for your iodine levels. - Josh> 

Glass Shrimp and 'Pods 10/16/05 Hi <Hey, Mike G here.> I have recently added some saltwater glass shrimp to my fuge in the hope that they would spawn and the larvae would then help feed my display. My question is will they eat pods? <Not in my experience.> I see the shrimp scurrying over the glass a lot... <As is their nature.> and I'm not seeing too many pods recently. <'Pods tend to go in population cycles. I'd not worry about it.> thanks <Welcome.> Liam. <Mike G> 

Shrimps 10/7/05 Hi Bob,  <You drew James today> I have a 180 Gallon tank with 20 lbs of live rock ( Planning to add few more live rocks in future ).  <Good>  As of now I have a pair of Sebae clowns with a little colony of yellow colored tube worms on the live rocks ( they are in my tank for more than 2 years ). As of now I am thinking of buying some shrimps which are reef safe. Thinking of buying a pair of Coral Banded Shrimp  <Only if you can be assured they are a pair as members of this genus aggressively attack others of their kind.>  and Fire shrimps. Can you advise me whether they will go together well or should I go in for some other shrimps. I don't want them to mess up my tank as I will be adding some corals and tangs in future.  <With the exception of my notation above, both are reef safe. Acclimate slowly as these creatures are sensitive to changes in salinity and ph. James (Salty Dog)> Regards, Rajesh 

Fire Urchin and Commensal Shrimp 09/17/05 I have just recently purchased a fire urchin I brought him home and discovered a shrimp living in him.<<Cool>> This shrimp is extremely small and is a light in color with a bold white stripe down the center of him. (he is too small to photograph) Can you tell me what it is or if it is going to be harmful to my fish later on?<<It sounds like a commensal shrimp. It is harmless. Please search WWM for "commensal shrimp" or "fire urchin" or both.>> Thanks For all the help I have gotten from you guys your site has been a lot of help! Bobbie Jo <<You're welcome - Ted>> Shrimp, LTA predation 8/25/05 Just added a Long Tentacle Anemone just to have my peppermint shrimp pounce on him and start eating. Is this normal?      Thanks          Greg <Happens, but not commonly... there is/was something very wrong with the anemone, and/or the shrimp was starving. Bob Fenner> Phoronids and shrimps 8/25/05 Hello <Hi there> I'm grateful that I found your site when I started this hobby in January. I probably would have quit but thanks to your site, I'm still around and as excited as ever. I bought The Conscientious Marine Aquarist book and found answers to most of the basic questions and concerns I had. But here's a question I haven't found answers to. I have 2 phoronid worms living in my tube anemone. Due to this fact I haven't bought any shrimps for my tank yet as I have heard that some shrimps might eat them. <Possible> I'd like to get at least one shrimp for my tank but I'd like to be sure that the phoronids are safe. I was thinking that they might be ok as they live so close to the tube anemone's tentacles and all the fish and inverts avoid that area. <Oh yes...> What kind of shrimp would be the safest bet? I've asked people on Reef Central and nobody seems to know. Thank you in advance for your help Cole <Members of the family Palaemonidae are your best, though not absolutely safe bet... avoid Stenopids... Bob Fenner> - Killer Shrimp - Hello WWM crew, I tried to search your site for an answer to my dilemma but found none. Now I need the help of the WWMedia experts! I have a 30 gallon tall seahorse tank with emperor filter, additional power head for water circulation and protein skimmer (water parameters are all fine I constantly check). I have a 2 inch sand bed and 30lbs live rock. I have never had an algae problem as I have always stocked adequate clean up crew consisting of many kinds of snails, scarlet reef hermits, blue legged hermits, Mexican red legged hermits and shrimp. My shrimp are skunk cleaners and peppermint shrimp. Sometimes when the seahorses eat out of their feeding trough they spill their thawed Mysis (or my skunk cleaner thief spills it) and I noticed that the peppermint shrimp did a good job of eating any wayward Mysis that sank and went into any holes in the rock. First, I had one pep shrimp. Liking the job he did, I added two more (after quarantining a month and feeding them Mysis every day) and one more skunk cleaner to keep the other company (the big one is maybe 2 and a half inches). Well, the problem is that the smaller skunk cleaner shrimp has not been seen for about 4 days now. My skunk cleaners have always been very active and do not hide in caves. At night they hang upside down from a piece of fake coral or my devils hand. I introduced the new peppermint shrimp into the tank about a week ago. Also the one fish I had in my tank besides the seahorses is also missing. He was a much loved pet - a Randall's goby. He lived in the cave where the peppermint shrimp liked to hang out. The other day I saw a peppermint shrimp go after my little goby but I just thought maybe he was trying to clean him. I am sad because every day my little goby stayed just outside his hole and I haven't seen him in over 2 days now. As of a few weeks ago my duster cluster which is near the evil cave has also been decimated but my larger feather dusters in other areas seem fine. Water parameters are good and in fact I recently did a 7 gallon water change just to keep my crystal water as clear as ever. Do you suspect the peppermint shrimp for the disappearance of the skunk cleaner and the goby or the hermits or the large skunk cleaner? <It is quite possible that the peppermint shrimp went after the cleaner shrimp... this is well documented behavior of peppermint shrimp. As for the Randall's goby, these fish are wily enough to not fall prey to a peppermint shrimp... if it doesn't show up soon, I'd start looking on the floor behind the tank as these fish do sometimes jump out.> I know seahorses have been known to hunt small shrimp but my 4 ponies are about 10 months old and seem docile and shy and are well fed. The skunk cleaner was an inch and a half in size. The goby was just a little guy- maybe an inch. <May have perished for other reasons and was quickly cleaned up by the peppermint shrimp.> Any insight would be helpful. The goby was hard to come by and if I do try having any other fish in my aquarium I want to be sure that they will be safe. Maybe I have stocked too many shrimp? <I'd limit things to just one peppermint shrimp.> Thanks, Michelle <Cheers, J -- >

- Killer Shrimp, Follow-up - J, Thanks for the prompt response. <My pleasure.> I took out all my rock in an effort to catch those extra peppermint shrimps and I found my Randall's goby. <Oh good.> He was still alive thankfully and in good condition (Yay!) I did not know that the pepp shrimp and the skunk cleaners did not get along. <Not a really a matter of social compatibility rather than peppermint shrimp having insatiable appetites and uncaring about their menu.> I think the skunk cleaner that I still have is a good enough size not to be overtaken by the peppermint shrimp but I won't be adding any more shrimp to the tank and I have found a friend who wants the other peppermint shrimp for his tank. <Perfect.> Thanks! One last question - would the peppermint shrimp be responsible for destroying my duster cluster or is that more likely the handiwork of my hermit crabs? <Actually, more likely this is just feather dusters doing what they do. Sadly, very few of those intentionally bought live for long, but luckily you will likely have some hitchhikers show up in the future and these will be much more hardy.>

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