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FAQs about Lysmata amboinensis, the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp

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

Related FAQs: Hippolytids 1, Hippolytids 2, Hippolytid Identification, Hippolytid Behavior, Hippolytid Compatibility, Hippolytid Selection, Hippolytid Systems, Hippolytid Feeding, Hippolytid Disease, Hippolytid Reproduction, & FAQs on All Cleaner Shrimp 1, Cleaner Shrimp 2, All Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, & Coral Banded Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

Skunk cleaner shrimp pregnant... and sm. crust. ID f's      5/18/16
Hi all! I've read all your answers to others with my similar situation so I will be brief. In regards to feeding babies if I do get them, I read phytoplankton and baby brine are best.
<Mmm; yes... some species/sizes of the former. I'd (quickly) get out and read some reference works here>
If I have a plethora of brine shrimp breeding in all of my tanks especially my refugium,
<Really? Artemia? Not likely>
could I keep the babies in there and add phytoplankton?
<...? Not likely... they need to be reared in a purposeful culture system; lest they get sucked up, frappe'ed by pumping, water movement>
My brine shrimp look like little tadpoles swimming around everywhere.
<.... these aren't them>

If I have a huge self sustaining population, is it possible that there are enough need hatch ones to rear the baby cleaners if I supplement their diet with Phytofeast?
Thanks in advance! Tabitha
<Where to send you....? Please read here re searching /lit.:
And soon; you NEED to be culturing useful foodstuffs NOW. Bob Fenner>
My tiny swimming shrimp... Legless amphipods, Mysids, Copepods?

Sorry to send more questions but I can't help it. I LOVE learning things!
<Me too!>
If it is unlikely that I have Artemia populations in my tanks (240gal and 100gal), do you have any guess as to what they may be? Photos were taken through 20x microscope lens with my iPhone on just over half max zoom.
Actual size is 1/16" wide and just under 1/4" long. He's one of the biggest of them.
Thanks again Tabitha
<See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/crustidfaqs.htm
and the linked files in the series (in the tray at top). Bob Fenner>

Question about Lysmata amboinensis; hlth.        4/14/15
<Hey Nic>
I'm amazed by the ton of valuable information posted on the FAQ dedicated to L. amboinensis, but unfortunately did not find any for my case, which I will describe below.
My three L. amboinensis died (one died first, three weeks ago, and remaining two passed away yesterday). Symptoms were similar : they had some kind of brown algae on the antennas and the thorax, and considerably reduced their activities since then. I assume this is a disease or a parasite, but could not find any related resource on the web. Have anyone ever heard about such case ?
<Ah, yes... methinks this may be due to overall lacking circumstances: Most often an imbalance of N,P,K and alkaline earth components... some that may be made up from feeding; some through dosing (particularly iodide-ate); secondarily from accumulation of shrimp-toxic materials (again, from supplements mainly). Bob Fenner>
Re: Question about Lysmata amboinensis          4/15/15

Hi Bob,
Thanks so much for the feedback.
Can you be more specific about imbalance ?
<Mmm; yes... though much more detail to be had w/ a bit of look/see in the scientific lit.>
I regularly record my parameters as follows : d 1024, pH 8.2, KH 6.7, NO3 0, PO4 0,
<... how are nitrate and phosphate rendered zip? You do realize that some (measurable) is necessary?>

Ca 370, Mg 1200.
I do not supplement anything (old school, I know…).
<I think this lack of practice IS best. Again, I caution against the use of chemical filtrants. Bob Fenner>

Question regarding Lysmata amboinensis; repro., a trip to the library in order     1/15/15
Hi there,
I'm a student in Ngee Ann Polytechnic from Singapore and together with a group of friends, we're doing a project on the breeding of the L. amboinensis.
<Has been done a few times, places commercially. I saw TMC's attempts years back>
Our skunk shrimps are paired (3 pairs) and kept in glass tanks. We are currently using a Recirculating Aquaculture System that consists of 3 glass tanks for the shrimps, and a sump that has a protein skimmer, biomedia, filter sock, filter foam, and a UV filter.
We have observed that our L. amboinensis pairs have both had eggs at the same time. We are confused as to why. This has happened a couple of times.
However we have not observed any hatched larvae.
<Synchrony an suspension in oviparity is well documented for many species, including our own>
We hope that you would be able to help us understand why both shrimps would bear eggs at the same time.

<I can think of a few ways this coordination might add to survival value... Why do corals "group spawn", many fishes?
Ashley Kou
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Question regarding Lysmata amboinensis    1/15/15

Hey Bob,
Thanks for the reply!
Cheers :)
<You're welcome. Do write back with your experiences please. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner and Fire Shrimp with white spots    6/18/12
Hi there,
For the past 3 days all of my shrimp including 4 x cleaner shrimp and 2 x fire shrimp, appear to have white spots over their exoskeleton.
<I see these in your pic of one of the former>
This range from a couple of spots on one, to a dozen spots on another shrimp.
Do you have any idea what this maybe?
<I do not, unfortunately... could be "spurious" (e.g. sand or such stuck to the outside of their exoskeletons), and doubtful if "very" harmful... would remove with a scalpel and look under a low power 'scope if interested; likely ignore otherwise... Perhaps a double/triple dose of iodide/ate will move them. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hipshrpdis.htm>
 I've searched high and low and can't find any information.
I've attached a picture.
Many Thanks Matt
<As many welcome. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12
Hi guys! In urgent need of some help here!
I've had these two cleaner shrimps for about 5 months, and they have been at the peak of health.
But today suddenly while re-aquascaping a bit today I suddenly noticed that one of my cleaners had this strange unknown spot/blotch or lesion.
<I see this/these>
His behavior is fine, he does not seem in any kind of distress and is acting completely normal, just like any other day.
Water parameters are all fine, and my cleaners have no prior history of health issues during the entire 5 month period.
And I have not added anything at all to the tank, period, since then, no livestock, no rock, nothing!
This mark seems to have cropped up out of nowhere in the last 24-48 hours.
Specific gravity: 1.026
PH: 8.3
Alk: 9 dKH
Calcium: 400 ppm
Magnesium: 1350 ppm
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Phosphate: 0
<How are NO3 and HPO4 rendered zip?>
Would be really happy if someone could shed some light on this, thanks!
Kindest regards,
<Mmm, the most likely "explanation" for this/these mark/s is environmental... Do you administer Iodide, -ate regularly? I would. Oh, and read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpdisfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12
Hi! Thanks for the quick reply!
My fear was because of the oval shape that it could be some kind of parasite,
<Mmm, highly unlikely>
although thought it odd if it would pop up now.
I have to admit that I do not know what the abbreviation "zip" means.
<My apologies... as in "nothing" "zero", "zilch"... In other words, am wondering if you're utilizing chemical filtrants (there should be "some" measurable nitrate and phosphate in all biological systems...), or perhaps there is an aggressive pest algal issue here scavenging up all available>
And no, I don't supplement Iodide, mainly because I have not found a test kit to reliably test for it in my tank.
<Mmm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/IodineSWArt.htm
and the linked files above. I would "under add" if nothing else here...>
Plus I have been told that it should be enough with regular water changes, to replenish the trace elements.
<And you, BobF>
Re: Cleaner Shrimp - Mysterious spot/lesion!  4/9/12

Wow thanks! That clears up a lot!
So happens that I do have a fair amount of macro algae in my tank, and I run a refugium loaded with Chaetomorpha on a reverse daylight cycle.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I guess this is likely the reason I have a "0" reading, and I suppose could also be depleting my iodine levels.
<Ah yes... a likely scenario. B>

Cleaner shrimp essentials 8/1/11
Hi, I appreciate all you guys do. I'm a frequent reader of the site but I haven't asked a question for at least a year, if not two, mainly because all the answers I already need seem to be here already ;)
I have a 100g FOWLR that I do a 10-15% water change on every 3 weeks, sometimes a month. All the fish are doing great, I bought all small fish which seem to adapt really well and they are growing like weeds. I'm attributing a lot of that to constant feeding (auto feeder feeding NLS, ON1 and ON2 pellets four times a day plus I manually feed a sheet of Nori daily and about every 3-4 days a cube of Mysis) and a 3x oversized protein skimmer for keeping the water clean. Also, if it helps answer the question, I use Instant Ocean (not the Reef Crystals) for my water changes.
I want to start keeping a pair of Lysmata amboinensis (Sri Lanka variety) in here. My worry is that with not very frequent water changes and an oversized skimmer, the "stuff" that the shrimp need in order to thrive and continue remaking their shells will not be in a high enough quantity. Do you feel that is so?
<I do not... with (relatively) simple assays (tests, even just colorimetric), you can test the necessary aspects (Ca, Mg, Alkalinity...) and Iodide, similar additions periodically... along w/ careful matching of new water for change outs (for spg) you should be fine>
If so, what do cleaner shrimp need in order to remake their carapace?
<See the above and WWM re Hippolytid care... foods/feeding will make up the rest of necessary nutrient>
I guess of importance is also the fact that I have no other inverts in the tank, these would be the only ones, so there shouldn't be too large of a draw on the water. I know when I had clams, they sucked the calcium out of the water like nobody's business, but for this tank these two cleaners would be the only inverts grabbing their shell building material out of the water.
<To a much smaller degree as you'll find>
Any help you can provide would be great!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cleaner shrimp essentials 8/1/11

Great, thanks. I'll read up a little more. I did poke around for quite a while and used the search feature, I couldn't find anything (probably my fault) on the specifics of what a cleaner shrimp would need. I'll get the test kits for Ca, Mg and Alk. I don't currently have them, all I test for now is pH about once a month just to make sure and then salinity with a refractometer.
<Ahh, these tests/variables will serve you well... to maintain proper conditions, as well as a springboard for your further edification, enjoyment in the interest>
I'll also look and see what you guys recommend for feeding, I've had cleaner shrimps in the past in my reef tank and never specifically fed anything for them, they seemed to always thrive and produce eggs.
<There is sufficient forage in well-set up and maintained systems for most all livestock>
<Cheers, BobF>

Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis -- 12/15/09
Good day crew,
I am experiencing problems acclimating skunk cleaner shrimp to my tank. All tank parameters are fine except for nitrate being around ten. Also tested for copper. My first batch of three were flown in personally by me from Singapore and made it in good condition. Temperature acclimated them for half an hour.
<Mmm, a critically important question. Did you measure/check for both pH and nitrogenous (ammonia, nitrite) issues?>
But on drip acclimating them over a period of an hour and then releasing them in the tank, they initially climbed all over the rocks then just dropped to the floor lifeless ! I reasoned that the acclimation was too short. Then I got one specimen flown over from Sri Lanka. This was acclimated for two hours. Was alive for maybe half an hour and then again died ! What am I doing wrong ?
<Likely didn't measure for reduced (in transit) pH, nor ammonia... the rapid (yes) change to normal seawater values... caused the ammonia to poison/toxify the shrimp. Actually very common where aquatic livestock is
"bagged" for hours>
I really want to keep these alive in my tank. Please do advice. And is it possible they are perishing due to netting them and hence exposing them to air for a few seconds ?
<Mmm, no; not likely>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/HighInvertInd.htm
scroll down... the few FAQs files on Shrimp Health
Bob Fenner>

Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis JustinN's indept. reply-- 12/16/2009
Good day crew,
<Hello Blesson! JustinN here!>
I am experiencing problems acclimating skunk cleaner shrimp to my tank. All tank parameters are fine except for nitrate being around ten.
<Actual numbers here would be beneficial -- may be an imbalance somewhere..>
Also tested for copper. My first batch of three were flown in personally by me from Singapore and made it in good condition. Temperature acclimated them for half an hour. But on drip acclimating them over a period of an
hour and then releasing them in the tank, they initially climbed all over the rocks then just dropped to the floor lifeless !
<Oh dear>
I reasoned that the acclimation was too short.
<Is possible, but not my likely guess>
Then I got one specimen flown over from Sri Lanka. This was acclimated for two hours. Was alive for maybe half an hour and then again died !
<Definitely something wrong here>
What am I doing wrong ? I really want to keep these alive in my tank.
Please do advice. And is it possible they are perishing due to netting them and hence exposing them to air for a few seconds ?
<Not likely to be the problem here.>
Thanks in advance for your help.
<It sounds to me like there is either an undetectable/untestable toxin within the water, or perhaps iodine deficiency. The iodine seems far less likely to me, due to the fact that the duration is so quick -- I would expect an iodine issue to manifest closer to time for a molt. Please do provide a full breakdown of your tank parameters -- perhaps there's a clue lying there? -JustinN>

Re Acclimating Lysmata amboinensis... RMF interregnum 12/16/2009
Good day Bob,
I have actually read all the files pertaining to shrimp and am sort of confused about the different techniques for acclimation.
<Let's see if we can reduce your confusion here>
I agree it is a mistake on my part for not checking the ph on arrival. If it is reduced what am I to do ?
<Match it in the acclimation, drip water... and after a few volumes of this has been "run over" (i.e. spilled to waste, to dilute the nitrogenous metabolites), allow system pH water to be slowly blended/mixed in>
Is the use of dilute Hydrochloric acid necessary as mentioned in the Guerrilla technique ?
<Mmm, actually, better to use a "less strong" acid like sodium biphosphate (common ingredient in freshwater pH adjusting products) or an organic acid like acetic/vinegar>
Or should I just employ a longer acclimation ?
<Mmm, no>
Maybe over an entire day after discarding bag water as quickly as possible.
I also read something mentioned in the FAQs about poking pin holes in the bag and letting it float in the tank, this is supposed to mix water very slowly. Is this a viable technique with regards to my situation.
<No. Best not to add shipping water to your main display>
I am kind of nervous on ever attempting to keep another specimen after killing four ! Thanks for all the effort in trying to help me out. Blesson.
<Does the protocol above make sense to you? Imagine that aquatic life (including fishes) when in their shipping bags have about the same concentration of metabolites in their blood streams et al. as the water tests for in the bag/s... They can't take the sudden change (in pH in particular) with these materials present... So, time needs to go by with matched pH water (with not metabolites in it) diluting the bag water, allowing the animals to flush out the metabolites from their systems...
After this is done (by serial dilution) slowly raising the pH back up is done ahead of adding them to "normal" system water. BobF>

Re: Acclimation of Lysmata amboinensis -- 12/16/2009
Good day Justin,
<Hello again Blesson!>
This mail was already replied to by Bob. He reasoned that pH difference and accumulation of metabolites within the bag to a toxic state while slow drip acclimation to be the problem.
<A very reasonable assumption here -- that's why he's the man.>
Anyways these are my parameters :
Sp.gr 1.024
Temp constant at 25 c
Ph 8.1
Alk 8 dKH
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
Phosphate 0
Calcium 440
Cu 0
Trace elements including Iodine are dosed on a regular basis
<As a side note, I'd personally up the salinity to the 1.026 range, but otherwise looks great. Glad that Bob was able to help you -- I would agree with his assertions completely. Cheers! -JustinN>

Re: Acclimating Lysmata amboinensis, and CP trtmt. 12/16/2009
Hi Bob,
Thanks a lot, that cleared up almost everything.
<Ahh; clarity is pleasurable>
When I adjust the ph upwards with the system water, how slow should this be done ?
Over how many hours ?
How slowly should I drip the ph adjusted water into the bag water ?
<An hour per full pH point is about right... as a medical student, earnest academic I am sure you appreciate the order of magnitude in Hydrogen ion content, the implications here>
And one last question. Three weeks back you had suggested I use Chloroquine phosphate to treat my fish which showed symptoms of both Crypt and Amyloodinium. Since my qt is not big enough I had to separate the fish into
two batches as I am leaving the display fallow. Most of them are treated in the qt whereas the yellow tang and the cleaner wrasse are treated in a large inert plastic tub. Everything was going on fine until suddenly the water in the container has turned deep yellow about a day back ! Its almost impossible to see the fish and the Tang keeps trying to jump out. What is this due to ?
<A over simplistic jargonistic statement but: "Metabolite interactions"...
Best to...>
Already did a partial water change. Should I go with another larger change and replenish the medicine or not ?
<Change most all the water and re-new the medicine to full concentration.

Odd Lysmata amboinensis Deaths, poisoning 11/6/09
Greetings! I have now lost my 6th Scarlet cleaner shrimp for and unknown reason. For starters my system specs: 120 gallon system with Rena canister filter and an aqua remora protein skimmer with a large pump. My tank contains 175-200 pounds of live, well cured rock and 5 clay pots of various sizes. I have three fish, a 7-8 inch unicorn tang ( not of the Vlamingi type) a two inch Sailfin tang, and a 5 inch gold stripe maroon clownfish.
None of my fish that I have ever had nor the ones I currently have ever showed any aggression towards the little shrimp. I have never purchased adult sized shrimp nor very small shrimp. Usually around the 1 inch
measurement ( usually a bit larger). My water quality is excellent and feather dusters do very well. I feed my fish Spectrum Thera +A and Mysis shrimp and Spirulina algae every two-three days. I feed them so long as the feeding session lasts 5 minutes then they're done. Every single shrimp has always cleaned and
eaten well. Here's the catch, I've never found any remains and they all last 3-4 days before vanishing into murky water (pardon the pun). The only chemical I put into my aquarium is purple up on a regular basis and
ChemiClean when necessary.
<Either one of these... Likely the Algicide...>
I keep up weekly water changes and filter media changing. If you have a remedy to my expensive problem, my fish and I would be ever so grateful!
<I wouldn't use the Algicide, nor likely the coralline booster product/s.
See WWM re both, and Hippolytid Health FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Shrimps Dying 7/14/09
Dear WWW crew
Hope you can help me
<Will try.>
Over the course of 3 weeks, I have lost all my shrimps (3 Lysmata debelius and 2 Lysmata amboinensis) I have had them all for more than 2 years.
<Were they being fed a few times per day. Most shrimp identified as cleaners will consume one another to a degree, if a lack of alternate food or cover exists. Any sudden change of pH and/or salinity can also be
detrimental to their health.>
I started to check my water, and the only thing out of order were nitrates that were at 10. Everything else checked out at 0. Salinity 1.025.
I have a little bit of Cyanobacteria. Today I bought a Lysmata debelius and it died almost instantly, when it went into my tank. What is going on?
Temperature is at 27.5 degrees. I am a bit puzzled, and I am almost tearing my (remaining) hair out.
<Did you drip acclimate this shrimp? As above, sudden changes in pH/salinity..... Do read/search here for more help.
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
<Great country, have been in Copenhagen (enjoyed Tripoli Gardens) and other cities years ago. >

Re Shrimps Dying 7/16/09
Hi James
I have been dosing some iodine, but not on a regularly basis, it has been more sporadic. Ca is at 300 and Mg at 1220, could that have any effect? My Ca is usually between 300-350.
<Not directly, but best to keep Ca at 400ppm and Mg at 1280-1300 or somewhere close to that.>
You mentioned food (in another mail) Do you think that cold have been the culprit?
<Based on what you have told me, I'm thinking it is likely the major reason. Do dose iodine on a weekly basis, shrimp in good health generally molt on a monthly basis.>
Of course that doesn`t explain why the new Debelius I bought died.
<I believe we are on another train here. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s I have only been to the States once. In 2000 my wife and I went on a 3 week holiday. Driving around the states of California, Arizona, Nevada and a little bit of Utah. The Californian coastline is so dramatic and beautiful. It was a great holiday.
<Never been to any of those states, but do agree with you on the California coast line. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
<Hello Michael>
Thanks for your reply
<You're welcome.>
I did drip acclimate the shrimp, over the course of an hour, but I did notice toward the end that it seemed to be struggling, so I rushed it into the tank.
I started to think if there was something seriously wrong with my water. I added a couple of hermit crabs to today (Calcinus elegans) they seem to be doing fine.
<Much hardier than the shrimp.>
About a month ago I added some new substrate to the tank, but it wasn`t much. Could that have anything to do with it?
I did another test of pH. the first one was done one Sunday. Today it reads 8.5. That is a bit high is it not?
<No, not alarming, could be the test kit.>
I used to do weekly water changes, but stopped doing it by the beginning of March, on the basis of some advice I received. I wonder if that had an effect?
<Would have. Shrimp need to molt to survive/grow and iodine is needed to do this. Have you been dosing iodine/iodide?>
Thanks for your help
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
P.s So you have been to Tivoli Garden that is indeed a wonderful place
<Yes, very peaceful atmosphere. Did shoot across to Norway also, liked that too. People were so helpful/friendly.
Food and bier wasn't too bad either.>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/15/09
Hi James
I have never fed my shrimps intentionally. But I have been cutting down on feeding over the last couple of months to avoid overfeeding.
<Not good. Likely that food availability on the live rock diminished with time and your shrimp slowly starved to death.
Supplemental feeding is required for survival. Personally, I use a pellet type food and they do not waste any time getting to it.
Too many folks think these type critters can survive on whatever they find and this is not the case in our systems. In a moderately stocked tank, there isn't going to be too much food left for scavenging.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Shrimps Dying 7/19/09
Hi James
Thanks (again) for your reply. so why do you think that the "new" shrimp died?
<Could be from handling/bagging, acclimation, etc..>
Also if I start to do water changes regularly again (which I am considering). Would enough iodine from that be sufficient?
<On average, natural seawater contains .064ppm of iodine, not much, is it? In that regard, I would dose weekly with iodine as I have no information on how much iodine is present in various salt mixes. Standard mixes likely contain none, while some reef mixes may provide a small amount equal to natural seawater. You may want to read the iodine FAQ's here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Michael Fick
P.S Go and visit those states someday, the landscape is absolutely amazing. And you got to see places like Bryce Canyon, which in a way is even more fantastic than Grand Canyon.
<Yes, I plan on it someday. My daughter moved to Arizona and is always wanting us to move there, sooo, the day
may come.>

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


Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp/Reproduction 3/5/09 Hello all of the WWM crew, <Hello Eli> first off allow me to say what an absolutely amazing site you have going here and that it has been an invaluable asset to me and I'm sure many others in the past! And i <Please cap "i's" in future queries.> have two pretty short questions for you that I would appreciate your input on. I currently have a 30 gallon reef setup water parameters are perfect, there are about 35-40 lbs of LR and the inhabitants include 2 Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp and 1 Coral Beauty. Now <i> recently added the two cleaners at the same time and <i> know that when they are in a group of two that one will usually change sex to become the mate of the other so I just wanted to know if u <you> could give me a time frame of how long that would take and when I could start seeing some shrimp babies around my tank to help feed my Coral Beauty? Also I wanted to know if there were any Butterflyfishes that would be suitable for the environment I have running. It would be the last addition to that aquarium aside from more shrimp or hermits. Thanks in advance for any help u <you> give me. <Lysmata amboinensis (Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp) are hermaphroditic spawners and all members of a mature group produce eggs which are fertilized by another egg producing member within the group. They do not change sex. As far as when to expect eggs, will all depend on water quality and nutrition. Upon spawning, you will observe light green colored eggs in the finlets situated below the carapace of Cleaner Shrimp. In regards to keeping a butterfly fish, your tank is too small for successfully keeping one. Do read here. http://www.breedersregistry.org/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm> Best regards to an outstanding site! <Thank you. James (Salty Dog)> Eli

Lysmata amboinensis, Lysmata debelius.- compatibility/behavior 01/23/09 Hello crew, good day to you. It's me again...with another question for you. Seems like I am constantly worrying about my tank. I have 2 skunk cleaner shrimps that are well acclimated, and both are pregnant. <These animals are almost continuously pregnant (especially when there are males about-- as I'm sure there likely were where you got them).> They used to love crawling all over my rockwork, but recently, they just hang ON my Clavularia at the corner of my tank. <This is normal... they picked a spot they like, and now they'll likely stay there unless they find a spot they like better.> They started doing this when they both decide to get pregnant. My Clavularia looks disturbed by their incessant crawling! Both shrimps are fine, feeding, cleaning, basically, normal. However, it is quite weird to see them just hanging on my Clavularia and wonder when they are going to continue exploring the tank like before. <They might not ever start doing this again (unless you rearrange the tank or add new live stock that disturbs things).> I hope there is nothing wrong with them, like, psychologically. <nope> Also, I have a Blood fire shrimp, that I recently acquired from a fellow reefer. All he does is hide hide hide behind rocks and crevices, and I do not even see him at all! <Again... is normal.> Not in the day or night! It is a little bit disappointing as I was attracted to this shrimp due to its intense red and white colouration. Now all I see are its antennae sticking out of the rock..Ok, one last quick question. I have bought a Yasha goby and a Randall's pistol shrimp as a pair, and a diagonal high fin goby and a tiger pistol shrimp separately. After introduction into the tank, the high fin goby and the Randall's pistol shrimp paired. The tiger pistol shrimp and the Yasha goby are both separated, but hiding in individual holes. Will the Yasha and the tiger eventually pair up? - Regards, Kai <I don't know... maybe. You'll have to wait and see. :-) Best, Sara M.>

Lysmata shrimps, SARA.M 01/23/09 Hi Mrs. Sara, <Hehe... Mrs.? Not after Feb.10... will be back to Ms. ::sigh::> appreciate your reply regarding my shrimps :) I can start to see my fire shrimp peeking out of his hidey hole now haha. Hopefully he will showoff his pretty carapace ;) Also, bought 3 US Zoanthids today.. Excellent colours and even better, got them at a steal. US zoos are much better than those from Indonesia IMO. <Really? I thought they were pretty much all from the Indo-Pacific. Or, are you referring to captive propagated ones?> Once again, really appreciate your help. Thanks again! <De nada> Regards, Kai, And here in Singapore, we are celebrating the Chinese lunar new year. HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR WETWEBMEDIA :) <And to you! Sara M.>

Sara and my Lysmata 01/24/09 Haha! They are called US zoos everywhere I go, I'm not sure why. The polyps are smaller.. and more colourful!! :) Sorry to hear about Feb 10 =( All the best to you and hope you live happily =)Regards -Kai Happy year of the Ox! <Ah... my mom's year/sign! I'm the less exciting, but compatible rooster. ;-P Cheers, Sara M.>

Lysmata and Sara 01/23/09 Hehe, Hi again Sara, thanks for all ur help thus far. Sorry if you find it offensive I associate your name with a Lysmata shrimp :) <Oh, no, of course not... they are beautiful shrimp.> But hey, you are helpful, and so are they. Anyway haha, I have one last question. I currently have a fire shrimp, Lysmata debelius, in my tank. Will adding another one cause aggression? Is it possible to add another one? Thanks once again. Regards - Kai I love lemons. <They are non-aggressive towards their own kind. However, they do sometimes go after/attack/chase cleaner shrimp. Right now your cleaner shrimp out number your one fire shrimp, so maybe that's why they're doing ok all together. If you add another fire shrimp, who knows what might happen? I'd proceed with caution.... Cheers, Sara M.>

Lysmata saranensis :) 01/25/09 Hehe hello Sara! Thanks for all the help and wisdom you have planted into my head. <my pleasure> I will add another fire shrimp, but will monitor the behaviour towards my other cleaner shrimps. Right now, the 2 L. amboinensis have staked their claim to a piece of rock, covered with Clavularia on the extreme right end of the tank. Don't think they are going anywhere soon. My blood fire shrimp is nowhere in sight today, so I am assuming it is hiding in some cave.... Hopefully, the 2 fire shrimps will find a home for themselves somewhere on the left or middle of the tank, and ignore the 2 cleaner shrimps. <Is possible/likely... maybe not together, but they will likely each find their own little niche.> Ty for your time and effort Sara, I wish you all the best. Regards- Kai, your number one fan <Heheee! Cheers, Sara M.>

And then there were two. Lysmata hlth. 8/18/08 Dear Crew, <Rich> I think one of my Lysmata amboinensis died last night. Here are the details. The tank is 6 months old with two tank bred Amphiprion percula for 4 months (after 2wks in QT), two Nemateleotris magnicifica for 3 weeks (after QT 3wks), and three tank bred L. amboinensis for a week (after QT 2wks) until today, I think. It is a 72 gal bowfront with a 10 gal sump, <I bet both of us wish this was larger> about 80 lbs of live rock, and a skimmer. When I looked in this morning, it looked like one of the shrimp was trying to hide in a small space between the rock and sand substrate. He was not moving. I figured he had molted and was trying to hide because there were pieces of exoskeleton scattered in the tank. <Very likely so then> Molting had occurred before and none of the shrimp had ever tried to hide. <Mmm, do "naturally"> An hour or two later, the body was floating around near the substrate. I thought there might have been more molting because the eyes and dark internal gut parts were gone, but when I removed this piece from the tank, there was muscle/meat in the tail and the tail coloration was bright red unlike a molted exoskeleton. In addition, there was more skimmate than usual. <Good observations, relating> I'm pretty certain he's dead although we'll see if he crawls out of the rock in the next few days. Assuming he doesn't, this begs the question. why? <A few regular possibilities> Tank parameters today are stable: 80F, 1.022, <Mmm, really too low... s/b 1.025-6> pH 8.2, Ca 380 ppm, KH 196.9 ppm, <Mg... and its proportionality with Ca?> and zero ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. All remaining livestock are eating well and acting normally. One of the remaining shrimp is a little larger and carrying eggs. She will push the other shrimp out of the way, but could she actually kill another shrimp? <Could, yes> This seems unlikely although I imagine she nibbled on the presumed deceased. Will these shrimp attack a freshly molted comrade? <Can, yes> I have a hard time believing there is an intruder in the rock because I haven't noticed any evidence with the other fish or the shrimp when molting has occurred before. The only other possible source I can imagine is some parasite or contaminant in the SF Bay Frozen Cyclops I feed them. I alternate this with Spectrum dried pellets. If the frozen food is the culprit, are there any ways to avoid unwanted contaminants? <Not the food> Any idea what happened to my shrimp? <Perhaps just "bad genes"...> Of note, at least one of them was accidentally exposed to air three weeks ago when I was acclimating them. <Perhaps a stress element> Since I have your attention, I have a couple other questions. First, how long should I dip fish in methylene blue? <Posted... generally not much more benefit past about five minutes immersion> I used the Kordon Methylene Blue preparation for all the fish mentioned so far. The manufacture recommends no longer than 10 seconds. This is supposed to make 50 ppm. <I'd bath for longer> For the clowns and Firefish, I did so, but I tried 3 minutes for my most recent arrival, a royal Gramma. I thought it was ok as long as there was no evidence of distress. He rolled onto his side. I didn't use an airstone, but a standard 5 gallon bucket with only an inch or two of solution. However, he didn't look good for hours after being placed in the QT where he is now. At first, he was gulping for air at the surface, nearly jumping out of the covered tank. <Typical behavior> Then, he just rolled on to his side and breathed very deeply then very shallow for most of the night. <Ditto> Today, he's more active although we just started working on feeding. He'll QT for 4 weeks. All my livestock fed well in the store and were acclimated prior to QT, the shrimp with a drip. My last question is about stocking. I plan to finish my piscine roll call <Neat> with either a Centropyge bispinosa or a Centropyge loricula. I realize I'm probably done after this, but I wondered if you could render an opinion about adding a Sand Sifting Star to the tank after all the fish are in. What do you think? <I wouldn't... for the reasons archived... on WWM> Oh one more. can a shrimp molt while carrying eggs? <Mmm, no... not w/o losing the eggs> Thanks very much for your time and all the work that goes into this site. Rich <As you know, a pleasure to share, learn thereby. Bob Fenner>

Lysmata amboinensis, beh. 11/4/07 Crew, This is not really much of a question but more of an observation. My Lysmata (pacific scarlet cleaner shrimp) stops eating for a day or two prior to molt. Then after a day eats from my hand. Also a week prior it's antennae start to turn red. Is the red thing normal? <Yes. Good observations. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Nick

Lone L. amboinensis With Eggs????? Yep. -- 06/07/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Debbie, Mich here.> I have had this one shrimp since around February... all by itself in my ten gallon. How can it be carrying eggs? <Will produce eggs if conditions are favorable, but the eggs won't be fertile.> That's my first question. Second question: Being a small tank my main concern is water quality once those eggs are released. There are no fish. Would sun corals sense the larval shrimp, open and feed? <Likely so.> It's a 10 gallon tank with Xenia and Briareum, attached is a 6 gallon refugium with Chaeto. (My sun corals are in another tank but could easily be moved in here if the larval shrimp would benefit them.) <Yes, they would likely enjoy the treat.> Thanks, <Welcome! Mich> (A confused...) Debbie

L. amboinensis with eggs... afterthought -- 06/07/07 Hello, <Hi Debbie, Mich here again.> Sorry for the extra email. <No worries.> Are they difficult to raise? <Mmm, not necessarily.> I will do research on the internet on raising shrimp but can you recommend any books for reading on that subject? <There is a book by April Kirkendoll titled "How To Raise & Train Your Peppermint Shrimp" which you may find helpful. Also see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm > Thank you again, <Welcome!> Regards, Debbie

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

How many cleaner shrimp - 10/07/03 What is the absolute minimum tank size a skunk cleaner shrimp can be kept in? <Well, I have seen them in various tanks with as few as 7 gallons (not recommended)> ... and how big do they grow? <Up to 2 1/2 inches in captivity. Here is some information I found from a great many of sources (try Calfo and Fenner's new book "Reef Invertebrates"): " The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is also known as the Indo-Pacific White-Banded Cleaner Shrimp, Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp, and Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp. It may also be called the Red Skunk Cleaner Shrimp because of the very distinct two bright red stripes surrounding one white stripe running down its back. There are two species usually referred to as striped cleaner shrimp, the L. amboinensis with white spots at the end of the tail and, from the Atlantic, the L. grabhami that has no spots. The L. amboinensis is one of the most popular shrimp for the home aquarium. Often found in groups, this Cleaner Shrimp will set up a cleaning station on coral reefs or rubble, waiting for fish to come and be cleaned. It feeds on ectoparasites or dead tissue that it picks from the body and oral cavities/gills of these fish (e.g.; Tangs or Groupers) in the wild or in the aquarium. This also helps to protect the fish from contracting diseases and infections. Many fish value its services so highly that they will allow it to clean the inside of their mouths, and not harm it. Some fish, though, such as Hawkfish, Lionfish, and some predatory shrimp and crabs may eat the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. It will not tolerate copper or high levels of nitrates in the aquarium, but will require correct levels of iodine in the water to promote proper molting. In the aquarium, the diet can include freeze dried, frozen, and dry foods. It is recommend no more than 2 per 50 gallons of tank.">

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleaner shrimp escapes powerhead intake! Hi Bob & Crew, <Hi! Ananda here this morning....> I just found my cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) stuck in the intake of a powerhead. I turned the pump off and the shrimp scuttled off under the rocks. He's come out since and looks OK, touch wood. <Indeed. I've heard of creatures going through powerheads... not a pretty sight.> My question is this : do you think the shrimp will be smart enough to avoid the powerhead in the future? <Goodness, no...if it has happened once, it is likely to happen again, eventually.> If not I'll try to place a foam baffle of something in front of the intakes. <If you have a bio-ball, that would work and would not require cleaning as frequently as foam. Also check the pile-o-stuff that came with the powerhead -- the ones I have include a grid-like cover for the intake.> Many thanks for your continuing efforts on Wet Web Media - it's a fantastic resource for learning and research. John Kellett <And many thanks to you for your kind words. --Ananda>

Pacific Cleaner Shrimp eggs Bob, I think my two Pacific Cleaner Shrimp are carrying eggs in their swimmers (swimmerets?). Clusters of tiny round eggs. Is this really what's going on? Can I expect any new shrimp out of this? <<Very likely are eggs, maybe some young you can save... food culture, system preparation is necessary... take a look at the articles stored on the genus Lysmata through www.breedersregistry.com Bob Fenner>>

Eggs I have a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) that is holding eggs. This is the only shrimp in the tank. I read that they are hermaphrodites. Is it possible that the eggs are fertile. Could you please give me any information that would be helpful in rearing the young. Thank you, Connie Wehler <<Hmm, interesting topic... Well... Lysmata spp. shrimps are hermaphroditic (both functional sexes in one individual), but they are "synchronous" versus simultaneous hermaphrodites... that is sequentially males turning into females. And don't think they can/do self-fertilize... but, this is where the whole situation may make sense yet, these animals can store a "sperm packet" from mating some months back... Otherwise, these eggs may prove to be infertile... You might want to consider adding a small(er) individual or even more... if your system size will accommodate them... Bob Fenner>>

Cleaner shrimp Bob- Which Cleaner Shrimp do you prefer: Pacific Cleaner Shrimp or Scarlet Cleaner? Rob <<The Pacific (Lysmata amboinensis) over the more expensive L. debelius (Scarlet, as in O'Hara)... the former is cheaper and hardier sez me. Bob Fenner>>

Cleaner Shrimp Question Bob, Can you tell me a positive way to tell the Indo-Pacific Cleaner Shrimps from the Atlantic variety? <Of the genus Lysmata? Yes... differences shown, link provided to more... on the Cleaner shrimp files, FAQs... on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> I had one cleaner shrimp in my tank and decided to buy a second so they would possibly produce fry for fish and coral food. I am suspect as to whether the two that I have are actually the same species. The only difference between the two of them is the coloration on their tail. I have read on several web sites that the Indo-Pacific variety has the inverted "T" at the base of the tail and the Atlantic variety is supposed to have the white stripe go all the way from head to the end of the tail. I am assuming that the Atlantic variety is not supposed to have the inverted "T". Is that correct? <Yes...> I have been looking for pictures of both of the species on the Internet to try and find a definite answer, but all of the pictures I have found look the same or don't show the tail area good enough for a positive identification. <See our site or Baensch Marine Atlas v.1...> Also, if one is Indo-Pacific and the other is Atlantic will they still mate or did I just waste my money? <They will not produce viable young as far as I'm aware... you may want to posit your question to the folks at "The Breeder's Registry" as well... link on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help. Chad N.

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question I have seen the pictures on the " http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cleaner.htm" age on your site. However, it appears as if both pictures of the cleaner shrimps on that page have the inverted "T" shape at the base of the tail and start of the tail fin. That is what's confusing me. And yes we are talking about Lysmata cleaners. Thank you for your fast response! <Sorry to seem so daft... but is this Lysmata grabhami and L. amboinensis you're trying to discern? And the telson markings shown on the above link unclear? Or are you sorting through wurdemanni et al. from the tropical Western Atlantic... and something like californica from the Pacific? Bob Fenner, still jet-lagged from yesterday night>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question Yes I am trying to discern Lysmata grabhami and L. amboinensis. The markings on that link are at least unclear to me anyway. It appears in the picture as if both species have the inverted "T" mark where the tail and tail fin meet. I had assumed that grabhami was not supposed to have the "T" mark, but it looks as if it does in that picture. <Ah... Hmm, perhaps I should suggest stressing the markings on the "tail" itself... notice the four distinct white dots on L. amboinensis... and connected "U"s on the tail of L. grabhami? This is definitive difference and one easily seen. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cleaner Shrimp Question Thank you very much. That's what I was afraid of. I was hoping it was only a matter of whether the "T" shape was present at the end of the tail (before the telson). But apparently that is not the case. Thanks for your help. I will try to return the one I bought today and find one that is a match for the one I already had. <Ah, good. Sorry again for the confusion. Do take a further look at the references listed on the "Cleaners" and "Shrimps", and "Cleaner Shrimps" files for more. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp Hi Bob, Over the past two weeks I've tried to keep two Pacific Cleaner Shrimps unsuccessfully. As soon as I would release them in to the tank, after acclimating them for about a hour they would land on one spot and sit there for about two hours and die. My pH, nitrite, and salinity are fine except my nitrate. Could this be the problem? If so could you tell me how to reduce the nitrate. Thanks <<Hmm, nitrates could be the problem... as could a myriad of biomineral and alkalinity causes... All can be addressed by the culture of some macro-algae in your system, and/or better in a connected sump/refugium... A constantly or reverse light photoperiod system to boost the algae growth will take up anomalous material, produce food, and make your overall water quality better... Do look into this possibility... among other ways by a long read through the pertinent parts stored on the site: Home Page Read up, and we'll be chatting. Bob Fenner>>

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

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

Shrimp molting I've had a Pacific Cleaner shrimp for about a month and a half. In that time it had molted twice. Is it normal for them to molt with such frequency? <<Not too unusual... given plenty of food, growth, and good "water quality"... Bob Fenner>>

Pregnant Cleaner Shrimp Mr. Fenner We just noticed hundreds of eggs on the legs of one of our cleaner shrimps last night. Can we purchase something from our LPS to try to save these eggs from being eaten by our other stock and if so what are the chances of actually getting some that live through the whole process. Much to relate... I would read over the Breeder's Registry here, and Tropic Marine Centre's accounts of their successful culture of Lysmata amboinensis (and even L. debelius)... their URL's on the WetWebMedia Links pages> Does this mean that the pregnant one is female and the other male, or can both sexes have babies? Do you have info on your website about this? We really want to try to breed them if we can, but we have no idea how far she is and when they will hatch as we just observed her "fanning" these eggs all night last night. It was the oddest thing to see and we were both very excited. Also, my ammonia is 0 but my fish still keep waking up with ich and then it disappears within the first 10 minutes of feeding and does not show back up until either 8:30pm or when they wake up in the morning, any ideas (our ammonia was at .50 a few days ago, but have done many water changes to get it down to zero, we were over feeding. <Study my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Pregnant Cleaner Shrimp
Mr. Fenner My LPS has a little net type thing to put the shrimp in, is this cruel to lock her in a net (I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know what it looks like. <Not just cruel, but won't work...> Also (I haven't looked at your link yet but I intend to), do I put both male and female shrimp in net as the male has been heavily guarding her and chasing away anyone that comes near. And do I remove them once the eggs hatch? Are there books we can buy on this? Or will our attempts be futile due to the other tank inhabitants(6 fish, crabs, peppermint shrimps and snails) <All this answered where you were sent... Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp Question Bob, A little over a week ago, I purchased a Common Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis). He seems to be quite healthy and eating well, but in the past day or two he seems to be hiding more than he was originally (although he's still not very reclusive). At the same time the parts of his body which were previously fairly white have turned a yellowish tint. Is he getting ready to molt or do you think he had molted shortly before I bought him or might something else be wrong?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Again for your help, Phil in San Diego <Very likely just pre-molt behavior and coloration. Please do read through the Cleaner Shrimp FAQs for others experiences: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnshrpf.htm Bob Fenner>

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

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

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

REFUGIUM FLOW & OTHER QUESTIONS Crew, <Hi John> Definitely appreciate the support you guys do for the hobby every day! <As the newest member on here, I'm continually amazed at the people I am honored to work with> I read your site pretty continuously to keep up to date & learn as much as I can. <Very nice.> I have a few, somewhat unrelated questions that I've spooled up that I couldn't find direct answers to on your site (or are specific to my setup). My setup is a 120 gal (4'x2'x2') FOWLR with 180# LR. The tank's been established 6 years with improvements made over time (upgrade to 520W of PC lights, LR addition, added refugium, upgraded skimmer, etc.). Water params are 1.024 salinity, 8.4 PH, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrates, 4.0 Alk, 450 calcium. Stocked w/ Emperor Angel (5yrs in tank), Regal Blue tang, Foxface, flame angel, lawnmower blenny, cleaner shrimp & numerous snails/hermits. Here's my questions: - Refugium GPH? I've got a 15gal refugium with Miracle Mud, a couple different types of Caulerpa, hermits, snails & some small frags of LR in-line via 2" pvc with my wet/dry sump. Skimmer & UV pull from the sump & empty in the front chamber of the fuge. Due to room constraints, my Iwaki pump (a little over 2000gph) is at the end of the refugium returning to the display tank. Yes, the water is seriously flowing through the fuge, but everything looks great in there & water params have improved over the months since it's introduction. <Nice to hear.> We are moving to a new house & I'll have a room dedicated to my sump/filters, so I have the opportunity to optimally adjust plumbing. <Wonderful, I am jealous.> I'm thinking of changing the setup to have my Iwaki return pull from the sump, skimmer pull & dump back into the sump, and have my UV pump (250 gph) pull from the last chamber of my fuge & return to the sump. This would lower my fuge gph more in line with what I think most would recommend? <It would definitely take the flow amount down.> I'm struggling having my UV pull from the sump due to killing off some of the "beneficials" exiting the fuge vs. a separate/dedicated pump. <I have to say honestly I think you would loose a lot of the benefit that you are gaining from the refugium. Personally I would consider going with a dedicated pump.> The dedicated pump drawback is that in the summer, my temps are 81-82 & adding another pump would probably increase the heat. <I see what your concern is but I think it might be worth the addition of a small fan or two to take care of the additional heat problem.> Your thoughts? FYI - the 15gal has made such a difference that in the new setup, I'm going to eventually add another 30 gal refugium to increase the overall health of the system (either extended off the 15gal or on the other side of the sump). <I'm a major proponent of refugiums. I have seen them make a huge difference on many peoples tanks.> -Reducing Caulerpa in refugium? My Caulerpa is going gang busters & I need to cut it down. <Ah a common problem. Let me just caution you, if your Caulerpa is going gangbusters there's more to the story than that. There's LOTS feeding the Caulerpa, usually phosphates and that can be a problem.> What's the best way? <I can tell you my method. Every couple of weeks I climb up on a step ladder and just pull out Caulerpa. I don't take scissors, I just pull it out. Usually it comes out in specific bunches at a time, and I'm lucky I have a distributor who I sell it to and he sells it to stores.> Actually remove several of the plants or prune the excess? <When I pull sometimes it does take out whole plants but usually it takes bits and pieces of the plants and it seems to be natural places it is ready to split. Let me warn you if you see anything in the Caulerpa turning white pull the entire plant.> I think pruning would be easier, but I think I remember hearing that cutting Caulerpa can sometimes cause degradation of the whole plant? Also, when removing it, should I place some in the display for food or flush it to eliminate the extra nutrients/nitrates in the whole system? <I always put some in my tank for the tangs to eat and they devour it. But it does release some of the nutrients and yes nitrates back into the tank. Lots of people just toss the entire plant. One thing I always try to do is make sure I have at least some of each type of grass or Caulerpa I have in my refugium still there.> -Refugium lighting? What's better ... alternate lighting with display or 24/7? <Lots of people use the 24/7 because it keeps the ph higher and prevents the Caulerpa from going sexual.> I've heard arguments for both. 24/7 is what I'm doing, but it is probably not the best for the snails/hermits. With alternate lighting I run the risk of the Caulerpa going sexual, right? <If you do proper culling you won't have problems with it going sexual but both methods work.> Any preference? Probably don't use Caulerpa & go alternate, right? <I know lots of people who use grasses instead of Caulerpa. Personally my refugium has a mix of both the grasses and the Caulerpas.> -Clown for BTA? Probably my last fish to this tank will be a clown. I know the maroon is the natural fit for BTA's, but I really prefer true Perc's (looks & less aggressive). I've always known true Percs to inhabit a lot of anemones outside of the natural selections. However, I just personally have never seen true Percs in a tank with BTA's. What's your thoughts on the pairing/selection? <I have not seen true Percs take to a BTA but others have. I know my black Perculas from Australia totally ignore it.> BTW - I've only had the BTA 6 months and it's almost doubled in size from the LFS, only wandered the first night & I believe has increased it's color intensity. The only set back was a 6 hour power outage last week that resulted in a 25 gal water loss (painful lesson - unclean check valve<OUCH>) that I had to replace with hastily made up salt mix (RO water already made, but not salt). Better of 2 evils I thought - quick mix water vs. airstones/powerheads dropped in display. The BTA did shrink after the outage & only recently has made it to close to pre-outage size. <Lately the skunk clowns appeal to me and I know they will go to a BTA. Just a different idea.> Not a question, but interesting comment. I just introduced my Flame angel & cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) to my display after a month in quarantine. The cleaner never touched the flame in QT - probably due to the fact that they're almost the same size. However, I was really worried about my Emperor having a $40 cleaner snack. The Emperor knocks around any new snails/hermits that are introduced & hasn't seen a cleaner shrimp for at least 5 years (had her that long). <Wonderful> I killed the lights upon introduction & got the shrimp to go into a nice crevice. The Emperor showed immediate interest, despite the lights not being on. Tapping on the tank didn't push her away. I decided to intervene with my hand (algae scrapper didn't work) to make sure the cleaner was deep enough in the crevice that if the Emperor bite it would only get the antennae. Well, the Emperor moved up close (mouth first), the shrimp stepped right out (I thought it was it's last move) and it climbed right on the Emperor's head with no altercation. The Emperor was cleaned for an entire hour right there only 5 minutes after the shrimp was introduced! Today she has spent more time being cleaned (no lie - 6+ hours) than her usual free swimming. She's actually hounding the shrimp & keeping the tang & Foxface away - which both keep swimming in sideways into the area. The introduction of a 1.5" shrimp has completely changed the entire behavior of my whole tank. Really amazing hobby & animals! <Such a wonderful experience, thank you for sharing.> Sorry for the long mail. <Wonderful email and thank you so much for sharing all of this. Good luck, Mac> Thanks, John

Better Contact a University >Re: Lysmata amboinensis I need to find out what temperature ranges they can tolerate, and what diseases or parasites they are prone to or are know to be able to carry. >>Alright, "tropical" temps are best, in Fahrenheit that's going to be in the 74F-84F degree range, comfortably. Let me whip out my Palm with the new conversion calculator (freeware, thank you very MUCH!) to sort out this range in Celsius <tapping away on her Palm> and that would be from 23C - 28C. Wow! I LOVE freeware! >I live in Hobart Tasmania Australia, which is an Island State having very strict import controls, and any information I can find about Lysmata amboinensis will further my chances of being allowed to import a few. >>Aaahh.. well, unfortunately, there is indeed a real dearth of this information available to the hobbyist. I would contact some universities, there's one in Arizona that's done quite a bit of research on a couple of different Lysmata spp.'s, but don't expect too fast a response. Try some of the contacts on this page, too (seems to me that aquaculture facilities would have a great deal of experience with such things, yeah?) http://www.phone-soft.org/layout-3/cyber-world/make-frame.php3?framename=0876i.htm http://www.ecotao.com/holism/agric/aqua.htm http://cgi.botbot.com/dir/$/Business/Industries/AgricultureandForestry/Aquaculture/ http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/rs/ Best of luck! Marina >Cheers, Simon

Cleaner shrimp, Ammonia Hello, I have a 29 gallon tank with about 30-35 pounds of LR. I have had the setup for nearly 2 months and according to my nitrite tests, it is finished cycling. I have gotten rid of the damsels I had to help with the cycle and added a percula clown and a Firefish along with 2 large and 2 small turbo smalls and a few blue legged hermit crabs, (not including some stowaway snails and at least 1 crab in the LR). That's not overcrowded, right? <right> I recently noticed that my clown was developing Ick and since I don't have a QT ( soon to get one) I lowered SG raised the temp and even gave him a freshwater dip. He looked better for a while then the spots returned (I realize I'm treating the symptoms , not the cause). I then bought a indo-pacific cleaner shrimp the other day but the clown hasn't gone near it. Is there anything that I can do to entice the clown into recognizing the shrimp as a cleaner? Granted I have only had the shrimp for a few days. The clownfish is tank raised, so does that play a part? < Just give them time>Also, the ammonia is at about 0.25-0.15 ppm and a little concerned. I saw some contrasting points in your FAQ about this, so is it better to let my LR and bio filtration get used to the lessened bio load or should I do a water change, ( I do 10 percent changes weekly regardless since the tank cycled). One last thing, I was considering a royal Gramma and/or a coral beauty angel. What are your thought on that as far as compatibility with the live stock I have, bio load, etc. Love the site and the info is life saving. Thanks for any advice, Joshua Wells < If you have livestock in there you will want to lower the ammonia to zero ASAP. I would choose the Gramma over the angel as the angel will need more room than this and will probably terrorize the rest of the fish. Wait at least 3 weeks before adding anymore fish to let the system stabilize and to be sure and make sure the tank is Ick free. Cody>

Pacific Cleaner Shrimp Hi Bob, I was wanting to get a cleaner shrimp but before I did I wanted to ask you a couple of questions before I do. So my first question is how should you acclimate the cleaner shrimp into my tank. For example how long, should lights be off, <For the day, night that they're installed> those kind of things. And secondly should the amount of salinity in my tank be the same as the store's tank from where I got it from, to avoid shock in the shrimp. Thanks <Yes, important here... and then to be on guard to not change it too much too soon. I am in favor of a "drip" type of acclimation for these and most crustaceans, with the animals ultimately "poured" into the main system (not exposed to the air). Please see the "Acclimation" sections and FAQs and "Cleaner Shrimp" areas of our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for much more. No dips necessary or suggested. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner shrimp escapes powerhead intake! Hi Bob & Crew, <Hi! Ananda here this morning....> I just found my cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) stuck in the intake of a powerhead. I turned the pump off and the shrimp scuttled off under the rocks. He's come out since and looks OK, touch wood. <Indeed. I've heard of creatures going through powerheads... not a pretty sight.> My question is this : do you think the shrimp will be smart enough to avoid the powerhead in the future? <Goodness, no...if it has happened once, it is likely to happen again, eventually.> If not I'll try to place a foam baffle of something in front of the intakes. <If you have a bio-ball, that would work and would not require cleaning as frequently as foam. Also check the pile-o-stuff that came with the powerhead -- the ones I have include a grid-like cover for the intake.> Many thanks for your continuing efforts on Wet Web Media - it's a fantastic resource for learning and research. John Kellett <And many thanks to you for your kind words. --Ananda>

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