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FAQs about Pistol (including Goby) Shrimps, Systems

Related FAQs: Pistol Shrimp and Goby Biotopes, Pistol Shrimps 1Pistol Shrimps 2, Alpheid ID, Alpheid Behavior, Alpheid Compatibility, Alpheid Selection, Alpheid Feeding, Alpheid Disease, Alpheid Reproduction, & Shrimp Gobies, Shrimp Gobies 2, & Marine Shrimps 1, Marine Shrimps 3, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin 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: Alpheid Shrimps, Shrimp A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium by James W. Fatherree, Shrimp Gobies

Pest anemones may eat your shrimp

Shrimp goby pr. help, buried?     9/25/11
Hi I have a question I cannot find an answer to. Recently acquired a shrimp goby pair (Randall's). They have been fine and acting normally. Then I made a mistake of moving some coral, and without thinking, rearranged/dug some sand near their hole entrance. I have not seen either now for a couple of days. I am sure the shrimp is ok, but is it possible I have collapsed the tunnels onto the goby or trapped him in there somehow?
<Mmm, possibly crushed...>
if so what is the outlook? starting to worry, so any advice would be appreciated. thank Scott McCarthy
<I would move the corals, rock away from the area... hope for the best. IF alive, they will dig their way out in a few days. Bob Fenner>

Shaky rocks and motivated pistol shrimps! 01/11/2008 Hey crew, specifically Andrew... <<Hello Sean, Andrew here>> I was reading the daily FAQ's this afternoon (normal lunchtime routine!) and came across your conversation with Steve on his Jawfish/Pistol shrimp question. I had been thinking about the exact same thing, because I have had a pistol shrimp for the past year, and made the mistake of putting him into my tank (46g, 40 lbs of LR, 1.5" sandbed, basic setup) without adjusting my rock structure. 15 or 20 adjustments later, I think its probably solid, but he's a tenacious little bugger. <<HA.. yes they are, but are they not wonderful to watch?>> I'm in the process of setting up my new 65g tank with a 20g sump, and I wanted to put a 4" DSB throughout the bottom of the tank (not just outside of the rock structure). One thing I was wondering about was whether you think my rock structure would be solid enough (with the pistol shrimp excavating underneath) if I buried some LR in the sand, level to the top of the 4" sandbed, and then setup the LR on top of those "pillars". I figure my pistol shrimp will be able to move the sand out from between the pillars, but if I use rocks for the base that are stable enough, it shouldn't affect what's above it. You think? <<I would lay some egg crate on the base of the tank, and build the rock structure on top of that, THEN add the sand. Adding rock on top of sand with burrow dwellers or excavators will lead to a collapse eventually. In any given scenario, its never good to build the rock structure on top of sand, always leads to instability>> I want to have a Jawfish as well as the pistol shrimp eventually, which is why this one caught my eye today. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciate. <<Thoughts above. I think it makes for a wonderful viewing experience having two different excavators in the aquarium. Hope the above helps. Thanks for the questions. A Nixon>>

Pistol Shrimp Sand Question Thank you for your answer to my earlier compatibility question:) One more quick question......my sand bed is fairly new (1 month old)....I had a crushed coral substrate which I removed and changed to 100 pounds of South Down Tropical Play sand. To this I added 2-20 pound bags of Natures Ocean live sand and a detritivore kit. Is this type of substrate okay for the pistol shrimp? Does he need anything else in order to dig and make his burrows? Thanks.......Janey <Should be fine... have found Alpheids/Pistol Shrimps in all sorts of different substrates in the wild... They can/do modify, sort materials to suit themselves. Bob Fenner>

- Symbiotic Gobies and Circulation - Hi Crew!! <Hello, JasonC here...> First off, I have been reading TONS on your site and have learned an incredible amount.  I read something today that has me concerned, regarding water flow and soft corals.  I have a small (2-3") brown star polyp colony in my tank.  The water motion in their present location is mostly in one direction.  I can put them almost anywhere in my tank, which would mean potentially less flow but a more changing direction.  I have had this colony about 4 weeks, and they are doing great, even seem to be growing nicely. Do I fix it if it's not broken (move them)? <I would... do consider perhaps another power head in the tank to help stir things up some more - variation in flow is very important for long term success.> My next question has to do with a Pistol Shrimp - Goby tank I am considering for the office. What is the ideal substrate for burrowing? <Sand.> Best (most likely to bond) Goby? <Chances of getting a non-paired set to "bond" is lower than winning a high-stakes lottery. Unless you obtain both as an existing pair, it's not going to happen. Alpheids are incredibly diverse, and the pairing between the goby and a particular shrimp is very specific. You can't put a random goby and random shrimp together and expect them to get together... unless you get them as a pair via expert collection, even then one or the other probably wouldn't make the trip... it's just not easily feasible.> Because they are both low in the tank suggestions for other occupants? <Based on the size you mention... I wouldn't put anything else in this tank.> What is the best clean up crew for this tank, I know pistol shrimp are formidable hunters? <You would be the best clean-up crew.> Any other sound advice for this concept? <Learn to dive and go see them where they live... not to be crass, but it's just not realistic in a captive system.> BTW, this tank will be a smaller, probably ~20g, and dedicated to this idea. Thanks again for offering such sound info time after time, Bill <Cheers, J -- >

Substrate for Goby/Shrimp combo. 8/9/05 Mornin' Bob <Cheers... Anthony Calfo here in his stead> First let me apologize if this has gone to the wrong place, I found your link while perusing the Goby section on your excellent pages! <Welcome!> I'm considering making a return to the hobby after a break of quite some years and of course a lot's changed since then! While researching current thinking on Reef systems I've got bogged down on the BB/SSB/DSB/Plenum issues and this is compounded by the fact that I'm very keen to house the Goby/Shrimp combination and the obvious effect this will have on substrate choice, plus the fact that I have a very large quantity of  (dead) Oolitic sand which I would like to use in what will be a reef system with very few reef-safe fish, small clawed crustaceans( Lysmata, Thor, Saron) etc. I think I'm now up to speed re. Live Rock, Skimming, Carbon, Phosphate reduction, Turnover ,Lighting etc. I would like the Goby/Shrimp to be able to exhibit normal behaviour, hence my problem. The system will be integrated within the main tank as I have no space (nor desire) to run a sump. Would their digging spoil a DSB or even release anoxic toxins from a DSB by digging? <Not at all. If the DSB is kept healthy with adequate (proper and necessary) strong water flow above it so that solids do not accumulate excessively... then all will be fine. And this is easy to accomplish. Seek to produce random turbulent water flow as with closed loop manifolds (you can fid some neat and current links/pics on this subject over at Reefcentral.com)> You mention adding tubes to the substrate, ( I can't find the link) which I'd thought of. <Yes, excellent idea. Just bury under the rocks/in the sand and let them do the rest> Would a 1" substrate with tubes covered with sand be better? <That's not deep enough for the shrimp and goby or efficient DSB activity (NNR)> In either case I could never run a system B/B. <I too very much like deep, fine sand beds. I think your oolitic sand is a best bet. Do enjoy at 4-6" (10-15 cm)> Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer cos I'd prefer not to proceed rather than get it wrong! Kind Regards, Steve. <kindly, Anthony> Shrimp goby + pistol shrimp questions  - 04/05/2006 Hi! <Howdy> I was thinking about adding either a blue-spotted Jawfish to my reef or a shrimp goby with his pistol shrimp. I decided to forget about the Jawfish because it's a jumper. <Most all fishes, groups are> Some people told me it wasn't true and they never had one jumping but I guess they were just lucky, right? <Perhaps> A few things make me hesitate about the shrimp + goby pair. I have been looking in my book Reef Invertebrates and on the WWM but I am still unsure. My tank is a 90 gal open top with 5" sugar fine DSB. To be more specific, here are the four shrimp gobies I am thinking about: Randall's, Wheeler's, hi-fin red banded, yasha. Maybe you can advice me if some are more suitable (in my case it would mean most likely to pair with a shrimp and less likely to jump out of the tank). Apart from jumping and pairing here are some other questions/concerns: -Noise from the pistol shrimp. I heard everything from "can hear it from the other end of the house and annoying when you try to sleep" to "little clicking noise you hear from time to time, not a concern at all." Is it really a concern? <Not IMO> -On one reply on the WWM it is said that they can accommodate themselves and dig in any kind of substrate even uniform sugar-fine DSB. But should I add some rubble then? <I would, yes... Makes for more interesting behavior> Don't want to add too much of it because I think the fighting conch wouldn't appreciate... -Can the pistol shrimp really pose a threat to other small crustaceans (sexy shrimps), small fishes (clown goby, mandarin), or the fighting conch (nicknamed Mr. Elephant...) in a 90 gal system? <Yes, can... if hungry> -The digging of the shrimp should not be a problem for the corals or clams located toward the bottom (covering them with sand) if I place things correctly I guess. But can it mess up the DSB/NNR methodology? <Can mal-influence this, yes. Best to place a screen/barrier some distance/layer down to prevent it digging too deep. Bob Fenner> Many many tanks ! Dominique

Pistol shrimp and rock stability   8/31/06 Hello WWM Crew.  Thanks for always being there. <Welcome> I have a question about pistol shrimps.  I would like to add a watchman goby and a companion pistol shrimp to my tank.   My concern is this'¦I have a 72 gallon tank with about 100 lbs of LR.  Some (30% - 40%) of the rock is sitting on ½ to 1 inch of substrate, and rest is sitting on the glass bottom.  There are many places in the tank (not under the LR) on which there is 3 to 4 inches of sand that I believe will be sufficient for their habitat. However, I am concerned that the prodigious burrowing behavior of a pistol shrimp may make my rock unstable.  Should I abandon this idea or is this not a valid concern? <Is a valid concern... however these Alpheids are "smart"... hopefully smart enough to realize the better/best areas to do such digging... and can/do sense imminent cave-ins. I would not be overly concerned here if the majority of your rock stacking is placed securely as you state. Bob Fenner> Thanks very much for your help. Ellen P. Pistol shrimp/goby nano tank set up   12/11/07 Hello Crew, I'm still reading and researching, but am in the process of setting up an 8 gallon nano for the purpose of keeping one of the shrimp/goby combos available from my LFS. The tank will have a refugium made from an AC 70 (with LR rubble and Chaeto), and about 8-10 lbs of live rock. Lighting will be CF (2x18w) with about an inch of sand and LR rubble in the display. <I'd increase this by at least double... to allow tunneling> I expect the AC 70 to flow around 150-200 gph as modified. The footprint of the tank is 9"x 15," and I plan on keeping a simple mix of either mushrooms, zoos (not sure of spelling), or just utilizing green star polyps with a few accents. Am I on the right track? Thanks, Stan <Pretty close. BobF>



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