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FAQs about Cleaner Shrimp Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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Saltwater Ick, treatment, 1/19/10
Good day,
<Hi>
Researched the site on saltwater Ick. Couldn't find the answer. I was wondering, how well cleaner shrimp will maintain Ick?
<They won't to a large degree. Their primary food in the wild are the much larger isopods. <<? RMF>> At best while cleaning the wound left by the crypt parasite they may remove some ich, but not a significant amount.>
Keeping the water quality good and keeping a few cleaner shrimp will I rid myself of the Ick after time... once the cycle continues and the fish are healthy and no Ick is found on any fish will the Ick finally lose the battle after months or will a tank always have Ick if a fish host is available.
<If there is a host available the ich will persist.>
Just a fowler tank with crabs and shrimp so I can't treat Ick with anything cruel like copper and I don't think copper is the best thing anyway.
<Very effective and reasonably well tolerated by most, but not all fish.>
Thank you for your time and enjoy your day. 20 degrees here in Wisconsin...yuck!
<A little warmer here in Chicago, but not much. I think I need to go visit Bob out in Hawaii.><<I need to visit him there as well. RMF>>
Paul
<Chris>

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

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!>

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

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

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

Feeding a cleaner shrimp Hey crew, I acquired a new specimen in kind of a hurry to help with a small Ick outbreak.  fortunately, the Ick seems to have cured itself, well at least no more white dots on the fish are visible. << Good news. >> But alas, I'm not sure what to feed the new guy?  Although the new cleaner shrimp tries to reach out to clean the fish in my tank (blue jaw trigger and a Sailfin tang and some Chromis) none of the fish want to go near the shrimp. << That is okay.  Cleaner shrimp eat just about everything, and I wouldn't worry.  He will scavenge and find bits of food. >> also, when I feed, I don't see the shrimp going after the food, usually a combination of flakes, frozen form 1 or 2. << Cleaner shrimp are quite hardy and collect left over organics.  You may not see him eating, but he is always out picking over little items. >> Please advise, thanks. << Don't worry. >> <<  Blundell  >>



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