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FAQs about Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction

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

Related FAQs: Cleaner Shrimp 1, Cleaner Shrimp 2, Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, 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,

Website address change (Note: chg on Shrimp, Lysmata pgs) Hello, Your link to my webpage, "How To Raise & Train Your Peppermint Shrimp" (listed under Business--Publications) has an old URL. The new address is www.lysmatapublishing.com. The old address redirects you to the new URL for now, but it will soon be a "broken link". Thanks for your time, A. Kirkendoll <Thank you for the update. Will change. Bob Fenner>

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>

cleaner shrimp eggs; no one searching today      8/18/12
Hello wet web crew, So its been a while since I've bothered you guys with an email so I figured it was about time.  I have a 30 gallon saltwater tank with a few fish (Blue Green Chromis and baby maroon clowns)
<Will need more room>
 and some inverts(Serpent star Cleaner Shrimp and assorted snails and hermits.)  My question is concerning my Cleaner Shrimp named Pierre.  He (well probably She) has been acting fine recently and she even molted about 3 or 4 days ago but early today I noticed an off green blotch on her tail. 
Upon further examination the blob looks a lot like a bunch of eggs.  Is it possible for her to be pregnant even though she's the only shrimp in the tank?
<Not pregnant, but still egg-bearing, yes>
  Is there anything I can do?  She seems to be acting normal and healthy so are the eggs just a normal part of her shrimp life? Thanks,  Erik
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm
Bob Fenner> 

Cleaner shrimp with eggs   5/2/09
<Hello Jamie>
Let's get right to it shall we...
<That is why I'm here>
I have a 30 gallon reef tank. I have had huge problems with phosphates in my tank...so high they have killed off most of my corals (except a few mushrooms).
<After the water changes have been completed consider adding some PhosBan or similar product to a reactor, and then hunting down the cause of the phosphates.>
I was laid off from work and with my hubby out of work the tank became a real problem to take care of properly. I had a lonely cleaner shrimp before I was laid off (6 months ago) and bought her a friend....well about 5 days ago the original one passed on along with a Sixline wrasse. No changes in water chemistry were detected but the night before I had really stirred the tank up and cleaned the filters and glass. I was saddened but the newer, surviving shrimp seemed okay about the loss. Today I glanced into the tank and noticed the shrimp has been swimming about crazily looking for food and cleaning the tank of any algae, playing no never mind to the half dozen or so Aiptasia that have made their home on my live rock...even getting her/his tentacles stung once or twice.
<You may be confusing peppermint shrimp and skunk cleaner shrimp, the former are the ones that have the reputation for eating Aiptasia.>
Upon closer examination I noticed that the shrimp has some gooey, clear, egg appearing things on her entire tail area.
<It is possible that she is carrying eggs.>
This really surprises me since the tank has been in the worst condition it has ever been in before. I used to do one time per week water changes but it has been about a month since my last one. There is only a protein skimmer running and some power heads. The only other tanks mates are some snails and hermit crabs and a male/female pair of yellow watchmen gobies...who are inseparable. I was even considering selling the tank or putting it up on craigslist for $200.
<Well this was an awakening for you then, make sure you keep the tank in better condition from now on. Minor weekly maintenance is much easier in the long run than trying to fix neglect.>
Now I feel like a jerk for letting the tank take to the condition it is in and amazed that animals would reproduce in these conditions. On to my question...I am afraid to alter the water conditions by doing any water changes fearing that even the slightest change will harm the shrimp or her potential clutch of eggs. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. I a have been in the hobby for 5 years now and have made my share of mistakes but this is awing to me. I appreciate your help in advance.
<I suggest doing the water change if the tank is in as bad a condition as you say it is in, rearing the shrimp isn't likely going to happen anyway. Make sure the pH and specific gravity are the same as the current water for the sake of your inverts.>
<Josh Solomon>

Breeding Cleaner Shrimp 1/25/09 Could you suggest any sites on raising cleaner shrimp? <You can read FAQ's here on the subject http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpreprofaqs.htm, but other than that, you would have to Google for more info. Breeding the shrimp isn't all that difficult, it is maintaining a food supply for the tiny organisms to survive and grow. Is really not worth the effort involved. If you decide to try this, keep us posted with your progress.> Thank You, Josh <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Gender differentiation data on Lysmata shrimp   7/14/08 Dear Bob, <Peter> While reading some articles on your excellent web site (which I do quite often) I came upon a section discussing Cleaner Shrimp. Specifically: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm I happened to notice your statement regarding the keeping of more than one specimen in a tank as follows: "...the only ones I'd personally try in more than a "pair" (best as a male and female) are L. amboinensis and L. grabhami in a 75 gallon system. Are you aware that L. amboinensis and L. grabhami are simultaneously hermaphroditic? <Mmm, yes. Stated more clearly in the FAQs re Cleaner Shrimps: http://wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm> There is no male or female in this species and any of these shrimp can be fertilized by any other. Perhaps I have just misunderstood what you are saying and this is well known to you. If so, I apologize. However, if this is contrary to your belief you can find much on this topic in many marine biology publications. If you would like to see some web links (of varying credibility), here they are http://www.breedersregistry.org/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Lysmata_amboinensis http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~rtb6933/shrimp/hermaph.html http://striweb.si.edu/publications/PDFs/2007_Baeza_Reitz_Collin.pdf http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/dao/v73/n1/p73-76/ Again, I compliment you on your excellent web site and hope that my information may be of use Sincerely, Peter Honig <Thank you for this well-thought out/researched input. Will post. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint Shrimp and Friend ID Question - 6/21/08 Hi Wet Web Media crew! <Hi there, Allison!> I've searched the site and not come up with an ID for my shrimp larvae. <Sorry about that!> I have Peppermint shrimp and have been attempting to follow April Kirkendall book "How to raise and train your Peppermint shrimp." <Neat! Are you going to get a teeny little whip, like on the cover? Hehee!> So far I get about two weeks and they die, I think I need to be more vigorous with my water quality. <Here are a few links that may help: http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=1275&sid=8c4815b2daa467d53cbb2d1dc1f476b0 http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=85 http://w3.dsi.uanl.mx/publicaciones/maricultura/vi/pdf/A18.pdf > Well, my question about shrimp ID.... Last night I watched my shrimp scoot across the tank and shoot out her babies, <Wheeeee!> ..there were multiple birthing mothers at the same time, got to see one molt and breed, very cool. There were three molts and literally thousands of shrimp, but there were two kinds! <Surprise!> The following photos (I hope you can see them) <I'm sorry to say that I can only see the difference in size.> ..are 1st of the Peppermint shrimp by themselves, the middle picture shows both kinds so you can see the size difference, and the last picture shows my mystery shrimp by themselves. I have 7 Peppermint shrimp in my tank, I had 5 I ordered online and then my husband went to our LFS for the others and they looked a little different, but I can't really see remarkable differences to tell them apart. <Indeed, the Lysmata species commonly called Peppermint shrimp are very similar in appearance. The differences can be small/not obvious at all.> Could some be Lysmata wurdemanni and some L. rathbunae? <Could be, but apparently Lysmata rathbunae tends to live in deeper waters, so what you have is more likely one of several other very similar shallow water species from the western Atlantic. For more information see the following paper. There's an in depth discussion of new species and detailed information/drawings of each: http://decapoda.nhm.org/pdfs/27306/27306.pdf > How do we tell these apart? <See above link.> Wouldn't the larvae look more similar? <I would have thought so.> Could they be Mysis? <They could be, but adult Mysids are much larger than hours old Peppermint/Lysmata larvae and look like this: http://limnology.wisc.edu/personnel/ojensen/mysis.jpeg> I saw one website that had two pictures (of Lysmata rathbunae and L. wurdemanni) and they looked identical, but one (L.R) had a yellow mass toward its cephalothorax <I've seen that as well on the French site. The apparent "mass" is located on top, in the middle. I believe that it's the shrimp's stomach but I'm not sure. It's important to note that the appearance is completely different from the yellowish masses you occasionally see on the *sides* of Lysmata shrimps. These are instead parasitic isopods called Bophyrids and clearly stick out away from the side of the body as a lump. See this link for more photos/info: http://www.qualitymarineusa.com/article.asp?page=feature&id=968EF63B-2D1D-469A-847A-8E8541B12BE4 > (it was hard to read, it was in French and I'm really rusty on that!). <I feel your pain. I've seen a couple of those links and have had to seriously tax my brain to recall enough French to get by!> I looked at your http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpidfaqs.htm page and can't seem to figure this out... Anyhow, any idea on the babies would be helpful. <Here are a couple of links with different species of Lysmata larvae shown: http://www.meerwasserlarven.de/garnelen/lysmata_rathbunae_engl.htm http://www.meerwasserlarven.de/garnelen/lysmata_bogessi_engl.htm > Can I raise the two types together or should I remove the USOs? <As long as they're not Mysids, and the shrimp are closely related species, I'd think that it would be okay to keep them together. It would make an interesting study. However, if you find out that you do in fact have two different species, you might want to keep them separate to prevent any interbreeding. Here are some helpful links: http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=494 http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=1275&sid=8c4815b2daa467d53cbb2d1dc1f476b0 > http://www.marinebreeder.org/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=85 > Thanks so much for all you do to make this hobby easier! Allison <It's a real pleasure. Take care and good luck with your little shrimp babies! --Lynn>

2002-2008, A Neo-con Odyssey... RMF

Raising cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) 3/8/07 Hi all! <Hello again Jared! (How are the Clowns and Butterfly?> This letter is in particular for Graham but I welcome anyone's help. In a reply to someone's query about cleaner shrimp eggs, Graham made the comment, "Please let me know if you're still interested in raising the fry and I will hook you up with some excellent information about raising cleaner shrimp." <I did? No... I didn't. Oh, wait. You read the post answered by the *former* Graham, and I am the current Graham (GrahamT on purpose).> I have been trying to gather as much info as I can and was hoping Graham, or any of you other very knowledgeable folks, might be able to direct me towards some of this excellent information. <Will see if BobF has links to this info for you.> Thank-you in advance, Jared <-GrahamT> <<Yes... some standard pet-fish citations embedded here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpreprofaqs.htm BobF>>

Tiny Shrimp 7/22/06 Hey Crew, <Hi> Was just scouring over your site and reading the articles about skunk banded cleaner shrimp. My tank is just about 8 months old now and I have only had one shrimp for some time now.  The other day the shrimp molted and had left some eggs in the molt. So, I left it for a day until the shrimp had taken them all from the molt and placed them again in her swimmerets. <Good>  Now, tonight as I was watching the tank (Mind you I look every night just to see what I have as far as a nightlife in the tank) <I love doing that.> I noticed that there were thousands of what look like teeny brine shrimp in the tank. (Zooplankton perhaps?) <Yep> Now, I know I have a hearty supply of both amphipods and copepods but they scatter when the light hits them. These little things swarm to the light like moths to a flame. <I have had these before as well, basically just one type of plankton.  Fish love them by the way, my wrasse use to go nuts over these things.>   If they are not shrimp and are zooplankton, where would they have come from all of a sudden? <Normal waxing and waning of populations.  They have always been there, just not in large numbers.> I have not made any new additions to the tank, and the only thing that I have been feeding that is not a frozen or prepared food is some phytoplankton for my feather duster. I know this is freeze dried so I am going to assume the likelihood of some type of egg surviving the process and hatching in the aquarium is slim to none. <But does make a nice food source for small shrimp.> Either way I am happy to see a new life in the tank, but again, even if this is not the case with the shrimp, I was curious if there have been any documented cases of single shrimp fertilizing and rearing young on their own? <The shrimp are hermaphrodites so I guess it is possible, but the offspring as so fragile after birth it is nearly impossible to raise these with very specialized tanks.  These little shrimp are just normal microfauna that comes and goes in tanks.  Interestingly I have also seen these in the wild while night diving.  Get some lights and these things come running, followed closely by giant Manta Rays to eat them.  Quite a sight for sure.> Thanks for your time, John <Anytime> <Chris>

Peppermint Shrimp Babies...Yummy, Yummy, Yummy  - 5/18/2006 Hello (and thanks for any help), <Hello Ron, and you're welcome.> I have a 30 gallon reef tank with 10 different soft corals, some hermit crabs, a few Emerald crabs, a Halloween crab, lots of snails and everybody is doing just great at the one year anniversary of starting this system. In fact, several of the corals are growing much faster than I thought possible. A Taro Tree Coral has split off pieces and I now have 6 separate 'colonies' that are as big or bigger than the piece I started with! <Good to hear.>  I had a small Clown and a Flame Angel but they didn't survive the crash of a power head into the sandy bottom several months ago. The suction cups had let go from the glass side of the aquarium, so it is now hard mounted. The sand was stirred by both the intake and output of the pump and went I saw it first thing in the morning the fish were both dead already. Everybody else is doing fine. I had some Aiptasia (sp?) starting to grow in the tank so I bought 3 Peppermint shrimp. In a few days the anemones were gone. Great! One of the shrimp then gave birth to a huge number of offspring (50'¦ maybe even 100?). Since there are no fish or other carnivores, the baby shrimp seem to be doing great. It has been 8 to 10 weeks and they are starting to get bigger (bigger as in from tiny dots at first to 1/8 to 3/16ths on an inch now). My questions are: How long before they are big enough to fend off small carnivorous fish? <When they are not bite size, some time from now.>  How long before the reach 'full size' as adults? How long is their 'normal' life span? What should I expect the survival rate to be? <All these questions depend on diet, food availability, water quality, etc.> Thanks again,  <You're welcome.> <Ron, do keep us informed on the baby progression and anything you may do/have done to increase survivability rate.  James (Salty Dog)> Ron
Re: Peppermint Shrimp Babies...Yummy, Yummy, Yummy  - 05/19/2006
Dear Salty Dog, <Ron> OK, lets assume good water quality and proper feeding, how long can a peppermint shrimp live? Just a big ballpark number would be helpful. I will keep you informed as to the kids progress. I am setting up a 75 gallon tank to move some of the coral and also to allow me to get a few fish. The shrimp will stay in the 30 gallon tank.  <Ron, cannot answer as to how long they live.  Suggest you do a Google search for this info.  I can tell you that at maturity, they do reach a length of 1.8'.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, <You're welcome> Ron

Nursery ... Lysmata, Neon Gobies repro.   2/22/06 Hello aquarium gurus!  <Hello Norris.> I have a question (obviously) I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank with the following inhabitants -2 false percula clownfish -2 neon gobies -2 skunk cleaner shrimp -3 yellow tailed damsels -1 yellow tang - lots of live rock -various corals (including mushrooms, button polyps, and a pumping xenia) -Cerith snails -Nassarius snails -red legged, reef hermit crabs -a few Trochus snails -1 margarita snail I have reason to believe that one of my shrimp is carrying eggs in the little fan-like flippers on her abdomen. <Very likely.> I also think one of my neons is pregnant. It has "bloated", and is now either obese or full of little eggs. This was all very exciting, but I've been reading (largely on your site) that the other fish (and I'm looking at the damsels as I write this) will promptly gobble up all eggs, larvae, and fry that dare to be born. <Yummy, yummy, yummy I've got eggs in my tummy...> So... I was already thinking of buying a 20 gallon refugium/sump, with compact fluorescent lighting for my tank... I'm thinking that I could place the future mothers in the refugium, allow them to give birth, and then put them back into the main tank. Could the refugium be used as sort of a nursery? I don't have a quarantine tank... a crime to be ashamed of, if I've gotten anything out of my readings. Is there something wrong with this idea, or is it worth a try? <You would have a difficult time to say the least, providing the right kind of food to rear the shrimp.  Neon gobies have/are bred in captivity and the same problem goes along with a proper food supply.  Do read FAQ's on this subject here.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobyreprofaqs.htm> AND If I do get a bunch of healthy shrimp and neon gobies, what should I do with them? Where can I sell them? <If it ever develops to that stage I'm sure local shops would take them off your hands for a fair price.> Also, I'm thinking of layering an additional inch of finer, live sand over my current substrate, loose coral rubble. I want either a mandarin, a diamond watchman goby, or a sleeper banded goby, and they need a nice, sandy bottom. Sound OK?  <Yes other than the mandarin is going to require a well developed tank with plenty of live rock and copepods to survive.  Very few adapt to prepared foods.  James (Salty Dog)> Humbly yours, Norris, OR

Coral Banded Shrimp Attacked My Anemone II - 02/08/06 Hello! <<Hey there Janie!>> Just had to follow up on the CBS.  He still pokes at the Condy from time to time but nothing vicious. <<Excellent!>> But....I  am so excited....I came home from work tonight and shined the flashlight in the tank just to make my bedtime check. <<Something we all should do periodically...many more wonders to discover once the lights go out.>> The shrimp were out and about as usual but I noticed the female doing an odd dance.  Upon further inspection she was raking her legs across her belly and expelling thousands of tiny little shrimp babies. <<Neat!>> It was amazing!  This is soooo cool!  How often do they do this? <<Hmm, not sure...I would guess some 4-6 times a year maybe...the female carries the youngsters for a bit after hatching.  Do have a peek here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/corlband.htm >> I knew she was carrying eggs but I never expected to actually see them hatch. <<Happens quite often really, though few actually witness the event as you did.  And I'm sure you're aware, the young shrimp are/will be 'relished' by most everything in the tank.>> Well, just had to share.  There's never a dull moment in my aquarium. <<Thank you for your input, EricR>>

Shrimp Procreation and Affects on Other Inhabitants   1/10/06 Hi <'Lo.> I have to skunk cleaner shrimp that has what I think are little green egg on there underside. <Quite common for these critters to reproduce in captive life, rearing the fry is another story altogether.> Now I was wondering how long does it take them to hatch <I have a trio in my tank, and they seem to be constantly pregnant, releasing the clutch about every 2 weeks.> and when they do hatch will the anemone eat the newly hatched shrimp <The anemone will enjoy a free meal as will everything else in your tank. This anemone could also snag your adult shrimp and any slow moving fish if they aren't careful - eek!> and if so is this good for him. <A natural food source, quite good.> Thanks in advanced --Sbatiste <No trouble, Adam J.> Lysmata amboinensis Reproduction - 12/20/2005 Hello ANYONE at the Waikiki Aquarium! <Or WetWebMedia as the case may be.> I have tried repeatedly to have someone respond to my email so I have copied as many employees as possibly in hopes of finding a simple soul, who would be kind enough to take a little time to respond. I am trying to find out if what I have is true - successful spawning of the shrimp Lysmata amboinensis. <Happens sometimes.> There is very little documentation on the web but I know your institute has successfully raised this species. Can you assist me or put me in contact with your biologist to help identify what I think may be the case in my home aquarium? My data is as follows... I have 3 adult cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) in a 150g tank (with corals, live rock, assorted fish), 2 protein skimmers & 1 canister. Tank is 10 months old now. As others have, I checked out the tank at night and I noticed copepods, amphipods, and within a few weeks ago, baby shrimp. They are distinctly shrimp; hundreds crawling around, very fast, on the rocks with flashlight revealing orange eyes. Sizes range from 1mm to 5-6mm. I've read all the difficulty in breeding these BUT, they have very few predators, lots of places to hide, and I mix up a whole bunch of different food (including phytoplankton). How can I get a positive ID on these? <Try here   http://www.breedersregistry.org/ > I've included some pics of a few juveniles under my microscope (sorry - pictures with a webcam), and a pic of one of the adults. <Sorry, none came through.> Only other shrimp is a single Coral Banded. I can provide more data if necessary. <What we have is located here    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm > Thanks - Dave Ehlert <You're welcome. - Josh>

Cleaner Shrimp Love (Queue up the Captain and Tenille!) 11/4/05 Hi guys - thanks again for the fantastic site. Your archives have helped me out quite a bit and I've spent more than a few evenings reading through your site. Good thing I'm already married, this hobby doesn't lend itself to a social life very well. <Mmmm...> When I got up this morning I noticed a clutch of green eggs under both of my Skunk Cleaner's tails. I have to say that they're probably the most interesting part of my tank. They're very aggressive about feedings. When I feed my fish, my shrimp will chase them down to try and steal some food from their mouths. They're often successful. My poor clowns have had bits of shrimp or flake food stolen from them as they were trying to eat it. <Happens> I'd like to give raising the eggs a shot. I did some reading through the FAQs on the subject (specifically: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpreprofaqs.htm) and the Breeder's Registry. I've come up with a plan for raising the eggs that I'd like to pass by you to see what you think.  I have an 8 gallon Eclipse that I could use as a rearing tank. I read on the Breeder's Registry that the eggs turn silver a few days before they hatch, <... if they're fertile, fertilized...> so I was going to move the shrimp when that happened. The Eclipse also has slightly rounded corners. I read that corners would kill baby shrimp (although I don't quite understand how). <From bumping into them repeatedly> I'd use water from the main tank to fill the new one. The only things I'd have in the rearing tank would be an airstone and a heater. I'd do a 2 gallon water change once a day. Once the young'ins hatch, I'd move the parents back to the main tank to prevent them from snacking. I would feed the babies Phyto and Formula One flakes.  Am I missing anything? <Mmm, nope, not as far as I can see.> The other idea was to leave them in the display tank. I'm undergoing an Ich outbreak and I'll be moving all of my fish into my QT tonight. That the tank will be fish free for that time is kind of fortunate. All that will be in my tank will be the shrimp, hermits, snails, an emerald crab and my coral (hammer coral, Actinodiscus mushrooms, Ricordea, xenia elongata, button polyps), there's nothing predatory other than the mushrooms and hammer and there would be tons of places for them to hide. I'm thinking that this route would help out the cause since I wouldn't be stressing the shrimp by moving them. The water would be more stable in the main tank and there's more hiding places.  <... most of these cnidarians are planktivorous... will eat the young> My display tank is 70 gallons - 18"x18"x48" (I can give you more tank parameters if you need it - not sure that it's all relevant and this email has gotten long enough). I have about 1300 gph of flow going through it. I would think that I'd have to remove the 3 power heads in it so that the babies don't get sucked up and crunched, which would mean that the only flow would be coming from the sump (about 600gph) Am I on the right track or should I just let nature take it's course? <I would> Survival of the fittest, you know. <Not always and not for long...> Thanks for any help you can give! Jeff <Good luck, life to you. Bob Fenner> 

Not everyone wants a partner'¦.lone cleaner shrimp with eggs  10/3/05 Hello guys. <Hello James, Adam with you.> I came home today and am really shocked. I noticed what looks like and I hope 'is' roe on my cleaner shrimp. However, he/she is the only shrimp in the tank and for that matter any of my tanks. Is this normal (obviously it is possible as I am seeing it)? <Its not unheard of.> Having only one shrimp I never expected to see this sight'¦ Please respond as I am confused by what I see. The stuff looks like greenish-blue tiny little eggs clustered on the abdominal area. <As I said above its not unheard of though 'usually' it doesn't happen.  The eggs may or may not be fertile, chances are they are not.  In any even when the shrimp does release the eggs it will make a nice snack for your microfauna and any other inverts or small fish you may have.> Thank you., James Zimmer <No problem, Adam J.>
Re: Not everyone wants a partner'¦.lone cleaner shrimp with eggs  10/4/05
Thank you Adam. <Anytime.> I was not aware that this would happen without another shrimp in the tank... <Its not to common they carry eggs alone but at the least it's a good sign that the shrimp is healthy and feels confident enough in his/her environment to breed.> Oh, I guess Clyde (the shrimp's name) should actually be Claudia.  <Freaky little buggers aren't they?> Yes, I know they are hermaphroditic... lol I didn't really think anything was wrong but it just seemed strange. <Just another marvel of life on the reef'¦..or reef tank that is.> Again, thank you. James <No problem James, Adam J.>
Re: Not everyone wants a partner'¦.lone cleaner shrimp with eggs  10/5/05
Adam. <James.> Actually, my little one is quite friendly (prefers hand feeding and gives a good finger cleaning) <Hehe, mine does this too, it hurts when he pulls of my hangnails though.> and a friend mentioned that he thought it strange that his stays in basically one spot while mine scurries here and there all over the tank (new home 55 gallons). <Some are bolder than others are. The group I have stays in one spot together during the day and then dance around the entire tank at night. Just different personalities.>  When I first got her/him, the place called home was my 5-gallon starter tank and the territory was confined to the heater: discourtesy of the Royal Gramma who was there first. I attributed the movement to freedom and not being pecked at by a very territorial little fish. <I'm sure the shrimp appreciated the new confines.>  However, most times I have seen these little creatures they are only in one spot in friend's tanks or at dealers. Whatever, 'normal' behavior is mine seems to be very content and that is how I want it to stay if at all possible. Of my fishes (Foxface, Firefish, Royal Gramma, and 2 {deceased} Scooter Blennies <Dragonets aren't easy fish and the Foxface at an adult length of 10' or more will eventually outgrow your 55.> the shrimp is hands down my favorite with the most personality.  <I agree they are neat creatures.> I was considering getting a companion for it but I hated the idea of them maybe not getting along since the buys would be separate. <Usually they get along.> I now have some options: I am going to turn the 5 into a quarantine tank and I got a 24 Nano-Cube (idea here is more or less an invert/species tank) because it basically came ready to run with lots of good lighting and filtration (the 5 is terrible but ok for quarantine). <It is fine for the QT of small inverts, not really suitable for fish.> Now I can have a place for the corals or other fish that may need to be separated if necessary where as before I really had no options. <Just have fun with it James, don't over think it.> James <Adam J.>

Cleaner Shrimp Larvae  8/26/05 Hello all, I was checking out my refugium tonight(2:30am) and discovered what appears to be shrimp larvae. I would say there is at least a dozen swimming or running around, and more that I can't see, I'm sure. They are clear and range from 2-5mm or so. But I can identify the shrimp shape for sure. I do have 2 skunk cleaner shrimp and 1 peppermint shrimp in the 120 gallon reef tank. But have never seen eggs. It is also surprising that the larvae have made it to the refugium via overflow AND power head. Will the refugium be safe for the larvae (only macro algae, copepods, and amphipods live here)? And will they feed on any of the previously mentioned critters? I understand that raising the cleaner shrimp(?) is very difficult, but just inquiring. Thanks kindly, Ej <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpreprofaqs.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clrshrpreprofaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Raising Lysmata shrimp I was just wondering if someone is still having success at breeding Lysmata amboinensis, and wondering if you had any information on settlement cues. I believe it is possible to raise larval shrimp to adult in around 14 weeks is that correct? If you have any information on this topic of raising these shrimp it would be most appreciated. I have read just about all that is on the internet and appears you the people at the Waikiki aquarium re the only ones that are successfully breeding Lysmata amboinensis < Well the best thing I can do is to give you Andy Rhyne's email address.  He is in Florida working on his PhD.  He is the world's king of these things and is a master at their reproduction and husbandry.  But don't tell him you got his email address from me XXX001@hotmail.com > Many thank Chris <  Blundell  >

Raising cleaner shrimp 7/19/05 Hello hopefully I have got it right this time. My questions are: 1 Is KENT MARINE ZOOPLEX a suitable first food for the larvae? <Can work> 2 Do I need to remove the parent shrimp after the eggs have hatched? <Yes> 3 Is an air driven sponge filter suitable? <Might be... along with water changes (very slow, gradual) with matched quality...> My shrimp is currently in my hospital tank which has been cleaned out and filled with water from my main reef tank . Any advise you can give will be gratefully received .                            Thank you SIMON   <There are a few works in print re culture of Palaemonids... I would invest. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Shrimp/Eggs Good day! <And a good day to you, David> I have a pair of skunk cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) in my salt water tank that have a lot of fun knocking each other up. One interesting thing I've noticed is that it seems like the eggs will appear, disappear, and then reappear.  Last Thursday (June 9 for those keeping score at home) one of the two no longer seemed to have its eggs.  As of Friday (June 10), neither shrimp had any of their green eggs visible.  When I came back to work on Monday (June 13) they both have swimmerettes full of bright green eggs.  I'm a bit confused as to what is going on.... 1)  Are the eggs changing color and becoming camouflaged or otherwise difficult to see? 2)  Did the eggs get launched as weekend fish food and then the shrimp quickly reproduced to make more eggs? 3)  Are my shrimp practicing their ability to make their eggs appear and disappear and then reappear in a few days in a bold and lucrative attempt to replace Penn and Teller in the Las Vegas scene? The only other bit of information I can shed is that at least one of the shrimp molted over the weekend, as I noted some of the molting caught up in my filter (not sure if that is related or coincidence). Thanks again for you time, <Would not worry about it David.  And yes, they will end up as food.  My guess is the shrimp know when they are molting and removed the eggs from the swimmerettes, then after molting was complete, gathered up the eggs and attached them back in the swimmerettes. James (Salty Dog)> David

Breeding Lysmata [Cleaner Shrimp] Dear Bob, <<not Bob, but JasonC - Bob is away diving>> I have several pairs of Lysmata debelius shrimps. I have been trying to get them to mate for a couple of months. they constantly molt and are old enough to mate (3.5-4cm length). conditions are constant.. temp at 27 degrees Celsius, salinity at 34-35ppt. they feed an grow and have shown no major signs of being stressed. however they have not been producing any eggs, which they would carry under their tail. I have added a filter of 1000 micron to the water flowing through my system to catch any larvae if they are produced and have not found anything. should I just be patient or is something not right? how influential is light to reproduction of these shrimps? at present they are under natural light, near a window. <<I'm afraid I don't have any experience with these. My quick guess would be that many of the shrimps need a more salt-marsh/lagoon/tidal pond-type environment to successfully breed. I would likewise guess that the light does have influence... is that the only light on the tank? If I were you, I would pose this same question on the WWM forum which is patrolled by many knowledgeable, friendly folk - and someone just might have done this. http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/ >> thanks, Avinash Singh <<Best of luck in this endeavor. Cheers, J -- >>

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>

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>

Raising Cleaner Shrimp Babies Dear crew: I have just collected the larvae of my cleaner shrimp on a net. I don't know what to do with them. It is a pity to watch them get "filtered out from my overflow. Right now, I have them in my net in the main aquarium, with no fish, since the tank is fallowing. Is there anyway to successfully culture little cleaner shrimp? What do I need to feed them? And do they need a separate tank to raise them? Were there any successful breeding trials? Please tell me what to do! <It must be that time of year or something. We have received a question about spawning cleaner shrimp everyday for the past several days. Please take a look here http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm? Sincerely, Eric <Have a nice day! -Steven Pro>

Shrimp Follow Up and Pods Hello again! Thank you! My fish and crabs will probably eat whatever eggs these shrimp deposit, eh? Caviar to the salties! <Them and your corals, too. Excellent food for all!> Another quick question, do 'pods come in all colors, or just gray? <I have seen mostly tan to gray.> I have some REALLY big black ones, twice the size of the gray. <Interesting, could you send us a picture?> They love the filter pads and my refugium. I'm not sure what eats them (in my tank), but I have tons. Here's the fish list, one of each: bi-color blenny, Foxface, engineer goby, blue/yellow tail damsel, maroon gold bar clown, Firefish, and the junior angel (Pomacanthus). None are mentioned to eat these "bugs" in my books. <Actually, they will all eat some.> Should I get a mandarin to eat them, or just leave the 'pods? <I would leave them. They and their spawn are excellent food for fish and corals as well as having the added benefit of consuming a fair amount of algae, detritus, uneaten food, etc.> Thanks once again, your patience is outstanding! -Cathy in Texas <>< <Have a lovely day! -Steven Pro>

Breeding Peppermint Shrimp Greetings and salutations everyone: Around 11:00 last night I was giving my reef tank one last check and noticed one of the Peppermint Shrimp was acting rather erratic.  So I turned on my blue actinic light to make a closer observation, just in time to see one of them giving birth to hundreds of tiny Peppermints.  What a beautiful sight.   <wow... how wonderful!> Is there any way to ensure any survivals?   <absolutely. It is somewhat tedious to rear the larva but very possible and done by many aquarists. Some articles have been written on the subject like here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-10/nftt/ Thee is also a new book written on the subject for interested aquarists just like you: http://www.lysmatapublishing.com/shrimp.html > I think my LPS corals had a feast last night because I do not see any left this morning.     >indeed...very good food. Many aquarists keep breeding peppermint shrimp in fishless refugiums for this purpose> I also have noticed quite a few of white semi-transparent larva's around 1/8" long with a large mouth and a dual tail on the other end sliding around on the glass.  Does this sound like some kind of Nudibranch?  They seem to be multiplying rather rapidly, should this be a concern?   <hard to say without an ID or image> I've also noticed several small brittle stars (around 1/2 inch in length) hanging around in the live rock.  Do they pose any threat? <nope... very beneficial filter feeders and detritivores> Besides the obvious physical beauty of our underwater ecosystems, don't you find it truly inspiring that life always just seems to "find a way"?  What a tribute to our creator! <remarkable by any definition :) > My Tube Anemone is growing a little too fast and its tentacles  were getting too close to my candy coral.   <wow... I'm not thrilled about such an aggressive anemone in a tank with coral or other anemones... I'd remove it to a species tank for proper feeding any way (without polluting coral tank or starving anemone in the long run> The Candy Coral has not been a happy camper lately (nitrates got a little high the other day, .40 PPM, so I quickly made several water changes and things are already looking a lot better).  I relocated the Candy Coral on the sand.  Is this an acceptable location?   <perhaps not... they cannot purge sand easily and may suffer if sprinkled or buried. Its an unnatural place for this coral> I wasn't sure it would be happy there as I am rapidly running out of space since all of this is going on in a 5 gallon nano reef. <oh, my heavens! Brother, please remove that tube anemone from this tank ASAP or pull all else to a reef. There are serious issues here with chemical warfare on your coral beyond issues of actual contact> I've read your information regarding the feeding of corals and it was very informative.  I purchased some DT's Phytoplankton to supplement the Corals (one Euphyllia, one Candy, one Hammer, one leather tree coral and assorted button polyps).   <hmmm.... only the leather tree coral eats (perhaps) a little phytoplankton. None of the other corals here feed much if at all on phyto. They are zooplankton feeders. I suspect that the only thing your phyto is feeding is nitrate levels> If I feed according to directions, that would be 1/3 tsp in 5 gallons every other day.  Will this amount increase my nitrates or should I just be concerned with the freshness of the phytoplankton?   <a fine food but inappropriate for these corals> More along the line of twice a week sounds more reasonable given the size of my tank.  Can you recommend a product for zooplankton that is equally fresh, besides using a refugium?   <indeed the refugium is best, frozen Cyclop-eeze would be a fine runner up (hard to find though... an Argent product), fresh hatched baby brine is good after that (less than 9 hours old). After that, minced meaty foods (Gammarus PE Mysis shrimp, Pacifica plankton)> I have been also feeding a frozen food rich in Kill and Sponge but, again, am concerned with nitrates (is twice a week on this one also acceptable?).   <way too little food for the LPS corals and definitely not enough for the tube anemone> Please don't suggest an upgrade in equipment, we are in the process of adopting two otherwise homeless children and at this time any upgrades just is not in the budget. <no worries bud... but I must say that you need to remove the anemone or the corals for both to have a chance at surviving long term> Nitrates are my big concern, <in such a small tank, a weekly water change of 2-3 gallons should make it all go away nicely> but I still want to give the corals everything they need and still keep nitrates as low as possible, considering the size of my system.  I try to keep Nitrates around .10 PPM, which is quite a challenge and still feed everything. You guys perform a great service and I can't thank you enough for your assistance.  I called the LPS where I bought the coral frags and all I got was "I am too busy".  How sad for them.  I think they're missing out in the real meaning in all of this. <agreed. You'll do fine here my friend if you are simply realistic about the limitations of the tank and what is humanely possible. With kind regards, Anthony>

Pregnant cleaner shrimp 3/14/03 Good morning, well I realized that I have a pregnant Cleaner Shrimp, I would like to some how isolate her to keep some of the babies. <Interesting tidbit about cleaner shrimp... your "she" is actually is an "it". While most shrimp have separate sexes... cleaners are hermaphrodites... thus any two can breed successfully together> Is it possible?? <challenging but possible... the move to an isolation tank was helpful> what should I buy? I saw a breeding unit online- Let me know Thanks, Athena <successful rearing really cannot be summed up in an e-mail. Let me suggest you buy and read a book on a similar species: "How To Raise & Train Your Peppermint Shrimp -- April Kirkendoll. Its available from Amazon.com and many other places. The rearing tips will be quite similar. Also, do a keyword search on this topic on a search engine for find specific articles perhaps on this species... alas, we do not have one on WWM. General info on the group can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/shrimp/cleaner.htm Best regards, Anthony>

Baby shrimp and their little umbrellas (04/06/03) hello, <Hello! Ananda here tonight...> My first question is- I am wondering if the cleaner shrimp carry eggs at a certain time of the season or if this happens all year round? <All year round...> I am going on my 4th pregnancy between 3 shrimp. It seems so bizarre, but maybe this is normal- I'm not sure. <It's completely normal in a healthy tank. Cleaner shrimp are hermaphroditic, so anytime you get two or more, you get baby shrimp -- which make excellent food for the other stuff in your tank.> second question- there are tiny white little particles along the bottom of the glass inside the tank and also on the furniture-it looks like lil' umbrellas?? <Those would be a type of feather duster. Very common in newish tanks, and completely harmless. --Ananda>

Cleaner Shrimp Mating (4/29/04)  I have 2 cleaner shrimp in my tank and have just noticed that one has a large sac on it's side, it actually looks like it is filled with something...could it be eggs??? <Eggzactly. Lysmata amboinensis are hermaphrodites and two of them will usually mate. The other one will eventually have eggs too. These eggs & the resultant larvae make great live food, so don't expect any baby shrimp. Steve Allen.> Kelly Aiello

Cleaner Shrimp with Eggs I have a question about my cleaner shrimp. I have had this cleaner shrimp  from the first moment I set up my 125 reef about a year ago. I have noticed  that it has some white/green dots on the under side of its tail that has  never been there before. To tell the truth they looks like eggs but here is  the situation. I have no other cleaner shrimps in my tank. The only other  shrimp is a fire shrimp which I have had for about 6 months. My questions  are: 1) Could the cleaner shrimp and fire shrimp mated? 2) If not, could the dots be eggs? 3) If not, what are they? Thanks, Kris <<Well, I'd bet the dots you're seeing under the Cleaner Shrimp are eggs, but even if the Cleaner is a Lysmata genus member and ditto for the Fire (Lysmata debelius), there probably is not a cross-species mating going on... Lone Shrimp females can/do lay eggs on their own, and they're sterile. If you're interested, you might want to try introducing a male of the species; otherwise the solo one will be fine. Bob Fenner>>

Strange cleaner shrimp phenomenon Hi Bob, I purchased 2 cleaner shrimp from FFExpress about 5 months ago. Now  about 3 weeks ago, I noticed that one of them had a bunch of egg-like shapes  forming in it's belly. I was surprised but heard that these shrimp did in  fact breed in captivity. The 2 shrimp had never hung out together and always  stayed on opposite ends of my 75 gallon reef setup. Now they were together  and seemed more like a couple. Now here's the clincher. About 5 days ago, I  noticed that now BOTH shrimp had this "belly full of eggs". I haven't heard  that these shrimp were hermaphroditic. Is this possible? Have you ever  heard anything remotely like this? What should I do to try to save the  babies, or is this impossible? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks a lot, -Jay PS - I'm a big fan of your daily Q&A...keep up the great work! <<Hmm, do take a look at this URL: http://www.breeders-registry.gen.ca.us/Reprints/FAMA/v17_aug94/scarlet.htm An article by friend/author Joyce Wilkerson on Lysmata... Yes they are hermaphroditic cross spawners... much can/needs to be done... particularly provision of a grow out facility and food production... read the article and if you have further questions... ring me. 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 question I have three cleaner shrimp. Two of them spend all of their time together. Recently, I noticed on the underside of the tail, there appears to be many egg looking "things". These "things" are a light yellow in color, and cover the entire underside of the tail. Lately, this particular shrimp seems to always hide in the rocks except when it's feeding time. I am not at all worried about this but, I was wondering if you could explain what's going on or if there is anything that I should be doing. Thank you for your time. <<Does sound like your Cleaner Shrimp is "berried", that is, carrying eggs... You might want to start at the www.breedersregistry.com reading about the genus Lysmata... if you'd like to know more. Bob Fenner>>

My anemone cleaner shrimp I just purchased a Periclimenes pedersoni. When I got it home and in the tank  I noticed it had a large clutch of eggs under it belly. Is there anything  special I should do to help her rear these or should I let mother nature do her thing? <<I'd opt for the latter this time out... and maybe scan the literature and Internet going forward for the next batch... under the name Periclimenes pedersoni... Much to do in preparation for juvenile shrimp instars... mainly building a suitable culture facility (special tank for circulation, dripping in new water, taking out old w/o removing the intermediate stages of the shrimp... a continuous feeding device, lest they consume each other... and a few types of food items to have in ready culture, density... Bob Fenner>>

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>>

Sexing peppermint shrimp Dear Bob; recently one of two peppermint shrimp in my reef tank died in a tragic powerhead accident. This pair of shrimp have reproduced in my tank and I would like to replace the dead shrimp but I don't know what sex it was. I saved the carcass. Is it possible to easily identify the sex of a peppermint shrimp? I was unaware of any pairing when I bought the two. Thanks, Doug <Can be sexed like the ever tasty local Panulirus... modified uropods and fifth pair of legs on the males as you know...> P.S. Great book. Your text along with Ron and the boys at Octopus Gardens got me hooked on reef aquariums. I've learned a ton over the last two years. I graduated from SDSU in 1972 with a BS in Zoology so we probably had some classes together. Glad to see that someone retained all of that info. I've read about MASLAC and it sounds like a very informed, active group. Is there anything similar around San Diego? Thanks again for your help. <Yes, and have sent this msg. to our fearless leader (he works for the local futility, SDG&E...) Maurice, so, am sure he'll be contacting you as well. See you here and there, your fellow alma mater, Bob Fenner>

Lysmata debelius Hi. I am writing from the University of the South Pacific (USP), located in the Fiji Islands. I am about to begin my Masters Program on Shrimp aquaculture and was hoping to work on Lysmata debelius. Part of my funding is being provided by Walt Smith International, an Aquarium Goods exporter and they are also very keen at aiding work on this species. <I know Walt... we are old friends, well, middle-aged friends> At USP we do not have very sophisticated equipment to carryout many large projects. however we are developing our lab systems and we have great access to the natural coral reefs and relatively untouched ecosystems to study. we have access to seawater of good quality, are developing new equipment and hence can carry out some good experiments. <Hmm, you may want to contact friends at TMC who have bred, reared Helmut's shrimp through all cycles... their address, a review of their business can be found on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com> I have obtained some information on this species. However more information is required by myself before I can begin. I was hoping that you could provide me with more information regarding the reproductive biology and feeding behaviour of these shrimps - or of any contacts of people who could provide me with this information. Thanking you in advance, Avinash Singh. <Have Walt contact me, or you can contact Derek Thompson et crew through me... at TMC. 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 I have a 40 gal. tank and 2 weeks ago I noticed a lot of white stuff in my tank. I finally figured out that they were baby cleaner shrimp... of course they got eaten. I have purchased a small tank within a tank that has a small net around it so the shrimp can't get through. How often do shrimp have babies (fry) and how could I try to keep them alive if I'm around when they hatch? <Mmm, please read over all the shrimp materials posted on WetWebMedia.com's marine index... and follow the links to the Breeder's Registry on the Net... and possibly read over the success of Tropic Marine Centre in rearing a few species of Lysmata spp.> someone told me to have" marine snow plankton diet" to feed them. <No. This product is worse than worthless> Can they stay in the same tank as my other fish in that small net tank?  <No> I have a 5 gal. tank I could set-up with a sponge filter, which I would just use water from my main tank, since it would be cycled...I could add some sand and or live rock. Is it possible to keep them alive? <Yes... have been cultured... do need separate tank... As I say, read through what there is known... on the net. Will give you a firm understanding of what's involved. Bob Fenner> Thanks for the info... and " Merry Christmas !" Cheryl

Questions (impulsive cleaner shrimp culturist?) Will other fish eat Cleaner Shrimp eggs? <Of a certainty yes; many if not most fishes will> If so, how should I go about keeping that from happening? <Mmm, if you're involved in culturing shrimp, keep them in a separate system> How many cleaner shrimp should I put in a 55 gallon tank? Assuming that I have some hermits and a coral banded shrimp in there? <... could or should? Coral Banded Shrimp, Stenopus hispidus are cleaners... Please read the Marine Shrimp sections here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimp.htm and the linked articles and FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Re: questions (impulsive cleaner shrimp culturist?) Do you have any suggestions on what types of coral I should combine in a tank? Like so many hard to so many soft? For the aquarium floor, what type of types of live sand should I use? As well as for live rock....how much live rock and live sand would you recommend for a 55 gallon tank? What types of fish should I NOT have in my tank if I have Cleaner Shrimp? <You would do well to invest your money and time into one or more general marine aquarium books. Much cheaper, less destructive to your spare time, budget and the environment, then this approach. Please peruse, read over the site: WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Inter-breeding of cleaner shrimp Bob, I was wondering if species of Lysmata shrimp can/have breed among their different species.  <Not as far as I'm aware. But do check with the Breeder's Registry site... link on WetWebMedia.com if you can't find it> I have two cleaner shrimp that were both sold as common skunk cleaners. One appears to be ever so slightly darker in color and has a solid white line on the edges of it's tail and the other has two white dots on each edge of it's tail. I therefore assume I have a Lysmata Grabhami (the solid white lines on the edge) and a L. Amboinensis (the dots). Other than the tail markings and the slight shade of color difference they are the same. <These do get sold as one, the other quite commonly> Both have been in my tank now for many months. They eat well, regularly clean the yellow tang and even my hands when I reach in the tank. Within the last month I noticed that both have many eggs stored underneath their tails. The L. Grabhami's eggs are a lime green color, and the other shrimps eggs are a clear color and look like salt and pepper under the shrimp. As far as I can tell they have been there for 4-5 weeks. (or they have bred multiple times) <Ah...> Is it possible they are both the same species with different markings, or is it not uncommon for these two different shrimp to breed with each other? <Mmm, these are likely two females... do spawn w/o males present... can/do store sperm packets... or the eggs may be infertile> Also, do you know if the different colors of the eggs means anything? I don't know how long it takes for them to hatch, but I'm assuming they will just be consumed by the fish as a treat or caught up in the filters/powerheads. Thank you for your help and your great site! Kris, PA <Mmm, do read through the Net here re Lysmata... and BR. Much there re these species. Bob Fenner>

Lysmata debelius -fire shrimp larvae Hi Everyone. Well thanks to your advice I have finally got pairs of fire shrimp to breed and produce few larvae. however so far I have got so few larvae- less than 10 .. not good. <Actually, not bad... took the folks at TMC a good many tries, dollars/Pounds to get this far> I have had a look at a latest molt and have seen that there are hundreds of unhatched eggs present on them. the eggs are at their last development stage.. the eyes being clearly visible. I don't really know what went wrong... the larvae that are there are healthy but too few to work with.... <Could be infertile eggs, not enough viable sperm/atophore, some aspect of water chemistry...> (Fire shrimp adults naturally release the larvae into the water and then go on to molt)-- something went wrong here. I'm not certain if physical factor or may be nutrition maybe the key.. but how did the other larvae survive? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Avinash Singh USP Fiji islands. <Bob Fenner>

Hello again (shrimp culture) I just posted this on your chat forum but thought that you may have further insight :) <Perhaps. Let's see> Hi All fist post here I have been Harassing Bob and JasonC for a while now so I thought that maybe my fellow hobbyists could take a stab at this one. Here are the usual specs. My Reef tank is 30 gallons, with a new 130gallon tank being delivered tomorrow. The inhabitants are, A Ocellaris, A Frenatus, Banggai Cardinal, Pajama Cardinal and a Scooter Blenny. All are well. There are the usual assortment of hermit crabs, snails and I seem to have colonies of feather dusters cropping up on the rocks all over the place. I also have a Pulsing Xenia and 2 Peppermint Shrimp and 1 CBS. I do daily calcium additions and weeks Iodine drops. The shrimp molt every month and are growing quite large. Hence the new tank as you say larger is better. Tonight at feeding time the larger of the two Peppermint Shrimp came out and her swimmerets are encrusted with eggs. So now the quandary I am setting up the new tank tomorrow and within the next few days planning on moving all of the live rock, sand and inhabitants to their new environs. Do you think I should leave the Mother Peppermint in there and allow her eggs to hatch. What do you think would be the success rate if there were a moved to the larger tank or left where they are? <The "success" rate in terms of hatching, grow out? Not much in either. Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimp.htm the shrimp articles, FAQs files beyond. Much more to the effective culture of these animals. Bob Fenner> The Emperor bio wheel is staying, but the protein skimmer and powerheads are going. Need advice :) Cheers, Julian Hunt

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