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FAQs about Crustacean Compatibility

Related FAQs: Crustaceans 1, Crustaceans 2, Crustaceans 3, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction, Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit Crabs, Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Banded Coral Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpHorseshoe Crabs

Related Articles: CrustaceansMicro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Isopods, Shrimps, Coral Banded Shrimp, Cleaner ShrimpP. holthuisi Pix, Mantis "Shrimp", Lobsters, Slipper Lobsters, Hermit Crabs, Squat Lobsters, Crabs, Arthropods, Pycnogonids (Sea Spiders),

Coryphopterus signipinnis.  Small fishes and medium crustaceans can get along.

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

New additions... Crusty Menagerie    3/19/11
I have a 120gal reef tank with multiple residents. I have 3 emerald crabs, a reef lobster and a fire and coral banded shrimp. Do you think I can add a porcelain crab or 2 to the tank. I just love the look they have.
<Umm, you may well have problems with the compatibility of the current crustaceans... reef lobsters are quite predaceous... the Stenopid only a smaller version/bit less... and the Mithraculus w/ growth/size, opportunistic omnivores like most all Decapods. Do see/read on WWM re all these... the Anomuran I would leave out unless you have a well-established symbiont for it/them to hide out in (stay out of the claws of the others).
Bob Fenner>

Sally light foot, and Stenopid comp.  7/12/10
I'm back with more reef questions...
I have a 180 gallon tank (empty but with water/rock) and I was wondering if a mated pair of coral banded shrimp and 1 sally light foot crab would be okay together.
<If they don't get too hungry>
Except for a fair amount of snails
<They may eat these>
as the only other invertebrates, these guys would be pretty much the only inverts in the tank. Fish-wise, there would be a school of green Chromis', 1 Pseudochromis, a Sixline wrasse, a algae blenny and 3-4 PJ cardinals.
Would this overall combination work, again a 180 tank [6'x2'x2'], or should I expect WWIII between one or more things in the tank?
Thanks in advance,
<See WWM re crab and boxer shrimp compatibility. B>
Sally Light Foot/Sally Light Foot Compatibility/Crab Compatibility, James' go 7/12/10
<Hi Tristan>
I'm back with more reef questions...
I have a 180 gallon tank (empty but with water/rock) and I was wondering if a mated pair of Coral Banded Shrimp and 1 Sally Light Foot crab would be okay together.
<I would not chance. When large, they are capable of catching and eating shrimp and other invertebrates.>
Except for a fair amount of snails as the only other invertebrates, these guys would be pretty much the only inverts in the tank. Fish-wise, there would be a school of Green Chromis', 1 Pseudochromis, a Sixline Wrasse, a algae blenny and 3-4 PJ cardinals. Would this overall combination work, again a 180 tank [6'x2'x2'], or should I expect WWIII between one or more things in the tank?
<Looks like a peaceful clan. The Sailfin/Algae Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) does better in aged systems where some algae is present. If not, supplemental algae feedings will be required. May want to read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeblensart.htm>
Thanks in advance,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Sally Lightfoot... now Mithraculus Compatibility/Crab Compatibility 7/12/10 - 7-14-10

Hmmm...(thinking about your reply)
Both you and Bob said that the two would not get along, I didn't expect that they would, I was just crossing my fingers and thought I should ask, hoping the tank may be big enough. Would a handful of Emerald Crabs be okay
with the Coral Banded Shrimp?
<Generally safe, but they are an opportunistic feeder, and if food is not available to them, they may turn to supplementing their diet with corals or invertebrates.>
Otherwise what non-hermit invert would work; helping to keep the bits of macroalgae growing in check? I'm a bit reluctant to put in a urchin because I don't want it to knock stuff over and I would like to keep as much of my
coralline algae as possible. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what could work.
<The Blue Tuxedo Urchin (Mespilia globulus> would be one, as they are much more forgiving in terms of rearranging your rockwork. You may want to read here and related links in the header for methods of controlling algae.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm. James (Salty Dog)>

Reading re crustacean comp., much more 1/24/10
Hey crew
I had a skunk cleaner shrimp in my 10 gallon reef tank, and it died 2 days later, it was doing fine when I put it in and I was thinking at 1st it may have been my small candy pistol shrimp
<Could be...>
(the cleaner was twice the size of the pistol shrimp) I know that the pistol shrimps prey on skunk shrimps, but since it was so small I was a bit curious. I've read that emerald crabs will also help a little bit with cleaning, so I was wondering whether I should add an emerald crab to the tank, or will the crab eat the tiny pistol shrimp?
<... you should read. Learn to, use the search tool, indices on WWM. Read here (where folks find how to write us):
Bob Fenner>

Re: Jawfish Burrows... Pistol Shreemps, other crustaceans ne'er do wells...  11/07/07 I could a sworn I wrote this in my response to you last... But upon your reply didn't see it included. <No sorry David, was not there.> Pistol Shrimp likely?? Or is there a possibility of a mantis shrimp? <The sound you described is more fitting of a pistol shrimp, than a mantis shrimp.> I'm not too familiar with the mantis although I have seen them at stores. Would they make the same noise? <More of a popping sound...> You wouldn't be too concerned then with two Jawfish and a pistol sharing a 90gallon? <I think this would be OK.> David Brynlund <Cheers, Mich>

Pistol/Mantis Shrimp and Mithrax Like Crab Hitchhikers. Reading  11/08/07 Good afternoon, <David> In a conversation with Mich about my new Jawfish additions... we ended up touching on pistol shrimps. I have a 90gallon with about 100lbs of very porous live rock. I have heard the familiar clicking noises coming from the tank. I figured this was a bad sign given my current inhabitants being yellow-headed Jawfish. Anyhow, I've heard the shrimp(s) in my tank now for about two weeks but have yet to spot him/them until this morning. I have 3 1W blue lights setup in my lighting system.... In addition I had a flashlight and was looking around when all of a sudden I catch a pair of antennae with a quick glimpse of a body/head. If this is the only one in the tank, it is pretty small. Definitely under 2" maybe even closer to an inch? I didn't get a good enough look at whether it had eye stalks or not. At this point, I still don't know if it is a mantis or a pistol. Having said that, the forums on Reef Central suggest that pistol shrimp and the mantis shrimp (that don't have the 'spear') should be ok with fish. <Often are> That the mantis shrimp with the 'spear' would definitely prey upon small fish. In any event, I think I'd like to get this critter out. Also, while I am looking around in the dark with my flashlight, my largest most porous piece of live rock had claws moving in two different areas. A closer look revealed at least two different crabs of the same species. I can best describe them as looking a lot like Emerald crabs... except they were glossy black with hairy brownish legs. I'm thinking they are close enough (if not) to the Mithrax that I should simply treat them as a Mithrax? <What does this mean?> I'm thinking that these also would not likely be a good companion for a reef tank with hermits/snails and Jawfish? <Perhaps not> Back to the shrimp. I think that removing all my rock and freshwater dipping would simply destroy all the free corals, feather dusters, etc. that came with my live rock. I've read that store bought Mantis traps are likely not to be of use. Any good recommendations on how to get the shrimp out? <Posted> Is there anything I can add that will hunt it? <Maybe> A dragon wrasse for instance? (If I was to temporarily relocate my Jawfish?) <Not necessary likely> Disappointing, these specimens would've been ideal for my Snowflake Eel tank... heehee. Thoughts? David Brynlund <Read on WWM re Alpheid, crab and Stomatopod compatibility, removal... RMF>

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

Re: Shrimp vs. Crabs: Overcrowding/mixed species issues - 7/25/07 <Hello!> Wow, you guys/girls are awesome, thanks for the information and the advice. <You're very welcome and thank you for writing in! Although it's too late to save your little shrimp, your shared experience could save others down the road! - Lynn> Lonely Crustaceans? 1/02/07 I have a quick question. <OK, Graham here.> Can you keep a setup with only shrimp and crabs,  no fish? <Yup.> I have a 200 gallon setup FOWLR and have recently started a 50 gallon.   So far I only have live rock in it. I was leaning towards only shrimp and things. Will they survive without any fish? <They will be fine. There are some symbiotic relationships that a few of the shrimps enjoy, but they do not suffer appreciably without the association. Furthermore, if you feed them *only what they need*, the water quality should be near pristine. > Thanks. <You're welcome.>

Fiddler and hermit crabs in same home?   12/3/06 We have 2 hermit crabs and now my granddaughter has a chance to obtain a fiddler crab from her teacher at school. Is it possible a fiddler can live with hermit crabs? Please answer soon. <Mmm, is possible... though not likely within the exact same "habitat"... likely your Hermits are terrestrial (if marine, or land types, please see WWM re their care)... and the fiddlers are highly likely amphibious... need a saltwater environment to dip into at their volition. Behaviorally these species will likely avoided each other, unless their is a shortage of food. Bob Fenner>

Crustacean Calamity and Live Rock Quarantine - 10/19/2006 Hello, crew! <Hey there! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> We are new to the saltwater aquarium world, and our 55g tank is about 50 days old.  It has cycled beautifully, we have a nice system  going. <Glad to hear that!> Recently we came across someone who was getting rid of their tank set-up and gave us some live rock (in very good shape) and a few fish.  Among them there is a large Coral Banded Shrimp, which we acclimated and put in the tank.  Our Arrowhead crab is a bit smaller (body size), and did not like this shrimp at all.  He climbed way up and sat there hiding.  We've never seen him this nervous before.     <Banded Coral Shrimp and Arrow Crabs are mortal enemies. One will always simply beat the you-know-what out of the other! I would not keep these two animals in the same tank unless it's a HUGE one!> Wary about leaving the shrimp loose overnight,  we isolated him for  now, until we can get some information on whether those two are compatible.   <Excellent move!> We know they eat the same stuff, but the crab is   somewhat smaller, and we are not sure if they won't compete and end up fighting.  Do you by any chance have any info on this? <As above...enjoy one and give the other to a fishy friend!> Also, how long would you recommend we quarantine the new live rock for?  We figure we should have it go through a couple water changes in its own container until there are no nitrates left.... but not  sure of the time span.  What is your thought on that subject?   <Good thinking. If it was from another established system, I'd be inclined to give it about a month in it's own filtered, heated container, preferably with a protein skimmer if you can swing it. A month gives adequate time to interrupt the life cycle of many fish-killing protozoa, such as Amyloodinium and Cryptocaryon, which will crash without fishy hosts upon which to prey. Also, it gives you a chance to make sure that any potentially problematic animals, such as crabs or Aiptasia anemones, manifest themselves before they are in your display tank. Quarantining live rock is one of the ultimate acts of patience in our hobby, but it's a good practice that will pay dividends down the line!> Is there anything else we need to consider?  We appreciate all the input we can get!   Thank you for your time and attention. Best Regards, Rich & Nina <I think that you're on the right track! Do make use of the many wonderful resources on the WWM site! Regards, Scott F.> Crustacean Calamity and Live Rock Quarantine (Pt. 2)  - 10/22/06 Greetings once again, <And a welcome back to you, too!> ... and thank you, Scott F, for the prompt response.  We did release the shrimp into the tank that day.  First they played "ring around the Tufa rock", and then there was "first contact" between those two, mostly antenna-to-claw, after which they both darted in opposite directions, and poor Pete (the  crab) was sharing living quarters  with our Diamond Goby for the next few hours.  We got your email this morning, and promptly moved the shrimp  out..... <A good move, IMO!> Meanwhile, we found another critter in that live rock we are quarantining. It's a black brittle star, about 8 inches tip-to-tip.  We acclimated that piece of live rock  overnight (after learning how difficult those stars are to acclimate), and he is doing quite fine.  We also were able to remove him (carefully) from the rock.  My 11-year-old son emphatically announced that this thing eats crabs, and he showed us a book we bought him at the Cape, which does talk about a "daisy brittle star"   eating small crabs.  We have gone up and down the internet articles,  but cannot find one shred of documentation to that fact.  Except that on occasion this thing eats small fish.  "Saltwaterfish.com" says they are "a must for every reef tank".... we don't know what to think.  The star is pretty big, and our arrow crab is not, so, naturally we are at crossroads. We may as well tell you what we have in the display tank: Arrow Crab, a Diamond Goby (fairly large), a Coral Beauty angel, 2 Yellowtail Damsels,  The new players are:  two Clarkii clownfish, and a Yellow Tang, a bunch of turbo snails and red hermit crabs. Everything on the internet says this black brittle star is safe.    What do you think? <Like so many things in reef keeping, I'd say proceed with caution. If it were me, I'd do a really careful search for the exact species of Starfish (scientific name and all!) and then check internet sources to confirm just what this animal eats in the wild.> Also, you mentioned a protein skimmer for the live rock.  It's in the garage, in a 10-gallon tank right now, and we changed water this morning. The nitrates were  80 ppm in old water.  If we place an air pump and  get a Nano skimmer, will it be enough to keep it for a  month in that tank? <It's better than noting; I'd use it!> Thanks so much for all your help! Rich & Nina <My pleasure! Regards, Scott F.> Crab v Crab... New Mad Magazine toon heading    5/28/06 WWM Crew, <Charles> I have a Nano 24 marine tank and I have been up and running for about a year now.  I just recovered from a bout of Cyanobacteria.  I had to completely break-down the tank, clean up all the rocks and vacuum up all of the substrate.   <No fun> I did a >50% water change and then dosed the tank with Maracyn for 5 days doing some additional water changes each day.  Surprisingly, I didn't lose anything. <Lucky... thus far> I have 1 clarkii clown, 1 Rainford's goby, a dozen or so snails (mostly turban and Cerith), 10 or so hermit crabs (zebra, blue and scarlet), an arrow crab and about 15-20 lbs of live rock.  I have started using ChemiPure carbon, a surface skimmer and a current-usa fission protein skimmer in the back. I also put in some macro algae. <All good steps> After cleaning/vacuuming the substrate, I figured out I have been really overfeeding these fish.  And I switched from the flakes that I have been using to Hikari brand 'Marine-S' pelletized food.  I have really cut back on the amount and these fish are pretty hungry all of the time now.  And I certainly don't feed enough to create detritus for the inverts in the tank. I figure that they will have to live on the algae. <... watch the Arrow Crab... it will eat the others...>   However, today, I witnessed one of the blue hermits pull another one out of its shell and tear it up.  Then the clown pulled them into the back and the arrow crab took care of the rest.  It was quite a show. <Something about Romans, the Coliseums...> Should I feed this tank more? or is this just typical and to be expected? <The latter... given the size of system, life...> Learning every day! Chuck Martin <Thank goodness, or something like it. Bob Fenner> Using Organophosphates to kill crustaceans in old marine service account tanks Please Help, I run a servicing crew in Mass and we are now getting older with all the older tank problems. A lot of our customers have Copepods and we have tried all kinds of treatment to get rid of them. The only thing we have found that actually works is Disco worm. The big problem now is that the company that sold it is now closed and we can't seem to find it anywhere. Do you know where I can get my hands on some Disco worm medication or how else to get rid of these copepods? Thank you in advance for all your help. <Mmm, you can use other sources of acetylcholinesterase inhibiting compounds... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm Bob Fenner>

Shrimp or crab tank 7 mar 2005 Hello Folks!  <Hi Gus, MacL here with you tonight.> Thank you Bob for your help on my previous email, and for those two wonderful books that you wrote!  <Absolutely great books. I really feel they are must haves for aquarists.> I would like setup a crab and/or shrimp tank but have heard a lot of conflicting information (i.e. books vs. people who have them) regarding compatibility.  <That's because it can be very tricky.>  If possible, I'd like to the mix some non-hermit crabs (i.e. Mithrax, Porcelain, Spider, or Shame-Faced) with the shrimps. <A lot of it is going to depend on the size of the tank.>  Is this possible and safe?  <I'm keeping a pair of coral banded shrimps with cleaner shrimps and peppermint shrimps. The coral bandeds do chase the cleaners but they all have ample hiding places and room to move. My tank is a 180.>  If not, I will set up two tanks, one for the shrimps and another one for the crabs. Would the shrimp tank be okay with the Banded Coral Shrimp and a Saron in there?  <Sarons are rather predatory in my experience.>  As for the crab tank, I currently have a Calico Crab and Dardanus megistos in a 20 gallon but would like to add some other crabs. The Calico does not seem to care who is in the tank as he lets snails and small hermit crabs wall all over him.  <Lots of little nooks and crannies should do the trick. Places to hide.>  What other crabs can I put in the crab tank? If later get a Pencil Urchin, could I put it in the crab tank?  <My urchins don't bother anyone they just go along eating their little hearts out.>

- Snack food - Hey pros, Can we put a medium sized hermit crab in with a small Porcupine and small Dogface puffer?  Puffers are 4". Thanks <Sure, you can put the hermit crab in there, but... its chances of living for any amount of time are remote. Cheers, J -- > Handle with Care (Crustacean handling) Hello! <Hi there, Scott F. here with you.> I would like to get a horseshoe crab and a purple reef lobster. I would like to know if it is possible to take them out of the tank and hold them? <Well, a horseshoe crab and a purple reef lobster are not like a dog or hamster.  I think excessive handling of any marine animal is not in their best interest.  I suppose you could pick the animal up once in a while, but the potential for stress and/or injury is too great.  Better to just observe through the glass of an aquarium.> Also, what aggressive fish would be compatible with them? Thanks. <Hmm...aggressive fish.  Another tough question.  Any fish tough enough to hang with a purple lobster is also tough enough to utilize it as a potential menu, IMO.  i.e. triggers, puffers, etc.  Best to enjoy these animals in a dedicated aquarium.  Best of luck to you.  Regards, Scott F.> Crustacean Compatibility >Hello All, >>Hello one. >Thanks for all your great advice. >>I haven't given it yet! >I have a question about adding shrimp to my 75G, for now fowler tank w/80 lbs live rock.   My original plan was to add one each: scarlet cleaner peppermint coral banded After searching the FAQs I have crossed the coral banded shrimp off my list. >>Smart move. >I would like to know if 1 cleaner and 2 peppermint could coexist in this system.  I do have a few Aiptasia, so I would like to try the peppermint. >>Absolutely!  However, do be CERTAIN that you get Lysmata wurdemanni, and don't feed them too copiously or it's likely they'll simply ignore the Aiptasia. >Also, would like to see if the cleaner would service my fish. >>It's more likely a few neon gobies would do this, but a cleaner would not hurt at all.  If nothing else, I know they'll try to service you (if you'll let 'em). >I have the following species: 1 yellow tail damsel 1 yellow tang 2 false Perculas 1 royal Gramma 3 green Chromis >>I think the only fish the cleaner shrimp would have any success with would be the tang, once it's around 3"-4". >Thanks in advance for your expert advice, Jeff >>Heh.. hardly expert, but you're welcome anyway!  Marina

Who Will Win the Shrimp War. I'll bet on the Mantis (12/10/03) Saludos Salados: <Greetings> Last week I purchased a CBS and placed him on a 10gal tank. This tank has been running for a year with no apparent problem. The other tankmates are a Cinnamon Clown a Turbo snail and a couple of Bumble Bee snails. Recently my wife noticed  a strange animal in one of the life rock holes. For her description I think we have a Mantis in the tank. <Uh oh> This would explain the disappearance of a Royal Gramma about a month ago. <Quite possible.> My question is, will the CBS kill the Mantis or the other way around? <I'd put my money on the Mantis any day. It has a much more formidable weapon> I am concerned for the CBS (named Jacques) which my son regards as a cool pet to have. <CBS are way cool. I love mine. Do get rid of that mantis. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/arthropoda/stomatopods/mantisfaqs.htm> Best Regards; Jos?A. Gonz?ez

QT & Compatibility for Crustaceans + Hello. I have my 10 gallon QT all set up and running. Mr. Pro wrote back below, "You could house Cleaner Shrimp with Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs or Blue Legged Hermit Crabs". I was about to do that, but then I saw what appears to be very small growth of that Aiptasia on my LR. So, after reading the FAQs, I figured I would go with the Peppermint Shrimp. <Ok> Finally my question, will the Peppermint be okay with the crabs mentioned by Mr. Pro, or are there different crabs I could get (or none)? <The Peppermint shrimp will be ok with the hermit crabs. The big question to you is, do you even what the hermits in the first place. Please see the archived information regarding on www.WetWebMedia.com> Also, I just received my Methylene Blue in the mail. Do I dip the shrimp and crabs, acclimate them right into QT or what? <You cannot freshwater dip any crustaceans. You might as well throw them into a pot of boiling water and eat them. Just acclimate them to the QT tank using a very slow drip acclimation, also outline on www.WetWebMedia.com.> Thanks again for making my venture less fearful. Rich <Good luck to you! -Steven Pro>

QT & Compatibility for Crustaceans + Bob: <Steven Pro, part of the question answering crew for www.WetWebMedia.com, here today.> I am converting a 10 gal freshwater tank to a QT tank. It has been dry for about a year. It was only rinsed out when I took it down. How much cleaning will it need? Do I still need to use bleach or whatever the website says about cleaning? <I would first clean with bleach (one cup of bleach to five gallons water) to remove and old algae marks and then use vinegar (same dosage as per bleach, one cup to five gallons) to remove any hard water marks.> Also, my first candidate will be a crustacean or two. Maybe a shrimp or crab thing. I read in your book, The CMA, where it says shrimps, crabs, lobsters will eventually find each other and...:(. So, I really cannot have a cleaner shrimp and 2 herbivorous crabs together? <It depends on the crabs. You could house Cleaner Shrimp with Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs or Blue Legged Hermit Crabs, for example.> Anyway, I read a lot about keeping QT tank minimal, but is there anything special I should put in there for these characters? <The PVC pipe sections mentioned here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/quaranti.htm will work just fine. I would also read through the linked FAQ files for additional tips.> Lastly, do I have to monitor Ammonia as much as daily and change water constantly for them like I have read about fish? <This depends on how well your quarantine tank filters have been seeded/cycled.> Thanks, Rich PS: I now understand how people send such large emails; I started out with one question until I started typing. <This was nothing compared to others. -Steven Pro>

QT & Compatibility for Crustaceans + Thank you for you fast reply. To follow up: what will my shrimps/crabs eat while quarantined 2-4 weeks without substrate, etc. <Just about anything you can get to them; flake food, pellets, sinking wafers, and bits of frozen foods (krill, plankton, formula foods, etc.). -Steven Pro>

Mantis Shrimp/Blue Lobster Do you think a Mantis Shrimp would work out in a tank with a Red Volitans Lion, Spiny Puffer, and Sargassum Fish? Thanks, I was just trying to think of a crustacean they wouldn't eat. Would a Blue Spiny Lobster work too? Thanks <Both risky propositions come molting time around the Puffer. Bob Fenner>

Any non-fish for a community tank? Mr. Fenner: Thank you for your prompt reply and helpful information in response to my questions about freshwater lobsters and crayfish. <You're welcome> (My interest in these crustaceans and the like is purely non-gastrological, though) <oh> If lobsters and crayfish are not ideal candidates for a community tank... are there any invertebrates that are? Any that won't be eaten by the fish? <Yes... depending on which species we're talking about... of a certainty there are ones that can/do/will eat each other> Must have fish and invertebrates (and not eat them) too! Please help! AHR <Do take a read through the various fresh and brackish water sections (livestock sub-sections) posted on WetWebMedia.com for input on selection, choices. Bob Fenner>

Pistol Shrimp & Lobster (Crustacean Battle Royal) I have a 65gallon tank w/ lots of live rock and plenty of hiding spaces. Along w/ my fish, I have a scarlet cleaner shrimp, a coral banded shrimp, a pistol shrimp and a purple lobster. <things sounded great until you hit the lobster> The purple lobster was the last addition and I have noticed that the pistol shrimp pays him much attention.  <pistols are indeed territorial> The lobster has found a nice hole and rarely comes out. I know he is nocturnal and also very shy by nature, but is he scared for his life! <largely natural reclusive behavior> Will the pistol shrimp attack him? They are approx the same size. Thanks AA <a pistol shrimp attack is the least of your problems...hehe. If the lobster lives long enough to see adulthood, it will catch and kill anything it can get its hands on. A great stress to many fishes trying to sleep at night and the cleaner shrimp will be the first crustacean to go as it is weakly defensive. The lobster is going to be a tough cookie down the road. In the meantime...yes, I suppose the pistol may harass him. Do make arrangements for other quarters for the lobster. best regards, Anthony>

Re: Pistol Shrimp and Lobster II Thanks for the reply, a couple more quick questions if you will. I thought a purple lobster was very docile, even considered reef safe?? How large is he going to get? I thought 4inches. <they are indeed less aggressive than others... but they have formidable claws nonetheless and for a reason. Form follows function... and so, it may only catch and kill 10% of what the worst lobster can, but a kill is a kill. They are predatory omnivores... not vegan...hehe> Lobster aside, will the pistol shrimp attack the other shrimp? <pistols are pretty feisty and territorial. You don't want to make a habit of collecting many/other bottom dwellers to threaten him/her.>

The Mystery of the Missing Arthropods WWM dudes.... Been reading the daily for months and thanks to the advice/errors of others have never before felt a need to write myself. Getting business out of the way, I have a 29 gal glass w/2/24"VHO, Remora skimmer, 45lbs LR, 40 lbs LS, params as follows: Salinity 1.027 Temperature 78-80 pH 8.4 Alkalinity 8.4 Calcium 460 Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0-10 Daily dose of Kent Liquid Ca, Iodine, Super Buffer dKH Livestock: 2 small damsels, 1 maroon clown, 1 E. quad BTA, 1 Colt Coral (Alcyonium I believe), 2 Peppermint shrimp, 1 Emerald Mithrax crab, 1 Serpent star, 7 Hermit crabs, 4 Snails My issue: Two weeks ago on of my peppermint shrimp molted (as evidenced by an empty carapace) and disappeared, never to re-surface. I was expecting that had it been murdered there would have been some evidence of the crime, however there was none, nor an expected spike/rise in ammonia levels. As I have a small tank, every critter in it tends to be visible, so the antics of the missing shrimp were sorely missed, I replaced him on Friday. Yesterday (Sunday), I was checking things out when I noticed that my Nimble Crab (Sally Lightfoot) was in the process of molting. I called that entire family down to watch for a while (all were suitably impressed), but we eventually wandered off (attention span issues I think). About 15 min later I stopped back just in time to see my Mithrax Crab ripping the Nimble into bite size bits, (didn't call the family down for this one), eventually the serpent star wandered over and abducted the corpse in one fell swoop. Alas, I think the mystery of the missing shrimp has been solved at the expense of yet another poor critter. To my query: When purchased, the Mithrax was supposed to be a herbivore, and does a good job at cleaning the algae off my rock. However, the attacking and eating of the molted crusties implies otherwise, and leaves me wondering if I have too many cleaners and not enough to clean. <No, these guys are in fact opportunistic omnivores, that will eat anything that they come upon and can consume. Their claim to fame is that they are one of the few creatures to eat bubble algae.> Will I need to begin supplemental feedings for the crabs, shrimp, and starfish, or offering some change/variety of foods for them, or is there just a balance that will be reached and settle out after time? <Not a bad idea to supplement their feeding with prepared foods in a 29, but not a guarantee that your crab will not decide to consume one of his tankmates in the future.> Thank you for your time, keep up the good work. Lou G <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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