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FAQs about Marine Shrimps 1

Related FAQs: Marine Shrimps 2, Marine Shrimps 3, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Systems, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp Identification, Cleaner Shrimp Behavior, Cleaner Shrimp Selection, Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility, Cleaner Shrimp Systems, Cleaner Shrimp Feeding, Cleaner Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp Reproduction, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Alpheid (including Shrimp) Gobies, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

Boxer in a box

Shrimp Article Removed? -- 1/28/10
Good morning Bob,
Went to the link/article "A Few Common Shrimps for the Marine Aquarium",
James Fatherree, and got the window "page not found". Has this article been removed from the database?
<No... just a bad link (there are many... some of known origin (mistakes in re-labeling, moving things about) others of mysterious beginning. The article is here:
Now, need to add going back through all the Shrimp files... re-linking...

Photos from WetWebMedia resource Dear Bob, <Ivan> In Your Internet site WetWebMedia.com with Palaemonid shrimps we have found interesting photos of Periclimenes imperator and P. soror. Now we are preparing a paper about sea stars associated shrimps and these photos will be very useful. It will be a scientific paper and we would like to ask the authors of the photos to give us an opportunity to use these photos for scientific (non-commercial) publication. Authority will be indicated. The placing of photos into scientific disposal is very common through underwater photographers. Sincerely Yours, Ivan. Laboratory of Ecology and Morphology of Marine Invertebrates, A.N. Severtzov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS, Leninsky prosp., 33, Moscow, 117071, Russia. <You are welcome to the use of my images for your work. JasonC, will you please help here? Bob Fenner>

Brine Shrimp = potato chips? Dear WWM crew, I really must stop reading these FAQs in the office. Your (and I include all of you) humorous asides always make me laugh out loud, which is awkward to explain in the generally quiet and often serious office in which I work. The Tony Bennet stuff was hilarious. <If you get in trouble at work, it was all Anthony's fault.> In addition, I must tell you that even though my primary interest is in fresh water tropical fish, I read every FAQ every day and have enjoyed learning a tremendous amount about both marine and fresh water hobbies. There really is a question in here somewhere. Here it is, a few posts ago (sometime yesterday) you responded to a writer by saying that brine shrimp were nutritionally empty food and not worthwhile feeding to the marine fish. <Correct> I'm assuming then that brine shrimp also have little or no value for freshwater tropical fish, <Agreed, they are at best an appetite stimulant.> contrary to what I have read in many books, is this correct? <Yes, many books include them because fish seem to like them so much. In fact, many fish go crazy for brine shrimp, but they are useless nutritionally.> If so, then what sort of live, frozen, or freeze dried food do you recommend for freshwater tropical fish as an addition to their regular diet? <Plankton, Mysis shrimp, and bloodworms are all much better.> Would I have to worry about any live food that doesn't get eaten surviving and reproducing in the tank and causing problems? <Yes, I strongly prefer frozen food for that reason and possible disease transmission.> That idea always bothers me. Is freeze dried or frozen food as good nutritionally as fresh? <You might lose something in the process, but you can always soak freeze dried or frozen foods in vitamins.> If it is, then I'll probably avoid the fresh. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and for the laughs as well. Judy <Talk to you later. -Steven Pro>

Blood Red Shrimp Hello, I recently (three days ago) added a blood red shrimp to my 75 gallon system which I have cycled with live rock (the shrimp was the first addition). The water has very good parameters (Ammonia - 0, Nitrites - 0, Nitrates - < 5, spg - 1.0225, temp - 78 degrees). After leaving the net, the shrimp sat on top of a piece of live rock at the top of the tank and sat there until the next morning. It had only moved about 4-6" overnight. Having read that shrimp don't like bright light, and since the lights were about to turn on for the day, I moved the shrimp down onto my substrate (Puka shell), <What? It didn't try to get away? Not a good sign.> next to a cave. It stayed there all day, not moving at all (it sat in one place, sort of swaying back and forth). <Can you distinguish whether the shrimp is swaying on its own or if the currents are moving it back and forth?> By the next morning it was inside the cave that I mentioned earlier. That night (last night), it had disappeared (the tank has a LOT of rock in it). I have not seen it since. It has never once, since I got it, appeared to be eating (I feed twice daily). However, it was at the LFS for several weeks and appeared completely healthy. Is all of this normal behavior? <All inverts are particularly sensitive to various shocking changes; temperature and salinity are two. My best guess is salinity shock. You should always perform a slow drip acclimation for all inverts. Nothing for you to do now, but learn from the experience.> Thanks! - Jes <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Missing Shrimp I have recently noticed that some of my shrimp have gone MIA. I had a bunch of peppermint shrimp and they are slowly dwindling away and I am now missing my two cleaner shrimp. They go slowly and almost unnoticed because it is a very long time between disappearances. I all of a sudden realize, hey, where is my cleaner? Any ideas? I have not seen any bodies or even death threat notices. Possible mantis shrimp? What am I to do? I want to get more shrimp, but not to find them, or not find them as this case is. Thanks! <Sounds like your problem is predatory in nature, probably some hitchhiker crab or something. I would set and bait one of the commercial traps for such creatures and see what you get. -Steven Pro>

Cleaner Shrimp shell leftovers Is it necessary to remove the molt of my cleaner shrimp from the tank? Sometimes it is a pain to dig out and I was wondering if it will pollute my tank if I just leave it to do its thing? <Won't pollute... s/b left in... please read through the Shrimp articles, FAQs files archived on http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ Bob Fenner>

Re: Aiptasia, Shrimp, CBS meals Hello Bob, My 40g reef tank is about 6months old and just recently there has been an outbreak of Aiptasia anemones. I've tried adding a peppermint shrimp to the tank but after a few days I can't seem to find it anymore. In my tank, I have a Banggai cardinal, purple Firefish, and a coral banded shrimp. <whoa! Hello killer! Banded coral shrimps pull many/most/all other shrimps limb from limb!> Could the Coral Banded shrimp have eaten the peppermint shrimp?  <does a bear bring a reader's digest into the woods?> I also have a bunch of emerald crabs that came with the LR. <sturdy and safe from the BC shrimp> Thanks in advance. Jason <best regards, Anthony>

Shrimp identification  Bob and crew, Another in the never-ending stream of questions I am sure you receive every day. I have trying to identify the shrimp in the attached picture for about a week now. I have looked in CMA, on the WetWebMedia site, and about twenty other web sites. I believe this to be in the same family as the dancing shrimp (Rhynchocinetes), but I have not been able to find a picture of one with claws like my shrimp has. I am fairly certain that this shrimp has been eating my star polyps. <Does look like a Rhynchocinetes durbanensis Gordon, 1936 to me... definitely of the genus. Could well be eating your Star Polyps, especially if there's not much else about for food. You can try bait/trapping them out... Take a read through the few pages on the family Rhynchocinetidae (540-549) in Baensch's Marine Atlas V.1 for a bit more. Bob Fenner> Hollywood, FL

Cleaner Shrimp Ghost Hi Guys, You might find this funny, but I thought I saw a cleaner shrimp ghost in my reef tank....hehe...... The first thing I do when I get back from work is go directly to my tank and stare at it. Check how the fish are doing and see if something new has popped out of the rocks and so forth. Yesterday, I saw my brine shrimp climb up the rocks as usual, healthy and fine. Then I turned to the side of the tank and I saw what seemed like a shell of the cleaner shrimp on the bottom, antennas, legs and all that. I knew that I had only purchased one cleaner shrimp and not two about few months ago. My question is do cleaner shrimps change their shell? <They shed their shell when they grow, leaving behind a semi-transparent "ghost" of themselves.> I'm really confused here. I think you guys are already laughing at me. hehe thanks again, Sam... <No laughing here. It is a regular question. Most people assume that they left behind shell is their shrimp dead. -Steven Pro>

Aiptasia predator concerns I'm in the process of setting up my first attempt at a reef tank. I'm taking everything very slowly and am still building up the stock of live rock in my 120 gallon tank. I presently have about 15 red legged hermit crabs, a couple dozen snails and two cleaner shrimp, just to keep what little I have looking decent. Over the last month or so there has been an explosion of Aiptasia. I would like to rid the tank of these pests before I continue, preferably by introduction of a predator. I've read a number of FAQ's regarding Aiptasia and their removal (including yours, of course), and as much as I could find regarding the Peppermint Shrimp ( Lysmata wurdemanni ) and the Red Legged "Hairy", aka White Spotted, Hermit Crab ( Dardanus megistos ). I'm concerned that the Peppermint shrimp will harass the cleaner shrimp, or vice versa. Since my girlfriend has become very attached to them, this simply won't do! <I have seen several instances where Peppermint Shrimp and Cleaner Shrimp coexist peacefully. I would not worry with your large tank. They have plenty of room to get away from one another.> I'm also concerned that the Hermit's predacious tendencies could prove detrimental to the other tank inhabitants, especially as I begin to stock fish. I've considered removing the Dardanus Hermit when the tank is finally ready for fish, but it seems this might allow the Aiptasia to return. <I do not trust many hermit crabs for reef tank use.> I'd appreciate any advice you'd care to offer. Thanks ! -jd <Get the Peppermints. -Steven Pro>

A Ticking Sound...hmmm? Hi there! <greetings, friend! Wannabe comedian Anthony Calfo in your service> Need your advise. There's a ticking sound which comes from my tank once in a while. Any idea what it is?  < man... there are just so many jokes in this question, I don't know where to begin (although I did immediately rule out all of the cheesy bomb jokes). If I could only convey an outrageous French accent through text I think I would offer a Peter Sellers/Pink Panther scenario> Is it a mantis shrimp?  <not necessarily...just as likely that it is a harmless/beneficial pistol shrimp. Are you losing any snails or small fish to suspect a mantis?> If so, how should I catch it? <many tricks for catching nuisance crustaceans... if a mantis is suspected, you could begin by tying a piece of shrimp/krill into a bit of nylon stocking with a monofilament line lead (drawn outside of the aquarium). The bristly arms of predatory crabs and shrimp are sometimes caught and always slowed by the nylon. Ambush the tank after a couple of hours of pitch blackness with a red flashlight to see if you can discover any curious takers in your bait.> Secondly, will macro-algae take in silicate? Thanks. <varying by species...control inflow source water with chemical media if necessary. Is there a specific reason for that question that I can elaborate on a response for you? Kindly, Anthony>

Protein Skimmer Bob, <Steven Pro here answering a few queries this morning.> I read a couple of article concerning the unwanted Aiptasia and purchased to Mexican peppermint shrimp. I never seen them eat the Aiptasia, but in a matter of eight days I only have (2) when before I had approx. 20. Do the peppermint shrimp only eat at night? I hardly seem them during the day. <They do tend to hide a lot. Glad to see they are working for you.> I also have a question about green algae and protein skimming. I have a Red Sea Fish Pharm protein skimmer, it hangs inside of the tank using the wood block. If you know what I mean. <I know the type you are speaking of, but not the exact model (size).> I did as you said about leaving the lights on longer(12 hrs.) and a lot of my algae problem went away. I still get some algae on the substrate and I am thinking maybe my protein skimmer is inefficient. I could probably get a lawnmower blenny. Would a better protein skimmer take the rest of the algae? My LFS has a similar setup as I do however, they have a Godzilla looking protein skimmer and I don't. <Does you skimmer fill its collection cup several times weekly with skimmate the color of tea to coffee? If not, you may need to try a couple of things. Clean or replace your airstones more frequently, get a larger air pump, or replace the skimmer. I like counter-current, air-driven models. They can be run efficiently, but require more attention (daily). Getting your skimmer to perform better or getting a better performing skimmer will definitely help with nutrient export and should help reduce unwanted algae. -Steven Pro>

A few questions Mr. Fenner, 1. My peppermint shrimp had a bump on his face, we removed him and tried to see if he had any parasites causing the bump. All we found was an air bubble in his skin. We removed bubble, but his "cheek" is still swollen. Would the bubble have caused a bump and if so will it go back to normal once he sheds? <The bubble could indeed be consequent with the air... and yes, should "cure" with the next molt or two> 2. My male Percula (we introduced to tank about 5 weeks ago) looks like he may have velvet. I can see some speckles on his Lateral line and around his face on one side about 8 little speckles) they look a little dusty, but then again he is turning black so I can't really tell if it is his color changing or a parasite. We FW dipped him and his female last week for about 4.5 minutes. We saw a few black dots in the water but nothing like I saw come off my last batch of fish who died 2.5 months ago from velvet. When I put him back in the water the speckles appeared to be gone. They showed back up about 3 days later. My husband says I am seeing things, but I think not! He seems fine, no scratching, rubbing, dashing, darting, hanging out by the power head, nothing! He hangs out at the top of the tank water level), but has done that since I got him. This is also where he and his mate sleep at night. He eats great. I am feeding them anti parasite flakes from Tetra and treating water with Melafix (this combo seemed to cure velvet in my last male Percula who was dusty all over and already shedding his skin) so we thought we would try them again. My water quality is great, temp 82- 83 (should I raise, though I just lost a snail yesterday, probably from meds or high temp) <I would not raise the temperature more here> Salinity 1.021-1.022(should I lower). <Only slowly in the presence of invertebrates... about a thousandth per day... to about 1.017> My Hippo tang had a few black spots last week, but my cleaner shrimp removed (nice guys), He is back to normal (was hiding, now swimming around and bugging others-he is a jokester). Should I FW dip clowns again to kill what is on them, if it is anything (it looks like something to me) and continue as we are? <I'd continue> Also, why doesn't the clown use the shrimp like the tangs do? Can I get a cleaner organism the clown will use (no anemone, too much work). Does this sound like velvet or color change or HLLE? <Mmm, diversity, you can, maybe velvet, perhaps just color change... not likely HLLE> 3. On a good note, my cleaner shrimp had a huge batch of babies last week, but sadly I saw my clowns eat them all (must be yummy). They were eating them 3 hours after the FW Dip so the water must not have been too bad for them. <No, yummy yes> The next morning the same shrimp had another batch of eggs in her belly. Sometimes her mate also has eggs in his belly, but not as often. One of my peppermint shrimp also has eggs. I must be doing something right in here, just can't keep it right for the fish. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and hope you had a great dive last week! <Yes... wish we were in Cozumel right now. Bob F>

Peppermint Shrimp Mr. Fenner, <Actually, you have Steven Pro returning your email. Bob has asked Anthony Calfo and I to help with some of the daily questions.> Firstly, thank you for all the help you bestow to all of us "regular" saltwater aquarists! My last problem involved Aiptasia, and as a result of your recommendations, I ordered a couple Peppermint shrimp. Within two days, the Aiptasia were gone. Now, one of the shrimp has a cluster of white underneath it's belly. Could these be eggs? <Possibly. These shrimp carry light green eggs attached to the swimmerets under the tail. Think of when you eat a lobster or shrimp. The eggs are attached to the small appendages under where the good meat is. Hmm hmm good.> If so, will the female carry the eggs until hatching occurs? <They usually hatch 10-14 days later after changing color from green to orange/red. The babies make an excellent food source for fish and corals.> Thanks! Samuel Sundberg

Green Marble Shrimp? Greetings Mr. Calfo, <Greetings, Robert> I have a 55 gallon tank. I currently have 2 Perculas and a handful of Caulerpa. I would like to get your opinion on the following potential future inhabitants: <thank you kindly for caring to know my opinion> Hermit Crab Green Marble Shrimp Marine Betta Will all of them get along? The green shrimp is classified as a carnivore but do they eat algae as well? <not sure by the common name "Marble" shrimp...but wonder if you are referring to a Saron species (please reference). And the Betta is a great fish and one of the absolute hardiest and long lived fishes for marine aquaria (one of my favorites). However, shrimp are a natural food and they do eat small live prey (including fish and crabs). So in truth... there are conflicts in your targeted mix. I'd focus on a centerpiece, like the clowns, and work around them. As much as I like the Beta/Comet... they are shy and no fun <wink> by hiding in a cave all day. Get another hit list of more fish that interest you and pass it along, please. Anthony>

Re: mussels? Dear Bob, I can't believe that you answered me back so quickly....thank you so much....I'm headed in to sniff the waters....and check my trap...click....click...those pesky shrimp!!! Thank you again...dig ya later...Helene <Happy hunting! Bob F>

Bump on Shrimp Mr. Fenner, <Hello, Steven Pro speaking. Anthony Calfo and I are filling in for Bob while he is away.> We bought a new peppermint shrimp 2 or 3 weeks ago and introduced him right away into our system. We already had a peppermint shrimp of the same size and when we put the new guy in they immediately started hanging out together (although not all the time like my Perculas) anyway, this morning I noticed a bump, like blister on the side of his little face. It is only one size and it appears to be an inflammation or something because the bump is his skin (if you can understand what I am trying to say). I didn't notice it before and am not sure if it is my new P. shrimp or my old one (although I am leaning towards my new one) Is this something to worry about? Do you know what it could be? and If it is anything can I do something to get rid of the bump or help my little shrimp? <I think I may have responded to this in the forum for WetWebMedia already, but here goes. Take a close look and see if there is something under the shell of your shrimp. Occasionally, I would find these parasites under the shells of captive raised peppermint shrimp. They would actually come to the store from the breeder infected. You can remove these guys with a pair of tweezers. You have to look for where the shell is cut and pull the little critter back out. It can be done without killing the shrimp. Take a very clean cloth, wet it with saltwater from your tank, and place the shrimp on the towel to work. Try not to keep him out of water for too long. It might be best to have a small bowl or something to place him in every so often while working.>

Peppermint shrimp implicated The Pep Boys, my three peppermint shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni, have recently been implicated in the near destruction of 2 inverts--one a small sand sifting star, Archaster typicus, who was losing his leg-points mysteriously (until I caught Pep Boy Manny, braced against the work and the current, pulling a chunk of starfish meat off the poor creature. I rescued the star and put him in the sump to recover. The adventure goes on from there if anyone cares... I witnessed the second incident as I caught Moe (or was it Jack?! Hard to tell in the light...) red-handed performing midnight surgery on my Trachyphyllia geoffroyi, brain coral, laboring, snipping and pulling to get the bit of clam or bluefish or whatever the coral was trying to digest...The result is a brain with flesh pulled up revealing a raw-appearing skeleton. Otherwise still healthy but an obvious and defenseless target now. <Yikes... and to think I used to own their stock... are you feeding these Pep Boys?> The only thing these three peppermints fear is Coco, the sebae clown who pals with my long tentacled anemone. So I moved the coral below this couple--the Pep Boys will have to expose themselves to avenging Coco the clown to nip my brain. <Good move> I have to tell you about the star in the sump, as evidence for the defense of Manny Moe and Jack. 24 hours after its removal to the sump I checked white star and I found his legs a mess, rotten flesh, black rot and white nastiness. I excised 4 legs, a crunchy business, and put him in quarantine tank, where after 3 days he seemed well on the road to recovery with his one good leg--but that's beside the point. The salient fact is that the legs were rotten, and the "cleaner" shrimp were only doing what cleaners do and taking care of business.  <Likely so> And maybe they were only "cleaning" some badness off the brain! You can't condemn them for that! Bob, be the jury and pronounce these 3 characters guilty or innocent-- <The pressure!> their lives and the welfare of their 10,000 monthly offspring are in your hands. Geoffroyi and Typicus are calling for shrimp on the Barbie!! As you may discern, the shrimp trio are quite the favorites in my tank. No decoy seems to keep them from coming out to "sup" with (or on) the brain, no massive feeding prior kills their appetites--I just wonder if they are really bad, or just misunderstood. Mark <I opt for a stay of sentence (whew!)... There may be something else, more "afoot" (feet?) here... I don't think the Peppermints really are/were the a priori (the ultimate) cause of the other invert.s troubles... I'd leave them as is. (Drops gavel), exeunt all. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint Shrimp Good Morning Mr. Fenner (my wealth of knowledge), I have a few questions regarding peppermint shrimp: 1. Can they introduce parasites into your system?  <Not generally, but there is a possibility... mainly in moving water itself from system to system... hence procedures for limiting cross-contamination> We have one small shrimp right now and wanted to get him/her a friend so they can protect each other from my pregnant cleaner shrimp( they have had three sets of eggs in each shrimp for the past 2 months, with more clustered in their heads). Or would it be fine on it's own. <Do live in small associations in the wild> We had another P. shrimp before and they always hung out together, but he disappeared when we were heavily medicating tank a few months ago. Right now we have a 55 gallon with only about 30 pd.s LR (maybe less), 1 lg Hippo tang (Paracanthurus hepatus) 1 small Zebrasoma Desjardin (sp) Red sea Tang 1 pair of True Perculas (small) 4 various snails 7 small hermit crabs 2 always pregnant cleaner shrimp 1 small peppermint shrimp numerous rock crabs... Can our tank support another small peppermint shrimp? <Should be fine> We want more fish, but of course have to wait until we upgrade to the 100+ gallon.... Thanks in advance for your advice and also, our new Zebra tang is fairing very well thanks to your wonderful advice. My hippo is even now swimming "with" him without his dorsal fins up... Good news! <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Re: Peppermint Shrimp Thank you for your quick response. Can I FW a shrimp or just make sure none of his water gets in my system? <Please read WWM re shrimp, dipping... I would not dip these> Also, can a P. Hepatus be too heavy? And if so will it shorten his life or put him in danger of other problems? <Yes, I believe they can be too "round"> Mine is getting VERY round. I can see fat lines on his side from when he turns. Is two feedings a day too much? <Perhaps for this one> Thanks again, and I personally think you should charge a service for all the emails I know you would make a fortune off of me alone!) <Be careful what you ask for. Actually, don't know if it's reasonable to talk for the friends who together (along with yourself) are WWM, our other sites... but suspect we all are satisfied with the "pay" we get in satisfaction... knowing that we're helping other people to be successful, cutting down on unnecessary, easily-avoided losses, encouraging kinship with the planet... and having expenses paid by our sponsors. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp marketing... for?  Hi...My name is Tony, and I am currently living in Vancouver. I was wondering if there is a opportunity for me to export the big quantity of shrimp from Iran to any big distributor here in BC (I already have my connection in Iran) I truly appreciate if you could help as by giving me a hint how to start. Regards Tony lemmond <Food shrimp? Pet fish? For human consumption, feed production? I might know how to start (only start) looking re the latter. Is the source you have freeze dried? Prepared otherwise? Bob Fenner>

Feeding an anemone whose food is being stolen by a shrimp Hey Bob; Another thing!!! I hope you have the time. . . I'm attempting to feed my Sebae for the first time. The food I give him, he appears to take it, then the Cleaner Shrimp take it away!! What can I do? <Give the shrimp a bit of something of its own to chew on... away from the anemone... first... then feed the Sebae/Heteractis crispa. Bob Fenner> Thank again, my friend. Talk to you soon, Rich

Atlantic shrimps and fish compatibility Mr. Bob Fenner Has been sometime since the last contact with you. It was about my home made Ca reactor.... it is working fine.... Alk is 12 and Ca about 450. <Yes I remember your name. Excellent> This time I need your advice about the possible introduction of two animal species in my main tank : 100 gallons ; half a dozen of soft and hard corals; a lot of small Atlantic Hermit crabs (Calcinus spp?)  <Perhaps> two Lysmata amboinensis and 3 fishes: purple tang, blue damsel and pigmy angel. Other fishes, like 1 Z. Flavescens, 1 Mandarin and a Clown have died with Amyloodinium (probably), four weeks after the introduction of an apparently healthy, but now also dead, Leucosternon. <A shame> In another tank I have for several months 5 gobies, Gobius paganellus and a lot of small shrimps, Palaemon elegans, all collected by myself here in Madeira Island. They look great an growing and I am thinking to put some of them, may be two gobies and two small shrimps, in the main tank. Are there some known incompatibility between this shrimps and the Lysmata? This kind of shrimp is very fast moving in the water, so I think that may be they could escape from the damsel in the first contacts. I am tempted to try the cohabitation but first I want your opinion <Don't know of any such incompatibilities... not specific predators on each other, occupy similar but distinct food, space niches... as you likely know, having collected them> Mr. Fenner, thank you in advance for your reply. Flio Ribeiro <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Fish and Shrimp compatibility Mr. Fenner Just to thank for your fast reply to my question about shrimp and fish compatibility. Also to say I hope that all of us but the American People in special, could have enough strength and evidence to deal with this big problem caused by some faceless specimens. Thank you, from Portugal, Flio Ribeiro <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Weird shrimp Hi there! My roommate worked in the seahorse lab at the National Aquarium in Baltimore <What a great exhibit... have been around the world visiting public aquariums for years... and tube-mouthed fishes are current "darlings"... the Baltimore has the best one of many good ones> all summer and brought home some shrimp for my almost-a-reef tank. I had mentioned that I wanted some cleaner shrimp, and she brought home these little guys instead. She said they used them to keep the seahorse tanks clean, and her boss said they would be reef-safe. So far, this is true - they haven't hurt my star polyps or my xenia, and they get along with my fish, even though they (the shrimp) frequently swim freely instead of lurking around the rocks. I was told that their scientific name is Penaeus aztecus (I think I got the species name right). <Mmm: Penaeus aztecus... put this in your search engine, Brown Shrimp of the Gulf of Mexico> They're clear and are developing reddish brown speckles on their shells, and their tails are tipped with bright red. The forward sets of legs are longer and have tiny pincers, and the rear legs are fin-like and propel them through the water. They have long antennae and large, silvery eyes on stalks. They're three to four inches long and are very entertaining. Any idea what they could be? Thanks in advance, Gina <Hmm, they'll be getting bigger if members of the family Penaeidae... Bob Fenner>

Re: Ich Treatment Forgot one last thing. How low of a spg level would be safe for cleaner shrimps? <Not as much or as fast as with fishes. Maybe 1.021 and this very slowly adjusted... Need to either leave them in near seawater spg or move them to same in another system while treating your fishes with hyposalinity. Bob Fenner>

Shrimps did their job Hi Bob, Just writing you back to thank you for the advice on which shrimps were best for the job. I put two peppermint shrimp in on Sunday around 1:00 P.M., and by two in the morning the couple of glass anemones I had were none existent. These little guys did not waste any time. Obviously not unionized shrimps) :) <Hmm> Just one little question; you mention that fire shrimps( blood, or scarlet shrimps are better in pairs on the page about shrimps, do you mean a mated pair, or just more then one. <The latter> I have one of these also, but he hides pretty much constantly, <Par for the course> yet my two peppermints are a lot more active, and come out on the rocks quite often. I also now that all cleaners are more reclusive, but do you think the fire shrimp will be more outgoing if I add a second one?, <Yes, more> and what exactly is so wrong with glass anemones, is it just the fact that they are the dandelions of the aquarium as I read someone else calling them, or can they actually do damage, or injure a fish?  <Too many can cause trouble... stinging other sessile invertebrates mainly...> Keep up the amazing work with this site.  Greg N <Will endeavor to do so my friend. Bob Fenner>

Some minor questions and big thank you Greetings Bob! <Hi there> My little twelve gallon eclipse is doing surprisingly well. I just have one question... I bought a cleaner shrimp about 6 weeks ago and he has already shed, or molted twice... is there such a thing as shedding too much for cleaner shrimp?  <Not really... as long as there is sufficient biomineral and alkaline content in your water, food...> He has eaten the shell both times which I believe is normal  <Yes> The tank now contains... 1)false Percula clown 2)yellow tailed blue damsel 3) royal Gramma 4) turbo snail 5) about ten small blue leg hermits 6)about 14 lbs. of liverock 7) a colony of mushrooms 8) a star polyp rock (with some little free bee anemones :) 9) assorted macro algae. <Quite a collection> I'm probably near or possibly over the recommended bio load for this tank... <Yes> but everything seems to be going well. All the fish are eating well and both the mushrooms and the star polyps opened fully and seem to have gotten bigger since they have been introduced into my tank. Thank you for all your help, Ben <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp Hi Bob, I recently introduced a peppermint shrimp into my 38 gallon tank. It was fine for two days, did not get any attention from other inhabitants when introduced. Today I found its carcass floating in the water, it had obviously been eaten. Who was the likely culprit? I have a tang, a clownfish, a hermit crab, turbo snails, and a scooter blenny. Would I be throwing away life and money if I were to buy some cleaner shrimp for my tank? Thanks. <Hmm, could be there was no culprit per se here... besides yourself! Maybe this specimen simply succumbed to "overall stress". No marks on the exoskeleton? Enough nooks and crannies for it to get away, out of sight? If so I'd say it died from the trauma of being moved, different water conditions... Please read over the "shrimp", "cleaner shrimp" sections of the WWM site. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp question Hi Bob, I just got through curing a load of live rock when I noticed a shrimp peering out from a large hole in one of the larger rocks. I looked seemingly everywhere online and in the only saltwater identifier book I have, and I cannot find a picture of this guy. He looks like a Amblygobius hectori (hector goby) <Hmm, you mean the shrimp associated with this fish...?> to me. I am wary of introducing him to my reef until I can identify him. He is black or dark green with white lines spiraling out from his nose out across his body. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Tom in Milwaukee <Take a look at the invertebrate i.d. piece linked on the WWM site (www.WetWebMedia.com) and the references there.> If a picture would help here one is. He has a white nose and white stripes that are dotted in places. He won't come out and was in there even late at night when I tried to surprise him. <Why it's still alive in part.>

Peppermint shrimp My question is about the amount of peppermint shrimp you can have in an 80 gal. reef. I have an Aiptasia problem that is growing by leaps and anemones. <Yikes, best to nip these in the proverbial buddage> I would really like to take care of this the natural way before they take over my little piece of serenity. How many of these little guys can one add to this size tank and what will happen when and if they get the job complete? <Very well put... in the wild and in the biz, Lysmata wurdemanni are often "really crowded"... but as you hint, this isn't a good situation to have permanently... I would try a "handful" (4,5) in an eighty... to guard against "other predation" that may well become a concern if/when the Peppermints are through with the Aiptasia... and not easily removed> I read where they usually will only eat the smaller ones, but at least it's a start! I'll go after the larger ones myself if I have to. I have a yellow tang, 6 line wrasse, Banggai cardinal, and a watchman goby plus two cleaner shrimp as inhabitants, plus a growing assortment of hard and soft corals. Is there anything incompatible here? <Some six-lines will eat the Peppermints... mainly on size differences. Bob Fenner, who asks, have you read through the Aiptasia materials on our site? http://wetwebmedia.com/aiptasia.htm for the start... Chatted with the Chatforum re this situation? http://talk.wetwebfotos.com/> Thanx always for your help and input, Charlie. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Questions (Fish losing color, a lot of shrimp in a forty...) Hi, Bob. I am new to this hobby and have learnt a lot from your website. Thank you very much. <You're welcome> I have a salt-water tank (eclipse, 160 litre, protein skimmer-Berlin connected with an ozonizer, 2 power heads, 15 lbs live rock, 2 inches substrate) set up for about four months now. All parameters look good. Since the start-up, it has not been successful in keeping my fish alive except the shrimps. Now I have 6 shrimps (3 Lysmata amboinensis, 1 coral banded, 1 blood, 1 camel), one yellow tang and one yellow tailed blue damsel. Is it too crowded already? <Hmm, forty gallons and six shrimp? They're a bit packed and you might lose some during molting (eaten by others)> The yellow tang has been in the tank for almost 5 weeks now and lost its golden yellow colour, very pale now. It eats well though (Brine shrimp, flaked food, seaweed) and always come to the blood shrimp for cleaning. <Try changing the food here. Pablo Tepoot's Spectrum, Denny Crew's Omega One... and add a vitamin and iodide supplement to it and/or the water every week... the color and vigor will return> Without the blood shrimp, it may have already been dead by now. I have had a very serious outbreak of ick before and in fact it is yet to get it under control (I think the cleaner shrimps have helped a lot). And the damsel has been in my tank for almost 6 weeks now. He was doing well until two days ago. He starts scratching his body against the glass and I can see his body is being damaged and he is losing its color too. Now my questions are: what should I do to help the yellow tang regain his color?  <Oh, see and do the above and try growing some macro-algae in this system... or an associated sump if you can fit this in: http://wetwebmedia.com/sumprffiltfaqs.htm> I keep the light on for about 12 hours a day, will the lighting contribute anything to it? <Not really> How about my damsel? Should I just wait and see? <Yes, in addition to the above> I love tomato clown (unfortunately I have already lost 4 of them, I saw one very very good looking one from the LFS the other day but wasn't dare to risk its live by putting him in my tank. I didn't buy it in the end. I think you understand how I feel.) Any special tricks in keeping this type of fish in good health other than those already mentioned in your website? <Yes, look for and buy a small (about one inch long) tank bred and raised specimen... the ones (Amphiprion frenatus) from the wild are sometimes terribly hard to keep> Apart from the tomato, I would like to add one powder blue tang, do you think it is ok? <A very poor choice... your tank is way too small, and this species way too prone to disease, simply dying mysteriously... for large, well-aged systems only> I think it is more prone to ick compared to the yellow tang? is that right? Is it less hardy than the yellow tang? <Right on all counts> I become more and more attached to this hobby and look forward to a larger tank and healthy fish of course. Thanks very much for your help in advance. Best regards. Eric from Hong Kong <Very glad to share your experiences. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Tank Temperature, shrimp longevity, necessity of adding phytoplankton... Hey Bob, Hope this finds you well; the reef-keeping efforts are going well on this end (currently have a coral beauty and three Firefish seemingly happy in my 60 gall). Some questions I have that I can't seem to resolve through research, so I thought I'd go straight to the guru (you) on these issues: 1.) What's your take on the great temperature debate for reef tanks? High 70s, low 80s? I keep my tank at 80-82. I've heard of people talking about corals "melting" at temps higher than this; which corals, if any? <This whole range is fine... there are some important factors to take into account with the high and low end... issues like the desired results of the aquarist: growth, color, shortened life spans... need for added circulation, aeration at elevated levels... Some species of corals have shown difficulties in thermal adaptation... ones collected from "cooler" latitudes, deeper waters... but most all will/can adapt...> 2.) How long do inverts live in aquariums? Shrimp, crabs, snails, etc. Do any last more than a year? <Yes, most live a few years...> How about fan worms?  <A couple to a handful of years for some larger species> I'd like to get more shrimp or a fan worm, but wouldn't be so interested if they weren't long lived in the aquarium. <All relative my friend. To us Drosophila come and go, for Galapagos tortoises, we're moving along...> 3.) How do you feel about the use of phytoplankton in aquariums? Necessary? Is it possible to have phytoplankton reproducing in your tank if you add it frequently enough? <Good idea, yes either produced endogenously and/or added... Yes... with "proper" size, set-up...> 4.) I've read a lot of anti-anemone-keeping sentiment in various posts. Some say less than 5% of anemones in aquariums make it past a year. You say they're hardy, though? What's your take on all this? <They're "hardy", considering the amazing trying environmental fluctuation they encounter in the wild... and how long many apparently live... but not tolerant of the abuse generally encountered in "extraction", handling, then poor conditions afforded them in most cases in captivity...> 5.) Is it possible to have too much Caulerpa or macro-algae in a tank? I've read that excess algae can cause too much oxygen in tanks and be harmful to corals (evidenced by little bubbles on rocks or micro-algae, which I occasionally see). I have three clumps of red ferns (small fist size), and another clump of maiden hair algae. What do you think? <Yes, not so much for "excess oxygen"... but production of other by-materials, over-competition for carbon dioxide, other nutrients> 6.) Lastly, and not so interesting, my two leather corals seem to be shrinking (I've had them for about 2 months -- they used to open fully, but not in the last three weeks). I have no idea what gives -- parameters are in usual accordance to recommended guidelines (with temperature being the high exception). I guess my question is how to tell when, if at all, to throw in the towel with these guys; once on a declining path, do they have good chances for recovery? Or do I just let nature and time take its course? <Go with nature... you will be able (sight, touch, smell) to tell if/when your Sarcophytons are on the way out. In the meanwhile, check on water quality (esp. alkalinity, pH, calcium), look closely for parasites (even at night), pesky predators, add a bit of iodide/iodine weekly. Feed them... and if/when/where in doubt a couple of ten percent water changes, a unit or two of carbon in your filter flow path... may work wonders. Bob Fenner> Thanks again Bob!

Stocking plan Dear Bob, Your guidance and advice over the 7 months of my bringing a small bit of our SCUBA experience into our living room is much appreciated. The basement sump/filtration/UV system is wonderful - perfect chemistry, automatic R/O top off after each gallon of evaporation, 30 gallon water change with aged water takes 10 minutes. Calcium reactor is planned. I would add ozone, the only thing you recommend that is missing, but the air pump boosted Turboflotor works really well without it. Dissolved O2 stays at 5 to 7ppm. I have no ORP meter yet. Phosphates are kept at 0 with a weekly change of Kent Phosphate Sponge - 1 cup in the Ocean Clear changed each week. <Outstanding... and be honest with all of us... a "piece of cake" in simplicity... given some easy, careful planning and intelligent, regular maintenance. Congrats!> My stocking plan calls for adding a coral or anemone and a fish every 4 weeks to the present community: clown, blue damsel, sleeper goby, 2 neon gobies, royal Gramma, 3 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp (haven't seen an Aiptasia since I cleaned out all I could find and put in the peppermints!), 40 or so tiny blue leg hermits, 6 large scarlet hermits, 12 large Mexican turbo snails, 1 leather coral, and a colony of red mushrooms. <Sounds good> Future fish will include the yellow Hawaiian Tang, the Flame Angel, 2 Firefish and 2 Cardinalfish. The top of the reef will be devoted to corals on one side and an anemone at the other end of the tank (hopefully for the true Percula clown.) All fish except the sleeper goby will be 2 inches or less. <Okay> Your advice on this plan going forward would be appreciated including the order in which fish should be introduced. (130 gallons, 400 gph circulation plus about 1500 total gph on a wave maker. 570 watts VHO.) <At this point in the development of this system... order of introduction is actually not such an issue... really> I often see the exo skeletons of very small (3-4mm) shrimp. I have not put in any live small shrimp and wonder if these could be from the offspring of the cleaners or peppermints or just living rock voyagers? <Possibly any... and likely just discarded exoskeletons from molts> Will the large scarlet hermits bother the sessile inverts? I have another home for them if you think they were a bad idea. (I got them on a bargain deal with the blue legs and turbo snails.) <The real Scarlets? No... do take a look on the WWM site for pix/i.d.... have recently spiffed up.> I again thank you for your advice, your books, and your website. I have almost memorized the first book and have had no disease and lost no livestock. Howard <Hopefully you'll be in heaven ahead of me to give me a plug at St. Peter's gate... I need it. Bob Fenner>

Shrimp ID Dear Bob, Thank you for all your wonderful advice over the past few months; you truly are the most valuable resource on the web! <Wowzah, what a plug! Thank you for "pumping me up"> My question today is regarding identifying a pair of shrimp in my tank. I thought they were peppermint shrimp but recent research has me to believe otherwise. They are overall red with thin white stripes spanning the length of their vertical body. They recently mated (quite the sight) and one appears to be carrying eggs. The closest resemblance I have found was on fishdomain.com and it was labeled a candy shrimp (Rhynchocinetes uritai), but other pictures I've seen of candy shrimp were completely different. <Yes, there are some other members of the family that are very similar...> My real concern is that I have noticed one of shrimp harassing my bubble tip anemone, as if it were nibbling on it. Is it possible that this shrimp may simply be eating dead skin off the anemone (as I read they do) or is it not compatible and eating it alive? Can shrimp feel the sting of the anemone? Would an anemone fish protect the anemone from such attacks? <Hopefully this is something in the way of a mutually beneficial, or at least commensal relationship... I believe experience first hand more than reference or other's experiences though... Some shrimp don't "get stung" by anemones... and yes to a Clownfish likely protecting the Bubble tip> Sorry for the long email and I REALLY appreciate all your help. Sincerely, Chris <Never a difficulty. Joyous holidays to you. Bob Fenner>

Oh, and more re: Identifying shrimp <Forgot to mention volumes 2,3 of the (Baensch) Marine Atlases... take a look at the images, descriptions there for these shrimp... Bob Fenner>

Questions about molting shrimp Hello Mr. Fenner For starters I greatly appreciate your site and all of your e mail replies! it is hard in this hobby to get a professional answers to anything, that is why I come here, for a professional honest answerers to all of my problems and questions. <An honor> I have a couple questions, the first is about flake foods for my reef tank. I try not to use these much ,what is your opinion on tetra marine flakes? <A few of the brands are excellent as a steady offering. Tetra, New Life, Ocean Nutrition's, Harbor Marine's... many more provide sufficient nutrient, aren't messy, are convenient, highly digestible, palatable...> if i use flake food once in a while this is what i use. if this isn't very good flake food could you list some please? i mostly feed frozen food my reef tank. the manufacturer is PRO SALT, is this a quality frozen food? <From what I've read yes... no first hand experience. Mainly use Hikari and Ocean Nutrition's products as they are what is available here in Southern California> if not please list some. I also have questions on cleaner shrimp and peppermint shrimp. as far as molting goes how long does it take? my cleaner has been about 3 weeks so far since I last saw of him. I just saw him today but he still wont come out of his little cave. I saw the old shells of the peppermint shrimp floating in my tank till I netted them out. The peppermints come out at night but the cleaner still won't .any advice will be greatly appreciated. thank you and take care. <Hmm good observations... a couple of weeks generally does it (from ecdysis to remineralizing of a new exoskeleton sufficient for the specimen to venture forth... But a bunch of how long has to do with the availability of biomineral and alkalinity in the system (water and substrate) for these crustaceans to incorporate into their new, redone external skeletons. You (and others) are encouraged not to remove "old shells"... actually these are often re-incorporated into the (usually) larger specimen that shed them... Do check your calcium and alkalinity levels in the water, and consider placing a bit of very fine (i.e. so-called oolithic) Aragonitic material in a dish or sprinkled over the substrate near where this shrimp is hiding out. Bob Fenner>

10 gallon micro reef Dear Mr. Fenner I have a few questions concerning my 10 gallon reef tank. It has a coral banded shrimp, 2 green Chromis and a tiny clown (he will go in a bigger tank once bigger), 2 scarlet hermits and 3 blue hermits along with some small snails. For filtration I have a millennium 2000 and about 7-10 pounds of live rock. There seems to be a black substance covering my crushed coral that's been there for a long time but is really unattractive. Do you know what it is? How to make it go away? I used to have a turbo snail but he died of mysterious causes, I don't know if he ate it or what. <Very like a type/types of what are called Blue Green Algae or Cyano... read enough about them, their opportunistic "causes" and paths to eradication on the www.wetwebmedia.com site> Also should I get another turbo snail to replace the dead one because there is hair algae all over the liverock.  <Not necessarily... read over the options for other algae predators, other tact's for control on the mentioned site> Will a coral banded shrimp fight with an anemone shrimp?  <Not often> Will a shrimp share an anemone with a clownfish? <If the anemone is large enough, this is likely>  Will a clownfish live with a carpet anemone?  <Depends on the species of both... see the links, FAQs on the WWM site> I would like to start buying a coral or two. Would a finger leather or brain coral work?  <Depends... read over the coral... And do look into some of the standard reference works in the field... You're not ready to try stony corals, or anemones.> I really like carpet anemones are they hard to keep?  <In all honesty and candor, yes... very hard. Most people have them die within a few weeks> I cannot decide between a reef or a lionfish tank for the 55 i hope to get for Christmas any preference?  <Try the Lions for a while> Oh yea, should I remove the shrimps old carapace-shell-thingy or whatever? Thanks, Andrew <Leave the old exoskeletons in place... often consumed by the shedding animal, utilized for biomineralizing new one... You have a curious and active mind... do direct it with focus and knowledge. Bob Fenner>

Pistol Shrimp  Bob,  When I set up my reef tank 15 months ago, one of the critters included  with "the Package" from Tampa Bay Saltwater was a pistol shrimp.  Since then, and the tank is going well, I have been reading about the  horrors of mantis shrimp. How can one determine if one has a pistol  shrimp or a mantis shrimp? Both make that snapping sound and both hide  pretty well. I understand that the pistol should be OK in a reef tank and  the mantis not. Or are both dangerous to hermit crabs and snails? I have  noticed that I need to replace my hermit crabs and snails every so often. <Mantis are dorso-ventrally compressed, and have longer bodies, with prominent eyestalks... Pistol Shrimps are more laterally compressed, not very large and have one longer, cylindrical claw... very different appearing. Both can/will eat hermits and snails>  Finally, if I'm better off without the pistol, how do I get rid of it? It  has grown some since I set up the tank. By the way, I use the Berlin  system which seems to be working well. I also have a banded coral shrimp  and a cleaner shrimp. Possible culprits in the disappearing snails and  crabs?  Thanks,  Jim >> <Best to bait out these animals with something meaty on a stout string/line... toward night time, or use a "live rodent trap" made of plastic (sold at large hardware stores)... and Yes, if hungry enough cleaners, including Stenopus will eat snails, hermits.  Bob Fenner>

Shrimp Deaths I have a 55. Currently a FOWLR. Have 2 Percula clowns. I have a Koran angel -2 inch also a yellow tang - 4 inch in quarantine. So my final setup is this. 2-percs 1-Koran Angel 1-Yellow Tang. I want to keep cleaner shrimps, however every attempt at acclimating them they die I think. They seem to be frozen on contact of water. I blame it on low salinity as mine was 1.020 or so. Well please tell me if this setup is good. Also do you think neon gobies will do good in the tank and clean the fishes. I also want to keep my tang stress free. <<Hmm, lots to comment on here... For one, I'd leave off with quarantining the new shrimp... and raise your specific gravity if you intend to use them... I agree with your appraisal as to the "frozen" condition, cause of death. The use of Cleaner Gobies (Gobiosoma spp.) is probably a very good choice/alternative... I would try one or two (placed at the same time), if you're so inclined. Do take a look/see at our site if you'd like a good round of input... articles, FAQ files and images on most all topics... Home Page Bob Fenner>>

Reef Tank? What constitutes a reef tank? Do shrimp or live Fiji rock require special lighting? <<Hey Kenny, this is part and parcel to the eight bazillion buck question! A reef tank sufficiently houses all types of organisms found in/on a reef... Or we could define such by their gear (the specialized lighting and filtration...), or... Shrimps don't require special lighting, Fiji rock does (sort of). For practical purposes (what else is there?) you want enough strength (intensity), quality (temp. like 5,000 K or higher, CRI 90 or higher) duration 10, 12, more hours per day... of pleasing (the affective domain) looking illumination... Depending on size, depth of your system and pocketbook, this can be (once again for our discussion here) some sort of boosted full spectrum fluorescents, compact fluorescents or metal halides.... Want more specifics? Need more info. on your end. Bob Fenner>>

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