Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Marine Shrimp Systems

Related FAQs: Marine Shrimps 1, Shrimp Identification, Shrimp Selection, Shrimp Behavior, Shrimp Compatibility, Shrimp Feeding, Shrimp Reproduction, Shrimp Disease, Cleaner Shrimp, Banded Coral Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Harlequin Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, Anemone Eating ShrimpCrustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,

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

Shrimp eater.

Bay/Estuary Invertebrates- substrate issues    11/19/13
I'm currently in the "planning stage" of my next tank- a 20 gallon biotope modeled on San Diego/Mission Bay.
<I live in the town; have collected here>
 Among others, I'd like to keep some ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis).  In the wild they dig interconnected burrows up to 3ft deep, however I understand this is a function of living intertidally (they can go to the bottom of the burrow and then into deeper water when the tide drops).  I intend on giving them 8-10" of substrate, however their natural substrate is a mix of very fine sand, silt, and mud, much of which is anaerobic. 
<Yes; folks used to collect this animal in/about the channel at OB...>
My question is this- how would I provide such a deep, fine substrate without causing water quality issues related to anaerobic decomposition?
<Mmm, not much; given it's collected naturally; and you take the time to siphon off, replace, recant... till the bit of upper water is more or less clear. You may want to fashion some sort of faux tunnel, channels so you can see the life here>
The uppermost level of the substrate would be well oxygenated from the other inverts (local Nassarius and Cerith snails) and the shrimp burrows would allow water to travel to the bottom of the substrate but I worry about sulfide buildup in this system.
<Mmm, I wouldn't... what are your plans for circulation, filtration?>
 If it helps, my planned substrate is going to be 50% natural silt/mud from the bay (to seed the naturally occurring microfauna) and 50% of the finest grained aragonite sand (I know it deviates from the biotope, but the buffering capacity is a plus and I think that going 100% natural substrate would guarantee problems from anaerobic decomp given the high levels of organic matter present).
If the shrimp habitat proves to be impractical, I'm just going to do a 3-4" substrate and leave the shrimp out of the tank.  Thank you in advance for any insights you can give on this topic.
< Can be done... I'd go ahead w/ your present plan. Bob Fenner>

Peppermint Shrimp & Iodine Supplementing Iodine 2/7/09 Dear WetWebMedia; <Julie> I have two Peppermint Shrimp in my tank, and have been using iodine for the last 3 weeks, one time per week as indicated on the bottle. The bottle says to put it in the tank for 3 weeks, one time per week...so when do I add it again? <Very unusual for the directions to state "for 3 weeks".> Do I wait a few weeks and then start over, or should I be adding iodine each week? We check the tank levels each week, and everything seems to be in range. <Iodine is a beneficial trace element. Crabs, shrimp and other molting invertebrates benefit from iodine as it aids the molting process. Iodine is an element that should be added weekly in that regard.> Thank you. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> ~Julie

Tank safe for sexy anemone shrimps? - 02/09/2007 Greetings! <Evening> As part of an order headed my way, I will be receiving 3 sexy anemone shrimps (Thor amboinensis). <Oh yes... am wagging my tail in emulation> My plan was to put them in my 65 gallon reef tank, but since placing the order, I have begun to wonder just how vulnerable they actually are given their small size (I've only seen them at my LFS but never kept them in my own tanks).  I think all of my fish will leave them alone... with the possible exception of the Banggai Cardinal (who seems to LOVE "anything meaty looking" that he finds in the water column - though I've never seen him "hunt" anything hiding in the rocks/coral). <Mmm, I'd separate the shrimp (and their anemone for a few days...)> Here's the complete lineup of fish in the tank: • 2 clownfish (one percula, one ocellaris - they've paired up and spend most of their time in my branching hammer coral!) • 2 purple firefish (Nemateleotris decora) • 3 "bar gobies" (Ptereleotris zebra) • 1 Banggai Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) • 1 Rainford's Goby (Amblygobius rainfordi) • 1 spotted mandarin (Synchiropus picturatus) • 1 red headed goby (Elacatinus puncticulatus) • 2 green-banded gobies (Elacatinus multifasciatus) (yes, before I get in trouble, the mandarin and Rainford's goby are both getting plenty to eat... my refugium is rockin' with 'pods, and both fish also have taken to eating processed food as well <g>). <Good> While there are no anemones in the tanks, <Uhh... no good... this animal lives in close association...> there are several Acropora and Montipora colonies in the tank (and a few other types of SPS as well) for the sexy shrimp to find homes in (I am under the impression the shrimp will be content with these corals as "homes" since that's how I've seen them at my LFS?). <Mmm, no, not likely> Anyhow - do you think the Banggai (or perhaps the Bar Gobies) will have them for lunch if I put them in the tank... or should they be fine as long as they are placed near a good coral colony to start? <Need to be placed with a symbiotic anemone... the fishes will avoid this> I do have 10- and 12- gallon tanks set up as well that the shrimp could go into if you think the 65 will be "unsafe" for them after all, though those two tanks are dedicated to lower light soft corals (Capnella, etc. which don't seem as conducive to becoming homes for   the shrimp?)... <I would place the shrimp elsewhere...> What say the gurus of WetWebMedia?  Thanks for your help!!  -Nate <Bob Fenner> Tank safe for sexy anemone shrimps? - II - 02/11/2007 Thanks for the reply... and confirming my suspicions! <Welcome> I appreciate you giving me "the real scoop," since, as mentioned, I have seen the shrimp on Acropora before at my LFS (I am now guessing it was only because there was no anemone provided by the LFS?!), <Yes> and this blurb on LiveAquaria's site certainly implies that corals are "fine homes" for these shrimp (see end of the first paragraph). <Mmm... maybe w/o potential predators present... love that ona mata peia...> Either way, thanks for the insights - if I decide to track down an anemone for the shrimp (and set up another tank - I do have a 20   gallon sitting vacant and I'm sure my wife would LOVE it if I set up ANOTHER tank in the house <g>), <Heee!> is there an "ideal" anemone I should try to find for these  guys? <Mmm, yes... depends on where your specimens originated... could be a Condylactis if from the TWA... other if from the Pacific... is posted on the Net, WWM> Thanks again for your insights and wisdom... Nate <Mmm, little to no wisdom... some accumulated knowledge. Cheers, BobF>

How many shrimp are too many?   10/2/06 I'm new to the hobby and have been reading everything I can on your website (great source of everything by the way). <Guru Fenner has done our hobby a great service with the website. We are thrilled you find it useful.> I have a 30 gallon tank and do 20% water changes every week, a 300 power filter and a protein skimmer, power compact light.  I have a green Chromis (less than 1"), 1 flame angel (about 2"), 2 clownfish (both about 1"), 1 blood shrimp, and 2 peppermint shrimp. I know about 5" of fish is my limit and I don't plan on any more but I want to add more blood shrimp and skunk cleaners.  Is this advised?   <I applaud the fact you considered a limit on the fish bioload in your tank. Do realize though that you are looking at around 10"+ of fish depending on which species of clown you have, when they are fully grown.> Do shrimp heavily impact the bioload? <Not significant> I've also got various corals and polyps, and zooanthids.  Too much?  All I want to add are some more shrimp but I won't if it puts my fish at risk.  Help for a newbie (is there a hotline for those that get really addicted to this). <If you keep up with water quality and have plenty of live rock full of hiding places I believe you will be ok adding another shrimp.> Thanks, <You're welcome, and I wish the best for you and you tank! - Emerson> Paul

Toxicity of Cyanobacteria... can be extreme   8/27/06 Hi Crew, <Thomas/Tom> I have developed what I believe to be a Cyanobacteria problem in a 30 gallon with 2 Gobies,  2 soft corals, and 1 Fireshrimp. This algae is purplish in color and sort of thread-like, forming masses that hold together reasonably well. <Is likely a BGA>   I have found several suggestions on your site about how to go about correcting this problem, which I will get to work on.  But I still have a question. Prior to water changes, I have been attempting to break up this algae to syphon at least some of it out during those changes.  I have noticed my Fireshrimp suffering after water changes (looks bad, like he might not survive).  In today's change, I noticed that he looked bad, before the new water goes in, which is why I started to suspect this had something to do with what I was doing to the algae. <Mmm, either this and/or some part/aspect(s) of the new water... Both very common> So, can disturbing Cyanobacteria release toxics into the water that serious affect a Fireshrimp, but not Gobies or soft corals? <Oh yes. Bob Fenner, touching on this subject today at a presentation to the NJRC in Pt. Pleasant, NJ> Thanks, Tom

Keeping Peppermint shrimp out of overflow and to sump  - 02/16/2006 Good day, Cant get enough of this website and I am inspired by all of your generosity with your time and expertise. Outstanding! I read the peppermint pages on wetwebmedia and did not see this question.  Background: When adding peppermint shrimp to the display, they seem to find there way to the overflow box and go down the standpipe into the sump.  I want to keep them in the display to combat Aiptasia (until I get my excess nutrients under control-working on it).  On another site, I asked and someone suggested counted cross-stitch plastic sheets from craft store cut to size to keep them from the overflow. <One choice. Some sort of chemically inert screening>   Well, it works great at keeping the peppermints out of the overflow and in the display, but now an oil slick is on top of the water of the display as the counted cross-stitch material is apparently keeping the oily stuff from getting into the overflow and down to the sump to skim, probably due to surface tension. <Ah, yes... perhaps a larger mesh material> I live life dangerously only have one overflow on this display by the way. <Heeee!> So, the question is: is there a better way to keep the peppermints in a display and out of the overflow without obstructing the surface oily from draining into the overflow? Sean Missey <The screening/sieving is the easiest approach here. Try something of a bigger "draw". Bob Fenner>

pH Control - 12/30/2005 Hi, <Hello.>   Currently the pH in my 55 gallon saltwater is  8.0. Is that too low for a Camel Shrimp? <Not ideal, could be acclimated to however. Likely to influence longevity.> I've read they tolerate 8.1 -  8.3.  If this is true what do you suggest to raise the pH slightly? <Please read here   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm and follow the links above.> Thanks for the help! <You're welcome. - Josh>  

Ghost Shrimp, marine I would like to add fresh water ghost shrimp to my tank for algae control and they are neat. All I can find in the stores are salt feeder ghost shrimp. Is there any way to adapt the salt shrimp to live in fresh water and what is the difference. Thank you <Can be done... see WWM re. Bob Fenner> 

Stressed Trigger or not Mr. Fenner, <Brendgol> When fish get stressed do they lighten up or darken up? <Many do, yes> In particular, black Hawaiian triggers? <Melichthys niger? For sure! This is one of the most fast-changing color/pattern marines I know of> Is their normal relaxed color black or is it the lighter green/yellow look? <Mmm, hard to say... have seen this species in the tropical West Atlantic and Hawai'i the most... and are at times apparently "happy" or "excited" and both light or dark in background color... the highlights though, mainly blues and golds, seem to be indicative of a positive mental/emotional, physiological state> Also, I am treating my show tank with some of Kordon's reef safe Ick Attack (I know you guys are not big believer's in the reef safe products) all natural stuff and some Melafix (sp?). I assume this stuff would not stress a fish out? <Mmm, am not so sure. Any non-specific poison/medication (which these and almost all "fish medicines" are) I'd expect to add considerable stress to livestock> How do I get rid of the Ick for good? I have dropped the Spec Grav to 1.019 I don't want to go lower because of my cleaner shrimp in the tank <!> and I'm afraid they will die if I lower it further.. Any suggestions? <Please read over the MANY files of FAQs on Cryptocaryon posted on www.WetWebMedia.com re your possible avenues here. The shrimp should not be in a system being treated for parasitic disease... and should NOT be subjected to altered/lowered spg> Thank you Brendgol Majewski <Study my friend. Bob Fenner>

Iodine Deficiency? Hi all! <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I have a question about iodine and shrimp!  I have a pair of scarlet cleaners and at their last molt they seemed to have some trouble and one of them now has crooked antennae and weak joints (they seem to bend just because of his weight, it's not normal at all)  This is the first time their molts have gone bad and I just recently added new lights so of course the algae is growing more.  So could the growth of the additional algae have soaked up all the iodine?  That's all I could come up with for the problem because I've had both these shrimp for several months and they've never had problems. <Interesting theory; unusual, but I suppose, possible.> I add calcium twice a week so I don't think they're calcium deficient. <My easy solution to the possible iodine problem is to test for it. If you do find it a bit low, you can address the problem with regular water changes (which will replenish this and other beneficial compounds), or, if absolutely necessary- with iodine supplements. Remember to test for anything that you intend to add to the tank, okay?> And one other thing, some of the house plants I keep are showing necrosis of the leaf tips because of the fluoride in the city water, could too much fluoride be causing the shrimps' problems too? <I really don't know- I suppose that is possible, but I'm leaning towards your iodine theory> My LFS suggested buying "Reef Evolutions" Potassium Iodide concentrate and adding it regularly. will this do the trick if Iodine is the problem?   <It will, but again- I implore you to test before adding any kind of supplement to the system> So many questions!  At the very least I can say I've never learned so much from a hobby as I've learned from keeping saltwater. <It keeps you on your toes, huh?> Crazy, confusing, amazing, beautiful stuff. <Great description of the hobby, huh? Highly accurate, though!> Thanks for your help, I really appreciate all the time you guys put into helping out the little people (and their little pets)  Have a fantastic week! Rachael <Well, I'd like to thank the Academy, my agent, the manufacturers of Tropic Marin...Seriously- we are happy to be here for you. I'm a hobbyist, just like you. We learn as much as you do every day! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

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>>

Calcium levels for shrimp Bob, Two quick questions: I have a fish only tank that I want to add some cleaner shrimp to.  Presently my calcium level is too low around 280ppm, pH and dKH are fine at  8.2 and 7 respectively. Do shrimp require the 350-380 calcium levels?  <Hmm, not really... if there is calcareous material available (foods, substrates, rock, decor) the Shrimp can/will derive sufficient calcium from these sources (by ingesting same)> And if they do does Kalkwasser need to be added through a drip system or can I  carefully add a small amount to the sump every other day while monitoring  the pH and alkalinity? <You could drip, pour in Kalkwasser... while watching it reduce your alkalinity... I wouldn't necessarily do this> Secondly, I have these small gray creatures about 1/4 of an inch long that  appear to be some sort of crustacean running all around my tank. They seem  to spend most of there time under the gravel but do come out every time I'm  feeding the fish for scraps. They are fairly fast swimmers when they want  to be. They are curved in shape and have many legs. What are these things  and more importantly can they harm the fish? <Probably species of the Amphipoda... crustaceans that are of more benefit than harm to marine aquarists... I would cherish, rather than try to eliminate them> Your help is greatly appreciated, CB

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: