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Nathan Cope - Shrimps In The Reef Aquarium - 08/24/1997

Nathan Cope - August 24, 1997

Shrimp for the Tropical Marine Aquarium Hobby

I was asked to give this talk after I let it slip

that I was doing a presentation at Underwater World, Perth (my local public aquarium) on

Cleaner shrimp. DC and Eric immediately wanted me to do the talk here as well. It was just a 3-minute synopsis in its original form, so to give you something to chew on, I've expanded it to

include a number of shrimp species. The information won't get overly technical, so don't expect

to be able to go out and raise shrimp fry at the end of this.

Before we go any further I've been

told that I should give you all my web page URL, so here it is:

Around 2000 shrimp species exist in the oceans, but only a few of them are sold in the reef

hobby. Consequently, I have decided to limit the scope of the presentation to the ones you are

most likely to see at your LFS. The fact that I'm on a different continent (Australia) to the

majority of people online means that the common names I use, could be different to what you

use. For some genera, only one or two species are popular or available and are very well known

in the hobby, so there should be no confusion there. For other genera, though, the number of

species available is so diverse that most of us only know them by generalised common names.

To avoid confusion I'll generally use both Latin and as many common names as possible (where

practical, at least). Also, where I could find a definition for the Latin name, I've given it. I find it

really helps me to remember the names if I know what they mean.

General Information

TheTrue Shrimp are categorised as follows: Phylum: Arthropoda ("jointed legs") Class: Crustacea

("crust animals") Subclass: Malacostraca Superorder: Eucarida ("true shrimp") Order: Decapoda

("ten legged") Suborder: Natantia ("swimming")

Shrimp and prawn are used to describe the

animals in the superorder but usually only the larger species of shrimp are called prawns.

Shrimps generally have a laterally, or side-to-side, compressed body, which is divided into three

parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. The head bears eyes on stalks and long antennae. All shrimp

have at least two pairs of antennae. Arising from the thorax are eight pairs of appendages: the

first three pairs near the head are modified into mouthparts called maxillipeds; the remaining five

pairs are the walking legs, or pereipods. The abdomen has five pairs of swimming legs, or

pleopods, and one pair of uropods, which form part of the fanlike tail. The head and thorax are

fused and covered by an overhanging shell called the carapace, which encloses the gills. The

carapace comes to a point at the front and this is called the rostrum. Food is generally caught by

one or more of the walking legs and held to the mouth by the maxillipeds.

Shrimp are great

scavengers and are very useful for keeping your aquarium free of stray food. Like all crustaceans,

shrimp moult on a regular basis. This is often timed to the lunar cycle and, depending on the

species, will usually correspond with a new moon. The reason for this is that shrimp are very

vulnerable after they moult, as their new exoskeleton will be very soft, so they prefer to do it in

the complete darkness of a new moon. Prior to moulting, a shrimp will usually not eat for a

couple of days and may not clean its exoskeleton. You might see diatoms growing on the

exoskeleton because of this. It might also become secretive during this time as the shrimp will be

re-absorbing some of the calcium from its current exoskeleton to use in the new skeleton,

therefore its armour will not be as strong. To begin the moulting process, the animal shrinks its

body internally so that the flesh pulls away from the current exoskeleton. It then shrugs off the

old exoskeleton and expands its body with water so that it is now larger than its previous

exoskeleton. At this point, the outer layer of its body is just chitin, a protein polymer. This is

used as a framework to fuse calcium carbonate to and over the next two days, the exoskeleton

will become hard as it is impregnated with calcium carbonate. I have not been able to find any

textual reference speaking of the necessity of iodide in the moulting process, but in a discussion

with Craig Bingman recently, he said to me, "it is pretty well established that iodide is an

important ion biologically, and that it is involved in the moulting process in crustaceans." The

exoskeleton actually covers the shrimps gut passage and gills, so this must be moulted at the

same time. As you can imagine, this whole process is pretty dangerous for the shrimp and

mortality rates are very high during the process. So, if you don't want your shrimp to suffocate on

their own exoskeleton when moulting, it would be a good idea to add an iodide supplement to

your tank. :)

Most shrimp are hermaphroditic, that is, they are both male and female (at least at

some stage of their life). But they cannot fertilise themselves and due to the hard exoskeleton, it

is only possible for a sperm packet to be accepted immediately after moulting. So, the danger of

the moulting process is further increased by the necessity to find a mate. This is not so difficult

with the more social shrimp such as the Lysmata and Rhynchocinetes species but can prove fatal

for others such as the Alpheus species. Despite their hard exoskeleton making them seem

impervious to anything, shrimp are quite delicate when it comes to acclimatisation. They won't

tolerate sudden changes in salinity, pH or temperature, so its well worth spending some extra

time in introducing these animals into your aquarium. Slowly dripping your tank water into the

transport container over half an hour is probably the best method. By this time, you should have

tripled the original volume of water in the transport container.

OK, now I'll present some

specific information about particular species. The shrimp I will discuss are as follows:

Stenopus sp. - Banded-coral shrimp Lysmata sp.- Scarlet Cleaner/Redline, Peppermint and

Blood/Cardinal/Fire shrimp. Saron sp.- Marble and Buffalo shrimp Rhynchocinetes sp. - Hinge-beak/Camel/Peppermint shrimp Hymenocera picta - Harlequin/Clown/Painted Dancing shrimp

Periclimenes sp. - The Anemone shrimp. Alpheus sp. - The Pistol/Snapping/Goby shrimp.


first two genera are usually called "cleaner" shrimp and are probably the most popular in the

home aquarium. I'll talk about Lysmata first. Family: Hippolytidae ("horse which may be

loosed" - I'm sure these scientists are doing drugs when they name animals.) Genus: Lysmata

("foolish loosening" - probably referring to their habit of climbing in the mouths of predatory

fish to loosen parasites.) There are 4 species that you will find at the LFS; Lysmata amboinensis

and L. grabhami (Scarlet Cleaner or Redline shrimp), L. wurdemanni (Peppermint shrimp) and

  1. debelius (Blood shrimp). The first three species will handle temperatures up to 28C (83F) and

live at depths of 10-25 metres (33-83') but the Blood shrimp, being a deeper water species, won't

be happy with temperatures over 26C (79F). The exact sexual nature of these shrimp isn't well

understood but most are thought to be hermaphroditic. It isn't known if the animals start out life

as one sex and eventually convert to the other, or if they are simultaneously male and female.

Whatever the case, it's usually fairly easy to get these shrimp to breed when more than one are

present. It is quite difficult to raise the fry but it's been done. Regardless, the shrimp will keep

pumping out young on a regular basis, providing a great source of planktonic food for your

corals. With some Lysmata in your aquarium, your fish are far less likely to suffer from external

parasites as all Lysmata will perform a "doctor" or "cleaning" function if given a chance. The

Blood shrimp is a very shy animal, so isn't likely to offer it's services in a tank with fairly

aggressive fish and the Peppermint shrimp performs an additional kind of "cleaning" function; it

eats Aiptasia anemones. The Scarlet Cleaner is perhaps the most documented at it's cleaning

abilities and also the boldest. These shrimp will even attempt to clean your arm when you put it

in the aquarium! Differing Lysmata species appear to be compatible with each other and I have

kept Blood Shrimp and Scarlet Cleaners at the same time. As far as "doctor" animals go,

Lysmata are much better than cleaner wrasse; they are hardier (with perhaps the exception of the

Blood shrimp), can't clean fish unless they consent and will readily take frozen food. That brings

me to another bonus with these shrimp, they are great scavengers. Any food floating past them

will quickly be snapped up. At feeding time, I have seen Scarlet Cleaners take food from the top

of the tank. When doing this, they swim upside down and appear to be walking on the surface.

These shrimp have an excellent sense of "smell" and will also clean up food that has settled on

the bottom of the tank. Depending on how many there are and how bold they feel, they may not

take this food until after lights out, though. A word of warning, Lysmata have been known to

wade into corals and tear them open to get at recently ingested food. Personally, I haven't

experienced this, but I imagine this sort of thing would only occur if the shrimp were not being

fed sufficiently. I saw an interesting post on the "reefs" newsgroup recently telling a story about a

Redline sitting on a tridacnid clam and tearing at it's mantle. The clam apparently withdrew it's

mantle but did not close its valves (shells). The owner of this nefarious shrimp wanted it to cease

immediately, so gave it some food. After finishing the food, the shrimp climbed back onto the

clam but by this time, the clams mantle was withdrawn well down into the animal, despite the

valves still being open. The shrimp was not discouraged; it climbed into the clam whereupon it

promptly closed, killing the crustacean. Scarlet Cleaner/Redline shrimp Lysmata amboinensis

("both without a sword") and L. grabhami (name of the man who discovered the species) are both

commonly known as the Scarlet Cleaner or Redline shrimp. They do, at first glance, appear to be

the same animal but there are colour differences and they don't live in the same part of the world.

  1. amboinensis is an Indo-Pacific species and it has a white line running from the rostrum to the

beginning of the tail fan where it ends in a "T". The tail fan and either side of the white line are

thick red borders. The tail fan usually has white blotches on it. L. grabhami is a Caribbean

species and is distinguished by the white line running all the way from the tip of the rostrum to

the tip of the tail fan. It may also have white edging on the tail fan. Both species behave the same

way and are a great addition to a community reef tank. They're my favourite shrimp, although

I've only had a chance to keep one pair of these (L. amboinensis), as they are rarely offered for

sale in Australia and cannot be imported from overseas. (David Bloch (KingPrawn) of the

Marine Aquarists Society of Western Australia is looking at remedying this for us locals, with an

attempt to breed them.) They're very active shrimp and will wildly gesticulate with their white

antennae to any passing fish, in the hope that the fish will stop by to visit the "doctor". If the fish

does, it'll generally extend its fins and open its opercula and mouth for a clean. The shrimp will

rest its front legs on it's "patient" and pick at the fish's gills, skin and mouth lining with its tiny

pincers. Any sores will have dead or necrotic tissue removed from them but the patients don't

always appear to be too happy about this! Scarlet Cleaners are peaceful with conspecifics and are

much happier and bolder in numbers (2 or 3 as a minimum) in the home aquarium. In the wild

they can live in aggregations of up to 100 at a "cleaning" station! (Sounds like a bulk-billing

medical centre to me. I hope there are some other Australians online to appreciate that joke. :))

Despite this, they do appear to have a pecking order. A New Zealand friend of mine, Dave Bean,

has three and one is definitely bigger and more dominant that the other two. They breed very

easily and the two I kept both constantly carried eggs (as to whether they were fertile or not is

another matter. A great source of plankton for your corals if they are, though!). Lifespans of 6 or

more years are not unheard of!

Peppermint shrimp (L. wurdemanni - the name of the discoverer)

These shrimp apparently will eat juvenile Aiptasia anemones. They have a translucent yellow

base colour with thin, horizontal red stripes along the top and sides of the body. They are

probably the least attractive of the four Lysmata species. Blood/Cardinal/Fire shrimp (L. debelius

  • again, the name of the discoverer) Of the four species, this one is the most recently discovered.

It's a deep-water shrimp coming from around 20 to 60 metres (67-200'). Because of this, it's a

little shyer in the brightly-lit environments of our reef aquariums. These aren't as social as the

other Lysmata species but will still be bolder and more likely to survive in numbers. It isn't

known if these shrimp are hermaphroditic or not. Yes, Blood shrimp do perform a cleaning

function but as they are shy, it isn't likely to happen unless the shrimp feels very safe and

comfortable in the aquarium. This would preclude large, aggressive fish in your reef community.

Blood shrimp are the least hardy of these four Lysmata species and this is probably due to the

fact that the captive environment they are kept in is a lot brighter and warmer than that of their

natural origin and so tends to stress them. As I mentioned before, these shrimp will not survive

temperatures over 26C (79F).

Family: Stenopodidae Genus: Stenopus ("narrow footed") The

Banded Coral shrimp (Stenopus hispidus "hairy or bristly") is probably the most popular and

readily available shrimp in the hobby as it's found worldwide in all tropical seas. They live from

the low tide range down to about 30 metres (100'). It's also probably the most hardy and

aggressive shrimp available and would be suitable for fish-only aquaria with large inhabitants.

The first pair of legs of all the shrimp in this genus have become large claws or chelae but

despite the ferocious appearance, these are usually only used for display or threat. They breed

easily although seem to be discouraged if nitrate is above 5-10ppm. The female is supposed to be

the one with the purple underside but the pair I kept both had purple markings (only one at a time

ever carried eggs). The females green gonads can easily be seen through the translucent

exoskeleton if she is fertile, so this makes it much easier to sex them. Of course, the female is the

one that carries the eggs too, so if they have spawned, you will know which is which. They are

thought to mate for life and may well live for 5 or 6 years with the one partner. These shrimp

don't tolerate conspecifics unless they are a mated pair. It's apparently possible to put an unmated

male and a female together and have them pair up, but I wouldn't try this at home folks. The

usual outcome of a meeting of two unpaired Banded Coral shrimp is one victor and one

appendage-less loserand they don't tend to live long without any appendages! :) Banded Coral

shrimp are known to clean fish in the wild but they tend to be large fish and the cleaning is

usually performed while the fish is asleep. In the captive environment, they don't seem to be very

interested in their doctor's duties. I do volunteer work at the local public aquarium and in the

evening when the tank lights are off but the room lights still on, I've seen a Banded Coral shrimp

on its nightly "inspection", wandering around the aquarium with large angels following, trying to

"persuade" it to clean them. In the home aquarium, these shrimp are also known to "misinterpret"

their cleaning duties and go around the tank "tidying up" by eating small fish! I once had a sick

Mandarin Dragonet that swam past a Banded Coral shrimp and it was grabbed with one of the

large chelae and held. I intervened, so I don't know what would have happened but I do know

that small gobies that I have bought have tended to disappear when I have kept Coral Banded

shrimp. Stenopus do not usually behave very harmoniously with other shrimp, either. It's been

reported that they will kill Lysmata. I've never had both in my aquarium at the same time,

though, so I can't comment. I've kept Rhynchocinetes uritai with S. hispidus but they were never

attacked. S. hispidus may be a little shy when first introduced to the aquarium but will eventually

become less secretive especially if with a partner. I found in my aquarium that they didn't like

strong currents and wouldn't come out from under the rocks unless the current was low. There

are other Stenopus species besides S. hispidus that are occasionally offered for sale, but they are

not common enough for me to go into any specific detail about them. If you do see another

Stenopus species at your LFS, it's likely to be very similar in behaviour to S. hispidus, so beware.

Family: Hippolytidae Genus: Saron ("a broom" - They are pretty bristly!) These are in the same

family as Lysmata. These are interesting shrimp and ok looking but they are not the best for the

reef tank. They can attack tridacnid clams, corals, corallimorphs and zoanthids. They're fairly

shy, so they do all this at night. They are quite unusual in that they can change their colouration

to blend into the background but are probably best left for a fish-only tank. They're easy to sex

and will breed readily.

Marble shrimp (S. marmoratus "marbled") The male has greatly enlarged

foreclaws and the females have short hairy claws. They can reach over 9cm (3.6") in length.

They usually occur singly or in pairs. With Buffalo shrimp (S. inermis) the male has elongated

foreclaws but doesn't differ that greatly from the female. This species will reach 5cm (2").

Family: Rhynchocinetidae Genus: Rhynchocinetes ("movable beak") Hinge-beak/Camel

shrimp. This genus is unique in that it's the only one able to move it's rostrum, hence the

common name "hinge-beak". What function this serves, I don't know but it's interesting

nonetheless. These shrimp all have very large eyes compared to their body size. It gives them a

comical bug-eyed appearance and this together with their strange darting style of walking makes

them very amusing to watch.

Peppermint shrimp (Rhynchocinetes uritai) is the species most

often offered for sale. It grows to about 4cm (1.6"). These shrimp are very social and I've seen it

recommended that they be kept in groups of a minimum size of 6, otherwise they'll be very

inactive during the day. I've kept one pair of R. uritai and they were definitely not active during

the day but they did spawn in my aquarium, so I guess they were happy regardless. They're

commonly found in harems of one male with 4 to 6 females. If you can provide good enough

water quality for them to breed, you will be rewarded with a constantly replenished stream of

plankton for your corals to feed on. Hinge-beaks are well known for their fondness of

corallimorphs and zoanthids in their diet, though, so keep this in mind if you intend to purchase

some. It's rumoured that they will eat Aiptasia anemones but this may be confusion with Lysmata

wurdemanni as both are commonly called Peppermint shrimp. When I kept R. uritai, I didn't

notice any reduction in the number of zoanthids or corallimorphs but I have noticed since the

shrimp were killed (wait till I get to the "Warning: Dads and flea bombs are a lethal combination

to crustaceans" part) the corallimorphs and zoanthids have really started to multiply. Maybe they

only eat juvenile corallimorphs and zoanthids.

Family: Hymenoceridae ("wax membrane")

Harlequin/Clown/Painted/Dancing shrimps (Hymenocera picta - "painted or variegated") feeding

habits are absolutely fascinating. Their diet consists solely of the tube feet of echinoderms, the

most popular class being the asteroids (sea stars). They'll even eat Crown-of-thorns starfish.

When they find a victim, a sea star for example, they will turn it on its back and drag it back to

their lair, where they'll systematically feed from the tip of one leg down to the base and then start

on the next one. This way, the animal is kept alive for some time. These shrimp are a very

secretive species and few of its habits have been observed under natural conditions. During

daylight they keep to the protection of the reef and only go out to feed at twilight or complete

darkness. It's almost always found in pairs with the female being the larger of the two. They

grow to about 6cm (2.4") and live from low tide down to about 10 metres (33'). Their large

foreclaws are not used for feeding but rather display. I've never seen these offered for sale in

Australia but have heard they are occasionally available elsewhere. I wouldn't buy them unless

you had access to a constant supply of sea stars. Apparently, sea stars can be kept frozen and

thawed out when necessary. Of course, you wouldn't be the smartest of people if you kept a pair

of these in a tank with a prized echinoderm. :)

Family: Palaemonidae ("ancient one") Anemone

shrimp (Periclimenes sp.) These are available on a fairly regular basis, but rarely is the same

species offered twice in a row. These shrimp are generally small and transparent with spots of

bright colouring decorating their bodies. They're usually found in pairs and are just about always

commensal. Despite their common name though, they live with far more than just anemones.

They can be found on feather stars, black corals, zoanthids, corallimorphs, nudibranchs, sea

cucumbers, sea urchins, soft corals and hard corals. Most are host specific, but some can be

found on a few classes of the one phylum. They're supposed to be fairly delicate but I kept a pair

that started out making an anemone their home but after they harassed the anemone enough that

it began to stay closed, they transferred to a Catalaphyllia jardinei! Coelenterate hosts don't seem

to take as kindly to these lodgers as they do to Clown fish and because of this, I took my pair

back to the LFS.

Family: Alpheidae Pistol/Snapping/Goby shrimp (Alpheus and Synalpheus sp.)

These shrimp are well known in the hobby but are rarely intentionally purchased. They're usually

indirectly added with live rock. Except for the Goby shrimp, this family of shrimp are rarely

visible, preferring to hide within the depths of the rock. I once took a large chunk of live rock out

of my tank to break it in half in order to make my aquascaping more aesthetically pleasing. Upon

breaking it, I found a bright orange pistol shrimp about 5cm (2") long inside that I never even

knew existed in my tank. Pistol shrimp have one enlarged claw that they lock open with a tiny

peg and then snap shut with great force. This makes a popping noise and gives them their name

of pistol or snapping shrimp. They do this for 3 reasons; to attract a mate, to defend themselves

and to stun prey with the shock-wave created by the sound. Despite this, I've never associated

any death in my aquarium with the pistol shrimp. They're generally too small to damage any

animals that I am concerned with. Even so, people go mad when they hear the popping sound in

their tanks because they fear its a mantis shrimp. Goby shrimp are an interesting addition to a

tank but unfortunately, I've not had the opportunity to keep these myself. Goby shrimp are often

blind. An individual will dig a burrow for itself and a pair of burrow dwelling gobies will come

to live with it. In return for excavating the burrow, the gobies will protect the shrimp and in some

cases even provide food for it. Typically the gobies will sit at the entrance to the burrow while

the shrimp goes about excavating and shoring up the tunnel. Whenever the shrimp comes out to

dump some sand, it'll always keep one antenna touching one of the gobies. This way, if the goby

makes a sudden move in response to an attack from a fish, the shrimp will be aware of it and can

dart back into the burrow.

Warning: Dads and flea bombs are a lethal combination to

crustaceans My Dad once set off a flea bomb in the house. He did what the package said and

covered my aquarium but just about every single crustacean in there died, including breeding

pairs of Rhynchocinetes uritai and Stenopus hispidus and all amphipods and crabs.


chemicals in flea bombs and fly sprays work against all arthropods, not just insects! If you are in

a situation where some insecticide has been sprayed near your tank, immediately ventilate the

room and run some activated carbon on your aquarium! The chemicals in a flea bomb are double

edged, not only do they kill most of the crustaceans, but any left alive are usually killed at their

next moult as the chemical also stops the uptake of chitin, stopping the animal from forming a

new exoskeleton. Luckily, these chemicals are relatively unstable in seawater and are not likely

to have any long lasting affects. I still talk to my Dad. :)

Q: What are some common names of the Alpheus species of shrimp?

<Coping> I can't say I have ever seen any common names except "pistol", "snapping" and

"Goby" shrimp

Q: Is the rostrum of a shrimp sort of like the neck?

<Coping> No, it is the spine that sticks out from the front, between they eyes. Rhyncho, can

move this around for some reason.

Q: What is a good number of scarlet shrimp to keep in a 75 gallon aquarium.

<Coping> I would go for at least three but...If you can afford it try 5 or 6

Q: Is a blood shrimp ok to keep with a scarlet shrimp?

<Coping> Yes, I have done this and they did not even take any notice of each other

Q: I was told that the lifespans for shrimp were quite short ie 6 - 12 months, is six years an

experienced lifespan or quotedfrom another source and if so where?

<Coping> I think it depends entirely on the species...The figure for Scarlet cleaners was quoted

from Charles Delbeek. The one for Banded coral, I don't remember

Q: Is there a way to induce breeding in shrimps?

<Coping> Yes, apparently you can cut the eye of some is something to do with a

trigger for the gonads to start maturing. NC

Q: How many Lysmata shrimps should you get to expect a pair?

<Coping> There has been a lot of debate on this. I bought 2 and they started producing eggs right

away.I don't know if they were fertile or not It is possible that they were both female and were

carrying sperm packets from a long time before Apparently the sperm is still viable for some

time after receiving it. BTW, with the thing about inducing spawning, I wouldn't try this on the

species I have mentioned. I know it is being done with the King Prawn at the university here but

does have a percentage mortality rate

Q? i use "reef-nature" iodine sup. is that the same as iodide?

<Coping> Apparently, iodine is not long lived in the aquarium and will quickly convert to iodide

so I would say, Yes, for all intents an purposes, it is the same

Q: Have blood shrimp spawned in captivity?

<Coping> Well Charles Delbeek says they have but I don't know anyone who has done this

personally. The ones I kept did not live long as at that time, I didn't know that they were not very

tolerant of high temps. Unfortunately, I have never seen them for sale here again, so I haven't

had a chance to try them again

Q: What do the cleaner shrimp eggs look like?

<Coping> All, the species I have kept that have spawned have always had green eggs. These are

held under the tail attached to the pleopods or swimming legs. The legs are constantly wafted

back and forward to keep the eggs well oxygenated and to stop detritus from accumulating. The

female can often be seen bending almost in half and picking at the eggs, presumable cleaning

them. The eggs are very small, perhaps .5 to 1mm in diameter.

Q: whenever i buy a pair of stenopus, one eventually eats the other. could this be attributed to

lack of food?

<Coping> Hmmm, strange but yes lack of food could be a problem. It may be that one starved

and the other only ate it after it died. I presume that these pairs you are talking about did live

together harmoniously for some time. I can't say that I have ever experienced this myself or

heard of it. Very strange.

Q: Have you also heard any info on the possibility that some species undergo parthenogenesis

which has been encountered in some copepods?

<Coping> Parthenogenisis is where eggs develop without fertilisation. Lucky I had a dictionary

handy :)) It is possible that this is what happens with Lysmata, but I doubt it.Lysmata have not

been well studied despite their popularity and so noone knows for sure what is going on with

them. This is the only species that I have talked about where I could imagine that it would be

possible but I haven't hear of any specifically that do undergo parthenogenesis

Q: What animals are not compatable with Coral Banded Shrimp in the reef aquarium?

<Coping> Bristleworms!!! Yes, they will eat bristle worms Also, feather dusters have been

bothered by mine Small fish are not compatible, I've lost a few small gobies, and I attribute it to

the Banded Coral shrimp Most shrimp species are not compatible with them, although as I said,

I have kept Hinge-beak shrimp with Stenopus and had no fatalities. I think that is really the main

ones to be concerned with. They don't tend to harm most sessile inverts. They have been known

to do the same thing as Lysmata and wade into recently fed corals and tear them open to get the

food. Again, I think this is only likely to happen if they are not sufficiently fed

Q: Peppermint shrimp seem to be the so called answer to apatia anenomes,is this a fact or

fiction?and can you give some more indepth info on the rearing of peppermints?

<Coping> There is confusion over how good peppermints are at getting rid of Aiptasia. The first

difficulty is the use of the common name because both Rhynchocinetes uritai and Lysmata

wurdemanni are called Peppermint shrimp. The second difficulty is in finding a reliable source

for this info. I have seen people on the newsgroup say that both species will eat Aiptasia but I am

not confident that these people have correctly identified the shrimp that they have. I believe that

it is L wurdemanni that is the Aiptasia eater. I have had a plague of anemones in my tank for

some time now, but they are not Aiptasia (and that is the reason that I accidentally let them get

to plague proportions). When I had my R. uritais (may they rest in peace) they did not take any

notice of these anemones but I have never had Aiptasia, so I don't know if they would have

eaten them or not. As far as raising fry, well I've never done it but the theory unfortunately is far

too long-winded to discuss here. I imagine that they would be the same as for Lysmata

amboinensis. The breeders registry will probably have some info on it.

Q: Have you ever seen or heard of a the gold stenopus. apparently an undescribed species from

the gulf of mexico?

<Coping> Unfortunately, it is really difficult to know for sure because, obviously it is only

possible to give a common name to an undescribed species. Also, being an Australian, I don't get

to hear a lot about animals from outside the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef unless they

are widely spread across all the tropical oceans. Sorry I don't know any more about that one. :(

Q: What size fish will be comfotable being "cleaned"?

<Coping> Ok, this is apparently dependant on a lot of factors. The size of the fish, the size of the

shrimp, the personality of the fish, whether it has been exposed to cleaner shrimp in the wild or

not. Generally, most fish will like to be cleaned But most fish that we keep in the reef aquarium

will not attempt to be cleaned by Stenopus. They will go for Scarlet Cleaners though, but the

very small fish probably won't. Unfortunately, cleaner shrimp often get lazy in a captive

environment and will stop doing there cleaning duties. I am reluctant to say it, because I don't

want you to all go out and starve your shrimp, but it is probably due to the fact that food is far

more readily available in the home aquarium NC

Created by liquid
Last modified 2005-02-07 05:53