Facts and Information about Saltwater Shrimp

Banded coral shrimp - Stenopus hispidus Saltwater Shrimp Profiles: Facts and Information

With a few exceptions, most sea shrimps are nocturnal, reclusive crustaceans that are rarely observed if brought into an aquarium. Shrimps are mostly scavengers who come out at night to devour a variety of meals.

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    Cleaner Shrimps

    Saltwater Shrimp Profiles: Facts and Information

    The most popular aquarium shrimps are the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp Lysmata amboinensis and its Caribbean cousin Lysmata grabhami. They clear parasites and trash from marine fish, as their name implies. These shrimp are not only useful to the fish, but they are also amusing to watch as they come to the "cleaning station" to be groomed.

    Contrary to popular belief, the shrimp's red and white stripes do not totally protect them from predation by larger fish, such as eels, triggerfishes, and other opportunistic carnivores.

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    In an aquarium, Stenopus hispidus gets along with most fish and invertebrates. Triggerfish and many eels, on the other hand, will eat Coral Banded Shrimp if given the chance. When faced with parasites, this shrimp has been reported to vigorously clean the fish.

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    Lysmata wurdemanni is a nocturnal and reclusive Caribbean shrimp that stays concealed and may never be seen again if placed into an aquarium. This shrimp is known to devour troublesome undesirable aiptasia anemones, but it may also eat tiny polyps, causing significant harm to a mini-reef system.

    Do not confuse this shrimp with its subtropical eastern Pacific Lysmata californica counterpart, was this species will not live long at normal reef temperatures.

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    There are various Rhynchocienetes species of Camelbacks found in tropical oceans across the world, all with the distinctive "hump" on their backs for which they are called. These shrimp are excellent tank cleaners, which makes them desirable, and their beautiful cherry-red color and contrasting bright white stripes or spots make them appealing, but beware! Because they devour corals and other polyps, these shrimp are not reef safe.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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    Fire Shrimp


    Lysmata debelius is a strikingly gorgeous shrimp with its rich crimson or blood-red body and sparkling white speckles, antennae, and legs, yet it is rarely seen in a typically lighted reef tank owing to its nocturnal and reclusive habit. Some are said to prey exclusively on polyps, making them a bad option.

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    Harlequin Shrimp


    This shrimp is delicate and sensitive, as well as bashful and mild-mannered. It favors rocky or coral environments with plenty of hiding spots. It stays concealed during the day and only comes out to eat at dusk or in full darkness. It is nearly typically encountered in couples, with the female being bigger.

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    The Mantis Shrimp is a lovely creature, but it should be added to your aquarium with caution. Mantis Shrimps are divided into two hunting groups: "spearers" and "smashers." The "spearers" pierce soft-tissued prey softly with their spear-like claw. The "smashers" attack, split open, or crush harder-bodied food, such as snails, with their powerful club-like claw.

    Dr. Roy Caldwell provides .