Lysmata debelius (scarlet cleaner shrimp)
With plenty of cover and conscientious feeding, cleaner
shrimp can be kept more than one to a tank; though all
shrimps identified as cleaners will consume one another to a
degree, given a lack of alternate food or cover. Of the five
species in three families of cleaner shrimp most often
available to aquarists (there are others) (Periclimenes,
Lysmata, and a Stenopus; all with long white
antennae); the only ones I’d personally try in more than a "pair"
(best as a male and female) are L. amboinensis and
L. grabhami in a 75 gallon system.
In my opinion, the small Periclimenes are best
left in the sea due to their strong association with
hard-to-keep anemones. Should you not be dissuaded, do study
up and arrange a biotopic presentation with these shrimp...
along with their symbiont anemones.
Should you have big bucks and the stomach for your
livestock possibly consuming each other, Lysmata
shrimps can be crowded together. The scarlet shrimps, L.
amboinensis from the Indo-Pacific and L. grabhami
from the Caribbean, and the blood shrimp, L. debelius, are
often jammed together en masse at wholesalers. The former
two are hardier and less expensive.
Of the boxer shrimps, the Coral Banded Stenopus
hispidus is a standard in the trade/hobby; but quite
territorial. In a tank of your size, any other than a
matched pair will seek out others for snacking. These are
best purchased as a "mated pair", ideally being housed
together as such at your dealers. Ditto for other boxer
Know also that these shrimp may "sample" your live corals
as well as each other, that they cannot live on just what
they "clean" from their fishy tank-mates, and that they
won’t necessarily clean anybody (they’re picky about being "picky").
BTW, for coldwater marine aquarists, there is
occasionally offered a sixth cleaner species hailing from
California (Lysmata (Hippolysmata) californica);
often photographed in association with our endemic moray eel
All Cleaner Shrimp species prefer subdued lighting,
plenty of rocky cover, nooks and crannies, molt every 3-8
weeks normally, consume most all foods in addition to
cleaning, and are sensitive to fast changes in water
chemistry, particularly salinity... New synthetic water
should be pre-made, stored for a week and matched to their
systems specific gravity.
Family Hippolytidae, Cleaner Shrimp
|Lysmata amboinensis (De Man
1888), the Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp or
Ambon Shrimp. Can be kept singly or in groups. A hardy
Cleaner. Need hiding places to avoid predators during
molting periods. Conds: temp. 20-27 C.
|Lysmata californica (Stimpson
1866), the Catalina Cleaner Shrimp. Found along the
lower coast of the western USA. Found in small to large
groups. Best kept this way. To about two inches in
length. A temperate species (10-20C.)
|Lysmata debelius Bruce 1983, the
Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, Blood Shrimp. Found in the Indo-Pacific;
Maldives, Japan to the Society Islands. Best kept in
pairs. Peaceful toward most all aquarium species. Accept
all types of foods. Aquarium image.
|Lysmata grabhami (Gordon 1935), the
Atlantic White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp. Tropical East and
West Atlantic coasts. Generally gets along with all
fishes and other crustaceans. Best kept in pairs or
small groups (no sexual distinguishing marks externally).
A hardy Cleaner species that accepts most all foods.
Conds: temp. 18-28 C.
|Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes 1850),
Peppermint Shrimp, Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp. Tropical
West Atlantic. Lives singly or in groups. Gets along
with all aquarium species. Commercially produced. A
reclusive, sometimes misidentified species (there are
other shrimp from the area that are similar) used in the
fight to limit Aiptasia Anemones in aquariums.
|Saron marmoratus (Olivier 1811), Marble
or Saron Shrimp. Found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific.
Usually collected out of Hawai'i for the U.S., the Red
Sea for European markets. Usually found in pairs in the
wild. Will fight to the death if same sex individuals
are placed together. Males with much longer first pair
of walking/fighting legs. Get along fine with fishes,
other crustaceans. Female shown. Eat all types of food,
|Thor amboinensis (de Man 1888),
the Squat Anemone or Sexy Shrimp (in reference to its
usually-raised tail). 1/4-3/4" long. Common in the
tropical West Atlantic. Found in association with Giant,
Sun, Elegant Anemones. Here is one in a Condylactis
gigantea in Cozumel, Mexico.
Common name: Pacific white-striped cleaner
shrimp. One of the most common shrimps
found in marine aquariums. Will reach a maximum (body) length
of approximately 5 cm. These shrimps can be kept in small
groups and will get along with most other aquarium residents.
Care should be taken not to include invertebrate eating fish
in such a tank (like Pterois volitans). Perfect addition to any reef aquarium which
should include enough hiding places. Likes to clean a large
number of other fish including morays - an action seen in
the aquarium, too. Will accept a variety of frozen and dry
foods. Questionable for marine fish - only tanks unless
extensive rocky formations are present.
Photos: G.Reclos / MCH, Text from