Pistol Shrimp - Facts On The Fascinating Pistol Shrimp

Tiger Pistol Shrimp

Pistol Shrimp Facts

There are over 500 hundred species of pistol shrimp documented thus far but only a handful that reach the marine aquarium hobby with any regularity. Some even come in as hitchhikers on live rock. Pistol Shrimp are generally small marine Aquarium Shrimp with sizes ranging from half an inch to two inches.

All pistol shrimp have one (Or sometimes two) oversized claw that create a cavitation bubble as it snaps shut. This bubble, very briefly reaches temperatures approaching that of the sun, about 4700 degrees Celsius. A loud "popping" noise is created as well. I've personally been shot by a randall's pistol shrimp a number of times and the pain generated is much like getting hit with a rubber band. It was a small area effect blast rather than a specific point. It should be noted that i got shot as i was handling it out of water. I don't know if it would've hurt more underwater and i'm not about to try.

Pistol Shrimp Video

Pistol Shrimp

Their claws are used for both offence and defence. If you view the video to the right you can see how it is used to stun a cleaner shrimp. While they do use to on their prey (small shrimp) they are also known as excellent scavengers in the marine aquarium.

They commonly build burrows in the sand and have been known to tunnel underneath the live rock. Therein lies the danger. If your live rock is not properly secured, the entire foundation can collapse. Nevertheless they perform a great service in aquariums with sandy substrate as they constantly turn over the sand ensuring it is clean. Some species of pistol shrimp are even found associated with sponges.

Randall's Pistol Shrimp

Randalls Pistol Shrimp + Yasha Goby

Pistol Shrimp And Goby

By far the most interesting aspect of pistol shrimp are their ability to form a symbiotic relationship with some species of goby fish. This is commonly seen in pistol shrimps belonging to the genus Alpheus such as the tiger pistol shrimp and Randall's pistol shrimp.

Both parties benefit from the relationship. Pistol shrimp naturally have very bad eyesight and rely on the goby to warn it when danger approaches. It does this by keeping in constant physical contact with the goby by resting its antennae on the goby's tail and body.

Any sudden movements from the goby is interpreted as a sign of danger and is a cue for the pistol shrimp to return to its burrow. In return, the pistol shrimp provides a safe burrow for the goby.

Ever watchful, the goby will normally be seen on the look out while the pistol shrimp goes about its business digging and scavenging for food until it receives a warning from the goby. This is illustrated in the video showing my randall's pistol shrimp + Yasha goby pair. They've been with be for a half a year now and are always a joy to see together.

Yellow Watchman Goby

Hi-Fin Red-Banded Goby

Yasha Goby

Pistol Shrimp Diet

Feeding the pistol shrimp is extremely easy as they are very receptive to just about any fish food offered. They are also able to detect food fairly well once it enters the water column.

Nothing fancy is required to feed, some simple sinking pellets will do just fine. New life spectrum, formula one pellets or any other brand that has a good mix of seafood are good choices.

Frozen foods such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp and other meaty mixes are readily eaten by them as well.

Pistol Shrimp Symbionts

Here are some gobies that will pair up with genus Alpheus pistol shrimp.

  • Yasha Goby
  • Diamond Watchman Goby
  • Yellow Watchman Goby
  • Hi-Fin Red Banded Goby
  • Dracula Goby
  • Diagonal Bar Prawn Goby
  • Orange Spotted Goby
  • Pink Spotted Watchman Goby
  • Randall's Shrimp Goby
  • Tiger Watchman Goby
  • Wheeler's Watchman Goby
  • Pinkbar Goby

This isn't a complete list but it should give a general idea of some common marine goby's that do pair up.

Pairing them is a very simple process. They will pair up immediately upon meeting. But first, they have to meet. If your pistol shrimp is on one end of the tank the goby is on the other, you may have a problem.

I always try to put in the pistol shrimp to a location of my choice first. I let it burrow around for 10 minutes and then i release the goby right outside the burrows entrance. The goby should make a mad dash for the burrow and they will pair up.

They are sometimes sold as pairs at your local fish store or even online stores. If you're interested in purchasing a pair, some recommended online retailers include

  • Premium Aquatics (Excellent Customer Service)
  • Live Aquaria

But you don't need to buy them as a pair since pairing them up is so easy.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? PLEASE LEAVE THEM IN THE BOX BELOW.

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83 comments

john 6 years ago

Do watchman gobies or any shrimp goby need a these shrimp in the aquqruim to be happy and healthy , I'm thinking getting a goby torrow just want to asked to make sure befor i get it. :]


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi John =), good question. While goby species that pair up with their pistol symbionts do perfectly fine in captivity without them, i think the answer to your question is "most likely". Symbiotic gobies are almost always found with their partners in the wild. It stands to reason that they would be more comfortable having their partners around as well as a burrow to retreat into as a safe zone.

Again, while not necessary, i feel a pistol shrimp pairing will provide the goby with some measure of comfort in our tanks. I look at it as a bonus too since their interaction is really cool to boot :) Hope this helps.


John 6 years ago

alright thanks, I'm getting a Randalls Pistol Shrimp with a Yasha goby. i also want to know if this type of pistol shrimp is less likely to harm or eat cleaner shrimp and i also did some reading that they're pretty small for pistol shrimp and will not harm other shrimp but small ones like sexy shrimp that why i'm asking.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Randalls are pretty tiny with most coming in at around an inch. I personally feel that cleaners wouldn't face any danger from them. A well timed shot at a sexy shrimp however, might produce some damage.


John 6 years ago

Thanks A lot, I'll come back to the thread if have Question about them If run into some problem ,but I doubt it LOL


James 6 years ago

do you think a tiger pistol shrimp would attack cleaner shrimps or fire shrimp? I'm thinking in getting a small shrimp goby and a tiger shrimp, but i'm really inerested in the Randalls Pistol Shrimp cause their really small, but i still want to know if the tiger will harm my fire shrimp. i heard that if you keep them well fed that your less likeely to see any problem with them. but i don't know if this true or not? :]


Willy 6 years ago

hey I want to know if a tiger pistol shrimp w/ goby plus a fire shrimp live in a 10 gallon tank with a problem?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Willy, if that is all you're keeping then it shouldn't be a problem. However, the more room you have the better. Something like a 20 gallon would be great.


Bean 6 years ago

Supposedly the sound level that their claws produce can reach up to 218dB, that's more than twice as loud as the loudest concert. The threshold of pain for humans is 120 dB. This is truly amazing.


Tracy 6 years ago

So I have a goby and two pistol shrimps in my tank a tiger pistol and a randall pistol in a 20 long tank. Will they fight with each other?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Tracy, pistols are skittish creatures that won't hesitate to fire off a shot at any unwelcome guests. If the two cross paths, expect to hear some shots from either of them.


tracy 6 years ago

So I thought my yellow watch man goby in that tank died. Thought he jumped out one day when I was cleaning. Because I saw the shrimp and not the fish so I got another goby a different breed a spoted white watchman. and today I discovered both shrimp each in their own holes with each of their own fish. Am I going to have a problem?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Shouldn't be a problem as long as their tunnels don't connect. If they are in separate areas you should be fine.


debbie 6 years ago

Is it possible to develop a problem with nitrate being too high after purchasing the pair?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

High nitrate tends to be an on-going problem for any reef tank. Water changes plus other methods of nitrate export (Macroalgae) can be used.


debbie 6 years ago

yes,but with the shrimp digging under the live rock,could that have caused my sudden spike?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Highly unlikely Debbie. The bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates are all over the aquarium, not just in the sandbed. A bit of tunneling under the rock wouldn't affect nitrates.


Pache11 6 years ago

I have a alpheus randalli pistol. Killed one of my mini red legged hermits crawling outside its burrow. Will a tiger pistol and randall coexist in the same tank?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Pache. Because of the big difference in size between the two, i'd be wary. If it is a small tank i wouldn't do it for fear of the tiger killing the randall's one day. But if you can ensure they do not cross paths then go for it. A suitable tank would be a nice long tank like a 4 or 5 footer with the pistols on either side of the tank.


TonyB 6 years ago

Someone shopping at my local aquarium shop told me that a pistol ship broke his friend's 90gal aquarium. Myth or reality?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Tony, i seriously doubt that to be honest. Mantis shrimp? Maybe. Pistol Shrimp? Unlikely. Did the person mention the species of said pistol shrimp?


Tony  6 years ago

He was very adamant that it was a pistol shrimp and he had 4 marine tanks, so I was inclined to think he knew what he was talking about. I had a pistol shrimp a few moves ago (Army) and that thing popped away frequently under his rock and I never had a leak. Thinking about getting another one now. They help water movement around live rock by excavating...but a little worried about an avalanch now that I have so many corals.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Well, stranger things have happened i suppose :) Totally agree with you regarding structure collapse.


Jackie 6 years ago

I have a 35 gallon seahorse tank that is about 6 months old I am finding things I do like in my tank, like worms and I just spotted a whole in the sand next to a rock not sure what it is, I have not seen it but what ever it is made a whole around 1" around. Anyone have any ideas I have seahorse so I do not want anything in my tank that will harm them. I also have a watchman goby that is in hiding in the back of my tank.

Please email me at jackie@jsscreative.com of you have any ideas on what it could be and how to remove it.

Thanks


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Jackie, so something is burrowing in your sand? The worst possibility is the presence of a mantis shrimp. If it is, you need to get rid of it. I won't feel comfortable with a big pistol shrimp either.


Lindsay 6 years ago

My husband and I have a 34gal tank that's been up for about two years now. Almost since the beginning we've heard loud pops, usually around nighttime as the lights go out. We assumed it was a pistol shrimp and a year or so ago saw a shed skin that had one small claw and one large claw and was maybe 3/4" long - too small to be from our cleaner shrimp. Shortly thereafter we got a yellow watchman goby. It disappeared, haven't seen a dead body or the fish since we put it in. We still hear the clicks and pops but we've never seen the pistol shrimp despite the small size of our tank. No holes around the rock that look like burrows, no goby, nothing. Is there a way to lure it out? I thought getting the goby would show us where the pistol had set up shop but no luck. Any ideas?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Lindsay. You could use a mantis shrimp trap or DIY one yourself. But you need to have a good idea of where the pistol is at. Place some frozen mysis and pellets into trap and place it close to the area you think it is in. This should be done right before the lights are out. Hopefully, you'll see it in the trap in the morning along with other scavengers such as worms and crabs.

A more intrustive method involves accurate knowledge of its den/burrow. If it is burrowing in the sand, remove the rock in that location and scoop the sand with a net. If it is hiding in a rock, remove the rock and dip in freshwater. However, dipping in freshwater will also kill any beneficial life (Bacteria, copepods etc) on the rock so only do this if you're certain that its in that specific rock. Hope this helps.

Indy


Adam 6 years ago

Just wanted to commend you on a fantastic page. :)


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

@Adam - Thanks for dropping by, glad you liked it!


Trisha 6 years ago

Great article!!! We have had a pistol shrimp for about 4 months now along with a hi-fin goby. They weren't a pair but we got them at the same time. When they were released they both went different directions in our 250 DD reef tank. We didn't see the hi-fin for a few days, so we bought a yellow watchman goby. Shortly thereafter, we saw the hi-fin and the goby-both on the opposite side of our pistol shrimp. They both are extremely shy and only come out for feedings. They seem scared of the big fish.

This weekend I got a diamond goby and he went to the other side of the tank too (this is my fault-thats where I let him out at). Anyways...our pistol is still alive and we still here him snapping-he has actually befriended our hydrophoria coral. Any possibilities of him finally making the relationship with any of our three gobies? He seems to be doing okay...he is at the front of the tank behind the coral. His burrow goes from our chalice to the hydrophoria coral.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Trisha, for your pistol to pair up with any of the gobies, they have to meet somehow. If the gobies discover the pistol's burrow, they should pair up quickly. What kind of pistol shrimp do you have btw?


Trisha 6 years ago

Thanks for the quick response. I believe we have a tiger pistol shrimp. We hear him snapping frequently and he will actually take food from me. I'm hoping the diamond goby will discover him soon because the other two don't come out much. Are they all really shy? The yellow and hi fin are SO skittish.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Trisha,

Tigers are great :), if your gobies come across it, a pairing should occur. As you observed, gobies of the pistol symbiont variety tend to be really nervous 24/7. I guess its in their nature since they are the designated lookouts for their pistol partners.

All that's left now is a chance meeting by any of your gobies.


Scott 6 years ago

Hi we have a 55 gal long tank w/ a randall's shrimp goby and just added a pink spotted watchmen. the pink spotted watchmen is much bigger than the randall's. is he going to bully him? also could i put 2 pistol shrimp in there for them?


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Hi Scott,

I can't give you a definite answer on the bullying as i've never had these two together. But how are they doing so far?

You could definitely keep two pistols in a 55g, provided they are on either ends of the tank. A sudden meeting between two pistols usually means a lot of shots being fired off.


Scott 6 years ago

Seems like the 2 gobies have become friends....hanging out right next to eachother under the same rock.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Well that's good news :)


Carla 6 years ago

Thanks for an interesting article with great pictures & info. Just got a Randall's goby paired with a pistol yesterday (not sure of the type yet) and have loved watching them team up to build a burrow. Fascinating.


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PirateFX 6 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by Carla :)


Damien 5 years ago

Ive tried looking for pistol/gunshot shrimp im the petstores arount where i live petsmart local petstores ext ext and i cant find any for sale i found gobys but no gunshot shrimp know where i can find one???


Kim 5 years ago

I just bought a yellow watchman Goby, he is really cool,stays out quite a bit...I think he know I'm the one who feeds him :) I want to get a pistol shrimp but someone told me it killed all his fish...doesn't sound right to me but I just wondered what you thoughts are. I have a 55 corner bowfront with live rock, sand, 1 Naso Tang, 2 reg. clownfish, 1 yellowtail damsel, 1 domino damsel, Condy Anemone, red legged hermit crabs, snails, Sea star & a brittle star.


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

Hi Kim, any idea what type of pistol your friend bought? Pistol shrimp that pair up like Candy canes and tigers are no danger to all but the smallest fish and shrimp in the tank. I wouldn't be worried if i was you.


5 years ago

is the pistol shrimp more stronger than the mantis shrimp?


James C 5 years ago

I hear that a Tiger Pistol Shrimp can kill a whale with its click, is this true? I really want one but I am scared that a fish tank will be unable to contain such power!


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

James - LOL dude, a whale's too much of a stretch. The smaller pistols like randall's should be fine. Just as long as you don't have equally small fish like the flaming prawn goby.


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

James - LOL dude, a whale's too much of a stretch. The smaller pistols like randall's should be fine. Just as long as you don't have equally small fish like the flaming prawn goby.


Vicki 5 years ago

Will a pistol shrimp pair with a dragon goby? Are they a risk to skunk cleaner shrimp?


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

Hi Vicki, pistols will only pair up with specific types of gobies. They won't pair up with dragon gobies (Brackish fish?). If the pistols are small like randalli, they should pose no threat to your cleaner.


akmyers6447 5 years ago

Hey PirateFX, great article! I purchased a yellow watchman goby about 2 months ago and got a tiger pistol shrimp from a LFS a few weeks after that. They paired up within minutes but the tiger pistol died for unexplained reasons after about 4 or 5 days. Last week I purchased a randalli pistol shrimp from live aquaria. They did not pair up right away but the next day I saw the goby hovering around the shrimps burrow. The problem is the randalli pistol shrimp is so small that the goby cant fit into his burrow so he just hovers outside, and now the goby has seemed to have lost interest and is no where near the shrimps burrow for the last couple of days. Do yellow watchman gobys and randalli pistols normally pair up? Would I have better luck pairing up the goby with another tiger pistol? When I had the Tiger pistol the goby was always right with the shrimp and in and out of his many burrow entrances. My goby is about 2 inches while the randalli pistol shrimp is only about 3/4 of an inch. Also, The tiger pistol had an extensive tunnel system built within about 24 hours, while the randalli pistol has only built one little hole and has remained isolated to that one spot. The thing I do like about the randalli is he is less disruptive of the tank and corals that I have whereas the tiger pistol created a continuous cloud of dust in the tank and was always heaping sand on top of corals that were near his entrances.


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

Hi Akmyers :) Thanks for your post, you bring up something interesting - matching different gobies to various pistol shrimp. The watchman + randalli may very well be a mismatch. They're normally seen with slender symbionts like the Yasha or high fin gobies. The watchman may be a bit too bulky for its tunnel network as you've noticed. I'd recommend going for another tiger pistol to be honest. However, it may pose a very real threat to your randalli.


lyndon 5 years ago

we have a 70 gallon aqua medic reef tank one nite i jus caught a glimpse of a shrimps tale now believed to be a pistol as we can hear clicks at nite but we have a reef clean system built into our tank so we dont have any substrate at all the live rock [about 65kg] is supported on egg crate so how do i go about catching him!!


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

Hi Lyndon, if you were to wager a guess, how big was it? Mantis shrimp also produce clicking noises and they are far and away a bigger problem than pistol shrimp. The easiest way to remove them is to simply remove the rock they inhabit and flush it with freshwater until they come out. Any beneficial bacteria on the rock will die but at least the pest is out.

Another method involves the use of a trap. Insert some food into it and put it near its home at night. Hopefully, you'll see them in it the next morning. You can fashion a trap yourself or purchase one from the store. All the best.


pistols 5 years ago

hey im thinking of getting a pistol shrimp but im not one for cleaning tanks and other big things because the tanks people here are talking about are huge so what's the smallest size tank that works for a pistol shrimp and which type would it be and a picture would be great.and if the size doesn't change with the addition of a goby mine telling me which type of goby? and if the difference is small then tell me that if you dont mind thanks=)


pistols 5 years ago

forgot somethign else is a cleaner fish necessary or just optional? and how often to clean the tank or what i get


pistols 5 years ago

wow i forgot lots can you just give me a list of everything i need? how often to clean and if you can an estimate of total cost?


Rick 5 years ago

This animal is awesome i am doing it for a school project and your info has helpped a lot so thanks :)


Warren 5 years ago

I added my pistol shrimp today and to my horror my watchman goby ate him


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

@Warren - My god, that is horrible. What species pistol?


Warren 5 years ago

Dunno what sort it was yellow ish I was so shocked at what I saw the pistol shrimp was pretty small and I think my yellow watchman goby thought he was food gonna get a tiger pistol next time and a bigger one at that


Tylet 5 years ago

Just got a tiger pistol such cool little guys getting a yellow goby next week


Conor 5 years ago

I just started with a new 15 or 14 gallon saltwater fish tank i am about to put live rock in and i want a pistol and goby i was wondering what some of the smallest pistol and gobys are but they will still pair and wont eat any fish


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

@Conor - Hi Conor, the smallest species available to us on a regular basis is Randall's pistol shrimp (candy cane pistol). Usually sold no larger than an inch in size, it rarely poses a problem to other fish you may have. However, this is entirely dependent on the size of the fish. Very small fish like the flaming prawn goby (Discordipinna Griessingeri, below an inch, usually 0.5 inches) may be in danger. A single shot from the pistol may be able to cause quite a bit of damage to fish that small.

As for the goby symbionts, you can get high fin gobies at very small sizes (below 2 inches) depending on availability. Check with your local LFS and have them call you when a particularly small one comes in. Hope this helps.


PirateFX profile image

PirateFX 5 years ago Author

@Conor - Hi Conor, the smallest species available to us on a regular basis is Randall's pistol shrimp (candy cane pistol). Usually sold no larger than an inch in size, it rarely poses a problem to other fish you may have. However, this is entirely dependent on the size of the fish. Very small fish like the flaming prawn goby (Discordipinna Griessingeri, below an inch, usually 0.5 inches) may be in danger. A single shot from the pistol may be able to cause quite a bit of damage to fish that small.

As for the goby symbionts, you can get high fin gobies at very small sizes (below 2 inches) depending on availability. Check with your local LFS and have them call you when a particularly small one comes in. Hope this helps.


Conor 5 years ago

thanks a lot


Vicki 5 years ago

My husband has had a 120 gallon tank set up for almost a year now. Recently we have noticed a LOT of empty snail and hermit crab shells. We also recently have had a long tentacle plate coral start dying off. A couple months ago we added a sea urchin to the tank. We are thinking that possibly the urchin is was killed the plate coral (we noticed it on top of the coral several times). The other night just as we turned lights off we heard loud popping noises coming from a back corner of the tank. This is the first time we have noticed this noise. We have not added new rocks or sand for several months is it possible we have a pistol shrimp? We had a fire scallop, but haven't seen it for awhile we were told when we purchased it that it scoots back into the rocks and is often not seen so we haven't been alarmed. We also have cleaner shrimp and fire shrimp. Any advise on what we might have going on, and possibly anyway to confirm if we do or don't have one. If we do is it something to keep or does it need to be removed?


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PirateFX 5 years ago Author

Hi Vicki, that popping noise is most definitely one of two critters that's hiding out in your tank :-

1) Mantis Shrimp

2) Pistol shrimp

Overall, the mantis shrimp poses a big threat to fish and shrimp while the pistol shrimp may harass only the smallest critters in your tank. You have two options. You can either purchase a mantis shrimp trap of some sort and hope of the best or you can remove the rock you think its hiding in and go about removing it from there.

Also, i don't think the urchin is responsible for the coral's death as they are algae eaters. What kind of urchin was it? Tuxedo?

Regards.


PirateFX 4 years ago

Great Article...When I purchased my live rock and live sand we had plenty of hitchhikers. Probably 20 - 25 Gorilla Crabs, Pistol Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp, you name it. After months of work we think we removed all the Gorilla Craps. We were able to remove the Mantis Shrimp, Trap didn't work so we removed all the rock and flushed it with sparkled water.

Over the months we have noticed that our two Cleaner Shrimps dissapeared, no clue what happened to them. Then just yesterday I was looking to see if one of my Sea Cucumpers went through my return and into the sump and low and behold there was one of the shrimp. Needless to say I took him out and put him back in the tank.

This morning when I woke up I put a flashlight to the tank to see if I can find the cleaner shrimp and apparently someone ate him because I found his head floating at the top of the tank. Outside of fish, snails, hermit crabs, and one Percelin Crab I'm not sure what ate him. I assume a pistol shrimp, but can't be sure.

Do you think the Cleaner Shrimp knew what he was doing by finding its way to the return and living in the sump?


Adam k 4 years ago

I have a little problem and can't seem to find any information to fall back on. I have had this shrimp and goby pair for about 2 years now and they have lived together just fine. About two weeks ago we noticed that we havnt seen the shrimp with the goby and figured he was just staying in the hole. Last night we noticed that he had actually moved clear to the other side of the tank with out his goby friend. My question is how do I get these two back together and why did this happen?


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PirateFX 4 years ago Author

@Adam K - Hi Adam, you'll have to somehow catch the goby and reintroduce it to the shrimp. Simply letting it around the shrimps new lair will suffice. As to why it happened, i think the shrimp got a bit overzealous in its digging one day and simply ended up at the other side of the tank. Another option is to wait and hope they cross paths once more. If that happens, they'll simply pair up immediately.


Paulpro 4 years ago

Hi,the end of the tail got bit off from my curlycue pistol shrimp,I added 4 from the bay I caught looking under rocks,anyway you think it will grow back,its just the very end of the tail,took off the entire end part only,so it can't swim now


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PirateFX 4 years ago Author

Hi Paul - You'll have to wait until its next molt for it to be repaired once more. It should grow back.


Amy 4 years ago

We bought a pistol shrimp from the pet store today and he's kind of a muddy colour, green and brownish.. Is he the kind that will pair up with a goby or not? X


msscha 4 years ago

Just wanted to say thanks for such an awesome thread! I've got a 14BC and have been hearing clicks for a while now, but thought it was crabs -- my LR was really live Gulf Rock and came loaded with hitchhikers! I've gotten some of the crabs out (even a red emerald who was lovely when she was little, then molted, turned into Godzilla, and began chomping on a duncan coral!), but about three weeks ago, something burrowed under a piece of base rock, created a huge pile of sand, and I've subsequently lost a yellow clown goby, a firefish goby, and a barnacle blenny (my first fish purchase and a fave -- so sad about that loss). So far both the peppermint shrimp and clown have fared well, traps have not worked, so I'll be disassembling the rock. Don't know if it's a mantis or pistol, but I am assuming a mantis since fish are dying and disappearing. I'll be using sparkling water and probably a net since I'm not sure if the predator is in the rock or the sand. I've also found really little shrimp in my filtering sponge (which has since been removed) and once flushed a reddish shrimp from a rock while looking for a gorilla crab. I know that you know all of this, just wanted to say how much this thread has helped. (Such an adventure all of this is! Getting freshly harvested rock is a lot like inheriting someone else's garden -- you have to deal with what you get:-))


Paulpro 4 years ago

Amy,cool it looks like you have a curlycue pistol shrimp,same as the one I had that got its tail bit off,I think it died,I still have my Tiger pistil shrimp,and the ones I caught from the bay are just green


fernando 4 years ago

can i have 2 or more pistol shrimps in the same tank(90 galon)?


Paulpro 4 years ago

Fernando,I did so onlything was that the new guys from the bay kicked out the two I had bought.Kicked them out of their holes,also lots more shots would ring out at night.I had three different species,I had two then put in four I caught at the bay."12g bowfront"


Sub 4 years ago

I put a candy pistol in a week ago and haven't seen him since in my 12gallon. Normal? I have a yellow watchman too that's oblivious.


Mike 4 years ago

Interesting read this. I have a Yasha Goby / pistol shrimp combination and see the shrimp digging constantly. Have a problem I think maybe down to the shrimp? Also in my tank I have my favourite fish a blue spotted jawfish, which is also a constructor. Recently he has been suffering rear tail damage that repairs and then is damaged again. I think the shrimp maybe the culprit as they cross paths. Is this the possible?


Paulpro 4 years ago

sub...same thing happened to me,just put more,the first one I put was in the back corner of the tank,hidding,put three or 4,so you can see them,they;ll have their territory fights,and driveby-shootings in the tank at night lol


dragon 3 years ago

I think you have done a great web page!


Rose 3 years ago

Hi, brilliant article.

I have had a tiger pistol and a yellow watchman for about 6 months now. Both have been living together fine.

Only the other night (the tank is in my bedroom) I heard a big splash so I went to investigate thinking one of my skunk clowns were trying to jump, only to find the shrimp swimming around and trying to jump.

Is this normal behaviour because usually at night the shrimp buries both himself and the goby? Is he hunting for food? Maybe he's not getting enough? Or do they prefer to eat at night?


gwen 2 years ago

I have a 2 gal pico and a 9 gal nano. Is one or both of those to small for a small pistol shrimp? I have only live rock and corals in them. What temp should this shrimp be kept at? Thanks!


Gabin 17 months ago

How about some facts about the appearance? Plz.......

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