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Cleaner Shrimp - Facts On The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

Updated on November 28, 2010

Cleaner Shrimp With Visible Eggs

Cleaner Shrimp Facts

Scientific Name : Lysmata Amboinensis
Origin : Indo-Pacific
Difficulty : Easy
Minimum Size Tank : 10 Gallons
Temperament : Peaceful
Temperature : 72 - 82°F
Reef Safe : Yes
Maximum Size : 3 Inches
Diet : Carnivore

The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp is by far the most common offering from the shrimp family. It is a staple in the marine aquarium hobby that sees constant collection from throughout the Indo-Pacific. Lysmata Amboinensis shares half of its scientific name with the Thor Ambionensis (sexy shrimp).

Just about everyone in the hobby has had at least one cleaner shrimp in their lifetime. Due to their common nature, they are one of the cheaper shrimp on the market.

Cleaner Shrimp Cleaning

The cleaner shrimp is a very hardy addition to most marine aquariums. It is called a cleaner due to the role it takes up in its natural habitat. They clean other fishes of parasites by crawling over their bodies and picking them off like the fire shrimp. This gives them some amount of immunity to even the most intimidating predators.

There are always some exceptions to this rule however. Lionfish, Triggerfish and smaller cat sharks will all consume the cleaner shrimp if given a chance. Most fishes however, seem to recognize the cleaner shrimp for what it is and will hover nearby signaling their need for a clean up. This behavior is replicated in the marine aquarium, making them an excellent addition.

Scarlet cleaner shrimps are carnivores that will eat a wide variety of meaty foods. Pellets, frozen foods, flake foods are all readily eaten.

If it manages to catch any amphipods or munnid isopods they become tasty treats. New life spectrum offers customers top class sinking pellets for fishes as well as invertebrates.

Although they seem to do just fine with regular inexpensive pellets from a variety of brands. Ensure it is fed a good mix of food for variety.

Cleaner Shrimp Breeding

The scarlet cleaner shrimp has been bred in captivity by numerous individuals and companies. Pairing the cleaner shrimp is very easy. Simply introduce two specimens into the same aquarium and wait. They are hermaphrodites that are able to change sex according to the situation. That means any two have the potential to pair up and mate.

Once a pair has been established, they will routinely spawn in the aquarium. Raising the larvae is tough and requires good water quality as well as the proper food such as baby and quite possibly, brine shrimp and copepods.



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      kati 5 years ago

      We have a red cleaner shrimp and he has shed his outer skin at least 6 times since we've had him. Is it necessary to remove that every time he sheds it? He leaves it in an area where its difficult to get. I was also relieved to see that they only get 3'' long, since he gets larger every time he sheds it. Hes probably close to 3'' long now.

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      James 8 years ago

      hey i just got one for my nano saddly the fire shrimp eat him LOL I shoulda got bigger one he was only an inch long

      and also think it was the trip home that reallly killed him (stress). I didn't think shrimp kill smaller shrimp other than pistol shrimp right?