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Fire Shrimp - Facts On The Beautiful Fire Shrimp

Updated on November 28, 2010

Fire Shrimp

Fire Shrimp Facts

Scientific Name : Lysmata Debelius
Origin : Indo-Pacific, Japan, Maldives
Difficulty : Relatively Easy
Minimum Size Tank : 10 Gallons
Temperament : Peaceful, Shy
Temperature : 72 - 82°F
Reef Safe : Yes
Maximum Size : 3 inches
Diet : Carnivore

The fire shrimp is one of the most spectacularly colored ornamental shrimp in the marine aquarium industry. It is a deep, almost blood red throughout its body with white appendages and white dots scattered across its side.

About the same size as the scarlet cleaner shrimp, it will reach a length of no more than 3 inches. Heavily collected from throughout the Indo-Pacific region due to heavy demand, it is a slightly more expensive marine shrimp.

Fire Shrimp Cleaning

Like the scarlet cleaner shrimp, the fire shrimp is another member of the lysmata genus that performs the crucial role of ridding fish of parasites. It will typically embark upon the fish as it crawls about looking for parasites to feed on. Due to the service it offers in the wild, it does have some immunity from predation as most fishes recognize the fire shrimp for what it is.

But there will be exceptions. Certain types of fishes such as lionfish, scorpionfish, anglers, some groupers as well as triggerfish may attempt to consume it. While it is generally peaceful, the fire shrimp is also exceptionally shy. It prefers caves and overhangs and is almost never seen out in the open unless feeding. As such, the fire shrimp can be a frustrating species to keep as its shy disposition doesn't offer the viewer much change to appreciate its beauty.

Fire Shrimp Diet

Fire shrimp are primarily carnivores that will consume anything meaty.

While shy initially, they will openly feed from your hand over time.

They will eat everything from pellets to flakes to frozen brine shrimp.

They will also feed on any isopods and amphipods present.

New life spectrum gives customers top class sinking pellets for fishes in addition to invertebrates.

On the topic of the quality of pellets, fire shrimp tend to get by being fed almost any type of pellet.

Fire Shrimp Pair

Fire Shrimp Breeding

While many efforts have been made to breed the fire shrimp, only a few have succeeded. The problem seems to lie in raising the larvae. To date only a handful of large scale commercial breeders achieve success with regularity.

Fire shrimp are able to change from male to female depending on the situation. This ensures that two random shrimp have the potential to pair up and eventually mate.

However, pairing fire shrimp is a little tricky as they don't seem to like sharing territory with other members of the same species. It is recommended to purchase two similar sized fire shrimp when attempting to pair them. Two shrimp of unequal size will likely see a lot of bullying by the bigger one.

Once they have been paired, they will spawn in captivity very often. Only those with the suitable food (Brine Shrimp Nauplii, Copepods) and grow out tanks will attempt to raise the larvae. Owing to the fact the cleaner shrimp is comparatively reasonably priced, many companies tend to bypass this species. The task is left to smaller breeders as well as hobbyists.



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      DAVE W 2 years ago

      Can you tell me why my fire shrimp has lost his white spots ? I have him about 12mths now. He is very healthy and feeds out of my hand.

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      Liz 4 years ago

      How long do they live

    • PirateFX profile image

      PirateFX 4 years ago

      Hi Nena,

      Thanks for visiting this hub. In all honesty, i feel that fire shrimp killing your fish is unlikely. When i've had them in the past, they are usually very shy and cannot be considered as aggressive. However, stranger things have happened.

      Is there any chance the fish died from other causes? These shrimp will home in on anything rotting very quickly.

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      Nena 4 years ago

      I have two fire shrimp and one other type. They seem aggressive when I put food in the tank compared to the other shrmip. I have lost a few new fish since I have gotten them. Each time I can't find the fish one of the red shrimp are on them eating them. I suspect they are killing my fish. Is this what might be happening? My fish usually last for years.

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      Alexie 4 years ago

      I just bought a fire shrimp and now his sides are flared out and laying on side not moving. Is he dead?

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      Ben 5 years ago

      Hi, I have 2 beautiful fire shrimp that I have had for 7 months now. They have been feeding well and almost shed at regular intervals (once every month). They have or must of paired at sometime as I have noticed the female is heavy with hundreds of yellow eggs. What can I do to help the shrimpletes have the best opportunity of servival? Many thanks Ben.

    • PirateFX profile image

      PirateFX 6 years ago

      @Rory - Most just leave it where it is and it will come apart soon enough. I think there are some shrimp that eat the it for the calcium as well but i can't be sure with regards to the fire shrimp.

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      rory 6 years ago

      do i have to remove the exo suit once it sheds

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      Hobbyist 6 years ago

      I had a pair of fire died a month ago due to stray voltage and the second one died a few days ago. Is it possible that it died due to "broken heart".

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      fordchevy 6 years ago

      fire dose thefire shrimp make a clicking noise

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      Jrod 6 years ago


      You have to give your tank time to cycle, invertebrates rarely do well in a cycling tank and are usually the first to go. Give your tank a month before adding anymore or 2-3 weeks if you're adding bacteria. (I work at a fish store)

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      HyunWoo 6 years ago

      Hi I have been raising freshwater shrimps for a few weeks, and I started saltwater marine last week.

      I bought a new fishbowl, a skimmer, a filter, 2 live rocks and 1 scarlet cleaner shrimp, 1 fire shrimp, 1 black nemo.

      the reason I started salwater marine was the fire shrimp but ... it died the next day it came to my house.

      I don't think its because of the water cause I bought the saltly water from the aquarium ... don't know why fire shrimp died ... scarlet cleaner shrimp is fine.

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      natman 6 years ago

      yeah we have put him in a 5 gallon tank and he has survived 3 nights and seems to have lots of energy but doesn't have lots of balance

    • PirateFX profile image

      PirateFX 6 years ago

      Nathan - They can grow back, if the the shrimp is given time to heal. But it looks like your puffer has a taste for fire shrimp.

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      natman fishkeeper 6 years ago

      i have one in a tank with a puffer and the puffer has taken of most of the fire shrimps legs and all the feelers will he recover?

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      PirateFX 6 years ago

      Hi Courtney, tearing out legs is exactly what i saw one do to another not too long ago. A pitiful sight, they really don't like each other. If you get a common cleaner shrimp that is larger than the fire shrimp, you should be fine. But you'll need the extra space as well.

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      Courtney 6 years ago

      We have one and hes really nice we want to get him a friend but not if hes going to rip their legs off do you know of any suitable tankmates for our fireshrimp.

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      PirateFX 6 years ago

      Hi Victoria, while it may seem like a lot, its nothing to worry about. Just curious, do you feed it very often?

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      Victoria 6 years ago

      My fire shrimp has shed its skin 3 times now since I've had him which is only 1 month. Is that normal?

    • PirateFX profile image

      PirateFX 6 years ago

      Hi Young - Not to worry. They will grow back.

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      young 6 years ago

      my fire shrimp lost a leg. Will it grow back again?

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      PirateFX 8 years ago

      Hi, may i know how big the aquarium is? If the smaller one cannot find refuge away from the aggressor, you may have a problem.

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      Victoria Holmes 8 years ago

      Hi, we recently purchased 2 fire shrimp but at 2 different times (2 weeks apart) and the original one is bigger. The latter one keeps attacking the other one and the little one has lost a leg and antenae. Have you any suggestions as to what we can do?