Aquarium Fish

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is probably the most sought after of the common cleaner shrimps simply because it really does clean fish. These Skunk Cleaner Shrimps will setup a cleaning station on top of a section of the live rock and will wave their antennaes until a larger fish stops by and they commence their cleaning tasks. What exactly are they cleaning you may be wondering? Well, they are looking for small parasites (i.e. marine ich) and dead tissues. They will probe all over the fish, along the gills and sometimes even inside the mouth of the fish removing the parasites and dead tissues.

The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp should do fine if you want to keep them in multiples but they should not be kept with more aggressive fish species such as Hawkfish, Lionfish and Triggers who may go after them.

Feeding them is relatively easy because they will eat nearly any meaty type of fish food that you put in the tank. You just need to ensure that they are getting their fair share. They may even take flake foods once they realize they can eat flakes.

The Skunk Cleaner shrimp is usually very hardy if they have been acclimated slowly. It's recommended to acclimate them to your aquarium water over a period of an hour or more to avoid pH shock. Don't be alarmed if you look in your tank one day and see what appears to be a dead shrimp. Look around the tank and if you see that the shrimp is indeed still alive, then what you're looking at is the exo-skeleton that they shed every once in a while. You will need to periodically add an iodine supplement to the water because they use iodine in building their new exo-skeleton.

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Picture

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
A cleaner shrimp that actually does a decent job of keeping tank mates clean.
Cleaner Shrimp actually cleaning! Cleaner Shrimp and Yellow Tang
Cleaner Shrimp cleaning Cleaner Shrimp doing it's job
Click photos for larger image

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Cleans Tang Video

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Care

Scientific Name : Lysmata amboinensis

Common Names : Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

Care Level : Easy, needs to be slowly acclimated to the tank. Take an hour or longer and use a slow drip acclimation.

Size : Up to 2 inches (5 cm)

Life span : 3 years or longer

pH : 8.1 - 8.4

Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)

Specific Gravity : 1.023 - 1.025

Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12°

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Temperament / Behavior : This is a very peaceful little shrimp that should make a great addition to nearly any peaceful tank. Watch them closely in reef tanks because they may sometimes pick at corals and may even take food from your corals. They may also chase away other shrimps that invade its territory.

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Breeding : This invertebrate has been bred in the home aquarium. Also see: How to Raise and Train Peppermint Shrimp for a complete how-to on breeding saltwater shrimp.

Aquarium Size : 30 gallon (114 liters) minimum

Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Tank Mates : Use caution when selecting tank mates. Don't keep them with more aggressive fish species such as Triggers, Hawkfish and Lionfish that may munch on them. You should be able to keep multiple skunk cleaner shrimps in the same tank. They seem to tolerate each other well.

Fish Disease : Saltwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Foods : Omnivorous, try to give them a variety of marine foods. They should accept most meaty types of frozen and live foods.

Tank Region : Usually stays close to its chosen territory in the live rock or any other tank decor that can provide shelter. They should come out when food hits the water.

Gender : Hermaphrodites - has both male and female reproductive organs.

Author : Mike FishLore

References
Shimek, R. L. (2004). Marine Invertebrates - 500 Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.
Calfo, A. (2003). Reef Invertebrates - An Essential Guide to Selection, Care and Compatibility. Readin Trees Publications




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