A Warning On Shrimp

Discussion in 'Corals' started by stratozyck, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. stratozyck

    stratozyckNew MemberMember

    I know, I know, peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, and fire shrimp are all "reef safe." For most people, this is true.

    Here is what they don't tell you - they are reef safe if you have only a few. I frequent my LFS a lot and they told me a story about when they first started up. They bought 500 peppermint shrimp and put them in their coral tanks for display and sale. Their tanks are large but admittedly, that's a lot of freaking shrimp to put in one place.

    The result? The next day they found the 500 shrimp ate $3,000 worth of coral. Admittedly, this is definitely an "outlier" but if you put too many shrimp in an area, they get hungry. They are "reef safe" but I wouldn't put more than 2 shrimp per 50 gal if you have coral. Same goes for the others. Put too much in and they will eat whatever they can to survive.

    Also, one thing to consider if you have LPS hard corals and you want to feed them directly (especially the bubble coral!) - be extra careful with shrimp! They will eventually learn that LPS corals = easy to steal food and can irritate the heck out of the coral. Because of my fire shrimp, I had to re arrange my corals to keep the bubble coral far away from "his territory." He was not eating it, simply touching it so many times it hardly opened its polyps.

    Sucks, I know. I love shrimp! I am considering using a spare 29 G tank I have as a shrimp only tank.
  2. grantm91

    grantm91Fishlore VIPMember


    Currently debating if to rehome this guy or not, its the only one i have (prppermint) i dont think its eating my corrals but its really irritating them, while i like the shrimp i love the coral and if i start to see any real damage he will be going. Its been two weeks and im still deciding but i think they should be labled, as irritating to soft corrals. Not 100% reef safe
  3. OP

    stratozyckNew MemberMember

    I see you like zoas too! I also love shrimp but I think 1-2 per 50 gal should be ok in long run. With zoas, from what I understand, the growth rate will eventually get out of hand and you will need to remove them. So, once you get to that point something that irritates or kills a few here and there won't really bother you.

    I went into my first significant salt water build with a shrimp oriented mindset. I have a lot of area that is a cave of sorts and I briefly thought it would be cool to have a herd of peppermint shrimp. I loved how they seemed to huddle together in the day. My fire shrimp is awesome - but he's my main issue. He steals food even if he's not hungry. He is in constant "someone yelled fire" mode when there is food around. I love watching him because it is highly entertaining, but I am sure he damaged my bubble coral a little before I moved it.

    I am going to monitor it but what I learned from this is, my next tank will have only 1 per 50 G whereas I have 4 Peppermints, 1 Fire, and 1 Scarlet. I have had zero issues with the others and I find the snails are the ones that cause the zoas to close up now and then.
  4. LJC6780

    LJC6780Well Known MemberMember

    I have a peppermint in my current bc29 but am about to move it over to a new setup that came with a skunk cleaner and a blood red. It's 85 gallons so I'm hoping they all get along.