Care Level: Easy
Reef Compatible: Yes
General Description: The Cleaner Shrimp, also known as the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, or Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, can be an advantageous invertebrate for the reef aquarium. Acting as a medic on the natural reefs, Cleaner shrimp set up “cleaning stations” on coral outcroppings, waiting for fish to come by to be cleaned of ectoparasites and dead tissue. This behavior is often mimicked in the home aquarium, where Cleaner shrimp may be seen scaling along fish tank mates “cleaning” them. Originating from the Red Sea and Indonesia, Cleaner shrimp can reach a maximum size of 4″ with two vertical red stripes that run along its body, separated by a single white stripe in the middle, and its ventral side being mostly yellow. Cleaner shrimp are extremely peaceful and do best in groups.
Diet Requirements: Cleaner shrimp are carnivores. They will actively move around the aquarium looking for food and picking debris off the live rock. Cleaner shrimp will readily accept a variety of flake, pellet, and frozen foods.
Tank Requirements: An established, minimum aquarium size of 30 gallons is recommended to house one, or a group of, Cleaner shrimp. Maintaining stable water parameters is a component to the success of keeping this invertebrate; Cleaner shrimp are intolerable of high nitrates. Regular water changes are necessary to replenish iodine that is important for the proper molting of Cleaner shrimp. Generous live rock with caves and crevices will mimic the Cleaner shrimp’s natural environment. While it is safe to add Cleaner shrimp into a reef aquarium, they have been observed to steal food from corals. It is imperative to take time acclimating Cleaner shrimp; we suggest via drip acclimation. Recommended water conditions: 76-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.024-1.026.
Purchase Size: Small: 1″ to 2″; Medium: 2″ to 3″; Large: 3″ to 4″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase size is approximate.