An absolute must have member of the overall clean-up crew for a reef aquarium is the Pacific cleaner shrimp. This shrimp welcomes fish from small to big at almost any time to clean it of parasites and dead skin cells. This shrimp also eats organic waste, so in turn cleaning your aquarium, free of charge.
They usually live in pairs and in the wild they can be found on reefs in the tropical and sub-tropical part of the Great and Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. This shrimp is hermaphrodite, meaning an adult animal can reproduce both male and female reproduction organs. The shrimp begins life as a male.
Shrimp have an external skeleton (exoskeleton) that they will shed as they grow. When they are shedding they go and hide as long until the new skeleton has hardened. During this shedding period it’s also the time they reproduce. They keep on shedding their whole life, even after reaching the adult stage.
These shrimp are mostly active at night and they are known by various names, for example Pacific cleaner shrimp, scarlet cleaner shrimp, and skunk cleaner shrimp. A small animal but nonetheless a very important member for the overall health of coral eco systems. When properly taken care for, these beautiful animals can live up to three years and longer.
|Up to 6 cm.
|The Indo Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea
|Temperature: 25 – 28 °C
pH: 5,5 – 7,5
Sg: 1.023 – 1.025
|These cleaner shrimp will set up a cleaning station on a coral or a rock and fish will line up and wait patiently to get their skin cleaned of parasites, like an underwater carwash, an absolute phenomenal happening to observe. The cleaner shrimp will move back and forward in a specific way to indicate they are ready to clean.