What are Cleaner Shrimps?

The cleaner shrimp is a generic term used to refer to any decapod crustacean which cleans up parasitic organisms. This is a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties and is a symbiosis of the effective kind. Cleaner shrimps are highly in demand when it comes to aquariums and benefit fish immensely by cleaning all parasites swiftly.

These shrimps also enjoy these parasites from a nutritional perspective. A commonly witnessed situation in coral reefs is a congregation of cleaner shrimps at specific stations for such cleaning.

Cleaner Shrimp

Types of Cleaner Shrimps:

There are three major families from which these shrimps usually originate and these are listed below:

  • Palaemonidae or spotted cleaner shrimps
  • Stenopodidae or banded coral shrimps
  • Hippolytidae or Pacific shrimps

Importance of Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner shrimps are perfect for saltwater aquariums as mentioned and those of the Urocaridella genus possess a mysterious aura of their own. They do not mingle with other animals and prefer cave-like spaces. They prefer gathering round particular cleaning areas and swing into action whenever a fish enters the space. These shrimps prefer working with a group and are known for their dance-like movements to attract these fishes and work on the removal and ingestion of ectoparasites thereafter.

Among cleaner shrimps, aquarium owners usually prefer the skunk cleaner shrimp for its efficiency and abilities. This is one of the commonest varieties and is seen to establish cleaning areas on top of rocks or other aquarium decorative implements. Skunk cleaner shrimps usually keep waving their antennas to draw the attention of fishes. These shrimps usually seek dead body tissues and tiny parasites and usually conduct probes all over the body of the fish in question in addition to the mouth and gills. This activity is conducted seamlessly and in very little time.

Keeping multiple skunk cleaner shrimps is perfectly okay but they are not really compatible with fish with aggressive temperaments including the Lionfish, Hawkfish, and Triggers who may bother and challenge them. Keeping shrimp cleaners well fed is not a challenge at all; any food product for fishes will do the job impeccably but they need a fair quantity of the same to remain in good humor. You can even get cleaner shrimps to consume flakes if you wish. Their hassle-free nature makes cleaner shrimps some of the most coveted choices for aquariums.

Adding Scarlet Cleaner Shrimps to you Aquarium

Aquarium owners should always get their cleaner shrimps to adjust to their new environments very slowly in order to keep pH fluctuations at bay. They usually take an hour at least to get used to the surroundings. Cleaner shrimps often shed their own exo-skeletons and this may convey a wrongful impression of their death. Owners should avoid false alarms and look at adding measured doses of iodine into the fish tank. Iodine is a vital requirement for cleaner shrimps with regard to creating fresh exo-skeletons. Cleaner shrimps are best kept in 30-gallon aquariums and are expected to live for a minimum of three years. This peaceful aquarium dweller will serve you faithfully and makes for a wonderful acquisition indeed.