View Full Version : Are there really any 'reef safe' cleaner shrimp?

04/22/2017, 10:06 PM
Having kept Skunk cleaners, peppermint shrimp, and coral banded shrimp over the last 16 years, I have yet to find a truely reef safe cleaner shrimp. My current set up has 2 peppermints (first time keeping) that have killed and eaten: 2 lettuce nudibranchs, an ORA Green Planet Acro, an Octospawn, and a Torch. Previous shrimps have stolen foodstuffs from the mouths of numberous LPS and SPS species over the years.

While behavior is certainly limited to individuals within speies, ive been hard oressed to find a single soecimen out of the 4 species ive kept (gold band CS, CS, Skunks, PMs) that havent irritated or attacked other animals in my setups (even when fed extremely well) or even cleaned my fishes. IME Neogonodactylus wennerae has been more reef compatable!!!!!

That being said, has anyone had any experience with the smaller Periclimetes shrimps (pedersons cleaner)? Do any actually clean fish?

04/23/2017, 04:45 PM
I've had the best experience with peppermints. maybe you should start with smaller ones?

Or try a few sexy anemone shrimp? they're too small to do much camage, although I'd be scared my fish would eat them

04/23/2017, 04:53 PM
They way I see it if the shrimp is cleaning it it usually on its way out our us already dead. I never had cleaners that would like a healthy coral.

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04/23/2017, 06:45 PM
All of the animals that were attacked were new additions, ripped to shreds then nursed back to full health. Im thinking its just the snell they produce from being in different tanks. I have an extremely passive assortment of fishes (flashing tile, firefish, kole tang, and potters angel) so sexy shrimp will be safe, but would like a cleaner to help remove dead cells from the fishes skin. Both the tile and potter are probably wild, because they do present themselves to the shrimp

04/23/2017, 06:46 PM
My peppermints were 1/2" when added and fed daily. Both measured about an inch and a half until yesterday when i fed them to my mantis after nearly destroying a new frogspawn

04/24/2017, 07:18 PM
After 13 years I have never witnessed a skunk cleaner attack anything that was alive! All of mine throughout the years have been model citizens in my reef systems. Yes, they have snatched food from corals mouths but only ever large pieces. If you're concerned about feeding corals maybe a specialised food source may be better for to use?

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05/01/2017, 06:07 PM
I was more concerned with new additions. I am officially marking Peppermints not reef safe with other soft invertebrates.

While i've never personally seen a skunk attack tankmates, a friend who works at a large aquarium reports that thier skunk cleaners will attack the recta of sea stars in the same tank when not well fed.

05/02/2017, 12:02 PM
Peppermint shrimp are only reef safe in small numbers. My LFS had $3,000 worth of coral eaten by a shipment of peppermint shrimp they got in. They get really hungry and if starving will eat anything that won't run away from them.

Keep them well fed and only keep 2 per 50G (I'm never keeping more than 4 per tank even if I get my dream 220G setup).

05/03/2017, 06:56 PM
I don't know about their individual likelihoods to kill corals, other than what I can read on this forum, but most or all of them are liable to "clean" snails and slugs to death.