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View Full Version : Death by: Leap out of Tank, Grab by Fire Shrimp & Swim into Elegance Coral??


KarenLR75
09/25/2017, 01:27 PM
On Saturday put new Fire Shrimp and 7 Fire fish into 112g tank. Resident tank mates were 2 very LARGE skunk shrimp cleaners, melanurus wrasse, 2 mated percula clowns and a mandarin.

Like most, we were attracted to the looks of the fire shrimp and didn't realize that often, most of them like to 'hide'/come out in low lights, etc.

While trying to get everyone acclimated and/or drip acclimated we noticed after we put the fire fish in there, one loves to hide in the rock and then rejoins his group so we started calling him #7 as we kept counting and finding 6 most of the time and then he'd suddenly show up.

Well, at some point #7 decided to leap out of the tank. Husband got him back in and did what we usually do when tossing a stunned fish back into a river, and were surprised when #7 did seem to 'swim' off relatively ok and was near the other fire fish but he definitely was still not as 'perky' as the 'group'.

All of a sudden the Fire Shrimp reaches out and literally grabs and pulls #7 in what looks like a death grip and I screech figuring he thinks 'hey, dinner!'. My husband is observing this and me (watching me more suspiciously at this point as I'm acting like someone is killing one of my fur babies)...

Then, hope briefly restored as the fire fish wiggles loose from the shrimp and I'm thinking oh my gosh, I rushed to judgment, the shrimp may have been just doing his job and trying to clean the poor little fire fish...what a sweetie?

However as #7 (that was our name for him) sensing his freedom from the shrimp makes a mad dash and..........SWIMS DIRECTLY INTO OUR ELEGANCE CORAL!! At this point, I don't know if he's being stung to death, I know an Elegance coral CAN sting...but I've no clue which part of the coral does the actual 'stinging'. My husband gets one of his reef tools and gently pulls the fish out of the coral. The fish rejoins it's group, swimming for hours the rest of the night and eating.

The next day, we only see 6 fire fish....we gently shake the rock that they like to hide in the holes in...and no #7. Finally about 30 minutes later we notice the red shrimp, bought to admire its beauty, is still holed up at the back of the tank, but a piece of what appears to be #7 surfaces (it's way bigger than anything we feed them).

We know #7 died, but I'm just a bit stunned that I think it was the fire shrimp that ate him. The few pieces that also appeared later were avoided or spit out by the other fish. I'm suspicious that the fire shrimp was also NOT trying to clean the fire fish...but have no way to tell. I'm presuming that the leap out of the tank may have damaged him enough to kill him slowly, or the shrimp tussle or getting stung by the coral..I just would have expected to see him go belly up quickly and NOT spend multiple hours shoaling with his group and eating.

So, have I introduced a killer into the tank that will eat anything smaller or close to his size? Luckily my 2 skunk cleaner shrimp are the same size...I just now don't trust this shrimp and it makes it harder as I can't see what he does. I do sneak into the room at night but the fire fish have found an area to hide in and I only see him walking around the sand bed and on rocks.

I've noticed him following or peeking out when the mandarin goes over the rocks, is he looking for his next meal/victim or could he actually be checking to see if it needs to be cleaned (NOTE: Mandarin does NOT want to be cleaned)

mcgyvr
09/25/2017, 01:34 PM
A fire shrimp will scavenge for meat (weak fish/dead animals,etc...) when its available..
Welcome to nature.. :)

whether or not its a psychopath or not is something you will find out ..or you won't.. :p

KarenLR75
09/25/2017, 02:04 PM
A fire shrimp will scavenge for meat (weak fish/dead animals,etc...) when its available..
Welcome to nature.. :)

whether or not its a psychopath or not is something you will find out ..or you won't.. :p

mcgyvr,

As always, I enjoy your sense of humor. :lol2::lol2:

Yeah..the circle of life is on full display in our tank. Although we do try to control SOME parameters of what we put in the tank..survival of the fittest wins out every time.

I watched too many episodes of Criminal Minds in the past...the Fire Shrimp is definitely the 'unsub'. I'd profile him further but there's figure between motive, opportunity, and natural inclination, he's my guy. ;)

The fire fish are, to my knowledge, not something that will last long anyways. We are trying to get our somewhat territorial wrasse to get accustomed to NOT owning the whole tank so they are there while we wait and think through/research our desire to get some anthias (sp?) down the road

KarenLR75
09/25/2017, 02:05 PM
Ugh, so many grammatical mistakes and NO edit capability

mcgyvr
09/25/2017, 03:33 PM
Ugh, so many grammatical mistakes and NO edit capability

Don't worry.. We don't start judging you on that until your 20th post.. :thumbsup:

You should be able to edit your last post though.. until you post another.. then its gone.. This isn't the best forum software in the world by any means..

thegrun
09/26/2017, 02:07 PM
Like skunk shrimp, in a tank under 180 gallons it is safest to only add one pair. With as many shrimp as you have in your tank I suspect you are going to see some deaths as they fight for territory.