Cleaner Shrimp Care

Cleaner Shrimp Care: An Introduction Guide to Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner shrimp, such as the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, are fascinating and beneficial additions to reef aquariums.They are known for setting up cleaning stations on live rock or coral, where they perform the valuable service of eating small parasites and dead tissue from fish.These shrimp not only provide a cleaner tank environment, but also contribute to the overall health of other aquarium inhabitants by reducing parasite load. The presence of cleaner shrimp in an aquarium may significantly improve the health of other fish species.

In addition to their functional role, cleaner shrimp also add aesthetic value to aquariums. Their vibrant colours and active behaviour make them a delight to observe, offering both entertainment and beauty to the marine aquarium setup. This combination of functional and aesthetic appeal is what makes cleaner shrimp a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.

Cleaner Shrimp Species

There are several species of cleaner shrimp, with the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp being particularly popular choices for marine aquarium enthusiasts. The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is known for its attractive yellow body with red and white stripes, while the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is recognised by its yellow body, red stripes, and a central white streak. Both species provide invaluable cleaning services to fish, essentially trading their cleaning services for an easy meal. Luckily, Cleaner Shrimp are often available in New Zealand from EasternMarine Aquariums, located in Auckland.

In addition to their striking appearance and cleaning services, these shrimp species are also known for their hardy nature. For instance, Skunk Cleaner Shrimp are known to tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making them a robust choice for beginners and seasoned aquarium keepers alike. However, it’s important to note that while these shrimp are hardy, they still require proper care and attention to thrive.

Natural Habitat of Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner shrimp are native to the Pacific Ocean, specifically the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea regions. In their natural habitats, they establish symbiotic relationships with fish, cleaning parasites, dead tissue, and microorganisms from their bodies. Understanding these natural behaviours and the conditions of their natural habitats can help aquarium enthusiasts recreate suitable environments for their cleaner shrimp.

In the wild, cleaner shrimp are often found in areas with plenty of hiding spots, such as coral reefs or areas with abundant rock formations. These environments not only provide the shrimp with protection from predators, but they also serve as strategic locations for setting up cleaning stations. Recreating similar conditions in a home aquarium can help promote the natural behaviour of cleaner shrimp and contribute to their overall well-being.

Care Requirements for Cleaner Shrimp

Caring for cleaner shrimp requires a keen attention to detail. Maintaining specific water parameters, including temperature, dKH, pH balance, and specific gravity, is essential for the well-being of these shrimp. Additionally, it is crucial to slowly acclimate them to the new aquarium environment to prevent stress and ensure their survival.

For instance, the temperatures in a cleaner shrimp’s tank should typically be maintained between 24 and 26 degrees Celsius, mimicking the warm waters of their natural habitat. In terms of pH, a slightly alkaline environment, typically around 8.1 to 8.4, is ideal for these shrimp. It’s important to regularly monitor these parameters to ensure the health and well-being of cleaner shrimp.

Tank Setup for Cleaner Shrimp

When setting up a tank for cleaner shrimp, a minimum size of 30 gallons is recommended to provide enough space for their activities. It’s also important to create hiding spots using live rock or coral to provide a safe and comfortable environment for these shrimp.

To provide a more natural environment, it’s also beneficial to include live plants in the aquarium setup. These not only provide additional hiding spots but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of the aquarium. Furthermore, smooth rocks and sand substrates are also recommended to prevent harm to the delicate exoskeletons of cleaner shrimp.

Feeding and Diet for Cleaner Shrimp

Cleaner shrimp are omnivores and will eat a variety of foods, including pellets, flake foods, and dead fish or invertebrates. Regular feeding is important to ensure their proper nutrition and maintain their health. EMA stocks a range of foods suitable for cleaner shrimp.

In addition to commercial foods, cleaner shrimp can also be offered a variety of fresh and frozen foods, such as EMA Frozen Mega Mix, brine shrimp, or bloodworms. These high-protein foods can help promote healthy growth and vibrant colours in cleaner shrimp. It’s important to note, however, that overfeeding should be avoided, as it can lead to poor water quality.

Cleaner Shrimp Compatibility and Behaviour

Cleaner shrimp are generally peaceful and compatible with a variety of tankmates, including wrasses, clownfish, and tangs. However, they can be territorial with other shrimp, so it is advisable to keep them in multiples only if there is enough space. Cleaner shrimp are known to alter their behaviour in the presence of potential predators, showcasing their adaptability and survival instincts.

Cleaner shrimp are fascinating and beneficial additions to reef aquariums. With their cleaning services and compatibility with various tankmates, cleaner shrimp contribute to a thriving aquarium ecosystem. EasternMarine Aquariums (EMA) provides a range of cleaner shrimp species, marine ornamentals, and all the necessary products for enthusiasts to create and maintain a successful marine aquarium. For more information, visit EMA’s website at to enhance your marine aquarium experience.

In addition to selling cleaner shrimp, EMA’s commitment to quality and customer service ensures that customers receive healthy, vibrant shrimp that are ready to thrive in their new homes. So whether you’re an experienced aquarist or new to the hobby, EMA can help you create a vibrant and thriving marine ecosystem in your own home.