Fire Cleaner Shrimp - Lysmata debelius
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The Fire Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) is blood red with white whiskers and an array of white dots across its shell. This shrimp species prefers cooler temperatures than the more common Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata ambionensis) and is best kept in a tank between 72 and 78 degrees.
"Cleaner" shrimp get their name from their habit of picking external parasites, dead scales and other irritants off of the surface of other fish. Some fish will actively seek out a cleaner shrimp to clean them while others can become irritates or stressed by the shrimp's "good intentions". Cleaner shrimp will also accept other foods like flakes, pellets, algae, and frozen meaty foods as well as whatever they scavenge from their tank (or tankmates).
Shrimp molt their hard outer skeleton to grow and it is not unusual to find an empty molt in an aquarium with shrimp. Shrimp also can molt under environmental stress such as water changes, rapid changes in conditions or during shipping. Always acclimate shrimp slowly to avoid sudden changes in their environment.
Crustaceans like shrimp need well-balanced minerals in their environment to form their shells, particularly iodine and calcium and low nitrate levels. Regular water changes with a quality salt mix are generally enough to replenish any minerals lost to normal environmental sources in the aquarium but supplements can be added to heavily stocked aquariums.
|Common Name||Fire Cleaner Shrimp|
|Scientific Name||Lysmata debelius|
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate|
|Max Size (in inches)||3|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||30|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.022-1.026|
Ratings & Reviews
Active, attractive, but usually stays under or behind rock
These are sold with a survival caution, but we bought ours about 3/4 size at the Fish Place store, acclimated it slowly with a drip and an occasional additional slow tank water mix for about an hour. It has proven to be a tough and strong addition to the tank for two years so far. It is most active when food is introduced, but I'm the same way. It is the only shrimp that we have. The only other crustaceans are 3 scarlet hermit crabs ( who seem to like to wipe out our snails). Our largest fish is a Rusty Angelfish. The shrimp has no reason to hide. Other than at feeding time ours usually comes out more after a water change. It molts every 3 to 4 weeks. I used to remove the shell, but leave it in the tank to dissolve or be eaten now.