Saltwater shrimp are some of the most popular and beautiful additions to a saltwater aquarium. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and can add a great deal of visual interest to any tank.
Not only do they add a vibrant touch to any tank, but they also offer a variety of benefits.
From helping to keep your tank clean to providing an additional food source, saltwater shrimp can be beneficial in many ways.
With so many types of saltwater shrimp, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of 12 of the most popular types of saltwater shrimp with pictures to help you choose which species to add to your tank.
Types of saltwater shrimp
Harlequin shrimp are a beautiful type of saltwater shrimp found throughout the Indo-Pacific region. These brightly colored invertebrates get their name from their unique black and white banded pattern, similar to the classic harlequin costume.
These peaceful shrimp prefer areas with plenty of hiding places such as coral or rocks and can reach sizes of up to three inches in length. They make excellent additions to reef tanks and generally live for up to two years when given proper care.
Harlequin shrimp feed primarily on starfish, so if you plan on introducing one to your tank make sure you have no starfish already living in the environment. Harlequin shrimp also enjoy frozen foods such as mysis shrimp and ocean plankton, as well as occasional treats such as cooked vegetables or shrimp pellets. They are relatively easy to keep and thrive best in tanks with plenty of hiding places and gentle water currents.
Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp
Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp, or Ancylomenes pedersoni, is a type of saltwater shrimp from the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is a popular species for its attractive appearance, interesting behavior, and its usefulness in controlling parasites on other fish.
The body of the Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp is pale to bright orange-red with white spots on the tail and antennae. They can reach a maximum size of two inches and are typically very active, swimming around the tank in search of food. In addition to scavenging for food, they will also offer “cleaning” services to larger fish, eating parasites and dead skin off their bodies.
When kept in an aquarium, Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp prefer to be kept in small groups of at least three individuals. They do best in well-oxygenated waters with plenty of live rock for shelter and hiding spots. They are not aggressive towards other tankmates but should be provided with ample space to prevent territorial disputes.
In conclusion, Pederson’s Cleaner Shrimp are an excellent choice for any saltwater aquarium due to their striking coloration and entertaining behaviors. While they should be kept in small groups and provided with plenty of hiding spots, they are peaceful tankmates that can help keep your tank clean by consuming parasites.
The Pistol Shrimp, also known as the Alpheidae or snapping shrimp, is a species of shrimp that’s found in tropical waters around the world. It gets its name from the loud snapping sound it makes when it closes its claw. This loud noise is produced by the rapid closure of the shrimp’s enlarged claw, creating a cavitation bubble.
The Pistol Shrimp can reach sizes up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in length. It comes in a variety of colors including red, pink, yellow, and blue. They can be found living alone or in pairs. When living in pairs, one shrimp is usually larger than the other and the smaller one will depend on the larger one for protection.
Pistol Shrimp are very active creatures and love to explore their environment. They eat small crustaceans, such as copepods and amphipods, but they also enjoy fish eggs and frozen mysis shrimp. They can be housed with peaceful fish and invertebrates in a reef tank. However, they should not be kept with aggressive tank mates because they can easily be intimidated.
Pistol Shrimp are an interesting addition to any saltwater aquarium and make an excellent addition to a reef tank. They are relatively easy to care for and can make great pets for both experienced and beginner aquarists alike.
Blood Red Fire Shrimp
The Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) is one of the most popular saltwater shrimp species in the aquarium hobby. This shrimp is a bright reddish-orange color with white stripes that run along its body and long antennae. They are relatively small and measure only about two inches in length.
These shrimp are quite hardy and easy to care for, making them an ideal choice for beginners. They prefer warm temperatures between 72°F and 78°F and thrive best in a well-aerated tank with plenty of places to hide. Blood Red Fire Shrimp should be kept in groups of 3 or more, as they are social creatures who like to interact with each other.
Like most shrimp, Blood Red Fire Shrimp are scavengers who will feed on leftover food, algae, and detritus. They are also great cleaners, as they eat away at soft corals and remove parasites from other fish.
Overall, Blood Red Fire Shrimp are an excellent addition to any tank. They are colorful, peaceful, and hardy, making them a great choice for beginner aquarists.
Peacock Mantis Shrimp
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp, also known as the harlequin mantis shrimp, painted mantis shrimp, clown mantis shrimp, or rainbow mantis shrimp, and scientifically known as Odontodactylus scyllarus, is an attractive and unique type of saltwater shrimp.
It has a mottled pattern of different colors including reds, oranges, blues, greens, and yellows. This species is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful invertebrates in the ocean.
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp gets its name from its vibrant coloring and striking shape, which resembles a peacock’s feathers.
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is native to the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These shrimp prefer to live in shallow coral reefs and other sandy habitats. They are active during the day and like to hide inside crevices or under rocks when not searching for food.
Like other mantis shrimp, the Peacock Mantis has powerful front claws that it uses to defend itself against predators. The claws also help it catch its favorite foods, such as snails and small fish. This species also feeds on plankton and algae.
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp can grow up to 4 inches (10 cm) in length. In the aquarium, it is important to provide plenty of hiding places and live rocks for them to explore. This species is generally peaceful with other fish, but should not be kept with small ornamental shrimp since it will likely hunt them for food.
Marbled shrimp, also known as Saron marmoratus, is a beautiful species of saltwater shrimp found in the wild. They have a unique black and white marbled pattern on their bodies and have white legs. They can reach up to three inches in length and prefer temperatures between 74 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Marbled shrimp are a popular addition to many home aquariums, as they are peaceful, active, and easy to care for.
These shrimp are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals, so they should be fed a varied diet. A good diet for marbled shrimp includes small frozen food such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and blood worms, as well as blanched vegetables such as spinach or zucchini. They also enjoy some of the prepared foods specifically made for them.
In order to keep marbled shrimp healthy and happy, it is important to provide them with a tank that meets their needs. They should have plenty of places to hide, such as caves, live rock, and driftwood. They also need clean water with the correct salinity levels and ample filtration. If these conditions are met, your marbled shrimp should thrive.
Banded Coral Shrimp
The Banded Coral Shrimp is a type of saltwater shrimp that is very popular in the aquarium trade. It is also known as the banded coral cleaner shrimp, or simply the banded cleaner shrimp. This shrimp has a unique bright orange and white striped body that makes it quite striking and recognizable. The body of the shrimp is typically around 2 inches in length, though some may be a bit smaller or larger.
This type of shrimp is a scavenger, meaning they feed on small pieces of food, including detritus and decaying matter. They will also sometimes feed on parasites and dead tissue from fish, making them great additions to a tank for keeping the environment clean. Banded Coral Shrimp are usually quite hardy and easy to care for, making them good choices for beginner aquarists.
In terms of behavior, this type of shrimp is usually quite active. They are constantly on the move looking for food and investigating their surroundings. They are also territorial, meaning they will establish an area in the tank where they will live and mark as their own. While they can be kept with other shrimp, they may fight if placed in too small of an aquarium.
Overall, the Banded Coral Shrimp is a great choice for any tank because of its vibrant colors and helpful scavenging nature. If you want to add a unique and eye-catching addition to your aquarium, then this species is definitely worth considering.
Camel Shrimp (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis), also known as Hinge-beak Shrimp, Dancing Shrimp, Candy Shrimp, or the “Saddleback” Shrimp, are a beautiful species of saltwater shrimp. This type of shrimp is a popular choice among aquarium hobbyists due to its unique appearance and coloration. The Camel Shrimp is characterized by its long white body that is covered in red spots and stripes.
Its antennae and legs are also red and it has two long eyes that are typically black in color. This species of shrimp grows up to 2 inches in length and requires saltwater with a pH of 8.0-8.2 and temperatures between 70-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
In terms of diet, Camel Shrimp prefers a variety of prepared and live foods such as algae, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, and frozen food. They are relatively easy to care for and can make great additions to any aquarium. The Camel Shrimp is a peaceful creature that should not be kept with aggressive fish and can thrive in a reef aquarium if the water conditions are ideal.
The Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) is a type of saltwater shrimp that is popular among reef aquariums. This species of shrimp has a bright red body with white stripes, which gives it its name. They are easy to care for and can live up to 5 years in a well-maintained tank.
The Peppermint Shrimp can be found in the Indo-Pacific region, primarily in shallow coral reefs. In the wild, they feed on parasites on other fish and detritus. In captivity, they will feed on almost any type of food, including meaty foods, algae, and frozen foods.
These shrimp are quite hardy and easy to keep. The tank should have plenty of hiding places, such as rocks and live rock formations, as the shrimp likes to hide away during the day and come out at night. They also need plenty of water movement, so a good filtration system is essential.
Peppermint Shrimp are social creatures and do best when kept in groups of at least 6 shrimp. They are peaceful and will not bother other species of fish or invertebrates in the tank. However, they may fight with each other if there is not enough room for all of them.
Overall, the Peppermint Shrimp is an attractive and hardy species of saltwater shrimp that makes a great addition to any reef tank. They are relatively easy to care for and make a wonderful addition to any aquarist’s tank.
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) is a bright and colorful species of shrimp that is commonly found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. It grows to a maximum size of about 2 inches and has a very distinctive red and white striped body pattern. These shrimp feed on a variety of algae and other organisms found in their habitat, making them beneficial to reef aquaria.
The Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is an active and interesting addition to any aquarium setup. They are nocturnal, so they will spend most of their time hiding away in crevices during the day and emerging at night to feed. These shrimp are also popular in the aquarium trade for their cleaning habits, as they will clean the skin of fish, other invertebrates, and even live rock.
One important thing to note when keeping Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp is that they are known to be somewhat aggressive towards other tank mates. They are usually not aggressive towards larger fish, but they may be territorial towards smaller, similarly-sized animals such as other invertebrates. Therefore, it is best to keep them with peaceful tankmates and avoid mixing them with anything that may outcompete them for food or space.
Overall, the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp can be a great addition to any reef aquarium setup if given the proper care and housed in the right environment. They will provide a splash of color and a fascinating display of activity in the evening hours.
The Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) is one of the most beautiful shrimp found in saltwater aquariums. This shrimp has a vibrant red and white striped pattern on its body and has a variety of common names such as the Harlequin Shrimp, Candy Cane Shrimp, or Ambon Shrimp.
It is a peaceful species that feeds on parasites found on fish, as well as other detritus, and is a great addition to any reef tank. The Sexy Shrimp can grow up to 2 inches in size and does not require special conditions to thrive, but it does need enough space to swim around and forage for food.
These shrimp are also social creatures, so it’s best to keep them in groups of at least three to five individuals. They will interact with each other and form a unique and fun social hierarchy.
The main challenge when keeping the Sexy Shrimp is providing them with enough food. While they will feed on detritus, they do need some type of protein-rich diets, such as live food or frozen food. They also enjoy eating pieces of raw shrimp or other seafood.
Overall, the Sexy Shrimp is a great addition to any saltwater aquarium. It is an interesting species that can be enjoyable to watch and interact with. Plus, it helps keep your tank clean by feeding on parasites and other detritus.
The Bumblebee Shrimp is a small, colorful, and lively invertebrate that lives in saltwater tanks. It is well-known among marine enthusiasts because of its bright yellow, black, and white stripes. Bumblebee Shrimp are quite active and they love to scavenge around the bottom of the tank, looking for food. They feed mainly on detritus, algae, and uneaten bits of food.
Bumblebee Shrimp are an extremely hardy species and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. They require temperatures between 74 to 78°F and a pH of 8.1-8.4. They do best in tanks with plenty of hiding places such as rocks, coral, and driftwood for them to explore. Bumblebee Shrimp are quite sociable and peaceful creatures, making them great additions to reef tanks.
Although they are not known for being especially hardy breeders, Bumblebee Shrimp are relatively easy to care for. They should be fed small amounts of high-quality pellets and frozen foods regularly. It is important to keep up with regular water changes to keep them healthy. As long as their environment is kept clean, Bumblebee Shrimp can live up to two years in captivity.