Manage nuisance Aiptasia, with a population of industrious Peppermint Shrimp to help keep your reef aquarium system naturally healthy and clean.
The name Peppermint Shrimp applies to a variety of Lysmata species distributed along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. This attractive shrimp named for the red stripes running the length of its transparent to cream-colored body makes a great addition to the home reef aquarium.
Peppermint Shrimp enhances visual interest with vibrant coloration and curious activity as it crawls around rockwork on its graceful stilt-like legs. During the day, the Peppermint Shrimp will generally remain hidden in live rock and come out at night to forage for food.
As a "cleaner" shrimp, the Peppermint Shrimp dutifully makes its way around your aquarium and live rock consuming detritus and decomposing organic material even sifting through sand in search of food. Individuals that are more industrious may even engage in cleaning parasites off its tank mates.
Known for eating nuisance aiptasia, Peppermint Shrimp can control the spread of aiptasia by eating the small, developing anemones. However, keep in mind that some individuals are better at managing aiptasia while others may not be interested in aiptasia at all.
Peppermint Shrimp are very social and peaceful towards most reef inhabitants. Like other invertebrates, the Peppermint Shrimp cannot tolerate copper-based medications or high nitrate levels. It also requires supplemental iodine to encourage proper molting of its carapace. In addition to what it obtains from scavenging, the diet of the Peppermint Shrimp should consist of most types of prepared foods and the occasional pieces of fresh fish.
The Peppermint Shrimp is non-aggressive with fish and other invertebrates, and groups of them can cohabitate peacefully in the same reef aquarium. This shrimp will not eat corals. The Peppermint Shrimp does best in home aquariums with live rock, ample places to hide, as well as open areas to scavenge. It is not uncommon for peppermint shrimp to spawn when kept in groups of two or more. Rearing the larvae requires specialized feed and care outside of the display aquarium. Otherwise, the newly hatched shrimp larvae serve as a great food source for corals and small fish.