Peppermint Shrimp – Profile | Care | Tank | Breeding | Reef Safe

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Peppermint shrimp, scientific name Lysmata wurdemanni generally known as the peppermint shrimp, is a species of shrimp.

The peppermint shrimp is a nocturnal, omnivorous, saltwater invertebrate that lives within the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the East Atlantic Ocean, and within the coasts of Florida. It’s often discovered close to the coral reefs and generally tube sponges as a result of that’s the place it finds all of its meals, together with excellent hiding locations.

Peppermint shrimp Profile

Common names: Peppermint Shrimp
Scientific name: Lysmata Wurdemanni
Average Adult Size: 3inches / 8cm
Reef Safe: Yes
Recommended min. aquarium capacity: 10 gallons / 45 litres
Compatibility: Community shrimp, but could be seen as food by large fish.
Temp: 72 – 78 Deg F / 22 – 26Deg C
Water chemistry: ph 8.1-8.4
Salinity: 1.023-1.025

The peppermint shrimp is taken into account a cleansing animal in a saltwater aquarium.

As a matter of reality, they’ve change into extremely popular within the final years since you really need to work much less cleansing the tank thanks to those invertebrates. Additionally, they’re low-cost, have a singular look, and they’re very simply out there.

A natureal predator

As talked about earlier, some of the widespread causes peppermint shrimp are actively sought out and added to a reef tank is as a result of they’re pure predators of the dreaded aiptasia anemones.

In case you haven’t heard about aiptasia before, they are (sometimes) undesirable, quickly reproducing hitchhiker that completely thrives in reef tanks.

They develop so prolifically that they will unfold to plague proportions, and after you have them, no person will wish to swap coral frags with you.

The excellent news right here is that the peppermint shrimp likes to eat them. So when you add just a few peppermint shrimp to the tank, they may search out and dine on the issue.

Which is a fascinating-to-watch, non-chemical option to maintain the plague inhabitants below management.

Peppermint shrimp Description

It reaches 7 centimeters (2.8 in) in size and is known for the bright red stripes on its in any other case translucent body, that are harking back to peppermint candies equivalent to a sweet cane. Its eggs, in contrast, are vibrant inexperienced.

This Lysmata wurdemanni can be referred to as: “Candy cane shrimp”, “Caribbean cleaner shrimp”, and “Veined shrimp”. A few of its names are as a consequence of its colors.

They have got a semitransparent, creamy-reddish exoskeleton with red longitudinal, transverse, and indirect bands distributed across the body, a carapace with broad transverse and indirect V-shaped bands.

Once they change into stressed, they will lose some coloration and switch nearly utterly clear.

It’s a lovely and brightly colored shrimp. When they’re adults, they will measure as much as 2 inches lengthy.

They often stay for about 2 years. Subsequently, it’s higher to purchase younger, small ones as a result of the large ones are likely to be near ending their lifecycle and so they could solely stay for a few months.

Peppermint shrimp Distribution

Lysmata wurdemanni was initially described from specimens collected at Key West, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Its range extends alongside the Atlantic seaboard of the United States from Lengthy Island to Florida, and alongside the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to Port Aransas, Texas.

It could additionally happen within the northern Caribbean Sea, however, this has not been confirmed.

Peppermint shrimp: reef secure or not?

In my very own private expertise (most likely 10 completely different peppermint shrimp over a span of manner too a few years to wish to admit), they’ve been utterly reef secure.

In case you learn the care information descriptions on widespread web sites like, you’ll equally word they point out (not less than the ORA captive bred varieties) won’t eat corals.

Nonetheless, as is usually the case with fish or invertebrates on the reef, the comfortable, fleshy polyps of some coral species may be an excessive amount of to withstand, for some people.

A fast scan on YouTube discovered a number of different accounts of peppermint shrimp caught within the act. Here’s one, entrance, and middle, you may really see the shrimp yank out and eat the polyps.

So, purchaser beware. There may be typically a debate, at occasions like this, about whether or not the coral is already dying and the shrimp is simply cleansing up the mess as shrimp do, or whether or not it’s a camel shrimp or some coral-munching selection, however, the unlucky reality is that it isn’t unusual to listen to about it.


Peppermint Shrimp are a hardy species that may stay as much as two years, with some luck and success.

Peppermint shrimp Compatibility

Maybe the primary and largest compatibility situation when protecting the Peppermint shrimp is to verify shrimp should not on the menu.

I do know I benefit from the style of shrimp, and so do much fish with mouths giant sufficient to accommodate them into their digestive tracts, just like the Marine betta, Dogface pufferfish, or Picasso triggerfish

And also you even need to be careful about small-mouthed hawkfishes, which is able to devour a shrimp even when bigger than their mouths.

The perfect tanks to add a Peppermint shrimp to have peaceable, herbivorous species or planktivores/omnivores who have a tendency to think of shrimp as friends, not meals, like coral magnificence dwarf angelfish, pajama cardinalfish, mandarin goby, yellow tang, and so on.

These engaging shrimp are peaceable and may be stored with different shrimp, together with different members of the identical species.

Peppermint shrimp are well-known for his or her willingness to eat aiptasia anemones. Suffice it to say, they’re incompatible with aiptasia, from the anemone’s perspective.

In keeping with Sprung 2001, they’re incompatible with tridacnid clams.

Peppermint shrimp Behavior

The Peppermint shrimp likes to search for meals on the backside of the tank by sifting within the sand and strolling on the rocks. It generally oscillates sideways whereas standing on the rocks.

This species is called cleaner shrimp due to their feeding on exterior parasites on fishes. Nonetheless, they don’t seem to be that efficient as, for instance, Lysmata amboinensis species.

They often get alongside properly with different shrimp within the tank. Lysmata wurdemanni species wouldn’t have enlarged chelae (claws) and aggressive interactions are not often noticed even with different species of shrimps within the aquarium.

Typically, it’s thought-about a sociable and peaceable shrimp with the remainder of the animals.

The peppermint shrimp is a shy, nocturnal species. It eats in evening and instinctively hides from their predators in the course of the day.

So, don’t worry you probably have not seen it for some time in your tank, the peppermint shrimp might be hiding in cracks and crevices.

In case you use a flashlight with a red filter in the course of the evening, you’ll most likely see it.

Peppermint Shrimp and Corals

Some aquarists say that the Peppermint shrimp should not really useful for a reef tank. The principle purpose is that they eat small polyps and comfortable corals.

Individuals who have put them in these kind of aquariums prior to now complain that they began seeing how the corral was getting nipped and had no thought what was happening.

Nonetheless, there are additionally aquarists who’ve by no means skilled something like that. Their Peppermint shrimp didn’t contact corals within the tanks in any respect.

In keeping with the research, even aquatic outlets have no idea what they promote. Sadly, it is vitally simple to confuse the Lysmata boggessi (the Atlantic Peppermint shrimp) and Lysmata wurdemanni (the Gulf and Carribean Peppermint shrimp). Until you’ve gotten a skilled eye.

The Lysmata boggessi shrimp have semi-translucent reddish exoskeleton lined with slim, longitudinal, transverse, and oblique pale red stripes.

The carapace has V- and U-shaped indirect and transverse stripes. As well as, we will see a particular inverted Y on the carapace.

The Atlantic Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata boggessi) do NOT reef secure. A number of of those shrimp can tear up just a few corals inside an evening.

The Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) are reef secure. They won’t assault corals. So, don’t make a mistake when you will purchase one.

Molting of the Peppermint Shrimp

Like all invertebrates, they molt (shed the shell/exoskeleton) to develop. The smaller they’re the extra incessantly they molt.

Peppermint shrimp are very susceptible throughout this course and keep hidden to keep away from any predators.

Don’t throw away the previous shell. They may eat it later to revive calcium within the physique.

Peppermint shrimp want ample calcium complement and hint minerals within the molting course.

You possibly can study extra about molting in my article ”Aquarium: Molting Course of and Metabolism of the Dwarf Shrimp”.

Peppermint shrimp Diet

Lysmata Wurdemanni’s main diet would be the pure development of biofilm and algae current within the aquarium.

All kinds of dried leaves and branded shrimp meals may even be accepted, in addition to varied fruit and veg. They may even eat commonplace fish flakes if stored with fish.

This shrimp is usually stored within the dwelling aquarium to sort out nuisance Aiptasia though it’ll also happily feed on detritus, uneaten meals, and decomposing natural materials.

The Peppermint Shrimp is omnivorous. They feed on meals particles, detritus, lifeless fish tissue, and natural materials in decomposition, and so on. It is likely one of the kinds of animals that are used to wash an aquarium.

It’s simple to feed them as a result of they often search for meals within the aquarium on their very own and they won’t require loads of further meals.

Nonetheless, you may add a chunk of contemporary fish or a sinking shrimp pellet from time to time.

Relying on the dimensions of your tank and the quantity of fish in it, you may not need to feed it in any respect.

They’re superb for consuming Aiptasia (glass anemones), that are thought-about a pest in saltwater aquariums as a result of they reproduce rapidly and sting corals and fish.

Typically the Peppermint Shrimp will solely eat the smaller anemones and ignores the large ones.

Tip: If it’s your case, it signifies that they don’t seem to be hungry sufficient and have one thing else to eat in your tank.

In case your intention is to incorporate the Peppermint shrimp in your aquarium to do away with the Aiptasia and it isn’t doing its job, you may add extra of those shrimps within the tank.

Peppermint shrimp Coloration

To enhance and keep physique pigmentation of your shrimp, just be sure you embody carotenoids (astaxanthin) into their diet.

In addition to enhancing the coloration of the Peppermint shrimp, astaxanthin improves survival fee and copy, as a consequence of their antioxidant exercise and their contribution to the neutralization of free radicals within the cells of the organism.

In keeping with the study, along with survival, the presence of carotenoids within the diets of the Peppermint shrimp promotes fast development.

The variation of the background coloration, such because the depth and kind of illumination within the tank, may even play its function.

Peppermint shrimp have a continuing focus of physique pigments which they categorical to a higher or lesser diploma relying on the environmental circumstances through which they stay.

peppermint shrimp

Peppermint shrimp Tank Care

The Peppermint shrimp are very simple to maintain and really undemanding. Subsequently, they’re broadly really useful for newbies.

Though this species can adapt to loads of water circumstances. There are some issues that need to be thought-about.

They like aquariums with stay stones, hiding locations, and open locations to seek for meals. You want a 10-gallon aquarium for 2 of those shrimps and 5 more gallons for each additional Peppermint Shrimp you add to the tank.

Ideally, Peppermint shrimp needs to be stored in a gaggle as a result of when they’re alone, they get harassed.

In case you comply with the rule about having one Peppermint shrimp for each 5 gallons of water, they need to do their job properly and have sufficient house for themselves.

There are only a few issues that need to be thought-about with a view to extend the shrimp’s life and make it a positive a part of the aquarium.

The most important rule you need to keep in mind is that, like all shrimp, the Peppermint shrimp prefer stability. They don’t like changes.

The temperature of the water needs to be between 25 – 28 C (75 and 82 F). The precise gravity required is 1.023 – 1.025. The pH must be between 8.1 and 8.4.

The carbonate hardness must be from Eight to 12. It additionally wants a water filter and water pump. They don’t tolerate giant ammonia and nitrate degree. Be very cautious with copper.

They don’t require any particular choice relating to the substrate. The species was reported to occupy a number of habitat sorts from rocky shorelines, hard-bottom reefs, tube sponges, to shell bottoms inside inlets.

There needs to be additionally some crops, which may be actual or pretend. The aquarium ought to have the sunshine turned on in the course of the day and turned off in the course of the evening.

Tank Preparation

Peppermint Shrimp are fairly simple to position in a tank because of their small measurement. In case you are simply planning on protecting Peppermint Shrimp, then you may have a minimal tank measurement of simply ten gallons.

In case you can a number of Peppermint Shrimp, then it might be smart so as to add an additional 5 to 10 gallons per shrimp.

For essentially the most half, including them in a pre-existing tank can be a lot of an issue since they wouldn’t take up a lot of room.

You must make sure that the Peppermint Shrimp can simply scavenge and have some small caves to cover inside.

They’re significantly glad in tanks that embody stay rock for them to stay in and scavenge on. They will work with just about any kind of substrate and are pleased with stay rocks.

As soon as they’re positioned inside a peaceable tank, they’re hardy and gained’t trigger you a lot bother.

In case you are elevating small Peppermint Shrimp, then understand that sturdy filtration can suck them up.

This is usually a downside in smaller tanks the place the species is nearer to the filter consumption.

You also needs to watch out in case you are planning so as to add in a number of Peppermint Shrimp.

Be certain they may have enough space to assert their own territory to keep them from preventing.

The place they spend their time in the tank

As talked about a bit earlier, shrimp are meals for lots of marine predators. So it might not shock you to know that while you first deliver them dwelling from the native fish retailer and introduce them to your tank–they may have some belief points–and be a bit shy.

They often choose the protection of the shadowy ledges of stay rock over being out within the open, however they do enterprise out to eat and hang around.

Regardless, they’re near all the time ‘connected’ to some construction. Open water swimming was not often noticed in my tank–reserved for fast escapes when spooked quiet than main locomotion.

Peppermint shrimp Reproduction

Lysmata wurdemanni is a protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite. This means that it begins as a male however could later change into a hermaphrodite. It has 4 molts as a male earlier than altering sexes to change into a euhermaphrodite.

Nonetheless, below sure circumstances some males by no means change to hermaphrodites. In the euhermaphrodite stage, the shrimp act as a male between molts and as a feminine instantly following a molt.

Throughout this hermaphroditic stage, the shrimp progressively lose their male organs, probably as a result of more power is being allocated to the event of feminine reproductive organs.

Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) are protandric simultaneous hermaphrodite.

It signifies that all people first mature as a male (male-phase) after which later change to a feminine (female-phase – FP) that spawns and broods embryos however also can mate as a male.

They have got an exceptional functionality of copulating and inseminating as males on the very evening through which they themselves bear a spawning molt and copulate, as females, with one other FP.

Mating experiments confirmed that Lysmata wurdemanni females are able to mating as a male or as a feminine with subsequent spawning of eggs. They’re, nevertheless, incapable of self-fertilization.

Observe: Within the wild, charges of intercourse change are highest from late winter by means of spring, in time for the spring-summer season breeding season.

In keeping with different research, there isn’t a proof to help demographically (female and male ratio) influenced and socially mediated (density) environmental intercourse dedication.

The change of intercourse from the male part to the feminine part usually happens at 2.40-2.60 cm (~ 1 inch).

Nonetheless, in some circumstances, the dimensions and age at which intercourse change maybe even at 1.5 cm size (0.6 inches).

Lysmata wurdemanni employs a ‘pure looking out’ tactic for mate-finding through which the males are always trying to find receptive females.

Males use olfactory organs (aesthetascs) on their antennules to detect soluble feminine intercourse pheromones (distance pheromones). These pheromones are launched 2–8 hours previous to feminine molting.

Guided by these chemical indicators, males make their option to the feminine and can strategy her.

The male will then ‘style’ the feminine’s contact pheromones together with his aesthetascs to verify she is an acceptable mate.

If the chemical substances are proper, courtship could begin and, if courtship goes properly, copulation will ensue.

This course is very transient and happens instantly post-molt, whereas the feminine’s cuticle is new and comfortable.

The larvae fed with Chaetoceros or Isochrysis solely survived for a most of 17 days. Nonetheless, the survivorship of the larvae fed with Artemia nauplii or rotifer was nearly 70%.

Nonetheless, with Artemia nauplii larvae grew considerably sooner (reached postlarvae in 29-32 days) compared to rotifer (reached postlarvae in 32-36 days).

Arremia nauplii have been also examined as potential meals for the postlarvae and juveniles. All survived to achieve sexual maturity in 50 to 70 days.

The larvae can change into meals for corals and small fish within the aquarium.

That is why will probably be higher to take particular care of those larvae in a separate tank. It ought to have an air pump with a small aquarium filter with a sponge.

Gentle attracts Lysmata wurdemanni larvae. Lure them to the nook with a flashlight or desk lamp.

Use a 10 ml plastic syringe and 5 inches of airline host in the long run to catch the larvae. Don’t use mesh. Even an effective mesh can harm the larvae.

Peppermint shrimp Aquaria

Lysmata wurdemanni is a reef secure cleansing animal which consumes parasites and lifeless or diseased tissue from different animals and is due to this fact utilized in marine aquariums.

Moreover, these shrimp are identified to devour the Aiptasia or “glass” anemone which is thought to be a pest and is tough to eradicate from dwelling salt-water aquariums.

The hatching of eggs, molting, and copulation cycle is similar to that of L. debelius, yielding weekly batches of zoeae from every pair.

One of the vital interesting shrimps you may maintain within the interest.

This Saltwater solely shrimp is a good addition to a reef biotope and not solely does an excellent job cleansing the aquarium but it surely’s engaging red color makes it a fantastic specimen certainly.

Peppermint Shrimp are hermaphrodite which implies every shrimp may be male or feminine, though they’re born as males however flip to females when molting for a short time.

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