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Lysmata wurdemanni
Peppermint Shrimp

 Age of Aquariums > Saltwater Fish

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wurdemanni2.jpg (19kb)
Photo Credit: Leandro Neme

Name: Lysmata wurdemanni
Size BehaviorReef
5 cm Peaceful Safe


A very resourceful shrimp and good addition to most reef tanks where larger fish do not pose a predatory risk. Very reclusive habits, but useful in that it will kill aiptasia and other nuisance pests. Very good part of the clean-up crew and generally quite beneficial to the reef tank. As with all shrimp, use great caution with copper treatments and nitrate spikes. Needs Live rock hiding places.

Contributed by Cecilia Chen

My two peppermint shrimp are hilarious. They are very alert to any food touching the water. My shrimp have been very hardy introduced during mid cycle.

Contributed by Greg Collins

Mine lives in a large live rock with lots of hiding spots in my reef tank. I can spot him running in and out of the rock at night. Iodine is a must for any shrimp, for they need that to develop their new shell after molting. I find a shell every now and then. Really never recorded it.

Contributed by Joann Strohl

I have a couple peppermint shrimp in my 120 liter. They will eat anything, though my shrimp love earthworms. It takes them about 2 hours to completely eat one. They also accept with great joy: flakes, pellets, live bloodworms, frozen bloodworms, frozen brine shrimp and any meaty item. These shrimp are best kept in groups. They are a small shrimp species, staying under 5 cm. They readily breed in aquariums, but the fry are very hard to raise. These shrimp are recommended to beginner and experts alike and are somewhat cheap.

Contributed by Andrew Brown

This shrimp is most commonly known for it's ability to combat aiptasia. Do not be fooled though, as it is not a true predator of aiptasia. Expect a 5-10% probablity of this shrimp actually going for aiptasia. I've introduced over a dozen of this shrimp to no effect. Basically a hit or miss, but it doesn't hurt to try it.

Contributed by Stephen Patterson

Peppermint shrimp are very interesting to watch, but adding them to a reef tank is, in my opinion not a good idea. Shrimp in the Lysmata family have a well documented history of nipping, eating, or harassing desirable reef invertebrates. When food is scarce (or maybe not) corals and clams become "temporary" favorites to nip, eat, and harass. Recently these shrimp have become popular because they eat Aiptasia. The addition of these shrimp to the reef tank for the purpose of eating Aiptasia is ill advised in my opinion. We as good aquarists cannot expect these shrimp to eat just one type of cnidarian (the Aiptasia) while leaving other cnidarians (corals like the Xeniids) alone. Nature just does not work that way. More importantly, if you have problems with Aiptasia and use this shrimp to eat these nasty anemones, you are not addressing the problem (water flow and/or excess nutrients) which are allowing for the Aiptasia bloom in the first place. Instead, you are treating the symptoms by introducing this borderline reef safe invertebrate. I would recommend this shrimp for a fish only with live rock display, as they are really good cleaners, and can be very active in a non aggressive tank. From a reefer since the mid 80ís, back when they said keeping a reef system was impossible for the average aquarist.

Contributed by Craig Burda

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