Lysmata warmanni, also known as peppermint shrimp, is a saltwater reef shrimp that adds color to your aquarium. It has a red body with pink or off-white stripes, and can be found in tropical waters from the West Atlantic to the Caribbean, typically near coral and rocks. It can grow to be 1.50-1.75 inches long and has a lifespan of 2 years with proper care. It is known as a “sweeper shrimp” for its ability to clean up waste and Aiptasia, a predatory sea animal that can quickly overrun an aquarium. Additionally, it is considered a “cleaner shrimp” as it feeds on parasites from other fish. They are reef-safe, but may nibble on certain coral species. Keep an eye out for this behavior, and cover the coral with a cloth to prevent damage.
|Scientific name:||Lysmata warmanni|
|Also known as:||Caribbean shrimp, veined shrimp, candy cane shrimp, and Caribbean cleaner|
|Size:||1.5 – 1.75 inches|
|Life expectancy:||2-2.5 years|
|Color:||Red and white|
|Minimum tank size:||10 gallons|
- 1 Care for Peppermint Shrimp
- 2 Food and Diet
- 3 Breeding Peppermint Shrimp
- 4 Peppermint Shrimp Behavior
- 5 Peppermint Shrimp Tank Mates
- 6 Where do I find Peppermint Shrimp?
- 7 Conclusion
Care for Peppermint Shrimp
Peppermint shrimp, also known as Lysmata warmanni, are a type of saltwater reef shrimp found in the Caribbean, West Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico near coral and rock habitats. They require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons and should be given 5-10 gallons per shrimp. In their natural habitat, they can be found in rock or hard-bottom reefs and prefer to have plants for hiding places. They enjoy scavenging and should have plenty of caves for shelter during the day and open areas for foraging for food. They are only active at night, so it is best to keep the lights off during this time. They are easy to care for but dislike change, so it is important to keep water conditions stable. They prefer water temperatures between 64-72 degrees Fahrenheit on the low end and 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit on the high end, with a water hardness of 8-12 dkH, a pH of 8.2-8.4, and a specific gravity of 1.023-1.25. They thrive in slow-moving water with little current and should not be kept with filtration systems that can trap them.
Food and Diet
The peppermint shrimp is a hardy species that is easy to care for. They are known for eating dead snails and Aiptasia, which makes them a valuable addition to a reef aquarium. They also consume decomposing organic matter and other debris.
They can also be fed a variety of foods such as:
- Frozen brine shrimp: a popular food choice for shrimp and other marine animals
- Commercial flakes and pellets: formulated specifically for marine invertebrates
- Mysis shrimp: a type of small freshwater shrimp that can be found frozen or dried
- Algae: such as nori or spirulina, which can be fed in sheet or powder form.
It’s important to note that as a scavenger species, they may not always accept prepared foods. It’s best to offer a variety of foods and see which one they prefer. It’s also important to not overfeed them, as they can be prone to obesity. Keep an eye on their body condition and adjust the feeding accordingly.
As an invertebrate, the peppermint shrimp sheds its exoskeleton during development and it’s important to provide adequate calcium and trace minerals to support this process. They also benefit from the carotenoids for maintaining good coloration and overall health.
Breeding Peppermint Shrimp
Peppermint shrimp are protandrous hermaphrodites, meaning that they mature as males first and then change into females later on in their life. This means that as a juvenile, they have only male reproductive organs, but as they grow, they develop the ability to change sex and produce eggs. This also means that they can breed with any other shrimp of the same species, regardless of their sex. This characteristic makes it easier for peppermint shrimp to breed in captivity, as they don’t need a specific ratio of males to females to reproduce. Keep in mind that the shrimp should be healthy and well-fed, with stable water conditions before attempting to breed them in captivity.
Peppermint shrimp are known to be simultaneous hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs and can breed with any other shrimp of the same species, regardless of their sex. They can breed after each molt, when the shrimp has shed its exoskeleton. A female can lay up to 300 eggs at a time and will remain pregnant for 10-20 days. However, the eggs can remain viable for up to 2 months, depending on water parameters and the presence of predators. Before laying eggs, the female shrimp will become transparent and silvery, and after 12 days, the eggs will turn silver and will be ready to hatch. The hatching process occurs at night, and the larvae will swim towards light. It’s important to keep in mind that breeding shrimp in captivity requires a suitable environment and stable water conditions, and it’s advisable to seek guidance from experienced aquarists or consult specialized literature.
Peppermint shrimp larvae can be an excellent food source for planktivorous species, but it’s important to remove them from the main tank and place them in a separate container for proper growth and development. The larvae can be housed in a 37-gallon tank with a heater and air circulation to provide suitable conditions for growth. It takes about 30 to 67 days for them to mature and settle in the tank. Once the larvae reach a sufficient size, they can be added back to the main tank or sold as a separate species. Keep in mind that breeding and raising shrimp larvae in captivity requires a significant investment in terms of time and resources, and it’s advisable to seek guidance from experienced aquarists or consult specialized literature.
Peppermint Shrimp Behavior
Peppermint shrimp are known to be shy and can be hesitant to come out of hiding. They are peaceful and non-aggressive creatures that get along well with other reef inhabitants. They lack large claws and have few aggressive interactions. They are nocturnal and may be mistaken for food by other fish, so they tend to hide until they feel safe enough to venture out and explore. They prefer to attach themselves to objects rather than swimming and may only swim in short bursts if scared or trying to escape. They can be territorial, but this is usually only a problem in overcrowded tanks. A 10-gallon tank with two shrimp should provide enough space to avoid territorial disputes. Peppermint shrimp are a peaceful species that gets along well with other fish, and they are not aggressive.
Peppermint Shrimp Tank Mates
The peppermint shrimp, also known as Lysmata warmanni, is known for being a calm and peaceful species that avoids confrontations. They prefer to be alone and work best in tanks with other saltwater fish that can tolerate alkaline conditions. They do not pose a threat to other tankmates and are not aggressive. They make a great addition to an aquarium and can be kept with other peaceful species that do not view them as a food source. They are a hardy species that can adapt to different water conditions and are easy to care for. It is important to provide them with a suitable environment and stable water conditions to keep them healthy and happy.
The peppermint shrimp is a peaceful species that can get along well with a variety of tankmates, including:
- Mandarin goby: A small, colorful fish that is known for its peaceful nature and compatibility with invertebrates.
- Yellow Tang: A bright yellow fish that is known for its hardiness and peaceful nature.
- Pajama Cardinalfish: A peaceful fish that is known for its distinctive coloration and hardiness.
- Coral beauty dwarf angelfish: A small, peaceful angelfish that is known for its hardiness and compatibility with invertebrates.
These are not suitable tankmates for Peppermint Shrimp.
- Pufferfish with a dogface: Puffers are known to be aggressive and may view shrimp as food.
- Marine betta: Marine Bettas are known to be aggressive and territorial, and may harm the shrimp.
- Picasso triggerfish: These fish are known to be aggressive and may view shrimp as food.
- Diseases of Lionfish and Hawkfish: These fish are known to be aggressive and may harm the shrimp.
Peppermint shrimps suffer greatly from stress. Avoid stressful situations to keep it healthy. This can include sudden changes in water parameters, exposure to chemicals or pollutants, and overcrowding. Stress can cause health issues and reduce the shrimp’s lifespan. To keep your shrimp healthy it is important to maintain stable water conditions, provide them with a suitable environment, and avoid overcrowding.
Although it is uncommon, peppermint shrimp can also be susceptible to bacterial and parasitic infections, just like other marine animals. These can include common marine diseases such as marine velvet, marine ich, and brooklynella. It’s important to keep an eye on the shrimp’s behavior and appearance, and to seek the advice of a veterinarian or experienced aquarist if you notice any signs of illness.
Where do I find Peppermint Shrimp?
The peppermint shrimp is a popular species among marine aquarists due to its bright red and white coloration and its ability to control pests such as Aiptasia. Because of this, it is relatively easy to find in aquarium stores and can typically be purchased for anywhere between $5 to $15, depending on the location and availability. This species is often readily available in most pet stores and online retailers that specialize in marine fish and invertebrates. It is important to purchase from a reputable supplier to ensure that the shrimp you are getting is healthy and free from disease.
In conclusion, the peppermint shrimp is a hardy and popular species among marine aquarists. They are known for their bright red and white coloration and their ability to control pests such as Aiptasia. They are peaceful, non-aggressive creatures that can get along well with a variety of tankmates. They are easy to care for and can adapt to different water conditions. They are also relatively easy to find and can typically be purchased for anywhere between $5 to $15. However, it is important to avoid any stressful situations and to maintain stable water conditions to keep them healthy. It’s important to research the compatibility of any new addition to your tank before making a purchase and seek the advice of a veterinarian or experienced aquarist if you notice any signs of illness.