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Old 01-22-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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Damsel eats cleaner shrimp?

Very upset today. I had a mating pair of redstripe cleaner shrimp, today after the male shrimp molted I found his head and the velvet damsel is very fat! My damsel also ate all my feather dusters tearing them apart to get to the worm and my hermit crabs. Grrr. I grew my shrimps up to 4" and got emotionally attached to think one was just eaten.

There were only 3 fish in this tank.
The Velvet Damsel,
Blue Angel (obsessed with being cleaned by the shrimp),
Blue Devil Damsel.

Is this normal behaver of a 3" Velvet Damsel? Will other kinds of damsels eat shrimps, feather dusters and hermit crabs too?

Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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Are you sure he didn't just eat the molt? Shrimp will hide while their exoskeletons harden. I believe the velvet damsel is one of the more aggressive of the damsels. That blue devil is probably about the next meanest one. My damsels alway nipped at my shrimp's antennas.
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:19 PM   #3
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The shrimp is still in side the body, well what's left of it. The tail is completely eaten even some of the tail skin. The shrimp was bold and didn't hide. So healty last night. Today 12 hours later, eaten. Maybe the damsel attacked it for stealing food?
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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I agree check to see if he is hidden even the most bold shrimp will hide after a molt .
It is not out of the relm that he could have eatin the shrimp .. Damsels are some of the most agressive fish out there .. and pose a problem if you later wish to add other fish , they are very territorial ... Chances are that he did not attack for food theft but just because he could ... its sad really as they are very pretty fish .Your best bet is to remove him as he has shown that he can NOT be trusted .
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:53 PM   #5
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I agree with Sadielynn that you`ll need to remove them if you are sure they did it. Them molts look like the real thing sometimes.
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:39 PM   #6
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I found what I thought was a dead Sally lightfoot crab on top of one of my rocks. It was thick and solid with beady eyes and everything looked like a crab for sure. I was surprised when I saw the crab cruising around muncing on the rocks 5days later..
I have had damsels before that had been very timid and not aggressive at all this was before I started reef though have yet to see how they react to shrimp or corals.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:58 PM   #7
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Wow. 2 shrimps in the tank fully intact. I was so and mean so absilutely sure it was dead. It looked so dead so full of thick solid tissue in side the body! I have seem many molts with just outer bodies, this one had inner white tissue or inner white something. I'm sorry, this one really threw me off because of the white inners. You should have seen this molt with this white thick stuff packed in side the shell.

The shrimp is shy, but just came out for food. I am really happy, but very surprised. Good ending. I was so sure!
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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I've thought the same thing numerous times and 2 days later there is the shrimp.

Glad they are still there
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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First, I got a feeling the shrimp will show up in a couple of days.

Secondly, get rid of the damsels if you're adding any more fish IMO. I got a feeling your troubles with them are just starting.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Yep those things can look very real very convincing . It is a defense for them . But as others said the damsel is the beginnign of problems since he has set up home . It will be near impossible to add anything else to your tank with him there
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