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Old 01-09-2006, 09:09 PM   #1
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Cleaner shrimp opportunisitc killer?

One of my cleaner shrimp keeps pestering my new additions. I added 3 turbo snails a few weeks back. One of them happen to have a hole on it's shell. The hole was just big enough for the shrimp to put its legs in there to pull the flesh out and eat it. The snail was actively eating at the LFS and died soon after the shrimp got to it.

Well, today I added a mandarin that has a small cut. Immediately after adding it to the tank the shrimp tasted blood and went straight for the mandarin. It started picking at the mandarin. It wasn't cleaning it because I can see the mandarin flinch when the shrimp dug deep. The mandarin is now in the sump recovering.

Anyone ever see a shrimp be this opportunistic of a feeder?
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:02 AM   #2
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Nope I have never seen this, areyou sure the snail wasent dead?. I think the shrimp was trying to clean the mandarin. It might not be getting enough food try giving it a piece of krill I feed mine a couple times a week. Mine have never killed anything in my tank(s)
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:51 PM   #3
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This does seem rather odd behavior. Neither my skunks or peppermints have ever killed anything. It may have been cleaning the mandarin, parasites or sores deep in the cut might have been why the mandarin was wincing.

Also, if the mandarin was truly upset about it, it would have ran away very quickly.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:57 PM   #4
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I have 10 cleaners in my tank and have never seen anything like you describe. I agree with the others in that the snail was probably already dead and the mandarin was benefiting from the shrimp or it would have left.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IworkatPSP
It may have been cleaning the mandarin, parasites or sores deep in the cut might have been why the mandarin was wincing.

Also, if the mandarin was truly upset about it, it would have ran away very quickly.
Well the mandarin was a rescue from the LFS. It was a little cut up and not every active to begin with. It's been living the the sump for a day now and seems to be a little better now. I'll let it recover for a few more days and put it back in the main on the weekend.

I just don't see why the shrimp would eat flesh from a living mandarin. I guess it was just doing it's job with the cleaning but only one of the shrimps does this.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:34 AM   #6
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The shrmp most likely was cleanigt the wound, not eating the flesh.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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Aznbob, my cleaner shrimp can sometimes be a pest as well. It regularly gobbles up hermit crabs that are in the process of changing shells. It is always interested in new additions but seems to leave them alone after a while. I know food is not an issue as the shrimp is not shy and comes to surface like the fish to eat flake, mysid shrimp, clam, etc.

Everytime I add peppermint shrimp, they disappear as well. The cleaner shrimp is my only guess as to what is eating them.
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:16 PM   #8
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my peppermint shrimp alway disappear they hide and they hide real good i can go months without seeing one then at night i get a peek of one but never during the day they are great at hidding i have no clue how many i have i never see them I added like 6 but i have no clue how many are alive
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Old 01-11-2006, 06:55 PM   #9
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Funny, all my peppermints come out at feeding time. They actually seem quite social, I see them half in and half out of the rocks almost all the time. And the cleaner leaves them alone!
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