Description:This truly is one of the most stunning and beautiful Shrimps to be found. With good water quality, a peaceful environment and the proper food, you should have no trouble in maintaining this species for a good many years. The body is of a pinkish-white or white color, splashed with large purple-edged pink spots, and sometimes reddish or light orangish toned looking spots. This shrimp remains very small, only reaching an average length of 1 to 2 inches. Like with all invertebrates, this shrimp is sensitive to copper and high nitrate levels.
Care: As with any marine species, water quality plays an important role in ensuring they remain healthy. Being an invertebrate, shrimp do not tolerate anything less than perfect reef grade water. If you can provide consistent water quality, you should have no trouble at all in being able to keep your Harlequin shrimp healthy and free of problems.
If you must use a synthetic salt mix, prepare the water at least two days in advance of it being needed to allow it to age and become properly mixed and aerated. Prior to use,ensure the new waters pH, salinity and temperature match the water the shrimp are in. They are easily affected by sudden changes and any water changes done with synthetic mixes should be gradual, doing no more than ten to twenty percent at a time, allowing a day between changes. Again, we must stress the importance of water quality and not shocking the shrimp with rapid synthetic water changes. These factors alone account for many shrimp deaths.
Being a timid species, it is also vital to ensure their aquarium is safe from predators or other animals that may harass them. Even a fast moving fish passing by can cause these shrimp stress and they may go into hiding and be unable to properly eat. For breeding purposes, a tank dedicated to a single mated pair is a must. As pets, taking the simple precautions of having pump inlets protected and any possible predators removed will make keeping this species a simple matter.
Food and diet:Pieces of Starfish are the food nescessary to keep Harlequin shrimp. We recommend the Chocolate Chip Starfish, since you can cut off the arms without killing the starfish. The Chocolate chip starfish is easy to maintain and feed upon readily obtained seafood meats such as clams and oysters. Such a steady, meaty diet will ensure that the starfish can regrow its lost limb(s) much faster than other starfish groups.
Recommended minimum tank size: 10 gallon or larger
Reef Compatibility:Very good
Approximate Purchase Size: 1"
Recommended Reading: The Care and Breeding of Harlequin Shrimp by Charles and Linda Raabe