Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp Habitat Information, Aquarium Care and Feeding Information
The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp is one of the most popular and common species of Shrimp found in the home aquarium trade. It goes by a multitude of names including: the Indo-Pacific White-Banded Cleaner Shrimp, Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner Shrimp, Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp. It may also be called the Red Skunk Cleaner Shrimp because of the very distinct two bright red stripes surrounding one white stripe running down its back. The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp is not only an attractive easy to keep species, but it also performs a valuable service in the aquarium cleaning parasites and dead tissue from many fish species. All of these positive attributes make the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp a sought after addtion for both reef and fish only aquariums.
The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp is equally at home singularly or in small groups, where it will set up a cleaning station on coral reefs or rubble, waiting for fish to come and be cleaned. The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp feeds on ectoparasites or dead tissue that it picks from the body and oral cavities/gills of fish, both in the wild or in the aquarium environment. This helps to protect the fish from contracting diseases and infections, which makes this species both a colorful and benefitial addtion to any aquarium. Many fish value its services so highly that they will allow it to clean the inside of their mouths, and not harm it. Some fish, though, such as Hawkfish, Lionfish, and some predatory shrimp and crabs may eat the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and should not be kept with this species. Like most invertebrates, the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp will not tolerate copper or high levels of nitrates in the aquarium, but will require correct levels of iodine in the water to promote proper molting. Overall this species is very easy to keep within the home aquarium, since it does not have any special water, lighting or feeding requirements. Some rock work, caves and crevices should be present in the aquarium to provide adequate shelter for this species.
In addition to the parasites and dead tissue that the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp will consume while cleaning fish species, it should also be offered meaty foods such as freeze dried, frozen, and dry flake foods. When not performing cleaning duties at its "cleaning station" on the reef the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp will scavenge for leftover meaty foods.
Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp provide a cleaning station for fish to come and be cleaned. The Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp feeds on ectoparasites or dead tissue that it picks from the body and oral cavities/gills of many species of fish. This also helps to protect the fish from contracting diseases and infections. Many fish value its services so highly that they will allow it to clean the inside of their mouths, and not harm it.