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Bullseye Pistol Shrimp

(Alpheus soror)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Diet: Omnivore   • Aquarium Level: Substrate & Rocks   • Minimum Tank Size: 12 gallons
 • Reef Compatible: Yes, with caution   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Supplements: None   • Coloration: Orange, Tan, Blue
• Origin: Caribbean • Family: Alpheidae   • Species: Shrimp

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Bullseye Pistol Shrimp native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Bullseye Pistol Shrimp has a bright yellow/orange coloration on its body with purple claws and its namesake blue Bullseye dot on each side of the body. The Bullseye Shrimp is also often commonly referred to as the Blue Spot Snapping Shrimp. The Bullseye Pistol Shrimp can make a clicking or popping sound from an appendage on the pincher, which moves when the pincher is opened or closed and water is ejected.

The sound is very similar to a sound made by the Mantis Shrimp, and it judged solely on sound the Bullseye Pistol Shrimp could be confused with the Mantis Shrimp. However, unlike the Manits Shrimp, the Bullseye Pistol Shrimp is an extremely beneficial aquarium inhabitant that will keep the substrate sifted and will keep the aquarium clean and free of any uneaten food.

Also unlike the Mantis Shrimp, it is not harmful to other invertebrates or fish and will not pose any threat in the tank, with the possible exception of very small shrimp species. While some pistol shrimp have symbiotic relationship with gobies, the Bullseye Pistol Shrimp is not known for this and tends to live by itself and will move all about the aquarium.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Bullseye Pistol Shrimp in the home aquarium.

Bullseye Pistol Shrimp thrive in environments with sand, rock caves, and dim lighting; however, after time they will become quite used to aquarium lighting and will come out for food during daylight hours. The Bullseye Pistol shrimp is an excellent scavenger and will constantly be digging through the aquarium substrate looking for uneaten food and algae. This species is also known for excavating caves in which it will sleep or retreat to in case it feels threatened.

In fact, when kept in pairs one will often stand guard at the burrow while the other is inside. Bullseye Pistol Shrimp are equally at home in either fish-only or reef aquariums, with the only tank unsuitable for them being one with predatory fish species that might eat them. The Pistol Shrimp are intolerant of copper or high nitrate levels, but need a correct level of iodine in the water to promote proper molting.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Bullseye Pistol Shrimp.

The Bullseye Pistol Shrimp is a true omnivore and will scavenge the aquarium substrate and reef for bits of meaty foods or algae, They will readily accept any meaty freeze-dried, frozen or flake foods or bottom feeder tablets, as well as scavenge for algae and leftovers from fish feeding. The amount and frequency of feedings will depend greatly on the amount of food scraps from fish feedings that are available; however, supplemental feedings of 2-3 times a week will most likely be necessary.

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