Skunk Cleaner Shrimp - Lysmata amboinensis
- Low stock - 3 items left
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|Stocking:||1 per 20 gallons|
The Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, also called the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, is named for the red and white striped pattern on its back that resembles a skunk. They're best known for their role as a fish cleaner. They'll setup cleaning stations, which are then visited by fish that allow the shrimp to crawl over their bodies, removing dead skin, scales, and even ectoparasites. Interestingly, they'll even perform this service on a human. If you stick your hand in a tank full of Skunk Cleaners, they'll happily crawl around looking for food between your fingers and on your cuticles. They are often recommended for ich removal, but due to the larval ich's ability to burrow just UNDER the skin of the infected fish, the Skunk Cleaner is unable to remove it.
The Skunk cleaner grows to about 2" in length, not including its lengthy feelers. They are gregarious, and like to be kept in small groups. Like all inverts, they cannot tolerate copper, and are sensitive to sudden changes in parameters, so a drip acclimation is important. Despite their role as a cleaner, they do make an attractive target for predatory fish such as wrasses, hawkfish, or lions. They are safe to keep with corals, though they do have an annoying habit of reaching into LPS mouths and stealing any food they've consumed, which can irritate and occasionally damage them.
Skunk Cleaners are active feeders, and will generally grab meaty foods from the water column during feeding time, though it may be advisable to target feed if they aren't receiving enough.