The Peppermint Shrimp is best known for its natural ability to manage nuisance Aiptasia, or glass anemones. Keep in mind that some individual Peppermint Shrimp are better at managing aiptasia while others may not be interested in aiptasia at all. Though considered part of the "cleaner" grouping of shrimp, Lysmata wurdemanni is more of a scavenger. The Peppermint Shrimp picks its way around your aquarium and live rock to consume detritus, uneaten food, and decomposing organic material. This ornamental member of the Hippolytidae family is brightly colored with a creamy white body striped with several thin and distinct longitudinal red bands.
Also known as the Veined or Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp, the Peppermint Shrimp is sometimes confused with its Pacific cousin, Rhynchocinetes durbanensis. However, that shrimp has a pointed nose and inter-spaced white stripes over its body. In the wild, Peppermint Shrimp are usually found in the vertical shafts of the reef. Some even take up residence in the core of pipe sponges. The Peppermint Shrimp does best in home aquariums with live rock, ample places to hide, as well as open areas to scavenge.
Peppermint Shrimp are very social and peaceful towards most reef inhabitants. Like other invertebrates, the Peppermint Shrimp cannot tolerate copper-based medications or high nitrate levels. It also requires supplemental iodine to encourage proper molting of its carapace. In addition to what it obtains from scavenging, the diet of the Peppermint Shrimp should consist of most types of prepared foods and the occasional pieces of fresh fish.
The Peppermint Shrimp has been successfully bred by commercial fish farms, and can be bred in the home aquarium. Rearing the larvae requires specialized feeds and care outside of the display aquarium.
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