Peppermint Shrimp: The Aiptasia Eaters
Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni) are small, colorful shrimp that are popular among marine aquarium hobbyists for their voracious appetite for aiptasia, also known as glass anemones. These pesky pests can quickly overrun a tank and are difficult to remove, but the Peppermint shrimp make short work of them.
Found in the western Atlantic, from Florida to the Caribbean, Peppermint shrimp are inexpensive and readily available in pet stores and online. They typically cost between $5 and $15 each, making them an affordable solution for controlling aiptasia populations.
In addition to their aiptasia-eating habits, Peppermint shrimp are also attractive and peaceful additions to a marine aquarium. They grow to about 2 inches in length and have a translucent body with red stripes running down their back. They are best kept in groups of 3 or more and can live for up to 2 years with proper care.
To care for Peppermint shrimp, it is important to provide a suitable habitat. They prefer a well-established aquarium with live rock and plenty of hiding places, as well as a consistent temperature between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They also require a specific gravity between 1.022 and 1.026 and a pH between 8.1 and 8.4.
In terms of diet, Peppermint shrimp are omnivores and will feed on a variety of foods, including aiptasia, frozen meaty foods, and small pellets or flakes. However, it is important to not overfeed them, as excess food can lead to water quality issues.
Overall, Peppermint shrimp are an effective and attractive solution for controlling aiptasia populations in marine aquariums. With proper care, they can thrive in captivity and make great additions to any reef tank.