Friday, March 14, 2008

New Addition: Peppermint Shrimp

We've been battling aiptasias in the marketing tank for some time, so I decided to hit up the Marine Depot forum again for some advice from the experts.

I jumped into a thread about aiptasias and gave a brief rundown of what livestock we had in the tank to see if they thought picking up a Peppermint Shrimp—who are known to eat aiptasias—would be a good idea.

After receiving mostly favorable feedback, I decided to go ahead and buy one (about $6.00 USD). We acclimated him using the drip technique for about an hour and then dropped him into our 24-gallon AquaPod.

Our Blue Assessor immediately began pecking at the Peppermint once he settled on the sandbed. The shrimp tried in vein to find shelter, attempting to hide beneath the mantle of our Crocea Clam.

I should note the Assessor displayed similar behavior when we introduced a Six Line Wrass awhile back (RIP - he jumped into the back, never to be heard from again). The Assessor's behavior is odd because he's normally pretty low-key, hanging out in a cave with our Pom Pom Crab whom he never, ever disturbs.

Evidently he doesn't appreciate strangers in his 'hood.

The Peppermint disappeared for the remainder of the day, scurrying into the back to avoid the wrath of the Blue Assessor. After no signs of him yesterday evening and this morning, I figured our big coral banded shrimp ripped him in two for disturbing his molt.

Fortunately, one of our purchasers spotted him around lunchtime doing what appeared to be push-ups beneath a big blue mushroom.

I'm relieved he's alive. I'm also stoked he's into staying physically fit. I'll report back on his appetite for aiptasias.

Oh, and I named him, too. :-)

Cory Matthews joins Corey Feldman, the coral banded, and Corey Haim, the Cleaner, to complete the trinity of aquarium shrimps.

Hopefully all three amigos make it through the weekend!