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   There are many different varieties of salt water shrimp available to the hobbyist, be they beginner or advanced. Shrimp are worthwhile scavengers to add to any salt water aquarium. These mobile creatures scurry quickly across the tank, but be careful not to house them with aggressive fish such as Triggers, Groupers, some species of Wrasse and Butterflies, as they consider shrimp a very appetizing meal. 

   The most sought-after shrimp is probably the Hippolysmata Amboinsis, or Cleaner Shrimp. With a scarlet-colored back and white stripe running through it from head to tail, they are easily recognizable. Cleaner Shrimp sometimes set up "cleaning stations" where the fish will go to rid themselves of parasites, damaged skin, and such. 

   These shrimp are relatively defenseless due to the lack of large front claws found on most other species. They are one of the only varieties that can be kept in groups, performing group cleanings on larger fish.

    Another very colorful shrimp, the Blood or Fire Shrimp, is of the same family as the Cleaner Shrimp, but is not as easily available, and therefore relatively expensive. As its name implies, this variety is a deep red in color with only two or three white spots on its back. Relatively new to the hobby, it is of the genera Lysmata, and somewhat delicate by nature. 



   The most commonly imported shrimp belong to the various species of Stenopus. Sometimes called Boxing or Coral-Banded Shrimp, they are easily identified by their alternating red and white bands. They have a white to yellowish body coloration, depending on where they are found, with females having a blue underside. Only one should be kept in the average tank because they are aggressive to their own kind, as the name implies. However, a matched pair makes a great addition to a large tank. The genera Stenopus make great scavengers, feeding on anything that falls in their territory. 

   The most abundant and probably least expensive of all shrimp are the Candy or Peppermint and Camelback Shrimp. Found worldwide, they reproduce quickly and in large numbers. Lacking large front claws, they have developed a moveable rostrum, or head spine, for defense. Coupled with its protruding eyes, this shrimp is able to see in a 360o radius, which enables it to evade predators. 

   All shrimp can sustain themselves, and don't require special feeding or water conditions. Shrimp also shed their outer shell as they grow, making them quite vulnerable until a new shell hardens, so set up a tank with caves into which they can retreat from danger.


Popular salt water invertebrates from the Caribbean include Atlantic and Rock (Flower) Anemones, Common, Brittle, and Serpent Starfish, Seahorses, Peppermint and Banded Coral Shrimps, Hermit and Arrow Crabs, Nudibranches, Snails and Flame Scallops

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