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Pistol Shrimp Behavior

Posted by Hilary , in Behavior 03 April 2011 · 0 views

Posted ImageCrack!It is pretty easy to determine if your pistol shrimp is alive and well, even if you never see it. Do you occasionally hear that pistol crack, and think that something important in your tank just broke? Does your sand bed keep shifting around the bottom of your tank? If so, your pistol shrimp is doing fine.Pistol shrimp with their goby partners exhibit one of the most interesting relationships that can be observed in an aquarium setting. Known as 'mutualism', each partner benefits from the relationship. Take the time to watch the pair. The shrimp spends most of the day cleaning their burrow, bulldozing out the sand that threatens to fill in their home, stacking small shells around the entrance, and generally playing housekeeper. The goby benefits from the clean, safe home, and in return stands guard and warns the shrimp of danger. Watch your shrimp whenever it is outside of the entrance to the burrow, you'll see that it keeps an antenna on the goby's body or tail. The shrimp does not have good eyesight, but a flick of the tail the goby can warn its shrimp buddy of an approaching predator.I have had the best luck pairing the Tiger Snapping Shrimp (Alpheus bellulus) with gobies, although many species will pair up with the fish. My Tigers have paired with High Fin, Tangaroa, Randall, and Yasha Hase gobies. Try adding a pair to your tank!

Matt LeBaron
Apr 07 2011 04:31 AM
Good article, I've got a pair of steinitz gobies (Amblyeleotris steiniz) with a pistol shrimp in my 90 gallon tank. I have a 6 inch deep sand bed and the pistol shrimp has dug out all under my live rock creating several entrances. It's always fun to see where my pistol shrimp and gobies will pop up each day and even funnier to see the little dance the gobies do to if they get to nervous when I'm around the tank to warn the pistol shrimp. I toss in bits of shells from time to time also for the pistol shrimp to use in building his tunnels and he's constantly digging up the sand bed looking for more.

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