Why don't my Peppermint shrimp eat Aiptasia?

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Peppermint shrimps are often sold as a natural control for Aiptasia. Will Messenger explains why they don't always do a good job.

This is a common problem people find with Peppermints. They are sold what as look like the desired species, Lysmata wurdemanni but in fact are another species – often Lysmata californica or Lysmata boggessi which are very similar.

True Peppermints have a red tail and red stripes down the body, whereas many of the other species have black or blue tails with silver stripes surrounding the red stripes; sometimes it’s not easy to tell, but a good book with pictures of some of the different species will go a long way to helping you select the real thing.

Saying that, even true Peppermints sometimes won’t eat very large Aiptasia, in which case manual intervention with a syringe and an Aiptasia-killing product to remove the very large ones might be necessary.

This article was first published in the November 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.