The Anemone Shrimp or as many people like to call it, the Sexy Shrimp is an awesome little critter, considered by many to be the most charismatic shrimp you could introduce to your aquarium and community.
Common names the Sexy Anemone Shrimp has acquired over the years are Sexy Shrimp, Anemone Sexy Shrimp, Squat Shrimp, and their scientific name, Thor amboinensis. This interesting invertebrate originates from the Indo-Pacific Ocean, located within Indonesia.
This Shrimp is not only unique in personality and behavior, but they have an incredibly unusual pattern and coloration. They are predominantly a red/orange, almost ginger color, with an abundance of pear-like spots dotted around their bodies.
General Information and Tank Requirements
Sexy Shrimp adopted this somewhat amusing nickname thanks to their unusual movement, almost walking in a "sexy" strut, swaying their abdomen in an extremely unusual and un-shrimp way which provides any onlooker with pure entertainment!
Here is some general information and tank requirements for the Sexy Shrimp.
Origins (In the Wild)
In the wild, Sexy Shrimp they are typically found in and amongst the tentacles of, you guessed it, anemone! Also, once introduced to an aquarium, if there is LPS frag, expect that to quickly become occupied with these Shrimp.
The long anemone tentacles provide much-needed protection for the shrimp, and as payment, the shrimp will usually clean the sea anemone free of debris, and also provides the anemone with food too. It is a mutually beneficial friendship.
Temperature and Salinity
Sexy shrimp require a water temperature that ranges between 72 and 82°F (22 to 28°C), with their salinity levels needing to be 1.023 - 1.025.
In the water, their calcium concentration should be anywhere between 400 to 450 pmm and their pH level should be 8.1 to 8.4. It is important that these requirements are met if you want your sexy shrimp to live a long and healthy life.
When you add the Shrimp to your tank after the process is over, try and avoid netting it and exposing it to air. The amount of original water in your bucket should be minimal, so scoop the Shrimp out using a container and then place the container in your tank for the Sexy Shrimp to be added.
It is important to know that these Shrimp do not acclimate well, so it is important that you take time and due care when executing this process. Much the same as most inverts, Shrimp are extremely sensitive to water parameter changes, as well as temperature and salinity.
They tend to do the best when kept in smaller-sized groups within a reef aquarium since they are very social animals. However, much care and consideration are needed if you add them to a tank with Clownfish or vice-versa.
If a Clownfish has already claimed an anemone, then it is best to have an unoccupied anemone for your Shrimp. If a Sexy Shrimp tries to claim a Clownfish's anemone, the likelihood is that the Shrimp will be killed.
Much the same as with other Shrimp, the Sexy Shrimp can often be witnessed carrying eggs around in an aquarium. If you have a male and female Squat Shrimp residing in your tank, the likelihood is that they will almost certainly mate and the female will be carrying eggs shortly after.
Unfortunately, there are many unsuccessful stories of hobbyists that have tried to raise the shrimplets themselves, attempting and failing to help them reach adulthood. It is not often mentioned that it is almost an impossible job trying to raise the Sexy Shrimplets.
The majority of baby shrimp will be eaten by fellow tank mates, and others will get killed by water filters, powerheads, and even corals. Even those who make it to a safe spot within your tank will likely starve to death before you can help.
The only real positive about the reproductive situation of these unique shrimp is that the babies can provide the rest of your community with free meals. It sounds awful to say this, but it is the reality of what generally happens!
Unfortunately for the Anemone Shrimp, and, in fact, pretty much all small reef safe shrimp species, and small invertebrates, they will always be the perfect size and protein for some certain fish. Predatory Wrasses, like the Six Line Wrasse, Dottybacks, Basslets, Groupers, and some large Angelfish will enjoy snacking on the Sexy Shrimp, unfortunately, and due to their small size, tank mates should be carefully considered before adding them to your community.
Sexy Shrimp Diet and Feeding
They are omnivores and will prefer a mixed diet, consisting of live foods, frozen foods, pellets, and flaked foods, if you follow this they will live a long, happy and healthy life.
They require a healthy and balanced diet that consists of both meaty and vegetable-based foods. Fortunately, you do not need to be fed directly by their owner, they will eat up all the leftovers from feeding other omnivores in your tank and also they will feed off bacteria and algae.
Because they have no 'set' feeding times, they will usually just help themselves to food whenever they feel hungry, which is great!
They have been known to sometimes take food from corals and slow eating fish, so it is recommended to take care when feeding your tank and community to ensure everyone in the community is being fed the correct amount.
They are also not fussy Shrimp and will eat pretty much anything you put in your tank.
Sexy Shrimp Guide - Free Downloadable PDF
Sexy shrimp are truly awesome, and we hope you have enjoyed learning more about them in this article. For a more visual representation of their requirements and general information we have created a free downloadable PDF for you to either print or keep digitally as a constant reference for looking after your own sexy shrimp.
In conclusion, it is more than recommended to try out these awesome shrimp, especially if you have anemones in your tank. They are fantastic occupants and will provide much benefit and health to your anemone plants.
They are a brilliant addition to almost any saltwater aquarium, and will certainly catch a few eyeballs with their dancing butt shaking movements and awesome pattern and coloration, making them stand out in a very good way!
The only real drawbacks with these Sexy Shrimp are that they can be susceptible to being a predatory fish's snack. The best solution to this problem is simply by checking the compatibility any new fish you want to add with the Sexy Shrimp, as well as the other members of your established community.
They have a varied diet, which makes them easy to feed and keep healthy, and you should probably think twice before deciding to breed them. The best idea would be to not focus your attention to this, and perhaps just look into purchasing more as your tank progresses and your Sexy Shrimp population grows!