any hope of raising baby cleaner shrimp?


New member
in our 72 bowfront, we have three cleaner shrimp - they appear to be two females and one male, as we get 2 females laden with green eggs about every 3 weeks, and they carry them for roughly 10 days before dropping them. Anyway, I figured that when they dropped their eggs, they were simply fish food for the tangs - that was, up until YESTERDAY.

We have a 30 gallon long setup as a refugium - it's got a drop chamber, followed by a weir into a larger chamber with some chaeto, liverock and live sand, then following that we have the drop into the final chamber, where we run carbon, poly filter and other sundries items like phosguard etc as needed - finally it pumps back into the tank.

Well - in the FIRST chamber - the drop-chamber, we have a collection of detritus, and what I initially thought were some kind of water flea type thing - in the hundreds. Yesterday, I looked into the chamber, and the tiny "water fleas" - were much reduced in number, but significantly increased in size - and when they stop still long enough to see them - you can clearly see that they are SHRIMP - about 1/8th to 1/4 of an inch long (some smaller, maybe 1 or 2 longer).

Now - while I appreciate that our chances of raising any to adult size is PRACTICALLY zero - I'd certainly LIKE to give it a try... !!

I've searched in vain for an info on raising baby shrimp - so I'm hoping someone here has at least tried it - preferably had some success - if if so - please TELL ME HOW!! I'd love to have even half a dozen more shrimp - because I'd be able to populate my next tank and possibly trade them too...

any advice would be gratefully accepted!



The steven liu

New member
Chances are rare. Unless you can set up a completely new tank and use only sponge filter. Then you'd have to dose phyto or zooplankton, tiny planktonic food for a while... With all the time and effort you'd put into as an amateur, I'd say you better off buy them from LFS if you want more shrimps.


New member
well this tank is at the office, so I can dose it several times a day, and they have already grown from indistinguishable specks, into something I can actually recognize - I know that chances are slim, and I know it's going to be less effort and therefore time to purchase some - I don't want to do it to save money, but because I CAN - that is, IF I can...

finding nemo

In Memoriam
Web. That is so cool, can you get any pictures of them for us?
As for raising them, I remember back when clowns were impossible to raise to and now there are loads of people doing it so don't get discouraged because someone says it's impossible.
Nothing is impossible.
Go for it and keep a diary of pictures of there day to day growth.
With the price of cleaners (my area they are 24.00) I would say you can afford to give it a try.
Best of luck


If they are already 3/4" long they have probbably molted several times already. I would test for stornium and iodine as I read somewhere these trace elements are important to molting shrimp. Since they have survived without feeding phyto or anything I would grind up some flake or get some cyclopeeze and feed them that. Best of luck and do keep us informed.


New member
I'll try and photograph them today - they move so quick, and they are white, so I'm not sure if we can photograh them, but I'll try..

As for the size - not 3/4 of an inch - 1/4 - but several of these little fellas (or gals) are probably close to 1/3 of an inch long. They ARE growing, but they are also getting fewer in number, noticeably so!

The iodine/strontium are being dosed already for the adults, so I think we're ok on that. I've begun dosing marine snow down into their little hole, and I have cyclopeeze which I feed my fungias, so I'll give that a squirt down there too... hopefully I can get some progress this week.