harlequin shrimp

John Grant

New member
does anyone here have experience keeping harlequin shrimp and feeding them the requisite starfish? I could use some advice as it is something I would like to undertake.
i have a 75gallon with one in it. it does pretty good and comes out a lot. i started to feed it the leg of a frozen starfish then decided to go with live starfish. i have heard that chocalate chip starfish eat corals but i have watched them closely and they really haven't touched any of mine. either way my harlequin has responded good to both methods. they aren't hard to keep. i think they are easy and beautiful. i recomend them.
actually i have only used chocolate chip starfishes because they are the cheapest. if you are worried about corals or something then you can buy blue linkias. i personally haven't used them but i have heard that they work good too. serpeant starfish might be a problem since they are fast but i am not sure and don't want to waste my money and the life of that starfish to find out.
no problem
for mine it depends. it takes mine about 2-3weeks to eat a whole one. its shorter some other times but usaully stays that consistent. its not that expensive for me either. only about 5bucks every couple of weeks.
I, too, have had excellent luck keeping H. picta. They will feed on many available species of starfish (not brittlestars). The only problem you might encounter is trying to establish a pair. They don't always pair easily. If that is what you want, it is probably worth buying an established pair.

harlequin shrimp

thanks for the response. Just curious about the pairing thing. Do they actually mate in captivity?
I know this is off the tread topic a little but I friend of mine has a grundel of mini stars that like to snack on his corals he's been removing them frequently but either he's not diligent enough or they just breed to fast, and he hasn't been able to get rid of them.

Would a harlequin help to control his problem at all?
for feeding the shrimp do you just throw the star in because it's gonna die anyways or do you acclimate it so it lasts longer?
I've kept harlequins for a while and i've been feeding them sand sifting stars. They're not as expensive as blue linkias and they don't eat corals like the choco stars. The choco stars DO eat corals btw. I had a cousin that had a choco chip and it ate quite a bit of his zoanthids. He returned the choco chip to the store the next day.

I don't acclimate the sand sifting stars, but that is only because they are hardier than the choco chips and linkias. The linkias will perish if you don't acclimate them. I've also tried choco chips and I usually drop them in w/o acclimating. Sometimes they start dying off right away and sometimes they withstand the salinity change. I think in general it is best to acclimate the stars that you are going to feed the harlequins. This is because the stars are kept alive by the harlequins as they eat it. I've had sand sifting stars that stays alive a week after the shrimps start eating them. If you don't acclimate the stars they might die the same day you drop them in and that will pollute your tank.

nbeutler: From what I've read harlequins love those little stars. drop a harlequin in a star-infested tank and it will clean it up in no time flat.
sand sifting starfish

sand sifting starfish

Aquarium Crazy Fish has sand sifting starfish 3 for $10. Of course with the shipping it wouldn't be worth your while unless you ordered a lot of starfish or other stuff but I thought I'd throw that out there.

Their website is www.aquariumcrazyfish.com

Hi I'm jumping on board for this one, sorry for hi-jacking this thread.

Where in your experience is the best place to order the harlequins from in terms of price, survivability and also for the chocolate chip starfishes. I would like to order one maybe to of the shrimp and a few if not allot of the stars for future feedings (freeze).
I love these shrimp.
Here is a picture I took of one In a fellow reefers tank.
He buys chocolate chips every few weeks for really cheap.
He keeps the extras in his refugium so that he has a constant supply.

Ignore. Damn, I should've looked at the dates before posting. And Reefcentral should allow users to delete their posts.
Yes but look the good doc responded. I have often wondered if these little shrimp would be a good way to control the little white starfish that proliferate in so many people’s systems. I have had them in a few of my reefs but never to the quantities I have seen in some tanks.