Have you had success caring for Harlaquin shrimp?

Edward Smith

New member
I'm setting up a 18g nano and would like to place a Harlaquin shrimp in it. I have thousands of Astrinia at home but read that the shrimp may or may not eat them, so I'd like a backup plan. I would feed the shrimp other starfish but a 18g nano could become quickly polluted. I thought about raising stars in my sump connected to my 210g display and cutting off legs for food but was afraid this would pollute the 210g. Additionally, even if the shrimp did eat astrinia stars, since they're so small, how many/often would you feed.

Thanks for any feedback
 

whiirly

New member
i had one thought it would help with my mini stars I dont think he ever touched them none the less he didnt make it
 

yankeereefer

New member
Check with Steve at Reef Plus - He had a couple a few weeks back - He might be able steer you in the right direction
 

Edward Smith

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9869980#post9869980 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by yankeereefer
Check with Steve at Reef Plus - He had a couple a few weeks back - He might be able steer you in the right direction

Yep, he had a couple for Indo-Asia(?). The ones with blue and brown spots. He's going to try to get the pacific ones, red and blue spots. The best suggestion he had was to set up a seperate SYSTEM to raise chocolate chip stars! AAAhhhh!

Hmmm, maybe that wouldnt be too hard depending on the the stars needs? Can they survive poor water quality (ie. no skimmer, infrequent water changes?)

I'm hoping for something a little simpler.
 

criccio

Premium Member
Not 100% sure about this, but, I thought the color indicated the sex of the shrimp??? I think you would be alright with a small cc about once a month.
 

Edward Smith

New member
There's lots of info on the web suggesting that one star maybe sufficient possibly up to 6 weeks. But I'm concerned about a large peice of starfish flesh polluting such a small tank?
 

sivad

New member
I had a pair of harlequins in a nano cube a couple years ago. Eventually I tried to save a feather duster from another of my tanks (it was out of the tube, thought it was pulled out by by a predator, so moved it to nanocube), it died and quickly decayed, taking down the harlequins with them.

That said, before the feather duster incident, they seemed to do fine. As to feeding, you can take chocolate chips starts, cut it into small peices (say the size of a dime to a nickel), wrap them tightly to seal moister and freeze. Then thaw and serve only a piece to them. It worked very well. As soon as you put a piece in the tank, there would be an immediate feeding response-they would start searching, find it, and start eating in their peculiar way. Actually, my initial plan was to keep 6 or seven chocolate chip stars, cut off only one part of a limb, server it...then next feeding, serer from a differnt chocolate chip star...rotating and allowing the libs to grow back. But limb growth was way to slow, so that plan didnt work..and of course sea starts are domed in the aquairums in the long term anyway. So, Id recommended buying a chocolate chip, cutting it, freeze, and server. I';d get them again in a second but have misgivings about butchering the chocolate chips (although they have no brain and feel no pain?), the number of choclate chips that probably die in transport to get one to me as a feeder, and concerns of taking harlequin shrimp from the wild as they are one of the few natural predators of crown of thorns starfish. Most striking ivestock I've ever had by far. They are amazing.
 

sivad

New member
serving only a piece avoids the problems of a large star fouling the tank. Id still take out the peices when they were done with them though.
 

Edward Smith

New member
Awesome info, thanks! I may mul this over a little longer. Don't really like being on the wrong side of the ethical fence.

Anyone else?
 

sellout007

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9872109#post9872109 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Edward Smith
Awesome info, thanks! I may mul this over a little longer. Don't really like being on the wrong side of the ethical fence.

Anyone else?


Yikes, I never get this argument. We feed our fish frozen dead animals. Yet when we have to kill it ourselves its unethical? pffft.


If you really think about it, this whole hobby is unethical. :D
 

Edward Smith

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9872582#post9872582 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sellout007
Yikes, I never get this argument. We feed our fish frozen dead animals. Yet when we have to kill it ourselves its unethical? pffft.


If you really think about it, this whole hobby is unethical. :D

That's not the ethical part being referred to. Apparently, many many (#?) chocolate chip stars (infact, I believe most stars?) die for every one star that makes it into our tanks. I hear its a huge loss of animal life for the one star that makes it.

Anyone have any facts?

Hey! Then back to my topic you hijackers! :frog:
 

sellout007

New member
Ha, sorry didnt mean to hijack your thread. But if your worried about livestock loss, how many fish do you think we kill in the process of transportation or capture? o)


Belive me, this is a very unethical hobby if you want to really get into it. o)


If you decide to keep the harlequin do post pictures as I was close to setting up a nano for them as well.
 

yankeereefer

New member
What about keeping sexies? They are similar in appearance, but do not require the sacraficial starfish.

I'm working on putting together a small 2.5g for a couple of them.
 
Last edited:

prugs

Moving Out
I know someone who has kept harliquin shrimp for years. She feeds her pair the whole chocolate star live. She says the shrimp flip the star on it's back & keep it pinned down. They eat the legs off of the star first, feeding the star some of it's own legs to keep it alive (creepy). Once the star gets down to the central disk, they finish it off. Obviously you don't want to get large chocolate chip stars, you want the small ones.
 

mcliffy2

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9874400#post9874400 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by sellout007
Ha, sorry didnt mean to hijack your thread. But if your worried about livestock loss, how many fish do you think we kill in the process of transportation or capture? o)


Belive me, this is a very unethical hobby if you want to really get into it. o)


If you decide to keep the harlequin do post pictures as I was close to setting up a nano for them as well.

Valid point. I do think the part of them being one of the few natural predators to crown of thorns makes the harlequins a bit different. have you ever seen what crown of thorns do to a reef? complete devastation.
 

firstimereefer

New member
I just got a pair of Harlequins last week the species, Hymenocera elegans. The two of the ate all but one little piece of the starfish in 3 days. When the left the starfish I simply picked out the piece and flushed it. I tested my water params the next couple of days and didn't find any spike in my water. I was told by my lfs that they need one chocalte star every 3-4 weeks. I keep them in my 12G nano and will be moved to my 60G once I get it up an running. They are so much fun to watch and I would suggest getting them. Get a pair if you can find it. The two never leave eachothers side.
 

sellout007

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9875235#post9875235 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mcliffy2
Valid point. I do think the part of them being one of the few natural predators to crown of thorns makes the harlequins a bit different. have you ever seen what crown of thorns do to a reef? complete devastation.

Oh yeah, they demolish it! But thats part of nature and there are many many things like that in the ocean. Us taking coarls out of the ocean is no worse then a crown of thorns. O)

Whatever floats the boat though! I just have a hard time with any type of argument like that when we look at our daily lives and hobbies, we make things like that look like childs play. O)

So go for it! Post pictures so I can see. O)
 

GroYurOwn

New member
i realize this thread has been dead for a while, but as far as ethics go....because one thing is unethical, does that make the next thing less unethical? maybe instead of having the point of view that bad things are happening i might as well join in, why not try to take steps change your habits, and incourage others to do the same? you shouldnt be a part of the hobby if you are ok with being part of the problem.
 
Top