Help Mantis Shrimp carapace is covered in algae.


New member
I recently purchased a small mantis shrimp from my LFS, unfortunately it was hiding in PVC pipe, so I didn't get a very good look before buying it. Upon putting the shrimp in my aquarium, I noticed that it's capapace and upper tail have significant amounts of algae growing on it. Is there anything I can do to help the shrimp out, or is it a gonner?


New member
Hmm, I've had something similar happen with my opae ula (completely different animals, but whatever). I'd recommend keeping the light in the tank very dim to slow the growth of the algae, while also providing plenty of places for the mantis to hide. If you are keeping the mantis in a tank without corals, make sure there is absolutely no nitrates or phosphates using extremely accurate test kits.

I'd recommend frequent water changes, a reasonably low water temperature (no higher than 78°F), plenty of water flow, and very nutritious food (LRS for example). What type of algae is it, by the way?

As for whether or not he'll make it, it's hard to say. It's one thing for crabs and lobsters to have algae, barnacles, etc. growing on them, but for mantis shrimp who are known for their excellent grooming habits and pristine exoskeletons... Has it spread to his swimmerets, gills, mouth parts, or clubs/spears?

I'd also recommend ordering some Fluconazole to see if it'll kill the algae on him.


Harlequin Shrimp
Personally I never heard of algae growing on stomatopods, but if it truely is algae it'll just go away on the next molt like with most crustraceans. Most algae doesn't like to grow in high/mid flow areas, especially cyanobacteria and diatoms, so the likelyhood of it growing on mantis shrimp or anywhere near the gills seems unlikely to me imo.

Would be wise to provide a picture and do a quick search on mantis shrimp shell rot, a more likely case scenario.