Common names for the Anemone shrimp include Sexy Shrimp, Anemone Sexy Shrimp, Squat Shrimp & Thor amboinensis. They originate from the Indo-Pacific, Indonesia

Sexy Shrimp
Sexy Shrimp

These charming little creatures have become known as “Sexy Shrimp” due to their unusual movement as the walk. They sway their abdomen in an unusual way.

In the wild, they are normally found amongst the long tentacles of an anemone, though in an aquarium they are also likely to claim an LPS frag as their own. The long tentacles of an anemone provide protection to the shrimp, and in return the shrimp keeps the anemone clean, free of debris & provides it with food.

They do best when kept in small groups within an aquarium, they are very social animals. Care should be taken if adding them to an aquarium with Clownfish, if the Clownfish has already claimed an anemone in the tank as it’s own & the shrimp tries to inhabit the same anemone, the Clownfish will likely kill the shrimp.

Small ornamental shrimps are always going to be perfect pieces of snack-sized protein for certain fish, such as predatory wrasses, dottybacks, basslets, groupers, and some large angels. Due to their small size, tank mates should be considered very carefully before adding them to your system.

Tank Requirements

Sexy Shrimp
Sexy Shrimp
  • These shrimp are reef safe
  • The will grow no larger than 1.5 inches long
  • Clean and stable water
  • Stable magnesium & calcium levels
  • They will not tolerate a high nitrate level
  • Absolutely no copper treatments within the tank
  • Iodine supplements are recommended to encourage healthy molts and growth
  • Recommended stocking level is 3 – 5 Shrimp per 20 gallons (90L) of water.
  • These shrimp are fine to be kept in large groups

Feeding

  • These are omnivores.
  • They have been known to take food from corals and slower moving fish, so extra care should be taken when feeding your tank to ensure all tank mates are receiving their fair share of the goods.
  • They will eat most things you put into a tank.
  • Live foods, frozen foods, pellets and flaked food are readily accepted.

Acclimatisation

Anemone Shrimp
Anemone Shrimp

These shrimp take quite a long time to acclimate. They should be drip acclimatised slowly, for roughly double the amount of time you would do for a fish, about an hour and a half.

As you are acclimating take out some of the water the shrimp is sitting in every 15 minutes. This will slowly increase the amount of tank water in the acclimation bucket and reduce the amount of original water.

When placing it in the tank, try to avoid netting it and exposing it to air. If you have been removing the water as you have been acclimating then the amount of original water left in your bucket should be minimal. Scoop the shrimp out in a container and place the container into the tank.

Shrimp do not acclimate particularly well, please take your time with this process. Like most inverts, shrimp are sensitive to changes in water parameters, temperature and salinity.

Will Sexy Shrimp Reproduce In An Aquarium

As with other shrimp, these shrimp can often be seen carrying eggs in an aquarium. If you have at least one male and one female in your tank, they will likely mate and the female will then be seen carrying the eggs.

Before you get excited, there are very few success stories from hobbyists who have managed to raise the shrimplets into adult shrimp. Unfortunately, in a display tank that is not species only you really don’t stand any chance or raising them. Most will be predated on by their tank mates, some will be lost to filters and powerheads, other to corals, and the ones who do make it to a safe spot will likely starve to death.

On the bright side, if your shrimps do start to produce eggs and shrimplets, then every time they release the eggs or baby shrimp, your tank will get a bit of free food!