Lysmata debelius or the Blood Shrimp, has gained a lot of popularity because of its striking colouration. It is known by several common names, including; Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, Blood Red Fire Shrimp, Taiwan Fire Red or Red Fire Shrimp.
Housing Blood Shrimp
Blood Shrimp will be at home in small and large tanks alike and are perfectly suitable in a nano-aquarium or large reef setup. Blood Shrimp can be a bit shy at times and are sensitive to bright light, therefore, would benefit from having crevices and caves formed from live-rock structures to retreat to.
The Blood Shrimp is considered to be a cleaner shrimp species. It should set up a ‘cleaning station’ in your aquarium – a part of the shrimp’s territory where fish will swim up and receive a complimentary cleaning service – where the shrimp will pick off dead scales, skin and remove parasites from the fish. The opportunity to witness this behaviour is part of the reason why many hobbyists purchase this shrimp.
The Blood Shrimp doesn’t have any particular nutritional or feeding requirements that are noteworthy, however, as mentioned earlier, they are a cleaner shrimp species and will eat parasites and dead skin off your fish. They will also scavenge and eat leftover food, including thawed frozen foods, flakes and pellets in the tank. If you have an ultra-clean SPS tank (low bio-load, low feedings), you may want to target feed your shrimp – but otherwise they are likely to be alright as long as your tank is sufficiently fed. You will want to monitor to make sure they are eating well and aren’t always bullied out of eating.
Blood Shrimp are absolutely incompatible with hawk fish or marine bettas. Adding these shrimp to any aquarium with fish large enough to eat them should be approached with caution. With the gigantic exception for the fish that will prey on and eat the Blood Shrimp, it is otherwise compatible with most community reef fish. Keeping this shrimp in your marine aquarium is advantageous if you are keeping fish that are particularly susceptible to parasites, like the Blue Hippo tang.
In a similar way too many marine creatures, these shrimp do not do well with con-specifics and there can be aggression between blood shrimp or other cleaner shrimp. Therefore, it is best to keep one shrimp per tank.
Blood shrimp may also pick at some of your prized corals (See: Beginners Guide to Keeping Corals), so take this into consideration when adding them to your reef tank.
The fire shrimp is primarily a shy, nocturnal creature, which means you probably won’t see a whole lot of them in your tank. Which is an obvious downside to keeping these beautiful shrimp. However, over time and with some strategically timed feedings, you may be able to coax them out of hiding more frequently. Do not expect to see this shrimp during intense lighting periods. Instead, they will venture out looking for food when light is off or during dim light periods. In FOWLR systems without intense lighting these shrimp may venture out more often.
Sensitivity to Copper
One last thing to consider when keeping these shrimp is that copper should be avoided at all costs. Copper will kill shrimp and so all shrimp should be removed the if any of your fish need to be treated with copper-based medicine.