By Bob Goemans
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San Francisco Bay Brand 


Lysmata debelius

Bruce, 1983

Blood Red Shrimp

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Maldives east to the Society Islands.

Size: 2 inches (5 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coral reef environments in shaded areas with overhangs and normally seen deeper than 65 feet (20 m).

General Husbandry: Somewhat common in the home aquarium trade and one of the more intensely colored cleaner shrimp.

It will set up cleaning stations, but due to their shyness, spend most of their time hiding in caves, therefore, hiding places/caves are necessary to maintain this species long term. Usually somewhat highly priced. In large aquariums, one may lose sight of these small shrimp for months.

Will accept defrosted pieces of clam, fresh fish and shrimp flesh, or live adult brine shrimp. Yet, it is difficult to tell if they are getting their share of food because of their intense shyness.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Arthropoda

    Class: Malacostraca

    Order: Decapoda

    Family: Hippolytidae

    Genus: Lysmata

FYI: Those that come from the Maldives seem to be slightly larger, have a deeper red color, and very long antennae.

See the 'Introduction' to this Group for more information.

Experience Level: Beginner

Diet: Carnivore

Temperament: Peaceful

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: Yes

Acclimation Time: Shrimp are 'very' sensitive to specific gravity/salinity changes. Therefore, be sure to adjust the bag's water to that of the aquarium in which it will be placed by slowly adding small amounts of aquarium water to the bag every few minutes. In most cases, this process should take at least 15 minutes.

Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy

Calcium (Ca): 380 - 430 mg/l

Alkalinity: 2.5 - 3.0 meq/l

Phosphate (PO4): <0.05 mg/l

Magnesium (Mg): approx. 1350 mg/l (relate to specific gravity) Extremely important for molting!

Strontium (Sr) 8 - 10 mg/l

Iodine (I) Trace element additives containing iodine should be used as recommended by their makers, as iodine is also vital for the molting process.

Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Lighting: PAR ratings N/A

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

 Lysmata debelius (Blood Red Shrimp)
Photo © Bob Goemans
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