By Bob Goemans
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Stenopus hispidus

(Olivier, 1811)

Banded Coral Shrimp, Boxer Shrimp

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: All tropical seas

Size: 4 inches (10 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coral reef environments and generally wherever there is caves and holes.

General Husbandry: One of the favorites among aquarists and frequently seen in the home aquarium trade.

Easily kept in the reef aquarium when there is sufficient caves and hiding places. Yet, can do harm to corals and anemones when there is insufficient food.

As to diet, meaty foods, e.g., small pieces of defrosted clam, fish and/or shrimp flesh, or live adult brine shrimp fed once or twice daily will suffice nicely.

Best maintained without other species of shrimp in the aquarium (especially cleaner shrimp), as it can be quite aggressive towards other crustaceans, including hermit crabs.

Will set up cleaning stations, but seem to be infrequent cleaners in the aquarium.

Should be maintained singly or in mated pairs.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Arthropoda

    Class: Malacostraca

    Order: Decapoda

    Family: Stenopodidae

    Genus: Stenopus

FYI: The female has a heavier body, carries her eggs for about two weeks under her shell. The eggs can usually be seen through the shell where they are first a yellow color, then turn a light green. When the female molts, about every 16 days, the eggs are fertilized by the male. The eggs are hatched in the female's mouth in small numbers about two weeks later, and released into the water column. The baby shrimp are half the size of newly hatched brine shrimp and can live on their yolk sac for three days. Rotifers are a good food supply until the babies can take larger food.

Not really considered a shrimp! It's considered more a lobster-like creature, as all species are in this Infraorder.

May eat small bristleworms.

May provide a cleaning service.

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: Moderately 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 (23 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: Perfect for Nano tanks and/or larger aquaria

Lighting: PAR ratings N/A

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

 Stenopus hispidus (Banded Coral Shrimp, Boxer Shrimp)
Photo © Zaid Fadul
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