How do I know if my pistol shrimp is still alive?

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JosephM

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Okay this is going to be a long post because there’s a few things that make me think he’s dead and a few that makes me think he’s alive. For background info I bought a Dracula goby and a Randall’s shrimp last Tuesday (3 days ago) they both looked healthy. I floated for 20 min and slow drip for 35 min. What concerned me was the pistol went belly up during acclimation but he was still swimming around and when I moved him he didn’t seem very lethargic. I prebuilt a cave for them so they would be up front and they both went into it gladly. The goby chilled while the pistol went haywire... like an unhealthy way, he was just doing circles and stuff and couldn’t seem to just stay upright. Well after that first day I haven’t seen the shrimp once. They have extended their cave to the back so I know someone is digging and I don’t think gobies can do excavation work like that so I think the shrimp is still kicking. But I do a lot of hw in my room where the tank is and I don’t think I’ve heard it snap, maybeee once. And I haven’t seen the shrimp come out even when the goby is chilling ‘watching’. What do you guys think?
 
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I know what you mean. I got a pistol shrimp, a rather little one and smallish watchman. Then for about 2 months there would only be the odd sighting of the goby and none of the shrimp. One of the first sightings was by accident, I moved the rock he was under and if was not already looking, I would not have seen him, they are fast!!!!

Had them for about 4-5 months now. I see the goby everyday, the shrimp will make an appearance once a week-ish. If you see landscaping taking place, that's the shrimp.

Give them time, but I get what your feeling, I thought the shrimp was a goner more than once only to be gladly proved wrong. When you see the goby poking out from under the hiding spot, look behind and you may catch a glimpse. The goby is very protective if they decided to be friends.
 
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I know what you mean. I got a pistol shrimp, a rather little one and smallish watchman. Then for about 2 months there would only be the odd sighting of the goby and none of the shrimp. One of the first sightings was by accident, I moved the rock he was under and if was not already looking, I would not have seen him, they are fast!!!!

Had them for about 4-5 months now. I see the goby everyday, the shrimp will make an appearance once a week-ish. If you see landscaping taking place, that's the shrimp.

Give them time, but I get what your feeling, I thought the shrimp was a goner more than once only to be gladly proved wrong. When you see the goby poking out from under the hiding spot, look behind and you may catch a glimpse. The goby is very protective if they decided to be friends.
Makes sense. So he must be alive because I barely dug their burrow in and the shrimp brought it all the way to the back of the rock ~6 inches. That’s what had me worried too is because my previous pistol was a bullseye and he was massive so it wasn’t hard to see him and this Randall’s is an inch if that, tiny. I’m at least happy that my Dracula goby always comes out for feeding and periodically through the day.
 
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If he's not digging and making a mess and you don't hear him inside the tank snapping from time to time he's dead.
But how do I really tell if he’s digging. From my understanding it’s always under the rocks. There’s two entrances and I don’t think a goby can dig under a rock and create 2 entrances like that right? I do see sand spew up into the water column at times and that could be him but I also have a lazy sea hare and snails that periodically fall and knock up some sand
 
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JosephM

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You'll know. Mine rearranges the entire tank. I have to constantly run filter floss to keep my water see through
I’ll keep an eye out more. I do run filter socks
When I put my tiger pistol in I never seen him again but would hear him snap almost daily lol.
I’ll listen better lol. I think I’ve heard him snap but I’m not sure
 

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My substrate is sand, about 3 inches. They burrowed a home under one of the rocks. looks like a culvert down into a cave. That little fella pushed enough sand to the sides to create dunes on either side about another inch. There's an emergency escape out the back and lately they have begun work on a summer home under a nearby rock. I imagine that they have a parlor, game room maybe even a indoor pool under there. They only come out for provisions, even then it is mostly the goby.

When I vacuum around the rock, it fills it in. IT is cleared out in about 10 minutes.

Never heard any snapping though, not anything that made me look over at the tank. Is it a popping sound? a click maybe? I never thought anything about it, he is left alone, there is not that much in the tank yet figured he never needed to. I'll have to pay closer attention.
 

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My substrate is sand, about 3 inches. They burrowed a home under one of the rocks. looks like a culvert down into a cave. That little fella pushed enough sand to the sides to create dunes on either side about another inch. There's an emergency escape out the back and lately they have begun work on a summer home under a nearby rock. I imagine that they have a parlor, game room maybe even a indoor pool under there. They only come out for provisions, even then it is mostly the goby.

When I vacuum around the rock, it fills it in. IT is cleared out in about 10 minutes.

Never heard any snapping though, not anything that made me look over at the tank. Is it a popping sound? a click maybe? I never thought anything about it, he is left alone, there is not that much in the tank yet figured he never needed to. I'll have to pay closer attention.
Mine you hear over the TV like someone snapped their fingers in the room.
 
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JosephM

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My substrate is sand, about 3 inches. They burrowed a home under one of the rocks. looks like a culvert down into a cave. That little fella pushed enough sand to the sides to create dunes on either side about another inch. There's an emergency escape out the back and lately they have begun work on a summer home under a nearby rock. I imagine that they have a parlor, game room maybe even a indoor pool under there. They only come out for provisions, even then it is mostly the goby.

When I vacuum around the rock, it fills it in. IT is cleared out in about 10 minutes.

Never heard any snapping though, not anything that made me look over at the tank. Is it a popping sound? a click maybe? I never thought anything about it, he is left alone, there is not that much in the tank yet figured he never needed to. I'll have to pay closer attention.
I love that. I’d be interested in moving the sand at the entrances to see what goes down. I don’t wanna cover the front hole because I love actually being able to see the goby lol. He’s a pig though he smells the food once it flies right by the hole and comes FLYING out of his burrow
 

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You should be good if the holes are being maintained.

I've only had a hi-fin and watchman paired with my randalli over the years though, so not sure if the dracula excavates. Like others have said, I rarely see him, maybe once a week sometimes closer to once a month. Definitely can hear him across the house when he starts snapping though, even then he has his quiet weeks.

Occasional flying sand in the water column is a good sign, mine turns around and kicks sand up with all of his legs when he's freshening up the entrances. Look for pieces of rubble or shell bits placed decoratively around the holes too.
 
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JosephM

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You should be good if the holes are being maintained.

I've only had a hi-fin and watchman paired with my randalli over the years though, so not sure if the dracula excavates. Like others have said, I rarely see him, maybe once a week sometimes closer to once a month. Definitely can hear him across the house when he starts snapping though, even then he has his quiet weeks.

Occasional flying sand in the water column is a good sign, mine turns around and kicks sand up with all of his legs when he's freshening up the entrances. Look for pieces of rubble or shell bits placed decoratively around the holes too.
About that... I’ve read they like shells and rubble, I have none of that, all that fine sand. Do I need shells and rubble, if so how much and what do you recommend. I dont want a bunch of mess and have quite a bit of corals on the ground if that means anything.
 

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I'm not sure if they absolutely need it but they certainly seem to enjoy building with the small bits of rubble. Mine will line his entrances with bits to add structural support. Most of the times I see him out he's hard at work getting the supporting rubble and shells just right.

All of the rubble and shell bits he uses came in my live sand. A handful or two of crushed coral substrate sprinkled around the burrow should be fine though. Mine will mostly use pieces around 1/4 to 1/2in to build with, but he'll definitely drag around larger chunks and frag plugs if he gets a hold of them.

Careful with coral on plugs around the burrow, I've definitely lost a few frags to his whims over the years. Either by him burying them during his landscaping escapades or dragging the plugs over to his burrow and me not catching it in time. Regardless, still one my favorites and the oldest member of my 20L. I've had him for 6 years myself and my buddy who I inherited the tank from had him for almost a year before that. They're pretty hardy little dudes ime.
 
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be glad it's gone...unless you don't mind seeing small fish in your tank getting killed off...
I think you’re mistaking a pistol shrimp for mantis shrimp. I’ve never heard of pistol shrimp killing off fish. Maybe hurting them if they get close
 
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I'm not sure if they absolutely need it but they certainly seem to enjoy building with the small bits of rubble. Mine will line his entrances with bits to add structural support. Most of the times I see him out he's hard at work getting the supporting rubble and shells just right.

All of the rubble and shell bits he uses came in my live sand. A handful or two of crushed coral substrate sprinkled around the burrow should be fine though. Mine will mostly use pieces around 1/4 to 1/2in to build with, but he'll definitely drag around larger chunks and frag plugs if he gets a hold of them.

Careful with coral on plugs around the burrow, I've definitely lost a few frags to his whims over the years. Either by him burying them during his landscaping escapades or dragging the plugs over to his burrow and me not catching it in time. Regardless, still one my favorites and the oldest member of my 20L. I've had him for 6 years myself and my buddy who I inherited the tank from had him for almost a year before that. They're pretty hardy little dudes ime.
Last night I actually when ahead and smashed some of my live rock rubble. Some turned into sand, some into tiny pieces and others into nice sized pieces. I sprinkled in the front and back of their home. If he’s alive we’ll definitely tell soon because it closed up their front entrance
 
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