How safe are Peppermint Shrimp?

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NanoReefLife

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I have had a few that were amazing aptasia eaters, and I’ve had tanks with a pep and plenty of aptasia in there with them.

They are pretty hit or miss from that perspective. I have mostly shrooms and zoas in my tanks and they have not bothered anything that I can tell.
 
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ScottR

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Lots of replies. Seems like everyone has an experience so I’ll share mine. I got a pair that absolutely devoured aiptaisa and I was happy. Then I got a nice hammer and I glued it improperly. It fell and for some reason that was a dinner bell for them. I had green and purple bits floating around the tank as I watched them eat it. I’ve seen them pick tentacles off my dendros and also watched them eat an acan colony. Long story short, couldn’t catch them and got a hawkfish which ended this story...
 

jaganshi066

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Hi all,
Currently planning my first reef and had thought that peppermint shrimp were a very good and safe option for cleanup crew, but am now seeing more and more stuff about them eating corals. Are they not as safe as I had thought they were?
They never touched my corals, but I did get them for aiptasia. The problem is they never touched the aiptasia, but they always flipped my snails over and killed them. I got so frustrated I returned all of them to the store.
 

Dkmoo

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here's a relatively foul proof method to get a good one - so far i'm 4 for 4 (i don't keep them, After the 2nd one that died in my tank after aiptasia is gone i know i can't successfully keep one long term. either give them away to other local reefers with aiptasia problems with a "guarantee of reef safe" or to those who can keep them fed. )

This is what i do:
1) go to LFS
2) ignore their holding tank that's full of peps
3) go to their community tank or frag tanks - they usually keep a few peps in their for their own aiptasia control. (at least the 3 LFS around me that i frequent all do this).
4) point your finger to one of those peps and tell the sales clerk or owners "i want that one, how much"?

even if i have to negotiate a higher price, i usually pay it b/c i know it's reef safe.
 

ceduardogdias

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The fact that they consume aiptasia is the clue. In my opinion, only animals that are obligatory aiptasia eaters , such as Aeolidiella stephanieae (Berghia nudibranch) can be trusted as coral safe and not aiptasia safe.

Just like the tomentosus file fish, with peppermints you take a chance. IME, peppermints (all species commonly called peppermints) prefer to eat long polyp corals like Euphylliidae.

Whether they are captive bred or not should make no difference, just more sustainable.

Research data, collected by means of DNA sampling has shown that Peppermint shrimps in the trade are very commonly miss identified when it comes to species label.
My experience is unforgettable, to wake up and to see one of your hammer coral as bone is not a good view
 
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Dennis Cartier

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It depends on which peppermint shrimp you end up with. There are very similar genus available in the hobby, and some are not so reef friendly. So if your LFS, or shrimp has a supply of the 'safe' ones then the coral munching may be less of an issue.

I had some aiptasia in my frag tank and went to get a few peppermints in response. I always grab 3 or 4 when buying them. I find they work better in packs. Anyway, this time, I had forgotten that I had added a Christmas wrasse into the tank and the peppermints vanished in short order. Fine, lesson learned. That wrasse must consider shrimp a menu item. That was about a year and half ago. This week, while searching for specific snail during lights out, I was surprised to see a peppermint swaying in the bottom of the tank. I guess it had been in the tank the whole time, just staying out of sight during the day, when the wrasse is active, and coming out to feed at night. The tank remains aiptasia free, lol.

Dennis
 

Coronus

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I have had quite few and they do a great job with aiptasia. But some do eat coral. I came home to a decimated ricordia garden.
And have had several go after the encrusted base of acropora. With that said, they can be easy to catch so no issues getting them out after the job is done. Keep a watchful eye to remove before they are an issue.
 

Thirdeyesight17

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I'll piggyback with what others have said. There are some shrimp listed as peppermints which aren't. I had an aiptasia issue and I followed the advice of @jda who mentioned a vendor in FL which I can't remember. I bought 2 peppermints from them and they destroyed the aiptasia I had in like 2 weeks very pleased. Once the aiptasia were gone I've only seen them mess with my rock nems. I feed them pellets daily and havent noticed any issues with them or my hammers. If you're just starting out I'd go another route cleaner or fire shrimp but if you're dead set on a peppermint just get them from a reputable source.
 
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flfish

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Lots of feedback here! Looks like I'm just gonna stick with some blood red shrimp at least for the beginning
 

NickosReef

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I purchased 6 of them for an aptasia outbreak. I also put 8 berghia nudibranchs in. Not sure which ones or both helped, but about a month later there was not a trace of aptasia left. Then a couple months after that, my og bounce disappeared. After some investigation I caught a peppermint eating my Forrest fire shroom. All the cheap shrooms for them to choose from and of course they eat the F&$”ing $350 one. Anyway, it took me another month to catch all the little jerks and banish them to my sump. I will say that they were fine when I was feeding heavily. I stopped feeding a full cube of frozen everyday and that’s when they attacked the mushrooms. They were effective for the aptasia, and I would recommend them for that, but I would plan on getting rid of them as soon as the aptasia is gone.
 

Kresimir_72

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I have 2 in 100g mixed reef and it is all fine....they have aiptasia under control and scavenging on stone other time....if you ask me they are "must have" for any reef...
 
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