Pistol Shrimps Are HORRIBLE Reef Tank Inhabitants.

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Derrick0580

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And all shrimp annoy me mostly, even the popular reef safe ones like peppermints and cleaners make target feeding corals impossible.
Agreed! Only have a fire shrimp in my 120 because he doesn’t steal food from my corals. The 3 skunk cleaners got moved to my softy nano and frag tank that I do not spot feed.
 
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gbru316

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Man, I love my tiger/ywg combo.

by far the most entertaining pair in the tank.
I glue all my sand frags to rubble opposite of a stable, flat side. Then I place the rubble on the glass and bury it so it looks natural.

No issues with the constant construction.
 

ReefLife_Guy

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I don't see my pistol shrimp often but I sure see his handiwork! Completely rescapes my sandbed at least once a week after lights out... looks like a bulldozer came through! And loves to decorate his burrow with pretty coral... Can't really blame him for that, lol!
But I also will never get another tiger pistol shrimp. I'll keep this one until he dies of old age, but will definitely NOT be putting him in my new tank! He can live in the biocube or sump.
I wish mine would do this lol either mine is too small or he is just too busy decorating the inside of his cave but mine barely makes the cave opening large enough for him to fit more than his claw out of. The most sandbed scaping mine has done is opening the cave on the opposite side of the rock structure he lives under instead of his usual cave entrance 6 inches away. Maybe he is building some extensive underground network but I'm convinced him and my YWG are more of the introverted, netflix and chill kind of friends and less of the outgoing/partying types. Maybe one day i'll feel different :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 
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Erin1971Texas

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I wish mine would do this lol either mine is too small or he is just too busy decorating the inside of his cave but mine barely makes the cave opening large enough for him to fit more than his claw out of. The most sandbed scaping mine has done is opening the cave on the opposite side of the rock structure he lives under instead of his usual cave entrance 6 inches away. Maybe he is building some extensive underground network but I'm convinced him and my YWG are more of the introverted, netflix and chill kind of friends and less of the outgoing/partying types. Maybe one day i'll feel different :face-with-tears-of-joy:
Let me know if you come through Houston and I'll see if I can catch mine for ya, lol!
 

JNalley

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F*** TIGER pistol shrimps more specifically, they are the only species which I have kept. I can't speak for other pistol shrimps. Almost every reef site and even most hobbyists label them as reef safe. Does not being able to have any frags on your sandbed count as "reef safe"? Heck even if you have a full grown or stabilized coral on your sandbed your pistol shrimp and goby can just bury it over the course of a few days if you don't realize.

My pair constantly moves my frags into their borrow or turns them over, often times severely damaging them. You might say just to move the frags away from their entrance. Guess what, they have an entrance system ALL over my tank (75g) and use all entrances. I am honestly shocked that not many hobbyists have a problem with this apparently. Last time I looked into this some people told me to lay some frag plugs around their layer. Haha, straight up ignored and went for the acan.

And I know the only way to get them out of your system is to completely tear apart your aquascape. So today I tried to but I just couldn't disassemble my main aquascape as it is all glued together. At this point I would take everything out and just set the tank to boil with the shrimp in it. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely fascinating creatures with a shrimp goby pair, that is actually what got me hooked to saltwater in the first place. But dang have they ticked me off. That's just my little rant, if you have any ideas to get them out I would appreciate it.

TLDR: Absolute AWFUL and NOT reef safe. Say bye to any corals on your sandbed and have fun trying to get them out. (please suggests ways for me to get them out)
I mean, a reef, generally speaking, doesn't have corals on frag plugs in the sand bed. They are reef safe in that they won't eat or nip at your corals when they're properly mounted to rocks. Guess I might be in the minority here, but I don't put things in my sandbed, everything gets removed from plugs and glued down to the rockwork... Sorry you're having such a tough time... Have you tried putting some raw clam or muscle in a bottle trap in a dark corner of your tank? I hear that's effective at getting shrimp of all kinds out...

1657085228276.png
 

DaJMasta

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I think you should expect a burrower to burrow from the moment you consider putting it in. Don't set rockwork on the sand and expect it to be secure, set it on the bottom of the tank and fill in the tank around it. Keep an eye on sand bed corals and be ready to glue a few frags to a piece of dry rock to make a sort of island for them if they start getting moved around by burrowing. Make sure your livestock is fed so it isn't forced to predate on other livestock.

I've got at least two pistol shrimp that were hitchhikers from the initial live rock which have been ornery and at times noisy, but which have never harmed other inhabitants - maybe you just need to feed enough for them to be able to scavenge what they need. They dig and have thrown sand on corals, but then I've moved the coral to an appropriate spot or glued it to larger rockwork and stopped having any sort of problem.

It's fine if you don't want to keep it or if you didn't expect the behavior you got, but I don't think that warrants such blanket damnation. They can be fine, safe mixed reef inhabitants, and I don't think it comes down to the individual shrimp, just watch your fingers when working near their burrow.
 
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Cheezle

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No one believes me when I say my pistol shrimp will go out of his way to climb a rock in order to grab a frag. I love my watchman and shrimp duo but it's like Simba and anything the light touches, my shrimp owns the bottom of my tank. The amount of zoas and acans he has either maimed or killed is too dang high.. but I love him and he'll have a place in my tank til his little shrimp body gives out on him. Watching him dozer sand or push crabs out of his lair will never get old, imo.
 

chayes991

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I have a Randall’s which is pretty well behaved most of the time, he’s pinched a few cheap frags. Though I have a wrasse which seems to like trying to eat anything it can so I think it keeps the shrimp in his burrow knowing jaws is about. My tuxedo urchin on the other hand is a right pain for stealing frags and even seemingly peeling Zoas and firework polyps off the rock to wear.
 

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TIGER pistol shrimps more specifically, they are the only species which I have kept. I can't speak for other pistol shrimps. Almost every reef site and even most hobbyists label them as reef safe. Does not being able to have any frags on your sandbed count as "reef safe"? Heck even if you have a full grown or stabilized coral on your sandbed your pistol shrimp and goby can just bury it over the course of a few days if you don't realize.

My pair constantly moves my frags into their borrow or turns them over, often times severely damaging them. You might say just to move the frags away from their entrance. Guess what, they have an entrance system ALL over my tank (75g) and use all entrances. I am honestly shocked that not many hobbyists have a problem with this apparently. Last time I looked into this some people told me to lay some frag plugs around their layer. Haha, straight up ignored and went for the acan.

And I know the only way to get them out of your system is to completely tear apart your aquascape. So today I tried to but I just couldn't disassemble my main aquascape as it is all glued together. At this point I would take everything out and just set the tank to boil with the shrimp in it. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely fascinating creatures with a shrimp goby pair, that is actually what got me hooked to saltwater in the first place. But dang have they ticked me off. That's just my little rant, if you have any ideas to get them out I would appreciate it.

TLDR: Absolute AWFUL and NOT reef safe. Say bye to any corals on your sandbed and have fun trying to get them out. (please suggests ways for me to get them out)

Tiger_Pistol_Shrimp.jpg
I’ve had a Randall’s Pistol Shirmp that was literally teeny teeny tiny when I got him almost 3 years ago and he’s been a model inhabitant in my 20 Gallon Waterbox Cube.
He has grown considerably over the last few years but is still relatively small. He’s got a pretty elaborate set of tunnels and has been paired with a couple of different gobies…he’s currently paired with a hi fin. I left him unpaired when I lost my first goby and hardly ever saw him the only way I knew he was still in there is I’d hear him snapping every so often. I recently repaired him with a high fin goby and he’s still been a model citizen. I see him more often now that he’s paired with a goby again.
I’ve never kept a tiger because I knew they got bigger and this was a small nano tank.
 

alabella1

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TIGER pistol shrimps more specifically, they are the only species which I have kept. I can't speak for other pistol shrimps. Almost every reef site and even most hobbyists label them as reef safe. Does not being able to have any frags on your sandbed count as "reef safe"? Heck even if you have a full grown or stabilized coral on your sandbed your pistol shrimp and goby can just bury it over the course of a few days if you don't realize.

My pair constantly moves my frags into their borrow or turns them over, often times severely damaging them. You might say just to move the frags away from their entrance. Guess what, they have an entrance system ALL over my tank (75g) and use all entrances. I am honestly shocked that not many hobbyists have a problem with this apparently. Last time I looked into this some people told me to lay some frag plugs around their layer. Haha, straight up ignored and went for the acan.

And I know the only way to get them out of your system is to completely tear apart your aquascape. So today I tried to but I just couldn't disassemble my main aquascape as it is all glued together. At this point I would take everything out and just set the tank to boil with the shrimp in it. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely fascinating creatures with a shrimp goby pair, that is actually what got me hooked to saltwater in the first place. But dang have they ticked me off. That's just my little rant, if you have any ideas to get them out I would appreciate it.

TLDR: Absolute AWFUL and NOT reef safe. Say bye to any corals on your sandbed and have fun trying to get them out. (please suggests ways for me to get them out)

Tiger_Pistol_Shrimp.jpg
I have not seen nor heard from mine since adding him a year or more ago. I am totally convinced he's still hiding out there lying in wait and occasionally killing my fish.
 

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Pistol shrimps can definitely be nasty. I seem to have a whole colony of hitchhiker pistols that have been around for like a decade, and they pick off my hermits one by one! I bought 9 a few months ago... now there are only 3 left...

Contrast my pistol-free 25g, where I bought 10 hermits also a couple of months ago... there are still 10 hermits there!!!
 
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Nemesis of Pistol Shrimps

Nemesis of Pistol Shrimps

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No one believes me when I say my pistol shrimp will go out of his way to climb a rock in order to grab a frag. I love my watchman and shrimp duo but it's like Simba and anything the light touches, my shrimp owns the bottom of my tank. The amount of zoas and acans he has either maimed or killed is too dang high.. but I love him and he'll have a place in my tank til his little shrimp body gives out on him. Watching him dozer sand or push crabs out of his lair will never get old, imo.
I BELIEVE YOU because it has happened to me and was one of the first times it has harmed one of my corals. I had a hammer frag in a little hole on a piece of rock away from its borrow but is still nearish and it went on the rock and picked it out and destroyed it
 

aws2266

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My pistol shrimp turned into a killer, and murdered three of my fish/inverts. He got my Starki Damsel(that one hurt), Clownfish, and Emerald Crab. My wife loves the pistol and watchman goby so she wouldn't let me get rid of him. Also I'd feel bad if I traded it in to an LFS and someone bought him down the road just to have him kill again. So we got an Evo 13.5 and put him and the goby in there. Everyone is happy now. I ended up having to remove all the rock in my 120g to get the sucker out.
 
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BroccoliFarmer

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My pistol shrimp turned into a killer, and murdered three of my fish/inverts. He got my Starki Damsel(that one hurt), Clownfish, and Emerald Crab. My wife loves the pistol and watchman goby so she wouldn't let me get rid of him. Also I'd feel bad if I traded it in to an LFS and someone bought him down the road just to have him kill again. So we got an Evo 13.5 and put him and the goby in there. Everyone is happy now. I ended up having to remove all the rock in my 120g to get the sucker out.
I literally just watched one of my pistol shrimps have a death match with a hermit crab. (I dont actually know the type of pistol..been looking for a list of types for weeks..but it is the one wiht a Q in the name). Anyway, hermit crab was walking by a cave entrance and the pistol shrimp grabbed it and went rapid fire shooting on the poor little hermit crab. Actually think he cracked the shell. He then proceeded to line up the shell in a straight line with his other shells at the front door. He's still moving it around..but i think the HC is dead. Wish I had my camera..was quite incredible to watch.
 

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I BELIEVE YOU because it has happened to me and was one of the first times it has harmed one of my corals. I had a hammer frag in a little hole on a piece of rock away from its borrow but is still nearish and it went on the rock and picked it out and destroyed it
Have you tried giving the shrimp it's own frag plugs, rubble, and maybe shells? I wonder if it would deter the shrimp a bit if it had it's own "toys" but still thinks it's doing the dame damage lol - Raven
 
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ClownSchool

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TIGER pistol shrimps more specifically, they are the only species which I have kept. I can't speak for other pistol shrimps. Almost every reef site and even most hobbyists label them as reef safe. Does not being able to have any frags on your sandbed count as "reef safe"? Heck even if you have a full grown or stabilized coral on your sandbed your pistol shrimp and goby can just bury it over the course of a few days if you don't realize.

My pair constantly moves my frags into their borrow or turns them over, often times severely damaging them. You might say just to move the frags away from their entrance. Guess what, they have an entrance system ALL over my tank (75g) and use all entrances. I am honestly shocked that not many hobbyists have a problem with this apparently. Last time I looked into this some people told me to lay some frag plugs around their layer. Haha, straight up ignored and went for the acan.

And I know the only way to get them out of your system is to completely tear apart your aquascape. So today I tried to but I just couldn't disassemble my main aquascape as it is all glued together. At this point I would take everything out and just set the tank to boil with the shrimp in it. Don't get me wrong they are absolutely fascinating creatures with a shrimp goby pair, that is actually what got me hooked to saltwater in the first place. But dang have they ticked me off. That's just my little rant, if you have any ideas to get them out I would appreciate it.

TLDR: Absolute AWFUL and NOT reef safe. Say bye to any corals on your sandbed and have fun trying to get them out. (please suggests ways for me to get them out)

Tiger_Pistol_Shrimp.jpg
I mix frozen food with r/o water and feed directing into the same entrance with a pipetette.
within a week, they will literally grab the tip at feeding time during feeding. Once they start that, set a net above the hole before feeding. When you feed and it leaves the hole to attack the pipers, drop the net behind it.
 
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