The Peppermint Shrimp is as refreshing and enjoyable as a pet as its name suggests. It is the perfect addition to a community saltwater tank. It has quite a few benefits apart from just looking pretty and being able to add an element of uniqueness to the tank. Is it the right shrimp for you? Let us find out
The peppermint shrimp is native to Charleston in South Carolina and Key West in Florida. However, they can be found in the Caribbean Sea as well. While they aren’t exactly tropical, they are very adaptable which is what makes them such a hit in the aquarium hobby.
This shrimp is also known as the Candy Cane shrimp and both these monikers give a fair description of its appearance. Like most shrimps, their exoskeleton is semi-transparent but what sets them apart is the coloration.
While it is predominantly bright orange in color, it has longitudinal bands of a darker orange or red both lengthwise and across its body which gives it a candy-like appearance. It grows to a maximum size of 1.5 to 2 inches. With good care, it can live for up to 2 years.
Ideal Tank Setup
As these shrimps stay relatively small, they can be kept in tanks as small as 5 gallons. However, if you plan to keep a large group of these shrimps and/or keep it with other fish, then make sure to choose a tank size accordingly.
As for the substrate and decor, these shrimp aren’t picky at all. Ideally, have a rocky substrate with plenty of space to hide. Avoid keeping them in reef tanks as either the shrimps will get attacked by aggressive corals or the shrimps will feed on the polyps of certain corals.
If you really must have corals then make sure to choose something that is compatible with the peppermint shrimp.
As alluded to earlier, peppermint shrimps are quite adaptable but even they require stable water conditions. The water temperature should be between 64°F and 72°F or 18°C and 22°C. This is obviously much lower than the typical range for most tropical fishes and invertebrates.
The pH should be between 8.1 and 8.4 while the hardness should be in the 8-12 range. Being invertebrates, these shrimp do very poorly when the nitrate level is too high or if there is copper in the water.
The adaptable nature of the peppermint shrimp extends to its diet as well. It will feed on the detritus in the tank but you will need to supplement this with flakes and pellets that sink to the bottom. Using an Iodine supplement once in a while is also a good idea to promote good shell health.
Behavior And Tank Mates
These shrimp are quite docile but they can exhibit some territorial aggression especially if they do not have adequate space. As for fish, there are very few options that can tolerate the colder alkaline conditions that these shrimp thrive. Avoid anything predatory at all costs.
They are pretty easy to breed. each shrimp has both male and female parts and the shrimp will mate without needing any special persuasion. They lay small eggs that hatch in about 12 days. To ensure maximum survivability, the babies should be transferred to a grow-out tank.
The peppermint shrimp is quite hardy and doesn’t succumb to infections easily. As long as the water parameters are maintained correctly and the shrimps are sourced from a good breeder, you should not face any problems.
They will also start to lose their coloration if under any type of stress and that can act as an indicator and a trigger for you to get to the bottom of whatever is bothering them.
To Sum It Up!
The peppermint shrimp is a great addition to a saltwater tank. It is also one of the easier ways to cut your teeth in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Its cuteness and alluring mannerisms are just the icings on top.