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Lysmata Amboinensis Care, Diet, Lifespan, Breeding, And More

Lysmata Amboinensis Care, Diet, Lifespan, Breeding, And More

Come on over and let’s explore the wonderful world of Lysmata amboinensis, also known as the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner or the Pacific Cleaner shrimp! 

These little guys are not only cute and colorful, but they also play an important role in keeping your saltwater aquarium clean. Trust me, you will love ’em!

Here’s a quick and easy-to-read rundown on how to care for them, what to feed them, how long they’ll live, how to breed them, and where to find them. 

Shall we dive in? 

Lysmata Amboinensis Species Overview

Are you ready to meet one of the coolest critters in the saltwater aquarium world? 

Introducing Lysmata amboinensis, a hardy little critter that left us aquarium hobbyists speechless! 

First things first, let’s talk about where they’re from. These shrimp call the Indo-Pacific region home, with a range that stretches from the Red Sea all the way to the Pacific islands. This is why they are also known as the Pacific Cleaner shrimp! 

They also go by the names Indo-Pacific White-Banded Cleaner shrimp and Indo-Pacific White-Striped Cleaner shrimp.

In terms of taxonomy, they belong to the family Lysmatidae and the genus Lysmata. They’re related to other popular shrimp species like the Peppermint shrimp!


lysmata amboinensis in aquarium
Lysmata Amboinensis

You will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the amazing appearance, vibrant colors and unique features of Lysmata amboinensis! These Pacific Cleaner shrimp are truly a sight to behold.

First things first, let’s talk about their color. These shrimp are known for their striking red and white stripes that run down their bodies. In fact, a wide red line with a thin white line in the middle spreads from the top of its head, along its spine, all the way down to its thick tail. 

But, did you know that they can also change color depending on their mood or environment? 

That’s right, similar to Blue Velvet shrimp changing color, these little chameleons of the sea can adapt their colors to match their surroundings or to either camouflage or communicate with other shrimp. But, they don’t completely lose their specific red-white appearance. 

Now, let’s talk about their physical features. These shrimp have 10 legs and 2 antennae, along with two dark eyes, which are located on the top of their heads, that allow them to see in all directions.

But, the most interesting feature is their long white antennae. These antennae are used to attract fish and other marine animals, which they then clean of parasites. 


Lysmata amboinensis can grow between 2 to 2.5 inches, which is quite big when compared to other shrimp. 

But here’s the thing, the males and females can have slightly different sizes. 

Male Vs. Female Lysmata Amboinensis

Male Lysmata amboinensis tend to be a bit smaller, but have larger antennae which they use to seduce the female shrimp. 

They also use their bold color to flirt. Yeah, talk about a crustacean love story! Another thing to note is that they inherit skinnier bodies than lady shrimp.

On the other side, female Pacific Cleaner shrimp have a rounder shape and a brood pouch which is used to carry eggs. Plus, they’re not as colorful as males.

Now, you may be wondering, what affects their growth? 

Well, it’s all about the diet and water conditions! A healthy diet and clean water will ensure that your shrimp grow to their full potential. 

But, if the water is too dirty or the diet is lacking, your Pacific Cleaner shrimp may not grow as much. 


These fascinating shrimp are not only cute and colorful, but they also have some pretty interesting behaviors that make them a joy to watch.

Lysmata amboinensis shrimp are known for being non-aggressive and peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank. 

As long as they are not attacked or disturbed, they won’t bother other tank mates and they’ll go about their business of keeping the tank clean. 

Are you wondering what they do all day? 

Pacific Cleaner shrimp are known for being active and curious. They’ll spend their time exploring the tank, searching for food, and cleaning other tank mates.

They’ll also spend a lot of time grooming themselves, which is pretty entertaining to watch.

These shrimp aren’t shy and they’ll spend most of their time out in the open, but they do have a tendency to hide under rocks and in sand when they’re feeling threatened or stressed.


lysmata amboinensis

It may come as a surprise to many aquarium enthusiasts that these little critters have a lifespan that is longer than many other species of shrimp, and there are a few reasons why.

Lysmata Amboinensis shrimp are known for being hardy and resilient, which helps them to survive in captivity. They can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and are not particularly sensitive to changes in temperature or pH.

Second, they have a relatively low-stress lifestyle. They are peaceful creatures that don’t compete with other tank mates for food or territory, which reduces their risk of injury or illness.

Third, they are a favorite food of many fish and invertebrates. This means that they need to hide and be aware of their surroundings constantly.

In general, these shrimp can live for 2-3 years, with some specimens living up to 4 years. 

All that being said, the lifespan of this species can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of water and food in the tank, as well as the presence of aggressive species who see them as food. 

Common Health Problems

When it comes to keeping Lysmata Amboinensis in captivity, it is important to be aware of the potential health problems that can arise. 

One common issue is the appearance of white spots on the shrimp’s body. 

This is a symptom of a disease called marine white spot disease, which is caused by a virus. This can affect not only the Pacific Cleaner, but also other shrimp in the aquarium. 

Another health problem that can occur is the appearance of brown or black spots on the shrimp’s body. This is called Rust disease and it can be caused by a bacterial infection.

A third health problem is when these shrimp lose their signature, vivid color. This could be an indication of stress or poor water quality. 

It’s important to note that these health problems can affect not only your fellow cleaner shrimp, but also other aquarium animals, and can greatly affect their longevity.

Lysmata Amboinensis Care Guide

It is finally time! Are you ready to become a Lysmata amboinensis shrimp-keeping pro? 

In this care guide, we’re going to dive deep into everything you need to know to keep these little critters happy and healthy. From diet and water requirements, to tank set up and breeding, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started on the journey and say a few words about diet and feeding habits. 

Diet And Feeding Habits

Lysmata amboinensis  are opportunistic, omnivorous feeders that will eat a variety of food. Like many crustaceans, they are generally not picky eaters.

In the wild, they are known to eat small crustaceans, plankton, detritus, and algae. However, in captivity, they can be fed a variety of food such as frozen food, algae, pellets, and flakes.

A diet that consists of different types of food will provide them with the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal growth and health. 

It is recommended to feed them small amounts once or twice a day. Do not overfeed them as this can lead to poor water quality and could harm the shrimp and other tank inhabitants.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the food is appropriately sized for them, as overfeeding or providing food that is too large can lead to health problems.


When it comes to feeding your Lysmata amboinensis, incorporating a healthy dose of algae into their diet is a must. Besides eating dead fish tissue and parasites, these little shrimp are known to be “bottom feeders” and love to graze on algae throughout the day.

Not only is an algae-based diet packed with all the vitamins and minerals that your shrimp need, but it also helps to keep the tank clean. 

Algae eaters like this species help to control the growth of unwanted algae in the tank.


Besides natural tank algae, algae wafers are a great option for supplementing their diet. These wafers are a great source of protein and other essential nutrients for the Lysmata amboinensis, but be sure to not overdo it. 

Be sure to check that the algae wafers are specifically designed for these invertebrates, as some fish food can be harmful to shrimp.

Shrimp Pellets

Due to the fact that these shrimp are omnivorous and enjoy some protein food, they will love shrimp pellets. These are a great addition to their diet as they are specifically formulated to provide the necessary protein and other essential nutrients.

It is important to note that while shrimp pellets can be a great addition to their diet, it should not be the only food they are given. 

Instead, offer your Lysmata buddy a variety of food such as algae, algae wafers, and small pieces of vegetables like cucumber or lettuce.

Water Requirements

lysmata amboinensis water parameters

The water requirements for Lysmata amboinensis are relatively straightforward, but it’s important to get them just right to ensure the shrimp’s well-being.

Water Temperature:72 – 78 °F
Water Hardness:8 – 12 dKH
Water pH Level:8.1 – 8.4
Water Salinity:1.025 or 35 PPT
Water Quality:well-oxygenated and clean

Remember, maintaining the appropriate water temperature and pH levels, as well as regularly cleaning your aquarium glass is crucial for the shrimp’s survival, as it can affect their metabolism and overall health

Going slow and steady wins the race when it comes to tank cycling! 

While a quick 24-hour cycle may seem tempting, it can actually do more harm than good. 

Ammonia and nitrite levels should be kept at zero, and nitrate levels should be kept as low as possible.

Taking your time to properly cycle a tank allows beneficial bacteria to establish, creating a stable and healthy environment for your shrimp buddies.

Lysmata Amboinensis Breeding

So, you got a hang of keeping Lysmata amboinensis in perfect conditions and are now thinking about adding some shrimp babies to your tank? 

Look no further, because we are about to give you some tips on breeding these white-banded shrimp. 

To start the breeding process, you’ll need a mature male and female shrimp, ideally a ratio of one male to two or three females.

In the right conditions, the female will carry eggs for around 30 days before hatching them into little shrimp babies. And before you know it, you’ll have a whole new generation of shrimp swimming around in your tank.

Natural Vs. Breeding In Captivity

In the wild, Lysmata amboinensis breed during the warmer months, with the females carrying eggs for around 30 days before they hatch into little shrimp babies. They also have secret hideouts in the coral reef where they can lay their eggs in peace.

Wilderness can be cruel for these critters as only the strongest and most fit will survive and successfully breed, making every hatch a superhero team of the most elite members.

With predators and environmental factors like temperature changes and water quality, breeding Pacific Cleaner Shrimp in the wild can be a real adventure!

On the other hand, a peaceful home aquarium can breed in a controlled environment where the water temperature, salinity, and other conditions are optimal for their survival and growth.

With no natural predators in captivity, breeding these white-banded shrimp is a lot less stressful and much more successful than in the wild.

Tank Requirements And Tank Mates For Lysmata Amboinensis

lysmata amboinensis in aquarium

In this section, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty details of water parameters, plants, substrate, and compatible tank mates for Lysmata amboinensis species.

Not only will we cover what’s best for your shrimp, but also why it’s important to keep these things in mind. 

So, let’s get started and create a little slice of paradise for your shrimp buddies!

Tank Parameters

When it comes to tank parameters for Lysmata amboinensis shrimp, they will do fine with a tank of at least 10 gallons or a larger community tank of at least 20 gallons.

It is important to have a good filter system, it will help to keep the water clean and healthy for your shrimp. 

Tank Plants

When it comes to plants for Lysmata amboinensis shrimp, you can’t go wrong with some shrimptastic choices like:

  • Java Moss
  • Anubias
  • Water Wisteria
  • Hornwort 

Not only do these plants add some natural beauty to the tank, but they also provide hiding spots and oxygen for your shrimp. And let’s not forget, they also help to keep the water clean by absorbing excess nutrients.

But the benefits don’t stop there, these plants can act as natural filters, providing a home for beneficial bacteria, and offer shelter for other aquatic friends. 

Tank Substrate

Coarse substrates, like gravel, can be great for the Lysmata amboinensis, as they love to burrow and hide. A softer substrate, like sand, can make the perfect bed for shrimp that love to sift through it.

Gravel is a bit easier to clean but can be sharp, while sand is softer on the shrimp’s delicate little feet but can be a bit more work to keep clean.

A lot of folks like to choose a darker substrate to make their Pacific Cleaner shrimp stand out, but don’t underestimate the beauty of a light substrate that also makes the shrimp’s natural colors pop. 

It’s all a matter of personal preference.

Tank Mates

First things first, let’s talk about who NOT to add to the tank with the Lysmata amboinensis species. 

Aggressive fish and larger invertebrates are a big no-no for our shrimp buddies. They like to live in peace and harmony, not constantly looking over their little shrimp shoulders. 

But don’t worry, there are plenty of options for compatible tank mates:

  • Smaller fish: gobies, clownfish, tangs, and blennies
  • Peaceful invertebrates: snails and hermit crabs
  • Peaceful shrimp species: Blue Jelly, Ghosts, and Crystal Red shrimp

Remember how these shrimp clean other fish and even their predators in the wild? 

Well, even though the Pacific Cleaner Shrimp are serving as cleaners to the predator, the predator recognizes the value of the cleaning services and won’t attack them! 

Lysmata Amboinensis For Sale

Lysmata amboinensis can be easily found in stores, but their availability may vary depending on the time of year and location. It’s best to check with your local pet store or online stores for availability.

That said, the price can range from $10 to $50, depending on the size and rarity of the species in your area.

When purchasing a Pacific Cleaner shrimp, it is important to find a reputable store that specializes in marine aquariums, to ensure that the shrimp are healthy and have been properly cared for.

Let’s Sum It Up 

So there you have it, my fellow aquarists, the ins and outs of caring for the lovable Lysmata amboinensis species, or as many call them, the Pacific Cleaner shrimp! 

These saltwater shrimp are amazing and you will get a hang of caring for them in no time! You will also fall in love with their peaceful nature and interesting behavior. Not to mention their amazing looks that will make your aquarium even more awesome!

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try breeding them in captivity. Just don’t let them breed like rabbits, or you’ll have a tank full of shrimplets!