Sexy Shrimp

Sexy Shrimp: Care Guide for Your Saltwater Aquarium

The Sexy Shrimp, known for their unique appearance and intriguing behavior, have become a popular choice for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. With their vibrant colors and captivating dance-like movements, these shrimp are an excellent addition to any reef tank. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Sexy Shrimp care, including their habitat, diet, tank requirements, and more. With proper care and attention, these fascinating creatures can thrive in your home aquarium, providing endless entertainment and enjoyment.

Introduction to Sexy Shrimp

Sexy Shrimp, scientifically known as Thor amboinensis, are tiny crustaceans that hail from tropical waters across the globe. They can be found in regions such as the Red Sea, the Indo-Pacific, and the Atlantic Ocean, from the Caribbean to the Canary Islands. These shrimp are also known as Anemone Shrimp, Squat Shrimp, and Dancing Shrimp due to their close association with sea anemones and their unique movement patterns.

Although they are challenging to breed in captivity, their captivating appearance and fascinating behavior make them a popular choice for saltwater aquarium enthusiasts. With proper care and attention, Sexy Shrimp can thrive in your home aquarium, providing endless entertainment and enjoyment.

Species Summary

Sexy Shrimp are small, vibrantly colored crustaceans that are well-suited for life in a saltwater aquarium. They are often found living in symbiotic relationships with sea anemones, providing protection for the shrimp while helping to keep the anemone clean. These shrimp are low-maintenance and easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for both novice and experienced aquarium hobbyists.

In the wild, Sexy Shrimp can be found living in coral reefs and lagoons, typically between six and 160 feet below the surface. They prefer calm waters but can withstand stronger currents if necessary. Due to their small size, they are best suited for nano and micro tanks, where their fascinating behavior can be easily observed and appreciated.

Appearance and Behavior

Sexy Shrimp are known for their striking appearance, featuring vivid orangish rust-brown bodies adorned with white spots outlined in a deep blue shade. This contrast gives them a shimmering effect, adding to their vibrant appearance. Their unique coloration also helps them blend in among the coral reefs, providing camouflage from potential predators.

These shrimp have a distinctive body shape, with raised tails and short abdomens. Their tail slants forward, curling toward their heads. They possess five pairs of pereopods that extend from their thorax and five pairs of pleopods, which are used for swimming. The front set of pleopods also serves as claws for gripping and manipulating objects.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Sexy Shrimp is their unique movement patterns, which resemble a dance. This undulating and exaggerated manner of crawling is the reason behind their common name. Biologists speculate that this dance may be a form of communication within the species, although the exact purpose remains unknown.

Lifespan and Growth

In the wild, Sexy Shrimp have an average lifespan of about five years. However, when kept in captivity, their lifespan is typically around three years. They reach maturity approximately 40 days after hatching and continue to molt and grow until they reach a size of about 2 cm for females and 1.5 cm for males. With proper tank conditions, these shrimp can thrive and live a healthy life in your aquarium.

Tank Requirements

Tank Size

Due to their small size, Sexy Shrimp are well-suited for nano and micro tanks. The recommended tank size for these shrimp is under 10 gallons, with a 5-gallon tank being large enough to accommodate a group of three to five individuals. Housing them in a larger tank may make it more challenging to spot and observe their unique behavior.

It is essential to maintain stable water conditions in the small tanks preferred by Sexy Shrimp, as slight fluctuations in water quality can be more dangerous than in larger tanks. Ensuring stable conditions will help maximize the longevity and well-being of your shrimp.

Water Parameters

To provide the best environment for your Sexy Shrimp, it is crucial to maintain the following water parameters in your aquarium:

  • Water temperature: 75 to 79°F
  • pH levels: 8.1 to 8.4
  • Water hardness: 7 to 12 dKH
  • Specific gravity: 1.023 to 1.025 sg

It is essential to regularly monitor these water parameters to ensure that your shrimp remain healthy and stress-free.

Tank Setup

Creating a suitable environment for your Sexy Shrimp is crucial for their well-being. In the wild, these shrimp are often found living among sea anemones, which provide protection and a source of food. To replicate this environment in your aquarium, consider introducing live rock and anemone species such as Bubble Tip Anemones to your tank setup.

In addition to anemones, Sexy Shrimp can also find shelter among the polyps of various coral species, including Duncan’s coral, green stars, clove, and mushroom corals. If you choose not to include anemones in your tank, be sure to provide plenty of hiding spots and structures for your shrimp to explore.

Diet and Feeding

Sexy Shrimp are omnivorous and will naturally scavenge for food in your aquarium. However, it is essential to provide them with a proper diet to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need. In addition to consuming the slime and microbes found on coral and anemones, these shrimp should also be fed a combination of sinking pellets, flakes, or gels, as well as frozen or chopped foods.

High-protein options, such as fish, squid, sea anemones, mysis, shredded clams, and other protein-rich seafood, are ideal for ensuring your shrimp receive the nutrients they need. Algae-based foods, like nori, can also be included in their diet.

When feeding your Sexy Shrimp, it is essential to monitor the amount of food you provide and ensure that it reaches the shrimp. Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, which can negatively impact the health of your shrimp and other tank inhabitants.

Health and Disease

Sexy Shrimp are relatively resilient and not particularly prone to any specific diseases. However, like all crustaceans, they are sensitive to changes in water quality and salinity. It is essential to maintain stable water conditions in your aquarium to ensure the health and well-being of your shrimp.

In addition to maintaining proper water parameters, it is crucial to remove any molted shells and uneaten food from the tank, as these can lead to poor water quality and stress for your shrimp. If you notice any signs of lethargy or a refusal to eat, be sure to check your water quality immediately, as this may be a sign of stress caused by changes in water conditions.

Tank Mates

Sexy Shrimp are peaceful and social creatures, making them suitable for a community tank with other non-aggressive tank mates. However, due to their small size and lack of natural defenses, it is essential to avoid housing them with larger, predatory fish.

Suitable tank mates for Sexy Shrimp include:

  • Blennies
  • Boxer Crabs
  • Bumble Bee Snails
  • Cerith Snails
  • Clown Gobies
  • Conch Snails
  • Emerald Crabs
  • Nassarius Snails
  • Peppermint Shrimp
  • Porcelain Crabs
  • Pygmy Angels
  • Red Fire Shrimp
  • Red-white Cleaner Shrimp
  • Saron Shrimp
  • Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

When introducing Sexy Shrimp to a community tank, be sure to monitor for any signs of bullying or nutritional deficiencies. If your shrimp appear stressed or are not eating, it may be necessary to adjust the tank setup or remove any aggressive tank mates.

Related: Sohal Tang Care


Breeding Sexy Shrimp in captivity can be challenging, even for experienced aquarists. These shrimp are protandric hermaphrodites, meaning that they begin life as males and transition to females as they mature. The older and larger a shrimp is, the more likely it is to be female and capable of breeding.

While it is possible for Sexy Shrimp to mate and produce eggs in a home aquarium, raising the resulting larvae can be incredibly difficult. The microscopic larvae are at risk of being consumed by the tank’s filtration system or other tank inhabitants, making it challenging to raise them to maturity.

However, if you are interested in attempting to breed Sexy Shrimp in your aquarium, it is essential to provide the proper environment and care to maximize your chances of success.


Sexy Shrimp are captivating and unique creatures that make an excellent addition to any saltwater aquarium. With their vibrant colors, fascinating behavior, and relatively low-maintenance requirements, these shrimp are sure to be an enjoyable and rewarding addition to your tank.

By following the guidelines and recommendations outlined in this guide, you can provide the proper care and environment needed for your Sexy Shrimp to thrive. With a little patience and attention, these small but captivating creatures can bring a touch of the exotic to your home aquarium, providing endless entertainment and enjoyment.

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