• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.



O. vulgaris
Jun 12, 2004
I have been looking on ShrimpStuff.com and see these shrimp that would make a good treat for OCTOROK. It would be swell to put 5 or so of these in his tank and let him eat the live shrimp exclusively, at his leisure (as fast as he can I guess! ;)) But what would I do with the other 225 in the meanwhile?

I am thinking about putting them in my sump of my reef tank, but would like opinions on if they would survive or not. The water stays around 76 - 84 so that's no big deal, but there would be little light... I feed heavily with cyclopeeze once a day in this tank, and I could put some more into the sump? Would they just get sucked into my protein skimmer's pump? It's a 15g sump, I probably keep 10g of water in it most of the time...

Any opinions or experience welcome.

Robert :cyclops:
Yes, the shrimp would be a tasty treat for Octorok! The sad thing is, I don't think you have room in your tank and sump for all those shimp.

If Octorok has never caught these little shrimp before, he will have a learning curve - they move fast and are hard to catch.

My bimac Ollie loved small shrimp. Several times (when she was an adult) I put 50 one-inch shrimp in her 46 gallon tank. She obsessivly hunted each one of them down. Finally she develped the technique of turning very dark after the lights went out and hanging upside down on the top of the water near the overflow. She caught them all that way.

a 10 gal tank with a small internal power filter would be fine to keep them going... remember to feed them a high quality food so they pass that goodness onto the octo :)
I had not considered them molting.. I guess this would indeed be messy :(

I think there is some confusion with what I am saying here though -- my octo tank is 29g which I could put some of the shrimp in, but the sump I am talking about is the sump connected to my 60g reef tank.. for this I don't think it would be too small a water supply to manage the waste from these guys.

Currently the only things I have where molted shells could create a problem would be my sump pump intake, which is covered by a thick sponge (so I am not worried), and a protein skimmer's pump which is open. However, today I am getting a new skimmer.... I will investigate if this pump's intake can be covered with a 'prefilter' to keep the shells from clogging it up. For the sump and OCTOROK's tank I could throw in some snails and crabs to clean up this mess.

Please let me know if this new information/plan would work out, and point out anything I am overlooking! Setting up this 10g holding tank would be possible, but a last resort really. I would have to wait for it to cycle and/or purchase more live rock, and I'd have to worry about one more tank to keep topped off and cleaned up and healthy... I've already got 3, and little time to work with them as is


Robert :cyclops:
Molting does not pose a threat to the system or contaminate the system. It is just a calcium shell and in some cases, the shrimp will consume the shell when hungry. The shrimp sold at shrimp stuff are not difficult for the octos or cuttles to hunt. My bimac hunts them with the greatest of ease! In fact, these shrimp are true marine shrimp and actually perform a service while waiting to be eaten. They actually clean the debris of the tank as scavangers of the bottom and eat whatever junk there is hidden.
Yes, they are excellent scavengers and having a few in your tank actually adds interest and gives you more to watch (until they're eaten)

Noni, do you have guidelines for the size of the holding tank required for each of shipments you offer?

Excess exoskeletons froms shrimps and crabs etc have been known to cause increases in the levels of phosphates in the aquarium and i suggest that they are removed when possible.

its also worth noting that adding a lot of shrimp into a tank at once could cause quite an ammonia burst in some tanks and its best to add shrimps in smaller amounts as and when needed. This is also more likely to encourage a shy octopus out of hiding and help to make a quicker distinction about the owner being a good thing to come out and investigate...
Well I got my new skimmer for my 60g reef tank and while I haven't hooked it up yet, now that I have inspected it closely I see that there is no reason it would prevent me from keeping shrimp (no shrimp getting sucked into blades and clogging them, etc etc).. so I think that I am going to end up getting some of these shrimp to try out for sure, as soon as it is financially feasible!

Today my friend gave me a very large electric blue hermit that I have put in with OCTOROK. O-ROK has done a couple close inspections but seems surprised at how large this crab is. He has shown major coloration that he has not shown in quite a while.. this makes me a little sad because it shows that he is not really being challenged by his food.

Will keep everyone posted if I end up with shrimp

Robert :cyclops:
Checked my sources on the phosphates thing and emailed Dr Caldwell at the Dept. of Integrative Biology at Berkely Uni

Here's what Roy said in a reply,

'I certainly have been aware of this for years. Aquaria containing stomatopods or octopus that we feed crabs and shrimp often developed very high phosphate levels with resulting algal blooms. We remove all of the exoskeletal material they can find a few hours after feeding. We also remove stomatopod molt skins a day or two after a molt if the animals don't eat them. This has really cut down on algal problems.'

Stomatopods are mantis shrimp which are, apart from octopuses, Dr Caldwell's other research subjects.
Stomatopods are some really neat critters regardless of what the reef people say. I've heard of instances where they've smashed through aquarium glass. I was thinking about getting a slightly bigger sump tank so that I could keep one in a refugium.

Good idea,

I had one for a while, never found out what species it was but it was fun to watch and see it smash open snails etc... they are the cephalopods closest competition for 'smartest invertebrate'
I remember reading a press article a while back from Berkeley--so it was probably about Roy's work although I can't remember exactly--but it involved filming the stomatopod punch with a high-speed video camera. I think they determined that it topped out at some 25 m/s being the world's fastest appendage. When it bounces backward off the prey shell the water cavitates.


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