The Peppermint Shrimp also known as the Veined Shrimp or Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp is one of the most popular shrimps in the hobby. It has a well-known reputation as an eater of the widely disgusted and quite common Aiptasia anemone.
Peppermint Shrimp are native to the waters off the Florida in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys. These shrimps are small, even adults rarely grow more than 2” in length and have an off-white body with many crimson red lines that go from head to tail.
Peppermint Shrimp are scavengers and pick its way around your aquarium and live rock to consume detritus, uneaten food, and decomposing organic material. They will also happily take pieces of fresh food and flakes as well. These shrimps have a reputation for eating Aiptasia in the home aquarium, they get this reputation because they are exceptionally good at doing just that. However, once the Aiptasia is consumed it has been documented that in some cases the shrimp then will attempt to eat soft corals and polyps.
Peppermint Shrimp are nocturnal and will usually hide in rocky areas of the tank only to come out after the lights are off to scavenge for food.
It has been possible to breed Peppermint Shrimp in captivity, however they are very cannibalistic and there have been problems with this as that is why the price for a “captive bred” Peppermint Shrimp are so far off from wild caught.