cleaner shrimp not cleaning


New Member
my cleaner shrimp is not cleaningany other fish but he loves to eat the food i put in what is going on?:confused: :confused:


Active Member
After a while in an aquarium the shrimp will have no need to clean the fish for food because it can just get the food you put in the tank. I guess they think it is much easier.


Active Member
Could it be a misidentified shrimp? I don't know the fine details to tell them apart, but there is another shrimp that masquarades as a cleaner for protection. Most predatory fish won't eat cleaners since they need thier services, hence it makes a good disguise for a shrimp that doesn't want to get eaten.


Active Member
Which kind of cleaner do you have? I'm having trouble tracking down the pacific look alike, but some quotes on other mixups:
Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp:
Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes 1850), Peppermint Shrimp, Caribbean Cleaner Shrimp.... A reclusive, sometimes misidentified species (there are other shrimp from the area that are similar)...
Camelback Shrimp are primarily red, with white dots and short striped markings covering the body. Their backs are humped up, hence the name Camelback. Often misidentified or misrepresented and sold as the Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni)
China Sea mixup:
Cleaner shrimp - Periclimenes sarasvati
This species has often been misidentified with Periclimenes tosaensis, a species collected in the South China Sea at 80-90 m depth. Only recently it has been named P. sarasvati.
It's too late for a complete research project, but I do recall that there is a similar problem with the most common tropical pacific cleaner shrimp.


My fish have only went to the cleaner twice. I had originally got him because my yellow tang had black ick, which he cleared. Then I recently added a mandarin without QT'ing first, and I knew something was wrong when my fish started going down to be cleaned by my cleaner. So it may be a blessing in disguise that your cleaner isn't working.
Are your fish even going down to him??


I've seen my pepermint shrimp on my coral beauty while it was swimming and the hop off whenit gets near a rock. is that normal? does malibu have something going on I can't see yet?


Active Member
No, this is normal, and it does not mean the fish is about to get something. Cleaners clean parasites, as well as dead skin or things between teeth. But it is important to know that many animals will not maintain wild behaviors in captivity. Some fish may readily take to cleaning (often larger tangs for example) while smaller fish may not.
gcd, what kind of fish do you have?


After 5 years of having them, I find that they get big and lazy and just eat at feeding time. I get a new small one for cleaning purposes.
Good luck, Chris