Harlequin Shrimp Dead... thoughts?


Thanks for taking the time to read this. I purchased a Harlequin Shrimp yesterday. I drip acclimated him and double checked all of my parameters except PH before adding him to the tank (I do not have a PH test kit). He was fine this morning. Very active and absolutely stunning! I put a baby cc starfish in the tank for him to hunt. So my current stocklist is 1 Mystery Wrasse, 1 Purple Tang, 1 True Percula Clownfish, 1 Ritteri Anemone, and 1 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp. I know you are going to ask me for my parameters, so here they are:
Nitrates >5 ppm
Phosphates 0 ppm
Copper 0ppm
Salinity 1.024 sg
Temp 78*f
When I got home from work I first saw one of the Harlequin Shrimp's pinchers. So I knew immediately that he was probably dead. I found his body under a rock. The missing pincher leads me to believe that something in the tank killed him. Does anyone know if the Skunk Cleaner Shrimp could have done this? The Purple Tang is very territorial. Any chance he would have done it? I also know the Mystery Wrasse eats up all my copepods. But I've never seen him mess with my Skunk Cleaner. Any chance he might have killed a smaller shrimp? Thanks for any advice. I'd like to try another of these if I can figure out what I did wrong.


seems like you didnt lose him to the water, you lost him to a fish so what you did wrong was put him in the tank
i know my skunk cleaner didnt like the coral banded when i put him in there but the CBS held his own and the skunk left him alone... i just switched to a 120 and did find the CBS dead the other day though and everything else is fine... so it wasnt the water


Active Member
HQ's are timid little guys. Any chance he molted and is hiding in the rockwork? The molts often look just like the original just no creamy center....


Go to the section at saltwaterfish.com where you can buy the fish and scroll down to the wrasse section. Almost every wrasse listed there is noted to monitor with shrimp. You didnt say how big your mystery wrasse was but he or she might be the culprit. Just something to look into before you get another shrimp


Active Member
ehh, with all the precautions taken, i'm going to bet on a stress molt. SG could stand to come up a tad though for the inverts' comfort


Mystery Wrasse is pretty good size (3-4"). I'm pretty sure it wasn't a molt. It's a bare bottom tank, so I stuck my head underneath to look for him. And it's been about a week and still no sign of him. He was actually pretty active, roaming around the tank before he died. Well, as much as I love these little guys I love my mystery wrasse more. I was kinda hoping it was the Purple Tang since he's probably getting a new home soon. I didn't know "reef safe" wrasse were labeled as "monitor with shrimp".
Thanks for the replies.
I bet it was the mystery wrasse because i heard they were reef safe with caution. You should watch them with shrimp.