As a result of their partnership with Roger Williams University, Quality Marine is now able to offer aquacultured Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius) to their customers.
Fire Shrimp have long been a highly sought after species due to their deep, blood-red coloration and their parasitic cleaning qualities. In the wild, they occur throughout the Indo-Pacific. Most of the individuals look very similar throughout this range, with the exception of specimens from the Maldives, which have more spots on their upper abdomen. They are found on coral reefs down to depths of around 60 feet. Like many Lysmata genus shrimp, this species provides an important service on reefs where they clean parasites and dead skin off of fish. According to Quality Marine, this function makes responsible collection management essential—yet another reason why these cultured specimens are so important to the company.
Undergraduate students at Roger Williams University embarked on the journey of culturing the Fire Shrimp during the fall of 2013. The project’s success took place in the university’s CEED Wet Lab, which was overseen by Dr. Andy Rhyne, Brad Bourque and Joseph Szczbak. One of the largest difficulties the project faced was housing these shrimp, due to the cannibalism among post-larvae.
Roger Williams University has had success in rearing multiple different types of shrimp throughout the years. The university has been making waves in the aquarium trade with the successful culturing of Catalina Gobies, Yasha Gobies, Peppermint Shrimp and Look Downs. Quality Marine announced the company was honored to partner with Roger Williams University and to have the opportunity to offer these species commercially.
Aquacultured Fire Lysmata debelius are quite hardy and suitable for many aquariums. They will act as a parasite cleaners and forage for detritus and uneaten food. Supplemental feeding of meaty foods on a twice-weekly basis and regular water changes will allow these animals to thrive. Being creative with rockwork and aquascaping will help ensure that this animal will be viewable throughout the day. Quality Marine advises keepers avoid adding copper-based medications to aquariums housing Fire Shrimp (or any invertebrate).
(photo credit: Quality Marine)