Why My Peppermint Shrimp Disappeared?

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Your peppermint shrimp disappeared after you put it in your reef tank? You can’t see it for days, probably wondering whether the shrimp is alive. If so, you are in the right place. In this article, you will learn all the reasons that cause peppermint shrimp to disappear and why more often than not, you should not worry.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I have a large aiptasia outbreak in my reef tank. I tried to ignore the problem for months, wishfully thinking it would disappear. However, we both know that aiptasia infestation doesn’t disappear by itself.

It takes patience and the right tools to tackle the problem. When I say tools, I mean biological eradication because I have tried every other method, and it seems it made the infestation even worse.

So, I bought peppermint shrimp. This little invert is supposed to be the solution to my aiptasia problem. I acclimated it via drip acclimation, and after two hours, it went into the tank.

The peppermint shrimp disappeared in front of my eyes. Did I see it again? You need to keep reading to find out.

Here are the most common reasons peppermint shrimp disappear in reef tanks.


The peppermint shrimp is hiding

Peppermint shrimps are nocturnal creatures that hide throughout the day and are active at night. 

You barely see them during the day unless there is large broadcast feeding. They hide in caves, waiting for the night to come, and start lurking around.

If you can’t spot your peppermint shrimp during the light hours, you should not worry. It is their normal behavior.

There is a predator in your reef tank

Peppermint shrimp are good in hiding, but you should not risk putting them in a reef tank with larger and more aggressive fish.

If you keep fish such as triggerfish, hawkfish, or any other fish larger than 5 inches, the chances for peppermint shrimp to survive in your tank are slim to none.

Make sure to check the compatibility with your current livestock before you introduce peppermint to your tank.

The peppermint shrimp is molting

Adult peppermint shrimps molt every month, and juveniles even more frequently. It means they are healthy and growing, although a rapid change in salinity may trigger molting, too.

During that period, they are very vulnerable, staying and hiding in the caves. If you haven’t seen your shrimp for days, it might just be going through a change.

The peppermint shrimp jumped

Peppermint shrimp are not known as jumpers but be assured they can jump.

The best way to prevent this is to have a lid on your reef tank.

However, more often than not, the reason for disappearing is something else compared to jumping out of the tank.

The peppermint shrimp is probably dead

Unfortunately, not all peppermints survive the introduction into our reef tanks. They are sensitive creatures, and if they are not acclimated well, their chance of survival is low. 

In addition, there are a lot of other factors we might not know that can contribute to their low survival rate.

Final Thoughts

Do you want to know what happened with my peppermint shrimp? 

Unfortunately, there is not a trace of my shrimp for almost two months now. I assume it died at some point. The aiptasia is still there, so I doubt it’s still alive and hiding.

These things happen, especially with sensitive organisms like saltwater animals. I did everything it was in my power, and still, the result was not good.

However, it doesn’t mean that happened to your peppermint shrimp, too. 

If the aiptasia in your reef tank slowly disappears, then the pep is probably out here, doing good deeds, getting rid of the dreadful aiptasia.

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