Aquariums at Home earns an affiliate commission when you buy through links on this site. See footer.

Can Peppermint Shrimp and Cleaner Shrimp Live Together?

Peppermint shrimp are a type of saltwater invertebrate and highly popular with marine aquarists. Hardy and easy to care for, they originated in the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea and make a welcome addition to many almost any reef tank environment. As an aquarium hobbyist, you may be wondering if peppermint shrimp can be kept with cleaner shrimp?

Peppermint shrimp and cleaner shrimp (like scarlet or skunk) can live together peacefully in captivity. In fact, peppermint shrimp can be kept with many different types of saltwater shrimps, provided the tank is of adequate size and the other shrimps aren’t larger, more aggressive, or predatory by nature.

Now that you know it’s okay to house peppermint shrimp with cleaner shrimp, let’s ‘dive deeper’ into this topic. Together we’ll discover which other species of shrimp and fish can live with peppermint shrimp as well as which ones shouldn’t be kept together.  We’ll also explore whether peppermint shrimp can live with other crustaceans such as crabs and snails and how to keep them peaceful in captivity.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about compatible tankmates for peppermint shrimp including cleaner shrimp, then please read onward…

Can Cleaner Shrimp Live with Other Shrimp?

Scarlet and skunk cleaner shrimp can live amicably with peppermint shrimp in a marine tank. They’re both reef-safe and peaceful by nature. They key to keeping multiple shrimp in a saltwater tank is to make sure the environment is large enough to prevent shrimp from becoming aggressive and territorial.

What Shrimp are Compatible with Peppermint Shrimp?

Peppermint Shrimp are generally peaceful and can live amicably with others of their kind as well as many different types of shrimps in captivity. The best tankmate options include the following:

  • Anemone shrimp
  • Bongo shrimp
  • Bumblebee shrimp
  • Crown shrimp
  • Fire shrimp
  • Harlequin shrimp
  • Saron shrimp
  • Scarlet cleaner shrimp
  • Skunk cleaner shrimp
  • Sexy shrimp

** it’s important to choose omnivorous shrimp of like size and temperament as tankmates for peppermint shrimp – avoid larger, more aggressive, or carnivorous shrimp.

What Shrimp Can’t Live with Peppermint Shrimp?

Peppermint shrimp shouldn’t be kept with bigger, more aggressive species like coral banded or pistol shrimp. These two species are carnivorous and therefore predatory by nature. They’ll hunt and kill other invertebrates in a contained aquatic environment.

A lone cleaner shrimp in a marine tank
A cleaner shrimp

Are Peppermint Shrimp the Same as Cleaner Shrimp?

While peppermint shrimp do indeed help to keep an aquarium clean, they’re not technically classified as ‘cleaner’ shrimp perse. While they may occasionally pick at parasites and clear dead scales off passerby fish, this behaviour is far less frequent than that of scarlet or skunk cleaner shrimp, for example.

The way peppermint work to keep a saltwater aquarium clean is by scavenging along the substrate and ridding it of uneaten food or decaying organic matter. It’ll also eat aiptasia and other ‘pests’ that can overpopulate quickly and wreak havoc in a marine tank.

Can You Mix Different Types of Shrimp in a Tank?

You can mix different types of shrimps in a tank, provided the water conditions are conducive to each species and the tank is large enough to give each species its own territory. As well, the shrimps should be omnivorous as opposed to carnivorous. Meat-eating shrimp species will harass and attack other shrimp.

Can Peppermint Shrimp be Kept with Snails?

Peppermint shrimps are omnivorous may eat snails in a contained environment, especially if food is in short supply. Smaller, weaker snails are an easy target and make for a convenient meal. Peppermint shrimp aren’t picky and will eat just about anything edible, including other crustacean tankmates.

To ensure peppermint shrimp stay away from your pet snails, keep them well-fed and in a tank with plenty of coverage. Hiding places are vital to keeping snails safe and out of harm’s way. Your best bet is not to add snails to a tank with peppermint shrimp.

Note: if you have a marine tank with a high number of pest snails, introduce a peppermint shrimp and it’ll naturally feast on these unwanted guests!

Can Peppermint Shrimp be Kept with Crabs?

Peppermint shrimp can be kept with certain types of crabs, provided the species is omnivorous and slow-moving. Emerald crabs, for example, make good tankmates. Peppermint shrimps are much faster than emerald crabs and could easily escape a predatory attack, if need be.

Arrow crabs, on the other hand, shouldn’t be kept in a marine tank with peppermint shrimp. These crustaceans are larger and more aggressive. They’re also carnivorous and will eat peppermint shrimp without hesitation should the opportunity arise.

What Tank Conditions Best for Peppermint Shrimp?

When keeping multiple shrimp together in a contained aquatic environment, you must ensure the tank is large enough. The consensus is 5-gallons of water per shrimp so the bare minimum would be at least a 10-gallon aquarium (though bigger is always better) for a mated pair, for example.

Since peppermint shrimp are nocturnal, they require hiding places to escape unwanted light during the daytime hours. They also need plenty of open space to forage for food and some fine gravel substrate. A reef tank setup with plenty of corals and live rock is also good this species.

What Tank Size is Best for One Peppermint Shrimp and One Cleaner Shrimp?

If you intend to keep a peppermint shrimp with a cleaner (scarlet or skunk) shrimp, then you’ll need at least a 10-gallon marine tank (though a 20-gallon version would be better) with rocks, coral caves, artificial plants, etc. to provide coverage and allow each shrimp enough space to claim its territory.

A couple of peppermint shrimp
Peppermint Shrimp

What Water Conditions are Best for Peppermint Shrimp and/or Cleaner Shrimp?

Clean, stable water conditions are the best for a marine tank with peppermint and/or cleaner shrimp. Fluctuations in temperature, pH, salinity, etc. can be detrimental to these invertebrates. The heat should be 75- and 82-degrees F with a pH of 8.1-8.4, a dkH of 8-12 and a specific gravity of 1.023-1.25.

Since a clean aquatic environment is essential to the health and longevity of saltwater crustaceans like peppermint and cleaner shrimp like scarlet or skunk shrimp in captivity, make sure to do a 10-15% water change every week and install a high-quality sponge filter.

How to Keep Peppermint Shrimp Peaceful in Captivity?

To keep peppermint shrimp peaceful in captivity, ensure there’s enough space for each to have its own area. A too small or overstocked aquarium will force peppermint shrimp to fight for territory. Think 10-gallons of water per shrimp – this will provide enough space for each crustacean to move around freely.

As well, make sure to house peppermint shrimp with suitable tankmates. Stress from incompatible fish will increase aggression and heighten the chances of illness for these invertebrates. A few good options include dragonets, gobies, grunts, filefish, and tetras. Avoid lionfish, hawkish, pufferfish, and triggerfish.

Final Thoughts

To sum-up, peppermint shrimp can live peacefully with cleaner shrimp in captivity. Their calm demeanor makes them ideal tankmates for many different species of saltwater shrimp. Ensuring the aquarium is big enough to prevent territoriality which can lead to heightened aggression is key to peaceful compatibility.

I trust this article has increased your understanding of peppermint shrimp and their ability to cohabitate with cleaner shrimp in a marine tank. Thanks for reading and good luck with your aquarist hobby!

Scroll to Top