Scientific Name: Alpheus bellulus
Ease of Care: Moderate
Approximate Arrival Size: .75 to 1.5 inches
Native Region: Indo-Pacific
Recommended Aquarium Size: 10+ Gallons
Reef Safe: Yes
Tiger Pistol Shrimp, Alpheus bellulus, is a useful cleaner in the reef aquarium that may also create a symbiosis with many Shrimp Gobies including the Yasa Hashe, Yellow Watchman, or Orange Spot. If present, this shrimp will gladly share its sand bed burrow with these symbiotic gobies. Found living in several reefs of the Indo Pacific region, it is attractive with its beige/white body and red-barred striping. It will build burrows to use as its home, thus helping to keep the sand bed well stirred. Because of its penchant for burrowing, the substrate provided should be fine sand. The "pistol" sound that it makes is created by an offshoot of its claw. This sound should not be mistaken to cause confusion between this shrimp and the potentially destructive Mantis Shrimp. The Tiger Pistol Shrimp may only be a threat to extremely small fish in the aquarium. A hardy, long-lived carnivore and scavenger, the Tiger Pistol Shrimp will search the vicinity of its burrow in search of uneaten food. As with other invertebrates, a copper content above moderate levels will likely cause the Pistol to perish. This species must molt in order to grow. Generally at night, it will exit its exoskeleton. A new exoskeleton is excreted and will harden over a period of several hours. The animal is vulnerable at this time and should not be disturbed. Proper iodine levels assist with successful molting.
Notes: Shrimp are sensitive to changes in water conditions such as temperature, pH, and salinity. Acclimation should occur over a period of a few hours to ensure best chances for a successful transition