Can You Eat Pistol Shrimp?

Reefs are safe for pistol shrimp. Corals and sessile invertebrates won’t be harmed or bothered by them in any manner. Since they are wholly carnivorous, these shrimp get along well with the majority of aquarium occupants provided you keep them well-fed.

The only issue that Pistol Shrimp might create in a reef aquarium is because of its propensity for digging. The shrimp may pick up loose coral fragments and use them to fortify its burrow. They particularly enjoy using loose coral fragments to construct a robust gateway.

In a big tank, pistol shrimp burrows can develop extremely complicated structures that extend inches or even several feet! Over time, this may weaken the stability of your aquascape and result in shifting or even collapse of corals!

However, this is extremely uncommon and typically occurs in tanks where the environment wasn’t correctly balanced to begin with. A little digging by your Pistol Shrimp won’t matter as long as your live rock is firmly in place.

What triggers a snap in a snapping shrimp?

When searching for food, it crawls behind rocks in reefs and uses its antennae. The Pistol shrimp stuns its prey by snapping its claw and making a loud noise. Faster than a speeding bullet, the bubbles struck. It then carries the meal back to the shrimp’s burrow where it gorges itself.

The snapping shrimp switches from its huge snapper claws to its tiny ones when in danger. With a lost limb, The Pink Floyd can still scare off predators! As a backup, this species possesses a smaller claw.

The little claw quickly grows larger than before. The Pistol shrimp can keep producing cavitating bubbles to suffocate unaware prey.

Additionally, they snap to communicate. Fun fact: The Pistol shrimp makes a mating call by flexing its big snapper claw. Humans may find the half-sized body and enormous front limb strange, but the female of the species does not.

Male Snapping shrimp are more seductive to females when they have a huge claw! Beauty truly depends on who is looking at it.

They cannot harm a human, to answer your query. This crustacean’s claw has no pincer at the tip. They can only irritate you by snapping loudly.


Although the cavitation bubble of a pistol shrimp wouldn’t cause much damage to human flesh, the snap it makes underwater can cause deafness.

“The pistol shrimp’s snapping claw produces a jet of water that can produce noises as loud as 218 dB. This is more than twice as loud as what would cause hearing loss and is louder than a jet engine or rocket launch.”

Pistol Shrimp: Are They Dangerous To People?

So, with their fearsome snapping claw, are pistol shrimps dangerous to humans?

In most cases, pistol shrimp don’t attack their owners. A large snapping shrimp strike, though, might hurt quite a bit if you get it while cleaning out your tank.

The majority of these shrimp are, however, quite little, so if one did snap you, the impact would probably feel similar to a powerful rubber band snapping against your skin. Without a doubt, the snap wouldn’t crack a bone or rip up your skin.

Having stated that, unless it’s an emergency, we advise against touching your handgun shrimp.

How are pilar shrimp fed?

What do gunshot shrimp consume? A carnivorous hunter and opportunistic scavenger, the pistol shrimp consumes smaller invertebrates or fish that have been stunned by its snapping claw as well as tiny scraps of meaty meal, algae, and debris. In a home aquarium, they are frequently given flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.

A pistol shrimp is eaten by what?

A unique claw on the Tiger Pistol Shrimp makes a loud clicking sound both when it is open and closed. If you pay great attention, you can hear this commotion even from outside the tank. This claw helps the Tiger Pistol Shrimp fend off predators and topple potential prey.

Pistol Shrimp and Shrimp Gobies from the genera Stonogobiops or Amblyeleotris frequently coexist in the same burrow. Yasha, Randall’s, Yellow Watchman, and Hi Fin Red Banded Gobies are suitable Shrimp Gobies. Under our gobies page and shrimp page, we have a number of shrimp/goby pairs for sale.

Tiger Pistol Shrimp may be eaten by triggerfish, larger hawkfish, groupers, lionfish, and huge predatory wrasses. With reef-safe fish, they do best.

Shrimp must have adequate pH, Ca, Alk, and Mg levels in order to grow. Iodine supplements will aid in the shrimp’s molting and growth.

Acclimation: Any shrimp should undergo a drip acclimation because they do not adapt well to abrupt changes in water chemistry.

It’s crucial to maintain the right levels of magnesium (1260–1350 ppm), calcium (420–440 ppm), and alkalinity (8–9.5 dkh; run it at 7-8 if you’re carbon-dosing). Algae outbreaks can be controlled by gradually raising magnesium levels up to 1400–1600 ppm; just be sure to maintain CA and Alk levels under control. Nitrate concentrations should be under 10 ppm and phosphate concentrations under 10 ppm. When nitrate concentrations reach 10 ppm, we advise doing a water change. When phosphate levels reach.10 ppm, it’s crucial to change your phosphate media. Your phosphate media is fluidized using media reactors to make the best use of it.

Can you keep shrimp pistols?

The Pistol Shrimp, also known as the Snapping Shrimp, is a striking, distinctive, and sought-after marine invertebrate. It is renowned for having a claw called “the Pistol” that snaps with such ferocity that it may kill small fish and invertebrates.

The answer is yes if you’re asking whether a small creature with such incredible abilities can be kept in a saltwater tank. The majority of Pistol shrimp species are reef-safe, friendly to corals and non-aggressive fish, and not too difficult to maintain.

Without further ado, let’s get started with this article’s useful insights about the captive care of pistol shrimp.

Are pistol shrimp delectable?

They have sweet, soft meat that, despite being delectable, is difficult to remove from the shell. When serving mantis shrimp whole at seafood restaurants, the chefs will typically split open the shell along the belly or cut them into pieces to make it easier to remove the meat.

What kind of shrimp are pistol shrimp?

A member of the Alpheidae family of crustaceans, pistol shrimp are also referred to as snapping shrimp. The size of its two front claws varies, with one being noticeably bigger than the other.

Do pilar shrimp consume algae?

The gobies readily accept frozen meal and can be given carnivorous fish food (Artemia salina, shrimp). The omnivorous shrimp gather big chunks of frozen fish that are placed close to the burrow’s entrance. They gather the food and bring it right away to their underground home, where they eat it. However, they can also be seen eating algae that is growing on rocks outside. The rock where the algae is developing is promptly attacked by the shrimp with their mouth pieces.

The fact that I discovered portions of the algae Caulerpa racemosa inside the burrow system, despite the fact that it developed more on another edge of the tank, was even more fascinating. It took some time for me to realize that shrimp can use their claws to cut this algae if they had access to it. However, that can only occur when shrimp and fish are traveling together outside of the burrow. In one instance, the shrimp lost the algae after cutting because of the tank currents. But then something unexpected happened: The goby acted right away and snatched the Caulerpa in its mouth. The shrimp abruptly lost antenna contact with the fish at that point and immediately retreated to the entrance. The shrimp was waiting at the entrance of the burrow when the goby carried the misplaced meal there and spit it out. The shrimp were being aggressively fed by the fish.

I removed algae off the rocks to verify my theory. I placed a 1.5-inch piece of C. racemosa into the water while the fish was at the opening of the tunnel. While it was still in the water column, the goby came right up to it, grabbed it, and transported it to the burrow. It was possible to repeatedly induce the collecting habit up to five times. In the meantime, the shrimp took care of the algae inside the tunnel. I never noticed that the shrimp kept algae in particular areas of the burrow. The fragments of algae were not kept in a separate compartment. Instead, the shrimp scattered around and forced the algae fragments into their mouths. The algae fully disappeared after a few days.

Can a goby survive without a pistol shrimp?

The greatest worry while keeping pistol shrimps and gobies is what the shrimp will do to the tank. Pistol shrimps only build and maintain intricate tunnels, and nothing else occupies their time. Even without gobies, this makes them very intriguing and amusing aquarium dwellers, but it must be taken into account when the tank is put up.

The first condition is to make sure that any rocks are firmly placed on the tank’s foundation, without leaning on or sitting on the substrate made of sand or gravel. Pistol shrimps are adept at destroying rocks with their burrowing, which might result in landslides that could topple tanks.

Use a mixed-bed substrate of sand and coarse coral gravel (1/4- to 3/4-inch [0.5- to 2-cm] shards of coral branches) to give your shrimp the perfect setting for creating tunnels. Although a deeper bed is ideal, 3 inches (8 cm) will do. In order to build their tunnels, shrimp typically utilize a combination of sand, gravel, shells, and small rocks. It’s amazing to observe them painstakingly arranging and then moving individual pieces.

It’s crucial to recognize the impact even a tiny shrimp can have on the substrate-level aquascape: Corals that are lying on the beach could be buried or, if they are small enough (frags, for instance), taken away and used as building materials. A little pistol shrimp inhabits a space that is about 15 by 15 inches (38 by 38 cm) in my large reef tank, and only large rocks are safe there. It goes without saying that you may use rocks to create an aquascape, but you must make sure they are securely fastened to the tank base if you have pistol shrimp in a nano aquarium since they will use the entire substrate to build their habitat. They will be avoided by the shrimp.

In contrast to many other crustaceans, pistol shrimps are often less demanding in the aquarium, except from their need for an abundance of building materials. They should be introduced to the tank slowly and carefully, just like other varieties of shrimp, but once established, they appear to be more resilient than, say, cleaner or peppermint shrimps. They appear to be more resilient to changes in temperature and salinity.

Pistol shrimps are simple to feed. They will consume frozen crustaceans such copepods, krill, mysid shrimp, and artemia in addition to going on their own food hunts.

The choice of crustacean tankmates for pistol shrimps must be made with some caution. Large pistol shrimps are quite formidable mini-predators that can readily grab and kill smaller aquarium shrimps like Lysmata, Thor, and Rhynchocinetes species, despite not being the species that are typically maintained with gobies. Although they have snapping claws, smaller shrimp are still vulnerable to predators when molting, which they do frequently, like other shrimp, in order to grow.

Their new shell is quite fragile and offers little protection right after they molt. For larger shrimps like Stenopus species, they make for simple prey at this stage. Despite lacking strong claws, even huge peppermint shrimps (Lysmata wurdenmanni) are remarkably carnivorous and will consume small pistol shrimps. Predation is less of a problem in larger aquariums, but in nano aquariums, it is preferable to keep your pistol shrimp alone.