Shrimp Cleans Fish

Symbiotic pact develops between a goby and a shrimp, as they tend to one another’s needs.

I walked past the tank the other night, shortly before the lights went out, and caught a glimpse of the coolest thing I’ve seen in the tank in a long time! Our sleeper banded goby was up at the top of the tank being attended to by our cleaner shrimp! The shrimp has been in the tank for quite a while, and this is the first time I have seen it clean anything other than a human hand. The next evening, I saw it happening again.

Our goby must enjoy his newfound shrimp friend. It is so amazing to watch this natural, symbiotic relationship. The fish gets cleaned of any parasites and the shrimp gets a free meal. The shrimp often tries to clean the other fish in the tank (tomato clownfish, royal gramma and coral beauty), but they always shy away from its attempts. Maybe now that the goby is participating, the others will join in the fun.

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