There are many different kinds of symbiotic relationships found in the ocean and they are all fascinating to witness. One special kind of symbiosis that can easily be discovered in both the sea and in a saltwater aquarium is the relationship between a cleaner shrimp and reef fishes. A cleaner shrimp helps maintain the health of reef fishes by helping remove parasites from the their bodies. Cleaner shrimps setup “cleaning stations” throughout reef environments, inviting fish to come to them for cleanings. The shrimp eat parasites from fish scales, fins, gills, eyes and mouth. In return, cleaner shrimps receive the nutrition they need to maintain good health. The photo in this post shows a Blue Angelfish having parasites removed from its body by a Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp in a Creation of the Sea aquarium.

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