The Scarlet Pistol Shrimp are not easily sexed, but the males of many species are thought to have a larger pincher. The sound it makes comes from an appendage on the pincher which moves when the pincher is opened or closed and water is ejected. The Pistol Shrimp can be easily confused with Mantis Shrimp if judged by sound only. Unlike the Mantis Shrimp, it is not harmful and will not pose any threat in the tank, with the possible exception of smaller shrimp.
The name Symbiotic Shrimp comes from the equally beneficial relationship the Pistol Shrimp may form with Shrimp Gobies (e.g.;Amblyeleotris or Stonogobiops). The shrimp share its food with other species.
It is beneficial to the tank as it churns the sand. It thrives in environments with sand, rock caves, and dim light. If in pairs, one will often stand guard at the burrow while the other is inside.
The Pistol Shrimp is intolerant of copper or high nitrate levels, but needs a correct level of iodine in the water to promote proper molting.
Pistol Shrimp will accept freeze-dried and frozen foods and pellets, as well as scavenge for algae in the aquarium.