When you go plunge in some places you sometimes hear the term “cleaning station”, Like“ this site is a cleaning station with mantas rays”. This phenomenon of the marine world is really surprising and important. Find here the cool info on fish cleaning stations.

1. Principle of a cleaning station
2. How it works
3. The principle of mutualism
4. An important process
5. Where are they found
6. What are cleaning fish
7. Which fish are being cleaned
8. Example of cleaning stations

station de nettoyage crevette nettoyeuse

1. The principle of a cleaning station?

What is a fish cleaning station?

puffer being cleaned-min

  • The underwater world is like on the surface: dangerous. Poisons get hurt, of the bacteria and viruses are walking around, waste food gets stuck in your teeth ...
  • Well, some fish species are "cleaners". When I say "clean" it actually means remove parasites, injured tissue, dead skin, food debris who would have remained in their teeth ...

2. How it works?

How does a fish cleaning station work?


  • Species that want to be cleaned so go to the cleaning station where the "cleaners”Come together and make them understand that they need their service.
  • They approach them slowly, take a slightly inclined posture, spread their fins, open their gills... and it's gone!

moray cleaned-min

  • The cleansing species do their job without being worried, eating parasites spread on the body until you get into the gills or the mouth of the fish.
  • When you think about it the principle is pretty crazy, imagine a small cleaner shrimp penetrate the mouth of a big moray without being worried, so she could be devoured in one bite !!

3. The principle of mutualism


In fact it is a Winning exchange winner. Parasites or other damaged tissues are bad for the "cleansed" but conversely they provide easy food cleaners fish.

4. An important process

grouper being cleaned-min

  • This process is much more important than it seems.
  • Experiments have shown that by removing the cleaning species of a site, the number of poisons decreases, mainly because of theincrease in diseases related to parasites and other viruses.



5. Where are the cleaning stations located?


  • There is no no exact rulesbut they are most often in the coral reefs at the top of a coral block.
  • In any case it must be basic a place of passage for many fish.

6. What are fish cleaners?

The most famous fish cleaners

  • The wrestlers cleaners
  • Cleaner shrimps
  • Cleaning gobies

7. Which fish are being cleaned?

shark cleaning-min

diver mouth cleaned-min

  • All fish are likely to be cleaned, from angel fish to parrot fish to groupers, barracudas, manta rays, turtles, sharks ...
  • Even a diver can be cleaned mouth for example !!


8. The most famous cleaning stations

Manta ray cleaning station? to shark? at Tortue?

Some cleaning stations are better known than others because they bring together rarer species : sharks, manta rays, turtles

manta being cleaned-min

Some examples that you can find in my articles:

turtle cleaning-min


Even a normally solitary species like the manta ray gathers in cleaning stations (To our delight) to get his parasites removed or other elements that might clog its gills for example.

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