Islandoftiki's Mantis/Pest Tank Pico Contest Winner!
Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:03 PM
Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:10 PM
Max size of that Mantis? I love him and if I had more money I'd be making the same tank as you.
Max size, 40mm. Usually smaller though. He should be full grown. He's somewhere between an inch and a half and and inch and three quarters. This one is a pretty common hitchhiker in live rock and if you ask your local fish store, they would probably save you one if they find one. That's how I got this one. Free.
Also, if you get one like this, they're actually safe with all but the smallest snails and hermits. They are unlikely to mess with fish or larger cleanup crew members. So, your dwarf cerith snails and dwarf blue leg hermits may not be safe, but they're also really cheap to replace.
This tank isn't costing me a penny either. I already had the tank and light, but I'm getting all of the pests for free from local reefers and local fish stores.
My only expenses for this tank are the filter floss and a bag of chemipure elite.
Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:19 PM
And... here's a video of the pest tank as of today. New additions include some underwhelming palys, a ton of bubble algae (popped a few of them), some purple clove polyps and some more live rock rubble.
Posted 09 April 2012 - 07:10 AM
Yesterday, I was doing some work in the basement where the tank is temporarily. The mantis shrimp was a busy little bee. He was out most of the time moving things around and customizing his new home. He's starting to figure out that I'm the food source. He's a ton of fun to watch. He always look like he's contemplating what he's going to do next.
Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:15 AM
Coming along nicely!
If you haven't already, try feeding him some scallops or shrimp for the Groccery Store. Put them on a wooden skewer. Great way to get him out for pics
He's been getting a combination of enriched mysis shrimp and sinking shrimp pellets. Both of which he seems to love. We have frozen scalops and shrimp in the freezer, so I'll mix some of those into his diet.
He's also taken his smasher to a coupe of dwarf cerith snails. I plan on keeping him stocked with dwarf ceriths so he has something to use his hammer on so it doesn't atrophy. Glad I bought my main display's CUC from reefcleaners, I have enough dwarf ceriths for quite some time. :-)
He's quickly becoming one of my favorite saltwater critters. I'm currently looking for a stand for the tank so I can move it up into the living room now that I'm done messing around with the rockscape and making a mess.
Posted 09 April 2012 - 10:50 AM
Posted 09 April 2012 - 11:46 AM
The headquarters of you Mantis shrimp is impressive! Very unique how you built him a home!
He wasn't interested in using it at first. I think it was too exposed at the front of the tank. So, I piled a handful of rubble pieces near the front of the hole and he moved them around to his liking and uses it now. He actually has three different hangouts in the tank that he regularly goes between. Starting yesterday, he really started customizing the tank to his liking. It's good to see him out and about so much.
I'm still not certain on his ID. Physically, he's closest to a Green Mantis (Gonodactylellus viridis), but he's black as midnight, or smoke grey in parts. If I can get a bright enough light on him, maybe I can discern some color, but he's not really keen on being in bright lights. He does have some very slight patterning on his body, but because he's so dark, it's hard to see it
Either way, I can't wait to get the tank into the living room.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:59 PM
Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:17 PM
Also, the RKL came today. That will be going on this weekend along with an iceprobe chiller just in case temperatures get a little warm this summer. We have A/C but don't always keep it below 78, and between the pump and the light, that could push this little pico well over 82 degrees. All of the new gear will be installed this weekend.
Here's a FTS as of this weekend. As you can see, everything is doing great. The xenia is all healed up and things are growing like mad! I'm doing a 30% - 50% water change once a week and dosing two drops of Salifert All-in-one.
Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:54 PM
Posted 18 April 2012 - 01:01 PM
That said, Shadie has been extremely active lately, so I should be able to get some really good pictures of him. I'm almost positive he's a green mantis now. I think his color is starting to change a bit.
Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:37 PM
So, I'm going to be adding a peltier chiller. I guess it would be safe to say that it's a little bigger than I expected it to be, but I have a couple possible solutions in mind. Easiest is going to be to just plunk it into the filter chamber in the back of the tank and call it a day. Although I have a thought to drill a hole in the bottom of the stand that it's going to be sitting on and feed the probe up through the bottom and attach it to a large heat spreader that will contact the bottom of the tank.
Here's a picture of the thing on top of my freshwater version of the same tank.
The chiller, heater and lighting will be controlled by a RKL.
Posted 20 April 2012 - 05:44 PM
Here is the stand I'll be using (minus the door in this picture).
I'm modifying the door. Originally it came with three glass panes, but I'm going to need some ventilation, so I remove the upper and lower panes of glass and am installing 1/4" galvanized hardware cloth.
The Fluval Spec has a plastic base that is hollow, so I'm installing a plywood base piece to ensure the tank stays centered on the stand. This is going to be important to how I plan to use the chiller.
The hole you see in the locating plate is where the cold probe for the chiller will come through. It will be mounted upside down with the heatsink inside the cabinet. Here you can see the cold part of the probe sticking through the hole. The hole was made larger than the chiller probe so the shaft of the chiller can be insulated with foam to prevent cold loss. The end of the probe will contact the glass bottom of the tank at near the rear chamber where there is a good amount of constant water flow. I will add some thermal compound to the contact point between the tank and the chiller. The chiller will also be height adjustable so I can get good solid contact between the chiller and the glass.
The heatsink and fan will reside inside the top shelf area.
I'm going to be hacking up this Ikea lamp to hold the PAR30 bulb. It will be attached to the cabinet with brackets and will be adjustable for height.
The Reef Keeper Lite will be installed with the control unit on the top shelf area, visible through the hardware cloth and attached to a vertical backing piece (not yet built)
And here is the completed door...
Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:11 PM
Posted 20 April 2012 - 08:29 PM
I'm glued in suspense! I am a fan of the clean look! Very impressed watching the outcome of the chiller!
Obviously, in this arrangement, I'm not expecting the chiller to be able to do much more than shave off a couple degrees when it gets hot out. I'm pretty sure it will work. I'm debating on whether or not to add an aluminum heat spreader... Or in this case a cold spreader. Technically a heat sink with no fins. I don't think it will be necessary if I use thermal compound between the chiller probe and the glass.
Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:02 PM
Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:26 PM
I built the spring loaded bracket that will keep the nose of the chiller pressed up firmly against the bottom of the tank.
I modified and mounted the Ikea lamp to the back of the stand and drilled holes for the wiring. The lamp will hold the PAR30 BoostLED bulb. The lamp's shroud won't be used.
I insulated the shaft of the chiller and tested the operation. That's frost forming on the end of the chiller probe!
That's about it. I built the mount for the RKL's control module; it and a couple other pieces are being painted.
Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:39 AM
I'll finish mounting the chiller this weekend, and hook everything up. I'll be done with hardware at that point.
I got some more brown palys and some blue xenia bits to add to the tank. I bought some duncans for my 10 gallon tank from the LFS and they threw in the palys and xenia for free. A local reefer has also donated some palys to the project that I'll pick up tonight, and yet another local guy is donating some yellow colony polyps that I hope to pick up tonight as well. It's getting pretty full!
I've had to thin out the caulerpa twice already now. It looks like that will be a regular maintenance once a week with the water changes.
The mantis shrimp built another burrow, so he has at least three or four tunnles now. He's very industrious. He seems to have a dislike for one specific majano and whacks it or tugs on it's tentacles every once in a while. I'll have to catch him on video doing that!