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G. Ternatensis Mantis Shrimp Tank Build!


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#1
Islandoftiki

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**Important, please read first! **



Hey folks, I just wanted to make a short statement about Gonodactylaceus ternatensis and coral habitat destruction. There are three things I'd like to cover here: The unfortunate collection process of G. ternatensis, misidentification of G. ternatensis and good alternatives for your aquarium.

Unlike most mantis shrimp, G. ternatensis makes its home in finely branching, delicate corals such as Pocillopora. Their dens are easily identified amongst the corals. To quickly collect the mantis for sale in the aquarium trade, the coral colonies are unceremoniously smashed to access the mantis den and the corals are severely damaged or destroyed altogether. Coral reefs are in enough danger without humans intentionally doing damage to them while collecting animals to sell for our entertainment. I would strongly recommend you chose a different variety of mantis.

Very often, because G. ternatensis has colorful markings, they are often misidentified as a Peacock mantis (Odontodactylus scyllarus). It should be noted that O. Scyllarus also has some issues. O. scyllarus requires some very specific aquarium conditions and is highly susceptible to shell rot. It should not be kept in a lighted aquarium which is one of the known factors in shell rot. Additionally, over the past 10-15 years, Dr. Roy Caldwell has noticed a sharp decline in large adult males in the wild. This would make the Peacock mantis another poor choice. Unfortunately, this is one of the most commonly available mantis shrimp and one of the most desired in the aquarium trade.

So, G. ternatensis and O. scyllarus are not the best choices for your new best buddy and you want a colorful and interactive mantis shrimp. Now what? Don't despair. There are a couple of better choices when it comes to mantis shrimp varieties. They might require you look a little further and spend a little more time locating them, but your effort with go a long way toward conserving both coral habitat and these awesome creatures. Gonodactylaceus graphurus is a very colorful and a better choice for your new pal. Also, Gonodactylaceus glabrous is another good choice as is Gonodactylus smithii, another beautiful and interactive mantis and a fairly common on in the aquarium trade.

I am also a proponent of adopting an unwanted hitchhiker and giving it a good home. Of course, all mantis shrimp will require a dedicated tank and you should do your research before setting up your own mantis habitat.

For more information, check out Roy’s list!

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Ok folks, here we go!

If this tank looks familiar, it's because it's Micro-Reef's original 25 gallon display tank!

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Current equipment includes:

25 gallon TruVu tank, stand and canopy.
1/10 hp Oceanic chiller
Tunze 9002 skimmer
Lighting is yet to be determined

Here's a video of the mantis shrimp that's going in this tank!


Pre-Buffing.... It's in pretty good shape, won't need much work:
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This is the rear chamber. The pump goes down at the bottom on the right side. There is a bulkhead fitting with a nozzle that goes in the hole on the left at the bottom, there are two media trays that fit on those shelves:
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This is the chamber for the skimmer. It also holds the pump and the plumbing for the heater/chiller:
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About an hour and a half later and 95% of the scratches are gone:
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I've got both of the pumps running in a bucket with some water and some vinegar to clean them out. They are working great.

That's it for today. I hosed the tank out thoroughly after buffing it to remove any leftover debris. Tomorrow or tuesday, I'll fill it with water and hook up the pumps and chiller and let it run for a couple days to make sure the temperature is stable and the pumps are working well. During the testing period, I'll polish up the stand, the canopy and start working on moving shelves around in the room where it's going. It will be sharing a room with two African grey parrots. :)

I'm also going to give this tank it's own GFI electrical circuit since the nearest outlet only has two prongs and is on the same circuit with a bunch of other junk. I don't want to risk overloading it and losing power.

The LFS has some really nice live rock, so I'll pick some up once the tank is upstairs and filled with salt water.

Edited by Islandoftiki, 01 December 2012 - 05:35 PM.


#2
Summoner12

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Following. looks good!

#3
Islandoftiki

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Both pumps are running in a bucket right now. The chiller is hooked up and running as well.

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With only 4 and a half gallons in the bucket, the chiller was able to drop the temperature of the water from 85 degrees to 80 in about 15 minutes.

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#4
albertthiel

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Ok folks, here we go!

If this tank looks familiar, it's because it's Micro-Reef's original 25 gallon display tank!


I've got both of the pumps running in a bucket with some water and some vinegar to clean them out. They are working great.

That's it for today. I hosed the tank out thoroughly after buffing it to remove any leftover debris. Tomorrow or tuesday, I'll fill it with water and hook up the pumps and chiller and let it run for a couple days to make sure the temperature is stable and the pumps are working well. During the testing period, I'll polish up the stand, the canopy and start working on moving shelves around in the room where it's going. It will be sharing a room with two African grey parrots. :)

I'm also going to give this tank it's own GFI electrical circuit since the nearest outlet only has two prongs and is on the same circuit with a bunch of other junk. I don't want to risk overloading it and losing power.

The LFS has some really nice live rock, so I'll pick some up once the tank is upstairs and filled with salt water.


Looking good .. it's going to be a palace for that Mantis not just a tank !

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#5
Islandoftiki

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Ok, we're wet with tap water! Pumps are running; chiller/heater is doing it's thing.

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I'll let it hum away for a couple days while I sort out the details of where it's going to reside in the house.

I want to get a feel for what level of evaporation to expect, how effective the heater part of the chiller is (will it need a supplemental heater?), and make sure there are no leaks.

So far, so good. Everything is happy. I might stuff the skimmer into the 7.5 gallon tank in the next day or two, fire it up and see what it can produce.

#6
Islandoftiki

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Here's a quick picture of Chuck and his mad building skills.

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These guys could get a job building stone retaining walls if they were larger... and terrestrial.

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He built that entire wall all by himself. Note the creative use of a dwarf cerith shell as a finial. Brilliant.

#7
Arkayology

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I love mantis tanks! Is there anything else going into this other than the mantis?

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#8
MeanGreenEyes

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*Subscribed* I loveeeeey me some mantis shrimp! lol They're as cute as they come. I can't wait to see this tank progress! Was the contest winner ever announced by the way?

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#9
Islandoftiki

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*Subscribed* I loveeeeey me some mantis shrimp! lol They're as cute as they come. I can't wait to see this tank progress! Was the contest winner ever announced by the way?


Not yet, but supposedly soon.

Follow along, I'm going to be working on getting the area for the tank set up this weekend... adding a dedicated circuit for the tank and moving a shelf. Then the tank will come upstairs and I'll start filling it with salt water!

I love mantis tanks! Is there anything else going into this other than the mantis?


The only other thing in the tank will be many different kinds of discosoma mushroom corals. It should be a pretty cool look.

This afternoon, I did the airline mod for the Tunze 9002 and I'm testing it out in the temporary 7.5 gallon tank. Looks a little out of place, but Chuck doesn't care that it's in there.

Posted Image


I also got the two Koralia Nano 425's today, so I threw them in to make sure they work and the water flow is good. It is.

Posted Image

#10
albertthiel

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Here's a quick picture of Chuck and his mad building skills.


These guys could get a job building stone retaining walls if they were larger... and terrestrial.

He built that entire wall all by himself. Note the creative use of a dwarf cerith shell as a finial. Brilliant.


You'll have to rename him Mantis enginerii contructus !

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No Printed Copies remain but: 

 

The  e-Version costs ONLY $ 20.00, and is available via the link above.


#11
Islandoftiki

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The stand is in place. Tomorrow I'll wire in a new outlet.

Posted Image

#12
albertthiel

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The stand is in place. Tomorrow I'll wire in a new outlet.

Posted Image


Nice you seem to be making real good progress and i think this is going to be a real nice tank build indeed

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Information on my Book "Nano-Reef Aquariums" is available at  :  http://www.nanoreefs.info

No Printed Copies remain but: 

 

The  e-Version costs ONLY $ 20.00, and is available via the link above.


#13
VeganBrian

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I am definitely excited for this tank. I'm sure it will turn out awesome. Love your mantis :)

#14
Rollermonkey

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Does this make three mantis tanks in your house?

#15
Islandoftiki

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Does this make three mantis tanks in your house?


No, the 7.5 gallon cube is only temporary while I get this one up and running.

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Rollermonkey

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Ah, so this is "Another Mantis In The Family" redux.

#17
Islandoftiki

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Ah, so this is "Another Mantis In The Family" redux.


Yep, this is the official build thread for the tank! This morning I installed a 15 amp dedicated GFCI circuit for the tank.

Posted Image

Time to drain the tank and bring it upstairs!

#18
M@!

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Sweet, love this build and I can't wait to see it full of water and rock!

#19
Cdub4

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Subscribed! Love mantis tanks!

#20
albertthiel

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Yep, this is the official build thread for the tank! This morning I installed a 15 amp dedicated GFCI circuit for the tank
Time to drain the tank and bring it upstairs!


Nice looking work on putting that in ... very prof.

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No Printed Copies remain but: 

 

The  e-Version costs ONLY $ 20.00, and is available via the link above.


#21
Islandoftiki

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Nice looking work on putting that in ... very prof.


Thank you! I could kill the person who built this addition onto the house. The wall was about an inch and a half thick... Every wall that wasn't touched when we renovated the house is covered in 5/8" plywood. This was one of them. So, '70s wallboard on top of 5/8" plywood, and then this 1/2" thick wood fiber board stuff behind that. Too thick for most remodel boxes, so I had to pick away the fiber board stuff behind the plywood so the anchors for the electrical remodel box would engage properly. No big deal though, and the wiring was the easy part. All of the wiring in the basement is easy to access and we have a massive breaker panel with lots of empty slots, so adding a dedicated circuit was a piece of cake. I like having the tank on a separate circuit from everything else in the house. It's a good thing that I added it, too. The outlet closest to the tank turned out the be an un-grounded three pronged outlet. I fixed that while I was it it, too.

#22
Islandoftiki

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The tank is upstairs! I'll start filling it this week.

Posted Image

#23
ward827

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Gonna be a great tank! Great build thread so far!
Look forward to seeing the end result. W-

#24
albertthiel

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Thank you! I could kill the person who built this addition onto the house. The wall was about an inch and a half thick... Every wall that wasn't touched when we renovated the house is covered in 5/8" plywood. This was one of them. So, '70s wallboard on top of 5/8" plywood, and then this 1/2" thick wood fiber board stuff behind that. Too thick for most remodel boxes, so I had to pick away the fiber board stuff behind the plywood so the anchors for the electrical remodel box would engage properly. No big deal though, and the wiring was the easy part. All of the wiring in the basement is easy to access and we have a massive breaker panel with lots of empty slots, so adding a dedicated circuit was a piece of cake. I like having the tank on a separate circuit from everything else in the house. It's a good thing that I added it, too. The outlet closest to the tank turned out the be an un-grounded three pronged outlet. I fixed that while I was it it, too.


Wow that is some story ... I guess that indeed you better not find the guys who did all that or you may be in trouble as you cement them inside the walls :-) But that tank is going to look real good ... I'll be following ...

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The  e-Version costs ONLY $ 20.00, and is available via the link above.


#25
Islandoftiki

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Ok, I just pulled the trigger on 40 lbs of BRS Reefsavers dry rock. I think this will work out well. I'm planning to cycle the tank with ammonia and will jump start the cycle with some live rock.

I'll be using the carib-sea aragonite substrate.