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Avalon_Princess

Mantis care...

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Avalon_Princess

I was at my LS today when they got deliveries and among the corals was a mantis shrimp. I've wanted one for ages but was never able to locate one so just gave up. I've identified this guy as being a smasher a Gonodactylaceus graphurus. Because I currently don't have a tank set up for a mantis and I would never find him again if I released him into the tank so I've got him in a critter keeper with a good sized pile of lr which he's already arranged into a burrow. This critter keeper is situated in the big tank.

 

I'm setting up a tank that I'll take with me when I move out and Xerxes (the mantis) will be the main inhabitant along with various corrallimorphs. I'm reading about there care at the moment but i had a few questions which I'd really appreciate answers to.

 

G. graphurus size is less then 4" with this in mind would it be possible to keep him in a barebottom tank? I could tape black paper to the bottom as well... I've yet to read a case where a mantis has smashed through a tank but i just wanted to double check.

 

Feeding, me I'm not big on live food, could he be kept solely on dead frozen foods? and how often/how much should he be fed? he'd be about 3" in length, or maybe a bit less.

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Koshmar

Barebottom would be a problem, these guys love to dig and a proper substrate is necessary for their burrow. A three inch sand level is recommended.

 

In terms of food, I feed mine around once or twice a week. Frozen squid, krill, omega brine, silversides, mysid shrimp, and pieces of clam are all good. Variety is important. There is also a nutritional supplement available at most lfs and online called selcon which I use along with other mantis keepers. Unfortunetly, if a hard bodied prey item is not supplied a few times a month your mantis will rip off it's raptorial appendages due to lack of use. Shelled prey are needed for rap fitness. You just need a snail or two, hermits, you know, cheap cuc's once in a while. No biggie.

 

There's also a mantis thread stickied at the top with some good info.

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Avalon_Princess

Uh yes 'cheap' hermit crabs at $6 each, snails at $4 each, not quite what I'd call cheap and that's the lowest price I could get them. Would fw snails do? or I can put krill etc in shells for him to smash...

 

A 3" substrate would fill up nearly half of the 6g tank I'll be using.. I can do a shallow substrate with plenty of rubble. All I've read on this species says it burrows in live rock not sand.

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ryeguy28
Uh yes 'cheap' hermit crabs at $6 each, snails at $4 each, not quite what I'd call cheap and that's the lowest price I could get them. Would fw snails do? or I can put krill etc in shells for him to smash...

 

A 3" substrate would fill up nearly half of the 6g tank I'll be using.. I can do a shallow substrate with plenty of rubble. All I've read on this species says it burrows in live rock not sand.

 

 

you can order cheap hermits from here

 

reefcleaners.org

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Avalon_Princess

Just thought of something I can collect some nerites from the local rockpools as well that he could eat, I dislike them in reef tanks because they spend there whole time at the surface but if I locked them in his critter keeper...

 

Not a permanent solution though as I'm moving way inland in two months. Though I may leave him behind while I get settled and bring him up at a later date. His own tank won't be set up till i move, but he should be fine in the critter keeper, he's already built himself a nice tunnel, doesn't seem interested in the krill I offered though.

 

Edit- not sure if you noticed but I'm Australian, a rural Aussie at that no online fish stores will ship this far out even if there were some that sold them at American prices.

Edited by Avalon_Princess

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Koshmar

They are usually found in dead coral skeletons but for most mantis shrimp sand is also something very positive to add to the tank. IMO a six gallon is a little small for a four inch mantis. A ten gallon would be more appropriate. You could get away with no sand but it would seem a little unnatural, to me anyway. Yes, you can stash krill in a shell for it to smash open but you have to make sure it is really in there good because they usually try to pull things out of their shells before attempting to smash. I wouldn't advise on freshwater anything for a marine animal.

Here are some links:

http://www.mantisshrimps.co.uk/care/graphurus.php

You probably already know this one:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/cr...ame=g_graphurus

Notice "sand and gravel" as the substrate. It's your animal though, I'm just suggesting what I consider a proper setting for it.

Edited by Koshmar

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Avalon_Princess

I can use sand just not 3" of it. I'm just fond of bare bottom tanks, I generally don't go for 'natural' as such, I've snorkelled enough reefs to know I would never even get close, I aim more for aesthetics.

 

I'm moving in two months leaving the other tank behind, and as I've already said I can't buy online, nothing living can get sent this far because we are very very rural. Even java moss has died when I've bought it and if you know much about planted tanks, pretty much nothing kills java moss, except apparently being shipped to my house. Even if I could I have a big hermit in that tank who enjoys killing other things almost as much as a mantis. I can get the nerites from the rockpools for now, but once I move would need another source, could I not just stuff krill deep into a snail shell?

 

Edit- never mind just saw you'd edited your post.

Edited by Avalon_Princess

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Koshmar

Yeah, we keep editing at different times and having to reedit again. :lol:

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ryeguy28
I can use sand just not 3" of it. I'm just fond of bare bottom tanks, I generally don't go for 'natural' as such, I've snorkelled enough reefs to know I would never even get close, I aim more for aesthetics.

 

I'm moving in two months leaving the other tank behind, and as I've already said I can't buy online, nothing living can get sent this far because we are very very rural. Even java moss has died when I've bought it and if you know much about planted tanks, pretty much nothing kills java moss, except apparently being shipped to my house. Even if I could I have a big hermit in that tank who enjoys killing other things almost as much as a mantis. I can get the nerites from the rockpools for now, but once I move would need another source, could I not just stuff krill deep into a snail shell?

 

Edit- never mind just saw you'd edited your post.

 

 

yea they will just eat krill

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Avalon_Princess

LOL it's working well.

 

So how does this sound, the 6g tank (same footprint as a ten, just less height) with a 1cm layer of sand or so. It needs to be shallow as this tank will be moved a bit. A couple of kg of rock, which at the moment is baserock but will be live rock (will chuck it into the other tank) by the time I set up Xerxes tank I found a really greta piece at the store full of dead end tunnels that he'd fit into. As well as lots of rubble and some good sized shells he can fit in to hide in. A 300l/ph filter and a 25w heater. Then I'll have a 72w CF lighting system over it and keep mushroom corals interspersed in the rubble.

 

For feeding I'll switch between krill/shrimp mysis every few days and once a week stuff a nerite shell with them and leave it for him to attack.

 

Then the rest would just be normal tank maintenance, how does that sound?

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Koshmar

Sounds good to me. I'd also check with travisurfer too though for another opinion. Good luck.

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peasofme

he would be ok, but they really do love to dig in sand. 10g is the recommended minimum tank. he would be ok in a 6 but happier in a 10+. a freshwater snail every once in a while would be fine if he will take it. its not going to be the staple of his diet, just exercise. i wonder if krill in a snail shell will work.

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Mustang Boy

another thing you can do is that since your able to collect nerites right now you can stock up on them and just keep them in the big tank until you need to use one. you said once a week for a nerite stuffed shell so if you can house 10 nerites in your big tank you will be able to just take one out a week and you will be fine for 10 weeks that that will give you 2.5mon to figure out all of your options.

 

and yes these guys love to burrow around in sand and as a heads up they like to make little caves that they cover the entrance to with rubble and they dont care of there is a mushroom on it or not if it fits the entrance it will be used lol

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Avalon_Princess

From what I've read so far it's the footprint that matters more then the volume and the 6g does hyave the same footprint as the ten, it's just not as tall.

 

I can feed nerites for now, but in two months time I'm moving leaving the coast and the other tank behind, it'll be a few years at least before I'll be able to take my 'big' nano back.

 

I will definitely have access to apple snails so I might see what he thinks of one at some point. So far he hasn't touched the krill I offered him.

 

I don't mind him taking mushroom covered rocks, mushrooms are pretty indestructible and i won't be putting any expensive/rare specimens in with him.

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Mustang Boy

you may have to make the krill look appetizing ei. alive. try a feeding stick and move it around kinda naturaly n see if he attacks it and eats it

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Avalon_Princess

I tried that, he looked bored then it fell off LOL. He has neatly stacked the krill bits in a corner, but he seems more concerned with my big ole hermit crab who keeps wandering past the kritter keeper. Though the hermit crabs larger then he is.

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peasofme

breeding freshwater snails is extremely easy. i have mine in a goldfish bowl. no heater, no air pump, nothing. just cycled water and gravel and i doubt even if the gravel is necessary. put a flake on the side of the bowl every day and thats about it. top off with tap water. just go to the store, see a big snail with eggs and u are set. yea, you should be fine with the 6g since they crawl around a lot more than they swim.

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youincolor

It kind of sounds like you might not be able to provide the proper care for this mantis. They really do need a snail every few weeks, a proper reef snail. They like to hunt them, play with them, then smash them. Also, honestly, a 6 gallon tank will be overrun with algae in no time, mantis' are notoriously messy eaters, like puffers. Even a 20 gallon tank with a skimmer is hard maintain, a friend of mine has struggled with algae in a 20 gallon mantis tank for over two years now. Just some thoughts, good luck with it, they are awesome creatures.

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peasofme

1 large mexican turbo snail and some manual scraping would keep even the most overrun tank pretty clean of algae. lots of people have had success keeping smaller mantis with the mexican turbos.

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Avalon_Princess

If thye get overrun with algae why are there so many 5.5g clean pretty mantis tanks listed here and on reef central? As long as I keep up with water changes and cleaning I don't think it'd be that bad, and if it is, well algae's algae as long as it stays on the rocks and doesn't live in the water column I don't have that much of a problem with it. I may be able to get reef snails up there, but can't guarantee it, there's only one pet store and I've yet to get confirmation either way if they sell marine or only sell fw.

 

I think Xerxes ate his krill, it's looking much much more shredded and empty then it did half an hour ago.

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peasofme

roy caldwell used to keep his mantis in cups in the lab. im pretty sure a 6g with the floor space of a 10g will be ok. i would worry about him jumping out though. you will want to secure the top.

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Avalon_Princess

Already got that one down, the tank has a secure glass top, it used to be a quarantine for land hermit crabs who were total houdinis. I can't see there being much chance of him jumping out? Or is that another mantis thing? should I make sure all tiny holes are sealed?

 

Xerxes seems calmer today, every time I peer in the tank I don't see him then his eyes slowly rise up over a piece of rock followed by his umm what are they called? arms? raptors? It's interesting being watched all the time...

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youincolor
If thye get overrun with algae why are there so many 5.5g clean pretty mantis tanks listed here and on reef central? As long as I keep up with water changes and cleaning I don't think it'd be that bad, and if it is, well algae's algae as long as it stays on the rocks and doesn't live in the water column I don't have that much of a problem with it. I may be able to get reef snails up there, but can't guarantee it, there's only one pet store and I've yet to get confirmation either way if they sell marine or only sell fw.

 

I think Xerxes ate his krill, it's looking much much more shredded and empty then it did half an hour ago.

You're asking for advice, you can't pick and choose what you want to hear. You stated as fact that you can't provide this animal with its base food source, snails. 'Smasher' mantis will eat krill, but like others have stated, they need snails. Like I said before, good luck with your animal.

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Avalon_Princess

New question, what are the chances of snails surviving in one of those floating betta/guppy traps in a mantis tank? would Xerxes just destroy the trap? I'll be home at mid semester and between semesters so if snails could live in a trap like that I could just take 10 of them to uni with me and release one into the tank once per week....

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peasofme

the snails should be fine. when mantis swim they swim to the top and can propel themselves out of the water. especially if startled.

Edited by peasofme

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