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Islandoftiki

Islandoftiki's Nuvo 30 Peacock Mantis Tank

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Islandoftiki

Today, I picked up a piece of 1/8" shatter proof acrylic and siliconed it to the bottom of the tank around it's perimeter. This is just a mantis shrimp precaution. The glass in the IM Nuvo tank is pretty thick... Like 8mm, but this is a simple and easy thing to do.

 

For those not familiar with why I'm doing this, here's why. Mantis shrimp almost never crack glass tanks. The very few documented cases of mantis shrimp cracking glass tanks came from a mantis doing it's normal burrowing behavior and reaching the bottom of the tank, a hard surface that would have to be limestone reef rock, right? I mean, there aren't a whole ton of other hard surfaces in their environment, and with the limestone rock being soft and easily broken, they can often hammer out a hole in the rock to make a suitable den. Of course, they don't know it's the bottom of the tank, and it's glass, and that it would be a terrible idea to make a hole in it. So they to go to work hammering away at the same spot, over and over and over. With the bottom of most tanks being thinner than the sides, they could possibly crack the bottom of the tank. It's very rare. Like, so rare, I challenge you to find one picture or documented case of a mantis breaking a glass tank (short of directly from Dr. Caldwell).

 

Anyhow, just for the sake of paranoia, I cut a piece of shatter proof acrylic and siliconed (with aquarium safe silicone) it to the bottom of the tank.

 

The tape will come off tomorrow when it's dry. I also masked off the sides so I wouldn't get an silicone on the walls of the tank, but already removed the tape in this picture. I didn't need to mask off the bottom acrylic since it will be covered with sand, but I'm OCD, so I did.

 

83E1AC1F-orig_zps9413b0b3.jpg

 

 

Edit: Ignore my punctuation and grammar, I hammered out this update in a hurry...

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FlowerMama

Well, I know I had to personally create my dueling mantis habitat very quickly given that I found them in my live rock from KPA so it's probably not the best but the other option is that they'd die/get thrown away. I was thinking that even though people say they can I haven't heard of anyone either say in any of these forums that their mantis broke their tank. Thanks for mentioning that, makes me feel a little better. I'll have to definitely get some more rock as I planned. I wonder where you can get someone to drill a 1 1/4" hole in a piece of coral? Or if you just have to go small and keep doing it over & over to get the diameter? I have no idea about these things.

 

Well, one day I'd like to have a better established tank for them, given they live. I think it's be cool to sell my 55 gal freshwater tank and in it's place put a smaller tank that fills that same place. I really like the dimensions of my 34 gallon, 18 wide, that would be awesome to have it the length of the 55 stand. 55g is too high for me and my armpits honestly.

 

Really looking forward to watching your tank evolve.

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Tamberav

Awesome, I have a piece of acrylic on the bottom of Ivy's tank just in case. She burrows a lot so I feel better about it. I don't worry about the little mantises though.

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ll_maynard_ll

I thought about doing the same, until I ordered one that is max size of 3" then I stopped losing sleep about her tank flooding. Your smart to plan ahead though.

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Islandoftiki

I thought about doing the same, until I ordered one that is max size of 3" then I stopped losing sleep about her tank flooding. Your smart to plan ahead though.

 

 

It's cheap and quick to do while the tank is empty and dry! I honestly wouldn't worry about it if I didn't do it, but heck, might as well. It can't hurt.

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Lamilvelo

No issues when its placed flat in the bottom with it bowing against the glass like a baffle has been know to blow a tank out? Really enjoying your build and all these Mantis tanks have me super intrigued!

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Sunar357

It's glass heaters I hear about them breaking mostly.

 

Also...martinis should NEVER be shaken...Bond was wrong! :D

 

Can't wait to see this rolling!

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Islandoftiki

No issues when its placed flat in the bottom with it bowing against the glass like a baffle has been know to blow a tank out? Really enjoying your build and all these Mantis tanks have me super intrigued!

 

I don't think so. It's dead-flat against the bottom of the tank.

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flypenfly

Instead of a piece of acrylic, can just a egg crate be used? Maybe double up on the egg crate. Although I suppose if you're running a shallow sand bed, it won't work.

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ll_maynard_ll
No issues when its placed flat in the bottom with it bowing against the glass like a baffle has been know to blow a tank out? Really enjoying your build and all these Mantis tanks have me super intrigued!

 

I know what you mean by intrigued, after reading about tambarev's and islandoftiki's I had to have one.

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Lamilvelo

I know what you mean by intrigued, after reading about tambarev's and islandoftiki's I had to have one.

It took me a whole week to convince myself that my schedule wouldn't allow Seahorses after seeing Felicia and Zia's tanks. Still attempting to talk myself out of a Mantis at the moment.

 

Anyways carry on I like where this tank is going

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Islandoftiki

It took me a whole week to convince myself that my schedule wouldn't allow Seahorses after seeing Felicia and Zia's tanks. Still attempting to talk myself out of a Mantis at the moment.

 

Anyways carry on I like where this tank is going

 

You only have to feed mantis every two to three days. And if you're going on a trip, just throw in a handful of snails.

 

Instead of a piece of acrylic, can just a egg crate be used? Maybe double up on the egg crate. Although I suppose if you're running a shallow sand bed, it won't work.

 

My concern with eggcrate would be trapped detritus. Plus, eggcrate is brittle, a mantis could smash it to bits in seconds.

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Islandoftiki

Today I picked up a 20 lb bag of live sand. I went with the Nature's Ocean over the CaribSea mainly because this is a little bit finer, less detritus will get trapped. Best by Sept. 15, 2015... I better get crackin'!

 

FE46EC94-orig_zps174b0535.jpg

 

 

 

The silicone is all set up and you can't even see the acrylic protective panel on the bottom of the tank.

 

BB83AF70-orig_zps716f801a.jpg

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flypenfly

Nice job on that.

 

Do you keep damsels in there as tasty hunting morsels for your mantis?

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FlowerMama

So, now you are making me wonder about them breaking the glass on the bottom. Since they aren't in their tanks yet, should I lay a piece of 1/4" acrylic on the bottom for the slightly larger mantis and 1/8" acrylic on the other? I have this leftover from my projects. I only have 1- 1.25 " of sand in there right now so it'd be a little of a pain but I'll do it if I need to. I wouldn't glue it down at this point, I'd just put them down.

 

1) should I lay down the available acrylic I have as a precaution?

2) should I have more like 2" of sand? I do have more and I don't need 16 lbs in my 34 fuge that's only 9.25 x 10

3) will the 50W glass heaters be alright? I've heard someone else on a thread say no. And what would be a non glass alternative that will fit? The heater is 8.5" and it's 1/2" off of the sand.

 

Thanks for you help. I do plan on giving them a larger set up hopefully in a year.

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Tamberav

So, now you are making me wonder about them breaking the glass on the bottom. Since they aren't in their tanks yet, should I lay a piece of 1/4" acrylic on the bottom for the slightly larger mantis and 1/8" acrylic on the other? I have this leftover from my projects. I only have 1- 1.25 " of sand in there right now so it'd be a little of a pain but I'll do it if I need to. I wouldn't glue it down at this point, I'd just put them down.

 

1) should I lay down the available acrylic I have as a precaution?

2) should I have more like 2" of sand? I do have more and I don't need 16 lbs in my 34 fuge that's only 9.25 x 10

3) will the 50W glass heaters be alright? I've heard someone else on a thread say no. And what would be a non glass alternative that will fit? The heater is 8.5" and it's 1/2" off of the sand.

 

Thanks for you help. I do plan on giving them a larger set up hopefully in a year.

 

I would skip the acrylic on those guys. I don't think they are going to grow to 6 inches and pose any threat to the glass. Like you said, its a pita if the sand is in there.

 

More sand is not really needed as long as they have rock burrows or PVC. Bane has only 1/2 inch of sand but lots of hiding places and PVC. Ivy has about 5 inches of sand but all her burrows she made herself.

 

The heater would worry me more, it might be "shiny" and interesting. I believe they make plastic heaters which should be safe. Otherwise you can buy Aquaclears that can fit heaters inside them if you haven't bought those yet.

 

Just my 2 cents on what I would do.

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flypenfly

There are titanium heaters and the cobalt neotherms seem pretty unbreakable to me.

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ll_maynard_ll

Quick question for you about sand. I had originally ordered oolitic but they are out and not getting any more so I went with Bimini pink .2mm to 2mm. Do you think that would be OK for my mantis tank?

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FlowerMama

I would skip the acrylic on those guys. I don't think they are going to grow to 6 inches and pose any threat to the glass. Like you said, its a pita if the sand is in there.

 

More sand is not really needed as long as they have rock burrows or PVC. Bane has only 1/2 inch of sand but lots of hiding places and PVC. Ivy has about 5 inches of sand but all her burrows she made herself.

 

The heater would worry me more, it might be "shiny" and interesting. I believe they make plastic heaters which should be safe. Otherwise you can buy Aquaclears that can fit heaters inside them if you haven't bought those yet.

 

Just my 2 cents on what I would do.

 

 

I would skip the acrylic on those guys. I don't think they are going to grow to 6 inches and pose any threat to the glass. Like you said, its a pita if the sand is in there.

 

More sand is not really needed as long as they have rock burrows or PVC. Bane has only 1/2 inch of sand but lots of hiding places and PVC. Ivy has about 5 inches of sand but all her burrows she made herself.

 

The heater would worry me more, it might be "shiny" and interesting. I believe they make plastic heaters which should be safe. Otherwise you can buy Aquaclears that can fit heaters inside them if you haven't bought those yet.

 

Just my 2 cents on what I would do.

 

Thanks, I won't worry about the glass then, and yeah, these are only to grow to 3". The Aquaclear 30s don't have enough room for the heaters but I'm going to start looking around then.

 

There are titanium heaters and the cobalt neotherms seem pretty unbreakable to me.

 

Thanks, I'll look those up.

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Islandoftiki

There are titanium heaters and the cobalt neotherms seem pretty unbreakable to me.

After having owned a Cobalt Neotherm heater, I wouldn't own anything else that wasn't externally controlled. End of discussion. I have one in the O. Scyllarus tank, and it will be moving to the new tank. If you don't have a ReefKeeper or Apex controller, the next best thing is one of these heaters. They are by far and away orders of magnitude better than anything else I own, and I have a handful of good quality heater that I only use for salt mixing now. They aren't breakable and on top of that, it only has green lights, so they're not a mantis aggression attractant. Additionally, the lights flash if the tank above or below the temperature you set it to.

 

1) should I lay down the available acrylic I have as a precaution?

2) should I have more like 2" of sand? I do have more and I don't need 16 lbs in my 34 fuge that's only 9.25 x 10

3) will the 50W glass heaters be alright? I've heard someone else on a thread say no. And what would be a non glass alternative that will fit? The heater is 8.5" and it's 1/2" off of the sand.

1) I wouldn't stress it. Honestly, I don't feel it's necessary for this tank either, but you know what they say, "It's like giving an dean man an enema... It can't hurt."

 

2) IMO, no. I don't like having very deep sandbeds in nano tanks. Having anoxic zones in the sand might reduce nitrates, but it opens up all sorts of possibilities for disaster. I'm going to have 1" or less.

 

3) I'm not a fan of glass heaters for mantis tanks. My biggest concern would be if it has a red light on it. Red lights can be a target for mantis aggression. See above Cobalt Neotherm endorsement.

 

Do you keep damsels in there as tasty hunting morsels for your mantis?

 

No, neither my O. Scyllarus or my G. Ternatensis have any interest in killing or eating the fish. I'm going to be taking the damsel out of the O. Scyllarus tank when I do the upgrade, mainly because Betty chases the damsel around the tank at feeding time if she thinks the damsel is getting an excessive share of the food. They're both competitive for food and that's likely to end up in sadness and tears.

 

Quick question for you about sand. I had originally ordered oolitic but they are out and not getting any more so I went with Bimini pink .2mm to 2mm. Do you think that would be OK for my mantis tank?

 

That's more or less the grain size I'm going with. My opinion is to go with a good mix of smaller grain sizes like that. The larger grains will help prevent the sand from blowing all over the place and the smaller grains will fill in the gaps and prevent the sand bed from being able to hold detritus and becoming a nitrate factory. What every you do, NO COARSE CRUSHED CORAL SUBSTRATE. What a hassle.

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flypenfly

I'm surprised a larger mantis doesn't go after fish while they're sleeping.

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Tamberav

I'm surprised a larger mantis doesn't go after fish while they're sleeping.

 

Mine will eat them if she can catch them without too much effort. :o

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Islandoftiki

I'm surprised a larger mantis doesn't go after fish while they're sleeping.

 

Betty closes herself in her den at night, so she's not out and prowling at all. Lots of other mantis do this, too.

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Lamilvelo

You only have to feed mantis every two to three days. And if you're going on a trip, just throw in a handful of snails.

And here I was hoping for reason's I couldn't keep one. Following these tanks closely to see if I want to take the plunge.

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Tamberav

Betty closes herself in her den at night, so she's not out and prowling at all. Lots of other mantis do this, too.

 

Ivy is a weirdo, she never closes her burrow unless she is molting. If I get up in the middle of the night, she is often out on the prowl. I don't know when she sleeps because she prowls during the day too.

 

Bane is pretty typical though and closes his burrow every night.

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