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dixie reefer

Calling all mantis shrimp experts

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dixie reefer

So I'm seriously thinking about getting a mantis shrimp. Thinking about a Odontodactylus Havanensis. Anyone here have one? I read they only get to be about 3 inches long so i figured one of my spare 10 gals would be a sufficient tank for one. Can anybody give me any advice on these guys?

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Based

They can't easily break glass, it would have to be a larger species to break glass, even a peacock can't break glass, unless it hits it directly in the same spot multiple times

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dixie reefer

I dont figure one that only grows 3 inches could break glass, but i could be wrong. Also read that this one is one of the more "peaceful" mantis'.

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FlowerMama

KP Aquatics has 3 different kinds, one of them the one you mentioned and 3 different sizes at extremely good prices. I don't know what mine were, they just came w/ my KP rock. And I love my green babies. Mine now are both like 3/4". Just tiny. 10 g- perfect. I put a piece of acrylic over mine but they stay on the bottom, making their homes in the rocks, covering little tunnels w/ sand/shells as their doorway. Turn on the blue light and they shut the door. They go molt- they shut the door. They move sand from under rocks to make a burrow as well.

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dixie reefer

^^I know!! I just saw them! I'm placing a big order with them to fill my seahorse tank in February so i think i may add a small or medium sized one to my order!

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FlowerMama

FIrst week I didn't see one of them at all, made me scared cuz I thought it was so small that it probably died. NOPE. So many people get their gorgs from KP, and their sponges, and increasing #s their rock. And if you order live rock there's a great chance you'll get one.

 

From what I see since 10/31, easy tank to take care of. Have flow and floss and you don't need a bright light at all. Stock light is perfect for these guys. I used the stock light that came w/ the 34 marineland tank I got. I just do the typical changes of water, feed LRS reef Frenzy, they go nuts.

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Tamberav

The breaking glass thing is mostly a myth. :P One that must be put to an end so people stop being to scared of them.

 

I was originally going to go with this species but decided against it to due its preferred requirements being pretty particular.

 

Here is some great detail from Roy I found awhile back:

 

O. latirostris, O. brevirostris and O. havanensis are all very similar in size (maximum length 65 mm), personality, habitat requirements, and husbandry needs. They all live at depths below 10 m in open habitats where they construct u-shaped burrows. They are strictly diurnal, hunt away from their burrow and are incredibly fast swimmers that can propel themselves several inches out of the water. They are nearly always watching from their burrow and quickly learn to come out to feed.

Unfortunately, they are very sensitive to water quality, solvents, low oxygen and pH, etc. In a stable system with good water quality, they will live for a couple of years, but in smaller systems, a single perturbation that wouldn't phase a Neogonodactylus wennerae is often fatal. One bit of good news is that they are not prone to shell disease like larger Odontodactylus. Also, you cannot keep a male and female together. Believe me, I have tried dozens of times and even in 24x72 tanks, the out come is always the same, one kills the other.

The ideal tank for any of these species has little or no illumination, a substrate with a mix of sand, gravel, shell, etc., and lots of open space (not much LR and small pieces at that), and good water flow. I usually provide about an inch of substrate with one three or four inch flat rock on the surface for them them start their burrow. At first they will excavate under the rock and construct a burrow with two entrances. Gradually they will gather up pieces of rock, shell and rubble from all over the tank and build in mound over the burrow extending the entrances. This is exactly what they do in the field. Don't be surprised if some day the animal seems to go crazy and tears apart the entire structure. They often remodel, particularly just before a molt.

Because of the need for good, stable water quality, open space, and because they jump, these are not the best animals for small cube systems. However, if you can supply a tank with a large, open area, these small Odontodactylus species are probably the most interesting of all stomatopods to keep. In fact, almost all of the research going on in my lab right now is on these species.

Roy

 

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1275747



So I'm seriously thinking about getting a mantis shrimp. Thinking about a Odontodactylus Havanensis. Anyone here have one? I read they only get to be about 3 inches long so i figured one of my spare 10 gals would be a sufficient tank for one. Can anybody give me any advice on these guys?

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dixie reefer

Thanks Roy! I only plan on getting one and the tank will have a lid. I'll probably add macros to the tank to help with water quality. I want to make a U shaped den for it using pvc, sink it down into the sand a little, and epoxy rock rubble to the top to make it more natural. Also have a couple small pieces of live rock I can add.

 

 

Question: 1) how often do they need to be fed? 2)How often would I have to do water changes on a 10 gallon with one in there and how much water to change out?

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Tamberav

Thanks Roy! I only plan on getting one and the tank will have a lid. I'll probably add macros to the tank to help with water quality. I want to make a U shaped den for it using pvc, sink it down into the sand a little, and epoxy rock rubble to the top to make it more natural. Also have a couple small pieces of live rock I can add.

 

 

Question: 1) how often do they need to be fed? 2)How often would I have to do water changes on a 10 gallon with one in there and how much water to change out?

 

Every 3 days will be fine, they can go awhile without food. Try not to overfeed as any uneaten food they will bury. Not sure about WC's, I would probably test the water and try and determine from there since this species is very sensitive. I did weekly ones on my 5g but it was a hardier mantis species. I would use some carbon for sure to clean up any possible contaminants that could get in the water.

 

BTW, I'm not Roy :) I just linked one of his posts rather than trying to remember everything I read about them.

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dixie reefer

Lol sorry for the mix up! I saw the name there and thought it was you. What would be a hardier species that could go into this tank?

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Tamberav

Lol sorry for the mix up! I saw the name there and thought it was you. What would be a hardier species that could go into this tank?

 

Np, I just didn't want to take credit for someone else hard work :)

 

Gonodactylus smithii

Gonodactylellus viridis

Neogonodactylus wennerae

Neogonodactylys oerstedii

Pseudosquilla ciliata - this one is a spearing type, I always wanted to try one of these guys just because no one keeps a spear type on here that I have seen.

 

Here is a great website to get some info on the care of different kinds.

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/index.html#directory

 

Sealife probably has the best availability (ask for certain colors if you want) and prices but bluezoo will get more hard to find kinds in from time to time if you get on their alert list if theres a specific kind that interest you.

 

Not trying to persuade you from trying an O. havanensis. Just wanted to let you know that these guys require better care than others.

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Tamberav

Btw don't keep a heater directly in with a mantis. They will see the "light" or the odd shape and punch it, possibly breaking it.

 

As far as breaking aquarium glass goes, this rarely happens but when it does, it is because the mantis burrowed under the sand to the glass which is thinks is just rock and tries to strike its way through repeatedly in the same spot. An easy fix for this is to cut a piece of acrylic and put down under the sand to absorb the shock.

 

Not all mantises have the same strike power. The G.chiragra has the strongest strike force for its size and at only 3 inches, it can chip glass. Not to scare anyone though! The ones most people keep aren't going to be punching their way out anytime soon. I just think its pretty cool that a G.chiragra is 3 inches of strong punching fury :)

 

Ya I did a ton of mantis reading before I bought one... lol :D

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albertthiel

strike is as powerful as a fired .22 caliber bullet, can easily break glass. good luck!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMvseueaQYA

 

Large ones in a small tank with thin glass might be able to but even then it would be a rare circumstance as was pointed out. Look for a long thread on Mantis Shrimp by "Islandoftiki" here on this forum ... he has kept them for years ... not sure about O. havanensis that indeed stays small ...

 

Here is a good reference to a large number of Mantis Shrimp : http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/

 

and here is a pic of O havanensis

 

o_havanensis1.jpg

 

And since they are found in the Caribbean and the Florida area it should not be too hard to get hold of one ... but O. scyllarus is a LOT more appealing IMHO., but can get a lot larger (say 6 to 7 inches but in an aquarium probably not that large). Of course not a species for a 10 gallon tank, especially since one of the problems with Mantis Shrimp, esp. Odontodactylus ones is shell rot (others species too but O.'s get it more often apparently) and so very high water quality is a must, and a properly sized artificial burrow ....

 

I'll send you a PM (Dixie Reefer) .... with info on something you may enjoy (not selling anything btw)

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NirvanaandTool

I personally would put a sheet of acrylic down on the bottom of your glass tank before putting the mantis in. It's a little piece of mind for when the mantis is digging and constructing their burrow. Plus if you use a 10g, the glass on them is very thin to begin with.

 

I always thought that O. havanensis needed a 20g tank as they were active and needed stable water quality. I've always wanted one as I've never kept anything from that particular genus - only Gonodactylids.

 

 

Btw don't keep a heater directly in with a mantis. They will see the "light" or the odd shape and punch it, possibly breaking it.

 

As far as breaking aquarium glass goes, this rarely happens but when it does, it is because the mantis burrowed under the sand to the glass which is thinks is just rock and tries to strike its way through repeatedly in the same spot. An easy fix for this is to cut a piece of acrylic and put down under the sand to absorb the shock.

 

Not all mantises have the same strike power. The G.chiragra has the strongest strike force for its size and at only 3 inches, it can chip glass. Not to scare anyone though! The ones most people keep aren't going to be punching their way out anytime soon. I just think its pretty cool that a G.chiragra is 3 inches of strong punching fury :)

 

Ya I did a ton of mantis reading before I bought one... lol :D

 

It was this reason that I kept my old G. chiragra in an acrylic tank. Better safe than sorry! After watching him burrow through rocks and pulverize a few fiddler crabs, I'm happy I did. :lol:

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dixie reefer

Thank you everyone for the helpful advice! I plan on doing much more research before i make my mind up. I chose Odontodactylus Havanensis because of the color and the resemblance to the peacock mantis and also it's small size. So since it is an O species, that means no light on the tank? That will be a problem since i want to keep macros in the tank also. I have a led light that has 6 1watt leds on it, will that be too much? The only critter i plan on keeping in this tank is the mantis so I don't think water quality will be an issue. I definitely plan on putting a sheet of acrylic on the bottom, even if it is for piece of mind. :)

 

Edit:

My second and third choices are pseudosquilla ciliata (spearer) and Neogonodactylus wennerae (smasher)

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Acielot

The havanensis was my first choice in Mantis but when I ordered I wasn't guaranteed that I would get one. I ended up with a pseudosquilla ciliata and honestly it was probably a better choice in a Mantis only tank as you can add a clean up crew without having to replace them on a regular basis. You can also add non shrimp inverts to make the tank more interesting.

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dixie reefer

P. Ciliata is my second choice, and I've got plenty of ther tanks with interesting stuff in them :)

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NirvanaandTool

For Odontodactylids, no light is best. Low light is possible but provide a dark burrow for the mantis to hide in. High light is when shell rot becomes a problem.

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albertthiel

For Odontodactylids, no light is best. Low light is possible but provide a dark burrow for the mantis to hide in. High light is when shell rot becomes a problem.

 

Although light is often implicated as the the cause, Dr Roy Caldwell who has been studying Stomatopods for years and years feels that water quality levels are probably a greater cause of Shell Rot and that underfeeding ro feeding the wrong food is another one. Also the burrow needs to be dark on the inside so when you use artificial burrows the entrance and exit should face down.

 

Ripple effects due to lighting have been implicated by some, but that is more so in the ocean and may lead to posturing etc ... not to shell rot.

 

Also when a Mantis is still young inducing an early mold may rid the Mantis of the Shell rot ...

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Formula462

they never hit the glass on purpose. usually happens during feeding, or by complete accident. they know better than to hit something as hard as glass repeatedly,it could damage the hammers.

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NirvanaandTool

Although light is often implicated as the the cause, Dr Roy Caldwell who has been studying Stomatopods for years and years feels that water quality levels are probably a greater cause of Shell Rot and that underfeeding ro feeding the wrong food is another one. Also the burrow needs to be dark on the inside so when you use artificial burrows the entrance and exit should face down.

 

Ripple effects due to lighting have been implicated by some, but that is more so in the ocean and may lead to posturing etc ... not to shell rot.

 

Also when a Mantis is still young inducing an early mold may rid the Mantis of the Shell rot ...

 

I can totally see water levels and diet playing a part in it - all are factors in the health of the specimen.

 

I have seen him say that UV filters may help fight cases of shell rot.

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albertthiel

I can totally see water levels and diet playing a part in it - all are factors in the health of the specimen.

 

I have seen him say that UV filters may help fight cases of shell rot.

 

Yes he does but from what I remember more as a preventative than as a means to cure.

 

Once it has started and you can get a molt to happen by feeding more and more often, the Mantis may be able to get rid of the shell rot unless it has progresses to far and that black matter that comes about is now underneath the carapace or skeleton, as once it is there it prevents the Mantis from molting and locks it inside its shell so to speak ... and it then leads to the demise of the shrimp

 

Also do not use iodine ... just feed more and more often and soak the food in a high quality vitamin mix.

 

Water changes with a good quality salt will keep the water's iodine level high enough.

 

High oxygen levels are important as well.

 

And those are just a few ,,,,

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Tamberav

O havanensis are actually less prone to shell rot (that doesn't mean immune ofc). Honestly, if water quality is bad, they probably die before shell rot sets in since they are so sensitive. Roy accidentally killed one by stirring the sand bed but who knows what size tank it was in.

 

Since they aren't prone to shell rot, I'm assuming low light is best as it replicates their natural environment and probably makes for a more entertaining mantis since it would feel more comfortable. Just my assumption though.

 

A 10g full of macro may not be ideal since they like open sand beds with plenty of room and just a little but of rock but we're talking ideal conditions here not what is possible.

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