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Snow_Phoenix

Snow's Mantis Habitat - He's Gone.

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Snow_Phoenix

Still trying to get this tank back on track but the nems are not doing well, despite the WCs and only 2 hours of light per day. Still as bleached as ever, so I've managed to isolate one nem (it was busy moving, so I scooped it up as it detached its foot to move) in a plastic cup of sorts and let it hang in the tank. I observed Morph punching this moving nem twice today because the nem moved towards his burrow. So I think for now, I will set up a separate recovery tank - a hospital tank of sorts, for both nems. I'll keep that tank in my bedroom though, where the temperature is cooler than my library/art room. I'm still waiting for the second nem to detach and move about so that I can transfer it to the hospital tank. 

 

The corals are doing okay, but not fantastic as before. I'm still trying to find a way to stabilize the tank, but without knowing the exact cause of the instability (I originally thought it was the temperature drop we had in the country a month ago, but shouldn't the tank recover by now?) I'm working against an unknown. My whole family knows never to touch any of my animals - birds included, without my permission. This includes cleaning up the areas with sprays, scented wipes or perfumes. So I'm quite positive there's no airborne contamination. I'm at a loss, quite frankly.

 

My only consolation is that both my mantis and clownfish are doing alright and seem unaffected by whatever that's affecting everything else. Also, there's tons of pods in the tank, and spirochetes have emerged on the back wall. I think I'll get a mini skimmer some time soon. Otherwise, I'm having a bit of a headache tackling this. :(

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Tamberav

Sorry for your troubles :( Maybe double check to make sure whatever instrument you use to test salinity is working correctly? 

 

Do you run carbon? Maybe with the GSP being grumpy for a bit, there could be some chemical war going on?

 

 

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Christopher Marks

Keep fighting the good fight @Snow_Phoenix! Anemones can be very unpredictable :( 

 

Has the temperature of the tank not been stable lately?

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oneart

I love Morph! He (or she) is so cute! It's great to have inhabitants with a lot of personality. Your corals are also gorgeous! Good luck with everything!

 

I can definitely relate to your loss. I moved twice over the past several years and I lost livestock during both moves. It can be devastating. After the last move, I didn't have the heart to get back into the game and just lived with with my one blue tailed damsel and green mushroom coral and a little too much cyanobacteria. I'm just restarting myself and it's been so long since I was in full-swing, I'm a newbie again. Your tank is coming along so nicely. I'm inspired! 

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Snow_Phoenix
11 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Sorry for your troubles :( Maybe double check to make sure whatever instrument you use to test salinity is working correctly? 

 

Do you run carbon? Maybe with the GSP being grumpy for a bit, there could be some chemical war going on?

 

 

I'm running carbon, but I honestly never thought it might be a chemical war. Now that I look at it, it could be - one nem has already been moved to a hospital tank. Just patiently waiting for the second one to detach. The nems are still very sticky to the touch (good sign), and eating small pieces of chopped shrimp. It's just the severe bleaching that concerns me.

 

I'm using a very old refractometer to measure salinity. It's second-hand. I have an even older, cheap plastic hydrometer lying somewhere but those things are so unreliable. Think it's worth buying a new refractometer? I usually keep salinity at 1.025. Top up with DI. 

 

 

10 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Keep fighting the good fight @Snow_Phoenix! Anemones can be very unpredictable :( 

 

Has the temperature of the tank not been stable lately?

Tank temp has been stable at 25'C. Sometimes, on very hot days it can bump up to 27'C, but I don't allow it to go beyond 28'C. I notice things - animals especially, start to stress a lot when the temp shoots up too much. We did have a week full of sunshine here. But today it's raining non-stop and everything is cool again. And yep, I'm still chugging along - not giving up on this tank yet!

9 hours ago, oneart said:

I love Morph! He (or she) is so cute! It's great to have inhabitants with a lot of personality. Your corals are also gorgeous! Good luck with everything!

 

I can definitely relate to your loss. I moved twice over the past several years and I lost livestock during both moves. It can be devastating. After the last move, I didn't have the heart to get back into the game and just lived with with my one blue tailed damsel and green mushroom coral and a little too much cyanobacteria. I'm just restarting myself and it's been so long since I was in full-swing, I'm a newbie again. Your tank is coming along so nicely. I'm inspired! 

Thanks - and Morph is such a sweet, personable soul. He loves thwacking stuff - mostly anything that gets too close to his burrow. He doesn't mind the clownfish though. And the tank was doing well until recently, but I'm not giving up on it. Still trying to find balance, which is better than chasing after *perfect parameters. Good luck with your restart! Do you have a tank thread on here? You should, if you don't. I'd love to see it. 

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Snow_Phoenix

It's been almost 3 weeks, figured I'll update.

 

The tank is actually recovering very well when I isolated the nems. I think it might have been chemical warfare between the corals and nems - ultimately I'm not sure, but everything is slowly going back to normal. The only coral that had a spectacular recovery and is now trying to attempt a hostile takeover is the GSP:

 

C17.jpg.e02dde8f16cda0872d5faadd5fc6e568.jpg

 

It seems to have enjoyed the void left behind by the nems. I'm not very worried if it does take over the tank actually. I think a carpet of green would look nice in the long run.

 

Also, there seems to be a kind of blossoming romance between my clownfish and my mantis. She leaves gifts at his door, and he literally eats it. It's like ordering free takeout, and Morpheus is one happy shrimp. He needn't even wander far - my clown feeds him:

 

C01.jpg.be90f3658a3d87340749cc126263ad88.jpg

 

If she doesn't have any food, she gives him a piece of gravel from the sandbed. (Yes, that's a piece of gravel in her mouth). She drops her little 'gifts' directly at his doorstep. After a while, he wanders out and either accepts it or throws it back out. What a weird, awkward relationship those two have. :mellow:

 

Has anyone experienced this? (eg. Fish feeding mantis shrimp etc.) It's a first for me. 

 

Back to our star of the tank - Morph is doing really well. He's been having chunks of fish roe lately, and enjoys it with gusto.

 

M13.jpg.bae72efe340cc27e5da45483d9a19b73.jpg

 

Also, if you look at the pic carefully, you'd realize the red mushroom has settled amongst the palys, and actually tripled in size. Funny thing is, I didn't put it there. Morph did. He literally ripped that shroom off the shell piece it was anchored to, and decided to plant it some ways outside his burrow. I honestly gave up trying to wrestle this shroom back from him. But turns out he had a better eye for coral-gardening than I did. 

 

Hmph. 

 

 

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WV Reefer
33 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

It's been almost 3 weeks, figured I'll update.

 

The tank is actually recovering very well when I isolated the nems. I think it might have been chemical warfare between the corals and nems - ultimately I'm not sure, but everything is slowly going back to normal. The only coral that had a spectacular recovery and is now trying to attempt a hostile takeover is the GSP:

 

C17.jpg.e02dde8f16cda0872d5faadd5fc6e568.jpg

 

It seems to have enjoyed the void left behind by the nems. I'm not very worried if it does take over the tank actually. I think a carpet of green would look nice in the long run.

 

Also, there seems to be a kind of blossoming romance between my clownfish and my mantis. She leaves gifts at his door, and he literally eats it. It's like ordering free takeout, and Morpheus is one happy shrimp. He needn't even wander far - my clown feeds him:

 

C01.jpg.be90f3658a3d87340749cc126263ad88.jpg

 

If she doesn't have any food, she gives him a piece of gravel from the sandbed. (Yes, that's a piece of gravel in her mouth). She drops her little 'gifts' directly at his doorstep. After a while, he wanders out and either accepts it or throws it back out. What a weird, awkward relationship those two have. :mellow:

 

Has anyone experienced this? (eg. Fish feeding mantis shrimp etc.) It's a first for me. 

 

Back to our star of the tank - Morph is doing really well. He's been having chunks of fish roe lately, and enjoys it with gusto.

 

M13.jpg.bae72efe340cc27e5da45483d9a19b73.jpg

 

Also, if you look at the pic carefully, you'd realize the red mushroom has settled amongst the palys, and actually tripled in size. Funny thing is, I didn't put it there. Morph did. He literally ripped that shroom off the shell piece it was anchored to, and decided to plant it some ways outside his burrow. I honestly gave up trying to wrestle this shroom back from him. But turns out he had a better eye for coral-gardening than I did. 

 

Hmph. 

 

 

That is awesome!  Maybe the clown figured out if she makes nice, Morph won’t murder her! :lol:

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Snow_Phoenix
48 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

That is awesome!  Maybe the clown figured out if she makes nice, Morph won’t murder her! :lol:

Ahaha! That's probably true. :lol:

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ParticipationTrophyWife
1 hour ago, WV Reefer said:

That is awesome!  Maybe the clown figured out if she makes nice, Morph won’t murder her! :lol:

That's funny- peace offerings to the Mantis God!  

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Snow_Phoenix

Update! I know it's been over a month, but it has been a difficult 4 weeks for me and I was drowning in work, so to speak. Anyhow, after several months, I finally managed to purchase a few small coral frags yesterday. 

 

So here are the things I managed to get:

 

1.  A small duncan (1 head with smaller head growing at the side):

 

C18.jpg.1721f0b837fcfa4d942ebaf36640bea0.jpg

2. 1 violet shroom (the last one at the store):

 

C19.jpg.c4cc5033d0d2f35c3c71831b8029ef44.jpg

 

3. A small leather coral (stuffed it into a LR crevice, but my jerk of a clownfish took it out and dumped it on the sandbed just a few hours ago, so I'll be gluing this down shortly):

 

C21.jpg.251d5e6b29eca34dfe1b462cc4d9675c.jpg

 

4. A small hammer (1 head):

 

C23.jpg.1ec010d38aa4cb4eecd7da557a8d8760.jpg

 

5. And a lovely green yuma to decorate Morph's doorstep:

 

C22.jpg.b13c64891afa4de02a98dd8deb21e00a.jpg

 

But wait! What does Morph think of all these new additions? Not very much, I can tell you.

 

He was trying to re-aquascape everything:

 

M14.jpg.3ac15b9edf9d791441b071574699849c.jpg

 

'I take great offense to this bubbly saucer outside my doorstep.'

 

M15.jpg.b2d68d5e612bdc431ced75f96c5bcb98.jpg

 

'Begone, vile shroom! I shall not partake in your disgusting hallucinogens!'

 

M16.jpg.eb4a57993473d1bd8b676989f27a3f2b.jpg

 

'Oh, hai.'

 

^He shows no remorse. None at all. :lol:

 

I love the lil' guy. He vanished for almost 2 weeks to undergo a molt. Was quite worried because he didn't eat anything during those 14 days, and I kept checking the nitrates to make sure he didn't accidently die in his burrow. Then he emerged! He now has stronger green accents on the tips of his telson and uropods. But the mottled red coloring on his smashers have become duller. It's only the green that has increased in its vibrancy. 

 

Also, I added a small wavemaker yesterday to improve flow in my tank. 

 

T04.jpg.d3cc02c4f2192c0634ba33cdd71b4642.jpg

 

4000 L/Hr. I had an issue of BHA pop up on one of the rocks. The algae eventually died off on its own, but I figured some extra flow would help. And my GSP, I'm happy to report, has grown 4x in size since I got it few months ago. C20.jpg.37282bc03d777ff4673aa869a6157061.jpg

 

My other original shrooms are doing well too. Except, Morph stole the red one again, and now placed it in the back-entrance of his burrow. I couldn't get a shot of it, but I *might steal it back when he's not looking. :rolleyes:

 

 

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Tamberav

lol Morph is so adorable :wub:

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Snow_Phoenix

I know it's been months since I updated this - but Morph's tank is suffering from a severe GHA outbreak. It's so hideous that I'm quite frankly, ashamed to share any pics of it online. I've moved all the corals to my bedroom tank few months ago and they've been doing well there. 

 

I think I've figured out the source of the problem - my clownfish has grown in size (she's 3.5" now), and she has a fellow tankmate - a Falco Hawkfish, which I've kept in there for almost six months. The tank is overloaded with nutrients due to the heavy feeding for both fish and the mantis. That, and I admit I slacked on maintenance quite a fair bit. 

 

I'm thinking of giving the rocks a peroxide scrub, and shifting the clownfish out to a larger system (not my bedroom tank). I'm still trying to sort it out. Morph is fine and well - he underwent two major molts and loves chopped slices of parang fish roe (he favors that over chopped shrimp). Due to his size, I feed him twice/thrice a week. 

 

I added two small tuxedo sea urchins to tackle the GHA - one met Morph's approval and was allowed to continue his service as a janitor, the other didn't and was eaten. 😕

 

Morph drives a hard bargain. Any reef cleaner I toss in gets evaluated, and if he thinks they're shifty, he usually just boxes them into oblivion and drags them to his lair, where he spends the next whole day feasting on their insides. I've tried a small sea hare (eaten), turbo snails (eaten), giant turbo snails (eaten), astrea snails (shells cracked open for sh*ts and giggles, but no flesh eaten), hermits (definitely eaten) and halloween urchins (eaten). So I'm out of biological control options. The only way out is to do a manual scrub and temporarily decimate Morph's sacred sanctum (which might result in snapped fingers if I don't do this right) and scrub everything down. 

 

I'll update if the GHA issue is resolved. Seriously, the tank is hideous - it's like the Grinch's cousin dropped off an extra pelt in there. 😞 

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Snow_Phoenix

I have some bad news, everyone. Morpheus was undergoing a prolonged molt for more than 2 weeks. Usually, he goes MIA for a week max. before showing up with a brighter-colored exoskeleton. This was the third week since I last saw him, and I wanted to take out the major LR piece infested with GHA to give it a peroxide dip + scrub. I was worried because usually any time I mess around with the tank, he'll peep out of his burrow to check out what I'm doing. Today, he didn't. So I gently lifted aside the LR he has formed a burrow under...and I found his body, or rather what remained of it.

 

M05.jpg.cb55998574c6ed013cb311c82d71aea5.jpg

 

It was mostly a very small blob of flesh attached to bits of exoskeleton. I was hoping it was a molt, but the fleshy bits were pieces of decaying shrimp. I'm actually amazed that the tank didn't crash with all the decay and rot trapped under the rocks - I had a bigger outbreak of GHA than usual this past week, but the system held steady somehow. I tried to scoop up the body but it was breaking apart in my hands - and this was the largest piece I could find:

 

M04.jpg.d7b54db77da6e3ad4f2cddb2049f47a5.jpg

 

One of his smasher attached to shrimpy bits. I knew he was gone then. I'm quite gutted. I really did want to transform this tank back to its former glory days, but I can see that's impossible now. Morpheus was almost max. size for his species when I first purchased him nearly a year ago. He underwent two molts since then - this was his third, and probably final molt. His last meal was a slice of parang fish roe - I remember how fast he snatched it from the forceps and swam straight into his burrow without looking back. That was my last memory of me seeing him alive. 

I'm now stuck. I can't keep both my fish in this tank due to their size, and after Morph's passing, I don't even know *if I should continue it, or just tear it down and put it back into storage. Very few things truly draw my interests - and mantis shrimps was one of them. They're easy to keep, fun to watch, and some of them are very hardy and interactive.

 

I honestly didn't plan for any of this - my plan today was just to tackle the GHA using peroxide/scrubbing, maybe temporarily transfer my other tuxedo urchin from my bedroom tank into this one to help combat the algae. I prepared myself to transfer both my fish and Morph into a separate plastic tub of 14G in case anything went wrong with the peroxide/scrubbing effort and ammonia became detectable. That's it. It was supposed to be easy and mundane.

 

I loved him. Mantises get a terrible rep. in my country. When I posted about Morpheus in my local group, a lot of people had a negative reaction towards me keeping him. Many suggested I kill him (or even cook him) and many false rumors about mantises were being thrown around (eg. he's going to crack your glass, he's going to kill your clownfish, he's a pest & monster etc.). I didn't budge, because Morph was the 3rd mantis I've owned in 5+ years, and he was a great source of pride and entertainment.

 

Miss ya, big guy. Swim free now. 

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TatorTaco

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I quite enjoyed reading your thread and Morpheus' antics.  

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Snow_Phoenix
6 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I quite enjoyed reading your thread and Morpheus' antics.  

Less than a day and I already miss him. And yes, he was a coral-stealing, forceps-thwacking mantis - the roguish sort of devil that everyone dislikes, but I loved. I'm seriously thinking of tearing the system down. Not sure yet what I'll do over the two fish - my clown has been with me for almost two years, and the hawkfish for more than six months. The GHA is really unsightly. Tank looks so empty now. 

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KMitch

Sorry, not being an expert in Mantis shrimps.... do they only live through a certain number of molts in their lifetime? The way you phrased it implied that, and I am curious. 

 

Sorry to to hear about Morph. You should get another. I recently saw the biggest one I have ever seen at my LFS. At first I thought it was a rock, so I was looking around to see what was in the tank when suddenly that large rock moved. I nearly hit the roof I jumped so high!

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Snow_Phoenix
12 minutes ago, KMitch said:

Sorry, not being an expert in Mantis shrimps.... do they only live through a certain number of molts in their lifetime? The way you phrased it implied that, and I am curious. 

 

Sorry to to hear about Morph. You should get another. I recently saw the biggest one I have ever seen at my LFS. At first I thought it was a rock, so I was looking around to see what was in the tank when suddenly that large rock moved. I nearly hit the roof I jumped so high!

No, they don't have a set number of molts - what I meant was that Morph was already quite large for his species when I first purchased him last year, so it was highly possible he was older than he looks. My first mantis, a purple-spot named Freya, was with me for nearly 2 years. She was quite small when I bought her, and underwent multiple molts before she died. She hadn't even reached the maximum size for her species when she passed away. 

 

Unfortunately, my LFS doesn't import mantises frequently - they only do it once or twice a year. Even then, there's no telling what sort of species they'll receive. Morph was listed as a Peacock mantis - I told my manager the markings don't match, did a bit of googling and found out he was a platysoma and more suited for a nano tank so I brought him home. 

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Christopher Marks

Sorry to hear @Snow_Phoenix 😔

 

I’m glad you could share so many neat moments and details here, mantis shrimp are incredible. I hope you decide to adopt another, even if it takes some time!

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Snow_Phoenix
26 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Sorry to hear @Snow_Phoenix 😔

 

I’m glad you could share so many neat moments and details here, mantis shrimp are incredible. I hope you decide to adopt another, even if it takes some time!

Thanks, Chris. I hope I do get a chance to get another shrimp in the future. Morph did give me a lot of joy and his antics/quirks kept my reefing, despite the other setbacks I had in RL. 

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Aurortpa

Sorry about Morph!  I will say, this was a very inspirational thread to read.  I have always been fascinated by mantis shrimp and had hoped to get one in the future for a tank dedicated to him.  

Unexpected things happen, it's the way we learn and make progress.  I am confident this tank will house another mantis that I can follow along! :)

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KMitch
6 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

No, they don't have a set number of molts - what I meant was that Morph was already quite large for his species when I first purchased him last year, so it was highly possible he was older than he looks. My first mantis, a purple-spot named Freya, was with me for nearly 2 years. She was quite small when I bought her, and underwent multiple molts before she died. She hadn't even reached the maximum size for her species when she passed away. 

Ah ok. I understand now. Sorry again about Morph!

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Snow_Phoenix

Psst...You won't believe it, but I got a new mantis shrimp! :ninja:

 

Build thread on here:

 

 

 

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WV Reefer
1 hour ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Psst...You won't believe it, but I got a new mantis shrimp! :ninja:

 

Build thread on here:

 

 

 

Yay!!!!!

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