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Snow_Phoenix

Snow's Mantis Habitat - New Corals!

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Hey everyone. Been a long time since I was active on this site - I miss it, but RL takes precedence and I haven't had the actually chance to share anything.

 

Well, here's one of my marine tanks - a tank that was recently moved from one house to another as I shifted. I acquired a G. platysoma mantis - a beautiful boy which I named Morpheus (Morph). Morph was QTed for 3 weeks and released into his new home around a week ago. He's approximately 3.5" and very, very interactive. Among all the mantises I've kept over the years, his personality is so far the best to date.

 

Morph currently shares the 10G display with my 1-year-old juvi Clarkii clownfish and a 6-month-old sixline wrasse. The 10G is sumped, but it took me a while to realize that the tank is quite small to accomodate Morph - so I'm planning on transferring him to either a 16G or 30G in the upcoming weeks. Because of the nature of our move from one house to another, things have been very chaotic. I've already lost $2000 worth of livestock during the move - and one of my tanks (a discus/spiny eel tank) is still left behind in the old house for now, because my fish were getting stressed to the point of getting sick. Some of the specimens I have are more than 2-years-old and I raised them from 1.5" to 7.5". Each discus fish loss cost me RM 1280, and I lost around 5 of them in the past few weeks. It was a big blow, and I'm still trying to get my older marine tanks settled in. 

 

Anyhow, here are several pics of Morph in his temporary home:

 

 

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Quick update - Morpheus the Mantis has decided to dig a nice tunnel system under the rocks instead of thwacking the rocks to create a burrow. He has a mini labyrinth in the sandbed, but here's the main entrance:

 

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Tank is relatively bare - I hardly keep the lights on because the mantis is very active when the lights are off, and I love watching him roam the tank. I'm thinking of picking up some soft corals and shrooms down the road. (Maybe in about 2+ months from now). Not sure how the shrimp would tolerate the coral invasion, but we shall see.

 

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Also, I gave my wrasse away. He was sharing the same burrow with the mantis - too close for comfort, I'd say, even though they get along without any issues. Clownfish has already been moved to my dragonet tank about 2 or so weeks back, if you've been keeping up with that thread. 

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29 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

Morph is awesome! :)

Yep, he is! He'll be a coral-stealer soon, just wait. I haven't owned a mantis yet who hasn't tried to rescape my tank or steal a shroom or zoa when I had my back turned. 

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41 minutes ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Yep, he is! He'll be a coral-stealer soon, just wait. I haven't owned a mantis yet who hasn't tried to rescape my tank or steal a shroom or zoa when I had my back turned. 

I can’t wait to see that!

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I went to a LFS which I haven't visited in over 8 months. And I went coral shopping for Morph's tank. Mostly some tiny frags - nothing too fancy, except of course the mini carpet nems.

 

1. The bags of blessing/doom. 

 

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2. Shrooms! Three tiny ones - one red, one orange and one a sort of mix between teal blue and green. They had Yumas at a more expensive price, but I wanted to see how regular shrooms would fare in the tank first. Might pick up those Yumas in 2 to 3 months time, provided these ones thrive in the tank.

 

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3. Also picked up some regular Palys with green eyes as seen above. Nuclear green palys were also available but at premium prices. I didn't pick those up. Also picked up a small frag of neon green GSP. Not too costly for its size.

 

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4. And of course, there were 2 mini carpet nems. Only available 2 to 3 years once in my state. I grabbed the last 2. One is neon green with a green rim, the other is a duller green with a white rim and bright purple foot. The neon one was pooping at the store, but when I took both nems out of the bag, they were super-sticky. I actually had difficulty detaching them from my fingers, but placement on the rocks were easier. They were quite spread out overnight, but shrunk a little once the lights came back on. I dimmed the lights and they seem to be doing much better. 

 

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5. Also picked up a small knot of macro. C. peltalta mixed with Chaeto and a bit of Galaxaura. Planning to start a plain macro tank below the 4' ft discus tank to just let it grow out into a ball. Already split the macro into 2 parts - 1 for the dragonet tank, and 1 small streamer for the mantis tank. 

 

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6. FTS on 8/1/2018. Once that red mushroom attaches to the LR rubble, I'll re-add the wavemaker to increase flow again. 

 

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I have a bit of a diatom issue though. It vanishes when I turn off the lights for the night, then magically reappears when the lights are back on for the day. I could get a small CUC of snails, but they'll be lunch for Morph. And prices of CUC have inflated a little - so giving a mantis shrimp a RM 20 cuisine is making me cringe a little. Does anyone have any ideas how to fight off the diatoms manually then? I've tried basting but that only works on the layer that covers the LS. Not the LR.

 

P.S. Morph steals corals. It's why everything is arranged as far away from his hideout as possible. He tried to run off with the red shroom until I caught him at it. We had a tug-of-war for 3 secs before he decided I wasn't worth it. :lol:

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Welcome back to the community @Snow_Phoenix! I love love love mantis tanks, thank you for taking the time to share yours with us!

 

Beautiful decor for Morph's new place! :happy: Those new anemones are gorgeous :o 

 

The diatoms should work themselves out on their own I imagine, this is a fairly new system, so it's expected.

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Just now, Christopher Marks said:

Welcome back to the community @Snow_Phoenix! I love love love mantis tanks, thank you for taking the time to share yours with us!

 

Beautiful decor for Morph's new place! :happy: Those new anemones are gorgeous :o 

 

The diatoms should work themselves out on their own I imagine, this is a fairly new system, so it's expected.

 

Thanks, Chris! I love the nems too - it's very difficult to get mini carpet nems or RFAs in Johor. In fact, I've never seen a RFA being sold in any of the LFSes in my state ever since I joined this hobby. States up north sell them at around $100 for a RFA the size of a penny. Very, very pricey IMO.

The system has been actually up and running in my old house for a few months, but since I had to package everything and move it to the new house (which I'm currently in), I pretty much started from zero although the LR is the same. I swapped out the LS since it contains months worth of gunk. 

I'll probably add more small frags of low-end corals in the months to come - but nothing too big. I'm thinking of shrooms of different colors/types, mostly. :)

P.S. I love mantis tanks too. I know FlowerMama had some pretty awesome nem and mantis tanks. 

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5 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Oh yes, @FlowerMama will be happy to see Morpheus, her mantis Gertie was a real joy :happy: 

 

 

I remember Gertie! That was an awesome mantis with a lot of personality. R.I.P. Gertie. If Flower gets another mantis, I hope she starts another thread on here. Would love to follow it. :happy:

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This thread was started on my birthday so I'm going to enjoy the heck out of it!

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I planted my mantis tank thinking he would love the coverage to forage around in.  I quickly learned to fear the stalking mantis in the weeds every time I put my hand int he tank.  NEVER AGAIN!  Pile of rocks in the middle surrounded by a DMZ of sand from now on.

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19 minutes ago, Failnomicon said:

I planted my mantis tank thinking he would love the coverage to forage around in.  I quickly learned to fear the stalking mantis in the weeds every time I put my hand int he tank.  NEVER AGAIN!  Pile of rocks in the middle surrounded by a DMZ of sand from now on.

I get you. I had a female purple spot mantis shrimp few years back. I planted a few strands of Caulerpa peltata on an unwanted acro skeleton, thinking the strands wouldn't take off. Those few runners grew into a beautiful forest of green. Problem was, my mantis was also green and she had a habit of sitting in the weeds and watching me. I had to be extra careful and double-check the weeds whenever I stuck my hand in to trim them. She loved hiding, and made a game of seeing if she could spook me from her makeshift forest. 

 

In the case of my current Mantis, Morph, he's quite large and his coloration is a sort of mottled tan/light brown with specks of white. It's excellent camouflage amongst LR, but not so excellent among bright green macro. I don't mind making a small forest for him to hide in in the back of the tank though. He loves exploring so much. 

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Brave to keep that little beast, especially playing tug of war with him. Ever been snapped?

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1 minute ago, Brian whitman said:

Brave to keep that little beast, especially playing tug of war with him. Ever been snapped?

So far no. He's more curious and mellow than my clownfish in the other tank. Now that's a true little beastie - can't stick my finger in without getting nipped. 

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If anyone has been reading my dragonet thread - you'll know by now that my clownfish has been re-added to this tank. Long story short, my clown was a jerk and decided it would be fun to attack my dragonet. I decided it would be best if she has a tank with no other fish in it, plus Morph could hold his own. 

 

Fishy troubles aside, I took some interesting snapshots of my nems actively twitching, expanding, shrinking and expanding again when the lights came on for the day.

 

1. Here was how the main neon green nem looked like with the lights just flicked on:

 

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2. After a brief acclimation period, the nem expanded and all its tentacles sprung up. Once fully stretched out, this nem is *almost 5" wide. Its foot also extends all the way *through the rock, so my best guess is that if I wish to move it in the future, the rock is coming along with it.

 

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3. This is the second nem, which faces sideways and isn't under direct lighting from the LED. This nem is a much duller green but its edges has a white lace, which is actually quite beautiful. It also has a bright purple foot.

 

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4. Morph decided to peek out of his burrow and check out what the entire ruckus is all about. :lol:

 

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5. And here's the latest FTS on 11/1/2018. Also, I think my GSP is melting. A little strange since my tank temp is around 27'C. I'll try to move it to a shadier region and see if it will take off from there. The macro is growing quite fast though - I swear it's extending an inch per day!

 

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My country had a major temperature drop for several days about a few days ago. Since I live in the tropics, where it is mostly hot and humid all year around, most of the fish tanks here don't have heaters and the animals are quite used to living in higher temperatures. 

 

Some of my animals felt quite sick during the temperature drop - I lost a pair of ram cichlids in my larger discus tank, and my parrots were shivering quite badly. Had to make do with covering everything with thick blankets and switching off the cooling ventilators in the house. Temperatures are now climbing back to normal, but my macro in the mantis tank contracted a weird sort of fungus on the stem and has mostly died off. I've still left the runners in because they're still growing and relatively healthy. 

 

My clownfish was quite sluggish when the water was cold but she's back to normal today. Eating and swimming normally as always. 

 

1. I managed to get a few close-ups of my neon green nem:

 

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2. My GSP is flourishing and growing rather quickly now - it suddenly decided to take off:

 

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3. And my orange shroom is expanding quite well:

 

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The second nem decided to take a walk and has now hidden itself below the rock arch, well out of any light's touch. It seems to like the darkness quite well, but my concern is, will it eventually move out into the open again to seek out the light? 

 

Also, Morpheus is doing great! He gets along well with the clownfish (so far) but made a show of knocking down the little red mushroom to the sandbed - he's decided to rescape the tank for me. :lol:

 

Btw, I'm not using a skimmer or wavemaker atm. I considered getting a nano skimmer, but the corals seem to be doing ok with the regular weekly WCs. I expected the NO3 and PO4 levels to be off the roof due to the clown and mantis, but it isn't. Hmm. 

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Maybe find a new home for the clown.  It will only take Morpheus having one bad day and that will be it for the clown.

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I think the clown and Morpheus stand a good chance at peacefully coexisting.  My mantis likes the company of his talbots damsel, and clownfish are a type of damsel too.  Really been enjoying the updates keep them coming!

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5 minutes ago, GraniteReefer said:

I think the clown and Morpheus stand a good chance at peacefully coexisting.  My mantis likes the company of his talbots damsel, and clownfish are a type of damsel too.  Really been enjoying the updates keep them coming!

Thank you, Granite. Eventually I will have to move the clown as she gains in size though, since she is Clarkii. Right now they are coexisting peacefully. I keep them both well-fed, but I do understand the concerns over keeping a fish with a mantis. I used to keep a purple spot mantis with a blue damsel in a 5G many years ago. That pairing worked out well too. I *think a fast-moving fish that stays in the upper-column of the water will do alright with a mantis shrimp. Bottom-dwellers (eg. gobies, blennies etc.) or slow-moving fish (eg. dragonets) are obviously a big no-no.

Sorry for the lack of updates - I've been busy juggling some RL things. I'll try to update with more photos soon.

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I was bedridden for a while - and fell behind maintenance. It took a toll on my nems and corals. The corals, not so much since shrooms are relatively hardy. But the nems are terribly bleached. Is there a way to un-bleach it? They've both moved and are now hiding under the arch of my rockwork. I no longer turn on the lights since I think it will only cause them to bleach further. So the only time I do turn on the lights is when I feed Morph and the clownfish.

 

Also, GHA struck. But with the lights off, it is sort-of withering away and dying on its own.

 

How do I get this tank back on track? 

 

I'm worried more for my mantis - but he seems like a tough guy and is still quite active. The clownfish also seems largely unaffected by whatever that's bothering the nems. I thought of performing daily WCs (small ones), but will this stress out my nems? My mantis? I'm now a bit reluctant to touch the tank. Or shall I just do a major 50% WC, and keep up with that routine twice a week?

 

Help me get this back on track, without harming my mantis, please. :tears:

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3 hours ago, Lugmos12 said:

can the mantis break the glass?

My current one, no. I've owned another 2 mantises before, and neither of them broke the glass either. 

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I love this thread. I had an N. wennerae mantis for about a year, and he did just fine with all the fish in the tank.  Smashing-type mantis go for snails and crabs, spearing mantis go for fish, and while I know that's a generalization that is not 100% reliable, I think overall fish are safe with smashers.    Anyway, your thread reminds me of all the personality that mantises have.  So cool.  

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