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ValerieR

66 SCA Predator Reef build

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Tired

Well, this could be interesting.  You should probably bottle trap the wrasse, if you expect it to be killed.

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ValerieR

I'm doing my best to try to catch it. The shrimp is still alive too. I tried and failed to get it today. I'll keep trying. It'll go in the sump. I may need to set up an office/desk tank for it. I'll worry about that once it's safe. 

 

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Snow_Phoenix
9 hours ago, ValerieR said:

Ok. Definite change for the 66. I was at the LFS for hermits for the purple spot mantis I have in my 13 and darn it if they didn't have a Peacock Mantis. I've never seen one here, and after much "this is a terrible idea HOWEVER there isn't much in the big tank anyway..." I brought it home with me. So, tentative name is Bruiser. I'm severely hoping it finds the PVC tubes I buried for the past eel instead of rearranging the brickwork. I'll need to identify and secure my favorite corals to keep them safe. My Dwarf Lionfish was NOT amused, and I doubt my 6 line wrasse will last the week. But I expect to be able to add 1-2 large waspfish still. Bruiser is about half his expected size right now, in the 5-6" range. Please ignore the algae on the side glass. I haven't touched the side glass in months. I'll scrape it off once there's an appropriate burrow for Bruiser. 

 

At the store:

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Looking around from the back corner:

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Lionfish (front left) and mantis having a staredown:

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Bruiser's weaponry:

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Bruiser is beautiful! But won't your lionfish try to eat him? 🤔

 

Oh, and yeah, you might want to find a way to trap both the sixline & zanzibar shrimp. Try and see if you can lure the shrimp using a bottle trap - as for the wrasse, if you can figure out where *exactly he sleeps at night everyday, you can try to catch him off guard then and scoop him out with a net (or if he's sleeping in a rock crevice, gently/quickly pull out the rock at night). 

 

Nice to see this tank fill up with animals again. 😊👍

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ValerieR
10 hours ago, Snow_Phoenix said:

Bruiser is beautiful! But won't your lionfish try to eat him? 🤔

 

Oh, and yeah, you might want to find a way to trap both the sixline & zanzibar shrimp. Try and see if you can lure the shrimp using a bottle trap - as for the wrasse, if you can figure out where *exactly he sleeps at night everyday, you can try to catch him off guard then and scoop him out with a net (or if he's sleeping in a rock crevice, gently/quickly pull out the rock at night). 

 

Nice to see this tank fill up with animals again. 😊👍

I think he sleeps way in the back. There's really no way to get him without tearing it all apart. I'm persistent, and I'm pretty sure I can get him out. I'll focus on the shrimp first though. The Lionfish is a dwarf fuzzy, so he is more of a risk of being eaten than the other way around. The lionfish is 3-4" and the Mantis is 5-6". They seem respectfully cautious around each other, and both have plenty of space to avoid one another.

 

He's definitely interesting, and I'm glad that him being there seems to be motivating me to be more involved in the tank. I'm on the fence about posting a video of him taking freeze dried krill from my tongs last night, because as cool as it is, it shows how far I've let the tank slide and I'm disappointed in myself for that. Hopefully this is the nudge I needed to get back into it. 

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ValerieR

Feed the lionfish... get company. 

 

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ValerieR

Construction on a rear tank mantis lair has begun. Bruiser started piling rubble and old shells to create a cave opening. I think it's amusing that there's no cave roof yet, spare some xenia. But you've gotta start somewhere, right? I tried showing him the existing PVC tubes by burying krill in them, and he dug out some of the sand in the opening but won't go into the main tube. I don't think he'll fully fit past the angled fitting. I'll have to grab some bigger tubes and see what I can do.

 

He's definitely comfortable, and out and about now. I'll grab more rubble for him to stack. Hopefully the construction project isn't too major a rennovation, and he leaves the glass alone. It's an SCA 66, so hopefully the bottom holds up to his testing.

 

I also caught and moved the shrimp, so he's safe now. I put it into the sump until I can find a better location, since both my tanks are mantis tanks now.

 

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ValerieR

I got tired of stressing about if he'll crack the bottom of the tank, so I tore out one of the old pipes and threw together a 1 1/2" T and buried it for him. I had to be careful moving most of the rocks and corals by hand with both a stabby lionfish and a bashy mantis, but they both preferred hiding to messing with me. Bruiser was none too happy about his old cave's demo, but after I tossed in a krill stuffed snail shell into the new tube and surrounded both the front entrance and rear exit with rubble, he was like, "well, okay." He's still exploring his other options, but I've got hope. He's starting housekeeping, and is stacking rubble, plus charging the glass if he thinks I'm too close, etc. Very promising for my glass tank bottom. 

 

(Der, food? Food? Have food?)

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Hey, my cave... back off...

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farkwar

Beautiful animals

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ValerieR

So, I'm going to work on gendering Bruiser and I got to wondering... has anyone kept a pair? I've heard mixed reviews about whether they are monogamous or not, but seeing that most suggestions are for a 20 gallon tank, and Bruiser is in a 66, I'm thinking if I set up tubes on the other side of the tank and make sure the female is larger, maybe I could get a 2nd one. 

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

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ValerieR

Bruiser is a boy. Bruiser is also VERY offended when I flip the camera and show him video of himself on my phone. 🤣 

 

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He has entrenched himself in the PVC tubes, and I'm quite happy about it. I got him some more rubble pieces and he walls himself in at night like my other mantis does. 

 

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I got small clams in the halfshell, and he's a huge fan. I'll save them as occasional treats. So far he regularly eats freeze dried and frozen krill, silversides, large predator pellets, and now clams. I'm sure he's also picked off the majority of my tank's clean up crew. I may need to glue everything down and get a huge turbo snail or two. 

 

The Dwarf Lionfish is doing well also. 

 

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mcarroll
1 hour ago, ValerieR said:

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Just curious what is your phone/camera and light combination on this photo? 

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ValerieR
11 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Just curious what is your phone/camera and light combination on this photo? 

As much as I use my "big honkin' camera" this one is just my phone, a Samsung Galexy S8, set on auto, right up near the glass with no light filters or anything. I run my tank pretty white. Doofus here is a big fan of photo bombing, which makes him easy to photograph. 

Settings are as follows: F1.7, ISO 250, exp 1/100s @ 4.25mm. 

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ValerieR

Oh no! I have a decision to make. My main "cool predator" LFS just got 10 mantis shrimp in... I'm confident I can pick out a female out of the group. But should I?

 

Has anyone else had a pair before?

 

What should I do? I don't know what I'll do with it if they don't get along. But how amazing would it be to have a pair?!?

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Tired

2 mantis shrimp and a lionfish seems like a lot of predator to have in a relatively small tank, both in potential for clashes and in bio-load.

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ValerieR
12 minutes ago, Tired said:

2 mantis shrimp and a lionfish seems like a lot of predator to have in a relatively small tank, both in potential for clashes and in bio-load.

Soooooo, are you saying I should get rid of the lionfish?  🤣

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Tired

If you can find it a good home, that's always an option. You seem to really like the mantises, and it would probably be safer for the lionfish than living with mantises. 

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ValerieR

Everything I'm finding, including research from Dr Roy, shows a Peacock Mantis needs a 100L (25 gallon) tank as an adult, so by extension, a 66 should suit 2. I'll make them separate burrows on opposite sides and my plan is to drop the new mantis directly into the vacant tube with rubble all around for walling itself in as needed. I will strongly consider adding a 3rd burrow in case either of them feel the future need to relocate. I'm going to make sure, if I can find a female, that it's as large as my male so it can properly defend itself. I will rehome my lionfish once I'm sure they're getting along. 

 

This of course all hinges on them having a female of an appropriate size. Only way to tell is to go look. 

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William
6 minutes ago, ValerieR said:

Everything I'm finding, including research from Dr Roy, shows a Peacock Mantis needs a 100L (25 gallon) tank as an adult, so by extension, a 66 should suit 2. I'll make them separate burrows on opposite sides and my plan is to drop the new mantis directly into the vacant tube with rubble all around for walling itself in as needed. I will strongly consider adding a 3rd burrow in case either of them feel the future need to relocate. I'm going to make sure, if I can find a female, that it's as large as my male so it can properly defend itself. I will rehome my lionfish once I'm sure they're getting along. 

 

This of course all hinges on them having a female of an appropriate size. Only way to tell is to go look. 

Have you messaged Roy? I would probably try to contact him before putting two together ...

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ValerieR
15 hours ago, William said:

Have you messaged Roy? I would probably try to contact him before putting two together ...

No, I don't have his info. I saw him on the reef central post from 2008 but I'm not a member there so couldn't message him. 

 

I've read his write-ups and it notes that they may pair the way another close relative does (don't recall the scientific name). None of it notes tank sizes for 2 or territory sizes, which would all help me evaluate. It does suggest that they're monogamous but it's not clear if it's a yearly truce for Netflix and chill, or something closer than that. 

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ValerieR

I went by and looked at them in person. The huge bright green one was gone, but I was already assuming it was another male and unacceptable for my tank. I did identify at least 2 females. One of them is super red, but she's also quite small. My research is showing that it would be better to have a larger female and smaller male so the male won't try to bully her or try to take her lair, especially if she's brooding.

 

They had one large, dark, plain one that may be a female, so I'm going to increase the tube size on the left side of my tank to 1-1/2" and go back to verify its gender. All 10 of them were just chilling in the same tank, which although I understand that it means nothing, it gives me hope that they may coexist instead of fight at a minimum.

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William
4 hours ago, ValerieR said:

I went by and looked at them in person. The huge bright green one was gone, but I was already assuming it was another male and unacceptable for my tank. I did identify at least 2 females. One of them is super red, but she's also quite small. My research is showing that it would be better to have a larger female and smaller male so the male won't try to bully her or try to take her lair, especially if she's brooding.

 

They had one large, dark, plain one that may be a female, so I'm going to increase the tube size on the left side of my tank to 1-1/2" and go back to verify its gender. All 10 of them were just chilling in the same tank, which although I understand that it means nothing, it gives me hope that they may coexist instead of fight at a minimum.

I believe he is on either reef central or reef2reef as neogondalactus 

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ValerieR

Well, Wednesday around 5pm I went back over to my LFS. They had sold several of the larger peacocks already, 24 hours after posting them on their Facebook page. I was able to identify a large female, and after educating the shop owner about keeping requirements, max size, gendering, and IDing a non-peacock in the group by scientific name for proper resale, I was able to negotiate a significantly lower price for myself. He claimed he has been attempting to order them for years and this was the first time he'd ever gotten any. My daughter promptly named her "Ocean" because her back is blue and green, and I decided to just roll with it. I had put in a bigger T-shaped pvc tube on the left of the tank, so I was able to put her into the tank on the left side. After some prompting she dove into the burrow and vanished. 

 

Bruiser has gone slightly into the burrow a few times since then, only to about face and b-line for his, but I really have seen no evidence of her. I was starting to get worried, because Bruiser immediately collected all the rubble he could to fortify his openings, and while I scattered rubble around the opening for her, she's done no such thing. Today though, I fed him some krill, and when I held a piece at the mouth of her burrow, she actually came out to investigate.

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She wouldn't take it from the tongs, so I stuffed into into an old snail shell and dropped it in. She promptly took it. Bruiser was investigating the smell when she came out to deposit the discarded shell, and they saw each other. He's back in his burrow hiding. I was able to snap a (bad) photo with them on opposite sides of it. 

 

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It's interesting how so different from each other they are so far, but Bruiser spent nearly a month in a store with a solid hiding spot, and she was in one for 24 hours with no hiding spots and 10 other mantises. I'm just going to have to be patient and see how the both of them acclimate. 

 

Her bashers seemed small/damaged, so I'm expecting a molt so she can repair them. It's why I'm so surprized she hasn't blockaded herself in yet.

 

Bruiser's underside does seem quite a bit redder than normal... I'm wondering if he's got "showing off" colors? 

 

Hopefully I'll get some good pictures of her soon. 

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ValerieR

Ocean is still doing well, though she's been reclusive. After getting her to eat krill, I decided to try clams in a half shell. I gave Bruiser a piece, then dropped a piece in for her. Peeking into her tube, I could see her tail, so I tapped repeatedly on the glass. She finally turned around and pulled it into the tube to eat. I got a few better pictures when she tossed the old shell out. 

 

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This is Bruiser's reaction to her: 

 

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Tired

He looks like how people act in a cartoon when a hot lady walks by, complete with the bugged-out eyes!

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ValerieR
5 hours ago, Tired said:

He looks like how people act in a cartoon when a hot lady walks by, complete with the bugged-out eyes!

Yeah, he's been very amusing.

 

He's definitely curious about her, but tentatively so. He is always prepared to run back to his burrow now, lest it be stolen from him. His default with her seems to be "flee" instead of fight, which is good because of her noticeably smaller/damaged bashers. I believe it's why she's hiding instead of investigating. She should be able to repair the damage (assuming it's not a genetic defect) next time she molts. 

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