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Mantis shrimp and dead false perc??


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Ok....last night, I saw a small, clear colored shrimp I assume is a Mantis Shrimp on my LR. Today, I find my false perc dead. I found him at the same place I saw the shrimp the night before. My question is do mantis shrimp kill fish? I've been reading other threads and most people find these things fascinating and a good thing to have. I read a book saying mantis shrimps are pests. Do they kill? How do I catch them and get rid of them? BTW, I found a dead shrimp in my tank about a week ago.

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they kill EVERYTHING!!!

you need to be very careful when you catch them, they will strike your fingers and it will most likely be very painful. On the discovery channel, they were saying the strike of a mantis shrimp is equivalent to a 22g handgun. If you do a search you'll find some bloody fingers

try to net it if possible

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Mantis shrimp aren't usually clear in color. I've never seen a clear one that wasn't in a pelagic larval stage, anyway, and those would be too small to see. So what you saw probably is not a mantis. And there's also the question of "how small is small"...if it's under about an inch in length, it's probably something other than a mantis as well, most likely a mysis or amphipod. There are some amphipods out there that look a lot like mantis shrimp, the only difference being they have their abdomens curled up most of the time. Googly eyes, grabbing front legs and everything! Amphipods also don't kill fish (normally).


I'd check your tank parameters and ask questions such as: is this a new tank? Did you add anything new recently, or change how you normally treat the tank? How long was the fish in there? Had it been eating? Acting normally? How was the appearance?


The great majority of accidentally imported mantis shrimp are "smashers", which means they go after mobile and immobile crustaceans, not fish. However, they can kill fish if the fish gets too close and they feel threatened or territorial. Everything you've written though suggest it's not a mantis you have.


They're pretty interesting pets and my favorite reef organism if kept with the right tankmates. No crustaceans, no molluscs, and preferably no fish....fish are often ok but may cause the mantis to hide. I kept mine for several months with a ton of corals and the only problem I ever had with that was her tendency to try and use very small frags in her burrow. Solution? Rubber-band the frags to something larger. They really aren't a threat to corals unless you're talking about large and rowdy species like the peacock, which is the only very large mantis in the hobby. Most others stay under 4".


Hope this helps.

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Thanks for the info Rene. What you wrote has taught me a lot. Now I have to figure out what it is in my tank. I'll try to take a picture but these things seem to hide when the lights turn on. When I do catch a glimpse of them, they run and hide the same way a cockroach does.

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