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FAQs about Mantis Shrimp Disease/Health

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Mantis Shrimp Laying on Back       5/31/17
Hey Gang
I recently purchased a Smithii Mantis Shrimp for my 30 gallon tank. I was so excited to finally get one! Anyways, during the acclimation process, I floated him for about 25 minutes, then proceeded to add small quantities of water over the next few hours.
<Mmm; did you test for ammonia, pH in the shipping water? Might have burned this stomatopod>

I noticed he was lying on his back in the bag, and when I let him out, he just swam into a corner and remained in that position. I was worried I had stressed him out, so I’ve turned of the lights and covered the tank to try and calm him. It’s been a day and he’s still doing the same thing, he does move around slightly and flip every now and then, other than that he doesn’t do anything except move his swimmerets around. The tank has been established for years and houses some Nerite snails and a blue leg hermit crab, all of which are fine. I also have some mangrove growing out the back. The temp is 80 f, ph is around 8, hardness is in 120 to 160 range, salinity is around 1.026, nitrites are zero and nitrates are about 60 ppm ( I fell behind on some water changes).
<Do see WWM re... keep NO3 under 20 ppm>
Basically what can I do? I plan to keep the tank covered to prevent stressing it, but I was wondering if it would be wise to try water changes?
<As part of the strategy of reducing nitrate? Yes>
I read that Mantis Shrimp are very hardy, expect when they molt, is it possible I stressed him into molting?
<Doubtful>
Also are the nitrates an issue, usually they are lower, but they were much higher at the stores tank that I didn’t think it would be an issue.
<Are an issue>
Basically, I love this critter and would hate to see him go so soon. If there’s anything I can do to help him out I will. Open to any suggestion/advice
Thanks, Aaron
<Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Mantis shrimp Hi Mr. Fenner, <Sorry, but you Reached Steven Pro. Anthony Calfo and I are helping out while Bob is out of town.> Just to let you know your site is very informative and is also a big reason as to why I started up a marine aquarium. <I will certainly pass the compliment onto Bob.> Anyways, I just have a couple of questions, the first regarding the pesky little mantis shrimp I think, has taken residence in my aquarium. Recently I've had an Ick outbreak in my 60 gallon aquarium. Following the advice of my LFS and your site I've decided to "nuke" the tank and was just wondering if the mantis shrimp would have survived the copper treatment. <Probably not> Secondly I was just wondering what your opinions are on the Built in filters In the DAS aquariums (i.e.. are they sufficient?) as I have been eyeing a 100 gallon DAS aquarium with a built in filter. <I do not like them. I do aquarium maintenance for a living and these filters are small, cramped, and difficult to service. It is also very difficult to upgrade or make changes. I prefer a tank with a sump.>

Is that a smasher or a splitter? Dear Mr. Fenner, <PF here> My finger was impaled by a mantis shrimp a week ago <ouch!> and my finger has not fully cover from sensory feel. As there are no relevant doctor for these in my area, would you please inform me more about injury from a mantis shrimp? <I'm sorry Sugeng, I can't be more specific than this: treat it as any other wound. Make sure it stays clean, and keep that finger out of any infectious material. I would go see a regular (i.e. general practitioner) about this injury, and I would recommend you go as soon as possible. Hope that helps and best wishes, PF>Thanks. Sugeng

Re: Your help on/with WWM Thank you to whoever titled the "Is that a smasher or a splitter?" for me. <No worries... wish I was as clever as the ed.s at WSJ> Next time, I'll catch that and include a link (specifically the one for wounds...), to say I was a little freaked out by my first question being medically related (I'm not a doctor ,nor do I play one or TV) would be rather accurate. <We takes and gives what we gets> I certainly hope I made it clear he should go see a doctor, and I hope the AMA doesn't come after me for practicing without a license. ; ) <Something to contemplate. Bob>

Wound Care Advice Bob: I read the two posts yesterday & today about a mantis shrimp wound. The advice was sound. Actually, your wound/infection article is very appropriate and correct. As the cliché goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The most important treatment of a non-venomous wound is prompt cleaning/disinfection. As for the loss of sensation in the writer's finger--as long as there was no venom involved, it is likely that the impalement cut a nerve. Cutting a larger nerve closer to the base of the finger would affect all sensation beyond that point. Cutting a small nerve near the tip would affect just a small area. I still have a small numb spot on one finger from a laceration I sustained over 25 years ago. It is always smart to see a doctor when a  wound isn't healing properly or looks infected. Any primary care physician is a good starter. Steve Allen, M.D. PS: don't fret about the AMA--I'm sure they've got bigger fish to fry. ;) <Thank you for this timely input. Will share, post. Bob Fenner>

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