FAQs about Mantis Shrimp
Related Articles: Mantis
Related FAQs: Mantis
1, Mantis 2, Mantis Identification, Mantis Behavior, Mantis Compatibility/Control, Mantis Selection, Mantis Systems, Mantis Disease, Mantis Reproduction, Crustaceans,
Micro-Crustaceans, Amphipods, Copepods, Mysids, Hermit
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Eating Shrimp, Crustacean Identification, Crustacean Selection, Crustacean Behavior, Crustacean Compatibility, Crustacean Systems, Crustacean Feeding, Crustacean Disease, Crustacean Reproduction,
Mantis shrimp wont eat 8/28/12
Hi there, I have had a mantis shrimp for a about 5 months now in a 200
liter tank, its a 6" peacock and he lives with a pair of maroon clowns,
a devil damsel, a dwarf angel and two barnacle blennies (never hurt a
single one of them!!!). he's not molted since i have had him and I do
water changes every week however he has stopped eating this last few
days and stands out in the open not doing much even when the lights are
on. There's no sign of shell rot and wanted to know if you have any
ideas what may be wrong with him? Thanks very much!
<When he's hungry, he'll eat! Peacock Shrimps may become reticent around
moulting-time, so bear that in mind. Ensure you're keeping iodine levels
right in the tank (insufficient iodine is a common cause of moulting
failure) and naturally review its diet to see if there's something
I am surprised this chap hasn't attacked your fish, and I kept my
Peacock very definitely on his own and he ate all sorts of foods
including juvenile tilapia (I admit I was much less informed about live
feeder fish back then, but then again, we were breeding hundreds of
tilapia at university so they were safe and in regular supply). Also,
contrary to their public image, Mantis Shrimps are quite shy, nervous
animals that are definitely "on the menu" for all sorts of predators. If
your specimen feels threatened, he may not want to come out an eat. And
one last thing, they're largely nocturnal, or at least crepuscular, so
best fed when the lights are dim or off.
Hey crew, its salt water time! Stomatopod keeping
Greetings my fine friends.
After much trial and error I feel like I'm officially a journeyman
freshwater aquarium hobbyist (in no small part thanks to WWM). I'm
now getting ready for my first salt water project and would like some
for the set up. I have decided to start with the cockroach of the sea,
the mighty stomatopods. My research indicates that they are a hardy,
robust species with only a few weaknesses (organic solvents?).
<They are indeed very easy to look after. Dangerous to your fingers,
yes, but otherwise undemanding.>
So what I want to know is this:
1, Is this truly a good first saltwater animal?
<Was my first tropical marine invertebrate! Kept several species for
long periods at university.>
2, What species would you recommend, my LFS is run by a old salt who
could probably find me a dolphin if I were willing to pay for it so
suggest away, and
<The Peacock Mantis Odontodactylus scyllarus is probably the most
popular and easy to obtain thanks to its bright colours and fairly
large size. The Zebra Mantis Lysiosquillina maculata is another large,
attractive species. Of these, the first is a "smasher" and
the second a "spearer" so in the wild at least have different
preferences in terms of diet, but care is identical under aquarium
conditions. Various small
Gonodactylus are available as well; the ones I kept at university were
Gonodactylus oersted. These are small "smashers" less than
half the size of the species mentioned earlier. Since they're
viewed as pests by "serious" marine aquarists, you may even
be able to get a small Mantis for free if you can do a bit of
networking among your local fishkeeping club, retailer or perhaps
3, Finally how exactly would you set it up?
<Almost any basic marine aquarium will work. I kept multiple
specimens in a large aquarium (55 gallons?) divided up into
compartments with strong plastic mesh and filtered with a standard
external canister. Not very attractive, but fine for lab work. As pets,
a simple system with live rock and coral sand will do the trick. The
only thing to remember is that Mantis shrimps are burrowers. PVC tubes
work fine as alternatives to real burrows, but they do need some sort
a. what type of tank would you go for? I'm looking at a all in one
type setup but I'm not settled on a brand.
<Cut according to your cloth. These are NOT demanding animals, and
provided the tank is adequate for keeping invertebrates generally, and
invertebrates of this particular size, it should be fine.>
b. live rock, live sand?
<Live rock certainly, if your budget allows, but live sand will be
thoroughly burrowed into and likely heaped in one corner, so its
practicality may be limited.>
c. size? I'm leaning towards 15g but its still up in the air.
<15 gallons should be fine for one of the little Gonodactylus, but
I'd allow more space for the bigger species.>
d. any corals viable with the little guy?
<They ignore cnidarians and sponges, so sure, you can use corals if
you want. But that adds a layer of expense in terms of lighting and
water quality not particularly important to keeping Mantis shrimps.
Plus, strong lighting will cause your Mantis to hide away. Ideally, the
tank wouldn't be lit at all, of if it was, with something rather
dim, like moonlight tubes.
I kept my Mantis shrimps with Beadlet Anemones, and these anemones bred
like crazy, eating up the leftover particles of food, I guess.>
<The shrimps couldn't care less. Most species are nocturnal,
dusk/dawn active, or at least very shy if they do move about during the
f, treated tap water is fine for these guys right?
<Should be fine, provided water quality is reasonable, i.e.,
than 20 mg/l.>
My goal is a very simple, easily maintainable tank, a Zen garden with a
tiny monster in the middle.
<There's a good scientific literature on keeping these shrimps
in labs, so if you have access to such, you'd find that worthwhile.
The "Lurkers Guide to Stomatopods" is a rare example of a
scientific project that has spawned good, usable information for
non-scientists, and is well worth a visit.
All in all, fantastic animals, sadly undervalued. Hope this helps.
Re: Hey crew, its salt water time! 10/15/10
Thanks man, your prompt assistance is appreciated as always.
<Glad to help.>
So would a product like this truly be all that I need gear wise?
<Oh, sure, very nice for the right sized Mantis.>
I'm thinking Gonodactylus in a 14 gallon tank with 5lbs live rock
and 10lbs mixed pinkie sized gravel.
<Sounds good. There are some medium-sized species in this genus that
get to about 8-10 cm/3-4 inches, and those should be fine in there. You
might even look at Pseudosquilla ciliata, a bright yellow, day active
I would love to get a larger tank with a giant peacock, but the old
lady put her foot down!
<I bet. Did you tell you pet could land you in the Emergency
About feeding, seems to me the common consensus is that they will eat
dead meaty food easily enough but a weekly serving of live crustacean
(for smashers) is best. Would fresh water crayfish from a bait shop be
as bad an idea as I suspect that it is? What would be the best (read
cheapest yet healthy) live food be.
<No live food needed. I fed mine using long forceps. Wiggle the food
enticingly. These animals are VERY smart, and soon learn where
"easy meals" come from. Doesn't take long to get them
weaned onto such fare. I'm not sure I'd use live crayfish for
the small species -- partly they may not be able to kill it, and partly
you'd end up with so much decaying organic matter in the tank
you'd ruin water quality. But plain vanilla river shrimp will do,
and at least here in England you can buy them for about 5 pence (7-8
cents) a piece from the better aquarium shops. These are estuarine
shrimps and live indefinitely in marine aquaria, so they're much
less of problem in terms of water quality. Small live clams and mussels
might be offered to "smashers". But otherwise, go browse your
local Asian food market and stock up on wet frozen squid, cockles,
clams, prawns and so on.
Unshelled shrimp is particularly good, but do bear in mind crustaceans
and some molluscs (mussels in particular) are thiaminase-rich, so you
want to either minimise their use in favour of thiaminase-free foods
like tilapia fillet and cockles, or else use marine aquarium vitamin
Without the right diet, mantis shrimps exhibit a variety of shell
deformities and moult problems.>
Thanks again Neale,
<Have fun with your pet! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Hey crew, its salt water time! 10/15/10
Looking forward to it.
PS: Please don't tell the wife about the emergency room thing.
<So just for once, let's hope that's one person who
doesn't visit WetWebMedia! Cheers, Neale.>
Feeding A Mantis Shrimp Ok, now that I got a mantis out of
the rock and have it in my 3g Eclipse (its only a 1 inch long mantis),
what do I do? << Feed him a little bit of krill or shrimp every
couple days. >> I am wondering how much damage the fresh water
shock did to the poor thing. Can it still see? << They
have some absolutely amazing eyes. I'll bet it can see
far better than you or I. >> I dropped some food in, but its not
eating. I read they can be very finicky eaters. .. any
advice? << Well, not sure on the foods. I think any
fresh seafood would do the trick. But if not, I guess
I'd try some ghost shrimp. >> Thanks! Tom
<< Blundell >>