View Full Version : Best way to introduce peacock mantis to companion livestock

EI Gringo
11/11/2015, 07:32 AM
Just got a question on a mixed reef housing a peacock. I intend on keeping 2 peacock mantis side by side with holes in the divider for smaller fish to pass through but not adult o.scyllarus. I've toyed with the idea of having a lionfish in each compartment with the peacock but have decided that I want to attempt to stock other fish instead

My stocklist will include filefish, yellow damsels, clownfish, wrasse,pj cardinals, gobies, blennies, dragonets, chromis, anthias and then feeder shrimp and hundreds of snails.

My question is do I introduce the fish to the peacock or the peacock to the fish? im going with peacock to the fish and throwing in plenty of food upon introduction. along with feeders and snails I'll throw in brine shrimp and Frozen food.

Anybody have experience on this? What are your thoughts? Thanks in advance guys

11/11/2015, 05:41 PM
All my fish were in the tank prior to the O. scyllarus. They kinda adapt to them like they're a part of their new environment.

Never keep lionfish with Stomatopods. They're still venomous creatures that threaten them if the O scyllarus decides to defend itself, they don't run either and will likely camp infront of their burrows stubbornly, forcing action from the stomatopod. Glad you optioned out of that.

EI Gringo
11/12/2015, 12:46 AM
The lionfish would have been a dwarf lionfish about 6 inches when adult

EI Gringo
11/12/2015, 12:54 AM
I've actually got another question and this one may be more controversial... I currently have a g smithii chillin in my dual peacock reef with a pj cardinal. I'm tempted to leave the g smithii in there when I introduce the peacock, on the grounds that the tank will be brimming with live food for both and that ime peacock mantis tend to leave small animals that hide alone, do you think another illusive stomatopod won't be worth trying to catch? I don't believe that it will be a problem but I don't know whether it's worth the risk simply because I would be upset to lose the smithii

11/12/2015, 08:35 AM
Considering how much stomatopods HATE other stomatopods by default (they are highly territoral, just the presence of another stomatopod threatens them), that's not going to work out.

Also it just clicked to me, but good luck finding two O. scyllarus with the same exact personallity. Fish sometimes survive, but you're doubling these odds here with two specimens which can be killers.

11/12/2015, 09:35 AM
Hmm... all interesting ideas, I'll chime in with some experiences that I've had.

I've had my 3" Peacock, Neptune, since July and introduced him into my 40B with two cleaner shrimp (Fire & Scarlet Skunk). They were both around 2" long at the time and Neptune was around 2.5" and missing a smasher.

Since that time he has acted as if they aren't there until just the past month. Now if I drop pellets in the tank for the shrimps, Neptune will come rushing out to chase them away from the food so he can eat it. But he doesn't even attempt to strike them. I can't say he'll always act like that towards them, but for now I think Neptune isn't completely aware that he can kill them because they are all about the same size (~3"). My thoughts are that Neptune will kill them when he gets a little bigger. He's about due for another molt.

I think Calappidae raises some good points though. It is impossible to anticipate a mantis shrimp's personality. If you are super lucky you might get two that are ok with fish, but the variety of species that you are planning may cause some problems. If I were a betting man, my money would be on that you'll have some casualties with this course of action. Just how many casualties is difficult to say at this point. Filling the tank with feeder shrimp and snails is all well and good, but mantis shrimp will kill whatever is most available at each given moment. If it's a snail, ok, but if it's your favorite fish he'll take that too.

Regarding the G. Smithii...hmm, I don't think it's the best idea, but I won't tell you that it cannot work, just that I've never heard of it working long term. Again, it all comes down to opportunity. If the Peacock catches the Smithii out in the open, it's over. But what I think will actually happen is that the Smithii will be very reclusive and it might just make more sense to place him in a refugium or somewhere so you can actually see him come out every now and then.

Anyways, best of luck to you and show some pictures of everything if you decide to go through with it.

EI Gringo
11/12/2015, 10:04 AM
I know this won't sound great but I actually have had a peacock and a small smasher living together for about 2 weeks without one attacking the other... My Glabrous was once linked in a system to my highly tame Osiris, the little ****er escaped down into my peacock tank, falling down a long pipe and landing next to my peacock. I didn't see this happen but I knew it did as she disappeared without a trace, only one place she could have gone, Osiris' stomach. 2 weeks later I spotted the little girl peering out of a rock :L I also had my pseudosquilla Ciliata escape into my main tank housing my Smithii whilst I was away on holiday!! I came home and caught the little ****er, neither of them were at all harmed. As for peacocks personalities, anyone expects a few casualties but I'll be careful with what I actually get in terms of fish. Peacocks do tend to eat what's easily available more often than not and I intend to make them lazy when it comes to snacking by attempting to feed frozen daily and filling the tank with snails permanently so if they need a snack whilst I'm not around then theoretically they take the snails or shrimp which are easiest and most meaty prey items available, that's the thinking

EI Gringo
11/12/2015, 10:05 AM
I do love the stomatopod forum, it's the only place we can talk about potentially murdering lots of animals without being judged :L

11/12/2015, 11:59 AM
I do love the stomatopod forum, it's the only place we can talk about potentially murdering lots of animals without being judged :L

You've picked a good era, back in the old days it was a pretty PETA place.

I wouldn't expect a casualty right away with two stomatopods in the tank. Keep in mind stomatopods aren't stupid, they have pretty brilliant tactics for defending and scouting their opponents. They know when to stay low profile, and when to be offensive while they have the chance. Around other stomatopods, they especially play carefully. I was watching two N. wennerae fighting through critter containers at an LFS, and it was interesting how the one with the least rock shielded while the other hit with retreat ground. Neither were hurt as this is just what went on in a divided environment.

However one of the silent killers of the hobby is stress, and if the animal is uncomfortable in those conditions, you're pretty much killing them either way. It's a lose/lose scenario.

Anyway, my main point is if there is stomatowars, it's not going to be han solo shoot first, it's going to be a well thought out long poker game before there's a casuality.

11/12/2015, 11:22 PM
I think long term success is what's in question here. I'm certain that for a period of a few weeks or months your stomatopods may be content to live together, but eventually one will molt or the other will catch him out and about and it's game over. If you're not interested in long term success then give it a shot!

Regarding the feeding behaviors of mantis shrimp in general, it's not a very well understood topic from what I gather. But I'll tell you that mine eats CONSTANTLY. I'm not sure that I could ever feed enough to deter him from eating stuff I don't want him to eat. I'm really surprised he hasn't attacked my cleaner shrimps. I think there is an intimidation factor there that won't last forever.

I also agree with Calappidae about stress, it probably kills more livestock in this hobby than ammonia poisoning or whatever else. Just displacing an animal from its normal habitat is bad enough, but then putting it in a place of constant danger and all of that, it's too much. I have a theory that many Peacocks develop problems in the home aquarium because they often don't have a proper burrow prepared for them. They are forced to just sit out in the open so they stress out and get shell rot or just die.

If you try enough random stuff in this hobby you'd be surprised what you can achieve, but my vote is that some of your experimentation is not going to work out as well as you might be hoping. Best of luck though!

EI Gringo
11/13/2015, 03:38 AM
Yeah I'm going to chuck my Smithii in the sump with my mollies and give it a good burrow, it'll be happy in there and I doubt it will kill my fish. I'm not a hundred percent on whether I will have 2 peacocks and if they are too aggressive to one another then I will remove one of them, hoping for a male and a female to breed. It's all up in the air at the moment

11/13/2015, 08:56 AM
Ooooo, a breeding pair, that'd be interesting. Very risky, but also very cool if you could make that happen.

EI Gringo
11/13/2015, 09:57 AM
I want to see their interactions, a black screen can be put in between if they start being a bit violent, which I fully expect :L from now I have the task of sourcing a male peacock mantis... Hopefully one which isn't yet fully grown, fun fun

11/13/2015, 01:10 PM
I think all Dr. Caldwell's resulted in death.

They breed, they run, they get chased down, they're dead. You wouldn't be able to fight back after sex either.

The only pairs that have really stuck close long enough is the Lysiosquillinas, but I think one Odontodactylus he was able to keep paired for a significantly longer period of time. (but still resulted in death)

He got eggs out of them, but rearing the zoa was impossible and one mystery he was working hard to figure out for many many MANY years.

This is a guaranteed dead mantis what you're doing. They have to be seperated by all means.

You're literally doing something a marine bologist hasn't successfully done in his around 50 years career.

EI Gringo
11/16/2015, 01:49 AM
They are separated, the male will be introduced to the female if she starts waving her antennal scales and the male shows interest in her and I will watch closely with a net in the water ready to remove one of them, the 2 peacocks will have a wall of acrylic separating them at all times. I asked Roy about mating behaviour on a previous thread and this was the advice he gave, by watching their behaviour day to day you can observe a very clear change in which the appear curious to each other rather than aggressive. Once together the male and female do little mating rituals where they pass eachother, turn, and pass eachother again, this means they will then mate. The male copulates and then I immediately net him before the female turns on him. Rearing the young is something Roy never did, but as you can see by his sex pictures, he successfully made peacocks mate. If I can then I will keep a few of the fry in individual nets within a tray connected to my system somehow to see if I can raise them, using every food under the sun but I understand the difficulty and it is most likely not going to work, actual breeding is not my aim