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Optic
12/25/2015, 04:58 AM
hey guys,

Brand new to the forum here, Can't believe I've found a forum for Mantis Shrimps!

Anyway... I Owned a Mantis shrimp about 4 years ago now, had him for 2 years then he died :( , not sure what happened but when it happened I just didn't have the heart to do it again...

But In saying that, I really want to get one again but with the right set up, all the bells and whistles.

So basically I need some ideas of set ups, I've looked through all of the posts on here and have found a few ideas but not everything yet.

1 - Tank Size?
2 - Filters? I don't want to run a sump...ideally but I can if I have to.
3 - Lighting
4 - Live rock or no live rock? I want a peacock smasher ( clubber )
5 - How much light do I need for the live rock?

I'm sure there's plenty more that needs answering, If anyone can help me out that would be amazing.

Cheers

Daniel.

Optic
12/25/2015, 05:50 AM
Looking at http://www.aquaone.com.au/2015-04-16-04-47-04/2015-04-16-06-00-17/aquariums/item/3439-53429

What are peoples thoughts on this?

EI Gringo
12/25/2015, 06:41 AM
Welcome to the stomatopod forum! We're a small bunch of nice guys here ^_^ what species did you want buddy?

Optic
12/25/2015, 04:08 PM
Welcome to the stomatopod forum! We're a small bunch of nice guys here ^_^ what species did you want buddy?

That's good to hear :)

I'm not exactly sure, I'm from Melbourne Australia so whatever is the easiest species to get here. It's definitely going to be a smasher of some sort. Hopefully an active one that can grow to a medium size, 10-15cm

Kharn
12/25/2015, 05:33 PM
That's good to hear :)

I'm not exactly sure, I'm from Melbourne Australia so whatever is the easiest species to get here. It's definitely going to be a smasher of some sort. Hopefully an active one that can grow to a medium size, 10-15cm

Your best off starting with a small common smasher species that many LFS will have a couple of in stock.

Most likely candidates are G.smithii and G.graphurus who both get to 90mm long and who have both relatively exactly the same care levels and high endurance, the only difference between them is that G.graphurus is slightly more colorful.

1Q - Tank Size?
1A - Small Smashers around 90mm are happy in 30L-40L.

2Q - Filters? I don't want to run a sump...ideally but I can if I have to.
2A - (In order of Best to worst)... Sumps are good because they allow for future alterations of things easily when you may want to change or add things to your existing setup, they also help in a big way with increasing overall water volume and the more water volume the slower that water changes its parameters (small water volume systems change in parameters dramatically and swiftly).
#1 Sump + Skimmer + Refugium + RODI ATO
#2 Sump + Skimmer + Refugium
#3 Sump + Skimmer
#4 Sump + Refugium
#5 Sump + Internal/External Power Filter
#6 Internal/External Power Filter


3Q - Lighting?
3A - Will the tank have any corals, Stomatopods do not need light to live.
(I had corals in my mantis shrimp tanks but used these cheap in price but AWESOME in strength and PAR reading LED lights https://www.reefbreeders.com/photon-series/ )

4iQ - Live rock or no live rock?
4iA - Yes, you need live rock, with minimal or maximal filtration in the tank live rock is still and will always be an important part of biological filtration for the marine aquarium, but there are better alternatives I am in love with MarinePure Blocks the 8"x8"x4" thick chunks, simply because you know what you buy when you buy MarinePure but with traditional live rock it is often very random in its porosity and porosity is everything when it comes to live rock, dense areas with low porosity in traditional live rock are useless.
http://www.cermedia.com/marinepure.php

4iiQ - I want a peacock smasher?
4iiA - You are not prepared... :) (Peacocks are the most difficult to keep long term).

5Q - How much light do I need for the live rock?
5A - Anything really, you do not need a expensive fancy reef light for a mantis shrimp only aquarium.
(Again I had coral in my tanks so used good but cheap LED fixtures made by ReefBreeder from his Photon series, because of the depth of my tanks and the height available above them for lights I used these LED fixtures but toned them right down to 10% power through the use of the onboard PCs in each LED fixture).

Optic
12/25/2015, 10:06 PM
Your best off starting with a small common smasher species that many LFS will have a couple of in stock.

Most likely candidates are G.smithii and G.graphurus who both get to 90mm long and who have both relatively exactly the same care levels and high endurance, the only difference between them is that G.graphurus is slightly more colorful.

1Q - Tank Size?
1A - Small Smashers around 90mm are happy in 30L-40L.

2Q - Filters? I don't want to run a sump...ideally but I can if I have to.
2A - (In order of Best to worst)... Sumps are good because they allow for future alterations of things easily when you may want to change or add things to your existing setup, they also help in a big way with increasing overall water volume and the more water volume the slower that water changes its parameters (small water volume systems change in parameters dramatically and swiftly).
#1 Sump + Skimmer + Refugium + RODI ATO
#2 Sump + Skimmer + Refugium
#3 Sump + Skimmer
#4 Sump + Refugium
#5 Sump + Internal/External Power Filter
#6 Internal/External Power Filter


3Q - Lighting?
3A - Will the tank have any corals, Stomatopods do not need light to live.
(I had corals in my mantis shrimp tanks but used these cheap in price but AWESOME in strength and PAR reading LED lights https://www.reefbreeders.com/photon-series/ )

4iQ - Live rock or no live rock?
4iA - Yes, you need live rock, with minimal or maximal filtration in the tank live rock is still and will always be an important part of biological filtration for the marine aquarium, but there are better alternatives I am in love with MarinePure Blocks the 8"x8"x4" thick chunks, simply because you know what you buy when you buy MarinePure but with traditional live rock it is often very random in its porosity and porosity is everything when it comes to live rock, dense areas with low porosity in traditional live rock are useless.
http://www.cermedia.com/marinepure.php

4iiQ - I want a peacock smasher?
4iiA - You are not prepared... :) (Peacocks are the most difficult to keep long term).

5Q - How much light do I need for the live rock?
5A - Anything really, you do not need a expensive fancy reef light for a mantis shrimp only aquarium.
(Again I had coral in my tanks so used good but cheap LED fixtures made by ReefBreeder from his Photon series, because of the depth of my tanks and the height available above them for lights I used these LED fixtures but toned them right down to 10% power through the use of the onboard PCs in each LED fixture).


just went to just about every local shop within my area (6 ) and they can't guarantee what type they can get me....I basically said i want a small smasher that is blue/green in color

I've decide that I'm going for an Ocean Free 64L tank All in one....Simple set up that should do everything I want and need I hope.

What sort of base do you recommend? just sand or something else? ( I've watch your videos on youtube ;) )

Is there test kits I can get to check how my water quality is/keep an eye on it? What salt levels etc etc should I be aiming for?

thanks :)

EI Gringo
12/27/2015, 04:35 AM
Get a hygrometer for salinity, one that looks like a telescope. I wouldn't bother with testing kits personally, just do regular water changes and get a skimmer running

nmotz
12/27/2015, 10:27 AM
I like a refractometer for testing salinity. They may seem more expensive, but it's worth it. I've nearly crashed tanks before, including my current tank, due to faulty salinity test instruments.

I have a video out on YouTube that shows my setup and discusses some of the basics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ejOxSlTQY

If you want to get a Peacock, I recommend trying to find a smaller specimen as they are usually more hardy than the older, larger ones. A PVC pipe makes a great burrow for a Peacock as shown in the video. I encrust mine with epoxy and gravel to disguise their appearance.

In my opinion, test kits are nice to have in the beginning (ammonia/nitrite especially). After a complete cycle, the only test that is really important is nitrates because they will creep up over time, especially if you have a deep sand bed. Excess algae in the tank will tell you if you have a problem with excess nutrients like nitrate and phosphate. I run a refugium with macroalgae to absorb some of the excess nutrients and I also now run a hang-on-back skimmer.

Calappidae
12/27/2015, 02:54 PM
Word for word what nmotz said,

Hydrometers are just bait to crash an entire tank. Sometimes in the first month of using them, they give highly inaccurate results. You can recalibrate them with a marker and fresh water, but the issue is there is only so much room in a hydrometer to recalibrate, what's off the charts might not be shown, whereas a refractometer is more consistent in accuracy, while still being balancable.

The one I have, has a little screw for recalibrating, if you need a model to purchase, I'd recommend this: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+27697+28224+9957&pcatid=9957

Optic
12/28/2015, 12:34 AM
Thanks all for your help, I've learnt a lot already.

Nmotz, that video was awesome, keep up the good work!, nice mantis as well 😊.

I thought having a big sand bed was a good idea but now I'm confused as you say they can build up nitrates? Which I can see how they would but wouldn't the mantis like to have it?

Can someone please give me some insight into this set up http://www.aquaone.com.au/2015-04-16-04-47-04/2015-04-16-06-00-17/aquariums/item/3380-53418wh
I really want to buy one package that comes with it all instead of building my own as I think that would be too hard lol. Unless someone can list stuff that I should get? This aqua one kit comes with everything including a sump set up, I just hope it's big enough.

Cheers guys

EI Gringo
12/28/2015, 01:41 AM
I meant refractometer, they look like a lightsaber hilt

Optic
12/28/2015, 01:59 AM
I meant refractometer, they look like a lightsaber hilt
Thanks mate, can you post more progress photos on your nano tank? I'm interested to see what you do 😂

Optic
12/28/2015, 02:02 AM
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20151228/7cdd4846236a3a0c72e9bf6a7278751f.jpg

Found this guy at Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba, Australia.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20151228/b9d2e247fc9f7e9a5cf37dda33154b2b.jpg

He had a nice little set up, highly recommend the place if anyone is coming down under.

nmotz
12/28/2015, 01:44 PM
That is a nice set-up in the picture for sure. Great size and open space for the Peacock to roam around.

Deep sand beds can become a challenge to maintain because detritus builds up and can break down into nitrates. But you can certainly have success with a DSB if you are willing to keep it clean and have a good nutrient export process in place. But remember that for a Peacock, they prefer a fairly long U-shaped burrow and they grow to 6"+ in length so to have a sand bed to accommodate that is a challenge in any tank. That's why it is often recommended to have a more manageable depth of sand (2-3" max) with a PVC pipe.

Kharn has had success by covering a fairly large PVC pipe with a few inches of crushed coral substrate. You can see that in some of his videos. In my opinion, if you run a good skimmer and a macroalgae refugium, you can still keep the water fairly clean.

Optic
12/28/2015, 03:34 PM
Thanks, I will get that 90l set up soon.

I like the idea of the mantis making there own burrows but I might have to go down the pvc road by the looks of it.

I don't think I'll get a peacock, I would prefer just a blue one, which I think is a simthi?

Also what clean up crew should I keep with a mantis? I know they might be eaten, that doesn't bother me. I just want something to help with keeping everything under control.

gozermantis
12/28/2015, 03:40 PM
Just use the cheapest hermits you can find. So if they do get eaten it won't cost too much to replace. I just kept a bunch of red leg hermits with all my mantis.

EI Gringo
12/28/2015, 04:07 PM
G smithii tend to be green to black in colour I think with a blue meral spot, male ternatensis are blue as are I believe male gonodactylaceus Glabrous and also graphurus (all 3 of these are gonodactylaceus). Other blue species could include some odontodactylids including odontodactylus scyllarus (peacock). N.wennerae is not one I get imported to my country but I don't believe that they can be blue either

Optic
12/28/2015, 04:33 PM
I wish I could find a photo of my old mantis, I'll have to look harder.

Optic
12/28/2015, 04:34 PM
Just use the cheapest hermits you can find. So if they do get eaten it won't cost too much to replace. I just kept a bunch of red leg hermits with all my mantis.
Just hermits, no snails?

nmotz
12/28/2015, 04:44 PM
Mantis shrimp have different food preferences. Some won't touch hermits, others won't touch snails, it's kinda weird. Usually what will work is if you get one or two larger snails (but NOT Turbos) that the mantis won't be able to crack open.

If you get a Smithii it will probably like smaller snails like dwarf ceriths (not sure if you have those in Australia). I keep blue leg hermits in my tank and they clean up leftover debris pretty well.

I also like a more natural tank but sometimes the needs of the animal have to outweigh my own personal desires. Marine biologists almost always recommend PVC for Peacocks so I have to trust that it's better for them. But in a perfect world, I would love to have a huge tank with a 12" bed of mixed substrate and some big rocks for them to dig underneath, just like in the wild.

Optic
12/28/2015, 05:08 PM
Mantis shrimp have different food preferences. Some won't touch hermits, others won't touch snails, it's kinda weird. Usually what will work is if you get one or two larger snails (but NOT Turbos) that the mantis won't be able to crack open.

If you get a Smithii it will probably like smaller snails like dwarf ceriths (not sure if you have those in Australia). I keep blue leg hermits in my tank and they clean up leftover debris pretty well.

I also like a more natural tank but sometimes the needs of the animal have to outweigh my own personal desires. Marine biologists almost always recommend PVC for Peacocks so I have to trust that it's better for them. But in a perfect world, I would love to have a huge tank with a 12" bed of mixed substrate and some big rocks for them to dig underneath, just like in the wild.
Awesome thanks, why not turbo snails? Out of interest.

Lucky I'm a plumber so I can get plenty of pvc fittings 😂, just need to figure out how to make it look good I suppose.

nmotz
12/28/2015, 05:17 PM
Turbos have a bad habit of getting turned over and dying because they can't right themselves. That fouls up the tank water really fast. A large Trochus snail is better.

Optic
12/28/2015, 05:23 PM
Turbos have a bad habit of getting turned over and dying because they can't right themselves. That fouls up the tank water really fast. A large Trochus snail is better.
Makes sense, good to know.

How about a cucumber?

So far I'm thinking

4-6kg of LR

2 hermits

1 large snail

~3inches of sand

Some sort of pvc set up covered in sand

nmotz
12/28/2015, 06:31 PM
Looks pretty good to me, just be aware that not every mantis is a burrowing species. Smithii's are more of a rock-dwelling mantis although I used to own one that made a small burrow underneath some LR in the tank. Odontodactylid's are burrowers, not so much Gonodactylids.

Optic
12/28/2015, 07:27 PM
It's going to be hard to know what I'm going to get exactly, the LFS here aren't very knowledgeable when it comes to mantis shrimps.

nmotz
12/28/2015, 11:04 PM
That's normal, my first mantis was sold as a Peacock but it was a Gonodactylus Chiragra. You have to just plan the basics and decide the rest when you find out what you're getting exactly.

Optic
12/29/2015, 02:04 AM
I'll post a tank build when I get it

EI Gringo
12/29/2015, 02:22 PM
I get all of my mantis from a wholesale buyer who then distribute these specimens within their client stores and I collect from my closest. TMC tropical marine company at Manchester England buy thousands of livestock and their buyer sends me photos of whatever mantis they buy in so I can get an ID before I get it. 9/10 I ID the mantis myself, it's a cushty arrangement I have to say :).

nmotz
12/29/2015, 03:10 PM
I get all of my mantis from a wholesale buyer who then distribute these specimens within their client stores and I collect from my closest. TMC tropical marine company at Manchester England buy thousands of livestock and their buyer sends me photos of whatever mantis they buy in so I can get an ID before I get it. 9/10 I ID the mantis myself, it's a cushty arrangement I have to say .

Yeah that is pretty awesome

Optic
12/29/2015, 05:22 PM
I get all of my mantis from a wholesale buyer who then distribute these specimens within their client stores and I collect from my closest. TMC tropical marine company at Manchester England buy thousands of livestock and their buyer sends me photos of whatever mantis they buy in so I can get an ID before I get it. 9/10 I ID the mantis myself, it's a cushty arrangement I have to say :).
You're so lucky, pity I'm from Australia lol

Optic
12/31/2015, 04:37 AM
Maybe a stupid question but why can't you feed mantis shrimps gold fish and or fresh water yabbies?

nmotz
12/31/2015, 10:10 AM
You can feed them those things if you want but in general you have to consider that freshwater species probably introduce different microorganisms and pathogens that might not be good for a mantis. The mixture of freshwater prey and saltwater predators is generally thought of as not healthy in the long term. I have occasionally fed my Peacock some small freshwater feeder shrimp, but I try to stick with marine prey for the sake of the mantis.

It's kinda like how ranchers feed corn products to cattle to fatten them up. Is it the best thing for them? Clearly not, but it does get results. The best way to care for a saltwater animal is to try to mimic their environment and that doesn't include freshwater prey choices like yabbies, see what I'm saying?

Optic
12/31/2015, 04:42 PM
You can feed them those things if you want but in general you have to consider that freshwater species probably introduce different microorganisms and pathogens that might not be good for a mantis. The mixture of freshwater prey and saltwater predators is generally thought of as not healthy in the long term. I have occasionally fed my Peacock some small freshwater feeder shrimp, but I try to stick with marine prey for the sake of the mantis.

It's kinda like how ranchers feed corn products to cattle to fatten them up. Is it the best thing for them? Clearly not, but it does get results. The best way to care for a saltwater animal is to try to mimic their environment and that doesn't include freshwater prey choices like yabbies, see what I'm saying?
Yep, makes sense, good to know. Thanks

Optic
01/04/2016, 03:37 AM
Ok so heres where I'm at


I'm leaning towards a Aquaone mini reef 120L but the LFS I want to deal with don't like them, they want me to set something up from scratch for relativity the same value but with overall better gear.

What should i do?, I like the ease of buying something that comes with every nut and screw ( Hopefully ) that I need.

They also mentioned that I can just run HOB filters and skimmer and that would be fine as well....It's just all very confusing and too many options lol.

HOB seems very easy to deal with which appeals to me as well.

What are peoples thoughts on HOB skimmers and Filters? waste of time?

Just bit the bullet and get a custom tank+ sump with all the fruit?

Martini5788
01/04/2016, 09:31 PM
For the same price, I would go custom.

nmotz
01/05/2016, 11:57 PM
I've used HOB filters and HOB skimmers and say get a skimmer hands down (a good one, not some cheap crap). My tank has really turned a corner recently and my SPS corals are actually starting to look (dare I say it) good. I've had my Peacock about 6 months and he's doing great in there. But I've been told that once you have a sump you'll never go back. Either way you can be successful.

Optic
01/11/2016, 01:29 AM
Can I use REAL REEF rocks for a mantis shrimp tank? better or worse than LIVE ROCK?

EI Gringo
01/11/2016, 04:37 AM
Only difference is you have to seed your real life rock but you don't get critters invading the tank. I personally always use live rock because you get a free of charge clean up crew consisting of amphipods and bristle worms. The not so nice things include flatworms, crabs, anemones and eunice worms ( ughhhhh!!). But yeah, live rock, do it :P. I always employ a pvc burrow where possible for these animals, they will thank you for it.

Jlentz
01/11/2016, 04:46 AM
Only difference is you have to seed your real life rock but you don't get critters invading the tank.


Real Live rock = playmates for your mantis!

Optic
01/11/2016, 05:06 AM
thanks guys, getting the tank this weekend I hope :)

Optic
01/23/2016, 11:59 PM
Ok so but of an update,

I'm going down the basic set up road. So I need to know what I can get away with.

No protein skimmer as they don't seem to be necessary just for live rock and a mantis shrimp.

Keeping water changes up with just a basic internal foam filter, thoughts on this? 2ft tank with about 6kg of live rock

nmotz
01/24/2016, 09:50 AM
Ok so but of an update,

I'm going down the basic set up road. So I need to know what I can get away with.

No protein skimmer as they don't seem to be necessary just for live rock and a mantis shrimp.

Keeping water changes up with just a basic internal foam filter, thoughts on this? 2ft tank with about 6kg of live rock

From personal experience with using an HOB filter, that will certainly work but you will have to clean the filter pad regularly or you will begin to have nitrate problems. If you get a Gonodactylid (like a Smithii, for example) this really won't be too much of an issue. A Peacock on the other hand, will respond negatively to high nitrates. When my nitrates got really high a couple months ago, my Peacock just stopped coming out of his burrow. He stayed in there and wouldn't even really come to the entrances much. His behavior changed dramatically once I brought the nitrates back down.

Have plenty of LR, and just remember that different mantis shrimp like different habitats. If you get a rock-dwelling species, you might consider drilling some holes in the rock before you put it in the tank. If you do a search on this forum you will probably find some examples. Check Roy's List for Stomatopods for more information on the species that you want.

Also, post pictures of your progress and people will give you tips that will really help you out. Good luck!

Optic
01/24/2016, 07:47 PM
From personal experience with using an HOB filter, that will certainly work but you will have to clean the filter pad regularly or you will begin to have nitrate problems. If you get a Gonodactylid (like a Smithii, for example) this really won't be too much of an issue. A Peacock on the other hand, will respond negatively to high nitrates. When my nitrates got really high a couple months ago, my Peacock just stopped coming out of his burrow. He stayed in there and wouldn't even really come to the entrances much. His behavior changed dramatically once I brought the nitrates back down.

Have plenty of LR, and just remember that different mantis shrimp like different habitats. If you get a rock-dwelling species, you might consider drilling some holes in the rock before you put it in the tank. If you do a search on this forum you will probably find some examples. Check Roy's List for Stomatopods for more information on the species that you want.

Also, post pictures of your progress and people will give you tips that will really help you out. Good luck!


Thanks a lot mate, you are extremely helpful.