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deleau
02/14/2016, 05:52 PM
Here's my Mantis setup/build thread...

I've got quite a bit of experience with reef tanks (see sig for current "main" tank), and if you follow the Buy/Sell forum, you'd know that I recently tore down my 28g nanocube at home to make way for a 105g FOWLR only to tear it down a week after it got wet. For various reasons, my house will be "dry" (from a tank perspective), but I'm going to scratch my itches at my office.

So, in my office at my office, I'm going to set up a 40g breeder tank in an alcove in my office across from my desk. (In a year or two, this alcove is going to be the home of another 6' tank that will be exactly how I want it for that FOWLR), but for now it's going to house a mantis tank (and my accountant).

Here's my proposed setup. I intend to fill the tank with water once the LFS gets the substrate I ordered.

Tank: Marineland 40g Breeder
Substrate: CaribSea Super Reef & Florida Crushed Coral (15' bag of each)
Rock: Two 5-6' generic live rock from LFS, and 6ish pieces of rubble
Filtration: Marineland Penguin 200 BioWheel
Circulation: Ecotech Vortech MP10WQD
Heater: Eheim Jager 100W
Misc: Mercury thermometer, Seachem Ammonia Alert Badge, Eggcrate cover

I have everything already (gonna steal from TTM setups for now) but the Vortech.

I don't plan on having any lighting to start; I keep the overhead office lights off most of the time and get ambient light from two big windows (on the same wall as the alcove, so the tank will never get direct sunlight). If needed, I'll buy something, but I don't think I do.

I plan to run the bio-wheel as well as use 1 carbon filter pack that Marineland sells. The second slot will probably be a poly filter, but I can swap that out if I need to address a specific nutrient problem.

So, mantis experts, what's wrong with this plan? What should I do differently?

Lastly, my first shrimp will be N. wennerae from TBS that I will initially be fed by a small CUC from Reefcleaners that will be in the tank after the cycle and doing it's CUC job...

Martini5788
02/14/2016, 06:50 PM
Is a 100 w heater enough for a 40? I would monitor the temps to be sure they remain stable throughout the day with a heater that size. Other than that it looks like a good plan to me.

deleau
02/14/2016, 07:28 PM
40g is at the upper end of the range for the 100W, but I've used it for QT in the 40b and not had trouble keeping temp stable.

What is the optimal temp for mantis? I don't know that I've really researched that.

EI Gringo
02/15/2016, 02:27 AM
I keep mine at 25 along with all other tropical marine I keep

Martini5788
02/15/2016, 08:50 AM
I have mine at 78

nmotz
02/15/2016, 10:22 AM
Lighting - with that species, there is no issue at all with lighting, run whatever you want. Even if you were to get a Peacock at some point, lighting itself is not the cause of shell rot. Poor water quality or constant parameter changes lead to shell rot. At that point, strong lights are linked to the spread of shell rot. This is why treatment for that condition is always started by turning the lights off.

Heater/thermometer - not sure about that heater but make sure it's titanium or has some form of guard over the glass. Mantis shrimp will attack heaters from time to time and shatter them. My first mantis completely destroyed a glass thermometer with one strike (as soon as he went in the water).

Filter - Since you have some experience in the marine hobby, you know the drill: clean out the filter pad or else you'll have a nitrate problem. Honestly, with an N. Wennerae I don't think nitrates are an issue anyway. But if you get a Peacock you'll see how they become more reclusive as water quality worsens/changes in any way.

Otherwise the plan looks good. I'd recommend some corals and maybe even a fish or two in that tank to add some color. N. Wennerae's don't usually bother fish but make sure you don't buy some prize $$$$$ fish just to be safe.

deleau
02/15/2016, 11:37 AM
Heater/thermometer - not sure about that heater but make sure it's titanium or has some form of guard over the glass. Mantis shrimp will attack heaters from time to time and shatter them. My first mantis completely destroyed a glass thermometer with one strike (as soon as he went in the water).

That's a great point! I need to re-think that part and get a titanium heater and a different option for a thermometer...

Thank you!

Edit: I forgot about the ATO. I'm going to buy the JBJ ATO system since I've not had good luck with the Tunze nano, and I don't want to see the full Tunze system.

Martini5788
02/15/2016, 11:57 AM
That's a great point! I need to re-think that part and get a titanium heater and a different option for a thermometer...



Thank you!


Get a digital thermometer

deleau
02/15/2016, 01:54 PM
I ordered a Finnex 150W Titanium heater that has a built in digital thermometer. I also found an old probe digital thermometer...not sure how calibrated either of them will be, but neither are glass. As long as they are not too far off, I should be fine.

Martini5788
02/15/2016, 02:49 PM
I ordered a Finnex 150W Titanium heater that has a built in digital thermometer. I also found an old probe digital thermometer...not sure how calibrated either of them will be, but neither are glass. As long as they are not too far off, I should be fine.

Let me know how you like the finnex, I've been thinking about getting one. And as long as The temp is consistent and doesn't feel too warm, you should be fine. Consistency is more important than the number itself if it is within the normal ranges

nmotz
02/15/2016, 10:46 PM
That's the same heater I have and it has done really well so far. Temp has always been stable and haven't had any real issues with it. There is roughly a 1 degree difference in temperature between the sensor on one side of the tank and my back-up thermometer on the other side of the tank, which I think is acceptable. I keep mine set at 79F.

orkspace
02/18/2016, 01:53 PM
I'm considering setting up a 40 long or 55 stomatopod tank too, and found this thread very helpful. Thank you!

deleau
02/21/2016, 07:53 AM
I got the tank wet the other day. I'll post a photo tomorrow when I'm back to work. The cycle may take a while as all the substrate was dry and the rock dried out a fair amount before I got it in the tank. I'm dosing Stability to help the bacteria get going and "fed" the tank a few flakes to help the process along.

I may have a problem with the Vortech...it's a QuietDrive, but it's louder than any of my older non-QD motors. This is my 5th Vortech, so I may have gotten a bad one. If it's still noisy on Monday, I'm contacting Ecotech/BRS to get that resolved.

I really don't want any coral in the tank (my big tank down the hall is full of it), and I do not want a light if I can help it. Besides a damsel, what fish would work? I don't care if it gets eaten, but it might be cool to have a fish in there as well.

The tank has been named... "Thunderdome" is what it's being called. Although with the mantis being the apex predator in it, I don't think there's much drama over who wins. "Two men enter, one man leaves" is more like "Two critters enter, mantis shrimp wins again."

nmotz
02/21/2016, 08:52 PM
I had some noise issues with my QuietDrive too and it just turned out to be improper placement. I moved it around on the glass a lot and finally got it right. It's pretty quiet unless I turn it up all the way (which I don't do because it'll blast my coral off the rocks).

Be careful that you don't add anything too large for the mantis to handle. Crabs can hurt mantis shrimp if they have big claws. The first emerald crab that I offered to my Peacock gave him quite a fight. He pinched one of his maxillipeds and wouldn't let go. They were underneath a big rock so I couldn't help in any way, but I could see (and hear) the struggle. Neptune was beating the life out of him and that crab just held on. I was thankful when I saw him finally go into his burrow with the lifeless crab in tow.

deleau
02/29/2016, 08:38 AM
I've got a replacement dry side coming from Ecotech.

In the mean time, I'm using the 40b as an initial QT for a purple tang and a couple blood orange clownfish. They'll be moving along to another tank for TTM method QT, but I got them going in the 40b for the time being. The tang will go to the big tank, but I'm going to put the clowns in the 40b with the mantis.

I was going to order the CUC this week, but there really isn't anything visible growing in the tank yet, so I may hold off or put them in the big tank sump to start and slowly move them to the mantis tank. (Maybe start with a couple nassarius snails and a few small hermits)

I'm also thinking that I'll probably order this mantis this week as well. The tank cycled; it was small and short, but ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are all reading 0 now. (I'm still dosing Stability daily and have a Polyfilter and carbon filter in the Penguin.)

deleau
03/14/2016, 02:21 PM
The tangs are out of the 40b; they "seasoned" it well.

I got the replacement dry side from Ecotech, and installed it over the weekend. That was definitely the problem. It's as quiet (quieter actually, since I have it turned down low) as my MP40WQD.

Been tinkering with my Tunze nano ATO...I'm pretty sure something isn't right with the controller (it goes into a weird mode where it's stepping the motor continuously), but it's been too long for any claim. Any suggestions on a different ATO? Mainly specific to the 40b to make it as inconspicuous as possible.

The blood orange clowns and a dozen blue legged hermits now call "Thunderdome" home. I have many astrea snails in the big tank and a few emeralds in the sump waiting for their shot in the dome.

I think I'm going to order the mantis this week...maybe today. Should I worry about the CUC since I see no algae at all in the tank? On one hand that's good (and expected with so little light), but on the other hand, I worry about them not surviving long enough to get eaten...thoughts?

nmotz
03/14/2016, 10:02 PM
Just add a very small CUC. I would go all snails at this point so they can clean the glass/sand. Crabs like to pick the rocks clean once there is algae growing there.

deleau
07/28/2016, 02:48 PM
It's been a while, but "Thunderdome" is doing well. The mantis has molted once or twice; I hear him clicking regularly, and he shows no interest in the Blood Orange Clowns... :(

That's fine; it is nice to have some color and movement in the tank. I've added various snails and hermits, and based on broken shells scattered around the tank, he's taken an interest in them.

A friend recently found a gorilla crab in his tank; we decided to add it to "Thunderdome" to see what happens. So far the mantis seems to stay in and around his favorite rock and the gorilla under the other one.

The tank is overrun with pods (which is a good thing, I suppose), so the tank glass looks like it has ich (haha). I've got a CBB in there for the time being while I try to get it eating better. The CBB survived the QT, but he's not eating well enough for the big tank yet.

Also, I've had to move a Tinkeri Butterfly into Thunderdome as "time out" since he took a liking to all the brains and acans in the big tank. I've got another big tank in the works, so he may get to hang out in Thunderdome until it's ready.

I've been debating on adding a sump to the tank, but I'm not sure I want to get that complex.

nmotz
07/28/2016, 08:28 PM
Thanks for the update. So you want your mantis to eat the clowns?

Show some pictures!