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AZRippster
02/22/2016, 09:06 AM
I think I already know the answer to this question, but thought I would run it by those that have kept mantis shrimp for awhile.

My wife and I have had a peacock mantis since it was about the size of a 1/2 a grain of rice (2011). It is now pushing 2". It resides in its own 34G Red Sea Max aquarium along with coral. We are looking at setting up a frag tank since we have to toss a great deal of clippings we are constantly pulling from our 450G. Frag tanks do best with a few fish to assist in natural food production for coral. Does anyone have any recommendations, if they exist, on what type of fish could be housed with a mantis? Yeah, I know, not the best idea, but I thought I would ask. The reason for this is we want to decommission the 34G RSM.

Thanks

nmotz
02/22/2016, 09:41 AM
Welcome AZRippster! That is really awesome that you've had a Peacock mantis shrimp for that long. I'm jealous, would love to start with a baby Peacock like that. My current one was 2.5" when I got it so he was (and still is) fairly small. I'm assuming yours came in as a hitchhiker? Are you certain it's a Peacock? The reason I ask is because many mantis shrimp are misidentified as Peacocks, especially if they're young.

You will get mixed responses to your question about keeping fish with a Peacock mantis, but I'll give you the standard warning: don't put anything in the tank with a Peacock that you don't mind losing at some point. Some mantis shrimp, even many Peacocks, will tolerate fish indefinitely. Some will even let fish sleep in their burrows at night. But there are just some individuals that will not let another living thing exist in the tank. They kill everything that moves.

It really depends on the individual temperament of the mantis, and you'll honestly have to find that out through trial and error. In many cases, fish will live with mantis shrimp for a long time until one day, for whatever reason, the mantis kills it. Since mantis shrimp are opportunistic hunters, it's impossible to predict exactly what kind of success you will have. Many mantis shrimp owners have reported that damsels and chromis are often good tank mates. I would start there.

Also be advised that if you put larger fish in the tank, you may see a decrease in activity from the mantis. Some owners have reported that fish may intimidate mantis shrimp, especially smaller specimens like yours.

HTH!

AZRippster
02/22/2016, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the reply!

Our mantis has literally burrowed out a descent sized rock. If you pick it up, it feels hollow. He started this at a very young age. We are always sucking up rubble when we do water changes. We call him our little excavator. When we provided a description and partial picture (he's fairly allusive) to our LFS, a gal there familiar with mantis shrimp said he was a peacock but would not put on all his colors until he is much older. Either way, he's cool. We have fed him shrimp, scallops, and silver sides from a shish kebab skewer since he could take it. Currently we feed him every other day. He has several small "doors" in his rock. We hold the meat piece over his main door and he comes out and takes it.

I was thinking about starting with a couple smaller damsels. We will likely never have any large fish in the tank with him. I just need something besides the mantis to poop! :lolspin:

nmotz
02/22/2016, 11:13 AM
Yeah I definitely understand the need for fish to "fertilize" a frag tank. That's probably what my tank is lacking actually. Growth and coloration aren't terrible, but I do think a more constant supply of "stuff" in the water might really get things going. Right now I just use KZ coral vitalizer.

On another note, how do you like Sierra Vista? I absolutely loved it when I was at Ft. Huachuca for 3 weeks. My other passion (in terms of animals) is hummingbirds, and some of the canyons near Sierra Vista are world renowned for the diversity of species they support. I would kill to be stationed at Ft Huachuca someday (how many times have you heard anyone say that??) :)

AZRippster
02/22/2016, 11:53 AM
I love Sierra Vista. I lived in Tucson for 17 years (Davis-Monthan). After retiring, I moved to Sierra Vista. There are times I miss the quick accessibility of things I need from a larger city, but the trade-offs I can live with, i.e. low crime, easy traffic, GREAT weather (not Africa Hot like Phoenix), small town pace. No, I've heard quite often of folks wanting to get back to Sierra Vista. Not so much from those in their youth, but middle-age and older who want to "settle down".

Jlentz
02/22/2016, 03:18 PM
I've got a yellowtail damsel and lawnmower blenny in with my peacock. Dont put anything in that you mind losing. He's taken two chromis, a CBB (I didn't think he take something that big but he is ~6") and a few damsels.

One thing that I found is that when there were more fish I n the water column he mostly hid in the burrow. Now that I took most of the fish out he's out and about a lot more.

AZRippster
02/22/2016, 03:47 PM
I'm starting to see a trend. "Do it if you want, but expect the worse". I kinda expected that and appreciate your input.

Jlentz
02/22/2016, 04:27 PM
I'm starting to see a trend. "Do it if you want, but expect the worse". I kinda expected that and appreciate your input.


Yep. My rule is don't put it in if you don't mind it getting eaten.

Or moved if it's a coral.

Jlentz
02/22/2016, 04:28 PM
You should post up some pictures as well. It wouldn't hurt to get a positive ID. If it's not a peacock you can probably get away with a lot more.

AZRippster
02/22/2016, 09:45 PM
Getting a good picture, or even a decent picture, is like trying to catch the Locke Ness Monster. I definitely will if I catch a lucky break.

Calappidae
02/23/2016, 12:59 PM
Just a nitpick, but was the statement " 1/2 size of a grain of rice" an exaderation or accurate?


iirc Dr. caldwell said the smallest O. scyllarus he's ever seen was about 1.5in. And this would make sense too since a grain of rice would be the size of it's larval stage.

Have you confirmed it's O. scyllarus when you got it?

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 01:37 PM
Just a nitpick, but was the statement " 1/2 size of a grain of rice" an exaderation or accurate?


iirc Dr. caldwell said the smallest O. scyllarus he's ever seen was about 1.5in. And this would make sense too since a grain of rice would be the size of it's larval stage.

Have you confirmed it's O. scyllarus when you got it?

Nope, not an exaggeration. Back in 2011 my wife kept telling me she thought she would see "googly" eyes from a rock that we had a very large leather coral growing on. Finally, I somewhat saw them one day and from the description guessed it was a mantis. We didn't want one in our tank, so we decided to dip the rock and coral in TLF Revive. When we did and removed the rock and coral, we could make out this very small whitish thing in the bottom of our wide mouth blue bucket (Home Depot). I used a spoon and scooped it out into a small dinner bowl. We then took a picture. About this time we started feeling bad and our daughter, who had a Red Sea Max 130 (we now maintain it) offered to have it in her tank. We put it in some fresh seawater and then put it into her tank. Low and behold, it survived, grew, and eventually started clicking. Now he's (I'm guessing "he") is about 2" long. I'll try and find that picture and post it.

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 01:50 PM
I found it. Looking at the shot again, he may have been closer to a grain of rice, but itty bitty all the same. The pic isn't the best since I think I originally shot this with a Droid III phone. The topic came up some time in 2012 so I resized it and posted it and again last year.

Calappidae
02/23/2016, 02:00 PM
Well this image explains a lot.

I want second thoughts on this (I'd also like a picture of it now more grown up)

But I don't think that is a mantis shrimp.

It's 100% not O. scyllarus, but I'm actually leaning it's not even a stomatopod at all but something different due to how the body shape is. I want to say it's a unique amphipod, but I'd like for somebody else's eyes to chime on that.

I'd believe it's a baby G. viridis but I'm very certain that's not peacock.

EDIT: O. scyllarus don't hitchhike either.

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 02:08 PM
To be quite honest, I do not know the scientific names so I had to Google G. viridis and that is what he is. We were told he was green right now but would change from his green color to a peacock as he got older. I truly wish I had a good pic of him, but the little bugger always stays in his hollowed out rock unless coming out for his piece of meat. Today is feeding day, so maybe I can get my wife to take a shot as he comes out. So is he a mantis or not? All the same, we've had him from actually smaller than you see in the pic, so we're pretty fond of him.

Calappidae
02/23/2016, 02:14 PM
I'm glad you've had success with him regardless of identifaction, congrats!

I can't really see well enough to be confident in saying it is or isn't a stomatopod. I don't want to give you false info so I'd rather have a few people add their thoughts and assume the majority.

If you didn't add the statements that he's now 2 in and clicks I'd say it's an amphipod, but assuming those two statements are true I'd say you might have gotten a tiny G. virids or N. wennerae color morph and he just looks weird due to age. Since you just googled G. viridis and it looks familiar I'm sure you'd see a different body shape or something if that wasn't it.

It might not exactly be G. viridis but the gonodactylus and neogonodactylus group are very similar, we could narrow it down with a more up to date photo.

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 02:23 PM
You have definitely got my interest peaked! Here is another RC thread I found through images that looks like him:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2235581

And this shot from Berkley is exactly what he looks like when he pops out of the main hole in his rock to eat:

http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/images/g_viridis1.jpg

nmotz
02/23/2016, 02:40 PM
Yeah it's kinda difficult to make out anything specific in that photograph, but I would say based on your explanation that you probably have a small Gonodactylid of some kind. That is still cool though. Mantis shrimp are really cool pets no matter the species. I have had 5 different species over the course of 3 years and I liked them all for different reasons. Do you happen to know where you got the LR that he came in on? If it's Pacific origin then you have a Gonodactylus sp. If it's from Florida/Caribbean then you have a Neogonodactylus sp.

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 02:58 PM
I honestly couldn't tell you, but I'm guessing the Pacific since we get allot of stuff from that region at our LFS and we are located in Arizona.

So, the million dollar question.... Is he safer to keep fish with?

This is from someone's website at Berkley:

Common name: Green Mantis Shrimp

Functional type: Smasher

Range: Western Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean; Andaman Sea to Samoa and Japan

Habitat: Reef flats

Depth: Low intertidal to 2 m, usually very shallow

Home: Cavities in rock, coral rubble, LR, sponge, gastropod shells

Diet: Generalist; small crustaceans and gastropods

Size: 755 mm

Color: Variable; often green from reef and grass flats, white from sand flats, and red from coralline algae, frequently with fine white spots; meral spots flesh toned with thin red streaks around the periphery

Distinguishing Characters: Meral spot with red streaks around edg

Activity: Diurnal; closes at night

Aquarium Requirements:

Temperature: 2229 C

Salinity: 3336 PSU

Cohabitants: Will eat small crustaceans, gastropods

Aquarium size (adult): 20 l

Aquarium substrate: Sand and gravel; coral rubble, cavity

Suitability for Aquarium: Excellent; hardy and active

Availability: Occasionally shipped by collectors in Indonesia where it is a common reef flat species

nmotz
02/23/2016, 03:35 PM
Haha, yep that's Dr. Caldwell's site! He used to participate on this forum a lot but he's retired now and is taking a break from all-things-mantis-shrimp for a while. I think someday he may return to Reef Central, but we'll see.

If you get us good pictures of your mantis we should be able to identify it for you. If it is a Gonodactylid and not a Peacock, it will definitely be safer to keep fish with him. Peacocks are really aggressive and also get large enough to not be as intimidated by fish. Small Gonodactlyids rarely disturb fish that swim freely in the water column. I would not, however, get a goby or any other benthic (substrate-dwelling) species.

AZRippster
02/23/2016, 03:52 PM
Perfect. Looking at the max size of a g. viridis, I think ours is getting close to his. I also see they like gastropods, so I think on our next trip to the LFS I'll pickup a few for him. When we get our frag tank going and him migrated, I'll pickup a couple open water swimmers.

Thank you all very much for the great input today.

CLR
02/26/2016, 02:35 AM
Welcome AZRippster! That is really awesome that you've had a Peacock mantis shrimp for that long. I'm jealous, would love to start with a baby Peacock like that. My current one was 2.5" when I got it so he was (and still is) fairly small. I'm assuming yours came in as a hitchhiker? Are you certain it's a Peacock? The reason I ask is because many mantis shrimp are misidentified as Peacocks, especially if they're young.

You will get mixed responses to your question about keeping fish with a Peacock mantis, but I'll give you the standard warning: don't put anything in the tank with a Peacock that you don't mind losing at some point. Some mantis shrimp, even many Peacocks, will tolerate fish indefinitely. Some will even let fish sleep in their burrows at night. But there are just some individuals that will not let another living thing exist in the tank. They kill everything that moves.

It really depends on the individual temperament of the mantis, and you'll honestly have to find that out through trial and error. In many cases, fish will live with mantis shrimp for a long time until one day, for whatever reason, the mantis kills it. Since mantis shrimp are opportunistic hunters, it's impossible to predict exactly what kind of success you will have. Many mantis shrimp owners have reported that damsels and chromis are often good tank mates. I would start there.

Also be advised that if you put larger fish in the tank, you may see a decrease in activity from the mantis. Some owners have reported that fish may intimidate mantis shrimp, especially smaller specimens like yours.

HTH!
"That is really awesome that you've had a Peacock mantis shrimp for that long. I'm jealous,"


is there a low long-term success rate with peacock mantis ?

AZRippster
02/26/2016, 07:52 AM
Thanks to the knowledgeable folks here in the Mantis Shrimp thread, I have learned I do not have a Peacock but rather a Green mantis shrimp. I now I also know he is very close, if not, fully grown. I'm hoping when my wife and I get our frag tank up and going, his future home, we'll be able to design some minimalistic yet still sheltering rock work that will allow us to see him more often.

nmotz
02/26/2016, 11:34 AM
"That is really awesome that you've had a Peacock mantis shrimp for that long. I'm jealous,"


is there a low long-term success rate with peacock mantis ?

It's not necessarily unprecedented to see a Peacock live for more than a few years in a home aquarium, but I would say its rare for a variety of reasons:

1) Most Peacocks in the hobby are already full-grown or very close to it at the time of purchase. Finding a smaller Peacock is pretty hard and often requires a lot of waiting. These older, larger Peacocks are, in addition to being more susceptible to shell rot, just closer to the end of their lifetimes.

2) Shell rot. As mentioned above, this disease is a huge problem for Peacocks, but it doesn't affect most other species (G. Chiragra's can get it, maybe G. Tern's too?). The factors that influence the onset of shell rot are not completely understood and the survival rate of those specimens that undergo the standard treatment (no lights, UV sterilizer, constant feeding to induce a molt) is low.

3) Inability (willing or unwilling) for the aquarist to provide the proper habitat. Peacocks are large and are a deeper water species. As a result they have more specific requirements than many other mantis shrimp. They don't prefer changing water parameters that shallow-water mantids can tolerate quite easily. This might not seem important, but over time if the mantis doesn't have a decent burrow or is constantly subject to changes in temp, salinity, dKh, etc, their health will weaken and they normally just get shell rot. All the Odontodactylids (including O. Havanensis, the other more common species from this genus) are fairly intolerant of substantial changes in water chemistry.

For all of these reasons, it's fairly uncommon to see Peacocks live for longer than 2-3 years in this hobby. Most die much sooner than that. I'm not saying it's impossible to have a Peacock for 5+ years, but it's unusual.

Calappidae
02/26/2016, 03:08 PM
2) Shell rot. As mentioned above, this disease is a huge problem for Peacocks, but it doesn't affect most other species (G. Chiragra's can get it, maybe G. Tern's too?).



All species can get shell rot, I don't think there is a such thing as a "shell rot immune" stomatopod, but most stomatopods have much stronger immune systems compared to others, (peacocks are very frail as described, so they're more weak to SR, but species that are very hardy like G. smithi, N. wennerae, G. Viridis, etc are much less likely to get it.)

Hemisquilla californiensis for instance, is impossible to keep because of it's SR and unhardiness.

AZRippster
02/26/2016, 03:25 PM
Gotta question since I now know I have a G. viridis. I'm setting up a decent size frag tank he'll be migrating into. Do the green mantis always burrow in rocks or do they like to create a sand burrow? What is their preferred home? Since this will be a "fresh start" and he'll be my main critter in that tank too, I figure I might as well make his home the way he would like.

Thanks!

nmotz
02/27/2016, 01:29 PM
All species can get shell rot, I don't think there is a such thing as a "shell rot immune" stomatopod, but most stomatopods have much stronger immune systems compared to others, (peacocks are very frail as described, so they're more weak to SR, but species that are very hardy like G. smithi, N. wennerae, G. Viridis, etc are much less likely to get it.)

Hemisquilla californiensis for instance, is impossible to keep because of it's SR and unhardiness.

I haven't heard before that all species can get it. Dr. Caldwell certainly only talked about certain species. I'm almost certain that many Gonodactylids simply do not get shell rot at all. Maybe Kharn can chime in on this since he's kept so many stomatopods in the past.

But yes, I agree that Peacocks are not the only species that gets it.

nmotz
02/27/2016, 01:32 PM
Gotta question since I now know I have a G. viridis. I'm setting up a decent size frag tank he'll be migrating into. Do the green mantis always burrow in rocks or do they like to create a sand burrow? What is their preferred home? Since this will be a "fresh start" and he'll be my main critter in that tank too, I figure I might as well make his home the way he would like.

Thanks!

Preferred home is going to be in a cavity, i.e. live rock. This is of course why they are often hitchhikers. If he doesn't find live rock that is suitable or large enough for him to burrow into, he'll simply dig under a rock and make a burrow there, but G. Viridis like to excavate tunnels in live rock.