View Full Version : One year anniversary!!! (plus some lessons learned)

07/13/2016, 09:53 AM
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary since my Peacock mantis arrived in a little brown box at my local FedEx store.

Since that time, she has grown from around 2.5" to just under 4". I haven't been able to post as much over the last few months, but I've learned a lot by taking care of her:

-Lighting changes are a big deal for Peacocks. In my experience, if you use LEDs, expect an adjustment period. Mine was way more reclusive after I changed from T5s to LEDs. In fact, only after molting did her personality become more interactive again.

-It is true that Peacocks sometimes undergo drastic personality changes after a molt. I think they also become more aggressive as they get larger (no surprise there). My Peacock was far more tolerant of her neighbors (cleaner shrimps & snails) in the first 6 months that I had her. After she molted a few times she became much more aggressive and now attacks pretty much everything. I had to buy a golfball sized Turbo snail to clean up algae so she can't kill it. But that doesn't stop her from trying!

-Can't stress enough having a proper burrow! I had to upgrade her first burrow because she outgrew the 1.5" diameter. It was a 12" long pipe and had enough space/darkness to make her comfortable. I made the mistake of replacing that with a much shorter, curved pipe that let in too much light. As a result, she was always striking the inside trying to make it bigger, and she hid in the burrow a lot. She wouldn't even look out from the entrance as much. When I recently switched to an 18" pipe that I positioned to minimize light pollution, her behavior became much more interactive. Proper burrow = happy Peacock, don't cut corners!

- Had to get through an episode of shell rot over last couple months. I noticed some very small "rust" spots on her back in late May. Immediately increased feeding, lowered light intensity, and used lots of Selcon. She molted less than a month later and got rid of the shell rot. I also upgraded her burrow. My suspicion is that some of the chemical treatments I was using for Cyano might have caused it. As many other aquarists will tell you, the less additives, the better. I know everybody wants to chemically enhance their tank, but it's a risk. My corals hated that stuff too even though it was effective at removing Cyano.

-On a side note, I wouldn't recommend a mixed reef to anyone unless you have a tank bigger than 100 gallons. The reason is because it's harder to make "coral zones" in a smaller tank. Stony corals have very different needs than soft corals. When you add a Peacock mantis into the mix, it makes for some difficult husbandry. Soft corals really do appreciate more rich water (higher nutrients). Not dirty water, just rich. Stony corals need less nutrients, but not zero nutrients. Peacocks do best with no measurable nutrients in my experience. High flow, well oxygenated, low light tanks are best for them. Some of those needs clash with many SPS/soft coral requirements. Anyway, you'll get different opinions from different people, just sharing my own experience.

Hope everyone is enjoying this hobby as much as I am. I'll try to post some pictures soon. Happy reefing/mantis keeping!

07/13/2016, 07:03 PM
Great read mate, could you post a few pictures of your tank now? Just so I can get some more ideas

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07/14/2016, 06:33 PM
No major changes except for changing the location of the burrow the back left corner. It's still a really simple set-up and I try not to mess with it too much. That includes removing some of that hair algae on the sand bed, oh well.

Specs about the same as they've always been, Alk/Ca a little lower than I used to run them. Corals survive, but don't do super well, but they're not my main focus of course.

Nitrates - undetectable
Phosphates - ? don't test
Alk - 8.5 dkH (fluctuates between 7.7 and 8.7)
Ca - 420 (fluctuates between 410 and 450)
Mg - 1250
Salinity 1.025

RO/DI from BRS, IO salt, 2 AI Prime lights, 1 MP40. I did add 2 small Koralias to the back wall to move water back to front. Skimmer works great, got 10 marinepure spheres in the HOB refugium. That's it!