View Full Version : Zebra Mantis deep sand

Steve C
04/10/2017, 10:48 AM
Hi, I am considering setting up a tank for a Zebra. How do people manage the deep sand. I know from experience that over time a few inches of sand can become clogged and full of nutrients in a reef tank. Is it that the impute of nutrients should be fairly low because it should be target feeding rather than dropping in a load of small food items?

04/11/2017, 10:17 PM
I had a 2ft deep sand bed for nearly 5years and it never looked that bad nor did it phase the giant spearers within it.

But it was a species specific system so I cannot really state the well being of any other organisms within as well, but the spearers were very happy & healthy.

04/12/2017, 08:31 AM
I use two different approaches. The first is a satellite tank hooked up to a large aquarium. The second is to partition a tank with a divider and fill on compartment with sand leaving the other with just a shallow sand bed.


Steve C
04/25/2017, 02:32 PM
Thanks for the info. From a footprint POV. what dimensions L x W should I be looking at.

04/25/2017, 03:04 PM
Generally the Lysiosquillina that are available for the aquaria are 15 - 22 cm total length. I would use a sand bed around 12 x 40 cm for a 16 cm animal with the sand about 20-25 cm deep. Proportionally larger for a 22 cm animal. If you get a pair,width and depth would be the same, but I would make it 10 -15 cm longer.


Steve C
04/26/2017, 02:07 PM
Great, that is easily achievable.

When you say 16-22cm is that the expected max size of a captive specimen. Are the very large ones a rare occurance both in the wild and captivity.

In regards to there burrows, do they dig a burrow with two entries or is it a single with a hollow at the bottom to turn around. Asking just in case in need to build one.

04/27/2017, 08:43 AM
L. maculata is the most common species of lysiosquillid available. The reach a maximum size of around 35 cm. The largest recorded is 39 cm. Pairs in the range of 30 - 32 cm are common but they are hard to handle and ship so it is not common to see them on the market. I've had several large pairs in my lab. The largest was 32 cm. I collected them at this size and kept them for 11 years. They hardly grew at all.

In the field pairs sometimes have two entrances but usually only one is open. Juveniles up to around 16 cm don't dig burrows with two entrances. The burrows of lysiosquillids do not end in an enlarged chamber - just a simple tube. Their anatomy is such that they can turn around in a tube just slightly larger in diameter that the width of the animal.