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Old 09/26/2001, 10:50 AM   #2
Gonodactylus
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
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How to ship a mantis shrimp II.

5. How big should the ocntainer be for an animal? This depends on several factors including how long it will take to get to the destination, how big the animal is, and the species of mantis shrimp. We typically use "cubitaniners", flexible plastic containers that don't puncture easily, can be re-used, and that pack efficiently because they are cubes. They come in 1 and 4 litre sizes. We also use 500 cc and 1 litre plastic water bottles. (Never use a soft drink bottle. Even if you boil it, you can't get it sufficiently clean not to kill a stomatopod!) Here are some minimal size suggestions. Containers are 1/4 full of water, the rest air or oxygen.

1 inch mantis - 250 ml plastic bottle
2 inch mantis - 500 ml
2.5 inch mantis - 1 litre
3 inch mantis - 2 litre
4 inch mantis - 4 litre or bigger
5 inch mantis - 6 litre
6 inch mantis - > 6 litre

If you are using holy bottles like we do, you can put about 4 two inch manits shrimp in a 4 litre container, but if one animal dies, it will take out the entire container.

6. Don't ship an animal that has just molted. Wait at least a week. Also, don't ship an animal that is about to molt. Since that is difficult to tell if an animal is going to molt without microscopic examiniation, you will have to use behavioral cues. A good indicatior is when the animal stops eating. Also, if you see an increase in digging, this often suggests an approaching molt. Females with eggs are also difficult to ship and require much more water and air. Females that lay during shipping usually die.

7. Don't feed the animal for a day prior to shiping. It takes a day for a stomatopod to clear its gut.

8. Water quality is critical. If possible, use freshly mixed artificial sea water or sea water taken from off shore. Water from your aquarium contains some nutrients and will foul more quickly.

9. Don't use commercial products frequently used to reduce stress when shipping fish. Stomatopods don't do well with such products.

Hope this helps.

Roy


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