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Old 09/26/2001, 10:18 AM   #1
Gonodactylus
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How to ship a mantis shrimp.

There has been quite a bit of discussion lately about shipping stomatopods. We do it all the time and here are a few suggestions that might help.

1. Cold is probably your biggest problem. Most mantis can't survive more than a few hours below 68 F and if they drop below 60 they will probably die. (Hemisquilla ensigera from Southern California and other temperate water species are the exception.) This means you need a well-insulated container. We use medical supply shipping containers that have 2 inches of foam all round. The heat packs that commercial shippers use work well, but only if you have the right size pack for the container. If the pack is too large, you will cook the animal. Don't try handwarmers sold for skiing. They get way too hot. Also, pay attention to the weather. In winter, if there is a storm brewing either on your end or at the destination, forget it. Over night express is really the safest way to ship. Anything that takes more than 24 hours is pushing it.

2. Animals will punch holes in the container, but this is not as much of a problem as you might think. We often use heavy, double plastic bags for large animals. The trick is to make sure that animals can't see one another. use black plastic to visually isolate the bags. Commercial shippers use bags that have black bottoms and sides, but but a black garbage bag cut up will do. You need something opaque since animals will strike at shaddows.

3. Obvioiusly place only one animal in a bag unless you confine each animal to a separate container that prevents from strike other animals. For animals under 3 inches, we use 2 or 3 oz. plastic bottles with lots of holes (1/8 inch) drilled in them. This keeps the animals from getting to one another, keeps them from puncturing the bag, and provides them with something hold on to which reduces stress. They are in fact like the cavities the animals typically live in.

4. Oxygen is far more important than the amount of water used. The bags or containers used to ship should be no more than 1/4 full. If you can get a supply of oxygen, top off the container with it. Don't "borrow" some from an emergency or medical supply. You might need it some day! Many carriers prohibit shipments containing pure oxygen. Check. If they do, simply minimize the amount of time the container is sealed and leave lots of room for air.

This is getting near the maximum message length. I'll continue it in another posting.


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Old 09/26/2001, 10:50 AM   #2
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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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Old 09/26/2001, 02:09 PM   #3
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WOW, thanks for the info. I'm gonna save it down to my hard drive for future reference. Too bad I'M not gonna be using it any time soon. I can't even get my hands on a small peacock.......sigh


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Old 09/26/2001, 09:08 PM   #4
cat23
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Roy,

Thanks alot for the informative post! I'm about ready to ship one when I get him out of the rock he's in. It really was a help!

What do you think about shipping a mantis with the rock he's in? Any advise? ??Just bag up the rock and all, add water?

Your help is greatly appreciated!!!


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Old 09/26/2001, 10:32 PM   #5
Gonodactylus
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Teri,

Shipping the entire rock is a bit risky if the rock has a lot of life on it. If it is nothing more than some coralline algae, it may be O.K.

There are two ways to do it. The first is to use a large bag, enough water to cover the rock and lots of air or oxygen. THis weighs a lot and if there are many delicate organisms, the water may foul, but if not, the animal should arrive in good shape.

The second technique is to ship the rock damp wrapped in a non-toxic material. As long as the gills on the Neogonodactylus remain quite wet, it can survive. I've had animals survive in a wet rock for a couple of days. This is actually the way that many mantis shrimp make it into aquaria via live rock. Remember, the bag still needs a lot of air.

Getting a stomatopod out of a cavity in a piece of coral or live rock can be a challenge. Sometimes if you take the rock out of the water and gently prod the animal with a wire or pipecleaner, it will bail. Periodically dipping the rock back into water for a few seconds can add further encouragement. Dipping the rock in fresh water can also induce them to leave, but not usually. I would try lots of poking with a soft, blunt instrument.

Good luck.

Ro


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Old 11/10/2017, 05:56 PM   #6
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Wow, this was dusty...

Great info found here!

I have a very concrete question (will gladly create a separate post it digging this one up is not a good idea):

I will be receiving a G. Smithii from the UK (I live in Portugal) in a couple of weeks. The package will be posted before noon and arrive around noon the next day. That's 24h, which sounds reasonable if well packed.

The thing is...between the time I get the package until the time I can actually start the acclimatization process at my house, another 8 hours or so will pass.

Is there *anything* I can do in the meantime to enhance his chances of survival?

Thank you very much!


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Old 11/11/2017, 08:32 AM   #7
Hadla
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How big is he and do you know how big of a bag he will be in?


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Old 11/11/2017, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadla View Post
How big is he and do you know how big of a bag he will be in?
I'm not sure...it's a Smithii, so below 10cm.

The parcel can weigh up to 3.5kg, so I'd say a reasonably big bag can be used.


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Old 11/12/2017, 04:09 AM   #9
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Updating the info, it's about 6cm to be shipped in a 1 liter bottle.


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Old 11/12/2017, 05:42 AM   #10
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Updating the info, it's about 6cm to be shipped in a 1 liter bottle.


Hi where have you got the mantis from in the uk? Thanks.


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Old 11/12/2017, 05:55 AM   #11
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Hi where have you got the mantis from in the uk? Thanks.


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Private seller who got it by accident in a live rock purchase.


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Old 11/12/2017, 05:56 AM   #12
Loganberry
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Private seller who got it by accident in a live rock purchase.


Ahh right, iv just got one its tiny


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Old 11/12/2017, 06:02 AM   #13
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Ahh right, iv just got one its tiny


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UK also? From LR also?


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