X1 (One) Peacock Mantis Shrimp Jumbo 4" - 6" Each
Mantis shrimp engender strong feelings among marine aquarists – to many, they are highly valued pets – responsive, complex and long-lived. However, small specimens sometimes arrive unnoticed among live rock and make themselves unwelcome by devouring expensive fish and other creatures. Either way, these alert predators are among the most interesting marine invertebrates available in the pet trade.
Temperature and Water Quality
Most species thrive at temperatures of 74-80 F, and at salinities of 1.020-1.022. However, various species range from temperate to tropical waters, so please research the natural habitats of those you keep. Setting a light timer to mimic their natural cycle (i.e. varying the cycle for temperate species) will likely benefit their over-all health.
Filtration can be quite simple for small aquariums, (i.e. an under-gravel filter). Larger aquariums will require a suitably powerful canister or other filter. Mantis shrimp are reasonably hardy as concerns water quality but are, like many aquatic invertebrates, quite sensitive to air-borne chemicals. Fumes from cleaning products, paints, floor waxes and such may be introduced into even covered aquariums by the filtration system, and can be toxic to mantis shrimp. Unexplained aquarium deaths can often be attributed to chemical poisoning.
Mantis shrimp can be quite choosy when it comes to feeding – sometimes killing a live food item, seemingly as a territorial defense, but not consuming it. Most will, however, adjust to unfamiliar foods over time. They will, if you work carefully, usually accept dead food from a forceps (do not use your fingers, as serious injury can result). This takes time and experimentation – actually, it is quite comical to see them grab an unfamiliar food, retreat into their den, and then contemptuously toss it out as unpalatable!
Tong-feeding will allow you to provide them with a more varied diet than if you relied solely upon live food. Frozen mussels, clams, prawn, scallops, crab, squid and various fishes are all readily accepted. Seafood (human) markets and bait stores are also excellent sources of unique food items (different shrimp, fish, snail and abalone species, for example) – including such in your pet’s diet will go a long way in promoting good health.
Aquarium Setup: In most cases, mantids are very hardy and thus do not require much in the way of equipment. A properly sized tank must first be selected in order to compensate for the needs of the mantis you wish to house. Then, a simple heater, powerhead, or possible powerfilter can be used in conjunction with some sand and rock. It is basically a setup that is nearly identical to that of a FOWLR tank so you can also get away with cheaper lighting. If you so wish, you can also keep a mantis in a reef tank although the mantis may do some rearranging a pick of the clean up crew. I have found that Cerith snails are generally able to remain undetected longer than other snails so they do make for better cleaners. Some larger snails are also able to hold up against smaller smashers so this is also an option. Tank mates are generally best limited to quickly moving fish that can avoid predation. Damsels are a good choice due to their activity levels. Their overall low cost is also appealing in a mantis-dominated tank because there are never any guarantees that a mantis will attack the fish. Some mantis species are more aggressive than others and even some individual mantids are more aggressive. In terms of corals, it is best to glue these down to the main rocks. Mantids do not eat corals, but they will occasionally take the coral rubble and use it in making their burrows so keep that in mind when caring for mantids in a reef environment.
Where do mantis shrimp make their burrows?
The smasher will generally target crabs, shrimp, and snails whilst the spearer is designed to prey on fish and shrimp. These differences are further extended in the types of burrows made by the mantis. smashers will generally burrow through rocks to form their burrows and extended tunneling networks. Obviously, this rock tunneling requires quite a bit of force; in fact, some smasher species can generate a force equivalent to a twenty-two caliber gun shooting a bullet. Spearers will commonly dig their own U-shaped tunnel in the sandbed. Many recommend that it is best to give the mantis somewhere to hide in the tank so that it is not completely exposed when introduced. Smasher types generally seem to find places in the live rock to hide in; however, creating some form of a tunnel for either smasher or spearer types is generally a good plan to ease the acclimation process.
What species of mantis shrimp do I have?
There are many different species of mantis shrimp that commonly appear in the aquarium trade. Many of these are found inside live rock, which means that they are generally of the smasher variety; however, some are specifically imported and made available for sale. Dr. Roy Caldwell, an expert on stomatopods, has created an online database for identifying mantis shrimp as well as basic characteristics of that species. This is highly recommended for any potential mantis owner. The site can be found here.
Do mantis shrimp really break the glass of aquariums?
It is a common myth that a mantis will break the glass of an aquarium. This is extremely rare and generally has only been documented in cases where a larger mantis is being kept in a tank that is too small for it. Because the tank is too small it can draw the mantis towards the glass, which is thinner due to the small tank size, and, if provoked, the mantis could strike and potentially break through. In other cases, large mantids have burrowed through the an insufficiently deep sandbed and broke the bottom pane of glass. As a general rule of thumb, plan your tank accordingly to your species of mantis and you will be fine. Don't keep large mantis shrimp in extremely small tanks. Give them plenty of room and properly care for them. Both you and your mantis will be happier that way.
Do I have a mantis shrimp?
Yes, it is completely possible that a mantis shrimp may have come as a hitchhiker on your live rock. If you obtained rock from tampabaysaltwater or sealifeinc among other Florida rock destributors, the odds of this happening are a bit higher. Generally, the best way to find out if a mantis is in your tank is too listen for any pops or snaps coming from inside your tank. They are quite loud, but keep in mind that various species of Pistol Shrimp also make similar noises. Other signs of a possible mantis could include broken snail and hermit snails, rearranged rubble, and missing fish or shrimp. Keep in mind that while a mantis may be capable of killing fish, they generally tend to stick to slower moving prey. If you notice any of these signs, it is considered a good idea to watch the tank at night with a flashlight in hand in an attempt to spot the mantis.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk a Question
Can you show me a photo of the new Mantis Shrimp? Because I want to buy.
Hello, Can you email us Support@YourFishStore.com and we can send over some pictures over.
I would like a very colorful mantis shrimp is it possible to see pic of what you have and choose my own?
Hello, We usually do not do WYSIWYG on these mantis shrimp. But if you email us on Monday we can try to send over some pictures.