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Peacock Mantis Shrimp  pic.
Text and Photograph by Adam Jones

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Below is setup and maintenance information from Adam Jones who hosts what is probably the world's first Mantis Shrimp Discussion Board. More information about Adam's care can be found in the Stomatopod Logs.

Tank
20 gallon acrylic tank with built-in wet-dry setup during June of 2000. I previously had the mantis shrimp in my 29 gallon tank; the acrylic tank is a big improvement. Having an animal capable of cracking glass in a tank plumbed to my main reef display tank just wasn't a good idea. Watching my mantis break a thermometer in the glass tank was all the incentive I needed to setup a dedicated acrylic tank. The best thing about the new tank, aside from the fact that it is acrylic, is that there is plenty of room for a heater and thermometer in behind the tank in the wet/dry compartment. I haven't gotten around to putting black vinyl on the two sides of this tank yet. The acrylic seems to be less reflective than uncovered glass, so maybe I don't need to add the vinyl.

Filtration
Filtration consists of a built-in wet/dry filter with the biobale media from my CPR BakPak II filter. There are a few small pieces of live rock. This tank has a built-in protein skimmer that I've never been able to produce skimmate from, even with several fish in the tank. Oh well. The mantis can tolerate less than pristine water quality.

Substrate
Crushed coral, #10 grade, 7-18 cm deep (the mantis likes to dig and make piles). After the mess the mantis made during his three month stay in my 29 gallon refugium, I decided to buy the largest substrate I could find locally. #10 grade crushed coral may be too big; time will tell. In my opinion, a 10 cm or deeper substrate is essential because that's about how deep my mantis likes to dig his burrow. I originally put in 13-15 cm of crushed coral, although the mantis has seen to rearranging that for me.

Circulation
Circulation is provided by the pump for the wet/dry, a Maxi-Jet 600. I added a length of vinyl tubing and a T-barb so the output of the pump enters the tank just above the substrate on the right side of the tank.

Lighting
2x15 watt normal output fluorescent.

Essential equipment
Quick hands and/or a long scraper for cleaning algae off the side of the tank.

Temperature
Temperature is maintained at 26-28 Celsius.

Specific Gravity
1.025

pH
Haven't checked. Probably anywhere from 7.8-8.2

Visit Adam Jones' Web Site!

Web Site Author: A. San Juan
Site Created February 3, 1998
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