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rishu_pepper
09-30-2014, 07:34 AM
About a year ago, I watched a video on the mantis shrimp, and was quite fascinated by its appearance and abilities; however, back then I was living with my family so I had no intention on building a tank and never did follow up on it.

Everything changed when I got married in July, and moving into our new apartment, there was more room and freedom to choose and pursue some new hobbies. I started doing more research on the mantis shrimp during the summer, and decided to make the plunge a month ago.

I scoured the great craigslist and picked up a 30 gallon tank, which had been deemed a good size for a single peacock mantis shrimp. It came with a cheapo Marineland filter and LED lights. For the moment, they will do, but I may eventually upgrade to a canister filter for better efficiency and quietness.

It also came with a couple buckets of gravel. After discussion with J&L and further research, I decided that gravel was sufficient and sand was not necessary. I did pick up some salt, pH buffer, and a refractometer from J&L to get started.

Live rocks was next. Fortunately, a fellow member on these forums, JTang, was able to set me up with an adequate amount of his LR, and on top of that I grabbed a damsel to help cycle the tank.

Speaking of damsels, the next day my wife and I went to J&L again and picked up another damsel. The original damsel got territorial and started to bully the new fish, which worried my wife to no end, so I went out to buy a small breeder box and placed damsel #1 in there for a day, and it proved to be a decent solution to quell his bullying problem.

Days and days passed, and my ammonia level dropped to zero, and subsequently I took my water to J&L and they tested zero nitrites and nitrates were at a very low level and deemed my tank ready for action.

During all these weeks, I had tried my best to look for a nice large sized (6" approx.) peacock mantis shrimp. I had placed an order from J&L but they informed me that it could be a long/unknown time when they will receive a big peacock, so I asked around. Out of the blue, I decided to post a LF ad on the classifieds here and some kind members told me there was one for sale at Oceanic Corals. When I heard of the news, confirmed it on their Facebook page, I quickly called to place a hold on the little monster.

Once the water was ready, I called and confirmed with Albert at OC and zoomed there with my wife.

This guy, according to Albert, is a thug. We packed him, left OC, came back to Coquitlam and detoured to pick up two more damsels from JTang and some good looking mushrooms.

Once we did the acclimatizing with him and the damsels, made some rearrangements of the rocks, we placed him into the tank.

Initially I was quite worried because the mantis just curled up in a corner and didn't really move for an hour, but my fears were unfounded as he began to find a space to make his burrow.

We had set up a cave area with PVC in advance, but he was not a fan and just found his own place. Oh well, can't force this guy to do anything. All he does is rearrange his place all the time. He's a diligent little worker. And also he likes to bury little buttons we toss down for him, he's like a treasure hoarder.

Livestock list:

peacock mantis shrimp, "Matsuri" (a Japanese term for a festival, also a net term for a forum flame war; we'd name him since we thought he would be a nuisance to the tank, so far he hasn't lived it up though, to our relief)

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q7/rishu_pepper/IMG_20140929_2153541_zpsec42d88f.jpg (http://s132.photobucket.com/user/rishu_pepper/media/IMG_20140929_2153541_zpsec42d88f.jpg.html)
http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q7/rishu_pepper/IMG_20140929_2154371_zps5e28c097.jpg (http://s132.photobucket.com/user/rishu_pepper/media/IMG_20140929_2154371_zps5e28c097.jpg.html)

big fat grey looking damsel "Fatso"
Sergeant Major damsel "Bruce"
yellow tail damsel "Stick" (jerks around a lot like when I drive stick :redface:)
small silver coloured damsel "Shy Guy" (except he is aggressive and not at all shy)
red hermit crab, a hitchhiker from JTang's rock
turbo snail
tophat snail

green furry mushroom
purple mushroom
rhondactis (sp?) mushroom
green palys (sp?)

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q7/rishu_pepper/IMG_20140929_2118311_zps5ca8158f.jpg (http://s132.photobucket.com/user/rishu_pepper/media/IMG_20140929_2118311_zps5ca8158f.jpg.html)

I may or may not add more livestock to it, depends on how well they get along. Wife really wants some shrimps but they may just end up as an easy meal for Matsuri. So far we've fed it frozen shrimp from chopsticks and he eats it up nice and quick.

Special thanks to:

Jeff at J&L: provided me countless amount of help through email and in-person advice at the store, a great guy to work with and I'm sure to be a loyal customer at their shop for a long time to come, they really know how to do business there

Paul, Albert, and spit.fire at Oceanic Corals: helped me answer some important questions, but most importantly, supplied me with Matsuri, a really beautiful and healthy specimen

JTang: just a good guy to talk to, and supplied me a lot of his materials at an affordable cost and helped me with a lot of stuff, thanks John!

The wife has already been bit by the aquarium bug, and we may set up another small tank in the room somewhere for different fishes. Any ideas?

Lastly, if anyone has advice on how to raise the mantis well, I'm all ears. I can say I've done my homework on it but I'd love to hear more first hand experience as well.

Thanks for looking :)

spit.fire
09-30-2014, 07:39 AM
looks good, just be warned, those damsels, snails and hermits may go missing over time

rishu_pepper
09-30-2014, 04:04 PM
Haha yeah I'm prepared for that if that day shall come. I'll try to keep it well-fed so it doesn't have to go for them as a meal.

More pics to come, just need time to edit my DSLR stuff. Finally my pro gear comes into use (other than weddings:lol:) :biggrin:!

rishu_pepper
10-03-2014, 07:36 PM
Update:

Added two powerheads
Added an Aquatic Life 115 skimmer
(both from the forum's members)

Last night around 3am, my wife woke me from my slumber and asked me to head to the tank. Unfortunately, one of the snails was ruthlessly destroyed/eaten by Matsuri last night (the punching noise was quite loud even though she was watching some late night TV she heard the entire thing). It might have been because we didn't feed it last night (we were feeding it every day and wanted to see if he can go a day without food, guess not...).

RIP White Shadow, the Turbo snail. :redface: Circle of life.

RDNanoGuy
10-03-2014, 09:20 PM
I can hear my peacock mantis Dr. Zoidberg punching through the rocks all the way upstairs in my living room (he lives in my 55 gal refugium). Also be prepared to have him use anything in his tank as lining/decoration for his home. Frags tend not to stay where you put them ! Lol.

rishu_pepper
10-03-2014, 09:31 PM
Dr. Zoidberg is a hilarious name! Today at work we were coming up for names for it, and my co-workers suggested "Sir Clobberston McSmashy" lol:lol:

He hasn't smashed up my LR but he uses everything available to build his little cave, it's quite interesting.

How often do you feed him? Any special thing I should know about with a peacock?

RDNanoGuy
10-03-2014, 09:50 PM
Dr. Zoidberg is a hilarious name! Today at work we were coming up for names for it, and my co-workers suggested "Sir Clobberston McSmashy" lol:lol:

He hasn't smashed up my LR but he uses everything available to build his little cave, it's quite interesting.

How often do you feed him? Any special thing I should know about with a peacock?

I feed him 3-4 times per week. Food is mostly silversides and freshwater mussels. He also really likes fiddler crabs from the pet store, they are expensive just for food but they are a little more challenging.

Peacocks are prone to shell rot if your lighting is too bright so be careful and keep your light to a minimum. Also be very careful with household cleaners around the tank all mantises are super sensitive to voc's. I killed a little green smasher I had in a tank outside my master bathroom after cleaning the floor with a commercial bathroom cleaner. Ideally you should only use vinegar and water as cleaner around the tank.

rishu_pepper
10-03-2014, 11:20 PM
I feed him 3-4 times per week. Food is mostly silversides and freshwater mussels. He also really likes fiddler crabs from the pet store, they are expensive just for food but they are a little more challenging.

Peacocks are prone to shell rot if your lighting is too bright so be careful and keep your light to a minimum. Also be very careful with household cleaners around the tank all mantises are super sensitive to voc's. I killed a little green smasher I had in a tank outside my master bathroom after cleaning the floor with a commercial bathroom cleaner. Ideally you should only use vinegar and water as cleaner around the tank.

I fed him frozen shrimp and fresh clams from the supermarket, will that suffice or should I change it up?

Yeah I read about the shell rot, so I almost always leave the light off, other than maybe 3-4 hours a day. My light is just the cheap LEDs from Marineland so it's probably not strong enough to be a problem.

Sorry about your green smasher. :( Good advice about the cleaners, I'll keep that in mind!