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my2rotties
01-12-2009, 05:08 PM
Do any of you have one of these awesome creatures? My buddy at the LFS gave me a 8" zebra mantis for Christmas, and she is doing great in my 55g fuge. I feed her dead fish from the LFS and the odd Damsel fish. She does not live inside of rocks but tunnels under them and glues the sand into a jello like goo some how.

I was reading people keep more then one of them together, and I would love a smasher to go with the spearer. Is it possible? I really thought they would not get along, so this is why I ask.

She's a facinating creature and watches us in the sump room as much as we watch her. The last damsel fish was a larger one I gave to her, and I watched her always changing her hunting techniques to catch it. She did not have a clear shot at the damsel since it would hide behind the rocks. So... she stayed still until the fish would practically sit on her head for a day or two... Well I called my friend at the LFS asking if the fish was too big and she could not get it. Two hours later I found the fish buried upside down in her tunnel, not even eaten yet. Smart and patient hunter is all can say since the fish was there for two weeks.

So can I have more or should I not chance it? I want a peacock as the next one.

fishoholic
01-12-2009, 08:27 PM
I always thought that mantis's shouldn't be kept together because one would kill the other but I don't know for sure.

muck
01-12-2009, 09:25 PM
Chris_A has a HUGE one... :surprise:
Photos??

albert_dao
01-12-2009, 09:26 PM
I acquired last year from a friend. Lost it when my tank was smashed.

Can't really say I was super enthusiastic about it. Stayed under the substrate or in tubes all day and only came out for a couple seconds when I threw in food.

It was really pretty though.

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 03:22 AM
There are photos of Grendel (yeah I gave her a name)on my link below. SHe does not do very much but loves to dig tunnels and caves. I think she uses saliva or something to make the sand sticky. She lays on her back with her tail curled under, or flat out on her side. I only saw her strike once and it was so fast, I hardly saw it.

You could actually hear the water move in the tank. Her reach is longer then her body I believe and she does not miss. When she nailed the damsel fish I mentioned, she pretty much slit it's throat area. I don't mind how she looks when she is sitting, but when she goes mobile to swim aroubnd the tank, she looks pretty freaky. Her equipment is so top heavy she struggles a little to keep from sinking in the front. When she climbs up on the blower, I get ready to run out of the room...:wink: I don't know what I would do if she climbed out on me.

At least she stays out in the open for me too see her. I have to say she is the coolest Christmas gift I have ever gotten.

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 03:26 AM
I kind of figured the same thing, but I saw a post that mentioned they had more then one. The only thing living with mine is a gorilla crab (really gross)Doug from the LFS gave me for my puffer. I could not go through skewering the crab to a stick for Griff, and I was warned not to let it get away in my display. So Grendel has a buddy with body armor.

I always thought that mantis's shouldn't be kept together because one would kill the other but I don't know for sure.

Borderjumper
01-13-2009, 04:05 AM
very cool! I would be worried about bringing home dead fish for it IF your refug is plumbed into a system with fish in it.. ya just never know why the fish died!

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 04:10 AM
Very good point indeed... They are frozen and thawed before giving them her. Does that help any? The fuge is plumbed into the entire system, and I never even thought of it. I am feeling pretty stupid now.

QUOTE=Borderjumper;376981]very cool! I would be worried about bringing home dead fish for it IF your refug is plumbed into a system with fish in it.. ya just never know why the fish died![/QUOTE]

Borderjumper
01-13-2009, 04:12 AM
I wouldnt... they are dead for a reason!

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 04:17 AM
I won't be doing that any more. I guess my next question is how often do I need to feed her, since I have not found any useful info on keeping a zebra mantis. My hubby's buddy comes over with a couple of damsels when he pops over to watch Grendel hunt... she never does it for him. The last time he came by he mentioned the guy at the LFS he was at said to buy mollies for the shrimp. I jsut did not think that sounded right since they are fresh water fish.

I wouldnt... they are dead for a reason!

Borderjumper
01-13-2009, 04:21 AM
Ive never had a mantis so I know nothing about feeding them... but I have kept mollys in my reef tanks before when I had an algae problem. They did very well ( in fact better than my freshwater ones) and produced mass quantities of live food ( the fry) for my fish.

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 04:35 AM
Interesting... I guess I should do some reading about this. I hate feeding live food, but I knew I would probably have to do so when I brought the creature home.

I take it I need to slowly acclimate the mollys to salt water? It would be nice to have food for the shrimp on hand, instead of having to run out and spend about $10 a fish for a few of them.

Ive never had a mantis so I know nothing about feeding them... but I have kept mollys in my reef tanks before when I had an algae problem. They did very well ( in fact better than my freshwater ones) and produced mass quantities of live food ( the fry) for my fish.

Borderjumper
01-13-2009, 05:08 AM
Ive done slow drips for the mollys.. taking about 6 hours. And they do just fine.

my2rotties
01-13-2009, 05:42 AM
Thanks for the help, I am already looking into it further.

justinl
01-14-2009, 04:54 AM
Unfortunately, of all the Stomatopods you could have gotten, you may have gotten the worst possible option. L. maculata needs a sandbed at least 1.5X it's own body length; best to plan by its fully grown adult length of 40cm (so a 60cm deep sandbed). if you can't accomodate that, sell/give it away to someone who can.

as for your other questions, most mantids cannot be kept together and you should NEVER mix species; so no you cannot have a smasher in the tank because you will invariably end up with one or both of them dead. L. maculata can form monogamous pairs and one pair in the wild has been under monitoring for about 15 years now! However, unless you initially buy a known mated pair, good luck in making your own. males are rare, females are almost never seen in the trade (because they stay safe in the burrow and the males do most of the hunting) and it is far from guaranteed that they will pair up even if you do manage to find a chick. L. maculata and any other spearing mantis does not need live food, so if you don't want to feed it live food, don't; never feed freshwater fish to a saltwater invertebrate imo. Mantids don't need a whole lot of food... I would feed yours a whole silverside maybe once every 3 days; if there are leftovers, clean them up and feed less next time. as with any aquarium inhabitant, it's largely trial and error.

read. this is from a stomatopod research in Berkeley. ie. reliable info.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/species.php?name=l_maculata

edit:
yes, to make a burrow, this species secretes mucus to get the sand to stick together and not collapse... basically they live in snot holes :)

edit 2: how do you know it's a girl? did you get a peek to see that it didn't have gonopods (male mantids have two penises)? the fact that you mention proportionally very large spearing arms relative to the body says male to me (at least in this species). plus the rarity of females.

my2rotties
01-14-2009, 05:37 AM
I don't know if she is a girl for sure. However, something so ruthless in killing and remorseless in the act, must be female:smile: Grendel is a male name anyways, but I liked it for the shrimp. I have no idea if most of my fish are male or female, I just make them into what I feel they are. Judging by the link you gave to me, and what you mentioned she is a he... no big deal.

If he needs more sandbed, then I will give it to him. I did have about 6" of sand in the tank he lives in, but he dug it into tunnels and holes of his own.

I never intended on having a breeding pair. I was just asking if keeping a couple together would be possible since I see it in the LFS all the time. I also have a sump to put a peacock mantis in if I would like to do so.

I have tried silversides but he will only eat the guts and throw away the rest of the fish. When I feed him live food, he will eat the entire fish, but not dead or frozen fish... It's just an observation nothing more. If mollys can be acclimated to marine life, why are they not a good thing to feed if they can become saltwater fish?

I appreciate your imput and advise on my mantis. I want to give him a fantastic home, and make sure to give him the specialized care he requires.:smile:

Unfortunately, of all the Stomatopods you could have gotten, you may have gotten the worst possible option. L. maculata needs a sandbed at least 1.5X it's own body length; best to plan by its fully grown adult length of 40cm (so a 60cm deep sandbed). if you can't accomodate that, sell/give it away to someone who can.

as for your other questions, most mantids cannot be kept together and you should NEVER mix species; so no you cannot have a smasher in the tank because you will invariably end up with one or both of them dead. L. maculata can form monogamous pairs and one pair in the wild has been under monitoring for about 15 years now! However, unless you initially buy a known mated pair, good luck in making your own. males are rare, females are almost never seen in the trade (because they stay safe in the burrow and the males do most of the hunting) and it is far from guaranteed that they will pair up even if you do manage to find a chick. L. maculata and any other spearing mantis does not need live food, so if you don't want to feed it live food, don't; never feed freshwater fish to a saltwater invertebrate imo. Mantids don't need a whole lot of food... I would feed yours a whole silverside maybe once every 3 days; if there are leftovers, clean them up and feed less next time. as with any aquarium inhabitant, it's largely trial and error.

read. this is from a stomatopod research in Berkeley. ie. reliable info.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthropoda/crustacea/malacostraca/eumalacostraca/royslist/species.php?name=l_maculata

edit:
yes, to make a burrow, this species secretes mucus to get the sand to stick together and not collapse... basically they live in snot holes :)

edit 2: how do you know it's a girl? did you get a peek to see that it didn't have gonopods (male mantids have two penises)? the fact that you mention proportionally very large spearing arms relative to the body says male to me (at least in this species). plus the rarity of females.

justinl
01-14-2009, 05:22 PM
if you're willing to add that much sand (i understand a lot of people aren't), then you're pretty much gold. You don't have to have a 2ft sand bed until it is full grown really... you could just get away with adding over time. that way you won't have to start with a brand new sand bed at one go. just be sure that you do add sand as needed.

try feeding less at a time to get it to eat the whole silverside. also feed a variety of frozens like squid, cuttlefish, prawn, krill, etc. largely easily found at the grocery store. they aren't picky and hungry enough, will eat just about anything. it would be good to soak in selcon or some kind of supplement once in a while. most mantis keepers general rule is at least 3 different frozen foods, cycling between them.

i guess fully acclimated mollies would be okay, though not ideal. they will never have the perfect nutritional content of a damsel for example. plus the acclimation over the period of months just seems like more trouble than it's worth imo, especially since the L. maculata doesn't need live feedings.

for the peacock, look closely into that as well as a large peacock is one that *can* smash glass tanks. tank breaks are rare but do happen. most tank breaks are on the bottom pane as the mantis digs, so lining the bottom with a layer of acrylic scraps/silicone greatly reduces that already somewhat remote chance. minimum of 30g imo. these guys make U-shaped burrows in the rock. as long as it is separate from the L. maculata, all will be well.

my2rotties
01-14-2009, 05:58 PM
I know they don't need live foods, but boy does this shrimp like to hunt. I knew when the LFS gave him to me, I might have to feed live. I don't mind buying a damsel fish once a week and silversides and my puffer's mix of food for the rest. I put three damsels in the tank and noticed one would go missing about once a week. I only saw him kill once, and really don't know how he gets them sometimes (aise of letting one sit on his head for days).

The mantis is in my fuge so I don't mind adding sand as he grows. I'm just scared to stick my hands in there. He knows the difference between hands and a feeding stick, and what I read about their eyesight is amazing.

They are awesome creatures and are fun to watch. Mine really is active and swims around the tank when I come down. I have wanted a mantis for a very long time, but did my homework on the smashers, not the clubbers. I feel the spearers are a little work, but worth it in the end. I get to see him all the time, and he comes and watches me test my water and do water changes. He attacks my tank magnet when I need to clean the algae on the glass in his tank if it gets too close to him.

I will add some sand shortly but he gets really mad when I do anything in the tank since it sometimes damages his tunnels. I have tons of pods in the rock with the shrimp and swap them back and forth to my display for my Mandarine fish. I have had the little guy over a year now, and he is not the smartest of fish. I want to make sure he can easily find pods when he wants them, which he is always doing.

We will be making a divider for the peacock when he comes. The fuge is made form tempered glass so I hope that might help things. I have read they can break glass, and that would really suck. I don't know how long mantis shrimp can live out of water for, but I would be scared to death to try to catch and collect the zebra mantis on my basement floor. I saw a guy on utube picking his huge zebra mantis up, and I can't say I would be doing that myself. I noticed Grendel has spears on the back too, and can do a split second backward flip if I get too close. I don't know if you can tame them, but I would never trust him not to nail me. I think that would be a painful lesson, as well as getting him unstuck from my hand or wrist.

Grendel shed just before coming home and I am having difficulty in finding how often they do shed. I did read they sometimes die due to difficulties doing this, and want to make sure I don't lose him when it happens. Do you know often they shed or what to look for? When I brought him home I knew he would need special care and I want to make sure I am giving him all that he needs to be healthy, which he appears to be at this point.

Thanks for the help.

if you're willing to add that much sand (i understand a lot of people aren't), then you're pretty much gold. You don't have to have a 2ft sand bed until it is full grown really... you could just get away with adding over time. that way you won't have to start with a brand new sand bed at one go. just be sure that you do add sand as needed.

try feeding less at a time to get it to eat the whole silverside. also feed a variety of frozens like squid, cuttlefish, prawn, krill, etc. largely easily found at the grocery store. they aren't picky and hungry enough, will eat just about anything. it would be good to soak in selcon or some kind of supplement once in a while. most mantis keepers general rule is at least 3 different frozen foods, cycling between them.

i guess fully acclimated mollies would be okay, though not ideal. they will never have the perfect nutritional content of a damsel for example. plus the acclimation over the period of months just seems like more trouble than it's worth imo, especially since the L. maculata doesn't need live feedings.

for the peacock, look closely into that as well as a large peacock is one that *can* smash glass tanks. tank breaks are rare but do happen. most tank breaks are on the bottom pane as the mantis digs, so lining the bottom with a layer of acrylic scraps/silicone greatly reduces that already somewhat remote chance. minimum of 30g imo. these guys make U-shaped burrows in the rock. as long as it is separate from the L. maculata, all will be well.

my2rotties
01-23-2009, 08:43 PM
Just figured I would bring a new discovery for feeding options for this shrimp to the top. I don't know how many others have a creature like this and it might help for ideas if you don't have fish on hand.

I noticed he eats the eyeballs of fish he has killed first then the innards. I was making puffer food out of whole squid and had an idea. I cut the tenticles off and kept just the head with the huge squid eyecballs for the mantis.

Well what a hit. He snaps it off the feeding stick and feasts on the eyeballs. Whatever is left is eaten by the gorrilla crab that resides with him.

I have a ton of eyeballs in the freezer for him and give him one every other day. He still gets live damsels but seems content with the squid.

Skimmer Juice
02-09-2009, 08:46 PM
You have a crab living with yours? I owned a full grown Peacock Mantis Shrimp for a couple of years. Got him when it was full grown. Mine would kill anything that touched the water! I fed lets of big rock crabs, snails, and feeder fish.
My favorite was feeding him the feeders, as when he would see them he would fly out and punch the fish once, and boom the fish would explode , it hit so hard the scales would come of and it would look like its snowing, it was so cool. (I dont like killing fish either)

sunce_22
03-23-2009, 08:04 PM
I stock my mantis tanks up with live food, usually just blue legged hermits and astrea snails. I let the mantis shrimp hunt on their own when they are hungry. Seems to work out well.

Everyone at the LFS I worked at now knows that when I come in and look at crabs they are almost always for food.