Mantis Shrimp Care Help - My Mantis Always Die!

MaeganWink

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So I've had 3 different mantis shrimp in a row and I can never get them to live more than a 1-5 months before they die mysteriously. What's odd is the water quality is always pretty good from what I can tell and there are no signs of a molting issue or shell rot or anything.

Two that I've had were Peacock Mantis, the other was a Purple Spotted Mantis. They were offered frozen silversides and live snails and hermits.

Now one thing I will say is that my tank is at a school, so especially right now things are hard, but I do go in twice a week for management. But during the school year I do daily water testing on all my tanks. My mantis accepted food on Thursday and today was dead when I went in. I don't know when he died, but he wasn't super slimy or anything, so I think it was pretty recent.
Water parameters were: 0 Nitrites, 7.9 pH, 20 Nitrates, 0.25 Ammonia.

Are they just crazy sensitive to pH, Nitrates, or Ammonia? All the research I did suggested they were very hardy. I'd love some thoughts and suggestions. I don't want to try again unless I feel like I'm more prepared.
 
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So I've had 3 different mantis shrimp in a row and I can never get them to live more than a 1-5 months before they die mysteriously. What's odd is the water quality is always pretty good from what I can tell and there are no signs of a molting issue or shell rot or anything.

Two that I've had were Peacock Mantis, the other was a Purple Spotted Mantis. They were offered frozen silversides and live snails and hermits.

Now one thing I will say is that my tank is at a school, so especially right now things are hard, but I do go in twice a week for management. But during the school year I do daily water testing on all my tanks. My mantis accepted food on Thursday and today was dead when I went in. I don't know when he died, but he wasn't super slimy or anything, so I think it was pretty recent.
Water parameters were: 0 Nitrites, 7.9 pH, 20 Nitrates, 0.25 Ammonia.

Are they just crazy sensitive to pH, Nitrates, or Ammonia? All the research I did suggested they were very hardy. I'd love some thoughts and suggestions. I don't want to try again unless I feel like I'm more prepared.
i dont think they are crazy sensitive i just think that your parameters are not quite there, no offense. i had one and he lived over a year but one thing i will say is 20ppm nitrates is kinda high and 7.9 ph seems a little low for a saltwater tank i try to keep mine at 8.2-8.4. also what is your salinity like?
 
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MaeganWink

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Fair points. I suppose I'm used to "hardy" being like some of the fish who will live in way worse nitrates and ammonia levels. If that's the case, I'll likely just need to revise my expectations to be that they are moderately sensitive and I would need to be more careful of the water quality over breaks.
 

SALTY 75

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Fair points. I suppose I'm used to "hardy" being like some of the fish who will live in way worse nitrates and ammonia levels. If that's the case, I'll likely just need to revise my expectations to be that they are moderately sensitive and I would need to be more careful of the water quality over breaks.
yeah i would agree that they are probably not the most hardy thing. also invertebrates are more sensitive in general. you said it was in a school? is there any way that heavy metals could have entered the tank? or harmful chemicals?
 
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Tastee

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What test kits are you using?
From those numbers it sounds like API. If so they are not very accurate so if you really want to keep an eye on those parameters you may want to invest in a Red Sea Pro or Salifert kit. Or Hanna checkers. A tank of that age should never show measurable Ammonia, so I doubt your reading is accurate. It there is measurable ammonia then you need more surface area for bacteria - more rock or Marine Pure balls, Seachem Matrix etc.

I use API for my FW tank and to keep a rough eye on new SW and QTs but Red Sea Pro for anything established.
 

Tamberav

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Some types are fairly sensitive to poor water quality and changing parameters. The nitrates are too high most likely. There are a few species that are pretty delicate that Roy listed as very sensitive.

Neogonodactylus wennerae are pretty hardy so may want to try one of those types instead.
 
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MaeganWink

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Yes, I use API kits because unfortunately the school doesn't give me much of a budget to manage all 7 of the saltwater tanks that I have.

I doubt it was chemicals getting in, as it's a biocube with a lid and the custodians aren't in the building due to the coronavirus right now. I also dosed iodine and calcium weekly and my thermometer always read around 76 degrees when I was in (can't obviously speak for when I'm not there).

I use R/O water with all my tanks, because the tap water is super bad at my school.
 

vetteguy53081

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Water quality is important. Hopefully you aren't using tap water. Moderate water flow, salinity 1.025 and temperature of 78 deg and ample food source PLUS hiding/cave structures for them.
 

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