Mantis Shrimp in Reef Tank

BantyRooster97

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To start, I have live rock purchased from TBS a few years ago. I've heard the clicking sound of a mantis ever since. I finally spotted him when I took a large rock out of my tank to rearrange it. He fell out & on to the towel I had on the ground; not even thinking I picked him up & tossed him back in.

Did I mess up? He was only about an inch long and to my knowledge has never hurt anything in the tank.

thx
 
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To start, I have live rock purchased from TBS a few years ago. I've heard the clicking sound of a mantis ever since. I finally spotted him when I took a large rock out of my tank to rearrange it. He fell out & on to the towel I had on the ground; not even thinking I picked him up & tossed him back in.

Did I mess up? He was only about an inch long and to my knowledge has never hurt anything in the tank.

thx
Following along.
 

Brady4000

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Did I mess up?

I’ll start out by saying:

Sounds like a smasher mantis, just know with a smasher mantis Anything (fish or crustacean, snail etc.) in the tank is subject to die with a mantis shrimp. It’s not a guarantee, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if it happens. If you have any expensive fish, I would remove it.

Since you hear it hitting stuff, I am going to say it’s a smasher. Which don’t normally chase down and kill fish. But if not getting fed well, they can and will. Sometimes they will just go after the fish, because they can, tends to be a personally thing. It just doesn’t happen fast with smasher.

As he grows he will start taking out your CUC. right now I am guessing he’s living off any scraps that fall from feeding your fish. They are also opportunistic and don’t need live food to feed. They will feed on really anything, meaty, as well as pellets.

They are usually extremely good at hiding, so getting it a second time might be a feat.

Did you happen to snap I photo, so I can ID the type of mantis?
Also did you see it’s hammers to confirm it’s a smasher?
 
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Brady4000

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It’s not a guarantee, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if it happens.
I was talking about it killing a fish. It’s a guarantee it will kill your CUC when it can lol. Just FYI
 
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BantyRooster97

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So I have 2 ornamental shrimp in the tank & have for years. This guy has been in here 3+ years and is only an inch long. Will he get bigger?

If he has killed any snails or crabs, would there be a way to tell? Like a hole in their shell? If so, I have not seen that. I do have plenty of snails that have perished over the years & I'm sure crabs too (I find empty shells occasionally).

Sorry no pics. I didn't even think about it when I picked him (by hand) & tossed him back in. Which I realize now was probably dumb. LOL

Since he came in on my rock from TBS he is a Gulf of Mexico variant. Guess I might need to try to catch him.
 

Jeffcb

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So I have 2 ornamental shrimp in the tank & have for years. This guy has been in here 3+ years and is only an inch long. Will he get bigger?

If he has killed any snails or crabs, would there be a way to tell? Like a hole in their shell? If so, I have not seen that. I do have plenty of snails that have perished over the years & I'm sure crabs too (I find empty shells occasionally).

Sorry no pics. I didn't even think about it when I picked him (by hand) & tossed him back in. Which I realize now was probably dumb. LOL

Since he came in on my rock from TBS he is a Gulf of Mexico variant. Guess I might need to try to catch him.
I have a couple of them also from Live Rock. The problem is catching them. I also have a gorilla crab I really want to catch. I am going to try the cut the top of a plastic coke bottle and reverse it inside the bottle method. I don't care so much about my mantis shrimp.... all a part of the reef. The snapping is irritating though. I wouldn't worry about the shrimp. Good luck
 
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BantyRooster97

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Yeah the gorilla crab is an issue. I had numerous come in on my rock & thought I got them all. Then one day I discovered one about the size of a .50 piece. He had been destroying my snails & had a small grave yard of shells at the back of my tank. He got the spear! Then I pulled him out piece by piece with needle nose pliers. LOL
 
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Brady4000

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Will he get bigger
If I was a betting man I would say yes. Haven’t read up on any mantis that stays 1inch. Small ones are like 3 inches. Big smashers get 7-8 inches. Spearing mantis get upwards of 14 inches.


If he has killed any snails or crabs, would there be a way to tell?
Shell will be broken.

So I have 2 ornamental shrimp in the tank & have for years.
These will be easily killed even by the smallest smasher mantis.
 

reefinatl

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To start, I have live rock purchased from TBS a few years ago. I've heard the clicking sound of a mantis ever since. I finally spotted him when I took a large rock out of my tank to rearrange it. He fell out & on to the towel I had on the ground; not even thinking I picked him up & tossed him back in.

Did I mess up? He was only about an inch long and to my knowledge has never hurt anything in the tank.

thx
He's been there a few years, just let it be. He probably has just picked off a number of small snails.
 

reefinatl

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Eh... if your ok with “probably” lol then yea go for it.
3 years deep with no noticeable impact, I mean everything comes with risk but 3 years in why bother it. It's obviously eating something, likely small snails and leftover food. Seems like most hermits do the same.
 
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Brady4000

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3 years deep with no noticeable impact, I mean everything comes with risk but 3 years in why bother it. It's obviously eating something, likely small snails and leftover food. Seems like most hermits do the same.
Just have a hard time with “probably” won’t kill my $40 skunk cleaner shrimp. Lol if it was in my tank, it would be on the way to the LFS. Also hermits aren’t as aggressive as a mantis shrimp or have the ability a mantis has. Kinda oranges and apples.
 
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BantyRooster97

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It sounds like you have a pistol shrimp and not a mantis shrimp.
You know, I looked up images online and you might be right. Do pistol shrimp make the clicking sound that people talk about with mantis?
 

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I Have one in one of my smaller tanks. He is a smasher, took out some of the CUC but other members have adapted. Emerald crabs are hosting under anemones and survive because he will not go there. He is very large, the fish are 2 clowns. There is also a Coral beauty angel in there, I have seen the coral beauty hit once or twice, it is a very aggressive fish and scares the mantis away fast. Any fish that stays on the bottom, gobies etc, will not stand a chance and will die.
I have a coral banded shrimp that lives happily with the mantis, but this was not easy and the coral banded had to take up very non shrimp like behavior to survive. He actually floats around the tank on small little bundles of ulva, the mantis is not able to get up there to attack.

As others have said, you have to be very careful with anything you put in. Anemones will protect clowns, but if the clowns don't go there for protection they may end up dead.
If you want to know if its a mantis, drop a clam from the seafood section at the front of the tank. They can not resist.
 
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