Mantis tank build (Odontodactylus japonicus)

JasonK84

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Well here we go again! Getting geared up for another build. We got the fish room built and now it’s time to get the tanks built. I want several cool specimens but this one is for a mantis shrimp!

So, normally one would have the tank setup before getting the inhabitant but I found one for sale before I was ready and since I have 5 tanks running currently I had a place to put it while the build occurs. I rarely see them for sale and never have at my local stores.

I really wanted a peacock mantis (Odontodactylus scyllarus) and it is what I thought I was going to be getting but what I got was a shrimp missing an eye that didn’t quite look like I expected. It’s huge! One member on this forum has said it looked like what an albino peacock would look like if it was a thing. It was listed as 6” to 8” and man was it accurate! After ordering I quickly started building a small den for it in the temporary holding tank.

So I won’t make you wait any longer for the introduction of my Mantis!
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I took a little live rock from another tanks sump to give it a more comfy feel.
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So there he is. It took several days for it to accept frozen food and only a couple hermits and a snail died getting there!
Now each morning it gladly accepts a thawed krill. Still rejects the clams on a half shell.

So now for a more permanent housing situation!

I’ve got 4 empty 40 breeders and was going to go with one of them but after seeing what it does (doesn’t do much) in a smaller tank I wasn’t going to commit a full 40 gallons to a single shrimp. I had a standard 20 gallon tank in the shed and it’s what I have settled on.

I built a new PVC tunnel for it and buried it under 40 lbs of rock rubble. Found this dry rock for $1/lb! I’ll be putting a cheap LED light over it and I’m debating running it with a Seachem tidal 75 or with a modified wet/dry filter from a 120 gallon system I bought used. I haven’t tried to fit the wet/dry under the stand yet but that’ll help decide. I’ve also got an old Aqua C remora skimmer I’ll use on it so this should be a pretty cheap build.

Here is the build so far. What do you think of the aquascape! LOL
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JasonK84

JasonK84

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Only issue I could see with using the really coarse rubble is the detritus trap problem. Everything your O.J. slaughters, bits will end up in the voids in the rock.
And that’s where the pods come in. This type of rubble will create mass housing for copepods, amphipods, and tons of blue leg hermits to roam and clean up. I’m thinking high flow will also help.
 
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JasonK84

JasonK84

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Well, the hermit crabs will lily become a snack
Of course! Then I’ll order 100 more for snacks. I also think a few cheap damsels will help liven it up. They’ll become snacks eventually as well and get replaced.

I am a huge believer in fish QT and have a thriving fish only 120 in the house that has been going for a year and a half. With these tanks in the fish room I am considering not QTing. Anything that comes inside will be QT’d before coming in but since the mantis will need live food regularly I don’t think it’ll wait 76 days for the next meal. Or maybe just the mantis tank as non QT?
 
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StatelineReefer

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despite their tendency to burrow, wouldn’t a reverse undergravel filter (RUGF) set-up remedy this?
It would, and would provide protection from a mantis trying to dig too deep (Rather they break the plenum than the glass). I just don't know how a mantis would react to the flow from below.
 

Picasso the Triggerfish

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I am a huge believer in fish QT and have a thriving fish only 120 in the house that has been going for a year and a half. With these tanks in the fish room I am considering not QTing. Anything that comes inside will be QT’d before coming in but since the mantis will need live food regularly I don’t think it’ll wait 76 days for the next meal. Or maybe just the mantis tank as non QT?
You can also feed it gut-loaded ghost shrimp to your mantis shrimp or freshwater feeder fish, since both of this options can´t carry saltwater diseases. If you don't want to feed your mantis shrimp feshwater feeder fish, you can also freshwater-dip your saltwater damsels after acclimating them to make all parasites drop off.
 
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JasonK84

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You can also feed it gut-loaded ghost shrimp to your mantis shrimp or freshwater feeder fish, since both of this options can´t carry saltwater diseases. If you don't want to feed your mantis shrimp feshwater feeder fish, you can also freshwater-dip your saltwater damsels after acclimating them to make all parasites drop off.
Damsels are tough so I’m not concerned about the mantis tank having parasites other than uronema since it never goes away and chromis/damsels are highly likely to have it. I’ll treat for it in my fish QT and not worry about anything else.
 
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JasonK84

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Got the tank started this evening! Now to transfer some media to get it quick started.

I’ll get some better pics once the water clears up.

I went with a reverse flow under gravel filter with 2 marineland 1200’s. And also using a Seachem Tidal 75. May switch to the wet dry later if I don’t like how the power filter works. Then I’ll have room for the Remora skimmer.
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JasonK84

JasonK84

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That shrimp is beautiful. Kinda muted colors but I haven't seen one like that before. Call it a pastel clown. ;)
Thanks, it has been doing very well. Just need to get it moved to the larger tank so it has more room. Yesterday it pulverized a clam on the half shell. Not sure why since one side was fully exposed. My guess is because it can.
 
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JasonK84

JasonK84

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From what I've found on a quick google search, it looks like their colors can vary quite a lot. I know they can regenerate legs, but I don't know about eyes. Either way, he is BEAUTIFUL!
We have been through a molt with it already and no eye. We will see what happens with the next molt but my guess is it won’t regenerate. It seams to do fine with only 1 though.

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