Peacock Mantis lighting with Macros (and shell rot)

BlakeK.

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Hi guys,

Well, three days ago I was at my LFS and they had a 4" peacock mantis in stock. I had read up on them before and found them super fascinating so I made the impulse purchase. Before purchasing him, I talked to the owner for a while just to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. He said they don't need much space at all and that it would be just fine in the 10g, HIGHLY lit (flood light), refugium section of my sump. Long story short, I realize how bad strong lighting is and I have since rebuilt my sump so that he now has a 20 gallon area (which I know still might be too small for a full grown adult) with PVC pipe tunneling.

Here are my questions. First, I really liked how much macro algae growth I was getting in my fuge with the flood light. HOWEVER, that will obviously lead to shell rot. What is the best lighting for keeping both my Scyllarus AND macroalgae happy? Is it possible? Can I turn on the flood light for a few hours during the day while my peacock chills in his PVC during that time? Second, in the few days that I have had him, even though he is still eating, his colors have paled a bit. Is it possible that he has already been infected with SR during that time? The lighting was VERY intense. I have since turned off all lighting and he is in complete darkness. I'll attach some pictures so that you can see him/her(?) and the set up. (Pictures of the mantis shrimp are from the first day I purchased it).
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Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help!!
 
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Jaysin13

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She is pretty. I have a 40 breeder tank dedicated to my little girl. I feel that will be far to small.

I'm still not sure about lighting myself. I know to much is bad but there is no definitive this is OK but this is not. My mantis tank has macro algae only but, like I said, is not dual purpose as is your sump.... Good luck with her!
 
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BlakeK.

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She is pretty. I have a 40 breeder tank dedicated to my little girl. I feel that will be far to small.

I'm still not sure about lighting myself. I know to much is bad but there is no definitive this is OK but this is not. My mantis tank has macro algae only but, like I said, is not dual purpose as is your sump.... Good luck with her!

So it is a "her"? how can you tell? Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to upgrade the tanks size eventually. I have heard of quite a few people keeping full grown O. Scyllarus in a 25g, though. Don't know if that has negative effects.
 

Jaysin13

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So it is a "her"? how can you tell? Yeah, I'm definitely going to have to upgrade the tanks size eventually. I have heard of quite a few people keeping full grown O. Scyllarus in a 25g, though. Don't know if that has negative effects.
Based on her colors I'd say it's a she... That's not a super definitive way to tell but my research shows females with the brown/red color. Males with the blue/green backs. I can't say for sure without seeing her underside but I'd bet it a female. She looks a lot like my little girl.

They like a large footprint tank. I designed my mantis tank for her needs so I went 40 breeder as it offers plenty of floor. I am no expert. She is my first and I've only had her a few months.
 
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BlakeK.

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Based on her colors I'd say it's a she... That's not a super definitive way to tell but my research shows females with the brown/red color. Males with the blue/green backs. I can't say for sure without seeing her underside but I'd bet it a female. She looks a lot like my little girl.

They like a large footprint tank. I designed my mantis tank for her needs so I went 40 breeder as it offers plenty of floor. I am no expert. She is my first and I've only had her a few months.

Wow, that's interesting. Yeah it does have some browinish color, but toward the tail there is a lot more blue/green. Your tank seems well lit. You never ran into problems with shell rot or staying hidden?
 

Jaysin13

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Wow, that's interesting. Yeah it does have some browinish color, but toward the tail there is a lot more blue/green. Your tank seems well lit. You never ran into problems with shell rot or staying hidden?
My tank is lit by a 6500k cfl bulb. Not string at all. And like I said, I haven't had her long. She has molted once and I think she's molting currently.
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JuanGutz

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I had one that got to just under 8” in a 4o breeder with 5” of sand with large rock all in the sand. It was constantly building its burrow and tunneling into the rock. Think deep water and just go with nice cheap lighting for them. I had beautiful coral with mine but he would constantly take the coral into his burrow and when it died he would kick it back out. I stopped putting in coral and every week I’d put in live cuc for him to break into and eat. Supplementing with shrim that was soaked in reef chili.
 
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BlakeK.

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I had one that got to just under 8” in a 4o breeder with 5” of sand with large rock all in the sand. It was constantly building its burrow and tunneling into the rock. Think deep water and just go with nice cheap lighting for them. I had beautiful coral with mine but he would constantly take the coral into his burrow and when it died he would kick it back out. I stopped putting in coral and every week I’d put in live cuc for him to break into and eat. Supplementing with shrim that was soaked in reef chili.

So I can put in some cheap lighting, I'm just wondering if my macro algae will take a hit.
 

André Brasil

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Congratulations on getting one if the most awesome inverts ever!

Also, I find it great that you are seriously considering her (or his) needs above your own personal convenience!!

I sadly, don't personally own a mantis shrimp (yet!) but have put in a decent number of hours into researching their needs. Some facts that you may find useful:

- Shell Rot is not fully understood but there is a consensus around the principle that anything above ambience / viewing intensity lighting increases the risk of the mantis developing it. Note that it's not about direct exposure to it - it's about what the light "does" to the water.

- The Peacock can grow to about 7-8 inches. It needs at least some 27 gallons of water volume to do well, according to Dr. Roy's List (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/arthro...ostraca/royslist/species.php?name=o_scyllarus)

- A good size pvp pipe is a great idea for a burrow, as they appreciate the privacy and not feeling cramped helps them feel less stressed, especially during molts, which in turn boosts their survival rates.

Hope this is helpful!
 
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Shabalaba

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Welcome to the lovely world of owning a mantis! Shell rot is a serious topic for peacocks, and we can only really guess at the causes and treatment. While we believe lighting plays a key role in the development of shell rot, we now believe it plays less of a roll than previously thought. Peacocks have developed shell rot at depths of 90m in the wild, so it seems more likely that it is a stress induced problem. We do know though, that peacocks are a deep water species, so its likely that intense light can induce stress without acclimation. In our experience, the single most important part of a mantis tank (peacock or not) is that the mantis has a dark burrow where it can escape to. This burrow will provide the mantis with a place to get out of any light, as well as a place to feel safe. For example, my male peacock mantis has resided in my mixed reef lit by a 6 bulb T5 fixture for 5 years now. He is quite active, but spends the majority of his time relaxing in his dark burrow, as most mantis shrimps will.

Considering the size of the aquarium the peacock is kept in, I would consider no less than a 20g volume, but more important is the amount of structure. Stomatopods are very intelligent, and enjoy exploring structure and building. It is absolutely paramount that the mantis is provided with enough rock rubble, shells, and substrate to gather that it can construct and "decorate" its burrow. They like to "feel" different items and textures. They will study curious new items like marbles, and shells as they determine if it is suitable construction material. So if the enclosure is maybe lacking in size, try supplementing that will more stuff for the mantis to find to keep it stimulated.

The last few topics i want to brush over are polymorphic colors and sex. Mantis shrimps in general are all color polymorphic, and will change colors or patterns depending on depth (light intensity and spectrum) as well as diet and stress related factors. It is very common for your mantis to have different color shading than when you first obtained it, and it will likely not develop its final coloration in that system for 2-3 molts. Trying to sex any mantis via coloration or patterns (unless specific details) is almost useless. The only proper way to identify a peacocks sex is to look for the gonopods (penises) at the base of the last pair of walking legs. They look like 2 sticks in a V shape.

I hope some of this information was helpful for you. Please ask if you have further questions
 
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