Dixon25

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I've had a Purple Spot in a 10g Nuvo for 3 years. No skimmers, etc. Heater and pump. Water changes every two weeks or so. No way I would want to move a 40g tank multiple times in a few years. Water quality won't be an issue with regular water changes. I've kept both species and would recommend the Smithii. Be prepared how much they eat. They need a constant supply of crabs and snails.
By the way, you don't get to determine what corals you keep. It's a mantis tank. Anything he/she doesn't like, they'll simply drag back to their burrow to never be seen from again. Don't put anything too expensive.
 
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Steve Erekson

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Honestly I'd go with the smaller tank and the wennerae/smithii. It's going to be easier to move, cheaper to feed, easier to maintain. You don't need to worry about water quality or light intensity as much with the wennerae or smithii as shell rot isn't a concern. Also, my 3" wennerae is loud. I can hear it across the house sometimes. I can't imagine how loud a peacock would be. If you are in small apartment or something a peacock might really frustrate you. If you decide you love stomatopods after 2 years, go ahead and get a peacock.

As far as the equipment goes, I wouldn't worry anything at all about a skimmer or high end pumps or probably even a hang on back filter. My wennerae has a $20 powerhead and a heater (titanium) and quality live rock from KP Aquatics. If you want better water quality, grow some macro algae in the tank.

Also don't be afraid to throw a fish in there. Mine has damsel roommates.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Would a damsel be an ok size for a 13.5 gallon tank? And if not what would? And yeah, I’m definitely not gonna be getting anything expensive as far as corals go. It would be some cheaper zoa frags. Maybe some Xenia. Maybe. Thanks for all the advice, I think I am gonna go ahead with the 13.5 gallon Fluval Evo and get a wennerae or smithii. I like the smithii colors a bit more but we will see as far as availability goes. I’m definitely gonna do a peacock mantis someday, but I think it’s gonna be better to wait until I’m in an actual house and not an apartment. I’ll post pics and updates when i start building the tank. Would a toadstool be ok or would it get too big or be bad with the mantis
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Well guys it’s happening. I’m getting the tank and everything Thursday to cycle. I got a 1.5 inch pvc burrow made and ready to go. I’ll update here and add pics when I get it. I’m getting a Tunze ATO, I’m using an extra heater lying around. I’ll be putting egg crate along the bottom. I’m hopefully gonna be getting a fluval evo 13.5, jt might be missing the light but apparently the light it comes with is pretty bad anyways. I may get an AI Prime or a kessil, we will see. I hope to eventually try some soft corals.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Well guys I did it. Last night I bought and setup a fluval evo 13.5 saltwater tank. I also picked up a Tunze nano ATO, live rock, live sand, crushed coral, an AI prime, and egg crate (which I ended up ditching). The egg crate was a bit of a disaster to say the least so next time I start a build from scratch for a mantis I’m using acrylic or a cutting board (I was talking with the wholesaler who supplies my LFS our peacock mantises). Messing with the egg crate added an extra hour of setup and didn’t work out well at all. The glass seems fairly thick tho so I’m not super worried about it. I recommend going with the 20lb bag of sand and not the 10lb, I need to get a bit more sand today but it’s off to the races. I might swap the heater, I’m not sure yet. For now it’s in the first chamber since I couldn’t fit it with the ATO in the last chamber. The light is my borrowed freshwater from the tank next door and was just for the sake of the photo. This was about an hour and a half after adding water, it was super clear which I was really impressed by. I expected it to be much cloudier bc of the sand. Next step now is to let it cycle. I’m using seachem seed and stability since I had it on hand and that’s what my LFS sells for bacteria. I’ll be adding some snails and stuff once the cycle is done and then ordering the mantis. I’m hoping to find a purple spot but I’ll settle for a wennerae if need be. I haven’t set the AI prime up yet because I’m not gonna have it on for a while anyways and I was already 3 hours in and worked a 5 hour shift so I was tired lemme know what y’all think! I need to fix the pvc situation so advice for that would be great. Do I need more sand? Lmk, and thanks so much
 

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Steve Erekson

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I'll be honest that PVC is way too big for a wennerae or smithii. They like very small spaces to feel safe in. I'd think 1/2" PVC would be much closer to the right size, but mine is perfectly content playing inside and under my live rock and building the burrow that way so I'm not sure you'd even need the PVC.

If you do want to keep some PVC burrows in there I'd recommend using superglue and silicon to coat the outside in a layer of sand and rubble. This way it looks more natural and the mantis can stack rocks and shells at the entrance easier to block its burrow up for molting. I'd consider adding some rubble in the sandbed. I just took a hammer to a chunk of dry rock I had lying around and broke it into pieces ranging from 2" to 1/8" and scattered it about.

As far as ordering the mantis, I wish you had asked a week ago. I had a line on a smithii from an internet vendor (I keep myself on all of the "notify me" email lists for smithiis, havanesis, ternatensis etc) but it's gone already. A friend actually just got a smithii from his LFS that thought it was a peacock. So you can try calling every LFS within several hours drive and asking who has a peacock mantis, then going to the store and checking to see if it might actually be a smithii. They come from the same areas a lot of times so I wouldn't be surprised if they are often misidentified at wholesalers and shipped. Plenty of wenneraes available though.

Anyways, really cool you got this project off the ground. Excited to see how it develops.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Yeah I’m definitely going to change out the PVC and add rubble rock. I added a bit more crushed coral tonight to make the sand bed a bit thicker. Yeah there was one at That Fish Place That Pet Place that had one available (I’m on the email list for several sites as well tho any recommendations would be great). I actually talked to a guy who works at the wholesaler that my lfs gets their mantises from and he said he hasn’t seen any smithii in a long time my lfs is the biggest saltwater store in my state. I can try checking around tho. In other news I got an Icecap K1 nano protein skimmer that I’m having trouble with. The light on the power supply turns on and the pump gets hot but nothing is happening. I followed the YouTube video by coralvue and still nothing. I think it’s an issue with it pulling air? I’ve never used a skimmer before so I might be missing something obvious. I might just return it, it just barely fits in the back chamber of the fluval.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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I added more crushed coral last night and I’m gonna make a hardware store run soon to get 1/2 inch PVC for the burrow. Then I’ll rescape a bit
 

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FreshwaterConvert

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Got new PVC! I got 1 inch and .5 inch so the mantis can choose. Got it all Re scaped as well. After a few days of finagling with the skimmer I’ve given up and am just going to return it, it’s become far more hassle than it was worth and I might not even need it. I do plan on growing macros in the tank at some point and doing frequent water changes so I’m not too worried. My temp has been a bit lower than I’d like it at 75 so I’m considering getting the ink bird temp controller and some rubble rock from BRS. For now here’s the current scape, I’m debating getting one more rock but I think it’ll be fine
 

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FreshwaterConvert

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Well guys, cycle is complete. Phosphate was at a 2 and nitrate a 1. I added a few snails and a blue leg hermit today and reached out to a few online stores I know of that sell mantises and so far no luck on a purple spot. If I get desperate I will get a wennerae.
 

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FreshwaterConvert

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Update, apparently I got 2 hermits and 2 snails. And all are doing ok. I put in half of a mini hikari algae wafer and one of the hermits has been eating off of it for the past 5 or so hours now the other one I thought was a snail and today discovered it’s a hermit and has been cruising all over and is usually quite hard to find. The 2 snails are doing alright. The big one has been hanging out in the same spot all day. The other one I had upside down on a rock and moved it and discovered it’s alive. I flipped it now so it’s in the bottom. I have no idea what species they are so an ID would be great.
 

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FreshwaterConvert

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Update: I’ve setup the AI prime and plugged it in. I’m doing a 50 day acclimation mode on it and I dosed 1 mL of vibrant yesterday, I plan to do so again in 2 weeks. Still on the hunt for a smithii but might end up biting the bullet and getting a wennerae. If I do I wanna change the name of this thread, is that possible? ‍♀️ I’m using the BRSTV recommended AI prime settings for the 12” tall tank and have it mounted as high as the metal arm allows, so I think closer to 10 or so inches above the water. Getting my water tested again tomorrow and probably going to do a water change. Last week I tested at 2 for phosphate and 1 for nitrate, I’m debating on if i want to run a phosphate remover media or if I should just do weekly water changes. Advice on this would be great. I did not end up doing a water change last week.
 
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I'd like you to confirm that phosphate number if you can. 2.0ppm is extremely high and I can't imagine that would be the case unless you had some sort of issues with it leeching from the rocks. Most people prefer their reef tanks much, much lower in phosphate, 0.04ppm is common, some prefer higher up to maybe even 0.25ppm. The issue is a lot of test kits struggle to read in ranges this low.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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The reading was from a week ago and I did a water change last night. Current phosphate (as tested by my lfs a few mins ago) is now .1 and nitrate is 1. Salinity is 1.25. Kh is 9 and calc is 400. Still on the hunt for my smithii but I’m not hopeful how long should I wait until I get some cheap zoas? Tanks been up two weeks
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Here’s a tank shot from last night. I got a macroalgae from my LFS (which I already forgot the name of but it started with a C). The two hermits and snail are doing well. Still waiting on a purple spot, I’m getting antsy but I know that letting the tank continue to mature will only do good. I might get a watermelon zoa on Wednesday, my first ever coral! I will probably dip with coral rx, any tips here would be great (ill poke around for a thread or two on here as well). I wish there was a way to change the name of this thread if I do end up biting the bullet and getting a wennerae (which seems highly likely).

Now for the heating issue. I have a random heater from a while ago that barely got used (I thought) that no matter what I set it to only ever keeps my tank at 75-76. Is this temp ok for soft corals and the mantis? Should I get a new heater? I was planning on getting the ink bird temperature controller, should I try that first?

I also want to get a mangrove potentially and some red ogo macroalgae, input here would be greatly appreciated as well.
 

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FreshwaterConvert

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I got some Zoas! One of them is a watermelon zoa, I’m not sure what the other 2 are.
 

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HAVE YOU EVER BUILT A NEW HOUSE "AROUND" A NEW DREAM REEF TANK SET UP?

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