Should I get a new mantis or hold out for the one I have?

FreshwaterConvert

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Hi,

about 5 weeks ago I got a wennerae mantis and I haven’t seen it since the night I added it to the tank. It’s a 13 gallon that had been setup and cycled for just shy of 2 months when I added the mantis. All of my CUC is accounted for to this day but I do feed my sun coral mysis and krill so it’s possible it could be eating some of that. I haven’t seen any nutrient spikes but I also haven’t been able to test in 2nweeks (except an API test for nitrates I did today and got ~5 after a week and a half no water change). Meanwhile, a website currently has my dream mantis, the purple spot, in stock and now I’m faced with the dilemma: my wennerae could likely be dead and now would be the perfect time to get the smithii (which have been impossible to find the past year) or my wennerae is fine and if I get the smithii it’s a recipe for disaster. I would really like some advice. I tried poking around the smaller of my 2 PVC caves bc the last I saw him was him crawling into there but no dice. What do I do?
 
Aquashella

Brady4000

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Could be really anything.

Yes they are opportunist feeders, if food is getting to where your mantis is, 100% he will be eating that, rather than going hunting. They conserve energy as much as possible .

Yes it could be dead..

How large is your current mantis?
How large is the one you will be buying?

If the one you buy is a larger mantis.... if it isn’t dead, it soon will be. If you get a smaller one, the mantis you currently have, will kill your new one.

Do you hear any clicking or hitting in the tank?

Maybe don’t feed anything for about 5-7 days, they won’t, starve themselves.

You can always make a bottle trap, and see if your mantis shows up.


Don’t feed for 5 days and set the trap with a raw shrimp in it. I have successfully trapped a mantis I was holding for a LFS (long story), but it works.

I hope this helps.

Edit: *fixed grammar*
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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The sizes are gonna be super similar bc they’re both really small, maybe 2 inches. The wennerae may or may not have been missing one or both clubs when I got it, it was really hard to tell. I’ll try the trap and see if anything happens, thank you
 

Brady4000

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The sizes are gonna be super similar bc they’re both really small, maybe 2 inches. The wennerae may or may not have been missing one or both clubs when I got it, it was really hard to tell. I’ll try the trap and see if anything happens, thank you
If a mantis is missing its clubs, they will grow back after a few molts. But that’s extremely important information. A mantis without clubs will be less active and live solely off soft food. It will not be hunting at all, just scavenging.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Could be really anything.

Yes they are opportunist feeders, if food is getting to where your mantis is, 100% he will be eating that, rather than going hunting. They conserve energy as much as possible .

Yes it could be dead..

How large is your current mantis?
How large is the one you will be buying?

If the one you buy is a larger mantis.... if it isn’t dead, it soon will be. If you get a smaller one, the mantis you currently have, will kill your new one.

Do you hear any clicking or hitting in the tank?

Maybe don’t feed anything for about 5-7 days, they won’t, starve themselves.

You can always make a bottle trap, and see if your mantis shows up.


Don’t feed for 5 days and set the trap with a raw shrimp in it. I have successfully trapped a mantis I was holding for a LFS (long story), but it works.

I hope this helps.

Edit: *fixed grammar*
Would cooked shrimp work? That’s all I have on hand
 
Zoanthids

Brady4000

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I have frozen krill, frozen mysis, and maybe cod? The cod is frozen.
Any of this will work. Just make sure whatever you put in the bottle stays in the bottle. I would go with the cod, I feed like the mysis** will leak out and feed the mantis without it having to go in.
 
Aquashella

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Now just a disclaimer.

If you don’t feed this mantis for 5 days, and it didn’t take the food in the trap, one of two things maybe happing.

1 - it’s dead
Or
2 - it’s molting or about to molt.

But, because you haven’t seen it in such a long time, I would think it’s dead. But of course that’s only a guess. Without taking apart the tank, you kinda won’t know.

If it where me. I would just get the other mantis, if this doesn’t work, and assume it’s dead. Risky but that’s the more likely bet.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Now just a disclaimer.

If I didn’t feed this mantis for 5 days, and it didn’t take the food in the trap, one of two things maybe happing.

1 - it’s dead
Or
2 - it’s molting or about to molt.

But, because you haven’t seen it in such a long time, I would think it’s dead. But of course that’s only a guess. Without taking apart the tank, you kinda won’t know.

If it where me. I would just get the other mantis, if this doesn’t work, and assume it’s dead. Risky but that’s the more likely bet.
Thank you for the help! I’m gonna set the trap and then call the place tomorrow and see if they can put it on hold for a few days.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Here’s some photos from when I first added the wennerae
 

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Brady4000

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Cool mantis! It’s soooo small lol that’s awesome. I think I can see at least one club in the photo, buts it’s body is almost transparent it’s hard to see. Hope you find the little guy. If not, sorry for your loss.

I know you’ll enjoy the next one. they are AMAZING creatures, and so fun to have. I’ll always have a mantis, if I ever stop keeping them, I must be out of the hobby lol.
 
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FreshwaterConvert

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Update: still no interest in trap. Took apart the tank today, pulled my big rocks out and had em in buckets, did a good water change, and upturned every rock, completely took out both PVC caves and only put the smaller one back in. No sign of the mantis whatsoever. I did find my nerite snail had crawled to freedom underneath the tank, I have no idea how long ago . Everyone else is accounted for except for my big cerith snail but the hermits might be to blame for that. As of rn I’m not super hopeful but I can still cancel if needed.
 
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