My Peacock Mantis!

HarrisonAquatics

Member
I just got this guy a few weeks ago, and he's finally starting to come around. Originally he was pretty skittish, and only watched me from the safety of his PVC pipe. I got the bright idea of adding in a damsel as a dither, and he's really become more active since then. Some of the basher-type mantises will hunt fish, but the majority seem to leave them alone if they're well-fed... regardless, so far the damsel has been doing well (and is smart enough to keep its' distance), and I've been successful in getting the mantis to be more active. I'm feeding him a piece of krill in this video.


He's also been hard to photograph, as he's a pretty fast mover. Here are a few I got today right before I fed him - you can see him notice my phone, look straight at it, creep forward, and then use his feelers on the glass to check things out. So cool!






The bare spot on the glass is from his "remodeling" - he had to move some of the sand to his PVC to use as a burrow. This is a temporary tank. He'll be moving into a 40 breeder soon, and I plan to integrate a network of PVC tubing underneath the rockwork to provide shelter.

Just thought I'd share my new buddy!
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
That’s so cool. Mantis shrimp are awesome and creepy at the same time lol
 

AJE

Member
He is so cool. I an fastinated by these guys
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
That is so awesome! I am definitely following. Please update as time goes on. Mantis shrimps are one of my favorite animals, and it is my dream to have one.

I am Assuming he is a peacock mantis shrimp?
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
That’s so cool. Mantis shrimp are awesome and creepy at the same time lol
They are kinda creepy, lol. I think part of it is videos you see online - you only ever see them in feeding mode. When you get to actually observe them just doing their normal stuff, they're not so bad. More interesting, than anything. This tank does have a lot more algae on the glass, though, because my heart rate gets pretty high any time I have to put my hand in the tank!
 

Kribensis27

Member
Awesome! Isn’t it.. like.. a bad idea to wave food by its face through glass? Can’t these guys break glass? Am I thinking of a different animal? Am I being dumb??? The questions are endless.
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
Its usually only when they are about max size that they break the glass, and even then it is hard for them to do. Aquarium glass is meant to withstand ridiculous pressure. At that ones size the glass should be fine.

Harrison, I demand more pics.
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
That is so awesome! I am definitely following. Please update as time goes on. Mantis shrimps are one of my favorite animals, and it is my dream to have one.

I am Assuming he is a peacock mantis shrimp?
I think it's a she, but yeah she's a peacock. Still pretty young, too! Should grow a couple more inches.

Kribensis27 said:
Awesome! Isn’t it.. like.. a bad idea to wave food by its face through glass? Can’t these guys break glass? Am I thinking of a different animal? Am I being dumb??? The questions are endless.
Usually when they break glass it's when they're trying to form a burrow - they break up rock on the reef in the wild. So when they dig in the sand and find the bottom glass and punch it over and over, sometimes they manage to break through. Supposedly.

Personally, I doubt they can actually break glass. Maybe if the tank was already weakened, I guess it's possible. But the punch isn't quite as powerful (or as loud) as you might think. It's no louder than a snail falling off the wall of the tank and landing on a bare glass bottom - not even audible unless the room is silent. This one is still young, but I can't imagine it getting that much louder.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
They are kinda creepy, lol. I think part of it is videos you see online - you only ever see them in feeding mode. When you get to actually observe them just doing their normal stuff, they're not so bad. More interesting, than anything. This tank does have a lot more algae on the glass, though, because my heart rate gets pretty high any time I have to put my hand in the tank!
I saw that they can strike their claws so fast it can boil the water around them. Is that true? Also what size tank is she in? Just curious
 
  • Moderator

Lucy

Moderator
Member
Beautiful creature!!

Kribensis27 said:
Awesome! Isn’t it.. like.. a bad idea to wave food by its face through glass? Can’t these guys break glass? Am I thinking of a different animal? Am I being dumb??? The questions are endless.
We must have been watching the same videos. haha.
Maybe it's a different species of Mantis Shrimp?
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
I saw that they can strike their claws so fast it can boil the water around them. Is that true? Also what size tank is she in? Just curious
I've heard that as well! I know it's true for pistol shrimp (that's why they "snap" like they do), but I'm not sure if it's true for these guys. I know it's pretty fast - when I give her clams on the half shell, she drags it to her burrow and I hear a bunch of wacking for a few hours.

She's in a 20 long for now - I've got a 40 in the works for her. I think she'd be alright size-wise in the 20 for a while, but her bioload is insane.
Lucy said:
Beautiful creature!!



We must have been watching the same videos. haha.
Maybe it's a different species of Mantis Shrimp?
Maybe! I know the Peacock Mantis (this one) is one of the larger ones that people keep. I'm sure there are probably bigger ones. I still think the risk of breaking a tank is pretty low, but maybe I should be more careful in the future lol. This one's been passive so far, but I'd rather not have another 20 gallons of saltwater on my carpet.
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
I saw that they can strike their claws so fast it can boil the water around them. Is that true? Also what size tank is she in? Just curious
I think you are thinking of the Pistol Shrimp. Although I wouldn't be surprised if that were true for the Mantis Shrimp. Scientists predict that if we could throw as fast as the mantis shrimp can punch, we could throw a baseball into outer space.
HarrisonAquatics said:
I've heard that as well! I know it's true for pistol shrimp (that's why they "snap" like they do), but I'm not sure if it's true for these guys. I know it's pretty fast - when I give her clams on the half shell, she drags it to her burrow and I hear a bunch of wacking for a few hours.

She's in a 20 long for now - I've got a 40 in the works for her. I think she'd be alright size-wise in the 20 for a while, but her bioload is insane.

Maybe! I know the Peacock Mantis (this one) is one of the larger ones that people keep. I'm sure there are probably bigger ones. I still think the risk of breaking a tank is pretty low, but maybe I should be more careful in the future lol. This one's been passive so far, but I'd rather not have another 20 gallons of saltwater on my carpet.
Another? I would like to hear that story lol
 

PrancoLe

Member
Handsome shrimp you've got there! Mantises have always been my favorite of the marine shrimps, they're very entertaining to watch.
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
Have any of you watched Joey Slayem on youtube? He has a punching mantis shrimp and a spearing one. Pretty entertaining to watch sometimes.
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
Have any of you watched Joey Slayem on youtube? He has a punching mantis shrimp and a spearing one. Pretty entertaining to watch sometimes.
Yeah, I've watched him - if my memory recalls correctly, he falls into a subcategory of YouTubers that I'm not a fan of. The ones that feed live animals for views.

Live feeders are most definitely a requirement for some animals - I feed live things to my fish pretty frequently, if for nothing else than to add enrichment to their environment. But, I make sure the feeders are appropriate. I believe Joey Slayem was the guy who put a crawdad in with his peacock (correct me if I'm wrong here), and the crawdad actually did a number on the mantis before all was said and done. Not really good for either animal, and was done just for views. Which, I have nothing against in principle - I may post a video the next time I catch my mantis hunting hermits. But that's an appropriate feeder...

I don't know, it's a fine line with me.
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
While his mantis shrimp videos are still sometimes entertaining (Mostly because videos of keeping and feeding mantis shrimps are rare), I do agree with you that he mostly does his videos for views, and often posts clickbait and things like that. I think he even cooked and ate one of his mantis shrimps that died for a video.

The crayfish didn't actually do any damage to the mantis shrimp, but its still a bad idea, and messed up because the crayfish was hardly even alive and breathing in the saltwater. I also find that his videos are usually not as entertaining as the thumbnail might make you think. Every once in a while I check his channel for mantis shrimp videos and that is about it.

Tbh, those kinds of encounters to typically happen naturally in the wild though.
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
While his mantis shrimp videos are still sometimes entertaining (Mostly because videos of keeping and feeding mantis shrimps are rare), I do agree with you that he mostly does his videos for views, and often posts clickbait and things like that. I think he even cooked and ate one of his mantis shrimps that died for a video.

The crayfish didn't actually do any damage to the mantis shrimp, but its still a bad idea, and messed up because the crayfish was hardly even alive and breathing in the saltwater. I also find that his videos are usually not as entertaining as the thumbnail might make you think. Every once in a while I check his channel for mantis shrimp videos and that is about it.

Tbh, those kinds of encounters to typically happen naturally in the wild though.
I'm not so sure that an encounter like that really would happen. Crustaceans that large aren't really natural prey (to my knowledge), and Mantises are known for being able to decide whether or not a fight is worth it. Small crabs, shrimp, and snails are probably worth the small amount of work for the meal. I think a lot of mantises would avoid going after a large lobster, or would at least have an escape route. In the situation with the crawdad, the mantis did decide to attack it, but who's to say it was trying to eat it? In such a small tank, it could've just been too close to the shrimp's burrow and it was defending territory.

Regardless, I'm glad the mantis wasn't injured, but it could have been, and that's my main issue. Feeding small crabs or some snails would have been safer and probably cheaper. I think we agree, people like that just irk me. I work at a PetSmart, and I get people coming in constantly to buy feeder fish for fish that don't need them - in most cases, it's detrimental to the predator, and they could be eating a healthy diet of pellets and frozen foods with the occasional live snack.

Ugh, sorry. You work in retail with animals and you get plenty of rage built up about it, lol.
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
I'm not so sure that an encounter like that really would happen. Crustaceans that large aren't really natural prey (to my knowledge), and Mantises are known for being able to decide whether or not a fight is worth it. Small crabs, shrimp, and snails are probably worth the small amount of work for the meal. I think a lot of mantises would avoid going after a large lobster, or would at least have an escape route. In the situation with the crawdad, the mantis did decide to attack it, but who's to say it was trying to eat it? In such a small tank, it could've just been too close to the shrimp's burrow and it was defending territory.
Well the crayfish was smaller than the mantis shrimp, and the shrimp did drag it back to its burrow after. But I still agree that that shouldn't be done in the confines of an aquarium.
 

The_fishy

Member
Very cute shrimp!
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Kribensis27 said:
Awesome! Isn’t it.. like.. a bad idea to wave food by its face through glass? Can’t these guys break glass? Am I thinking of a different animal? Am I being dumb??? The questions are endless.
Can you link the video? I’ve been trying to find it but it’s just documentary’s on if they can
 

Kribensis27

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Can you link the video? I’ve been trying to find it but it’s just documentary’s on if they can
I’ll try to find it, but I watched it like 3 years ago
 

Jacklynn

Member
That is so cool! I have never seen one of these.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Kribensis27 said:
I’ll try to find it, but I watched it like 3 years ago
Oh lol I thought it was recent
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
Threw in some flake for the damsel - thought it was cute how quickly the mantis perked up. Still no interest on munching on the damsel, so I'll keep my fingers crossed. You'll notice in the video below that the damsel is missing part of his tail. He was purchased that way - the damsel tank at any LFS is always going to be full of fish with injuries, and this guy is no exception.

Excuse my poor camera skills and the randomness of the video. It was on a whim.

 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
A Cerith Snail approaches the maw...

 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
All i gotta say is that i thought the aliens usually TOOK critters from Earth....not dropped their pets off!
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
All i gotta say is that i thought the aliens usually TOOK critters from Earth....not dropped their pets off!
They are pretty alien-looking, right?

But, just to prove that they're not always the murder-machines you see in feeding videos, spend a minute with mine. This is how she is 99.9% of the time - either in her burrow, or out in the tank moving stuff around, watching me, and interacting with her environment. She does behave somewhat differently with my phone in front of the tank, but I think it's just because it's something new to look at.

 

AcornTheBetta

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
I just got this guy a few weeks ago, and he's finally starting to come around. Originally he was pretty skittish, and only watched me from the safety of his PVC pipe. I got the bright idea of adding in a damsel as a dither, and he's really become more active since then. Some of the basher-type mantises will hunt fish, but the majority seem to leave them alone if they're well-fed... regardless, so far the damsel has been doing well (and is smart enough to keep its' distance), and I've been successful in getting the mantis to be more active. I'm feeding him a piece of krill in this video.


He's also been hard to photograph, as he's a pretty fast mover. Here are a few I got today right before I fed him - you can see him notice my phone, look straight at it, creep forward, and then use his feelers on the glass to check things out. So cool!






The bare spot on the glass is from his "remodeling" - he had to move some of the sand to his PVC to use as a burrow. This is a temporary tank. He'll be moving into a 40 breeder soon, and I plan to integrate a network of PVC tubing underneath the rockwork to provide shelter.

Just thought I'd share my new buddy!
DANG! That's so cool! *Falcon PUNCH*
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
So, she's mainly abandoned her PVC pipe. Spending a lot of time in the rockwork on the other side of the tank - I took the light off, so I think it was just keeping her from enjoying the rest of the enclosure. When I upgrade, I'll make sure to keep the whole tank low-light.
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
Alright, so the Mantis got a roomie today. A chocolate chip starfish - a rather pretty red one.



You'll notice he's missing an arm. I have a harlequin shrimp in another tank - their only diet is echinoderms (starfish). That's all they'll eat - and since most starfish regenerate limbs just fine, the most common way to feed the shrimp is to feed a severed arm about once per week.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan either - but, I knew what I was getting into. In the wild, the harlequin shrimp live in pairs. They actually find a starfish, flip it over, and eat it from the tip of the leg inward towards the mouth. They do that so the star doesn't die and decay. They'll also force-feed it to keep it from starving. It's pretty crazy!

I'll be keeping around a dozen of these in my FOWLR tanks. I'll remove an arm a week, and hopefully I'll be able to avoid actually killing any of these.

On a happier note, I did add a light back on the tank. Just an old 10000K T8 I had from somewhere. The 40 gallon should be coming pretty soon!

 

RandomFishBoi

Member
Is there any particular reason why you added the starfish? Just because why not? Also, you seem to have a pretty passive mantis shrimp, but I feel it could eat the starfish if it really wanted too.
 
  • Thread Starter

HarrisonAquatics

Member
RandomFishBoi said:
Is there any particular reason why you added the starfish? Just because why not? Also, you seem to have a pretty passive mantis shrimp, but I feel it could eat the starfish if it really wanted too.
Well, for one, I thought this guy was cool - most chocolate chip stars are gray, while this guy is red. Kind of unusual! Thought he'd go nicely with the mantis, and the future 40B will be a decent home for the starfish as long as I watch what kind of corals/snails I add (as the stars can eat them).

Most mantis shrimp are considered safe with starfish. They're just not prey items - the mantis never gave this guy a second look.
 
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HarrisonAquatics

Member
This starfish is pretty cool. I feed it an Omega One Shrimp Pellet yesterday - it seems satisfied with my offering.



Also, here's a strange little thing I found:



The little orange thing in the center of the frame. It's living, and it's also growing. Not sure what it is - but it's cool to watch it move around.
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
I see starfish and immediately my brain turns everything into Patrick's voice!
 
  • Thread Starter

HarrisonAquatics

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
I see starfish and immediately my brain turns everything into Patrick's voice!
Right?! Any time I look at the tank, I think of this scene in particular.

 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
Right?! Any time I look at the tank, I think of this scene in particular.

Seems very fitting!
 

RandomFishBoi

Member
HarrisonAquatics said:
Also, here's a strange little thing I found:



The little orange thing in the center of the frame. It's living, and it's also growing. Not sure what it is - but it's cool to watch it move around.
Thats one of my favorite things about saltwater tanks. You get all kinds of free little hitch-hikers.
 

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