Mantis in Octo Aquarium - how to remove?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by DWhatley, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Roy (and or anyone with mantis removal experience),

    I got my LR from Ken several months ago and eventually used it along with a tank of existing rock to enlarge our hummelincki tank. While adding the new rock, a surprise hitchhiker literally jumped out of one of the pieces. Havanis Fidel is living comfortably in one of my small tanks.

    I got to thinking about mantis taking permenant mates and wondered if there might be another. At night I have heard whapping noises but could not be sure from which tank the sound was coming since it would stop when I entered the room (we have two known mantis now). This weekend we were watching Maya (small hummelincki) seaching the LR for food and the whapping tank and place were identified. The mantis is under a largeish rock supporting half the current structure in Maya's glass tank.

    My question is, can anyone point me to successful discussion to learn a way to capture the mantis or give me some direct advice on capture. Since her first discovery of the mantis, Maya has returned to the rock several times and the mantis reacts everytime. Maya seems unconcerned as she does not change color and continues her search as if she does not notice. We think she is big enough to win if there is an encounter but would rather avoid it.

    If I am successful in removing the hitchhiker, what is most likely to happen if I put it in with Fidel? They were together in a 10 gallon for over a month and I suspect that they are mates but have no way to be sure (I have not seen this one at all).
     
  2. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    You can just catch it in a green dip net. They're fast, but it's completely possible. Try putting the net under the rock and lifting the rock and net at the same time, or offering a shatter-proof cup for it to swim into. This is of course if the octopus doesn't catch and eat it first. A rule of thumbs is- if the mantis is longer than the octo mantle length, then it has a decent chance of inflicting some injury on the octo. If it's smaller than the octo ML, then it's lunch.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :lol:

    Well, I dismantled half the tank today in an attempt to "just catch it". Maya came out to see what I was up to so I gave her a crab to keep her occupied. I used the requisit green net under the rock and extracted the 10" x 6" rock and anything the net would catch underneath (I saw nothing leave the target area). Unfortunately, no shrimp showed. I left the rock out for a short time and poked at the holes but no clicking (I did get squirted) and no shrimp jumped out so I rebuilt the center section. Just after I put it back together, Maya dropped her empty crab shell (she normally takes a very long time to eat but she devoured this one quickly) and checked out the new arrangement. Within seconds I saw her make a preditory dash for the back of the tank, went to her den and she did not come out for several hours (this one definately has attitude).

    I fear the mantis was the main course after her appetizer.:cry: I really had hoped this shrimp was still in the couple of pieces of LR in the holding tank and that I would eventually locate it to put in with Fidel. Better the mantis than the octo (she showed no signs of injury later) but I am still bummed out about not rescuing it. I will listen for it tonight just in case she missed it. I have little hope that is the case but I did not find shrimp shell.
     

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