Mantis Shrimp & Thomas Have Been Co-Existing!!

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#1
You're not going to believe this, but apparently I have had a mantis shrimp living in Thomas' 30 gallon tall Eclipse along with Thomas almost the entire time I've had him (we're talking almost a year now).

This is amazing, because I can't tell you how often I've put my hand in there, to clean the glass, to shoot pesky aiptasia with Joe's Juice, to play with Thomas, etc.

Last night, I was watching a bunch of copepods crawling around the live rock and thinking to myself "almost killed all the aiptasia, just need to keep it up, every day, see any of them, hit them with Joe's Juice, bye bye anemone" - when I see these 2 beady little eye stalks staring out at me, right at the front of the tank out of a piece of live rock!

My first thought, "What the ****!?!? That looks like a MANTIS SHRIMP?!?!" :shock:

"No way", I say to myself, "It CAN'T BE! I haven't added any new live rock to the tank since a couple months after I got Thomas!" (back in May '05).

I take a closer look, and this "thing" ducks back into the rock slightly, but I can still see the eyes and the unmistakable mantis-like movements.

In complete shock, I head to the freezer, tear off a small piece of shrimp and put it on a feeding stick to see.

I get back to the tank, and slowly ease the stick down towards the Mantis. As the feeder stick gets close, "it" shows no interest and *BOOM* quicker then I've seen anything move in a long time it darts out of the whole and under another piece of live rock!

I had heard strange clicking noises from Thomas' aquarium every so often in the past, but thought it was just a piece of equipment "ticking" or Thomas doing something. Apparently it was the Mantis digging a new hole or beating a helpless hermit crab to a pulp (I think it's a smasher, not a spearer, which I also believe are "slightly" less aggressive).

I still have only seen him once this entire time. I can't find him since, but I can hear him more now.

Also, Thomas is getting older now, his color has been a consistant whitish-grey the last 2 months instead of the normal brown.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? :hmm:
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#3
Its probabl too fast for the octo to catch..

i had one in my tank and it was very difficult to get out. If you ever see it again and it goes into a hole in a rock. Slowly take the rock out. The shrimp will be removed with the rock.

Have 2 buckets. One filled with salt water and the other fresh. To get the mantis out of the rock, dip it in the freshwater bucket. Once he comes out, net him and throw him in the salt bucket and sell him to a local store or something..
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#4
How big is this mantis shrimp? They can kill octos and vice versa, but it seems these two have lived together for a long time! Maybe they're just tank mates by now.

Congratulations on keeping Thomas so long! Thomas is listed in the List of Our Octopuses at the top of Journals and Photos. He's survived as long as any bimac we've kept. What is the water temperature in Thomas's tank? I track that for our very long-lived octos.

Nancy
 

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#5
It was hard to tell exactly how big the mantis is as he went rocketing by, but I'd guess about 2 and a half inches.

I just checked the thermometer, the water temp is currently about 72 degrees. Thomas usually comes out in the morning to eat these days. If he comes out at night after I'm home from work I'll try and get a picture of him so you can see what he looks like. Pretty much the same, except whiter/grayer :smile:
 

joefish84

Sepia elegans
Registered
#6
is the tank acrylic??? or glass? if its glass and the mantis becomes a little more agressive you might have a problem...

late one night you might here a pop then hear glass cracking... and then one big splash as all the water in the tank goes crashing to the floor in front of the tank...

i had one of those mantis in a little 10 gallon once a few years back and luckly it was a tank on my porch... one day im feeding him and he comes out and misses the food and hits the wall... needless to say i watch a crack form across the glass and then started hearing a cracking noise and then SPLOOSH:bugout: !! all the water, sand and mantis come surfing out the front... so be careful!:goofysca:
 

Cephkid

Sepia elegans
Supporter
#7
joefish84 said:
is the tank acrylic??? or glass? if its glass and the mantis becomes a little more agressive you might have a problem...

late one night you might here a pop then hear glass cracking... and then one big splash as all the water in the tank goes crashing to the floor in front of the tank...

i had one of those mantis in a little 10 gallon once a few years back and luckly it was a tank on my porch... one day im feeding him and he comes out and misses the food and hits the wall... needless to say i watch a crack form across the glass and then started hearing a cracking noise and then SPLOOSH:bugout: !! all the water, sand and mantis come surfing out the front... so be careful!:goofysca:
Not necessarily, if the tank is big enough to house both a mantis and an octo, the glass is probably WAY too thick for a two-inch smasher to break. The mantises able to break even a 30-gallon-tank-glass-thick piece of glass are usually at least a five-inch O. scyllarus. (The ones whose strikes are about the force of a .22 calliber bullets are 12"-ish californian smashers)
 

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