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Old 02/27/2020, 12:05 PM   #1
dudemeister
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Bumble Bee Mantis in trouble?

Thank you all in advance for any advice you may have for me. My marine biologist son suggested I reach out to the experts here.

I have a bumble bee mantis that has happily lived in a 15 gallon tank for the past 7 years with a HOB filter and heat. The tank is half filled with sand and he has burrowed. I change as much water as I can once a month and feed him a silverside once a week which seems to keep him happy. That said I am sure the tunnels have become toxic over time. Recently he started acting oddly to the point where I thought he was suffocating in a tunnel that was visible through the glass. He caused some tunnels to collapse around him so now has retreated to the surface after I opened up an escape for him and is living in a hollow in the sand. The tunnels have all seemed to collapse so he has nowhere to go and I won't be able to clean properly without disrupting him too much let alone me getting stabbed! My question is this- I run a 200 gallon reef system with a 45 gallon bare bottom sump in my basement. I was wondering if I should try to capture him and put him in there? Will he be ok without sand or will it stress him out and kill him? There is nothing in the sump. My other alternative is to capture him and dump the contents (yuck) of the tank and start him over with fresh sand? Either way its going to be disruptive to him but I want to do whats best. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.


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Old 03/01/2020, 10:01 AM   #2
woofmoo
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dudemeister, hopefully your mantis shrimp is still alive. I would move him or her to the 45 gallon tank asap. You can put a 5 gallon tank filled 80/90 percent with coral gravel or sand. You can pick up a 99 cent glass vase at just about any thrift store and fill it with sand too. That works great for the smaller ones. Yes, you will lose water volume but the sand might be good as far as good bacteria and critter growth?
I am not an expert, but the stress of not being in a burrow will compound the water quality issue you may be having in the smaller 15 gallon tank. The fact that you have kept it alive so long says a lot about the toughness of these animals.
Try to collect the mantis with a large plastic container using the lid to push him in the plastic jar. Those 32 oz take out soup containers should work depending on its size. You can do it without getting jabbed if you're careful. Especially if its stressed, its not going to be as aggressive. I live in pennsylvania and the Giant/stop&shop grocery stores around here sell pretzels in these really big clear plastic containers. I dont know the brand because I took off the labels, not hard to find though. Cut or drill holes for water flow and you can use that to hold the shrimp in the 45 gallon tank while you clean or replace the sand in the smaller tank. Then you can easily put it back in another tank when you are ready. I hope this helped.


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Old 03/01/2020, 06:57 PM   #3
dudemeister
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Thank you for the reply. I took matters into my own hands and got him out of there however I avoided my main reef system because I didn't want to introduce any diseases and such. In the past I have fed him small fish from Long Island Sound in the past so figured why risk it? I used a BRS media container to trap him which worked out well and allowed me to drain the water out. He (she?) is now in a larger tank that I set up with about 6-8 inches of fresh sand and about 2 inches of shells which worked out well. It seems to be doing ok and even started digging a pit so I am hoping this will lead to burrowing. The amazing thing was when I cleaned out the sand in the tank after 7 years- it smelled but basically everything had decomposed.

Here's to another 7 years?!!!


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File Type: jpg mantis1 (1).jpg (96.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg mantis2 (1).jpg (95.0 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg belly rub (1).jpg (81.5 KB, 22 views)
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Old 03/03/2020, 07:20 AM   #4
woofmoo
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Hey, that's good to hear. good pictures too! You're right he does look happy, hahaha. I have a female that needs a partner if you ever want to part with him. That is, if it is a male. I cant see the male parts in the belly rub pics. Could be a female? I have a friend that sells them if you need a male too.

What kind of fish do you get out of the sound for his food ? I was going to try catching some killies. I have been using the frozen silversides and shrimp from pet stores. I want to use live fish though.


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Old 03/03/2020, 08:26 AM   #5
dudemeister
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I used to grab a bait fish from the sound and throw it in with the mantis. It worked for a while but then it seemed to lose interest since i made it too easy with the frozen silversides in the winter months. Unfortunately you do introduce bacteria and pollutants from the sound in the tank so it might be better to get a cheap feeder fish from Petco.

As for the sexing of it I have no idea how to tell. With it living on top now I guess I could try to figure it out.


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Old 03/07/2020, 01:20 PM   #6
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That is not sand. That is crushed coral. That species cannot burrow in that. They need very fine sand.


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Old 03/07/2020, 03:16 PM   #7
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There is a small layer of crushed shells on top and he has dug past it however he doesn't seem to be burrowing into the sand. Otherwise it seems fine.


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Old 03/07/2020, 08:45 PM   #8
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Old 03/08/2020, 07:58 AM   #9
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https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1Q...uUise46oPIahhz


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Old 03/08/2020, 09:27 AM   #10
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https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1Q...uUise46oPIahhz

this is one of my female L. Maculatas. This one doesn't need explaining.
Did you figure out if you have a male or female?
I use coral sand too. They fire through it pretty fast sometimes. The stuff I get from my LPS is pretty fine to coarse and I don't rinse it. This way the really fine dust particles stay in the mix.


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Old 03/08/2020, 09:33 AM   #11
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https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1Q...HDMv7Q-60eD3y3

Here is a male for comparison. See the two sticks at his back set of walking legs?


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Old 03/11/2020, 10:53 AM   #12
noidster
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Is he eating? He needs to eat to be able to form the burrow with mucus.

I still think that sand is too coarse.


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Old 03/20/2020, 08:35 AM   #13
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Update- the little critter seems to be doing fine. I do realize I didn't use the correct sand but now I can't get any due to the quarantine. That said it has adapted well by burrowing 3 hollows in the sand/shell and also by using the little hamster home I dropped in there. The propeller is to weight it down- it floats. He sleeps in the various spots including the house and it is eating. I guess it's adapted to it. Thanks for all your help and encouragement. Stay healthy.


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File Type: jpg critter2 (1).jpg (94.9 KB, 7 views)
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Old 03/21/2020, 12:22 PM   #14
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Awesome!


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Old 03/24/2020, 01:02 AM   #15
MantisO_o
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I've owned a few of Lysiosquillina maculata in the past. A taller tank is better than longer and I suggest mix in some fine substrate. I suggest getting some through the means of online. Also, in this case, I recommend a PVC pipe. It needs to feel secure and the transparent critter thing isn't suitable as it's on it's back. A L. maculata on it back means it's stressed out. Good luck.]


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