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Old 06/09/2018, 01:58 AM   #1
Sandman182
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Peacock mantis leaves burrow only to feed?

Hello all,
I have owned my Peacock mantis for a little more than a month now. It is a very healthy female by all accounts and is roughly 4” in length and is very docile. She rarely leaves her burrow except to feed. My question is this: Is this normal behavior? I have read some of you on this forum have very active animals that explore every inch of their tank. I realize each animal is an individual and behaviors can vary. My water parameters are spot on and am using a piece of black 2” PVC pipe for her burrow that is a long u-shape(approx. 14” in total length with openings on each end) and provides her with complete darkness. I use only blue actinic lighting over her tank and never use stronger “white” or “day” lighting. She is fed raw,shell on shrimp soaked in Selcon and frozen clams on the half shell(again, soaked in Selcon) and also readily attacks the occasional emerald crabs placed in the tank. She will not eat silversides or krill. I feed her every 2 days and alternate the 2 food types. She closes up each end of her burrow at the end of the day with coral rubble and snail shells and each morning opens up both ends of her burrow for the day but only comes out to feed. She is very docile and maybe she is very happy I guess. Would appreciate any info or suggestions on whether her staying holed up in her burrow is normal or abnormal behavior. Thanks in advance and apologies for writing a book...lol


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Old 06/09/2018, 08:40 AM   #2
Jlentz
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How big is the tank?
Got any fish?




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Old 06/09/2018, 10:49 AM   #3
Sandman182
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Tank size is a 40 gallon cube and(for probably a few more weeks at most) 2 very small clownfish of less than an inch in length.


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Old 06/10/2018, 12:21 AM   #4
mndfreeze
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Just like a lot of pets, behavior can vary a bit from individual to individual. Peacocks do explore more than a lot of other species and its possible she just doesn't feel fully comfortable yet. Do you offer live food around the tank for her to hunt on a regular basis?

For my ternatensis I would skewer feed squid, silversides, etc but I also kept the tank stocked with various sized and species of hermits and snails to act as a CUC and hunting prey when he wanted a snack. I'd also get him a feeder crab (usually a fiddler, which he LOVED to murder) every week or two.

I noticed having live prey in the tank doing its thing definitely increased the amount of time he spent out of his burrow. After a few months he got comfortable enough that when I was watching TV or playing video games in the living room he would come all the way out of his burrow and sit at the corner of the tank and watch me and the TV. The way the tank was situated he couldn't see the couch area from his burrow.

He also would chase a laser pointer for a bit.

Give it time, offer live food every now and then or if your tank can support it properly get some CUC stuff that you dont care about it becoming a snack.

*edit* I didn't see you offer emerald crabs. I don't see you doing anything wrong at all and I'd just give it time. It might just be your peacocks personality.


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Old 06/10/2018, 03:44 PM   #5
Jlentz
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Chuck a couple dozen hermits in and see what happens. It might just be getting acclimated. Mine hunts around the tank for them. I restock ~50 hermits every other month. I try to keep some bigger turbos in as well since they seem to last longer.


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Old 06/12/2018, 04:32 AM   #6
Loganberry
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Could still be settling in. Your lights could be to bright??


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Old 06/13/2018, 03:31 AM   #7
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Well here is an update folks.....she FINALLY CAME OUT the day before yesterday and spent approximately 2 hours roaming around her tank and in and out of her burrow at least a dozen times. I basically just pulled a chair up close to her tank and just watched her. She came up to the glass several times and just looked at me and then would continue roaming around and then would come back up to the glass and sit for a few minutes and do the same thing. I didn’t place any fingers or hands up to the glass to see how she would react( nor will I ever because I have seen too many videos of idiots doing this to agitate their animals to get them to attack and I completely disagree with this behavior) or to provoke her in any way. I must say she is a monster in size and is very nimble in her movements and really a beautiful animal. She also is very docile to my surprise after seeing and hearing about how vicious these animals can be when provoked. She has slowly reduced the numbers of CUC that were in the tank and has eaten all but 2 of the 6 emerald crabs that I had placed in her tank. She has killed a few of the larger snails that were in the tank as well over the month I have had her. Really curious as to why she will not touch silversides though since fish makes up part of their diet in the wild. Will keep trying to feed them to her though and see what happens. I’m really trying to vary her diet to just more than raw shrimp and clams on the half shell. I have a blue triggerfish in my reef tank that took me forever to get to eat more than just squid but I persevered knowing they are very carnivorous just like mantis shrimp are so will see what happens. I will say that I have been in the saltwater hobby for over 25 years and this Peacock I now own is by far the most fascinating. Glad I took the plunge and bought her! Thanks again to you all who took the time to post comments and suggestions. Much appreciated!!


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Old 06/13/2018, 03:47 AM   #8
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Well here is an update folks.....she FINALLY CAME OUT the day before yesterday and spent approximately 2 hours roaming around her tank and in and out of her burrow at least a dozen times. I basically just pulled a chair up close to her tank and just watched her. She came up to the glass several times and just looked at me and then would continue roaming around and then would come back up to the glass and sit for a few minutes and do the same thing. I didn’t place any fingers or hands up to the glass to see how she would react( nor will I ever because I have seen too many videos of idiots doing this to agitate their animals to get them to attack and I completely disagree with this behavior) or to provoke her in any way. I must say she is a monster in size and is very nimble in her movements and really a beautiful animal. She also is very docile to my surprise after seeing and hearing about how vicious these animals can be when provoked. She has slowly reduced the numbers of CUC that were in the tank and has eaten all but 2 of the 6 emerald crabs that I had placed in her tank. She has killed a few of the larger snails that were in the tank as well over the month I have had her. Really curious as to why she will not touch silversides though since fish makes up part of their diet in the wild. Will keep trying to feed them to her though and see what happens. I’m really trying to vary her diet to just more than raw shrimp and clams on the half shell. I have a blue triggerfish in my reef tank that took me forever to get to eat more than just squid but I persevered knowing they are very carnivorous just like mantis shrimp are so will see what happens. I will say that I have been in the saltwater hobby for over 25 years and this Peacock I now own is by far the most fascinating. Glad I took the plunge and bought her! Thanks again to you all who took the time to post comments and suggestions. Much appreciated!! Btw... I am using a Kessil A160 that is set to the lowest blue actinic light setting and her burrow offers complete darkness throughout the day unless she decides to come out and take a look around. I am deathly afraid of her getting shell rot so lighting is kept to a minimal to duplicate the lighting she would receive in the wild and have a Ecotech MP40 for water current circulation as well as a Tunze protein skimmer. I do 50% water changes every other week to keep high nitrate levels away and check water parameters every other day as I do for my reef tank and make adjustments as needed. Anything I am missing or need to do better by all means feel free to comment.


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Old 06/13/2018, 11:35 AM   #9
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I’ve had two that didn’t bother with fish much unless they were annoying. My current resident murders everything though.

Put a couple of chromis or yellowtail damsels in and see what happens.


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Old 06/13/2018, 11:36 AM   #10
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Besides cuc, mine mostly eats frozen clams. Sometimes he will grab some chunks of reef frenzy.


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Old 06/14/2018, 03:28 AM   #11
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I have 2 very small oscellaris clownfish( each fish is tiny and less than 1 inch) that I am currently keeping in this tank until they are big enough to release into my reef tank so they are not eaten by the other fish. I have another tank that is cycling as of now that I may add them to instead of waiting so long for them to grow. This is a very temporary home for them now and my mantis pays them no attention at all even when they have swam close to the entrance of her burrow. She just looks at them and shows no sign of aggression towards them whatsoever. She was out and about for a long time again today and walked the entire tank. She may not be going after the clownfish (which is fine by me) because she is not hungry enough to chase them down. I feed her every 2 days. Thanks again for the replies!


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Old 06/14/2018, 08:23 PM   #12
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In regards to why she won't eat silversides, just look at it this way. The human diet is wide and varied. If I offered you steak, chicken, some mixed veggies and crickets, would you eat every one of them?

I'm sure if you got her hungry enough she would, but with a plethora of CUC and crabs to nomnom on she can choose to be a picky eater, and thats a good thing.

My Ternatensis loved some species of snail more then others, but crab above all. He would take silversides in small doses if he hadn't had a live crab recently.

I found it worked out great because my tank was still a high light coral tank and needed CUC to keep algae down, so I bought as many different species of snails that I could find, in various sizes, so some CUC always got left behind in between restocking and murder. My Tern would rarely kill cerith snails, the dwarf ones always got left alone. Turbo snails also got left alone. He loved nerites and they usually got eaten first.


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Old 06/15/2018, 10:09 PM   #13
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Good point on as to why she will not touch silversides. I am just trying to make sure she gets a diet with plenty of variety as she would in the wild. I bought more emerald crabs yesterday and now have 6 in her tank. I go out of town frequently lately for 2 sometimes 4 days at a time so want to make sure she has food to eat(although she will have to chase it down) while I am away. Oh well, I will still try silversides from time to time and see what happens. Thanks for your insight!


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Old 07/03/2018, 12:17 PM   #14
Calappidae
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I haven't had much luck getting mine to eat silversides. They're not really as appetizing as hard shelled food for smashers.

Come to think of it I had a hard time getting my L. Maculatas to accept silversides, both of them would nibble for about a minute or two then throw it out, all of my stomatopods have accepted krill and clams, with my G. Chiragra being the only one that doesn't actively search for the krill when she smells it (I have to hand it to her, else its like she never realizes its there, all the other smashers will swim around looking for it.)

I'd try sticking with crustacean and mollusk foods. If you really want to add some nutrition, soak any frozen goods in selcon.

Idk if its a possibility, but she could be numb to the smell of fish since she lives with two clowns or because she lives with them she's uninterested in catching fish. You're less likely to eat what you're used to living with until you finally decide you're hungry enough to taste.


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Current Tank Info: 125 Gallon Mixed Reef Housing Hymenocera; 30 Gallon L Housing Odontodactylus scyllarus; Refugium (attached to 125) Housing Neogonodactylus wennerae, Hepatus epheliticus, and Protoreaster nodosus (Feeders)

Last edited by Calappidae; 07/03/2018 at 12:23 PM.
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