Mantis Shrimp Manor

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HI All,

So I figured that while this tank was cycling I thought I would throw up a build thread of sorts.  As many of you know, I love a species tank and this one will be no different, what will be different will be the extremely low maintenance and low tech set up (for me at least), i will be focusing mainly on Live Rock and a moderate sand bed to act as my biological filtration method and will also use easy to keep invasive corals as a nutrient uptake system. There is a thinking behind this that I will get into later.

Tank Specs,
Fluval Evo Sea 52 Litres
2x 50W Heaters (Chamber 2)
Stock 14000k Lighting
Stock 520lph Pump

So everything about the tank is and will likely stay stock, except the sponge which I have removed in favour of a DIY Media Rack. I have plugged the hole in the filtration wall and installed the Surface Skimmer the wrong way round so that water falls into my Filter Floss and not trickles down the wall as it would if the surface skimmer was installed the correct way round. (by this I mean the lip is on the filtration side and not within the display tank.) I have also included two heaters for reasons of redundancy, one is set to 78f, the other set to 77f this way if one fails the second can keep the tank heated and the drop in temperature should alert me in case of a failure, both are installed and an Inkbird Controller.

The Cycle was started 01.07.2021 my method of a shrimp in a bag in the read compartment under the filter floss. I have deliberately decided to use this old school method and not use any of the bacteria in a bottle products for a couple of reasons.

1. I want a slow cycle, I am monitoring and logging the temperature of the tank as I have a couple of ideas in mind to alleviate the rise in temperature while keeping the hood and stock lights.  Since we are now entering the warmest part of the year i wanted to monitor the evaporation rate and temperature within the tank for as long as possible before adding livestock of any form.

2. Mantis Shrimp notoriously horde food within their burrow and only expel this when it starts to rot. Since I will be feeding the mantis 2 times a week with half a shrimp. Using an entire shrimp to cycle will give me peace of mind that the tank can handle the amount of ammonia produced by half this amount if this ever occurs.

Coral Selection.
I have decided to only include a specific number and types of soft corals, mainly due to the stock lighting of the Fluval but also because i want to try and replicate some of the indian ocean soft coral flats that primarily include Kenya Tree, Xenia and Finger leathers. All these corals also are considered "weeds" due to their nature of being able to take over an aquarium as they populate quickly. This primarily is due to their ability to utilise Phosphate and Nitrates both of which the tank should have plenty of with the mantis shrimp inhabiting it.

Think of this as a display refugium if you like.

I also have a second tank, where i want to try something a little different with Acropora species but will leave that for the moment as it is an experiement and I need to design and build my oscillator system for my powerhead so that the tank will range from full flow, to standing water to full flow and with everything in between.

Animal

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Reply #1

. I have plugged the hole in the filtration wall and installed the Surface Skimmer the wrong way round so that water falls into my Filter Floss and not trickles down the wall as it would if the surface skimmer was installed the correct way round. (by this I mean the lip is on the filtration side and not within the display .

So what’s the idea behind this then . I have a surface skimmer , mine is the juwel m internal filter and I’ve added the surface skimmer that clips on the side , it sucks water into main filter where all the media is to get filtered . The other chamber on mine is for the power head and heater .
So is there a way of making it better then or you just trying it out .
Dave
 8D
Last Edit: Jul 4, 2021 7:14:56 am by Animal

Animal

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Reply #2

My setup is this .
Dave
 8D

ajm83

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Reply #3

Love this and very interested in the acro tank 👍
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Ratvan

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Reply #4

. I have plugged the hole in the filtration wall and installed the Surface Skimmer the wrong way round so that water falls into my Filter Floss and not trickles down the wall as it would if the surface skimmer was installed the correct way round. (by this I mean the lip is on the filtration side and not within the display .

So what’s the idea behind this then . I have a surface skimmer , mine is the juwel m internal filter and I’ve added the surface skimmer that clips on the side , it sucks water into main filter where all the media is to get filtered . The other chamber on mine is for the power head and heater .
So is there a way of making it better then or you just trying it out .
Dave
 8D

Hi Dave, the Surface Skimmer (the little credit card looking thing) not a Protein Skimmer. I've done it so that I have an increased water level in the display tank and it also forces the water through my filter media once the hole in the backwall in bunged.  It simply skims any scum off the surface, I have attached a photo of the way i have mine. If you install it the way Fluval Recommends the water dribbles down the back and misses any filter that you place in a media rack.

Bunging the backwall also allows the stock pump (or any upgraded pumps) to function slightly better as the water does not leak back into the rear chamber except via the "overflow" I'm also going to be ordering the RFG nozzle for the Fluval so that I can run just the one pump

@ajm83 Yeah I'm looking forwards to that too, Already got a load of flack on another site for my plans so i'm really looking forwards to testing it out  :grin:


ajm83

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Reply #5

@Ratvan  Cool, sounds like a good project 8D 
What kind of mantis shrimp are you going to get for this one?  Think I saw a peacock for sale in AAC a while ago.

Regarding the filter mod,  yeah that should work nicely, I did similar on my Fluval Spec.  It's a strange bit of design as standard with the bypasses.  I guess it is just so it doesn't overflow if the filter media ever gets blocked. 
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Ratvan

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Reply #6

@Ratvan  Cool, sounds like a good project 8D 
What kind of mantis shrimp are you going to get for this one?  Think I saw a peacock for sale in AAC a while ago.

Regarding the filter mod,  yeah that should work nicely, I did similar on my Fluval Spec.  It's a strange bit of design as standard with the bypasses.  I guess it is just so it doesn't overflow if the filter media ever gets blocked.

Peacock is going to be too large for this once fully grown which is a shame as my Lfs has a gorgeous one in at the minute. Going to try and find a G. Viridis or N. Wennerae. Both stay about 6cm in length.

I assume the filter hole is to stop the pump burning out if the level ever drops below that of the weir as these (fluvals) are typically sold as beginner tanks

Ratvan

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Reply #7

So over a week into the cycle and I have noticed that the shrimp is pretty much bloop in a bag and my tank is starting to process ammonia, it's been a pretty steady 4ppm the past few days now dropping to somewhere between 2 and 4.

Can read a little Nitrites as well as possibly some Nitrate. Hard to read with the famous API test kits but I do prefer them to others that I have tried.

Seems that my rock is also leeching a little phosphate still so it's a good thing that I have decided on a slow cycle for this one. This is dispute being soaked in rodi with water changes for a few weeks prior. Once I start to see the signs of GHA I might set up a DIY upflow alage scrubber to encourage growth in chamber 2 as opposed to the DT

Ratvan

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Reply #8

So today I got bored and decided to do a thing. I currently have a total of 8 (currently) guppies that are making the transition from freshwater to saltwater. Currently they are sitting at 1.015 salinity and all is looking good.



Will try and get some photos later, probably when i add them to the main tank later on tonight after HOURS of drip acclimatising

Ratvan

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Reply #9

Guppies

Livvie

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Reply #10

I see you got a mix of male and female there


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ajm83

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Reply #11

heh, that's really cool. 

I see you got a mix of male and female there


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Haha so soon to be a lot more guppies!
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Reply #12

@Livvie yeah it's 6 females (4 holding) and 2 Males, so a plentiful supply of fish. I'm hoping the next generation will develop smaller tails due to the increased flow in the tank.

@ajm83 thats the plan, speed up the nitrogen cycle and have some movement and something for the Mantua to stalk at the same time.

They've taken to the acclamation well so far, they'll soon learn not to swim in front of the return I'm sure. Also seem to really enjoy marine flake and crushed pellets which is reassuring. Trying to get marine proteins into their digestion tract

Livvie

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Reply #13

@Livvie yeah it's 6 females (4 holding) and 2 Males, so a plentiful supply of fish. I'm hoping the next generation will develop smaller tails due to the increased flow in the tank.

@ajm83 thats the plan, speed up the nitrogen cycle and have some movement and something for the Mantua to stalk at the same time.

They've taken to the acclamation well so far, they'll soon learn not to swim in front of the return I'm sure. Also seem to really enjoy marine flake and crushed pellets which is reassuring. Trying to get marine proteins into their digestion tract

That’s pretty cool. I have a Malawi cichlid which is being bullied which I considered acclimating for my marine tank but decided not as I don’t know how he’ll behave. Don’t wanna save one fish to end up losing more


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Ratvan

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Reply #14

That’s pretty cool. I have a Malawi cichlid which is being bullied which I considered acclimating for my marine tank but decided not as I don’t know how he’ll behave. Don’t wanna save one fish to end up losing more


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I don't think that it would work with Cichlids. Mollies, Guppies and Platys are usually found in tropical brackish locations so can take the change to pure salt water.

I also noticed this morning that the pregnant females no longer appeared pregnant so will be inspecting for fry in the rear chambers later this evening

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