Our Saltwater Aquariums

20 Gallon Saltwater

This is our largest acrylic tank. It has an aragonite substrate, a Skilter 250 and an Aquaclear 200. It's lit with a 15" ordinary flourescent and an 18" Reef Sun 50/50. It houses a 6-7" female peacock mantis shrimp. I weeded out half of the greenery last month to open the tank up and let some light in, and she promptly pulled the remaining macroalgae down to cover her hole. Everything in the tank is where she wants it to be!

Okay, here's a good comparison of two digital cameras. This was taken with our digital camcorder, using one of the reptile spot lamps to brighten the tank up a bit.

THIS one was taken by Chuck Fiterman of the Puget Sound Aquarium Society (check the links page for more info) with his digital camera with a built-in flash. I want his camera! (Many thanks to Chuck for allowing me to use his pics.)

The pinkish mass she's carrying between her legs is literally hundreds of tiny eggs. She produced them 12/30/01. (Sorry about the picture quality - she doesn't want to come out into the light with them and we don't want to stress her.) Unfortunately, she ate them one week after. We're looking for a male for her, so let us know if you know of one for sale!

We just found this 1-1.5" mantis living in a rock in the peacock's tank! He doesn't come out for the camera much, but I guess he's been stealing food from the trash pile and living pretty well. It's been over a year since I bought this rock, and we never noticed him.

10 Gallon Saltwater

This is a 10 gallon acrylic tank. The large piece of live rock on the left is growing a little yellow sponge and three brown polyps. Its substrate is crushed coral over an undergravel with a powerhead, and it has a Penguin 110 retrofitted with a BioWheel. The light is from an OceanSun 10,000K. It houses a 5" female peacock mantis shrimp. She also moved everything around once she moved in! She built one long burrow between the cave on the right and under the large rock on the left, then built a wall out of small pieces of rock on the back of the tank. Gravel has been pushed into mounds protecting the front opening and the exits at each end of the burrow. And yes, I know I have a problem with red algae in a lot of my tanks; I'm working on correcting the problem.

Here's the new girl. She's very inquisitive. She molted just a day or two before this pic was taken. (This is another pic courtesy of Chuck Fiterman. Can't you tell?)

She laid eggs on 4/13/02! The mass is on the ground behind her. She wouldn't bring it out into the light. Unfortunately, she ate them within about 4 days.

The mass is about 3 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. The eggs themselves are VERY tiny.

6 Gallon Saltwater

This is our Eclipse 6, which we brought with us from Texas to Washington. It has a sand substrate and uses the Eclipse biowheel filter and an ordinary flourescent light supplemented with indirect sunlight from a window. The tank has a lot of mermaid's cup macroalgae and some caulerpa. On 9/13/02 we added a tiny 3/4" smasher of unknown species, which had been discovered in a shipment of Florida live rock. I'd like to thank Anna way up in Alaska for posting the shrimp on the Reef Central mantis forum, and shipping him to me in Seattle. He's a well-traveled little guy!

Can you identify his/her species?

He's certainly a cute little bugger.

I tried to help him turn over, since he couldn't brace his legs on the slick plastic, but he smacked the rod I was using to let me know how he felt about having his picture taken. There's quite a bit of personality packed into that tiny shell. :-)

This is the Hawaiian ciliated mantis that lived in the tank from April to July '02. I think she died because the filter stopped long enough to kill off a lot of bacteria and cause a spike in ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. She was a stabber, and loved to dig impressive tunnels in the sand bed. Photo courtesy of Chuck Fiterman again.

5 Gallon Saltwater

This is our Regent 5. It has a reef sand substrate, some live rock and a "lace rock" cave. On 3/7/02 we added a 1 1/2" green mantis hiding in the rock in the right front corner. He still hasn't come out, but you can usually see two little eyeballs staring out at you from his hole! He seals the entrance every night and reopens it in the morning. He's a smasher, and takes krill and silversides offered on a skewer. However, if he's not hungry, he'll throw it over the top of his rock. Update September '02: He died, my best guess is it was from a bad molt.

He wouldn't come out, but he'd stick his eyeballs out to check us out!

His meal tonight was a silverside almost as big as he is. He prefered fish to krill.

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