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Mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimp, also known as stomatopods, are incredible saltwater crustaceans that have captured the curiosity of both scientists and enthusiasts alike. Despite their name, mantis shrimp are not actually shrimp or mantids, but they belong to their own unique group of marine creatures.

Within the stomatopod family, there exists a wide variety of species, ranging in size from a few centimeters to an astonishing 17 inches in length. These incredible creatures can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world, inhabiting coral reefs, sandy bottoms, and rocky crevices.

One of the most striking features of mantis shrimp is their specialized appendages, which come in two main types: “smashers” and “spearers.” The “smashers” have club-like appendages that they use to deliver powerful blows, capable of shattering shells and even cracking glass aquarium walls. On the other hand, the “spearers” possess sharp, serrated appendages that they use to impale and capture their prey with remarkable accuracy.
Mantis shrimp are renowned for their exceptional eyesight, possessing some of the most complex visual systems in the animal kingdom. Their eyes can detect an extensive range of colors, including ultraviolet light, and they have the ability to perceive polarized light. This remarkable visual prowess aids them in hunting and navigating their surroundings.
These creatures are truly marvels of nature, with their extraordinary adaptations and behaviors. Exploring the world of mantis shrimp unveils a captivating realm filled with unique hunting techniques, vibrant colors, and awe-inspiring capabilities.

Collosal Shrimp

  • Each lb contains 6-8 shrimp
  • 100% Fresh
  • These shrimp are the definition of “go big or go home” when it comes to flavor and size.
  • Price per LB  35$  only

Species of Mantis

There’s quite a variety of mantis shrimp species in the aquarium trade! Many of them can be found living inside live rock, which usually means they’re the “smasher” type. But there are also some that are specifically imported and sold. Some popular ones include the Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus), the Harlequin Mantis Shrimp (Haptosquilla trispinosa), the Smashing Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylus chiragra), and the Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylus smithii). Each species has its own unique characteristics and colors, making them fascinating additions to any aquarium. It’s important to research and understand the specific needs and behaviors of each species before deciding to keep one as a pet.
mantis shrimp species


Mantis shrimp are pretty tough creatures, but it’s always best to give them a proper acclimation period, just like other reef invertebrates. The drip method is a great way to slowly introduce them to the aquarium environment. This gradual adjustment helps minimize any potential shock for the mantis shrimp as they adapt to their new home. Taking the time to acclimate them properly ensures a smoother transition and promotes their overall well-being in the aquarium.

Aquarium setup

When setting up an aquarium for mantis shrimp, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. Just choose a tank size that suits the needs of your mantis. Add some sand, rocks, and basic equipment like a heater and powerhead or powerfilter. You can even use cheaper lighting if you’re going for a FOWLR tank setup. If you want to keep mantis shrimp in a reef tank, be aware that they might rearrange things and bother the clean-up crew. It’s a good idea to glue corals down to prevent them from being taken by the mantis for their burrows.


Molting is a natural process for mantis shrimp to grow larger. However, it can sometimes lead to complications like bad molts or shell disease, especially in larger species. To prevent these issues, make sure to maintain high water quality, provide a varied and enriched diet, create hiding places and burrows for your mantis to reduce stress, and ensure proper iodine levels. Iodine helps the exoskeleton separate from the body during molting. Taking these steps will help your mantis shrimp have successful molts and stay healthy!

How to setup a Mantis shrimp tank?

Setting up a mantis shrimp tank is a fun and rewarding process! Here are some steps to get you started:
  1. Choose the right tank size: Mantis shrimp need a tank that suits their size and behavior. A 20-gallon tank or larger is typically recommended.
  2. Create the perfect environment: Add sand as the substrate for the tank, as mantis shrimp love to dig and burrow. You can also add rocks and live rock for them to explore and hide in.
  3. Provide appropriate equipment: Install a heater to maintain a stable temperature, and a powerhead or powerfilter to ensure good water flow. Mantis shrimp also benefit from proper lighting, so consider getting a suitable light fixture.
  4. Maintain water quality: Regularly test and monitor the water parameters such as temperature, salinity, pH, and ammonia levels. Perform regular water changes to keep the water clean and stable.
  5. Choose tank mates carefully: Mantis shrimp can be aggressive and territorial, so it’s best to keep them in a species-specific tank. Avoid housing them with other shrimp, fish, or invertebrates that may become prey.
  6. Feed a varied diet: Mantis shrimp are voracious eaters and require a diverse diet. Offer them a mix of live or frozen foods like shrimp, crabs, and small fish. Providing enrichment through food variety is important for their health.
Remember, setting up a mantis shrimp tank requires research and dedication. It’s important to understand the specific needs of the species you choose.
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