Category Archives: G. Ternatensis Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylaceus ternatensis)

R.I.P Mr. Mantis Shrimp

Well there has been a lot of changes in the system over the past couple of days. I’ve been trying to move everything out of the temporary tanks and into its permanent home. I guess that was a little too much change for the mantis shrimp. He’s been living in the refugium attached to the new system for a couple weeks now. He recently molted over a period of two or three days and in a matter of a couple hours after he was finished, he died. Not sure if it was too much action from the move or if he had a rough molt. We’ve had him for a little over three years but from what I read, they can potentially live for up to twenty years.

Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylaceus ternatensis)

Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylaceus ternatensis) living in 2 inch PVC pipe.

90 Gallon Refugium for Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp Molt Remains

Remains of the mantis shrimp molting process.

Building a New Home for the Tank

Well, over the past couple of weeks we have been doing a lot of moving!  In the new house I’ve setup a temp system (300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank + 90 gallon) and started on the new stand/room with help from my good friend Cliff. Every part of moving seems slow and painful.  Still living out of boxes and not sure where anything is but the fish project must go on! Here are a few pictures of the progress.

Tearing Down the Tank, Planning a New One

Well I just got the news that we need to move houses this summer… So, that means I need to take our system down. 

But, it gives me the opportunity to plan another tank build when we find a new house. This time I will put a tank in a wall and give it its own room. 

So, over the next few months I am going to try and sell my coral, livestock, then my tank. If anyone is interested in my livestock or knows someone interested in my 270 display tank (90″ L x 20″ W x 30″ tall)/oak stand/40 sump/.3 HP chiller/ Mag return pumps, please send me a PM. I hope this won’t be a terribly difficult process but something tells me it will be. I plan on keeping my controller, vortechs, refuge, mixing tanks & rock for the next build.

As we all know this is an expensive hobby to get into so please do a little research and shoot me a fair price via private message of the things you are interested in. Everything needs to be picked up (Missoula, MT) as I will not ship.

I would rather remove my coral from the tank first as catching the fish will be an adventure. I have linked to some photos and videos of my corals and fish but more can be found on my reef blog and youtube channel.

Coral: – Video

Hammer Coral (will break into multiples) – Video
Tree/Stick Polyp – Video
(2) Pagoda Turbinaria Coral – Video
Blue Stag Acro – Top right in video – Video
Purple Stag Acro – Below Blue Stag Acro on right – Video
Green Birdsnest – Top left in video – Video
Orange Birdsnest – Top left in video – Video
Deep water acro – Top middle, left of hammer – Video
Encrusting Monti – Photo
Yellow Scroll Coral – Left of hammer – Video
Green Pavona
Green Red Wellsophyllia Brain – Photo
Montipora Cap (Red, Orange, Green, Puple, etc) – Far right – Picture
Doughnut Coral (Scolymia australia) – Video

My livestock:

Squamosa Clam ~ 15″ – Video
Squamosa Clam ~ 7″ – Video
Radiant Wrasse (prefer he goes with the clams) ~ 4″ – Video
Zebra Eel ~ 3′ – Video
Radiant Wrasse ~ 4″ – Video
Achilles Tang ~ 5″ – Video
Two Bar Rabbitfish ~ 4″ – Video
True Percula Clownfish ~ 3″ – Video
Marine Betta ~ 6″ – Video
Red Hawkfish ~ 4″ – Video
Mantis Shrimp ~ 6″ – Video
Lyretail Anthias 3 females (orange) & 1 male (red). – Video
Orange Spot Shrimp Goby


Serpant Star
Dolabella Sea Hare – Video
Orange Pincushion Urchin ~ 3″ – Video

Any questions? Send me a message 

Inspector Mantis… PI – Gonodactylaceus ternatensis

Mantis Shrimp gonodactylaceus ternatensis

I was trying to get a good video of the mantis shrimp breaking into a snail for lunch but instead he was curious of what I was doing and tried to sneak up on me. 🙂

Listen for it… Crack! Every time I hear this I go to make sure he’s not hitting the tank. Thankfully the 90 refugium is made out of half-inch glass.

Mantis Shrimp Saying “Hello”

Mantis Shrimp Cave System Installed & T5’s Ready for Break-in Period

Happy New Year!

The Mantis Shrimp new cave system has been installed.  My last post shows just the PVC.


He stayed in his old tube the whole time I was doing construction.



Oh and here are a couple pictures of the new T5 bulbs installed and raised up 7 inches for the break-in period.


New T5 bulbs installed. by devonmorton, on Flickr

New T5 bulbs installed. by devonmorton, on Flickr

T5 Light Hanger Change & Mantis Shrimp Cave

Reef Tank Update Photo – Front by devonmorton, on Flickr

Just getting ready to change out my T5 bulbs.

Also changing the way the T5’s sit on the tank. Replacing the blocks of wood for a hanging system as I think it will make it a little easier to clean salt creep. 

Old T5 Lighting Stands by devonmorton, on Flickr

Wooden Dowel Hanger by devonmorton, on Flickr

T5 Lights Hung Up – Front by devonmorton, on Flickr

Then Shelby and I went to Lowe’s today to get the mantis shrimp a new cave/maze system. I also found out that our mantis shrimp wasn’t a peacock mantis shrimp but a gonodactylaceus ternatensis, try saying that 3 times fast, or just once…

Gonodactylaceus ternatensis by devonmorton, on Flickr

So I think I am going to move some rock around in the fuge to place his new cave system:

Mantis Shrimp Maze by devonmorton, on Flickr

More pictures later after I install the above in the refugium.

Reef Tank Update – Light Maintenance & Mantis Shrimp Identification

Well it was a somewhat productive weekend… I changed out my BRS RO/DI filters, replaced a bad ballast and (noisy) 3″ fan in my Current Metal Halide fixture, fixed a melted LED wire and cleaned the coralline algae off my glass. I still need to clean the refugium… maybe today.

I also just had a guy on YouTube point out that mantis shrimp might not be a peacock but a Gonodactylaceus ternatensis (Google image search). I think I tend to agree with him as the mantis shrimp has lost a lot of the red it used to have. After I clean up the refuge glass I will try to get some better pictures.

Feeding Time! Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Here’s a couple short clips, the first is of me feeding our Peacock Mantis Shrimp. I’m curious how big he will actually get in our tank. He’s grown quite a bit over that past couple months it seems. Every time I see him I’m amazed by how intelligent the mantis shrimp appear to be. In the second video I was trying to film the mantis out and about. Pretty sure he was breaking off pieces of a monti cap for building material, but then he saw me. Poof! 🙂

Peacock Mantis Shrimp Update

Quick video of our Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) feeding. I’m really happy that he’s coming out more and wandering around the refugium.  Hopefully he will start eating the baby peppermint shrimp.

90 Gallon Salwater Refugium Update

I recently pulled a bunch of algae out of the refuge and thought I would take a couple update photos. The peacock mantis shrimp is the only creature living in the refugium. He pretty much lives in a conch shell buried in the rocks on the right side of the tank. He often chops off pieces of SPS coral to build with, lol. Since the damselfish removal the bug population has exploded! I’m really happy to have the bugs/pods back!

Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) Feeding

Our Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) has been more readily coming out to feed lately.  When he darts out to eat his piece of shrimp I can see how much he’s grown! With the removal of the damselfish from the tank, maybe he will be out exploring more.

(My first Mantis Shrimp post)

Mantis Shrimp (Gonodactylaceus ternatensis)

Here are a couple pictures and a video of our Mantis Shrimp ( Gonodactylaceus ternatensis). We’ve had him for a little over a year now and he lives in our 90 gallon refugium.  He has molted twice within the past three months and has gotten quite a bit bigger! Right now he’s probably 5 inches long but noticeably more girthy than before. He “shucks” his shell into the tank and hides for about a week until his new coat of armor has hardened. This morning I found one of his “smashers” sitting outside of his conch shell. The right side of the smasher (below) it the hammer part he uses to open up crustaceans and break things.

He’s a video of when we first got the mantis shrimp:

About six months ago we put an octopus in our refugium which caused the mantis to reevaluate his current living arrangements which gave me the chance to take the picture below. The octopus soon laid eggs and perished. Since our refuge runs on a reverse light cycle, I don’t get to see the mantis shrimp as often as I would like but he has a damsel in the tank to keep him company.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

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