Mantis Shrimp

The Ultimate Mantis Shrimp Pet Guide

The Ultimate Mantis Shrimp Pet Guide

If you ever wanted to keep a mantis shrimp as a pet but don’t know where to start this guide is for you !

What is a mantis shrimp?

Mantis shrimp are carnivorous marine crustaceans of the order Stomatopoda. Out of all the shrimp we keep in the saltwater aquarium hobby this is by far the coolest and most unique. They are found all over the world in many different oceans. They come in a variety of different colors and some can grow up to 12” long ! Their are 520 different known species of mantis shrimp, the most common ones that are kept as pets are peacock mantis, zebra mantis and yellow mantis shrimp

Reef Casa makes the perfect all in one mantis shrimp aquarium

What is the best aquarium for mantis shrimp ?

We keep our mantis shrimp in the reef casa mantis shrimp aquarium. Many of our customers use this same small aquarium to house small mantis shrimp. The all in one filter design makes cleaning it very easy and the form factor design means you can place the aquarium just about anywhere.

Can a mantis shrimp break the aquarium glass ?

No a mantis shrimp will not break the aquarium glass. We have personally witnessed attacks on the glass and although it does make a loud snapping sound the glass remains intact.

Are mantis shrimp hard to keep ?

Mantis shrimp are not harder to keep than any other saltwater shrimp.  They are extremely hardly and not considered sensitive compared to some other shrimp species. In a home aquarium the most important thing is maintaining consistent salinity of your aquarium of about 1.025 specific gravity. Auto top off units are a great way of automating and compensation for evaporation and highly recommended for longer term success in keeping mantis shrimp

What do mantis shrimp eat ?

Mantis shrimp are fascinating creatures to keep in home aquarium but usually need a dedicated aquarium as they are hunters. These are predatory shrimp and natural born hunters. They eat a wide variety of live foods such as hermit crabs, gastropods, crabs, mollusks, worms and sometimes even fish. Mantis shrimp can be trained to accept dead frozen krill, mysis or brine shrimp. Our mantis shrimp will accept dead fish and we keep 1-2 hermits in the tank at all times for hunting. It will eat any other types of live crabs such as emerald crabs and any other shrimp.

How often should I feed a mantis shrimp?

Mantis shrimp should be fed every 3 days. Our mantis shrimp is fed twice a week and is healthy and growing.

Can I keep fish with a mantis shrimp ?

Yes its possible to keep fish in the same aquarium, we keep 3 fish currently with our yellow mantis shrimp. Avoid sand dwelling shrimp such as gobies and sand sifting fish as the mantis shrimp may attack them. Because of their extremely powerful claws and clubs most attack on fish are bound to be lethal.

A yellow mantis shrimp hanging out in a coral garden in our mantis shrimp aquarium

Can I keep corals with a mantis shrimp ?

Yes, absolutely ! Mantis shrimp will not bother any of the corals in your mantis shrimp aquarium. They are often kept with living corals and saltwater plants.

Can I keep more than one mantis shrimp ?

Most species of mantis shrimp live alone, but there are some species that live in pairs for life. Mantis shrimps like to burrows and create nests. Keeping more than one in aquarium can lead to territorial aggression over caves and nests and we do not recommended attempting to keep more than one in an mantis shrimp aquarium.

Are mantis shrimp smart ?

Yes, mantis shrimp are incredibly intelligent shrimp. They exhibit complex social behavior and capacity to learn.  Watching them burrow , create homes, move around rocks and sand you can quickly see how intelligent they are. They can solve problems with it comes to building nest and watching them hunt reveals truly how sophisticated this shrimp is.

How long can mantis shrimp live ?

Mantis shrimp can live in captivity for up to 10 years ! Some wild species like the green mantis shrimp are thought to live up to 20 years long. It varies from species to species, but the average life expectancy in captivity is on average 7-10 years.

Can I touch the mantis shrimp ?

No, we do not recommend touching or handling a mantis shrimp. Its incredibly sharp and fast spears are capable of breaking the skin.  It will feel like a very powerful bee sting and may cause slight bleeding.

How much does a mantis shrimp cost ?

Certain species of mantis shrimp can be found for as little as $25-40. More desirable species are those with unique and striking colors and are usually around $100. Large or very beautiful colored mantis shrimp can sometimes fetch as much as $150-200. The most common type of mantis shrimp kept in mantis shrimp aquariums is the peacock mantis shrimp.

Can I breed mantis shrimp ?

Breeding mantis shrimp is difficult and there are currently no captive bred options for mantis shrimp. All mantis shrimp for the aquarium hobby are wild caught.