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  1. #1
    Junior Member phedder's Avatar
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    scary monster in live rock....

    We were just heading out for 4 days away this past Thursday after work (neighbour is taking care of the aquarium). Just before we left, my husband spotted movement in a hole in one of our big live rocks. We shone a flashlight and both witnessed a sizeable greenish/greyish smooth skinned being with what looked like a spider-like elbow appendage, slithering out of the beam of light and retreating further into the rock. It is bigger than any of the tiny hermit crabs. Reluctantly, we left for our weekend away and we've been worried about it ever since and kicking ourselves for not removing our large rock from the main tank right then and at the very least, putting it down in the refugium in the sump tank. Seeing this thing kind of creeped us out.

    We fear this is a juvenile mantis shrimp. Our fish and cleaner crew are fine so far (hermit crabs are in and out of that same rock with no casualties) The aquarium is pretty new and has been up and running for a couple of months, but we think if this is a baby mantis, it may not have developed enough to be a threat...yet. When we get home, we plan to keep a sharp eye out for it and when we confirm its presence (hopefully in the same rock, as it is a stand-alone rock and easily removable) we are going to hoist it out and stick it in a bucket full of salt water and try to catch it.

    Any thoughts?
    I believe that everything happens for a reason. Usually, the reason is that somebody screwed up!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bonaqua's Avatar
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    It could be just an emerald crab, but you never know.
    To take a better look, don't use a flash light but red LED light. They don't see red, so they don't hide.

  3. #3
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    Emerald crabs are pretty reef safe have never had a problem with the two I have and they hide during the day they don't seem to like light. If it was moving pretty slow then it sounds like a emerald crab to me also.

  4. #4
    Junior Member phedder's Avatar
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    It is INDEED a crab of some sort. My neighbour has spotted his nocturnal ways and this thing has been munching on our snails and hermits. Not sure yet what he is, but what can we do about him? Where do we get a red LED light? I'm hoping to spot him tonight. Should we try to catch him, and if successful, what do we do with him? I don't want to risk him eating our cleaner shrimp. He's got a bluish tone, I'm told and beady red eyes. In some ways I am feeling ruthless toward the bugger, but really, it isn't HIS fault that he's there...I'm not keen on killing him, but am very keen for him to be out of our tank! Definite crab legs and the neighbour didn't see him as being a mantis shrimp, so we're thankful for that.
    I believe that everything happens for a reason. Usually, the reason is that somebody screwed up!

  5. #5
    Junior Member phedder's Avatar
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    I just spotted the little creep...he's in a deep hole of a stand-alone live rock. He's a very dark colour and a bit bigger than a toonie but I can only see part of him. He has crab claws for sure. He's waiting until nightfall. Our tank is littered with dead cleaner crew. I'd grab that big rock right now if I had a helper (husband away on night shift at work this week...our paths will not cross!) and somehow get it into the middle compartment (refugium) of the sump tank. But I don't really want to do him HARM and he'd have nothing to eat....oh dear, I'm feeling compassionate, but at the same time conflicted. Do I kill this thing? I'm no killer!
    I believe that everything happens for a reason. Usually, the reason is that somebody screwed up!

  6. #6
    Junior Member phedder's Avatar
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    I hoisted that big rock on my own (I was very QUICK so hopefully the bugger didn't get a chance to zip away). Out, into a bucket and then into the sump tank it went. Proud of myself and wondering WHAT NOW?

    Update! He's there! He pokes his head out of one of the holes and I reached down with a pair of small pincers...he sure tries to latch on!!! I'll be curious to know how to get him out of our nice piece of live rock so I can get the rock back into our main tank....
    Last edited by phedder; 08-24-2011 at 12:30 AM.
    I believe that everything happens for a reason. Usually, the reason is that somebody screwed up!

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