Do Only Mantis Click?


New member
I have the famous clicking sound coming out of my 135g reef. It occurs during the evening and is quite loud. Single clicks mostly, but sometimes I will hear three fainter clikcs in a row.
These clicks have been going on for about 5-6 months now, and as of yet I could not find the culprit. I figured that if it were indeed a Mantis, I would find casualties, but none so far. I have a Sailfin Tang, Kole Tang, Dwarf yellow Angel, Yellow Wrasse, Banded Srimp, Sally Lightfoot, and Emerald Crabs. None have ever gone missing sine I have been hearing the clicks.
I also have a Purple Reef Lobster. Could it be clicking? I thought someone mentioned lobsters clicking in a post a while back, but have done research & can't seem to find references of lobsters clicking.
What do you think? Is it the lobster? DoI indeeed have a mantis or what? Thanks for any insight, TT.
While I've never heard it myself, I'm told that pistol shrimp also make a clinking/banging noise themselves. However, to hear three in a row in a short burst doesn't strike me as a pistol.
Pistols click, I've had hermits crawl between LR and the glass to make that sound with their claws/feet. My Cardinals make a clicking sound to some how show their displeasure as do a lot of Angels.

I had the same thing happen to me.

I have 2 pistols in my tank, they definetly make a loud click sound, more at night, or when they are feeding and tryin to fend off my clown.
Most likely this is the main source of your clicking at night.
However, Mantis do make noise sometimes, usually its from a smasher breaking shells or snapping off little pieces of rock. I had mantis and pistols in my tank for a while and it woke me up pretty much every night until i got used to it.
all and all... the mantis is much quieter then pistolshrimp. If your hearing a loud snap once in a while its probably a pistol.

as an experiment, if I take a pencil/pen and flick it down hard onto my desk, the pistol is about that loud.
Thanks for the replies folks. Wasabi, the sound of a pencil hitting a desk is just about right. Sometimes I am quite amazed at how sharp and loud the click can be! Well, I guess I can have a sigh of relief that I most probably do not have a nuisance predator in my tank. So what's with Pistol Shrimps? Other than the loud sounds they make what are some of their virtues? I mean are they good cleaners etc... TT.;)
Yea if it sounds like that its 98% a pistol IMO.
They have a symbiotic relationshp with most gobies I believe. The rumor is this... The goby will use a pistol shrimp burrow, and the pistol will keep it clean and be protected with the better eyesight of the goby. (not too many predators in a reef tank anywayz) The pistol gets to munch on goby leftovers, and the goby does what it wants and wont have to clean the house!
too bad human relationships are not like that. :D

My pistols have created a burrow under most of my liverock, its hard to describe but its like they blow the sand out and it kinda piles up around the entrance/cracks between the rocks. Usually mine only come out at night, and now that I have 2 cleanershrimp as well they are pretty shy. But the goby and the pistols are hangin.
Hey Wasabi, have you had any problems with your shrimps tunnels causing the live rock to callaps. A friend had one four inches long and it caused the left side of his reef to callaps? Just wanted your input.
well... not YET.

I put most of my rock in before I put the sand bed in, so when they move around the sand it hansnt messed with the rock position very much.
Im going to add some more rock soon, Ill let you know if it all comes crashing down! :eek:
Blowing sand!? Wow, I do see tha!. Every once and a while little puffs of sand dust eminate from under sections of live rock. Further evidence, I guess, that I have a Pistol. TT
Hey Teetee.
You must only have a baby in there if you only see small puffs of sand. wait till he gets bigger then you'll get to see him at work:hammer:

Good job having the rock in first, keeps the "What the hell happend now!" down to a min,.

Do cleaner shrimps make a clicking noise? I have recently purchased cleaner shrimp and have noticed some faint clicking noises at night. But my brother says he has heard that clicking noise for a few months now.
I have the clicking noise too and have noticed a few dead hermits. The clicking is like one or maybe two every couple minutes when the light goes out or right before.

I have also noticed a few anthill type sand dunes (fairly small) in the sand bed that I can't explain.

I have watched at night and never seen anything.
cleaner shrimp dont click.

pistol shrimp have a special appendage/arm with a claw that is designed to make the sound. I usually hear the sound at night as well. They also have made some 'anthill' like structures around the rock as a result of clearing sand out from their burrow.

IMO if you have both, you most likely have a pistol. But im no expert.
re: Mantis Shrimp

re: Mantis Shrimp

I have a brown mantis in my tank (only seen him twice - couldn't trap him - crafty little sucker), anyhow he has eaten all my snails and hermits but hasn't touched my fish or brittle stars. He emits a very loud popping noise esp at night with lights out. Have heard rumours that they can break a glass tank easily, but so far that hasn't been a problem (he's been in there about 6 months or so). Only way I can think to get him out is to remove rock and let it dry for a while and force him out or maybe a fresh water dip. So far haven't been brave enough to pick up the rock he stays in, after all, I do enjoy using my fingers ;)
Mantis can make a pop or cracking noise when breaking/snapping rocks or shells. The sound is a very simmilar to a pistol shrimp. I wouldent worry about the glass breaking from the mantis. From mantis-lore I think it happens very rarely and the mantis must be quite large to deliver enough pressure in one strike.

You can pick up the rock, Just make sure to jostle it first so the mantis knows your up to no good. Usually they will just retreat into the rock and then you can pick it up no problem.

If the mantis is just relaxing and all of a sudden a pink fleshy finger appears in front of it... well... you have a first aid kit right? :eek: