Inspection procedure when getting package pt 1


New member
What do you guys recommend as far as trying to detect the mantis shrimp before putting them in the display tank, since taking them out of the display tank sounds like a big ordeal?

Also, since sponges should not be exposed to air how are you able to tell if they smell bad without taking them out of the water?


New member
i think the sponge thing is a bit overblown. my rock actually came in with all the water leaked out. everything was nice and damp though. every sponge has survived, and i have lots of it all over the rock. everything smelled fine at first, though at day 2 i had an ammonia spike and smelled everything again. two rocks smelled bad on the bottoms, so i scrubbed them and put them back in. no problems since.

as far as the mantis shrimp, maybe you could get some buckets and put the rock in those for a day or so. you will hear clicking from the rock with mantis shrimp. if no click, put it in the tank. this is a departure from richard's standard package setup, so do it at your own risk.


New member
As for the Mantis Shrimp, I'm going to have to retrieve mine from my display tank. I have heard of all kinds of ways of getting them out of so called live rock (club soda, etc.) but they aren't things I would want to do to this live rock. It really is full of critters and such.

I think trapping really probably is the way to go.

As for the sponges, I have had some die off on mine. But the great majority of mine seem to be making it. I simply kept the rock out of water as briefly as possible. Smelling it only takes a second or two. What kills the sponges is when air gets into the passages within the sponge. Since the rock will stay quite wet for the second or two it is out of water, this doesn't actually happen much.


Cheesehead Reefer
I'd agree with both of the above. I think you'd do a lot more harm than good to try to remove the mantis prior to the rock going into the display.

I put 300 pounds of TBS liverock in my tank, and ended up with several mantis. In 7 months I've managed to remove most if not all of them, it just takes persistence. There are lots of ways to get mantis, you'll get 'em out eventually if you want 'em out!



New member
Has anyone tried a heightened salinity dip? Live Aquaria mentions putting the uncured rock in a bucket of water with a specific gravity of 1.035 to 1.040 for 1 minute. Invertebrates should leave the rock in these conditions.


New member
If you get smaller rocks, it is not a big deal to take the one with the mantis out for more focused attacks. I have huge 50+ pound rocks and trapping was the only option. Frankly, these wennerae mantis are pretty lazy and will take an occasional hermit, snail, or porcelain crab, but honestly I have two left and couldn't care less. They are bashers and don't generally interact with fish unless there is food to defend. I consider them pretty harmless and if you feed them off a skewer they basically become fast food junkies.