Peacock Mantis and Radion Lighting


New member
Long Story short, our peacock mantis is getting a tank upgrade! Currently, we have a 20g high display tank for the mantis and one little blue/yellow damsel plumbed into my 300g reef system. We have a 60g cube with stand and canopy being made that we will probably get this weekend. It will also be plumbed into the reef tank sump/system in the same way as the current mantis tank.

As far as lighting, we currently have some random dimmable white light over the mantis tank that someone gave us and it works perfectly. We keep it fairly dim and whatever spectrum that light is grows zero algae in that tank which is ideal for me since there are no clean-up crew and no corals, etc. I just scrape the green coralline off the acryllic that pops up and turkey baster the rocks before water changes and that's about all it needs for maintenance.

At the same time as the mantis tank upgrade, I am also upgrading my reef tank lighting from gen4 radion xr15 pros to gen5 radion xr30 blues. I would like to put one of the gen4 xr15s over the new mantis cube and I am trying to figure what spectrum and brightness would be ideal.

I have read that too much lighting and certain spectrums can cause shell rot for the mantis. I also want to keep algae growth to a minimum in that tank as there is nothing that should need to photosynthesize. Any advice on what type of light the mantis needs to have and what should be avoided when I set-up the gen4 radion xr15 pro for that tank?


New member
Truth is we don't actually know what shell rot is 100%, we assume is bacteria/fungal and there is a correlation between shell rot and lighting.

Thing is its more likely that stress/bad water quality is the leading causer to it than lighting itself. Cause of stress can be due to not enough hiding places in the dark (like a large U-shaped burrow they can 'cool off' in when feeling stressed or overly exposed). Like a lot of things that we don't want, it may also grow off of nitrates/phosphates so keep those minimal if you can. We can assume lighting is the culprit typically because its sadly rare that their burrowing requirements are met, so that 'extra exposure' stress especially during molting will always be correlated to high lighting while low lighting setups is not too much different just maybe an improper burrow has less reflection.

You're more likely to have a thriving peacock mantis in an SPS reef aquarium with pristine water quality than a no light at all setup, as long as you give it the proper security and tools to close up the burrow as needed.

Odontodactylus scyllarus is a lot more finnicky when it comes to its burrow requirements than any other species, personally what I do is use black PVC tubing (darker!), go a few times around the inside with sand paper for grip, and then use elbows on both ends to simulate a u-shaped starter burrow, just provide rubble for it to build on the entrances of the burrow, enough to close it completely if needed, and that should suffice.
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