In the beginning…
When my journey first started back in 2009 I was blown away by the sheer ‘abnormality’ that these easy to maintain and keep creatures offered in return for that little requirement.
Originally I kept a single female spearer specimen of L.sulcata which I called Morgoth who was around 6 inches back at the end of 2009, she resided within a very large (in contrast to the spearers size) 400L reef aquarium, their were obvious problems initially with other certain inhabitants however once I began to really target feed her, she began to understand the routine and hence came to expect it.
To this day Morgoth is still with us and is now around 12inchs long, she now resides within a specially built aquarium designed specifically for larger spearers such as herself.
Another individual that has been with us for a long time since 2009 is Nicole a female G.ternatensis, this little smasher originally came to me from a local reefer generously donated.
Upon arrival she was around 20mm-25mm long and was living within a small heavy duty (custom made) critter keeper within my sump of the Reef above. Now years later she is around 100mm long and living within a Fake Wall Burrow covered in Premium Ricordeas as equally colorful as her.
My journey has taught me a lot about these amazing individuals and I still learn everyday, I have made a lot of mistakes in the process however all these are based around my own aquarium designs and thankfully no Stomatopod has ever died because of this, having said that I have had individuals die but these have been a simple case of…time is up, they were large, fat, healthy upon death, which told me they lived full happy healthy lives.
There have been times where the Stomatopods have made me cry with rage, where I try to place a coral on a ledge and attach it to said ledge, only for the Mantis within the wall/burrow to come charging out in defiance and to test my patience. However there are other times that leave me simply in tears of laughter at the curiosity and eagerness these highly intelligence and often interactive animals show.