Odontodactylus japonicus (from Sri Lanka)
Obtained from - stomatopod.com
Size - 4 inches (Died at 6 inches)
Gender - Female
Status - Deceased 05.16.2009 at 9:28 AM to 10.26.2010 at 9:24:29 AM
I remembered when i first heard she was mentioned by Billy at Stomatopod.com. I think it was on their forums that i saw her. I thought she was just interesting looking. Hadn't really realized how amazing she would turn to be for me. I was told by Billy of her price and said that was expensive for a shrimp. I wasn't exactly all to serious in the Mantis Keeping at the time. Even if i had many under my belt i didn't appreciate them as i do now.
I recall Dr. Roy Caldwell telling me it was worth the price given by Billy. So before it even reached the selling page i bought it. I kept her in a 20 Long gallon tank with live sand about two inches and some live rock lined up in the back. I remember taking the glass lid of the tank to fix something, i don't recall what. However, what did remember was her looking up at me. She was 5.5 inches at the time and she looked up at me. Lifting her front half of her body to gaze upon me. You can't help but put human objectivity in their actions…it looked like she was in awe. As she fell backwards like a toddler. I began thinking of her like a little toddler girl. Her actions gave me that impression on everything that she did.
When i moved her to a larger tank from the 20 Long. During this time i was trying things out and was exchanging messages with Dr. Roy. He told me to try a PVC pipe were i didn't want to and this was the following video showed. My attempt to have Alice build a burrow without a PVC pipe. Ad i didn't like the look of ether a white or black PVC tube in there. However later it ends up being used.
As i found that she couldn't build a burrow with out add from a pre made structure. So i placed a rock to have her work around that (Link - Alice hard at work) Later i spoke to Dr. Roy and he told me how he kept his group of O. japonicus. Where from the 29 gallon aquarium my stubborn ass wanted to do with out the PVC tube to later learn things out my self to find out...what Dr. Roy says is ultimately true. (So, new Mantis keepers out there listen to the guy or learn the hard way.) At any road, I filled the tank about 2 to 3 inches of fine sand. Made a slope from the back to front of the tank. so it looked like the surface space on the bottom was bigger. In the center of it all i placed a U shape PVC fitting about 1.5 inches wide. Just before i moved her i added 2 or less inches of live rock rubble. I spread the pieces all over the sand and over the PVC fitting. So you could only see live rock rubble. Then that's when i added Alice. She swam a bit before settling on the bottom and she found the tube. It seemed that she loved it. Not long maybe the end of that day she expanded on the tube. By next morning she had this very well started burrow.
The filtration that i gave her was a Marineland Emperor 400 & 280. I thought to give her enough flow and over kill of a filter system. Wasn't thinking of a Canister filter at the time. Should have done that. I think it would have been better.
Lighting was a single T5 Actinic tube non HO. It was blue and looked really bright once pictures or video were taken but darker in real life. Wish the LEDs at the time were really in and i would have used a Stunner strip UV. After only learning that the O. japonicus glows green. I would have loved to see her glow. As she was already glowing to me.
Before i moved her to another tank she had a sack with her. She was very protective of it. I would try to take a picture she would push it under and let it flow under her, leaving at her rear. Where it was away from the camera and Alice gave an aggressive stance. Wow, my little toddler became a young lady, lol. I swear, i took pictures of it i posted it on the Reef Central forums too. (Where would have added that photo here.) I remembered asking Dr. Roy, if the eggs would hatch? He asked if she molted before this and i said yes. Where he said if Alice would have mated, the sperm would have been stored but if she had molted the sperm that she had would be discarded along with her old shell. So, it was clear it was infertile and she ended up eating the eggs.
Later i placed her in a 33 Long gallon tank thinking she would enjoy the extra surface area to build. That was after i saw her rip down her first two burrows and seemed she didn't want to rebuild. Once she was in the 33 Long tank she started to make a longer burrow. It measured about 1/3rd of the aquarium is long. I wish i took pictures of that. It looked she had a backyard, lol. She gathered all the rubble and placed it on top of her free standing 'no' PVC tube burrow. It was cool! the back end or maybe that was her front entrance. She would travel in a path till the sand had a pattern. Like you see in the nature channel if enough animals move on the same path fir years you see like a road. That is what it looked like with one of Alice's entrances. Where she would also tidy the pattern in the sand to make the path way more clear. As the other end of the burrow it was short. It was just a simple opening with all the live rock rubble but no sand.
Then she started to swim a lot and finally i placed her to a 37 gallon tank. That had both space of bottom and swimming. Then i changed her sand to black sand and gave her the same rubble. Wanted her 'pale' body to really show a clear contrast. Not long She started to act entirely odd. She started to fiddle with her underside. Looked like she was 'itchy', then she would lay on her back. (Link - Alice got the itch) I thought nothing of it till i realize something was deeply wrong. (Link - Alice on her back) Later in a post on RC, Dr. Roy said she died from being egg bound. That she couldn't release her eggs...
I love you Alice :(