Sunday Invertebrates - The Peacock Mantis Shrimp
is a crustacean hailing from the Indo-Pacific region. It can grow to a length of 6 inches, however most in the aquarium hobby are between 2 - 4 inches long. Minimum tank size required is at least 20 gallons or larger, it prefers dim light conditions, and requires very good filtration. They have voracious appetites, require frequent feedings of meaty foods, and have been known to eat fishes, snails and other crustaceans.
The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is not to be kept in a community tank, however by it self or with others of it's species, these make wonderful pets. Caution should be exercised when placing hands in the tank for cleaning or maintenance, as the powerful blow from it's front claws has an explosive smash force equivalent to a .22 caliber bullet, thus earning the nickname "Pistol Shrimp" and "Thumb Splitter". This same strike force is also capable of breaking aquarium tank glass, so you might want to consider keeping Mantis Shrimps in an acrylic aquarium.
True to it's name, the Peacock Mantis Shrimp is a very colorful reef invertebrate, that dwells near the bottom and is a carnivore. It requires a deep sand bed and rock work, which it will arrange as it likes until a suitable burrow has been built. Peacock Mantis shrimps are considered by many to be the most intelligent of the arthropods due to it's ability to recognize different people and react to each person accordingly. They are very active and make for an entertaining pet.