How Do You Care for Mantis Shrimp?

care-mantis-shrimp Credit: Dave Fleetham / Design Pics/Perspectives/Getty Images points out that it is easy to care for mantis shrimp, as they are very low-maintenance pets; they require a small amount of food and a clean aquatic habitat. The mantis shrimp prefers live food but eats dead food as well, including bits of shrimp, mussel, squid and snail. The shrimp does not need to be fed more than twice a week.

Although this pet almost takes care of itself, an owner cannot neglect its environment. In order to provide a habitat for a mantis shrimp, a tank needs to be filled with tap water and allowed to sit for 24 hours. It can be treated to remove undesirable ammonia and heavy materials, although this is not necessary. The water must have a salinity level of 1.022 specific gravity and a temperature between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tanks do not need filters when holding only mantis shrimp, but under-gravel or power filters help keep the tank clean. With a filter, the water needs a partial 25 to 35 percent change every two weeks. In lieu of a filter, the water can be changed twice a week.

The tank stays lit on a 12-hour-on/12-hour-off cycle, so that the bulbs do not overheat the water. The shrimp requires shelter within the tank to feel secure.