Mantis Shrimp Prices 2024: Purchase Cost, Supplies, Food, and More!

mantis shrimp
© Maxfield Weakley/Shutterstock.com

Written by Em Casalena

Updated: October 8, 2023

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Who would have thought that the humble mantis shrimp could become such a hot commodity in the pet market? But lo and behold, these pint-sized sea warriors have captured the hearts of pet owners everywhere with their striking appearance and captivating behaviors.

In the past, only a select few dared to venture into the world of mantis shrimp ownership due to the perceived challenges and limited availability. However, as marine aquarium keeping gained traction as a captivating hobby, so did the demand for these extraordinary creatures.

But what exactly is driving this newfound fascination with mantis shrimp pets? From awe-inspiring hunting techniques to their kaleidoscopic array of colors, there’s no doubt these critters have something truly special to offer. As the word spreads about their unique qualities, more and more people are clamoring to have these quirky crustaceans grace their aquariums.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the enchanting allure of the mantis shrimp.

How Much Do Mantis Shrimp Cost?
The average price of keeping mantis shrimp as pets varies based on set-up costs and more.

Mantis Shrimp Price Range

Mantis shrimp have no doubt gained popularity as exotic pets due to their vibrant colors and intriguing behaviors. However, the price range for acquiring these unique creatures can vary significantly, depending on several factors.

Age and Size

The age and size of a mantis shrimp play a crucial role in determining its price. Juvenile mantis shrimp are generally less expensive than adults. The smaller and younger ones can range from $20 to $60. As these shrimp mature and grow larger, their price can increase substantially, with some rare species commanding prices exceeding $500. Larger and more mature mantis shrimp often require larger aquariums and are preferred by experienced aquarists.

Color Morphs

Mantis shrimp come in a variety of mesmerizing colors and patterns, known as color morphs. These unique colorations are a result of genetic variations and can significantly impact the price of the pet. Some color morphs are more common and easily accessible, resulting in lower prices. On the other hand, rare and striking color morphs can fetch mantis shrimp prices that range from $100 to $500 or more.

Genetic Variations

In addition to color morphs, genetic variations also influence the cost of mantis shrimp. Some mantis shrimp have specific genetic traits that make them highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. These genetic variations can lead to higher prices, as they are more challenging to find and breed. Moreover, shrimp with specific genetic traits may exhibit unique behaviors or physical features, making them even more desirable to potential owners.

Rarity

The rarity of a particular species or color morph plays a significant role in determining its price. Some mantis shrimp species are abundant and readily available in the pet trade, making them more affordable. However, rare and exotic species with limited distribution and smaller populations are harder to find, leading to higher price tags. The rarity of a mantis shrimp is often linked to its natural habitat and conservation status.

Breeding Difficulty

Mantis shrimp breeding can be complex and challenging. Certain species are easier to breed in captivity, leading to a higher supply and lower price. Conversely, species with complex breeding requirements or aggressive behaviors during mating may have limited availability, resulting in higher mantis shrimp prices.

Availability in the Market

The availability of mantis shrimp in the pet market can fluctuate over time. If a specific species experiences a surge in demand or becomes popular among collectors, its price may rise accordingly. Conversely, if there is an abundant supply of certain species, the price may be more affordable.

Loudest Animals: Mantis Shrimp

There are many factors involved when it comes to the cost of a mantis shrimp as a pet.

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Purchase Considerations for Mantis Shrimp Prices

There are a few crucial things to bear in mind if you’re thinking of introducing one of these fascinating creatures to your home aquarium to ensure both their welfare and the effectiveness of your setup.

Tank Size and Setup

When acquiring a mantis shrimp, providing adequate space is essential. These creatures are highly active and territorial, so a spacious tank allows them to exhibit their natural behaviors. The minimum recommended tank size for a single mantis shrimp is around 20 gallons. However, larger species or those with aggressive tendencies may need larger tanks to reduce stress and potential conflicts.

Tank setup should include plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, rocks, and coral formations. These hiding places give mantis shrimp a sense of security and help reduce stress. The cost range for a suitable tank can vary widely depending on size and brand, starting from around $100 for a 20-gallon tank and increasing with larger tank sizes.

Water Parameters

Mantis shrimp need clean water to survive, thus maintaining that quality is essential. Monitoring elements including ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, and salinity requires routine water testing. Because mantis shrimp are sensitive to changes in water quality, it’s crucial to keep things constant and ideal.

A basic water testing kit can cost around $20 to $50, and the cost of water treatments or conditioners is relatively low. Regular water changes are essential to remove accumulated toxins and maintain water clarity, further contributing to the cost of upkeep.

Hands holding high nitrite or ammonia test in front of freshwater aquarium. Fish tank maintenance.

Water testing kits are an absolutely necessity for any type of aquarium setup.

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Temperature Requirements

Mantis shrimp are tropical marine animals and require a stable and appropriate temperature range. The optimal temperature for most species falls within 75 degrees F to 80 degrees F. Investing in a reliable aquarium heater with a built-in thermostat can cost around $20 to $50, depending on the tank size.

Diet

Mantis shrimp are carnivorous predators with hearty appetites. Their diet should consist of a varied menu to ensure proper nutrition. Offer a mix of live or frozen foods, such as small fish, shrimp, squid, and crab. Occasionally providing treats like mysis shrimp or brine shrimp can add dietary diversity.

The cost of mantis shrimp food can vary depending on the type and brand. Basic frozen foods can be bought for around $5 to $15 per pack, while live foods may cost a bit more. Budgeting for regular food purchases is necessary to keep your mantis shrimp well-fed.

Compatibility with Other Species

When introducing a mantis shrimp to an existing aquarium, compatibility with other tank inhabitants is critical. Mantis shrimp are predatory and highly territorial, making them unsuitable tankmates for most fish and invertebrates.

While it is possible to house certain fish and invertebrates with mantis shrimp, careful consideration and monitoring are required. The cost of compatible tankmates can vary significantly, but it is essential to choose species that can coexist peacefully with your mantis shrimp.

Resources and Platforms for Mantis Shrimp as Pets 

If you’re interested in learning more about mantis shrimp prices, purchasing these unique creatures, or connecting with a community of like-minded hobbyists, there are several reputable resources, websites, and platforms available to help you in your journey. From online marketplaces to local breeders and interactive communities, these sources offer valuable information and opportunities to expand your knowledge and passion for mantis shrimp.

Online Forums and Social Media Groups

Online forums and social media groups dedicated to mantis shrimp are vibrant communities where enthusiasts come together to share their experiences and knowledge. Websites like Reef2Reef, Reef Central, and Mantis Shrimp Keepers host active discussions on various topics related to mantis shrimp care, tank setups, and breeding. Members often post about available mantis shrimp for sale or trade, making it a valuable resource to find reputable sellers and connect with breeders. There are also dedicated mantis shrimp forums, as well as general shrimp and fish-keeping forums, on Reddit.

Specialized Websites

Several websites focus exclusively on marine life, including mantis shrimp. Live Aquaria and Blue Zoo Aquatics are reputable sources for purchasing mantis shrimp online. These websites offer a wide selection of mantis shrimp species, providing opportunities to explore different color morphs and variations. Detailed information about each species is provided, enabling you to make informed decisions before making a purchase.

Local Aquarium Stores

Supporting local aquarium stores is not only rewarding but also offers an opportunity to find mantis shrimp for sale. Many reputable aquarium shops carry a variety of marine life, including mantis shrimp. Visiting a store in person allows you to observe the health and condition of the shrimp before making a purchase. Knowledgeable store staff can also offer guidance on proper care and tank setup, ensuring you have the best chance for a successful pet ownership experience.

Coral reef saltwater aquarium tank

Local aquarium stores can offer a ton of different necessary supplies, as well as guidance into owning a mantis shrimp.

©Vojce/Shutterstock.com

Online Retailers

Numerous online retailers specialize in marine livestock, offering a convenient option for purchasing mantis shrimp from the comfort of your home. Marine Depot, Saltwaterfish.com, and AquaBid are some reputable online marketplaces known for their selection and quality of marine animals. Before making a purchase, be sure to read reviews and ratings from previous buyers to ensure a positive purchasing experience.

Local Aquarium Clubs

Joining a local aquarium club can be a fantastic way to connect with other mantis shrimp enthusiasts in your area. Many clubs organize regular meetings, events, and workshops where hobbyists gather to share their knowledge and passion. Some members may offer or trade mantis shrimp, providing you with an opportunity to diversify your collection and connect with experienced keepers. The camaraderie and collective experience of the club members can be invaluable, especially for beginners looking to learn more about mantis shrimp care.

Research Articles and Academic Journals

For those seeking in-depth information about mantis shrimp, research articles and academic journals can be valuable resources. Websites like PubMed and Google Scholar offer access to scientific studies and research papers on various aspects of mantis shrimp behavior, ecology, and more. While these resources may be more technical, they provide a deeper understanding of these fascinating creatures and can satisfy the curiosity of dedicated enthusiasts.

For mantis shrimp enthusiasts, there is an array of reputable resources, websites, and platforms available to enhance their knowledge, make informed purchases, and connect with a community of like-minded hobbyists. Online forums and social media groups facilitate interactive discussions and networking, while specialized websites and local aquarium stores offer opportunities to purchase these captivating creatures. Engaging with online retailers and exploring local aquarium clubs can further enrich the experience of being a mantis shrimp owner. 

As always, remember to prioritize responsible purchasing and follow proper care guidelines to ensure the health and well-being of these remarkable marine animals. By leveraging these resources and understanding the mantis shrimp prices associated with raising one as a pet, you can deepen your passion for mantis shrimp and become part of a thriving community dedicated to their preservation and appreciation. Good luck!


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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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