Acceptable foods

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by robind, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. robind

    robind O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I am preparing for an octopus of an undetermined species (hopefully O. bimac), and am looking for food that I can buy nearby. I happen to live very near the Pacific ocean (I live in Santa Cruz, Ca), and at the harbor live bait can be bought. They don't have bait that I recognize as being 'octopus food' from the articles I've read, but I'm hoping what they have to offer will work. Here's the list they gave me, though they also say on their website that they are available for 'aquarium collection' so I'll have to ask them about that.

    Anchovies
    Sardines
    Spanish Mackerel
    American Mackerel
    Kingfish
    Queenfish
    Pompano
    Jacksmelt
    Perch
    Shad

    Or suggestions for things I could ask for, that might be available in this area?
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Although octopuses sometimes will accept a piece of fish, it's not their preferred food and they may refuse it. I never convinced my bimac to eat any.

    Crabs and shrimp remain the favorites. Can you find small crabs for sale anywhere, or shrimp? You can probably feed frozen shrimp, a piece at a time. Also, bait shimp, if you bring them home and put them in a better environment and feed them.

    Crabs and shrimp should be the main part of the diet. You octopus might accept scallops, mussels (crack open), crawfish (feed only as a treat, but octopuses love them!).

    Nancy
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    On the East coast, many marine bait stores have live shrimp (I am not aware of a shrimping industry on the West coast so I don't know if shrimp are common - one would intuitively think so but I really have no clue). Tom even has them on his list of available items at good prices if you are local (the water weight makes them impractacle to ship but I had one added to SueNami's shipment for the heck of it and it is still doing well. I picked up a dozen on a trip to Charleston and they lived reasonably well for about a month and I could freeze the dead to feed at any time). The one I have now is not for food until it dies. I am using it for my experimental tank and so far so good.
     
  4. robind

    robind O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Okay, I will ask about bait shrimp and scallops. I'm trying to get live food because it seems to me that would greatly improve the quality of life. I can definitely get frozen shrimp, but the only crabs I've found are dungeness. Do you think they would go for live dungeness if they were small enough?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I would cry if I gave my octo a dungeness for supper and I did not get one too! Octos seem to find most any crab acceptable if it is not too large. I disable any claws that could cause harm to their arms or mantle and put them in the tank live.
     
  6. robind

    robind O. bimaculoides Registered

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    What is 'too large'? Also, how do you disable the claws?
     
  7. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Bigger than the octopus is too large.. haha. Snip the tips of the claws off if it worries you, or just remove them altogether.
     
  8. robind

    robind O. bimaculoides Registered

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    So you think an octopus can take a crab of equal or lesser size? That's impressive. I was thinking I'd need one that was maybe half the size.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Your thinking is likely a better choice but they CAN eat larger. About 1/2 the mantle size is the normal recommendation but members have seen them take down crabs equal to the mantle.
     

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