Aku's babies- Parent tank

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by sedna, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Aku is an aculeatus whom I acquired on 11-12-08. She began brooding on 12-9-08, 2 days from the full moon. The eggs hatched out on 1-1-09, 2 days from the first quarter moon. The moon phases may not be important, but I cycle with the moon so who knows? The Once-ler began brooding on the full moon (coincidence?). During brooding the tank's temp has been between 78F and 77.2 F. The pH has been fluctuating between 7.8 to 8.2, with nitrates, nitrites and ammonia at 0.

    The mother octo has been living in a 55 gal bow front tank. When she began brooding, I started to dose the the tank with "D.T.'s" phytoplanktons 2-3 times a week in order to increase the population of native 'pods in the tank. Given the shape of the tank and the fact that I use a canister filter (both minuses in the past) I was able to modify things to get a (mostly) circular horizontal flow. I used a piece of plexiglass that I had drilled holes in then glued on a piece of filter sock so that I can close off the back corner. The intake for the filter is behind the plexiglass panel so that the babies wont get sucked up into it. On the outflow end of the filter, I attached a pvc tube that had holes drilled into it and also attached a flow regulator on it. The result was supposed to be a nice, horizontal flow in a circular direction but even with a valve to regulate the flow it's a little stronger than I'd like. I can turn it off and on as I like, for now it's on. I've also put the bubble rope I used last time in the mix but this time I've placed it on top of the live rock, which is all piled up in the middle, so that they won't rest on it and get eaten by bristle worms.

    As with last time, I am feeding a mix of newly hatced brine shrimp and Rotifeast, but I've also added cyclop- eeze. I got Arcti-pods, but they are bigger than the babies yet. Last time the babies were catching wild pods in the tank their size at 6-7 days, so I'm waiting a couple of days to add that to the soup.

    I re-read the Iglesias et al studyhttp://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9300/, and am still unsure how I want to deal with lighting. I have consulted this study both times and find the table of results very interesting! So far I've left the tank lights off of both tanks, and they absolutely congregate in the light. Based on the success rates of the studies, it looks like light may not be as important a factor to growth? I am feeding with the "spotlight" method I tried last time, though. Anyway to concentrate the food and signal feeding time can't hurt. More photos to come, PLEASE ask questions and give advice!!!
     

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  2. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    That link DID NOT go to the Iglesias et al study!! I'm a way better aquarist than computer geek! Can anyone help out with this?
     
  3. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I forgot to say that I have also clipped bunches of macroalgae onto the sides of the tanks, near the top H2O line. The babies especially tend to congregate in the bunches of algae in the greatest light sources. I have already started to target food into these as another way of concentrating their food source. This morning when it was still dark, the majority of the babies in the Kreisel were in a tangle of algae at the bottom of the tank. As the sun rose, so did the babies, and now in the full light of day there are no octos in that algae clump at the bottom- which at the moment is the darkest spot in that tank.
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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  5. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Thanks, Monty! I've found this study helpful because they have a nice table comparing the parameters, specifications and results of many different trials. My husband is sure the reason the Spanish got the farthest is all about paella. Mmmm, paella...
     
  6. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    babies and light

    As you can see in the photo posted previously, the tanks are near a large window that gets a lot of sunlight. In the larger photo, all the babies are in the corner of the tank closest to the window. They could swim around if they want but they actually hang onto the glass or swim near that spot all day. I decided to leave the lights off for this trial, but this evening I couldn't help myself and turned the tank lights on after sundown because it's so hard to see them. There are always a few babies swimming around on their own in the wider part of the tank, but when I turned the lights on tonight, the large group of them ascended toward the surface of the water, toward the light. It was so beautiful, like a miniature flock of birds that all took to the sky at once! I noticed that the brine shrimp hatchlings were all hanging on the glass in the same bright spot. I turned the lights off after a few minutes, and am going to leave them off for the most part. I will try to do a better job of getting (and posting) video footage this time, so I'll try to get the "flock of birds" thing tomorrow.
     
  7. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Baby Photos

    So while I was cheering on the Red Wings on Thursday (YES! It is o.k. to love BOTH the Red Wings and octopuses!) I was fooling around with the microscope and my Nikon Coolpix camera. Here are a couple of shots I was able to get by extending the camera lens into an eyepiece. It's a pretty simple stage microscope, the first shot is at 1X and the next at 3X. I found the little guy on the side of the siphon an hour after I'd finished, I thought it was dead. I was really surprised when it started moving around in the depression slide! I got a few seconds of video I'll get working on!
     

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  8. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The day I put OhToo in the larger tank I saw something that looked a lot like that. I tried to catch it but it disappeared before I could get a net. Neal told me I was just fantisizing and I remembered putting a couple of shells in the tank from another tank so OhToo could make a door so I figured it was one of those little jellys that apprear every now and then, now I am not sure that it wasn't one of Serendipity's babies. I only saw it once for a few seconds and I only saw one but it did look a lot like the photo. I guess I will never know. I hope you can get the flock video to come out, it must look amazing.

    I am a little confused about how you are housing them. Did you put some in the Kressel and leave some in the main tank?

    Is Aku still alive and have you gotten her to take any food?
     
  10. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Day 4, babies still

    1-4-09
    SG= 1.025
    pH=7.8
    N'ites=0
    N'ates=0
    Amm=0
    temp= 77.5-78F

    Anything else I should be checking for? There are still more babies in the parent tank than are easily counted but I'd estimate between 50 and 70. I am feeding the same soup as mentioned before, 3-4 times a day. I haven't seen these babies hunt as aggressively as the last bunch, but they are still only 4 days and it is SO hard to see in the tank with only ambient light. Now that the kreisel tank isn't in the way of the most crowded spot of the tank, I can get a closer look, but today is cloudy and they've dispersed around the tank a bit more.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Sedna,
    Are you intentionally keeping the PH that low? I keep mine at 8.3 - 8.4 (I have to buffer all my water but the PH remains pretty stable)
     
  12. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    NO! I have been having difficulty keeping the pH up lately- even using buffer. I start with R/O water that is at 8.2 but it always drops once it's in the tank. The guy at the LFS says I should check the hardness of the water but the thing is I don't want to make a major change in anything right now. By the time I realized it was (possibly) more than a buffer problem the babies were just about due. I'm still adding buffer with H2O changes in hopes that I can adjust things slowly.

    Forgot to add to earlier post that I took out 2.5 gal yesterday and added 5 gal to the big tank. I'll start doing 10% changes every other day starting tomorrow. BTW: it was very easy to siphon the detritus and other yuk off of the filter socks on my homemade panels while cleaning yesterday. Waiting until it was the brightest part of the day kept all of the babies in one corner so that not a one got siphoned out while cleaning. In the kreisel that got ambient light from above the babies were scattered and even though there were only 7 of them a couple still ended up riding the siphon flume!
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have found one and only one buffer that seems to stay dissolved and not gung up my holding tanks, Reef buffer by SEACHEM (NOT Kent). Odd that your water comes out of the RO unit at 8.2 as mine is 6.4 (do you use a DI sand filter as well?). I know we have very acid water here (hence the azailias, magnonlias etc) but the RO unit should bring the water to nutral (some where between 6.4 and 7) and NOT anywhere near 8. Thales and I have had discussions about the major differences in the water after treatment (he does not use an RO unit, however, just a LOT of DI).
     
  14. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    babies all gone after 5 days

    Well, yesterday morning there were 3 babies in the tank. Within a couple of hours I couldn't find any more, so I cleaned up the tank and set things back to normal. I think I learned a couple of good things this time. I'm not sure why I lost all the babies so soon, but to be honest I didn't have the energy for it like last time.

    Possible problems:
    -To start with there weren't as many babies. It wasn't just me, the kids agreed there just weren't as many as last time.
    -The low pH may have been a factor, but to be honest the pH was fluctuating in the low end last time, too. I got a different kit that I hope will be easier to read. With this one, each person you ask says something different and just the angle you look through the tube changes the color you could read. At any rate, it was somewhere between 7.8 and 8.2 the whole time.
    -I expected to find WAY more babies in the filter than I did. I do think that the current it provided was too strong. Even though I never found any babies sucked up against the filter screen or even in the back corner I created, the filter probably did take out some good part of the food chain. Last time there was a murky soup in that tank, and the water quality was still good. I didn't need the filter, I kind of wanted to see what would happen...

    Good things I learned:
    -Using the light to keep the babies in one place was great for cleaning the tank. Even if I put the tank lights on for some of the time, in this particular tank I would use only the natural light from the window during the day.
    -Creating a back corner space in that shaped tank worked pretty well. I didn't ned to run the filter full time, that was probably a detriment, but knowing that I could run it if needed, is good. Next time I'd use that back corner space with a small power head and the same PVC bar hook up to get a "horizontal" flow that doesn't beat the babies up like this one may have.
    -Using the bubble rope in the center of the flow helped to keep the surface moving, keep the babies off of the live rock, and gave them the boost they sometimes seem to need while swimming (pulse, pulse, pulse, ride the current...). Being able to control the flow is key.
    -I'd try clipping the macroalgae to the side again. They didn't hang out in it a ton, but they seemed to take a rest in it. It also gave the food a place to concentrate, especially in the sunny spots.

    Well, here's to trying.:smile: And here's to not trying again so soon!:wink:
     
  15. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice work!

    I wouldn't bother with buffer next time. They tend to generate more problems, and don't really help to hold the pH.
     
  16. nanoteuthis

    nanoteuthis Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Sedna, thanks for the YouTube vid of the precious li'l octokitten! I'm sorry to hear he and his siblings didn't survive, but the video is quite amazing. Have favorited it and added the first comment. (I assume you will soon be getting several more comments from others following this thread.)

    BTW, love your User ID -- does it refer to the Inuit goddess, the planetoid, or both? Also, what exactly does your sig mean? (Sounds like "Everything comes out of a shell", though my Latin is pretty rusty so I'm probably way off base.... :oops:)

    Your benthic buddy,
    Tani
     
  17. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    For me, Sedna is the Inuit sea goddess- I didn't know it was a planetoid! After reading "Julie of the Wolves" I took an interest in Inuit mythology.

    My sig comes from Erasumus (sp?) Darwin, Charles' grandfather. He had lots of ideas of his own about the origins of life, like so many unknown others who laid the foundation for Charles and helped pave the way to the theory of evolution. "Everything from shells," Grandpa Darwin had that latin quote painted on the side of his carriage for a short time (before bowing to social pressure), a bold statement at his time that he didn't believe Divine Creation held all the answers.

    Thanks a lot for the nice comments, they means a lot! To be honest, that little bit of video made this whole last time worth it! I can hardly believe pointing the camera lens into the eyepiece of such a low power scope gave me anything! I don't really care how hopeless it may be to try to raise small egged octos, but I'm addicted. Getting supportive comments just adds to the fun!
     

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