Alternative Food

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Nancy, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    We're having discussions of alternative foods to try when your octopus won't eat.

    Bimacs eat mainlly shellfish (mussels, scallops) and crustaceans (crabs, shrimp), with crabs seeming to be the favorite. But you might try buying a live mussel and cracking it, then either putting it in the tank or cutting a piece. If you put the whole thing in, be sure to remove the uneaten part promptly.

    Krill is a small crustacean and could be offered. They are available frozen where tropical fish are sold.

    I used to feed my bimac scallops, but she eventually got tired of them and only wanted crabs and shrimp. Also, bimacs eat some fish, at least in the ocean and in some public aquariums. I could never get mine to touch fish.

    Recently Roland Anderson mentioned experiments with feeding the Giant Pactifc Octopuses in the Seattle Aquarium raw chicken wings - this was mainly for enrichment because it took them hours to get all the meat off the bones. I wouldn't recommend chicken wings for our smaller octos, but you might try a small piece of white meat, raw. This would be a special treat.

    Crawfish can also be a special treat.

    You could try these foods with other species, too.

    Nancy
     
  2. Scuba Kid

    Scuba Kid Cuttlefish Registered

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    Good info! My bimac also enjoyed eating live snails, but his favorite was ghost shrimp.
     
  3. 05Xrunner

    05Xrunner Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well I just got my new octo tonight. They had him as just a common octo. So i am not sure exactly what he is.
    He took a frozen silverside from my hand right away in his rocks he is hiding in.
     
  4. G*S KING

    G*S KING Cuttlefish Registered

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    1 bought a whole bunch of ghost shrimp about 37 of them and i put the new octo in my tank i havent counted the shrimp yet but what if he didnt eat them what should i don i got two snails two
     
  5. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Just remember folks that freshwater species are not suitable as a staple diet, just treat food. Are your Ghosties marine or FW?
    J
     
  6. G*S KING

    G*S KING Cuttlefish Registered

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    When in doubt..............mumble

    WELL IM PRETTY SUre mine are mahumble muble lol...jk

    i think mine are fresh water and i think he ate them cause i only counted 27 today and i was looking at him and this thing came out of his little breather tube(sorry dont know his body parts) and it looked like poop like shrip bits haha

    but about the crab should i wait till he eats all the shrimp before i put it in there i dont have one yet but it thats the food of choice id like to get him one lol
     
  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I would give him a crab (or marine shrimps, bivalves etc). That is the food of choice. Anything freshwater has the wrong ratios of protein to fat etc and isn't suitable long term. A bit like us living on a diet of candy......we might like it but it wouldn't be good for us!!!!!(darn it!)

    J
     
  8. G*S KING

    G*S KING Cuttlefish Registered

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    ok what about a challenge for him like a bigger shrimp lol would that be good for him?
     
  9. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Buried somewhere in here I recall it saying that freshwater crustaceans would do, but that fish would not.

    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/dec2003/invert.htm
     
  10. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    where can you buy marine shrimp?? also, mine wouldnt eat his fiddler so im unsure what to do with a one-armed crab...
     
  11. G*S KING

    G*S KING Cuttlefish Registered

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    lol will mine be ok if i put like a banded shrimp in there
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    norgebyblood,

    If your crab is still swimming (i.e. quite alive), just leave it in the tank and let it clean up. If you have a weak clean-up crew, be sure to keep an eye on it and remove it if it dies (the claw removal will not kill it), but a serpent star or two (avoid the cool green ones) would take care of that quite nicely.

    The one caveat with a serpent (one of my favorite clean up guys for all my tanks) is that they will eat Octo eggs and are not easily removed if you end up with a brooding mom but they do a wonderful job keeping the water quality high by consuming all the spare pieces. As soon as Trapper moves out of a den (every couple of days), the serpents move in - sometimes before he leaves ;>). I have a nice looking red one that stays visible all the time.
     
  13. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    i do not have a clan up crew, what do you suggest i get to be one? also, i am still clueless as to where i can get marine shrimp for food
     
  14. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    A serpent starfish works very well! I see you are in Florida? You might be able to catch marine shrimp of of docks and places where there's rocks and plants in inlets, bays and such.
     
  15. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I don't honestly agree! If you look at the table showing Kj, fat etc marine crustaceans are quite different to freshwater. As an emergency they'll "do" but not as long term food for such active animals.

    my :twocents: :grin:

    J
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Norgebyblood,

    I get my shrimp (for my dwarf lion) from John and Shelley at:
    http://www.floridapets.com/
    Super nice couple. These are wild caught. Caveat, neither of my octopuses have eaten any so you may want to start with a very small amount. They will act as part of a clean-up crew if they are not eaten but don't do a lot to or for a tank and are not attractive like the colorful ones.

    Ken at:
    http://www.sealifeflorida.com
    has serpents (brittle and common - all of his are octo safe) as well as snails, pencil urchins (he has other urchins but they are not recommended for octos) and emerald/hermit crabs. I have to confess that I am his webmaster but I started buying from him several years ago (Tony, shoot me if you must) and the recommendation comes from my aquarist side. Serpent stars are much easier to keep than star fish (sea stars) but I have had good luck with Kens common star fish as well and have one in with Trapper.
     
  17. G*S KING

    G*S KING Cuttlefish Registered

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    what type of crab should i buy for my little davey jones
     
  18. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    G*S, use the search function. You'll find lots of information on what kind of crabs to feed, but even where to get them and how much they cost.
     

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