Am I kidding myself??

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Lmecher, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Hi, I have a 15g that I used to house my mini carpet anemones. It is just sitting empty. I have been entertaining the idea of using it to attempt keeping a pigmy octopus. I have done quite a bit of reading and understand the pigmys are nocturnal so that dose not turn me off. Been keeping reef aquariums for years, I am used to constantly monitoring my chemistry because I keep delicate inverts. Is it really possible to keep a pigmy in a tank this size or am I just kidding myself? I still have a lot to learn but I have a good foundation in reef keeping and I am up for a challenge. I just need to be reassured that my tank size is adequate. This scares me though. It may be a can of worms such as when I purchased my first bta, about 15 later, tank upgrades, etc etc..... Apparently I am prone to addiction, just one of the pitfalls encountered in this hobby :heee:
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Yep, MTS runs amuck when it takes hold. :razz:

    IF you put external filtering on a 15 (I used a small skilter with an airstone inside the skimmer part) and do heavy weekly (I changed 5 gallons each week) water changes and stir your gravel (I keep it very thin) well and a nice chunk of good live rock THEN the answer is yes, you can comfortably keep a pair for their natural lives.

    Gholland and I both have a series of journals starting with wild caught, mated females and progressing through tank raised and tank bred young. The provided links are to the initial WC animals (our first octos in both cases) and links to the subsequent journals are at the end of the adult's journal.

    :welcome:

    PS I keep 9 tanks, now, three are dedicated to octopuses (two with residence) and the merc tank could be resurected by moving its resident if needed.:oops:
     
  3. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I think I am going to get my 15 online, it will be several months till it is ready. I speed it up by using rock from my established tanks. Then the hard part, not looking forward to the search for a healthy pigmy. Do you have any pointers for me as to where I should start my search? Online vendors or should I first try local LFS? I just saw one at shop a few days ago. Have no idea what species but it looked pretty cool.
    I am excited, this will be the first endevor my husband is not only onboard with but he is actually very interested. Usually when I show him something I am very excited about he looks and says "oh yeah, thats nice". The only thing I really need is a new better skimmer.
    What kind of flow do they like? I have strong flow in all mly tanks for anemones, I am thinking they like less.
    And so my journey begins...

    This will be tank #5 for me.
    50 dedicated to my spawning ocellaris pair with many rbtas and softies
    40 breeded with mini carpet anemones
    14 biocube with softies and some mini carpets.
    1 1/2 pico w/softies
    like I said it is an addiction.
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    i'm on my first Octo but I have the next dozen all planned out :banghead:
     
  5. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Where'd you find yours?
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think CaptFish's method will work for you :grin:

    Watch the availability thread (under Sources for Cephalopods and Food) and sometimes it helps to put a "looking for" notice there when you are ready. You can PM DanTheMarineMan to see if they have any, Dana has them from time to time and you can email him to see if he will look for one when you are ready, Tom also shows them (usually when Dana does but Dana will look for one if he does not have one available) and on a rare occassion Ken will have them. All three of the Keys collectors usually have them during stone crab season (Oct-May most common in March I think) as they get them from the crabbers.

    Note that it is very hard to get a young one (Dana occassionally finds them though) and the most success has been obtaining a prebrood (NOT one that has already laid eggs in a cup) female and then raising the young (the female will die after the eggs hatch as you will see from the two journals I referenced). Unfortunately about all you can do is request one with the largest mantle (diameter) and hope you get a female (often the case though).
     
  7. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Thank you so much. I am getting the tank going, hoping to have water in it in the next couple days.
    One more thing, the links you gave me, fantastic been glued to the computer all day. (my family is not too thrilled lol) Those are all pigmys? absolutely fancinating. What is the correct name for them? (don't want to look like an idiot)

    Found name O. mercatoris : )
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Glad you liked our journals. We both had a lot of fun doing them and I am hoping Greg gets another octo before too long. At the moment, however, his time is consumed with his year old son.

    If you will look at the journal listings and see O. or A. (O. is for the genus Octopus and A. for Abdopus, there are others but you are unlikely to see them here except for possibly from our New Zeland or Australian members) and then a name, the name is the species we believe the journaled octo represents. In the case of the links to Varys and Trapper they are O. mercatoris but you will also see them listed a O. joubini as in literature and for sale. There has been a lot of confusion about the Caribbean pigmys and older references show only one species, joubini. More current literature separate joubini and mercatoris into a small egg (joubini - not tank raisable) and large egg species. For all intents and purposes, you can ignore the label joubini and expect it to be a merc.
     
  9. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    After careful consideration I am thinking maybe I should move some things around here. I have an Oceanic 50 w/btas and clowns. I could move them all into my 40 and the mini carpets into the 15. I will leave the rockwork in the 50, it is all drilled and rodded toghther, extremely stable structures. Could one of the larger species work in this tank? I have been reading jouornals, some very wonderful journaling here. I want to get started off on the right foot, this is the first time my husband is totally onboard and I think the dwarfs may a little disapointing to him. (nocturnal, hiding most of the time) This will be a big undertaking and I want to make sure I fully explore all my options. Opinions needed.
    Thanks
     
  10. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    As I was reading Articles at the top of this page, Nancy King states a bimac can be kept in a 50 gallon aquarium. I understand they are a temprate species which would be no problem for me as I have a chiller already on this aquarium. I am begining to think this is doable. would appreciate opinions from those of you with expereince. : )
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Your in trouble now as it appears you are rapidly becoming enamored and the love affair is hard to end. For most it never completely goes away.:sagrin:

    The 50 will accomodate just about any that you will find except the briareus (arm length at adult is a problem and my 65 is small but the 8" tubes joining the two tanks and the extra height have made it doable for my first, we will see if Kaysoh is going to be a monitary/space problem as she ages. Look at the list of our octopuses for this and last year and you will see the typical octopuses that have been available. Hummelincki is my favorite if you can find one and aculeatus would take a close second if you can find a young one (they are imported and typically have been very old this year). Bimac's (either one) will work and previous owners find them highly desirable but they have been almost non-existent this year (I have not kept one, even when available, because of the temperature requirements).

    Welcome to your new facination - Neal enjoys them too :wink:
     
  12. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I quite agree with the I'm in trouble part but I can't help myself, it's a disease that has no cure.
    I wiil keep you posted and will surely be back with questions. I have a lot of work ahead of me but I truely look at it as a labor or love. It is so rewarding when my to see a new batch of clown eggs or one of my anemones split. When you think about it, how amazing is it that we are able to keep these sea creatures in a glass box in our home? To see them not only just stay alive but actually thrive and reproduce. Makes me misty eyed, sorry I can get a little carried away. :grin:
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Your enjoyment of watching a successful reproductive cycle is limited with the octos and it is always mixed with sadness since with all but one known species, the mother dies shortly after the eggs hatch. The small egged species (one of the bimacs (atus), hummelincki, aculeatus) is a 4 day obsession that rarely extends further. The best we have had journaled so far was 11 days (Sedna with one of her aculeatus, The Once-ler, see Octopus list for 2008). The large egged species have not fared a lot better but there has been journaled succes with the mercatoris as well as pre-2008 success with bimaculoides. Briareus is also large egged and benthic but we have not had successful young during my time here. The most successful attempt I recall was Conanny (also in 2008).

    All that being said, any time an octopus has young, we journal our attempts in hopes that someone will successfully raise a few.
     
  14. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I live in california and if you want a bimac i would go gladly catch one for you and ship it to you. The only thing i am not sure if there are any laws of this. Does any one know? I find it fun to go flip rocks over in tide pools and the anticipation is the best part when you flip that rock over. You dont know if you are going to see a little baby or a big adult stuck under the rock. Tell me if you want me to get you one, but i mean aculeatus are pretty sweat little guys.
     
  15. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I am so jealous and to make matters worse, my daugher is visiting California next month, tide pooling is on the agenda. I would like to say yes but I would imagine there are laws that prohibit this. I really have no idea though. I do appreciate the offer and wish could take you up on it.
     
  16. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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  17. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Raising our mercs was an absolutely priceless experience! It's too bad more people don't get the opportunity with other species that we did with our little night-time buddies. I'm sure we'll "dive back in" at some point though. :wink:
     
  18. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Well i mean it is perfectly legal to collect one and put it in you aquarium. When i got my first octo i was glued to Fish and Game laws. The only thing i am not sure of is if i could mail it to some one after i got it. Does any one know?
     
  19. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    From the link...

     
  20. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Thank you cuttlegirl, very interesting information. I am sure I will find a healthy one eventaully. Liveaquaria.com has some for sale but with generic names, listed as assorted-(Caribbean) and (Indo Pacific) which has me scratching my head. Can someone help me understand what these lables mean? I would like clearificaton as to what species each would most likely be. I am still weeks away waiting for a tank to cycle, it would be good for me to familiarize myself with these for sale listings now.
    I visited Utube and was tramatized by videos of octopuses dropped live into boiling water and people eating them alive. Absolutely horrific!
     

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