Best food for an octo?

Discussion in 'Sources for Cephalopods and Food' started by AlanR917, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. AlanR917

    AlanR917 Blue Ring Registered

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    Hello everyone. I've been looking around everywhere, and I've heard a million different opinions on what to feed an octopus. What do you guys feed your octopus? I've heard shrimp, hermit crabs, fiddler crabs, and pretty much anything else that's in your tank. Which is the healthiest? Thank you!
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Shrimp and crabs are best. avoid fish. I like to mix it up. My octos main diet is shrimp and i throw a crab or two in as a treat couple times a month. Clam are good but can be messy.
     
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  3. AlanR917

    AlanR917 Blue Ring Registered

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    What type of shrimp and where do you get them from? Thanks!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    For the larger animals, the same shrimp you get at the grocery. It should be as fresh as you can get but for those of us inland, it means frozen (even the seafood market "fresh" shrimp have been frozen).

    The size of the animal makes a difference and food should generally not exceed mantle size and I recommend smaller for very young. We have noticed that young animals will often not take food that is too large and I suspect that has to do with their ability to defend it. For very young animals, freshly killed shore shrimp works well and they are easily kept in a simple tank.

    They often get tired of eating the same thing everyday and altering their diet appears to be a positive feeding style.An additional food that can be common (depending upon where you live) is blue crab claws. We raid the live crab bins at our local Asian market for loose claws and then freeze them.

    We also put live clams in the tanks from time to time. Often these will be ignored for long periods of time but eventually get eaten. I don't find clams overly messy, however, I will recommend against mussels and oysters because of the mess (but they are fine for the octopus).

    Hermit crabs have very little meat and there are mixed reports with them. Some octopuses will eat them where others leave them alone. They are only large enough to feed small or very young animals but you can put them in the tank for cleanup crew knowing that they may be eaten. The same is true of snails.
     
  5. AlanR917

    AlanR917 Blue Ring Registered

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    I've also read that octos prefer live food, is this true?
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    There is conjecture that this is true for enrichment but I don't know if anyone has experimented to suggest preference once they are accustomed to lazy food. We do try to give ours live on occasion but fiddlers, snails, hermits and shore shrimp are small and the larger animals will need multiples if fed as a meal. A single larger clam provides more meat but not all can open them. Clams can be preopened but that defeats the "hunt" advantage of feeding live.
     

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