Best thing to feed/how much

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by JasonRashall, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. JasonRashall

    JasonRashall Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Sorry if I'm repeating another thread, but I'm new and haven't seen one like this. I would like to know what the most recommended food to feed an octopus is from early in its life to its death. Also, approximately how much should I feed of this food. Should I give it snacks such as crabs every couple days? I've been reading all over this form on how to set up the tank and on how to do everything else, I just don't quite understand the feeding aspect of it, could somebody please help me, thanks in advance!

    Jason
     
  2. JasonRashall

    JasonRashall Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Also where is a good place to acquire this food?
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    :welcome: Jason,
    As far as quantity, I wrote a recent monologue :grin: that may be helpful is in Tranny's journal.

    As far a what (vs how much) to feed, a lot depends on the octopus and the age of the animal. Variation over the week appears to be beneficial.

    Crab is always a good choice, unfortunately, we can't get it frozen in raw form. Neal and I visit our local Asian markets once a month or so and harvest loose crab legs when they have live blue crab. Where the whole crab cannot be frozen, the claws freeze well. Live fiddler crabs can be ordered on-line (Paul Sachs is a reliable and reasonably priced supplier if you can't get them locally) and kept in a rubber maid type storage container (largish plastic bucket). They must have enough water to stay wet but they also need rocks to climb on as they are air breathers. I use regular saltwater but a diluted brackish water works too.

    Regular frozen table shrimp is another food that is usually accepted by adults but may take some coaxing with very young and sometimes rejected by very old octopuses. I have had mixed luck with the dwarf, O. mercatoris eating it at all but it is a mainstay for my larger animals.

    Some animals will eat snails. If you can find some without an operculum (the trap door found on most saltwater snails), they will be easier for the octopus to eat. Be sure you find saltwater snails if hunting in the Asian markets. Often the seller will not know so try a few in salt and a few in fresh to see if they survive (some with survive both) What you don't want are land snails. Most on-line and local pet stores that have saltwater animals will offer snails as a cleanup crew. If they are not eaten, they will help keep your tank clean.

    For very young or dwarfs, I usually get a supply of shore shrimp (Paul also carries these as well as a number of other on-line vendors). I keep them live but feed freshly killed as they are difficult for the octopuses to catch. Some people have had luck feeding hermit crabs but, with one exception, I have had to kill and shell the hermits to use them as food.

    As a treat and change of diet, clams (again from the grocery) are usually accepted. I will buy them and keep them in a bucket of saltwater overnight to be sure they are alive and to help purge whatever water they have been sitting in (they will have been kept on ice). These can be placed in the tank live and will work as a minor clean-up crew until eaten. I have had some live through several octopuses. Alternately, you can open one and offer the meat (on the half shell usually works). If it is not accepted, be sure to remove it quickly. Other mollusks (oysters, mussels) can be offered as well but they make a mess in the tank and I avoid them.

    On a rare occasion (maybe once a month) you can offer a crawfish (crayfish, crawdads). These will not live long in the saltwater so you need to monitor to be sure it was taken before it dies. You can freeze the tails and claws and use for treats but, like crabs, freezing the whole animal may pollute the meat.

    You might consider editing your profile to include your city and state. The software does not post this automatically and it is often helpful for directing acquisitions as well as meeting up with other members.
     
  4. gpx1200

    gpx1200 GPO Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    35
    i have been feeding my aculeatus spider mostly fidler crabs most of his life except for the gohst shrimp when he was very small and he seemed fine with it and grew very fast and quickly outgrew an older aculeatus that i got at the same time as him.
    today i decided to pick up a few raw shell on table shrimp and the result was surprizing, i have only been able to get him to take fidlers from tongs a few times becouse he spooks easly but tonite when i tried the shrimp on a skewer he was instantly interested as soon as the shrimp hit the water and quickly came right over from acros the tank and pounced on the shrinp chunk and proceded to fight me for the stick for a minet before moving to the back of the rocks to gobble up his prize.
    i wish i tried the shrimp sooner but now they will be a steady part of his diet.
    i'm going to try hand feeding without the skewer tomorow, this has only worked once with fidlers
     
    DWhatley likes this.
  5. JasonRashall

    JasonRashall Cuttlefish Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    I updated my profile, thanks for the tip! :grin: Are there any food that I could get that I could be bred in another tank and then fed to my octopus? And what do I feed a young octo, still fiddlers crabs or something of that sort, or something smaller like the mysid shrimp on Paul Sachs website? The article you linked me to was really helpful as well, thanks!
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,083
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Unless you end up with tank born hatchlings, shore shrimp will be the smallest item of food you will need. Next in size will be fiddlers (all octos we keep can handle fiddlers once their mantle exceeds the fiddlers body but do break off the lower claw of the males) and small pieces of frozen shrimp (start with eye size and increase until rejected or there are left overs). Clams are a bit tough so it has never occurred to me to try them for young ones but I may try one with Onn to see if she takes it.

    Hatchlings need something the size of mysid but it needs to crawl rather than swim (so far, we are only able to raise what is known as the large egg species that have fully formed hatchlings and are immediately benthic. The small egged species produce young that stay in the water column for roughly a month and there has been very little success in raising them). With new hatched I have used primarily frozen Cyclop-eeze and amphipods (but would not rely on amphipods alone). Amphipods will also be hunted and eaten by adults but should not be their primary diet.
     

Share This Page