bought an octopus, but what kind?

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by corpusse, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    2/3 of the unknown Octopus' labeled "Caribbean Octopus - Octopus vulgaris were sold by the time I got to check them out today.

    I bought the last one. He is missing 2 arms but otherwise seems alright. I am dripping him now.

    Here are some pics. Any idea what species?

    Should be in the tank shortly will try and get some pics and video. Apparently he has ate a hermit crab in the store. I guess tomorrow I will try feeding him. Either frozen food on a stick or I`ll go pick up a crab and while I look at ordering a bunch monday.

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  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    COOL! it seems like a really young one.


    we can rule out vulgaris as the arms are too long.

    I'm going guess at O.briareus. but I'm only 75% on that. the arms seem almost too long, and I dont remember the blue around the eye being that large
     
  3. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thanks.

    He has a strong grip. I figured after the drip I could just toss him in. As soon as I touched him he grabbed my finger hard! I was surprised! So I opted to put the bucket directly in the tank and just keep tilting it until he crawled out.

    He explored about 1/3rd of the tank and is chilling in the rock work now.

    Should I wait till he eats live before trying frozen on a stick?
    I don't have any live food now but tomorrow I can go pick up something to tide him over until I can order shore shrimp or fiddler crabs on monday. I can probably get a fiddler crab as a pet, it will cost a couple bucks but no big deal.

    To octoproof the tank I used 1/4" mesh over the overflow and eggcrate. For the top I am using mesh and for now I just have pieces of wood secured all the way around. The only problem is I have 2 wires from powerheads that slightly lift it. I think it is secure enough but I'd say it's only 98-99% secure not 100%. I guess what should have been done is drill a hole to run the wires out of but it's far too late for that.

    I'm going to cut 2x4's to size and place them around the eurobracing. I think that would be heavy enough. I can always double up but at his current size there is no possible way he could lift that.
     
  4. jakester

    jakester O. vulgaris Registered

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    Looks like o.briearus,but I am not an expert.
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I like to try frozen food right away. and so far I have had 100% success.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I will go 99% on the briareus call :grin: and double on the youth because of the blue around the eyes. I think a lot of the confusion with vulgaris and briareus is that vulgaris are called the Common Octopus all over the world. The official common name for briareus' is the Caribbean Common Octopus (or CCO) and people take liberties with the one word difference. The word Caribbean is critical, however, as it is an entirely different species and endemic to the Caribbean.

    Feeding frozen to one this young might be challenging but certainly try it. With the hatchlings we found they understand fiddlers and crayfish are highly desirable food items even if never exposed (if you are ordering fiddlers from Paul, he has small crays as well but remember that these need to be kept in fresh water. We impale them on a feeding stick so that they don't die in the tank). They also will easily take hermits removed from their shells (mine have not been overly successful with extracting them on their own but will eagerly take them when offered out of the shell). I have been after Paul to try to get us feeding hermits and at one point it looked like he was going to offer them but it seems there are complications. Shore shrimp have been a good offering from the get go if given on a feeding stick or from a pipette (both are a little tricky because of the size) but they are hard for the octos to catch). Briareus seem to have particularly poor eyesight, especially close up so even larger live bait shrimp challenge them.
     
  7. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thank you for the information.

    I'm assuming high 70's is good for temp?

    As for the live food. I am thinking about ordering from Paul, I'm going to check around if I can get any wholesale locally as shipping is super expensive. I'll probably just buy 1 or 2 "pet" ones to get him going. If I do order how many do you think I should get 100? More?

    How long can fiddler crabs survive under water? Do I have to impale them too or can I let them wander? My biggest problem is I have NO idea where he could be in the tank. I did watch him at first and he did explore a bit but then turned dark and went into the rock.

    I could also put some hermit crabs in just in case they cross his path. If I could figure out where he is hanging out I could try some PE mysis. Given his small size this seems like an ideal food if I can find him..
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    High 70's - low 80's seems to work fine.

    We did feed PE mysis at first (but they never did take the Hikari), super hard to hand feed with a pipette but we managed. He looks big enough for the shore shrimp though and we tried the Hikari about the time we started giving shore shrimp so it may have been a preference for the fresher food. It is likely a good idea to have in the freezer as backup for an out of food condition though.

    Fiddlers have a way to breath underwater (or so I have been told). They do need to surface occassionally but I have had them live weeks in a tank. You can put a couple in the tank and just leave them. I DO disable the large male claw by breaking off the tip of the lower section (just enough so that they can't close the claw and pinch, sometimes they will throw the entire claw when you try to disable it. We offer these to the Mantis but I would advise against just leaving it in the tank).

    I usually order 100 AND 20 fiddlers. Once they take frozen regularly, I don't get the shore shrimp. If you should have any leftover shrimp, you can always just release them to the main tank or freeze them for feeding if you should run out of live.

    As long as you don't have snails, hermits can be part of an edible clean-up crew that may or may not be consumed. The problem I find with mixing snails and hermits is that the hemits will often kill the snails for their shells. Finding snails with an operculum helps to be able to keep both but is not a guarantee. Some people report octos eating snails but I don't think it happens that often. I have seen mine TRY to eat one or two (and have posted a set of photos where one was "being eaten" and was then later crawling on the glass) but the octos usually give up. I have seen them take the snail shells and use them for doors regardless of if the shells were inhabited or not. At times this can be comical.
     
  9. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Perfect, no chiller, no fans except if the AC busts and summers over anyway...

    So here's my report. I found him with a red flashlight. I defrosted some pe mysis and squirted right in his face. He grabbed some for sure and also grabbed the turkey baster but I guess he realized the baster itself was not food. Given that he is in the rockwork I cannot tell if he actually consumed them but it sure looked like he was eating.

    Finally I tried putting 1/4 of a regular uncooked grocery store shrimp that is likely stale / freezer burn on the end of a chopstick. I read someone else say they won't eat older frozen food it has to be fresh. These were left over from my cuttlefish and he grabbed it within seconds! Strong grip too. Again I can't confirm if he ate it or not. I can confirm I'll go buy some fresh (frozen) uncooked shrimp tomorrow and throw this old bag away. They're like 4-5$ so no point playing around with old food.

    Since it seems like he at least has some interest in frozen I won't rush out to order a bunch of fiddler and shore shrimp. I'm holding out hope I can find a Canadian supplier. I noticed there was someone here more then a year ago posting about getting them cheap in Canada at his store. I've emailed him but unsure if he still exists.

    Finally one last fiddler question they are sold as freshwater pets here. Do I need to acclimate them back to marine or just drop them in?
     
  10. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I always order my fiddlers from Paul and the price for shipping in normally included in the listing price. This could be different for you as you are in Canada but its worth calling and looking into. There was always one die off but they compensated for that by adding an extra crab. As far as the acclimation goes... I always just drop them in. They can live a good long while surprisingly enough.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I would recommend NOT squirting the octopus. Mine, at least, take offense and sulk or ink. You can use a pipette as you would a stick (something to hold the food) but don't spray it on the the animal. It is fine to let them grab the feeding utensil (I don't know if it is avoidable. This is very typical of all species).

    What they eat the first day or two is not always an indicator of what they will accept after they have settled in. First feedings may be more of a panic eating so don't be surprised if you have to train him to eat shrimp once he is comfortable. I always try (not always successfully) to take advantage of this behavior and feed a new animal just before releasing it. This way I know it has eaten and lessens my concerns if it does not eat for a day or two while it is acclimating to its new environment.

    I have read a lot of conflicting "facts" on fiddlers and am not sure which to believe. I have even read that they don't shed their exoskeleton and I am sure that is wrong. Supposedly they go out to sea to lay their eggs but as adults, they live on land and breath air from the surface so the brackishness of the water is not part of their breathing needs. I am not sure if constant freshwater (no salt vs low salt) would negatively effect their exoskeletons or shed but we don't normally keep them long enough for that to be a concern. I would think we would see them around freshwater lakes if the saltwater (or at least very brackish water) was not a requirement. As I understand it they can alter their breathing method to extract O2 from water but I am not clear on how they do this and if the salinity of the water matters.

    Some people keep them on sand with only a freshwater bowl. I keep mine in a container with shallow saltwater and a climbing rock. I can't say that my survival rate for this last group has been stellar though. I still have a group I brought back from a bait shop during my trip to FL for MACNA and I think I will split them into saltwater and freshwater buckets tomorrow to see if there is a difference in die-off. I usually don't loose any before they are consumed when I order from Paul but these are somewhat different and I am loosing 2 or more a day. If I find them quickly enough (ie there is NO smell), I freeze them and they are usually accepted when I run out of live food and want to offer something in addition to frozen table shrimp.
     
  12. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Squirted in his face was maybe the wrong wording. I gently squirted until some mysis came out at which time he started to grab them.

    I have bought shore shrimp and mysids from Paul in the past. Shipping was always around $75 which is why I am trying to see if I can find a local or at least Canadian supplier first. If not I'd want to order a lot from Paul say 100-200 crabs and 200 shore shrimp and end up paying say $100 for shipping and then not have to deal with it for a long long time.
     
  13. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    He's super cute! I'm jealous that you have such a young one, briareus make such great pets! Congratulations!
     
  14. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Oh one more question for now : Just how nocturnal are they? IE only come out at night or mostly active in the night but appears a bit in the day? I was thinking I could put the tank on a reverse lighting schedule so the lights would be off during the day but on at night if he is going to be fully nocturnal.

    I've been keeping the light off just to ease in acclimation for now and am scanning the tank with a red flashlight trying to figure out where he is now. Not in the same spot as yesterday but it's very possible he is deep enough in the rock I won't be able to find with a flashlight. This is why I'd like to leave some live food in since at this age he should be eating everyday but there may be days where I can't find him to target feed.
     
  15. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    technically they are crepuscular, which means they are active at dawn and dusky. Mine, Leggs, was active a lot in the morning from just before sun up until about 10 or 11 then she would stay in her den most of the day but would make a few excursions, then around 3-4 she would come back out and stay out until about two hours after dark.
     
  16. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    So I bought 3 fiddlers today or at least similar brackish / marine crabs. They were being kept in fresh water. They were only $3 each which is not bad considering they were sold as pets. The lady asked me if I was going to keep them as pets and I said honestly they are food for an octopus and she wasn't going to sell them to me! I had to fill out and sign a form at petsmart saying I'd keep them as pets / take good care of them ect! Whatever if they wanted them to live longer they'd at least keep them in their natural habitat. Anyway I put them in just half an inch of RO/DI water. I'm not sure if I should acclimate to marine or just drop in. I also still don't have the slightest clue where my octopus is.

    Should I leave the lights off when I feed making it more likely he will come out and grab the crab or turn them on since he has poor vision and may not see the movement?
     
  17. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I put one crab in it quickly retreated under the rock. I put a second crab in, near where I found the octopus yesterday he's still out in the open but no attack.
     
  18. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Feel free to tell me I'm posting too many updates but I found the octopus and no sign of the 2 crabs. I'm going to put the 3rd one in beside him to see if there is any reaction. The crabs may have been eaten but they just as easily could be hiding. There is a LOT of hiding spots in my tank.
     
  19. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    last update for now

    Success! He ate at least one of the crabs and it's looking like 2, perhaps all 3. I put the 3rd one in and he kinda grabbed at it, but then I noticed there was already a crab leg beside him, so he consumed at least one.

    I know at this young age he should be eating everyday, but how much? The crabs are roughly the size of his mantle. Would one a day be good? 2, 3? Other food options included raw frozen shrimp - he spit out the one I offered him yesterday but I'm not surprised it was very old I'll pick up a fresh pack.

    I could also get clams or other stuff from the grocery store but these types of things are far more likely to pollute my tank. Finally I have found a semi local fiddler supplier I am placing an order for 100.
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Don't worry about over posting, this is YOUR journal :grin: (and Tony has ensured we have space)

    You should see the carapace floating around in about 24 hours when a crab is eaten. It is very light and usually shows up on the substrate.

    Each octopus is individual. Our briareus' learned to come out around 6:00 PM for the dinner hour (theirs and ours) but would then go back into hiding until after 9:30 ish and were most active just after 12:00 and in the early AM (before 6:00 AM). We have never tried reversing the lighting as the room has many windows. Once you have him eating from you, you can try sliding the feeding time to something that works best for your schedule. We have started this with our hatchlings and they have to be coaxed to the earlier time (9:30 PM) but if we wait until their original feeding schedule (11:00 PM) they are now out on the rocks waiting for us.

    Be aware that this does not happen "over night" and that patience is the primary keyword, consistency is the next important one. The more time you are seen (whether you see it or not), the better. Sitting in front of an "empty" tank is not fruitless.
     

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