Bruce and Octillary-Clinton, The Mercs.

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Mandjo, Mar 22, 2008.

  1. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    So I received one of these little cuties.
    My Octopus is Bruce! We think he's a boy from the way he acts, but after some close up filming today (via zoom button) I'm not as sure because I didn't see enlarged suckers on the tentacles. (I'm bad at looking though ;-;)

    I tried asking the Store owner about where they came from, species, temperature, food, and age. Alas, he knew nothing of it. I wasn't going to complain though. After having the first octopus come in dead, and delayed shipping of this one for about another week, I was content with the live critter in the bag.

    They're both being kept in a 30 gallon tank(the same tank), it's filled with rocks on one side and sand to the other. No way of escape, A rather large chuck ofCoral and some shells to hide under, as well as a current maker. The temperature when I last saw it was 74 F, Ph about 8.2, Everything else checked out as well.

    Bruce is doing lovely. His colors are beautiful and he's taken refuge under and overturned shell resting on a rock. He likes to hide-out under a big piece of coral as well. I haven't seen him eat yet, but I put 12 ghost shrimp in the tank today. I figure in time if he's hungry I'll see a few disappear?

    ((Does anyone know what Mercs will most definately accept and eat? I don't want him to starve to death :[!))

    Octillary Clinton belongs to a different group but was bought 5 minutes after I left the store. There's no doubt that these octopus are the same breed.

    Octillary, unfortunately passed away today sometime before noon. Maybe a bad shipping expierience? She was acclimated and put in the tank the same way as Bruce, but she was completely curled up in the bag when she got to the school, and afterwards. She was uncurled when we found her just sitting out by the coral completely white. There's no doubt in my mind that she was dead, but when I removed her from the tank into a plastic container (maybe to return to the pet store with) she began to get some color into her legs.
    Could this have been caused by temperature changes or something else?
    My teacher had me put her back in the tank in case she had a little bit of life left :silenced:.

    I feel sorry for Octillary and her group, but the pet-store owner offered them another one at half price(30$) because they weren't told of the return policy on saltwater animals. (Aka there is none.)

    I got a video of Bruce today (as I mentioned above), but my laptop isn't recognizing the card from the camcorder. I'll have to put it up later. I wish it didn't have sound though :[! :smile:

    Oh, and these groups were made for an animal behavior study. We were going to try to teach Bruce a few old tricks, but I would rather him get used to the tank, noise levels, and maybe eating!? before we start to 'play'.
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: Bruce and RIP Octillary.

    Although most octos will eat ghost shrimp, freshwater prey is not really healthy for them in the long term, getting some small crabs would be better for them.

    It sounds like Octillary was not doing well to begin with, but it's probably a good idea to make sure the water quality is OK anyway. Leaving Bruce to get used to things before interacting much sounds like a good idea... mercs may not be easy to work with for behavioral studies, since they tend to be shy and nocturnal, but it sounds like Bruce is somewhat outgoing for his species..
     
  3. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I've been looking around the pet-store I go to for some small crabs, but usually they're way above my price range.

    Do you think he'll eat brine shrimp flakes? (I think they were flakes.)
    I still have to check if the ghost shrimp are there when I go up around 5-ish today. I did realize they weren't they healthiest choice but it's all I could find.

    How big of a crab do you think he could eat?

    Also I was wondering if it'd be a good idea to add a fish to the tank. It's bright yellow with black dorsal fins and it eats what he secretes and all that nice-ness. I don't think they would bother each other and the fish poses no threat to Bruce because he's not carnivorous(?)

    Water quality was fine. Everything was about the same from when we acclimated them.

    Haha, yeah. The shyness might be a problem but it makes him more interesting. I think I'm going to ditch the tricks and just see how long it takes him to get used to his home. He hasn't been in the tank when a class of noisy kids are around yet.

    Oh and I had one more question for anyone who would like to answer. He's going to be moved again in about a month or two(or more). I'm starting a tank at home and we're going to be taking alot of the water out of the 30-gallon he's in now to put in the new tank. Then that's going to run for a bit and he's going to be at my house for summer and all. Is moving locations very stressful if it's not even a 15 minute ride? I'm trying to think of ways to keep the water in the bag cold so he's comfortable (that was a slight problem coming from the pet store to school).
    ((He'll have his favorite rock with him and all to hide under...So i was thinking that might help...))
    If so, How can i make it less likely that he'll freak out and stress?
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    You really need to get the tank started cycling now if it's going to be ready for summer... cycling for less than 3 months is often a serious problem.

    We really don't recommend keeping fish with octos-- a lot of the time, either the octo eats the fish, or the fish harasses or otherwise stresses the octo, and the octo hides more often. Damsels will sometimes nip at the octo's eyes, as an extreme example. Particularly if the hope is to observe some interesting behavior rather than hiding, I'd say avoiding anything that might make the octo feel threatened should be a high priority.

    As far as food goes, many octos will only eat live food. Brine shrimp, even live, are not nutritious enough for cephs, either. Bait shops will sometimes have crabs or shrimp, and if you're lucky, you might be able to get the octo to eat fresh or frozen food from the supermarket, like shrimp or scallop (make sure it's raw and not cooked, though).
     
  5. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks Monty, you're loads of help :D!
     
  6. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    glad to help, although to give credit, I've really picked up the octo-care more from the real experienced folks around TONMO, so I'm more of an "information shortcut" to the really knowledgeable folks (hopefully without losing much info on the way) who are busy writing books and such!
     
  7. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    So he's eating Ghost shrimp, sorry if I said Brine earlier I must have been out of it.

    These must be better right? They only get to be 1 inch but they're alot bigger then puny brine shrimp. Shrimp Species


    Also If I were to 'gut-stuff' the shrimp he'd be getting more out of it nutrition wise right?
     
  8. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    No pictures or movies today either. I lost track of time and in my haste left them on the counter ;-;! I didn't plan on disturbing his home today though.

    He stayed under his shell the whole time. I really wish he had picked a bigger and darker living space. The Up-side to the one he has now is that light comes through it partially and you can see him moving around if you angle your head. He can always see you too. He's stuck himself on the underside of the shell and he's "tall" enough for his eyes to see over the edge out of the tank.
    I only caught sight of 3 ghost shrimp out of the 12 that were put in the tank. 1 was dead, I blame the shrimp because he jumped out of the bag before I had them acclimated to the water. I took octillary-clinton out of the tank and I believe my teacher is going to buy her for a portion of her cost to use as a classification animal.

    I can't believe Bruce ate so many. I wish I could see him chase one down :[.
    Do octopus stop eating when they're full?

    That's all I have to report for today. I'm going to move the other large shell to block the light coming into his 'house'. He might like that.(?)

    Starting Monday we're putting a barrier of lab tables and thick poster-board around the tank/surrounding tank area. Almost all the science classes already heard about Bruce and octillary so we don't want anyone peering with their face up against the glass.

    I also moved the dead ghost shrimp close to Bruce's shell, our 'current maker' pushed it in and I saw him immediately leap to it. Dunno if he ate it though. I expect to find out tomorrow or Monday.
     
  9. dreadhead

    dreadhead Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Ghost shrimp are fresh water shrimp,for what ever reason they are not good "nutrition wise" for octos(i think its the fatty acids).Crabs scallops and saltwater shrimp are fine.
    I wouldn't move any rocks or shells around at least until the octo is more comfortable in his new setting.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you can find frozen (not dried) Cyclop-eeze at your local fish store, my Mercs have eaten that daily all their lives (in addition to shore shrimp - salt water shrimp - and fiddler crabs). If Bruce is a Mercatoris, and you have not found it yet, I have a journal about five tank raised Mercs that might add some insite to Bruce's care:

    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7853/
     
  11. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Ah, thanks Dread.

    Dwhatley: Isn't cyclop-eeze expensive?
    I think I've been directed towards your journal, and I've gone through it a few times.

    My 'pet-store' doesn't have much. Unfortunately it's the closest pet-store to school, and the only one that sells octopus in my area.

    I've got 2 more questions unrelating to my Bruce(Who I didn't get to visit today. Boo.)

    The first being should I post up on the octopus availability page where i got mine?

    And secondly I'd like to know what a Mercatoris Mother would do after laying her eggs, and maybe being taken away from them?
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Cycop-eze is expensive. For one Merc, "candy bar" package (around $13 I think) should last for awhile. You can use a potato pealer to scrape a feeding into the water then put it back into the freezer and you will have no waste. I use much more but I feed it to all of my tanks - not just the 3 octo tanks - daily ;>).

    I am no sure what difference you might see in female if you removed her from her eggs. Second guessing though, the eggs will have very little chance of survival (the female cleans and aerates them constantly) and I doubt you will see any difference in her behavior. Meaning I believe she will seek out a den and baracade herself their even though she has no eggs. My reason for thinking this would be the case was the experience I had with Miss Broody. After her eggs hatched, she was in excellent health by most measuable standards and I had hoped she would live even longer than her mother. However, she mated a second time even though there were no more eggs to fertilize. She moved from her tank front den to the back of the tank where I could not monitor her and was never seen again. I believe she moved to a den up inside the live rock (there was an oddly placed shell that could not stay in place without something holding it) and attempted to brood a second time. Unfortunately, this time she did not or could not eat and when the mystery shell finally fell, there was no carcass to validate my assumption.
     
  13. Mandjo

    Mandjo Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Oh! Well that's not as bad as I thought it'd be. I was thinking in the hundred dollar and up range @-@. (I saw some on some obscure website that cost ALOT more too.)

    Ah. Well that shoots Octillary's death theory 2 out of the water.

    In good news I do have another octopus coming in on wendsday or thursday. It's supposed to be the same species...which I'm iffy about because they're adults and all ;--;!

    After this next one, and Bruce, I think i'm going to wait half a year or more before getting another. This will leave me time to set up a tank and run it in college. :3 And I'll be right next to the ocean then! Free meals for the octopus! Haha.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You will need to find it locally for that price. Shipping frozen brings the cost up an additional $30 or more. The package you saw for $100+ was a much larger size and probably included shipping and was over priced but you did not miss-read or miss-remember.

    If you can find it at a fish store, chances are it will be the smaller bar size and should be close to $13 (or it WAS when I could buy that size and have it last more than a week).
     

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