Feeder Tank

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Brock Fluharty, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    When I got Blinky, I was surprised to open the box and see 3 bags. One contained large fiddler like crabs, one contained about 50 or so snails, and one contained Blinky. I originally put all of the snails, crabs, and Blinky together in the main tank. However, the crabs are starting to worry me. They have already killed all of the hermits I had for Blinky, and they seem aggressive. Blinky's mantle is about 1", and the crabs range in size from 1" -2" total length. I was wondering if I could keep all (about 10) of the crabs in a small sterilite container? It is flatter than it is tall, and probably holds about 1 gallon of water. Would I need any filtration? They seem to need air, because they are constantly cimbing the seals at the corners of the tank. They are dark blue, with reddish orange markings/claws. I know a lot of people don't have filtration on their feeder tanks when there aren't that many prey items in them. I'm gonna put a new filter pad in there for them to climb onto if they do indeed need air. Will blinky eat the small, round black snails? They are about 1/2". Thanks!
     
  2. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Ivar hasn't eaten any of his snails yet, I think its just personal preference on the part of the octo.

    Take a look at my feeder tank on my Tank renovation thread. I have a 6-gallon plastic bin from Home Depot. It has a wet side and a sandy side. I cut a hole in it for a 3/4" bulkhead and strainer: water is supplied via an airhose line from my main tank and drains into my filter.

    You don't need the complexity of running water, but you'll have to do regular water changes in it.

    One thing to keep in mind is the crabs are real escape artists. I had three climb up the air line and jump to the ground. I ended up elevating the end of the line high enough that they can't grab onto it from the bottom.

    Good luck

    Dan
     
  3. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Well, i'm no plumber, lol. I'm horrified by sumps. Well, MAKING a sump, or anything else with water moving out of the tank.

    The little bin thing I have them in has a lid that came with is. I guess I could drill some small holes in it. I even considered floating it in the main tank, but Blinky would probably find her way in, lol. Or help the crabs find a way out. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Out of the feeder tub, and into the octo den.

    So, basically, if I just do WC's, i'll be ok with no filter?
     
  4. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    When I ordered Fiddlers I put them all in a tiny critter keeper, about 5" by 3". I kept about a half inch of water in it with a rock and changed it daily. It makes it easier to make sure the food gets fed. None of them killed each other and they all lived, until Einy ate them. Time for another order.

    I did see Einy have a few conflicts trying to conquer the larger crabs, especially the males with the very large claws. Scared me a few times, but he figured out strategies to avoid getting pinched. It wouldn't be a bad idea to seperate them and only keep one in there with your octo at a time. I would think any clean plastic container will do the trick.
     
  5. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Sweet. Some of these crabs are big! Blinky is only about 2" in resting position, and some of the crabs are that large. I don't think she can handle them. They don't have big claws, but still...
     
  6. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Blinky has you fooled!
     
  7. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Haha! Do you think she can take them out without being hurt? I'm starting to recognize her "color language". When she's mad, she turns a brick red. When she's scared, she gets very smooth, and turns orange. When she's happy, she changes from the brown with white spots to all white, and flashes her eye spot from deep blue to tan. She is a character!
     
  8. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    When I saw Ivar get a crab he snuck up on it from above and behind--he draped himself over it and essentially wrapped an arm around each leg and claw. After seeing that I'm not too worried about the crabs getting him with the big claw.

    The crabs aren't too big for him to kill, but he doesn't have the appetite to get anywhere near finishing them off. The fiddlers I just got from Sach's are considerably smaller so hopefully there will be less of them remaining for me to clean out of the tank. He hasn't eaten anything in a couple days. It has me a little bit worried, but I've also dropped the tank from room temperature to about 65 which I'm sure slows down his metabolism quite a bit.

    Dan
     
  9. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    I imagine it's possible for a crab to get in a good blow or two. Blinky will figure out how to take the crabs out without getting pinched.

    Einy's like a ninja now. He watches them, where they go. Hides around corners, waits for them to turn their back, sneaks up, and pounces. If they freak out, Einy lets them go and retreats, and tries again.
     
  10. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    DHyslop,

    Did you get a bimac from Zyan? How many days did it take him to start being active and eating?
     
  11. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I only got him from Zyan on Friday, but he's not what I would call active yet. I've really only seen him twice--first when he came out of the shipping bag and found a den, and second a couple days later when I dropped a crab near his den. I have videos on my other thread of both events.

    He ate for the first time after two days in the tank. He killed three crabs over the course of about 48 hours and hasn't eaten again since. I know he's still alive because occasionally I'll see a little poop emitted from his den.

    This is when patience comes in. We know he's in there in all his tentacular goodness, but it might take weeks before he's comfortable enough with his surroundings and trusts that we're not predators. Don't do anything to bug him and try to keep track of what he's eating (which will be a lot easier once you get your crabs in a separate tank). Remember, the more you poke and prod him, the less he'll trust you and the less you'll see him. I know, easier said than done :)

    Dan
     
  12. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Thanks. That's a bummer that it could take that long. I already have the crabs in a separate tank. I'll add one tomorrow and see what happens. When I was getting the crabs out, he was trying to crawl all over my arm, but he was brick red, so I think he was P.O.'ed at me for being around his den lol.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Being patient after your octopus arrives is one of the hardest things about keeping an octopus. It took Ollie a long time to get used to me -she disappeared for about a week, then I got so I could spot her in the rocks, almost invisible. After a few weeks she came out more.

    Nancy
     
  14. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I can still see her where she is, but she cannot see me. She's facing away from me. I can just see her mantle swell then fall back as she breathes. I have 1 crab in there with her in case she gets hungry. She looks JUST like Ollie when she's at rest, or excited. When she's angry, you know it! She has launched at me twice now. She is STRONG!!!!! I find it rather difficult to pull away when she's locked onto my finger with 4 arms, and a rock with the rest.

    This afternoon, when I got home, I ent down to see if she was out, and she was on the side glass. I think I scared her because I didn't expect her to be out, because she turned bright red for a moment, then swam away and inked.
     
  15. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Talk about being a hypocrite: my wife and I just dipped a mirror into the back of the tank to see if we could get a glimpse of our little guy.

    We put a little tiny fiddler in with him this afternoon and I haven't seen it in a couple hours. I hadn't seen any parts so I wasn't sure if it was just hiding somewhere. With the mirror I'm pretty sure I saw its dorsal shell sitting in his den hole next to his eye (my wife remains unconvinced what I was pointing out to her was in fact an octopus eye).

    He didn't seem to mind much at least--that is, he didn't change colors or try to retreat further into his den.

    Dan
     
  16. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Whenever people come over I'm like..."See...there's his eye" and I get the same reaction.
     
  17. zyan silver

    zyan silver O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Brock, the crabs I sent you are shore crabs, not fiddlers, and they live in the splash zone along the shoreline. This means that they will try to get out of the tank and they will try to get out if you don't have a tight lid. They shouldn't be too big for blinky, they will be preferred by the octopus compared to the snails. I have fed my octopuses mostly these kinds of snails because of convenience and abundance compared to the crabs. In the wild these bimacs eat more snails than crabs because simply there are more in the mudflats and tidepools where they are found. I agree with dan in terms of a separate feeder tank. The crabs will live a long time without any food but you can feed them scraps of fish, it is just how messy you want things and how often you want to do water changes. The snails will live indefinitely, well sort of, without food. Zyan
     
  18. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a feeder tank, 15 gal in my kitchen run by a bubble filter. I may transfer all my local catch to my tank in the livingroom, and keep the 15 for smaller food till my new octo grows, which is arriving tomorrow! (thanks Zyan):smile:
     
  19. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I've noticed the Oregon shore crabs aren't very friendly with my fiddler crabs, and I've had to separate them. I now have two quadriplegic crabs named Bob and Matt.
     

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