First Octopus, some help please

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by manbearpig11, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. manbearpig11

    manbearpig11 Larval Mass Registered

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    After doing loads of research and repairing my tank i purchased my first octopus. It is a atlantic pygmy octopus (i cant get any more specific) hes about the size of a half dollar with his tentacles completely extended. anyways ever since i put him in the tank he has been hiding behind my heater (a fluval E series). The tank is at a constant 75 degrees but i cant figure out if hes just cold or what? as of today i moved the heater and he moved to under a rock. I havent seen him eat yet i threw 6 small snails and 6 ghost shrimp in and i have yet to see him eat any. I also tried holding up a small piece of dried shrimp and he refused, any ideas? is he OK?
     
  2. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    He is probably a mercatoris. They are shy and nocturnal. They are pretty happy in 75F, so your guy isn't cold, just acting naturally. I have a piece of barnacle in my tank with the opening facing the front of the tank. Even though I never see him all the way out, I watch him peeking at me all day.

    Please read the "merc" journals- there are a lot of us keeping these little guys right now. There are lots of pics and great info. You'll get a great idea of what to do for your new friend.
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi, and welcome to the site! :welcome:

    I'm glad you studied and prepared before getting your octopus. Although mercatoris is shy and nocturnal, people are able to interact with them more than we originally thought we could.

    Sedna gave you good advice when she told you to read the journals (in the Journals and Photos forum under Ceph Care) pertaining to mercatoris.

    Nancy
     
  4. manbearpig11

    manbearpig11 Larval Mass Registered

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    ok thanks, ive looked at feeding and stuff and ive noticed alot of people are just buying crabs... should he be eating out of feeding tongs or just eating stuff on his own?
     
  5. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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    my octo is being shy so i'm going to try to get him to take crabs from my hand, if not, chopsticks. Hopefully this will make him less timid and more prone to being out on the glass when i walk up to it.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Mercs have been unpredicatable eaters. None of mine would touch snails, live shore shrimp (newly killed offered on a pipette or air line are often tanken), or hermits. GHolland and Sedna have had good luck with the hermits. It is almost guaranteed a merc (or any other octo) will eat a fiddlers (Don't ask me why as they that is not a normal crab for them to find). Keep the body size to half to 3/4 of the mantle and disable the male claws. As Sedna recommended, give your merc a place to hide (several places are best). If you can find the large (called giant) purple barnacles, they are ideal if you size the opening to slightly smaller than mantle size (the part behind the eyes that one normally thinks of as a head but is really a body). Provide small shells so she can fashion a door and feel comfortable in her den. Small conch shells also work well but the barnacles offer the best viewing and provide multiple dens in a convenient location.
     

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