friend gave me his octopus, not eating

tamtam

Pygmy Octopus
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#1
hi all,
this is my first time owning an octopus and i have an idea of what i need to be doing but the octopus doesnt seem to be eating
from what he told me its a dwarf caribbean octopus
(its mostly white but turns red)
he's had it for a few months and at first it ate a couple of tiny hermits and small snails, and once they were all gone he stopped feeding it altogether.
he wants to turn the tank freshwater so he was pretty much just letting it die.
I just purchased a tank about a month ago and have succesfully been cycling it with some small blue footed hermits and turbo snails and I couldnt just watch him kill this octopus so I decided to take care of it.
I liked the snails and hermits but as far as im concerned the octopus can eat all of them(they are cheap and I like the octopus better)
anyway currently the octopus is living in a decent sized shell and I saw him pull in two hermits that I put next to the opening but i saw them later alive so I guess he was using them for protection to cover the opening of the shell
I also thawed a little shrimp and wiggled it around on a skewer, he touched it but then let go.
he hasn't eaten in at least a few weeks and im not sure if hes strong enough to eat live food anymore.

Im going to my LPS today to get a couple of emerald crabs for him to nibble on. Is that a good idea??

I think if i got ghost shrimp they would die before he even got around to catching them
 

Animal Mother

Architeuthis
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#2
If the octopus is several months old already and not eating it's probably not far from death. Refusing food is a typical sign of that the end is near. Offering crabs and/or shrimp isn't a bad idea though. You might also consider some cyclops-eeze. One of our other members had luck prolonging the life of her senescent dwarf octos by feeding them that.
 

tamtam

Pygmy Octopus
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#5
just dropped in a crab and it decided to hide under the octopus's shell. i hope its gon in the morning:hmm:
 

DWhatley

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#6
You can also try dangling a dead crab (recently terminated - NO smell) from an air line tube. Hold it directly in front of the shell opening and keep it their until you think your arm will fall off :shock:. This sometimes works with freshly killed shore shrimp as well but I have never been successful getting my dwarfs to eat anything frozen aside from Cyclop-eze (NOT the dried kind).

As AM mentioned, Cyclop-eze is a good choice to feed using a pipette and squirting a small amount near the den. It would be beneficial to anything else you have in the tank and seems to be something all marine critters will consume (including polyps and other corals).

Also as AM mentioned, unfortunately, your little fella is likely to be near his natural end. When he turns red, is the color even or splotchy? If he can fully turn and hold the red then you may have some time left with him if you can get him eating. These are nocturnal animals so be sure to provide a full night of darkness. Red lights can be used for night viewing but avoid the typical moon lights.
 

tamtam

Pygmy Octopus
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#7
ok so it seems that she ate the crab becuase this all the was left of it were bits and pieces of its shell:smile:

i got a little excited and put a another crab and the octopus in a jar and she didnt like it(i got inked)

so i just decided to leave her alone and hopefully she'll eat this one too

and to answer your question dwhatley she flashes red when shes angry and sometimes just stays red
i dont believe she is close to dying just not taken care of

as soon as i can im gonna pop in a red led for nightime viewing
it sort of stinks having a pet that you cant see during the day



just a couple more questions, has anyone had experience with keeping a fish or two in the tank without a problem?
are there and compatible fish?

oh and is there any way she will start to come out during the day with dim lighting or is that impossible?
 

k0mpresd

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Nov 26, 2008
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#8
mine would eat 1 fiddler crab every 2 nights. so dont be discouraged if the crab is still alive in the morning. she also really seems to like hermit crabs, so maybe try adding some of them if if still seems iffy about eating.

i have a few fish in my merc. she doesnt seem to mind them. she hides during the day when they are active and comes out at night when they are asleep. everyone seems to get along just fine. i have progressively added them. i dont know if that has anything to do with it. i didnt used to like fish. i mainly have them because my gf likes them. but i will admit i do talk to them when she is not around. :oops:
 

DWhatley

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#9
Octo keeping is still trial and error. The general recommendation is to avoid fish. I have not kept any with my mercs or hummelinckis so my comment is based upon avoiding the unknown rather than aquarium experience. Some fish can be aggressive and pick on the octo (I saw this during while snorkeling in St Maartin with a hummelincki being harrassed by a wrasse), some octos will not come out if there is anything in the tank with them that they don't like. Mercs are naturally shy even without the stress of fish but Animal Mother observed more activity with his merc when it could see other activity (it was kept in a container, inside a larger aquarium for a period of time). If you would like other interesting critters that are known to be octo safe, I would suggest a serpent or thorny star (thorny's are brightly colored and day active, serpents are entertaining and come out for feeding).

Mercs are nocturnal and will not become day active. GHolland has had some luck with occassional forays during the day and Sedna has noticed Mongo watching but not leaving his/her den before lights out. Sisturus was my most interactive and would come for feeding and play at the same time (11:00 PM), eventually, even if we forgot to turn out the room lights. In my experience, a merc that stays out during the day is most likely at the end of its life. They naturally only live about 1 year. GHolland and I have seen a range of 8 - 14 months with our tank raised/bred lots.

If you have a way to add red velum to your tank (semi-opaque red plastic sheeting), it seems to work better than LED's but a consistent red light works much better than a flashlight.
 

tamtam

Pygmy Octopus
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#10
so she ate second crab i threw in overnight :biggrin2:
both were mythrax crabs first an emerald then a little bigger red mythrax

i couldnt find her this morning but i hope she moves into the new shell i put in

i dont think i will get any fish just yet but am considering a small brittle star

before i got her i saw this really neat little decorator crab with tiny anemones on it, i think that is out of the question now

im going to throw in a couple of little peppermint shrimp later if my friend can get them for me, if they get eaten ill be happy and and they dont theyll be a nice addition to the tank so win-win

anyway i loaded up some pictures from my phone hopefully they'll show up


whats left of the second crab


my little octo


his house
 

DWhatley

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#12
A slight warning on the peps. In pairs they can be very aggressive (I have never has a problem singularly or in a very large tank) in a small environment, even when well fed (feeding does seem to help this some). They are one of the first "vultures" to attack any kind of weak animal and healthy ones if there are two shrimp in the tank and the animal is small (direct witness by the diver/collector I webmaster for). The smaller shrimp seem to be much less agressive than the larger if you have a choice.
 

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