Have Tank, Will Travel. (Need help with first Octopus)

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Green_Tree, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hey Guys,

    I've been lurking around here for a few months now. I've made some threads asking for help and its time for another. Over the past few months I have slowly been setting up my tank. At this point I am pretty much ready to begin cycling it. Im planning on getting live rock next week and a cleaner crew soon after that. I've done a fair amount of research as this is my first saltwater tank. However I am not going it alone as I have an experienced saltwater aquarist in the house (my dad). At the moment I have a 75 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump. I can get about 700 gph through my tank and I have an appropriate sized protein skimmer from Octopus :wink:.

    As Ive said I am at the stage where I am ready to put live rock in and begin cycling it and letting it stabilize. And I had a few questions to ask:

    1) For a 75g tank what would you recommend as a good species to start with?

    2) I am landlocked in the middle of the U.S. (Iowa) so do you have a recommendation as to a reputable online source for an octopus?

    3) Also what type of corals can you keep with an octopus? I have 4 T5's for lighting.

    Thank You for Any Response, I look forward to learning from you guys. :grad:

    Green Tree
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    With a 75 gallon primary and a 30 gallon sump, you are good to go on any of the ones we normally find on-line so the tank sizing is an excellent choice. The only one I would NOT recommend is the dwarf O.mercatoris because, even though you could keep multiples, the chances are you would never see any of them. The only caveat is that the tank would be small for a vulgaris and two have shown up recently :grin:.

    Unless you catch it yourself, species is always part of the octopus mystery as suppliers simply do not know. Our most consistent supplier of O.briareus is Toms Caribbean. These are animals found in traps that the fishermen sell to Tom (which is way better than what they do with the ones they don't bring to him) for the aquarium trade. Up until this year, we could count on the animals as being either O.briareus or O.mercatoris and Tom has seemed to be able to distinguish between the two very well. However, there have been three octopuses over the last few months that were neither of these species. Two are most likely O.vulgaris and the third continues to be a mystery. Our second most species reliable source has been Live Aquaria. I don't think we have had anyone receive a Caribbean species (the one in the picture is probably O.mercatoris) but they regularly are in and out of stock on the Indonesian. Two species have been noted in the Indonesian orders. The primary has been A.aculeatus (or at least on in the Abdopus complex) and an unidentified small macropus. The A.aculeatus would be a highly desired species but it is too often caught near the end of its lifespan and only lives a few months after acquisition.

    Look at Forums->Journals and Photos and at the top of the thread list you will see List of Our Octopuses 2010. The species name is a link to the journal and the supplier is listed if known.
     
  3. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    Thanks =D. Yah I was leaning away from Vulgaris just for that reason because I dont want the octopus to be cramped. It should be comfortable as possible.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I think you still miss the point. You will NOT KNOW for sure what you are getting until you receive it. We have some vendors that we know USUALLY ship one or two species but you don't pick one from column A. All three of the latest odd balls from Tom were ordered as briareus :grin: because that is what Tom typical gets and how they are listed (and you will see dozens of O. briareus from Tom in the List of Our Octopuses stickies).

    What you will typically end up ordering from other suppliers (or find in a LFS) will be a "bali", "common brown", "common", "brown" or "common Caribbean". The common Caribbean is the common name for O.briareus but seeing the one labeled that way is no clue.

    Occassionally you will see a Caribbean Two Spot listed (rarely listed this way) and it will actually BE a hummelincki (or at least have two eye spots and be from the Caribbean as this one is a bit of a mystery). However, you will also see it listed as a bimac and both Roy and I have acquired (see the link I posted on your availability thread query) hummelincki/filosus under the name O. maya.

    The GOOD news is your setup will accomodate most. The sad part is you will have the opportunity to experience a variety because of their short life spans.
     
  5. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    So would you recommend buying from an online source or local? Because I do have a LFS who says they get octopi in periodically and they said they could get one in on request.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It is still a crap shoot because the distributers don't know what they send either :grin:. I am in an unusual position in that some of the octopuses I keep come directly from a collector but even then I don't know what it will be until it is shipped (sometimes I can tell from a photo but it is still going to be shipped to me no matter what it is :wink:). We see very few DOA's from the two suppliers I mentioned and they have alive arrival guarantees (I am not sure, but I don't think Tom covers the expensive shipping cost. Live Aquaria has a 2 week guarantee and includes shipping costs). When we see DOA's they are usually ones sent to a LFS, having more to do with excessive handling and warehousing than anything else I think.
     
  7. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    So, order from a good place, order the best bet of what you want and hope for the best? :grin:
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :thumbsup:

    Oh, and I did fail to include the thought that even after you have identified your octopus, its behavior may or may not follow similar patterns to other of the same species :wink:
     
  9. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    One thing I'd like to add. You could try asking where the animal was collected. This may help narrow it down. If you could get a specific body of water or even a specific coastal region, it would help eliminate some guess work. Though it still wouldn't narrow out O. Vulgaris due to it's emense world wide spread.
     
  10. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    Luckily I think that they are all really cool so Im not set on a certain species. The only reason I was asking about species was i wanted to make sure it was comfortable. But if I understood you correctly with my tank set-up i can take pretty much any of the common ones except for Vulgaris.
     
  11. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    Any recommendations for corals? What do you guys have in your tanks? Does the octopus mess with em?
     
  12. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    By the way my 75 gallons measures 48" across by 18" deep by 20" tall.
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If your octopus does not like your landscapeing, it WILL move things about to suit its idea of where things go. I recently wrote an intro to octos thread for a new local reefing group and cited a few of my videos. They are posted in the various octopus journals on TONMO but here are the links to make my point:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Syg8RPpXDh4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaaRXfK2XW0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ll5un8OQpGg

    And below are two stills of KaySoh's efforts.

    You can safely keep a few corals with octos, the primary concern for the octopus is the ability of the coral to cause skin damage that can lead to infection so only low stinging polyps, leathers or other low stinging softies. The second consideration is for the corals because, not only do octos move things around, they crawl over anything in their paths with reckless abandon. I do put gorgonians (as you will note in Maya's video) in my tanks but try to locate them where the octo won't normally want to travel. Sponges add color but seem to need a very well seasoned tank to survive. Caution with the red ball sponge because of its reputation for poisoning a tank if it dies but some of the yellows (particularly the yellow frilly (correct name unknown) seem to last a long time (but don't thrive in my tanks).
     

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  14. Green_Tree

    Green_Tree O. vulgaris Registered

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    Yah i kind of anticipated that. =D Looks like a nice set-up. In the second video the title says post-brood. Does that imply that she had eggs but survived past that? Wasn't aware that they could.
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks, that tank was a real eBay find and continues to have some unusualy potential for the octos if I am brave enough to try a mating. It was a freshwater setup that we altered (the great thing about acrylic) by adding an overflow and redoing the very poorly designed canopy (you have to remove the canopy to get to the tank in the original design).

    All of my female octopuses have survived a little beyond hatching or, in this case, after the eggs dissolved. Both my post brood female mercatoris survive much longer than would be expected. Trapper lived 11 weeks and her daughter mated a second time (not normal and she would not have had more eggs) and then disappeared. I found a shell door covering a known cave but never actually saw her. The shell dropped about 10 weeks later so conjecture says she was alive about the same length of time. All my other species (hummelincki and briareus) died within two weeks or less. If they live beyond tending the eggs, they will go into senescence like the males. I think the third video is also post brood and I suspect the transporting of the sand was a senescent, meaningless action.
     

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