Hi all, need help please

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by jack-knife, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello everyone, i have been looking and reading for a while now and well i got my first octo. Its a bimac and i need some help form all of your wealth of knolage. so i live in LA and need to find a good sourse for live food. My LFS is unrelieable and way to much, I mean $10 for 4 crabs :yelling: so if any one could give me a contact where i can get what i need that would be great. Well im at it how importent is a proten skimer for an octo tank? I thank you for all your help, shoot me a PM if you have some good info k :mrgreen:
     
  2. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    O one more question, what is the best yet cheapest way to keep a stock of live food with limited space and money? Right now i have a 5 gal tub set up with some live rock, sand and a small filter/pump and no light, but it seams to get dirty very fast. With the water conditions getting so dirty so fast i dont think anything but crabs will live in there. Any ideas on what to do so i can keep a stock of clams and other things in there to? Till i find a good supply and figure it all out i am macking the long drive to the beach every week to resupply and i would like to not have to. Thanks for your help guys.
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Well to be honest $10 for 4 crabs is not that bad. I pay about $2 a crab. Get some frozen shrimp from the grocery store, Thaw them and offer it to the octopus using a bamboo skewer. This is how most of feed out beasts.

    protein skimmer is extremely important nay essential!

    Where did you get the octopus? did you catch it? It would be great if you could start a journal.
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Have you tried a local fish market? There is one in Long Beach that sells some live food (bigger crabs), I can't remember the name of it (it was Vietnamese). Where do you live in L.A.?

    Get a protein skimmer. How big is your tank? I would get a larger container for your food animals. Clams and mussels won't last long in a small container, but you can keep them in your refrigerator (moist but not underwater) for a few days.
     
  5. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    I have seen them online for not to much now that i have looked around a little more but i still need a reliably supplyer. I will give the shrimp a try for sure. Yes i caught him down in the tide pools, I found a county beach that has lots of fishing and started hunting for one. I made sure to colect him in a leagle matter and befor you knew it i had caught 4 in two days. I tosed 2 of them back kept the one i licked and gave the other one to a friend of mine.
     
  6. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    I am going to pick up a protein skimmer today then. I do have a fish markit in burbank not to far away that i am going to try. For now he is in a 30 gal cube style tank and seams to be doing very well. I have gone to great leanths to make sure that he can not get out and for anyone who reads this. I found a very cheap and efective way to keep them in without using bricks. I simply glued a bunch of magnets inside under the lip with aquarium silicone and then put a bunch on top the same way, I have a hard time getting it off lol. As for my food sorce i just want to make my holding tank work some how, its ok but like i said it takes more work than it should to keep it clean so i nedd a cleaner food sorce lol.
     
  7. snowmaker

    snowmaker Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    :shock: couldn't have tasted very good... Is this some sort of bonding ritual?

    :mrgreen:
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    My bimac ate the occasional fresh scallop as well as thawed frozen shrimp, live fiddler crabs, and for an occasional treat, a small live crawfish. She also liked live mussel, freshly cracked, but that makes a mess in the aquarium (not that the pencil urchin didn't eat it all).
    I never had much luck with pieces of fresh fish.

    Nancy
     
  9. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    LOL sorry miss spelling LOL but i dont know, i'm sure some one has tryed it lol

     
  10. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've been keeping bimacs for over two years (I'm currently keeping my second) and I can tell you how I do it.
    Why the preocupation with live food? I only give my bimacs live food as a treat, when I'm at the beach anyway and I find it easy and convenient to grab a little shore crab or muscle. I feed mostly pieces of thawed frozen scallop or sometimes shrimp (thawed in a cup of luke warm tap water). Be sure to buy raw, not cooked, frozen food. He only gets live food a few times per year. I offer the food at the end of a wooden skewer. I use the skewer to play tug-of-war with the octo for a little while, always letting him win, so that he gets to feel like he had to "subdue" his food. Live food is more fun for the octopus, but certainly not nutritionally necessary, and in a little 30 gallon tank, the mess left after eating a live crab is a danger to your water quality.

    I think you should forget about live food, and worry about more life threatening things, like water that's too warm, a tank that's too small, low oxygen levels in the water, and water quality.

    Average Water temp in the wild where your bimac lives ranges between 58 in January and 68 in August. I've read that Bimacs seem to "do fine" at room temp (72) but I strongly suspect that at such sustained high temps, like reptiles, they live "faster" (eat more) and die younger (especially in LA :)). If you don't have a chiller, but you do have pumps and lights, your water temp could easily be 80, which I suspect will be a bummer for a bimac. I've found used, sufficiently large, chillers on Craigslist (1/6th to 1/4 horse power) for $150 to $300, so if you don't already have one, please keep your eyes peeled and try to get one.

    A 30 gallon cube tank is about 19"x19"x19", and my adult bimac's arms are about 20" long, so I hope you have a really small bimac, and that you plan on getting a tank that is at least 50 gallons (60 if it's a cube) before long. If you're using live rock in the tank for filtration then the octo will have even less space. The low water volume is a problem for water quality because there's less water to dilute a big octo-poo or an inking incident. A big sump, that contains most of the live rock, would be a great idea, and easy to do.

    Octos need high oxygen saturation in the water, and if you have a lid on your tank, to prevent escapes, then you need a sump, skimmer, air stone, or some other way to let the water do lots of gas exchange. 75 degree water holds a lot less oxygen than 60 degree water (like in the local ocean), so not having a chiller makes things harder for oxygen transport too.

    Were the magnets you siliconed in around the top of your tank on the wet side? Were they factory sealed in epoxy, or might they rust or corrode? Don't trust your silicone to keep rust from getting into the water.
     
  11. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    So what kind of things do you guys put in your tanks to clean up the mess the octos leave? The only thing that has not been eaten so far is the starfish.
    :sly:
     
  12. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    joe-ceph. I understand your concern and to retort to you questions,
    1. He dose not seam to like dead food yet but he is still new and use to live from being wild caught.
    2. I have a chiller and keep my water from 64-66 F
    3. I have a skimmer and a airstone.
    4. The magnits on the wet side where sealed inside silicone to prvent rust, befor they where glued in.
    5.I had asked about the food so that i didnt have to make the drive to the beach to colect food, it cost about the same to have some food shipped to me as the gas to get the beach.
    6.The octo is small right now only about 6-7 inches long. I know they grow fast and i will be looking into a larger tank so if you know some one who wants to trad a 50-60 salt set up for a 120 fresh set up let me know.
    7. I am very on top of water changes and clean up after him when he eats, i just need to find some good tank cleaners lol.

    I assure you i would put him back in the tide pool befor i let him suffer or didnt have conditions right.

    ;)
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have not kept a bimac but have kept several other species and find that pencil urchins, hermit crabs (eaten occassionally but not regularly), brittle stars, common stars, peppermint shrimp (only one or two as they will gang up on other critters if kept in quantity. Some become food quickly but the ones that learn to avoid the octopus will out live several), common shore shrimp (generally too small and two fast but again may be eaten over time). Of the lot, the brittles and pencil urchins seem to attend to the crevice food the best (pencils will graze algae but will also eat occassional meaty things. They can be problematic with some types of corals). I avoid the green brittles with the octos as the rumor about them becoming agressive as they age is valid (IME). You can place more than one brittle in the tank or mix them with serpent stars or common stars.
     
  14. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I'll bet you haven't tried "dead" scallop. Bimacs LOVE scallop meat, much more than shrimp IME. My most recent wild caught bimac took over a week to calm down and take food, but my previous one was happy to eat immediately.
    Woo Hoo!
    Talk to my friend Craig, he has a list. Avoid any used tank that might have been treated with copper because it will leach out of the silicone forever, and is toxic to cephs.
     
  15. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Yikes! Please don't ever release anything that has been in your tank, back into the wild. non-native pests, diseases, or parasites can be brought in on store bought food, live rock, etc., and any animal you release could infect the wild population (California abalone were devastated by "withering foot" disease that way). It's not worth risking the health (lives) of wild populations just to save the life of one animal (or to protect your own feelings). Your animals, and your feelings, need to be prepared to "take one for the team", and protect wild populations by never going back to the wild.
     
  16. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've learned a lot about what local animals make good clean up crew, and tank mates, in the past two years with my bimacs, and almost nothing is written about it, so maybe I can save you some time, and grief:
    Clean up crew:
    Brittle stars are great, and super easy to find under rocks at low tide. The octopus ignores them.
    Little snails are good at keeping the algae down, and while the octopus will probably eat them eventually, they are so small and hard to eat, that eating them will be your bimac's way of saying "you should feed me a little more often". A well fed bimac will leave little snails alone for many months.
    Avoid chestnut cowries. When the octopus tries to eat it an amazing thing will happen, the cowrie, as a defense, will start producing huge amounts of thick slime. I had a one inch long cowrie convert about two quarts of tank water into slime so thick that it plugged 90% of my overflow and made a huge mess in my tank. I think a fully grown cowrie would have completely clogged my overflow, causing a flood, and a burned out return pump. No cowries!
    Red Rock Shrimp can be found under rocks at low tide, and surprisingly, are good at not being eaten. Again, you'll get many months out of them.
    I would avoid the more carnivorous sea stars, but a bat star is okay. A large one will need to be fed a lot, and will produce a lot of waste, but a small one is great at eating algae, detritus, and food particles.
    After you get a larger tank, you can put an aggregating anemone on a rock in the corner. The worry is that the octopus will get stung, and could get their skin damaged, but I theorized that since the anemone in question lives naturally near the octopus in question, they've probably learned to cope. My bimac did pull back it's arm when it touched the anemone, but I never noticed any injury, and it just didn't seem like a big deal.
     
  17. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks, I did not know that! If thats the case i would put him up for addoption on here insted. Where do i find craig, I am aware of the copper issue and make sure to only buy new tanks of ones from people i trust so i know what has been used in them. I find that a lot of people have used copper and it's a bummer that people dont know how harmfull it it is. O i will for sure give the scallops a try, Thanks!

     
  18. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    cool, good advice. So do you have any tide pools you would sugest? I have been poking around them for a while and have yet to find any shirmp, brittle stars or stuff like that. I mostly find hermit crabs, crabs, the comon stars and stuff like that. So do you know of a good place to go in la?
     
  19. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :lol: I almost didn't get that... Craigslist...
     
  20. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    O lol craigslist lol :bonk: ya i should have got that one :lol:
     

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