I think I am getting a new octo next week

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#1
It is sooner than I had planned for but I am exchanging favors with a diver/collector in the keys and he caught an octopus for me today. I am worried that it is another Merc but, if his judgement on size is close to accurate :roll: it should be something else. All I know at the moment is that its mantle is about 3", it has little visible webbing and short legs. This pretty much rules out Briarius and should rule out a Merc but I will have to wait and see. If it is a Mercatoris (the diver thinks not but he is afraid of octopuses, not sharks mind you but octopuses) then it would almost have to be a female about to brood. This would not be all that bad as it would allow me to add new blood to my little band but I am hoping it will be a larger octo, even if it is almost fully grown (again, I hope not but I am trying not to be disappointed). I have a 45 gallon that we can rearrange and make octo safe over the weekend so a new adventure begins on Tuesday/Wednesday!
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Wonderful news! We've learned so much from your mercatoris reports, so whether this is a new merc or another species, it should be interesting.

Nancy
 

Colin

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#6
Isn't it such a shame that collectors are so vague on the species ID? I am currently going through the process of ordering some new species and it is such a minefield!

No matter what species you get I'm sure it will do well with you!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#9
Thanks everyone,

Sorseress, I am doubling your finger crossing! Lynn described him in the water as being well camoflaged and looking like he had "things" hanging off of him. I think this means he can get very spikey (my favorite octo look) so that will be way cool. Since Lynn does not seek out or catch octos the fact that he was able to catch this one suggests it is a full adult entering its last stages of life. So I am trying to prepare (mentally) for this very real possibility.

We spent the day getting stuff and converting one of the reef tanks (as I said, I was not anticipating an octo this soon). We have discussed doing this several times so we had a pretty good idea what we wanted to do but it was a little sad since this little reef was my favorite looking tanks. Most of the critters went into the larger reef (that we ultimately want to convert to a Vulgaris tank) and seem to be settling in with one exception. I had four flower anemones in the converted tank and three were successfully moved. The fourth, however, may have fatal injuries from my attempt and is still in her rock in a bucket (I did not use it to rebuild the tank). This is particularly sad since she is the first one I ever cared for and had shrunken down to dime size and lost most of her color at one point. I experimented with her a bit and she grew back to about 4" (the largest of my four and larger than before she shrunk) and turned a nice dark red in the center.

I did learn that Cromis and Pygmy Angels are actually easy to remove from a tank IF you just take out all the Live Rock and everything else that would give them shelter :hmm:. These two went into my only "fish" tank that houses 6 Clarky Clowns.

Neal is making an acrylic top tomorrow (materials purchased today) and we have ordered a skimmer that should arrive within two days of the octo (the tank has a small one now but it is useless). I did a major water change and replaced most of the substrate - wanted to do that anyway - but left some to seed the new sand. The tank is over 3 years old so it should settle back down quickly.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#11
Carol,
Prepared? :lol: I was going to mention the Key Stone Cop similarity of stipping this tank to your filter swap! We had one additional issue, it was SNOWING here (yeah, I know, you see the stuff every winter but we don't drive in it and everything closes down).

The tank had a mixture of larger shells and sugar sand (an accidental purchase on the fine sand - never again!). I had put the sand over the original large substrate because the shell collected so much debris and grew algae (another substrate I will not use - I did find that seahares will clean it up some though but the conchs , snails and bristles don't help much). The sand covering did stop the algae growth and debris collection so I removed most of it, rinsed the shell (tank water) and covered the pseudo UG in the larger shells then used new, larger grained sand, Carib Sea argonite that I have been using in my other tanks, over the top. The homemade UG is more for protecting the powerhead intake than use for biologics and I probably would not use one again but it works well for this tank (fresh water tank, with homemade overflow to sump). We initially designed it for seahorses but moved them to the larger reef two years ago (that tank no longer has horses either and is only a reef with a Burr fish and dragonette - only one male seahorse in residence -another tank - now) and have used it as a reef tank since. My biggest concern is any die off that I get from the substrate switch and the change in rock position (they never go back the same way twice :grin:. So far everyone but my favorite flower seems to have recovered from the mess.

"D"
 

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