idea for an octo tank.

Hamp

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#1
I am plumbing a 30 gallon tank into my 55gal reef that I would like to keep a merc in. I have a few questions. The tank is in a dark corner of the house, so I was wondering if I did a reverse light cycle in the octo tank, with pc through the night, and red led in the day, will the octo become diurinal, or just freak out? Has anyone tried this?
 

DWhatley

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#2
Will the ambient lighting be dark in the normal daytime (the time you are using the redlight) for a full 12 hour cycle? If so then I think you should be successful switching the sleeping hours (this will not make the octo diurnal, it would be more like moving to Japan and readjusting your sleep patterns). However, if your tank is in view of your reef and it is not on the same cycle there may be too much ambient lighting. This is just a guess from the small time changes I have accomplished with some of mine but Sisty and Medusa responded very well to turning out the ambient light at around 10:30, so much so that occassionally, Sisturus would come out when we accidentally left the lights on. As an aside, I do not turn my red lights off in the merc tank(s) and only use ambient light for the daytime. Depending upon your setup, a room light turned on should be enough to create a day but a tank light might be easier to make consistent.
 

Hamp

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#3
Thanks for the info. The tank will be in the stand and under the 55. I am making a tinted acrylic cover for the opening that I may need to use depending on how much light will hit the tank in the daytime.
 

DWhatley

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#4
Be aware that your octo needs to sleep. Reducing stress is an important part of octokeeping. The red light seems to be work fine even left on 24/7 but one of my diurnal octos would pace and be very upset when the nighttime red light would turn to white light after any power outage (the light had a selection of colors but the default was white and would reset itself). We ended up removing the light altogether to solve the problem. In the case of the nocturnals, I don't think a bright daylight is essential but I do think consistency of the lighting over two twelve hour periods is important.
 

Hamp

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#5
I will set a 96w pc bulb on 8-10 timer, and have red led on 24/7. maybe some moon lights on a switch. Did you see much daytime activity with your diurnal mercs?
 

DWhatley

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#7
Hamp;128855 said:
Did you see much daytime activity with your diurnal mercs?
No, they pretty much sleep during the day. I would occassionally see an eye open IF I could even find them during the day but I have rarely (maybe 3-4 times in a lifetime) seen them out except during their last week or so of life. It occurs to me that their eyes may be particularly light sensitive until they are about to die of old age.

I still have one of the grandchildren of my first mercatoris and I NEVER see all of him and none at all during the day even at 12+ months old.

GHolland and I have both journalled the lives of our mercs and their children (provided links are the current generation with links within the journals back to the parents) and reading through them should give you an idea of what to expect. Do remember that you will see a lot more on the active/interactive ones with short notes about the ones we never see.
 

DWhatley

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#9
Right now, I am afraid not. Thales and Neogonodactylus have been experimenting with captive bred chierchiae (from Panama) that are slightly less nocturnal and have an interesting zebra color pattern but the viability of breeding them is still not confirmed and brood stock is a major problem.
 

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