Introducing adult mercatoris to a community tank

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by mercatoris, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. mercatoris

    mercatoris Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I am planning a 30 gallon mercatoris community tank, and I can't find any information on what happens if you take several wild caught mercatoris adults and put them in a tank together. My goal is to breed them, so I wonder how other people have started captive bred populations. Do they mix well only as juveniles and when introduced all together, like with cichlids? Do you have to get a male and female and carefully monitor them, like with other totally non-social octopuses?
    I haven't even bought the first piece of equipment, so this is part of a very long term planning process, I just figured this was a question that needed to be answered for me. By the way I bought the cephalopod care book and it's excellent! There is so much information to sort through that it's helpful to have a reference since trying to piece everything together off the internet is a challenge. Nice pictures in it too. Thanks for any replies.
    Also, is mercatoris a tricky species to acclimate? That's the one step out of everything that seems like the most nerve wracking and potentially traumatic for the octopus.
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: to TONMO. I expect some of our merc keepers will chime in shortly about your questions...
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to TONMO.com!

    Glad you liked our ceph care book! We wanted to write a book that would be a big help to octopus owners, especially those just starting out.

    No, mercatoris is not particularly tricky to acclimate. You might find it helpful to read some of the journals by mercatoris owners. You can find these in the Journals and Photos forum under Ceph Care. Also, there is a sticky at the top of the Journals forum called "List of Our Octopuses 2010 " If the word "Journal" appears in the line for a particular octopus, you can click on that to go right to the corresponding Journal.

    Please keep us informed about your progress, and feel free to ask any questions.

    Nancy
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    There are two especially helpful threads for anyone wanting to raise mercs. Both threads begin with the WC female and continue through the next two generations.

    Varys - Greg Holland (best photos)
    Trapper - DWhatley

    We don't have a clear answer about adding multiple mercs unknown to each other but if you can order them from the same supplier and get them at the same time, chances are they were already living in close proximity and this is how I would recommend that you start.
     
  5. mercatoris

    mercatoris Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks for the information. Another thing I was wondering, if you don't use live rock does this prevent bristleworms from getting established or will they find their way into any saltwater tank, somehow? I'm also wondering if anyone cycles their tank with live food organisms, and which animals are the best to raise as food for adult and baby mercatoris. There are lots of options out there, just curious if any are particularly suited to this small species. I know the journals probably mention some but figured I might as well ask. Thanks again for the help.
     
  6. mercatoris

    mercatoris Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Ignore that if you want, I got the answers to those questions!
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    To answer your question about bristle worms, if you use no natural substrate and put in no corals or plants, you might avoid bristle worms. However, IMO, you are now talking about a freshwater tank as I would never go back to the dead marine tank set-ups of 30 years ago. Bristle worms are unsightly and I don't like them but generally speaking they do more good than harm. Admittedly, we overfeed our tanks so their population explodes and I mainly keep a few leathers, study polyps, anemones, gorgonians, serpents and a few starfish (almost all on the "easy" to keep lists) but not having LR would make keeping the more delicate species even more difficult. Using a natural biological filter has dramatically changed how well a tank survives.

    In addition to LR I also highly recommend using several of the purple barnacle clusters. IMO, females seem to gravitate to them even when they are easily viewed and the males will use them occassionally as they change from den to den. I also recommend keeping a hand full of small shells (about half the mantle size and smaller) or light pieces of LR for the mercs to use as doors.
     

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