Lot's of questions......

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Spring, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi everyone! This is my 3rd day being an octopus owner and I've got a lot of questions to bombard you guys with. I haven't been able to get a picture of it yet, as it won't come out. It has been real busy with interior decorating though, rearranging things as it likes them. I have kept all lights, but the moonlights, out on the tank trying to make it feel more comfortable. At his point, I am inclined to think that I have a Briareus. As I mentioned in my introduction post, The pet shop guy said it is a caribbean variety. How many different species are found in the caribbean waters that are offered for sale in the hobby? Also, am I correct in assumming that the prefered temperature would be a tropical one? Say, 76 to 78 degrees? Can anyone fill me in on the personality traits of briareus?

    Upon Nancy's advice, I made a trip to the grocery and purchased some raw frozen shrimp and some fresh scallops to offer as food. Last night, I placed one of the thawed shrimp on a wooden skewer and offered it to my new friend. It acted like it wanted it, but I thought it might have been too big so I tore it in half and offered it again. It fumbled around with one leg trying to get it, but it never seemed to get a good grasp on it. So I took it off the stick and left it in a spot I thought it could reach from it's den. This morning, it is gone. I'm not sure whether it ate it, or if it got buried from the extensive excavation. I'll do a good search for it later today. How many shrimp/scallops should I feed? What size and how frequent? The shrimp I got are jumbo variety, fat and meaty. The scallops are 1" cubes. Yumm... makes me hungry! I should eat so good!

    Anyway, I guess I'm getting long-winded here. I'll save the rest for later.

    Thanks in advance,
    Spring
     
  2. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    ok, one at a time then... :)

    How many different species are found in the caribbean waters that are offered for sale in the hobby?

    difficult to say... i would think about 4 on average... but vulgaris, briareus, filosus, mercatoris, joubini, burryi, macropus and maya could all potentially be found.

    Also, am I correct in assumming that the prefered temperature would be a tropical one? Say, 76 to 78 degrees

    Yep :)

    Can anyone fill me in on the personality traits of briareus?

    Shy to start and more nocturnal than bimaculoides. Very muscular and strong and very likely to push and shove at every part of your tank's hood to get a way out.

    Not aggresive but a heavy feeder (enthusiastic)

    I only ever had one female.

    How many shrimp/scallops should I feed? What size and how frequent?

    I'd try every day or second day as long as its eating. I think that octopuses will take frozen shrimp but only if nothing else is on the go, they are not always enthusiastic about it.

    Anyway, I guess I'm getting long-winded here. I'll save the rest for later.
    nah... keep it coming :)
     
  3. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Thanks, Colin. I did a search for the shrimp and found it buried in the sand. So it did not eat. I offered half of a scallop and it wasn't interested in it either. I'll try again tonight. By the way, my picasso trigger (in a different tank) loves that I have this octo. He's getting to eat what I've pulled out of the octo tank! :lol:

    Spring :)
     
  4. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Ok, I'm starting to worry now. I got my octo on friday and it had just arrived at the fish shop that day. It was probably shipped out on thursday, so that means it hasn't eaten since Wednesday. I tried offering the fresh scallops again tonight and it is actually pushing the food away. I put it on the stick and the octo takes it off, fumbles it a little, and then pushes it away. It did this several times. What else should I try? How long can it go without eating? Is it normal for them to refuse food for a while?

    Spring
     
  5. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    You might try offering live food. :?
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, try some live food. I think amost all species like crabs. I ended up buying some pretty expensive fancy aquarium crabs for my octo trying to get her to start eating right.

    Nancy
     
  7. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Triggers get be quite agressive right? Well maybe thats the cause of your octo not eating. Damsels can also irritate octos by the way.
     
  8. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Joel, The trigger is in another tank. My octo is by itself. It did finally come out of hiding last night. It explored the tank for several minutes and finally rested just above its' den. I have a zebra moray eel in my 125g reef. I had it for 2 months before it ate. I had been trying to feed it with a stick and it would never take the food. Then one day I got brave enough to offer the food with my hand, and voila! It took it. I worried myself sick until that day. How many of you feed crayfish? I think my lfs carries them. What size crabs do you suggest I get. Obviously blue legs and scarlet reef crabs would be too small.

    Spring
     
  9. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Wasabe isn't an octo but I fed him crayfish quite often. Octo's should have no problem with them but make sure the crayfish isn't too big. One of our members here had his octo killed by a large one. :cry:
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    You might try to get female crawfish - they have smaller claws. I always put them in with big tongs, so that the tail was facing the octo. The octo should be quite a bit larger than the crawfish.

    Nancy
     
  11. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    I got 3 fiddler crabs today. I used the net to put one in the tank. I'm not sure the octo saw it. I never thought to use my tongs. Can the octo smell it? How long will fiddlers live in saltwater? Will I find any remains of the fiddler, claws or anything to show that the octo got it?

    Nancy, couldn't you break the claws off of the crawfish first? I live in Kentucky, and winters here are pretty cold. Can you find crawfish in streams this time of year or do they bury themselves and hibernate or something.

    Spring
     
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Spring,

    About Fiddler Crabs - they will live in salt water at least a couple of weeks.
    You can keep them in a bowl with about an inch of shallow water, if you want to feed them to your octopus one at a time. When I do that, I use half salt and half RO/DI water. They will eat good quality marine flakes. I've kept them for more than a month this way. They do appreciate a few rocks or shells, and like to be put under a lamp (just an ordinary lamp) to sun themselves from time to time.

    You can blunt the Fiddler claws with scissors - they will even grow back in time. I used tongs to put them in near my octo. Yes, you will find remains, the carapace and the big claw.

    I don't know about finding crawfish this time of year in Kentucky. But people do remove the claws at times.

    Hope this helps,

    Nancy
     
  13. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Thanks, Nancy. I put the fiddlers in with my ghost shrimp that I feed my seahorses. I didn't know if they might eat the shrimp, but so far they haven't bother them. My octo has been hiding out deep under a rock. I don't know if it ate the fiddler last night, yet. I'll do a good search for it later. I also checked my water params.

    0 ammo
    0 nitrite
    20 nitrate
    ph 8.2
    sg 1.022 (refractometer)
    I'm mixing some saltwater right now, so that I can raise the sg. Would low sg affect the octo's appetite?

    Spring
     
  14. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    It might. Octos need full strengh seawater.
     
  15. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    It probably will since most octopus will not tolerate brackish water. Raise it to 1.024-1.026 and it should stay fine.
     
  16. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    5 days and still not eating. I'll be going on a hermit crab search today. I am assumming that the normal small reef crabs like blue leg and scarlets are too small for an octo with nearly a 2 foot span.

    A question concerning captive bred octo's. Are they already trained to accept frozen food? If this guy doesn't make it maybe I'll try a cb octo.

    Spring
     
  17. Spring

    Spring O. vulgaris Registered

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    Bad news........My octopus is dieing. Upon closer observation this morning I noticed the octo didn't withdrawl when it saw me, like it had been doing. I moved a rock to get a better look and it did not move. I don't think it is totally dead yet as I saw some eye movement, but it will be in a few hours or sooner. What a bummer..... :( I always feel so bad when I loose one of God's creatures, but I feel like it had a better chance with me than some newby to marine life. Other than the sg being off a little, the tank parameters are very good. Who knows what it went through before it got to me. I guess I'll try again, this time with a young captive bred Bimac. I'll be sure to keep the sg at 1.025. I have had good success with seahorses which are very delicate, and see no reason why I shouldn't have the same good luck with Octopi, given a healthy animal to start.

    Thanks to all for your advice,
    Spring
     
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    So sorry to hear that. Must have been something wrong with your octopus that it wasn't eating.

    The captive bred bimacs can be ordered with the food they were raised on: amphipods and baby clams. Then you can get them eating other food. Small live crabs would be good, as well as fresh seafood like scallops. They learn to eat frozen food later (usually - some will accept it right off).

    Nancy
     
  19. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    for all you know it was an adult dwarf that had mated.. laid eggs.. hatched eggs and was ready to die which is why it got caught!!!!

    Captive bred is the way to go
     
  20. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Real sorry to hear the bad news Spring, Maybe he was caught after mating or laying eggs.Don't get discouraged by this though.
     

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