Mercatoris Pair Journal

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I am starting this journal to document the lives of my two O. Mercatoris. They are coming in the next few days.

I ordered them from Dan over at http://malfunctionjunction.com/dansmarinelife/octopus.html
This will be my first attempt at having octopuses and am very excited.

Here's a webcam of my tank: http://icanhaz.com/octo

It's a 14 gallon Biocube equipped with a protein skimmer. The temperature in the tank is usually at a 78-80 during the day and possibly a little cooler when the lights are off at night.

I currently have 4 hermit crabs and a few snails in the tanks to start it off but will be getting some ghost shrimp and fiddlers this week. There are also two damsels in there right now but I will take them out before the octos come in.

This tank is in my office. I work long long hours and I felt that it would be a better place to keep these pets. I am in the office at an average of 9-10 hours a day and even longer during crunch time. I can attend to their needs better in the office than if they were at home.

I'll update this journal as soon as the package comes in.

[I am naming one of them Mr. Boots McKraken, and the other one might be named Huggy]
 

DWhatley

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Dino,
You may want to keep the lights off and top open while you are there during the day, that temp is overly warm for them so even adding a daytime clip on fan would not be a bad thing. I hope you go in late and work late and can work by monitor light or you won't see to much of them with the ambient at normal office lighting. When I viewed your webcam, the lighting looked good at night so I hope you will be able to achieve something close for part of your time with them.

Even shy mercs will often "stick" feed and can be rousted awake to eat in the early evening if the lighting is dim. I have used a long large plastic pipette but an air line tube will work (it is just harder to control and you might attach a stick to make part of it ridgid). Shore shrimp work well this way and can be partially pushed up the tube, leaving the tail out to be offered and grabbed. If you are game for hand feeding (the mercs really can't hurt you if they wanted to) you can view Wiley's only video.
 
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Thanks for the advice D! I'll find a way to lower the temperature. What is a good target temperature to maintain?

I will have a supply of hermits and ghost shrimp free roaming the tank and plan to throw in a couple of fiddlers on a weekly basis.
How often should I "stick/hand" feed them given that I will have free roaming food in the tank?

Thanks.

Dino
 

DWhatley

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I would recommend a max of 75 degrees and 73 is not too cold. Octos, crabs and shrimp all seem to do better at the cooler end of the Caribbean temperatures.

It would be best to try and watch how they eat. Different people have had different feeding routines that work (just like reef tanks). I feed all my octos daily (well, Neal has that task now but you get the idea). The mercs (as well as all other reported octos) will eat fiddlers and Paul Sachs sells 20 small ones for $21 shipped. Mine take shore shrimp the best and I have never seen them eating snails or hermits (others, however, have and GHolland's mercs ate/eat about anything he offers, including some frozen. None of mine would touch anything frozen except fiddlers - freeze immediately on death - NO smell, thaw in saltwater).
 

k0mpresd

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glad you got them. mine ate 2 blue hermits last night. and i ordered the 25 pack of shore shrimp from pauls site. see how it takes to those. and glad i read this thread. i had my temp at ~79. i turned it down to 75.
 

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