• TONMOCON VII Announced | MBL at Woods Hole | Apr 6-8, 2018
  • Thanks for visiting! TONMO is the world's greatest online cephalopod enthusiast community, with interactive content going back to May of 2000, and a biennial conference. If you'd like to join in on the fun, become a TONMO member -- it's easy and free. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cephy goodness.


Mercatoris Pair Journal

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#1
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]
 

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
1,095
Location
Livonia, MI
#3
What a great way to have a little company at the office! Can't wait to see how your new office buddies work out!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#4
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.
 

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#5
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

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#6
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).
 

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#9
all my office mates are crowding around the tank. everyone is excited.

one is a little more active, the other guy is balled up.
 

k0mpresd

GPO
Registered
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
105
#10
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.
 

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#11
I had to move my rocks out to get the Damsel out of the tank. Now it's all stirred up and displaced. I'll wait for it to clear before I throw them in.
 

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#13
Thanks!

I floated the bags in the tank for over an hour to get them to sync temperature...
after that, I trickled drops of tank water into the bags for an hour. I then fished them out by hand and dropped them in the tank as slow as I can. The bigger dude sort of jumped in to the tank.

One crawled on the glass for a bit and may have disappeared into the sump. The other guy is behind a rock in the front of the tank.

I am assuming they will be hiding for a while.
 

k0mpresd

GPO
Registered
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
105
#14
mine hid in the same spot all afternoon yesterday. even when we went to dinner and came back he was still there. he didnt move until after we had gone to bed and it was good and dark. this morning it took me forever to find him. and then i only saw some sand shooting out of where he was and a tentacle or two. and the 2 empty hermit shells. :lol:
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#15
Stick Feeding the Mercs

I was reviewing my pictures for something else and came across these that I don't believe I have ever posted. They might help understand what I was trying to explain about stick feeding your mercs. This is my special little guy (Sisturus) who was quite human interactive (not many are) but the others would eat this way as well (just not tollerate being photographed with a flash).
 

Attachments

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#16
Cool photos! Thanks for sharing D! I hope Mr. Boots and Hugsy (my octos) will be as interactive.

I came back to the office at around 11:30pm to put some fiddler crabs in the tank to see if I can coax them out and make them feel safe.
No luck... they must be hiding in the rocks or up in the sump.
The one that was hiding in the rock in the front of the tank has moved somewhere else.

Time to drive home... good night!
 

Colin

TONMO Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Nov 14, 2002
Messages
3,986
#17
sounds cool :)

just dont worry if you dont see them for a while - dont stip the tank down to check for them!

good luck
C
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#18
Chances are they are in the live rock, mine seem to find all kind of nooks and crannies.
 

DinoIgnacio

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
Messages
90
#19
I've been monitoring my webcam today from home and I noticed a lack of activity from the Fiddlers. They are usually very cam friendly and like to climb around the back of the tank. With the octos still in hiding the 4 silly fiddlers had become scene stealers with my officemates.

I cannot see any of the crabs today. I have a feeling that the octos must have come out to eat last night. I have no way to confirm till I get back in the office but this seems to be an indication that they are finally feeling comfortable enough to roam and hunt.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,806
Location
Gainesville, GA
#20
You might want to lower the camera a little so that you can see the bottom substrate horizon. Most of mine (not all) have chosen dens close to the aquarium floor.

Hopefully, you will find empty crab carapaces. Do note, however, that the fiddlers should be kept in an environment where they can come fully out of the water (any kind of rock - real or artificial - will do). They are short lived when fully submerged at all times. I have had some to live as long as two weeks but usually they die in about a week if they cannot come to surface regularly. Although I keep feeder supply in small tanks with lava rock for ease of maintenance, others have had long term success with a damp sand bed and swimming pool.
 

Members online

No members online now.