Mongo, the mighty merc

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by sedna, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Well, I got this little guy on Saturday (1-17-09) from my favorite LFS- "The Pet Connection" here in Livonia. They had been getting a steady stream of aculeatus this summer, and when I walked in last week they were excited to have 2 different types of octopuses. I could ID the merc right away- they were really cool about letting me photo the animals so I could post the pics for IDs. BTW, if your LFS won't let you do that, walk away! If they can't ID for you, they should be happy if you can for them!

    After the last go 'round with aculeatus eggs, D. Whatley suggested I try mercs in addition to a different something in the 55 gal., so I was already in the process of changing my 20 gal. fish only so it could house some mercs. I was so happy to happen upon this guy! It was in a critter keeper holding itself to the bottom while holding a small piece of live rock over it. The LFS guy turned the keeper upside- down and the little guy was not going to let go of anything.

    I brought the critter keeper home to acclimate in, they were NOT going to wrestle him at the store. I started by floating the box inside the tank, as the room temp is lower than the tank's. Slowly I'd add H2O from the tank, after an hour I'd parked the box at the bottom of the tank with the top off and weighed it down with a cluster of barnacles. I turned my head for only a second and it had moved into a barnacle apartment, never letting go of his live rock chunk!

    We were out all Sunday and I was worried that it hadn't eaten at the store or at home yet. When we got home in the evening- an hour after sundown, he was eating a hermit crab. I stick fed him a ghost shrimp last night, but he wouldn't give up the stick. I left it in all night and this morning, he STILL fought me for it. I think he only gave in because he also eating yet another hermit. In the photo, you can see him in his den looking out at me, holding on to his hermit crab shells.

    Even if he is nocturnal, he's still fun because you can always see him looking out. I'm guessing if he can make regular meals out of hermit crabs that he is on the older side? I didn't get measurements while he was in the critter keeper, and being my first I can't tell by size how old he might be. Also, I'm not 100% sure it's a "he," the way it keeps its arms curled up around the mantle looking out of the den I never really see all of the arm, but it looks like that 3rd arms is kept curled up tighter...
     

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  2. pool2004

    pool2004 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thats a nice octopus you got! congrats! do you have moonlights so that you can watch him swim around?
     
  3. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    No moon lights, just the red filtered light is enough to see him. I have a background light on a dimmer that is on very low sometimes.
     
  4. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Wait i am confused what is a LFS. srry i am kinda new to this whole ceph keeping thing.
     
  5. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Local Fish Store - as opposed to a chain pet store.
     
  6. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Mongo, out and about

    This morning I got up at 5 am so I could spend some time with the n'octos. When I first saw Mongo, he was just hanging out in the door of his new den. He's moved into a different barnacle "apartment," I think because the original one is now filled with so any empty hermit crab shells he won't fit!

    He dove back into his den at first, but slowly came further out, head only, arms tucked back into the den. As long as I sat as still as him, he was happy to get a closer look at me, too. I went to check out macropus for a bit, and when I came back to Mongo's tank he was all the way out in the top corner of the tank. This is the first time I've really gotten a good look at his whole body. Oh, MAN, what a super cute little guy!! I don't think he was very happy to be caught out, as he was painfully still until I bent down, by the time I looked up again he was back in the den looking out. I went back to bed at 7, and when I got up for good at 9:30 he'd found a good shell to wedge into his door. He never closes up his doorway completely, he's always able to look out at us as much as we peek at him!

    Today's anagram: Moog'n
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    go mon (Jamacian style)?
    Mongo (one of the largest ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)?
    Gonom (http://gonom.org/) ?
     
  8. FPVigo (winter)

    FPVigo (winter) Blue Ring Registered

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    wow congratulations Sedna, thats a nice guy! :smoke:

    Mongo the fiction planet in Flash series, or "mongo" meaning "mung bean" in philippines...
     
  9. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Mongo, the MESSY merc

    "Mongo," Alex Karas' character from the movie "Blazing Saddles." He was really big, so it is ironic to name a dwarf after such a big guy (former Detroit Lion, also). I thought of it when he was SO strong for something so tiny.

    Do any of you clean the empty "food" shells out of your mercs' dens? Mongo moves back and forth between two dens, and both were packed with empty hermit shells. When cleaning the tank yesterday, I cleaned some out, then wondered if he may not like that...

    With the aculeatus I liked to use a combination of stick feeding raw shrimp and free feeding hermits. I always took out the spent hermit shells in order to keep track of how much they were eating, but they didn't leave them in their dens. Mongo is always holding on to shells like treasures. I can assume that if a hermit shell is in Mongo's den, it's eaten. Still, I have a bit of a control issue when it comes to keeping track of consumed food (the curse of a mom of a type 1 diabetic), and he's so messy with all the shells! He has lots of other shells to use, it's not like cleaning out the hermit shells will leave him without.

    Outside of my own quirky control issues, Mongo is doing great. He was out this morning at 4, it looked like the 4th right arm was curled? I'd be so very happy if he was a she, it's hard to tell...

    Today's anagram: Omnog
     
  10. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I didn't feed hermits to my mercs too often, but I only tended to remove what was left of the crab itself (mostly legs) and leave the shells. Whatever you decide, don't get rid of them... you'll want them if/when you have merc babies! :fingerscrossed:

    Tomorrow's anagram: Omg,no!
     
  11. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I forgot to note the boring stuff. On this tank, I leave red lights on 24-7. Just the regular strip lights filtered through red plastic (report covers!). I am going to order some red vellum so it will have a cleaner look, but for now this works. Ambient light is bright in the day, but this tank doesn't get direct sunlight. In the evenings the room lights are on, but my kids are vampires in the morning, and they love to wake up to the low red lights.

    The tank is in a corner of the living room, out of the way but in full view of the regular traffic in the morning and afternoon/ early evenings. I'm the only one home during the day so it is quiet, but I do spend time sitting near the tank to read or eat lunch. The cats also give him attention throughout the day but mostly they find him boring (they miss harassing the clown fish who used to live there).

    The H2O parameters are the same as "octo norms" should be, with the temp at 75F. The clean- up crew of mini brittle stars and snails go unharassed, but he eats at least one hermit crab a day (and compulsively collects the shell that I want to compulsively clean out!). I do a 5-7 gal H2O change and clean the canister filter once a week.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Wrong arm, wrong sex assumption :sagrin:

    It is (usually) the third right arm (clockwise) that will be kept curled if it is a MALE. This is the arm that would deliver the sperm packets and the tip is different (there is also a channel but both are all but impossible to see in the mercs, even diseased). I am really beginning to see a difference in OhToo's hectcotlis though as almost an inch at the end has a different look (almost like a row of tiny tan suckers in addition to the normal ones but he doesn't hold still in a position where I can see it well for very long) and the arm itself is thicker and shorter than the others. Unfortunately, no such obvious distinction will show in the merc. Greg finally saw signs that his male was male (curled arm and possible enlarged sucker) about the time the babies were born :roll:
     
  13. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    The plan was to try and send D a female to breed with Wiley, her male... but Wiley was gone and mine had already bred amongst themselves before I could make any distinction! :banghead:

    Here's the specific entries from Varys' babies thread:

    Enlarged suckers
    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9144/#post-128504

    Video of curled hectocotylus
    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9144/#post-128702
     
  14. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Eventually would think that it will work out that at least 2 of us will have a brood with similar timing... I can tell you that if Mongo turns out to be female and I get a successful brood, there will be some automatically earmarked for you two, D and Greg! If not this one, then eventually. It would be cool to have different gene pools going on... :wink:
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Oops, I forgot you were a possible source too :roll:. I just PMed Greg about looking for a way to add some genetic diversity. I think I will start looking for a potential female this week to see if we can get something going. Dino is another that has possiblities of a brood, depending upon the sexes of Boots and Hugsy. Unfortunately, I have found that males will share a condo (and even be confused on the sex of an inmature male) so we may have an over abundance of these little guys or just a pipe dream :cyclops:
     
  16. k0mpresd

    k0mpresd GPO Registered

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    im still going with the fact that mine is a female. baby octos would be sweet. :smile:
     
  17. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Well, consider yourself and Dino in the mix, too, if you're up for it!:sly:
     
  18. k0mpresd

    k0mpresd GPO Registered

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    whoa, kinky. :shock: :lol:
     
  19. DinoIgnacio

    DinoIgnacio O. vulgaris Registered

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    indeed! :baby:
     
  20. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Mongo rocks!

    This weekend we've had Mongo for 2 weeks. I'm still not sure about his sex, I never see him all the way out to see the 3rd right arm, and when I see the 1st four suckers, it's in that classic merc pose in the den door, so that all I see is eyes and just the 1st 4 suckers... Those 4 seem to be uniform is size if that means anything.

    Mongo continues to eat hermit crabs, at least once a day. He has his own sacrificial alter, a shell outside his den. I need only to drop a hermit into the shell and before the crab knows it, arms have snatched it up lickety split! I know this is making it so he doesn't need to come out of the den, so I'm not promoting less shy behavior. I don't think it makes much difference- if I don't feed him he only hunts for himself when I'm not around.

    I added another layer of red report cover to dim things more. I see him hanging farther out of the den before. Not sure if it's due to the dimmer lights, becoming more used to us, or both.
     

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