My 'cephalopodic' journey-a beginner's progressive notes

KD5054

O. vulgaris
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As for the little guy adjusting to life- how do I coax him to eat much less I know they don't eat every day especially when they are at a new place. But how long until I should start to worry.
He was eating and ate at the aquarium store for them. But hasn't seemed too interested in food for me.
Suggestions?
There are a ton of copepods in my tank as well as a free loader peppermint Shrimp (which he has lived with since he came to the aquarium store and they just sent the two together. Lol). Could he be eating the copepod population?
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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I suspect O. mercatoris but more photos would be helpful to be more comfortable with the species ID.
Try a piece of table shrimp the size of its eye on a feeding stick (bamboo skewers work well. You can try most any raw seafood but keep the pieces small). If you can locate/order any kind of small live crabs (fiddlers are the most commonly used), your new friend will likely be very happy with that option.
 

KD5054

O. vulgaris
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I suspect O. mercatoris but more photos would be helpful to be more comfortable with the species ID.
Try a piece of table shrimp the size of its eye on a feeding stick (bamboo skewers work well. You can try most any raw seafood but keep the pieces small). If you can locate/order any kind of small live crabs (fiddlers are the most commonly used), your new friend will likely be very happy with that option.
The little guy definitely fits in the making himself a cave dug out.
I'll try to get a photo that one of the store employees took of him as that is probably the best one of him.
Here are some others that I took which are not that great.

IMG_20171202_231658.jpg

IMG_20171202_174733160.jpg
You will see a peppermint shrimp photo bombing each photo. Funny story the shrimp was sent with him after the store owner couldn't get out before putting the octo in. They figured fine he could eat the shrimp but oddly he (so far) hasn't. The darn shrimp ended up going into the bucket they were trying to use to get the octopus. So they have him to me as well.
This guy really makes use of his colors.
So far I've only seen him one time. Now he stays hidden.
If he still looks like an O. Mercatoris then it would do best to get a red light. Nocturnal. My question is where do you find or what's the best kind of red light. I currently have a LOOP system led light. Which the coral mushrooms like for the day. But I move it at night for my octo.
Also what temp in the tank is the best for an octopus? I was suggested 72 due to the thought he was from the pacific but if he is a caribbean species this seems too cold?
I'll try some of the food suggestions. Especially the crab. I have some shrimp but I think I will try a different kind like you suggested. I know one of the kinds I originally used on my Serpent Starfish really made her come running.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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No, I retract my first guess, the colors are all wrong and the first pic suggest Pacific but temperatures will vary depending upon where he came from. Most Pacific animals are imported (almost no commercially sold animals are from the US West Coast) from the Philippines and you would want more Caribbean temps. I would suggest an average of 75 with nothing lower than 72.
 

KD5054

O. vulgaris
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No, I retract my first guess, the colors are all wrong and the first pic suggest Pacific but temperatures will vary depending upon where he came from. Most Pacific animals are imported (almost no commercially sold animals are from the US West Coast) from the Philippines and you would want more Caribbean temps. I would suggest an average of 75 with nothing lower than 72.
He also seemed a deal larger then what I thought most Dwarfs are.
He roughly is the size of my hand when he decides to stretch out.

Definitely nocturnal- is there a specific red light that is best to use? Or will any light that is red work to get to see him?

So far he hasn't come back out of his cave. Hoping he will start to get more accustomed to his tank and become braver. I've only had him a few days so far.
 

DWhatley

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We have not really seen much difference in the various red lights we have tried but definitely do use one. I recommend leaving the red light on all night so that what small amount of light it detects will still be the darkest the tank gets.
 

KD5054

O. vulgaris
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Well I found my answer as to why my Octopus has not been real interested in food. He is a she and has laid eggs
I was starting to expect such.
I figure in the plus side the fact she is doing well and had laid eggs in my tank is good practice for me.
But in the offset side they are fertile and hatch.... What do I do?!?!?!?????
 

DWhatley

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There is a very good chance that the eggs are fertile and you will probably see hatchlings in about 2 weeks. If my guess is correct, this is a "small egg" species and the hatchlings will be pelagic (living in the water column for a period of time vs benthic, surviving in/on the substrate) Sadly, we have not cracked the success code for raising pelagic hatchlings (we barely have success with the larger, immediately benthic species). We think the biggest problem is offering the right food at the right time. They will eat brine shrimp but there is not enough nutrition to sustain them. If you want to attempt to raise them, you might try keeping a constant supply of live mysis (this gets expensive fast and there is almost no hope of success but is a food used for successfully raising newly hatched cuttlefish) in the tank. I have found that the mysis survive (high mortality is part of the expense) well on frozen daphnia.
 

KD5054

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Well if this isn't a bit depressing- right up there with my nightmares of wild catches=feeling terrible about her end times and the fact that her offspring would have had a better chance in the wild. Granted she was already caught before I got her so she was not caught for me. But I feel terrible.
I suppose this is one advantage to getting a cuttlefish is that they are more easily tank raised and sold by distributors?

Also- with all the eggs and the very none existant chance of survival: how do I keep my tank from crashing due to the die offs?
 

tonmo

Titanites
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Well if this isn't a bit depressing- right up there with my nightmares of wild catches=feeling terrible about her end times and the fact that her offspring would have had a better chance in the wild. Granted she was already caught before I got her so she was not caught for me. But I feel terrible.
Oooo - sorry @KD5054 -- that's a rough turn, but do not feel terrible. Let's help you through the transition!
 

KD5054

O. vulgaris
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Oooo - sorry @KD5054 -- that's a rough turn, but do not feel terrible. Let's help you through the transition!
Thanks Yeah not exactly the start I was hoping.
I take that as an octopus compliment as she went over a week at the store without preparing a nest but once in my tank she moved right in.
I was suggested to flip the rock over so I can watch her- but then I wonder if it's better not to in order to give them all a better chance?
 

tonmo

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yeah from what I've read over the years I think it's best not to disrupt...
 

tonmo

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that is definitely within the TONMO spirit! I believe we also have a guide to shipping hatchlings, if that's of interest. You could post availability in the "sources of cephaolopods" forum.
 

DWhatley

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At this time, the best we can do is record how long the hatchlings survive along with whatever parameters and foods you decide to try. If my memory is close, 21 days is the best record with 2 weeks second (be warned that less than one week has been frequent).

The best guess (limited small egg successes in Alaska) for food is new hatched crab but there is no way to source it. I had hoped to freeze some but discovered my experimental blue crabs only mate once. Additionally, I obtained two male and female pairs at different times but the males both killed (and ate) the females before an egg mass was produced. I have never had incidental offspring produced with the many fiddler crabs I have kept for octo food and have read that they are not a successfully bred species. I have had success inducing peppermint shrimp to spawn by keeping a pair (and only a pair) in a breeder net inside the tank with the octopus hatchlings and overfeeding the shrimp. These shrimp were for a large egg species of octopus and I never knew if they ate the hatchling shrimp. Even with multiple nets, they would not produce enough offspring to work as an only source of food but might be a good supplement.

The octopus hatchlings will be so small that normal water changes after they die off will be all that you need to keep the water safe. You will have to remove the mother as soon as she dies though as she will have enough mass to impact the tank. I would suggest NOT changing the tank water until all the hatchlings have died.
 

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