My First Octo: Elvis! The Long-Arm Octo

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by dagtaggart, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Hello everybody!

    I am a first-time ceph owner and I just got my juvenile Indonesian Long-Arm octopus. He is currently acclimating beside me, a little stressed but occasionally moving about and changing color. His name is Elvis and he'll be living in a 29G BioCube AIO with a Tunze 9002 and various macroalgaes. Right now he is very small, the mantle is about 3/4" and tentacles 3" or so. The tank has been up for 3 weeks and water quality is very good. 0 ammonia and nitrites, .2 nitrates, pH 8.4, SG 1.026. The tank is sealed tightly and the lid has books on it to prevent escape. The return has mesh over it so he can't get into the pump. Currently there are nerite and turbo snails in the tank, as well as 2 peppermint shrimp, to provide food. There is also a sixline wrasse which I am attempting to catch and remove. Plenty of hiding spaces and caves in the rocks as well.

    Any advice is appreciated, please be kind! I am so excited to embark on the journey of caring for such an intelligent animal!
     
  2. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis is in the tank and hiding, but he did show a passing interest in one of the peppermints and has changed colors a few times, hopefully this is an indication of general health. I believe the species name is aphioctopus marginatus.
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I hate to pick on you but you asked for advice it was given to you by an extremely knowledgeable person, one of the best on this site, and you chose to ignore her. It makes it hard for people to help you if you don't listen to their advice, and you are not honest with them.

    I hope your tank works. 11 days is WAY too short of cycle time. You told us you got the system on March 17, now it is only march 28, 11 days!
    DWhatley tried to explain that a three month cycle period was very important for setting up a successful system, and establishing vital bacteria. She also explained that there was no short cuts. (http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthr...-my-octo-tank!&p=152274&highlight=#post152274)

    That being said whats done is done, and we should move on. So, I hope in the future you will listen to the advice given to you by experts.
     
  4. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    I was told by many members of my local reef club who have kept cephalopods that they waited just until the tank was cycled before adding their octos, and that water quality is the most important thing. Establishing large quantities of bacteria is necessary for processing waste, meaning, high quality water with 0 ammonia and nitrites, and low nitrates. Achieving this quality can be done through many ways in addition to having an established tank, such as frequent water changes and water testing and having a skimmer that runs over capacity, as mine does. For this reason, I respectfully chose to add the octo now, while they are available due to seasonal changes. I kept reef tanks for a year prior to this and feel I have some experience in keeping water quality high. I have never had a fish, coral, or invertebrate die while in my care. If he dies, then I will have learned an unfortunate lesson, I suppose, but I will do the best I can on my first attempt and hope that it works out well, as it did for my fellow reef club members. I do not intentionally ignore advice given to me by an expert, but I had many other experienced keepers telling me otherwise and didn't want to wait until October.
     
  5. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Also, my tank is around 76*. Is this too high?
     
  6. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis is out and wandering! He seems to be breathing quickly, but I'm not sure how quickly or slowly he should be breathing. He is also moving in a sort of jerky fashion, also don't know what this means. He is curious, though, and follows me from one side of the tank to the other! He's so cool!
     
  7. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    It seems I have a nocturnal species, as Elvis was out for most of last night exploring his new home. I believe he ate a hermit crab as it is nowhere to be found and was crawling outside his den last time I saw it. He was very active and his motions got much more fluid, watching him move was incredible! Hoping that day 2 goes just as well!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    erm...peppermint shrimp x2..and you didnt disclose how many snails and hermit crabs +an octo? even if your tank cycled having that much life in it at once is going to nuke it..especially in a 29 gallon bio cube thats a small amount of water for that much shock

    that said, i would test the water quality daily for at least another month..expensive but you should be able to stay on top of a bad situation if it occurs.i would also consider removing the extra life he isn't going to be eating all of that in the next day or two. Making sure you pull out his leftovers will help too. keep us posted on the octo and keep posting pics we love to see them, I'd love to see a clear shot of the other side of him, every ones always just got leg shots=p. You might also want to consider a red light for the tank for night time viewing.
     
  9. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    the peppermints were in there to help with a few aiptasia that I found on the rockwork. I can move some snails to my other tank in the meantime. Thanks for the tip, omega!
     
  10. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis had another very active night last night. I woke up at around 3 a.m. to check on him and make sure he was awake and seemed healthy. He's so hard to find! The texture of his skin as well as his color changing abilities are so amazing. When I woke up this morning, he was back in his den, but he came out for a minute to check me out. I attempted contact by placing my fingers a few inches from him and he immediately stretched out two tentacles and wrapped them around my fingers. I hope to go toy shopping for him today, I read that baby toys are the best because they are non-toxic. Please correct me if I'm wrong/let me know what you guys use with your octos for enrichment. Thanks!
     
  11. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis doesn't seem to be interested in the snails or the peppermints, perhaps because of their size. So far he's only eaten 1 hermit that I can confirm by the empty shell, so tonight I'll be getting a bunch more of those to allow him to graze as he pleases. I also need to to a water change tonight, probably 10 gallons. I managed to catch the sixline, only after tearing the tank apart, which I hated to do because I had to disturb Elvis in his den. But at least now I don't have to worry about the sixline bullying him. Hopefully he'll be more willing to come out in the open now.
     
  12. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    if hes nocturnal he isnt ever going to be out during the day, the smaller species dont ever seem to adapt(so i've read on here anyway). Also 10g at once is alot for a 29 gallon tank whats prompting the large volume water change?
     
  13. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Since the tank is young I figured it'd be better safe than sorry and do 10G a week instead of the usual 5. I didn't get a chance to though because we were out of saltwater at work (will have some tomorrow, it has to mix for 24 hours). I tested my water today, however, and everything's really good. SG 1.027, pH 8.3, alk 9.8, temp 75*, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates all at 0.

    Got Elvis 2 porcelain crabs (all we had) and 5 hermits, since so far that's all he's liked. He's still sleeping but hopefully tonight he'll eat.
     
  14. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis is out hunting crabs tonight, I can't find the two porcelains that were hanging outside his den. I watched him try to ambush a hermit at least 10 times, to no avail. So I took one out of it's shell and put it on a feeding stick. He very rapidly accepted and then turned stripey, which I guess means happy? He carried it back to his den carefully and I haven't seen him since. What a cool guy.
     
  15. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    Elvis was up when I awoke this morning, and I took the opportunity to play with him a little. He wrapped his tentacles around my fingers and played tug-of-war for a minute, and then swam off. Overall I got to interact for about 20 minutes, not bad.

    I added a hexagon ball thing that kind of looks like a jungle gym for him to play with as well as some dried out purple barnacles. Supposedly they like to use these as dens.
     
  16. dagtaggart

    dagtaggart Cuttlefish Supporter

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    new pictures! can anyone confirm the species for me?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Like I said in another post, it looks like an Aculeatus, but I read over all of the posts and confirmed it was nocturnal so it is not an aculeatus. Some part of the macropus complex though.
     
  18. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    Beautiful animal. Congrats
     
  19. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    how is elvis
     

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