Need some help..Hitchhiking baby octo from Morehead, NC

eng50

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D, or anyone that has had little ones please give me your thoughts asap..

We went diving yesterday off Morehead NC and collected some fish, hermits and snails. Upon returning home and going through our gatherings in the water we found a baby Octo (or maybe dwarf?)
It is currently in a water bottle floating in our small tank which doesn't have any livestock currently but has been running for 2 years...We exchange the water in the bottle with tank water every hour or so and have tried to feed frozen but not sure its eating or not as its so small. It appears to have lived through slow acclimation over past 24hrs and as long as it will eat hopefully all will be good.
It is currently 1cm across when spread out and when calm has a reddish color. It stands on all eight almost always vs laying with them spread. When scared it becomes almost translucent with an iridescent dot in its mantle.
I will try to get some pics if its at all possible soon.

My questions:

1. What do you all use to keep tiny Octos in? It would be much more convenient to have something water flowed through to eliminate the constant water changes but we don't want it to escape into the 40 tall tank until it gets some size to it.

2. How do you differentiate dwarf vs hatchling?

3. What foods and how often to feed would be best at this point given the above info? (we are trying cyclopese, frozen myasis, clam pieces etc.

This is just the beginning so please bear with me as we have never had one this tiny and the normal care doesn't seem to be enough in my mind…

Bill
 

DWhatley

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LOL, so many wish for such a hitchhiker! Cyclopeeze has been my main stay for the little ones but also offer freshly killed shore shrimp (tedious process). Table shrimp are too tough at this point. You can try frozen mysis but I have not used them for hatchlings. Others have had luck with krill. Kevin at At your door fish store (eBay only at this point) may be able to get you some really tiny crabs. You will have to contact him through one of his offerings as I don't have a direct email (he is working on a website). Mention me and tell him you have a hatchling octopus. He is likely to let you buy an order of shrimp and then mix in some tiny crabs (if he can find them or has some in stock that I have not taken :sagrin:).

If it is a dwarf, you should have no problem keeping it in a breeder net (the bigger the better, I use an over sized style that I find on eBay. I like this one not only for its size but I put the shelf in the lowest position and place shells on the internal shelf. The suction cups allow you to keep it just above the water line and work well once or twice. I used/am using this style for cuttle eggs but use a jerry rigged set up to keep it near the top as the suction cups no longer function. I don't recommend the hard plastic kind as it is too easy for them to crawl out.

It it is O. briareus, all bets are off on keeping it in a containment. None of mine would stay in a breeder net and others have had a similar experience. In either case offer it a couple of shell shells that will provide darkness and a den then feed the shells. You should see arms coming for the food.

If the iridescent dot is a whole lot of green speckles, then O. briareus is most likely. If it is a single dot, I am really curious as I don't know what it might be. Arm to mantle ratio would be helpful. A dwarf will have arms about 1.5 to 2 times its mantle. O. briareus somewhere between 4 and 6 times (depending on age and how often it has found crabs when hunting :roll:). O. mercatoris red is typically brownish where O. briareus is typically a peachy color but neither white nor brown/red are terribly useful for distinguishing little ones. A good photo might help.
 

corw314

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I have had good luck with a small critter keeper and hooked up a small wonders bubble filter to help the water flow. Hope to see pics soon!
 

eng50

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Ok how do I add video again? Its very good..The normal thing says bad format and I tried AVI and Mjpeg
 

eng50

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Link to video will be :


in a minute or two..

Bill
 

eng50

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Quick question.. Can babies/dwarfs get through stocking material? as in can it be used to cover a cage etc?
 

DWhatley

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Definitely a hatchling, regardless of species. I am going to guess not O. mercatoris but not sold on O. briareus (still looks close but video has me puzzled). Below are images for O. briareus and O. mercatoris.If it is O. briareus, you should see a fluorescent blue around the eyes but watching the video, I don't see differences that make me think it may be something else. O. vulgaris would be a possibility from your location but there are others that I am not familiar with. I am pretty sure it is not O. hummelincki and probably not a dwarf. I hate to include outside photos as large images but I embeded these as full size so you could click on a section of the image to see an enlargement, a feature that does not seem to work using thumbnails.

hatchlingBriareusMercatoris.jpg
 
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DWhatley

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Here is a 3 day old O. briareus. The difference that struck me in the video (and made me review more images) is the single line of strong chromatophores in your hatchling vs double rows in mine. This may not be significant. I kept an O. vulgaris that was very young but older than your little one. The first images I have of LittleBit show considerable webbing and eye stalks that join to a crease.
hatchlingsBriareusVulgaris.jpg
 

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