Neptune - O. Vulgaris

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Ajemptage, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Ajemptage

    Ajemptage Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi, I'm new to ceph keeping, I just got a small vulgaris from toms Caribbean, mantle size is around 2". I acclimated him for an hour and a half and he seamed fine in the bag but when I released him into the tank he was ok at first but two hours later he's hanging by one leg from the side of tank not looking too good, is this part of the acclimation or is there something wrong? The tank is a 55 gallon, nitrate at 30-40 ppm, nitrite and ammonia at 0. The lights are out and I'm not disturbing him at all.
    Any help or info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    You also need to be concerned about:
    1) Oxygen (you want lots)
    2) Temperature (you want about 77 degrees F)
    3) PH (8.0 - 8.3, but sudden changes are bad, so if the shipping water had low ph, a longer drip acclimation would have been a good idea)

    You want to make sure that the water has really good gas exchange, and skimmers don't do a good job, so you need to agitate the surface a lot in the display, and/or sump.

    BTW: If it's really a vulgaris it's not going to do well in a 55 gallon tank for long (they get much to large for a 55 gallon. 130 gallon or larger is recommended)
     
  3. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I would say it's the nitrates that are killing him. That's a pretty toxic level. Is this a new tank that is unestablished? Why are the nitrates so high?
     
  4. Ajemptage

    Ajemptage Larval Mass Registered

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    Wow thanks for the quick replies, yeah I have a skimmer, temp is fine and so is ph, I have a 250 but it's still cycling so he is in the 55 temporarily. As for the nitrates il try and lower it, I wasn't too concerned about them because I have been doing my homework for about 6 months before getting him and I thought from what I read they could handle nitrates up to 100ppm with no Ill effects.
     
  5. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Why are the nitrates so high though? 100ppm should be toxic to pretty much anything, it's not like they will drop dead, but at that level any sustained time in the toxic water would cause damage..
     
  6. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Maybe O. Vulgaris is different, but in my heavily fed cold water system, my bimacs often have nitrates that high, up to about 50, and they are very long lived.
    There have been several cases this winter of octopus that got very cold during shipping and died soon after arrival, but as I remember they didn't look good in the bag.

    Maybe an air stone would help, in case your oxygen level is low. It sound like you've covered all the other bases. Micro bubbles can collect inside an octopus's mantle, so try to avoid a lot of micro bubbles in the tank water, but an air stone in the sump should be fine, and a good idea, just to eliminate low oxygen as a possible cause of the problem. Do you see labored breathing?

    Octopus are very sensitive to even trace amounts of copper; could your tank have ever been medicated with a copper based medication (like is often used for freshwater fish)? That's a danger with used tanks that have an unknown history. Any brass in the plumbing?
     
  7. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I am not worried about the nitrates, but if they get higher I would be. Something is off, but that can wait.

    I would bet that the problem was the long acclimation. Ammonia builds up during shipping by is rendered less toxic by the co2 in the bag depressing the pH. It is thought that octos produce a lot of ammonia in the bag during shipping (I'll try to test this next time I get one). In the long acclimation the pH in the water rises and the ammonia becomes much more toxic. Sitting in there for and hour with toxic ammonia is not a good thing.

    I recently got a vulgaris from Tom (last week) and it looked bad in the bag, and the water looked bad, so I did a 10 minute acclimation and thought I blew it because it took the octo a full day to recover. Same kind of thing, it looked good at first but got worse. Really thought it was a goner, it was sitting in a plastic cup, white, for a full day on display for the public, but it recovered.

    I agree with Joe - get as much air bubbling in the sump as possible. I might even risk it in the tank proper. Hanging by one leg is pretty worrisome, if you have a glass jar, maybe see if you can get the octo to go in there so it feels protected and so you can see it. That last is a judgement call for you - it might be better just to leave it alone and hope.

    It could be nothing more than shock at a new place and shipping stress.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    A side note, I am not convinced about the theory that a tank dosed with copper in the past is dangerous to cephs. I have the feeling that that is really and idea that someone had that stuck, and havent been able to find an example where the idea was confirmed. If anyone has evidence that it is true, I would appreciate hearing about it.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with Joe-Ceph, 30-40 ppm nitrate is common and my tanks are usualy in that range. Any detectable nitrites, however, is another story.

    It does sound like the animal is stressed but unfortunately, you are at the point where the only thing you can try is increasing the oxygen in the tank. The first two days followed by the next two weeks are always scary with a new octopus, particularly with shipping during weather extremes.

    [edit]I guess this is pretty much a redundant post but Rich beat me to the enter key :wink: ... great minds ...
     
  10. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Whether or not it's the cause, it's a good reminder about weather extremes. I was just wondering if there is something we at TONMO could do to better advise the community, but really I think the suppliers should advise their customers that it would be better to wait on shipment based on the occasional extreme forecast. They are the ones who know what the weather risks may be based on the route / destination at the point of ordering. We should provide this feedback to our friendly suppliers.
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, many of the suppliers have no idea how items are routed so only bad weather at the destination is viable to consider but it is not the only factor of impact. My FedEx overnight shipments from the FL Keys go by way of FT Worth Texas and come into two different GA facilities that are about 80 miles apart.
     
  12. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Right, I know :neutral:... But when we have a week like this (in the US anyway) where the majority of the country is getting slammed, you'd think they could at least give caution. And yeah, a quick check of the destination weather would be good practice.
     
  13. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    A good number of them do. LA for instance is not shipping again out of WI and is letting people know. They are one of the best shippers though. Perhaps smaller operations don't care so much, or don't have the time and resources to check on the weather for every customer. Maybe they feel they cant afford to skip the shipment?
    I think it might be better/more effective to put the onus on the buyer to be aware of bad weather and shipping live animals because they prolly have more time to do the checking.
    Practically, maybe a weather alert on the TONMO splash page?
     
  14. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Ajemptage - any update?
     
  15. Ajemptage

    Ajemptage Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you to everyone for all the replies, Im happy to see if I ever need any advice or help (and I will ) you guys are here.
    Well I checked on him this morning and he's moved to behind the rocks and looking a lot better, I guess he was just in shock?
    Il get some pics up here later today and keep you guys updated.
    Thanks again
     
  16. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Good point. I'm embarrassed that I was caught doing one of the things I complain about: spreading conjecture on the forums as if it were fact. The theory is that silicone "absorbs" the copper, and will leach it out later. I don't know enough chemistry to know if it's even possible for copper (or the compounds containing copper) to enter silicone, or if once inside, if it would leach out. I also don't know if the small amount of copper that could possibly make this trip would be enough to bother a ceph. I do know enough about human nature to know that we have a strong desire to understand the cause of things that hurt or threaten us, and that most of us will assign whatever cause sounds the best if we have no other explanation. I should have presented this as an unproven theory, not as a fact.

    Until we have more evidence one way or the other, I think it's prudent to try to avoid tanks that may have been exposed to copper, just in case, but I'd sure like to get scientific basis for an opinion on this one, so I won't have to pass up good deals on used tanks with unknown histories (or so that I can pass them up without regret).
     
  17. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Joe - no worries! These kinds of things are hard to stamp out. I completely agree about avoiding previously coppered tanks, and the need for more testing. The real reason I brought it up (besides the idea that this kind of thinking is a hobby of mine) was because I see the idea getting credit for dying cephs and as you say, we really don't know. Love the discussion!
     
  18. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Fantastic. Great information! Thanks!
     
  19. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Its a very good sign that hes hiding. Good to hear.
     
  20. Ajemptage

    Ajemptage Larval Mass Registered

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    He just ate his first meal! Very cool to watch him hunt.
    Now that it's looking likely he'l survive I have decided to name him Neptune :)
     

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