New Guy in California

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Blaster, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Blaster

    Blaster Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm glad I found this site as I have just recently acquired a Bimac Octo. I am a reefer so I have some experience with keeping saltwater tanks and strict water perameters however, I am not completely familiar with keeping Octopus.
    Here is what I have done so far, I went all out and dropped some cash buying a UNI 50gal. Total I filled it with 35gal. of water. 20 gal from my reef tank and 15gal from LFS. The remaining space is displaced with live sand and live rock. I have been putting NUTRAFIN (cycle) into the bioballs. I experianced an amonia spike this morning but this evening it is decreasing. Obviously, cycling the tank with OCTO in it is not the most desireable but at this point don't have to much of a choice unless I release him. He has been in captivity since Thursday Apr 19th, been in this tank since Apr 21st and today is the 24th so far so good he seems to be doing fine. He has eaten some blue damsels I had in tank a turbo snail and yesterday I placed some mussels from the same waters he was taken from along with some fidler crabs. He has not eaten any of those yet. Water temp. is at 72 and salinity is at .026
    I am praying I am doing everything correct as I do not want to lose him. In just the last few days I have come to the conclusion I hope to always have an OCTO in this tank. Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.
     
  2. Blaster

    Blaster Larval Mass Registered

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    Ok, well I was hoping for some relies. I'll at least update everyone. OCTO is still doing well. Eating some of the smaller shore crabs I put in the tank. If my OCTO has about a seven inch spread, how large of crab and shrimp should I expect him to eat?
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Blaster,
    It is hard to reply to this thread since, as you know, you are starting off on the wrong foot. We don't believe in flaming and there is little else to offer other than to hope the animal survives the environment.
     
  4. Blaster

    Blaster Larval Mass Registered

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    D,

    I'm not sure I understand what "flaming" is? So far so good thou water parameters are still good, OCTO has been out and about from his den for the last 2days. He is fairly interactive with us changing to the colors of our shirts and we can reach in the tank to touch him and he'll reach back. I know I have started out on wrong foot placing him in a tank that was not cycled but i think utilizing water from my reef tank and adding the bacteria supplement straight to the bio balls in back of the tank have helped. I hope! I also hope folks on here can forgive my childish fascination, and just having to bring him home and start out the wrong way because I was hoping to get some help here. Any how I'll keep everyone posted.
     
  5. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Hi Blaster -

    "Flaming" and any assumptions about your intentions aside, I can say the general lack of response in this thread (and D's response) can be most directly tied to this comment:

    Generally speaking (and clearly stated in our Guidelines and Ethics statement), the TONMO community does not condone putting a cephalopod in harm's way simply for the sake of personal interest and gain. For the benefit of the octopus, the obvious best answer here would have been to release him.

    I personally don't keep cephs myself (I don't even own a fishbowl), but the TONMO Staff and community collectively has many years of experience in best practices in cephalopod care. We encourage anyone interested in keeping cephs to FIRST set up the proper environment for keeping (which can take months), studying, and then entertain obtaining an actual ceph, only when you feel you're truly ready to give it the best care.

    While I think "childish fascination" is something we all share, we tend to put less energy into discussions that seek advice and care for a situation where the best decisions weren't already made up-front.

    Despite the tenor of this thread, we are generally an open and welcoming community. The people who actually invest their own time, money and emotions into proper ceph care do sometimes get frustrated with un-researched attempts at ceph care.

    I can understand why you might not see where the response/lack of response is coming from -- I hope this helps explain.
     
  6. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Most Octopus can handle fairly big prey, so don't worry too much about size BUT if the prey is small, be prepared to go through mega quantities, octopus in my experience are ALWAYS hungry. Also be aware that they produce several times the waste of a similar sized fish and they are very messy eaters, so you will need to keep on top of your water quality parameters, if they go off it can't wait to be fixed!! Try to have cycled water stored in reserve for emergencies. Another thing to be aware of is the danger of copper, even the tiniest amount will be fatal to your octopus. So feeder animals and your equipment cannot be exposed to copper (as in some meds).

    Good luck
     
  7. Blaster

    Blaster Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you so much for your response Jean! Any of your suggestions and words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!

    Rookies don't always make the best decisions, but they need to get answers from somewhere and thought signing up for this forum and page would have provided me with those answers I obviously need. I can see that must have been a poor decision, hoping that the more informed people on this page would actually help me!

    Consider this, by looking down your noses at me instead of helping, certain members could be contributing to a casualty!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Sorry to come across that way Blaster. I hope you will stay and journal your animal but it is very hard to give advice until it has a survivable environment. Since you have some reef experience and are aware of water quality, I assume you are currently monitoring and changing water excessively (hopefully daily). It is hard to assess how to help. I looked for but did not find an older post by one of our members who started unprepared with his first caught but went on to keep and successfuly guide others.

    Failing to find the post I was hunting, here are links to a couple of journals (more can be found in the List of our Octopuses 20xx stickies at the top of the Octopus Journals and Photos forum (with one of the lists open, click edit, select Find on Page and search for bimaculoides. The animal names are links to the journals). Reading through them should give you a better feel for what to expect, what has been fed and more about working on your environment.

    http://www.tonmo.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?13-Octopus-Journals-and-Photos
    Chewy - has good info on food and feeding
    Squirt - has info on growth, interaction and potential tank problems

    We also have care articles about the general needs and environments with this one being specific to a bimac:
    Octopus bimaculoides (Bimac/Californian Two-spot Octopus) Care Sheet

    Bimacs are coldwater animals and need to be kept below 72 degrees. Joe-Ceph has written several good recommdations on insulating and chilling a tank to keep the costs down and the tanks stable. Here is a section of one juch thread that may be helpful. Additionally, longevity seems to be heavily tied to temperature and reduced feeding schedules. Both Joe-Ceph and Neogonodactylus have kept multiple bimacs for over two years and feel that feeding less and keeping them cold is a major key to longevity.
     
  9. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    First and foremost, :welcome: Blaster. Secondly, nobody is looking down their noses, no need for assuming a victim's identity, we're not in a Mos Eisley cantina, here (obscure reference to Blasters :wink: ), thirdly, let's see what can be done. If the animal's wildcaught, locally, it's not unethical to release it back into its natural habitat, the chances of unwanted pathogens being transplanted with your specimen are not huge; I'd take the risk (strictly personal stance on the matter). If your animal survives the conditions you are currently keeping it under, this would be a significant achievement; there is little you can do, bar constant water changes and feeding copious amounts of shellfish. I do encourage you to keep a journal, if we might learn from your experience it would be good for others to benefit in the future. Experience so far has shown a minimal success rate with your current approach, however; nothing anyone here would particularly blame you for, taking the animal home, albeit much less informed than would've been desirable. You decided to keep the animal out of fascination with its beauty and behaviour, a sentiment well understood in these parts! My advice, however, would be to return the animal, get your tank up and running and give it a proper go in a few months. Octopus can wait.
     
  10. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    D already mentioned it but look at Joe Cephs threads, or do a google search for "C-Rad" which is his screen name on several other websites. He's had about the most success of anyone I know of with Bi-macs.

    If you dont have one yet, drop the money on a chiller. IMO, getting a chiller and keeping it in a stable temperature will be THE most important thing you can do unless your house has AC and you keep can keep it at 65 year round, and that would be on the high end of the temp spectrum. Also, long term its cheaper to cool just your aquarium than to cool your whole house, unless you live in AZ, lol.
     
  11. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Blaster,
    I just noticed this thread, but since it's been six months since your last post, I'm guessing that your bimac didn't make it. I live in San Diego too, and I keep bimacs, so if you're still interested in keeping one, let me know, and I'll help you get started right, and even help you find a bimac when you're ready.

    If your bimac lived, please tell us about it, if it died after a week with you, I'm not going to be too hard on you. Probably about 95% of the bimacs people take out of the ocean around here are killed immediately for fish bait, and most of the rest get served with dipping sauce the same day. If you kept one alive for a week, while studying it and marveling at it, you are not a villain. You learned the hard way that you need to be prepared more if you are going to keep one alive. Let me know if you are interested in trying again. And don't worry about not being welcomed back to TONMO. People here will be attracted to your enthusiasm, and ignore your criminal past :)

    full disclosure:
    In 1996 I killed my first captive bimac too. It lasted two weeks, just as long as my home-made chiller. In 2008 I decided to try again, and by then Tonmo was around to give me a clue, chillers were affordable, and I had been taught prudence by the first failed attempt. Things have gone very well since then.
     
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