New keeper - A few questions

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Amygdalan, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    I got this guy on Saturday from a fish store in Palm Bay, Florida. I believe he's a male from his sucker size. He's from Haiti, I think he may be O. Vulgaris. I will post better pics soon, but they're on my other camera. He is primarily brown with a white underside. He changes colors very quickly and changed either completely white or brown/purple with white streaks.

    I've got a 92 gallon corner aquarium, all of the water tests have been good. There's 100lbs of live rock in the tank. The salinity is a bit low, but I'm raising it slowly. He was active upon first being in the tank, but since has picked a den and I haven't seen him do much but stick a tentacle out. There are some snails and crabs in the tank, along with four damsels that I assume he will eat. When should I be worried if he doesn't start eating? He's been in his den for about 40 hours now. I'm not sure if he's come out at night though.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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  2. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    How large is the octopus? Blurry shots look like O. mercatoris.

    The damsels are a threat to the octopus.
     
  3. cephaloholic

    cephaloholic O. vulgaris Registered

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    looks like a merc to me too
     
  4. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Awww, really? Poor guy. I will get them out tonight then. He's probably afraid. The guy that sold him to me told me he would eat the damsels. I asked him a few times, too. He seemed quite sure. I'll post better pics soon.
     
  5. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    All right, so I got the bastard damsels out finally. Holy crap.

    I have tried to put a few crabs in front of his den, a snail, and some thawed frozen krill. He sticks his tentacles out and feels them, then pushes/blows them away. What should I try to feed him next?
     
  6. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Here's some more pics, had to convert them from RAW.

    More to come, they will just take forever to convert.
     

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  7. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    More pics to help determine species.
     

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  8. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Thawed frozen krill is about the only thing my mercs won't eat. What kind of crabs are you using? Some will eat hermits, some only fiddlers. Frozen or live mysids usually work well, as does cyclopeeze. Give your guy a couple of nights to settle in. He will be strictly nocturnal and easily lost in a 92 gallon tank! You can try using red lights at night to view him. Check Trapper's or Vary's logs (or their offspring) for more details on mercs.
    1. Trapper’s babies (O. mercatoris) http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7853/
    2. Varys’ babies (O. mercatoris) http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9144/
     
  9. k0mpresd

    k0mpresd GPO Registered

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    my merc seems to eat anything. frozen/thawed krill, raw shrimp, blue leg hermits, and fiddlers.
     
  10. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Thanks for the tips, I'll read those threads right now. I hope he eats soon, I don't want the little guy to die.
     
  11. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Some exciting news, I tried to feed him thawed Mysids today, no go, but I also picked up three live hermits and he grabbed the first one he felt and drug it into his den. I hope this is a sign that he's becoming more comfortable in his new home.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Amy, he may or may not eat the contents of the shell :grin: as it is likely he had taken it as a door. Try to get some fiddler crabs and/or shore shrimp. Wait until lights out and put one on the end of a straw around his door, then wait until you can't hold your arm there much longer. With luck, you will see little arms waving and removing the offered food.
     
  13. Octavarium

    Octavarium Wonderpus Registered

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    Definitely looks like a little red merc. Glad he sampled the hermit, give him time.
     
  14. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    ANY time I do anything near his door he waves his arms out inquisitively :)

    He definitely ate the crab and is using the now empty shell (I have a decent view of it from the angle it is at) as a door. When he grabbed it his tentacle went INTO the shell before he pulled it in.

    How do I get the crab to stick to the straw? Lol...
     
  15. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    A bamboo skewer might be easier. Just don't expect it back right away. :wink:
     

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  16. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Hah, I just used the straw to tap around his entrance and push the hermit near it, and he ate another one this morning. These are good signs I hope. He has not ventured out at all that I know of since he went into his den on Saturday, but has eaten two crabs. He may have been freaked by the damsels I have since gotten rid of.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I disable the male fiddler claws by breaking off the point of one side. Sometimes the claw stays with the crab, sometimes it drops it. If the claw remains attached, I put one side of the claw into the straw (I actually use a very long pipette) but all imaginative ideas are welcomed. Dino appears to have used a zip tie to successfully secure a crab during a sabotaged feeding experiment.:hmm:
     
  18. k0mpresd

    k0mpresd GPO Registered

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    i just break the claw off and throw the crab in the tank. :twisted: he is on an every other night feeding schedule now.
     
  19. Amygdalan

    Amygdalan Blue Ring Registered

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    Well, I left him for two nights alone over the holidays. There is an emerald crab missing and I found its claw and a piece of its carapace at the bottom of the tank. Now unless the other emerald crab ate it, I'd say he was out hunting. I have not seen him out of his den once since he's gone in. He did take TWO hermits today that I danced in front of the opening, so I hope this is a good sign. He's been in the tank for one week now. I've also been slowly raising the salinity as it was a bit low.

    Anyhow, I'd like to see him on the hunt some time, any tips for that? I see people talking about red LEDs/lights. Do these lights not bother the octopus? Also, how often should I keep the tank lit up? I keep the lights on minimally right now.

    Thanks!
     
  20. gholland

    gholland Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    We have 6 layers of red vellum under the standard fluorescent tube "at night". This seems to work better than red LEDs. Octos don't seem to see red wavelengths well, but they do seem to notice the red LEDs if you are moving them. We keep the white fluorescent on for 6-10 hours a day for the macro algae and the rest of the time is red. Don't ever have it completely dark in the tank if you want them to come out under the reds. Keep the rest of the room dark and don't wear light-colored clothing when you approach the tank.
     

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