• TONMOCON VII Announced | MBL at Woods Hole | Apr 6-8, 2018
  • Thanks for visiting! TONMO is the world's greatest online cephalopod enthusiast community, with interactive content going back to May of 2000, and a biennial conference. If you'd like to join in on the fun, become a TONMO member -- it's easy and free. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cephy goodness.


New keeper - A few questions

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#1
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!



 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#4
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.
 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#5
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?
 

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
569
#8
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/
 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#11
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.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,907
Location
Gainesville, GA
#12
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.
 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#14
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...
 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#16
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.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,907
Location
Gainesville, GA
#17
Amygdalan;130387 said:
How do I get the crab to stick to the straw? Lol...
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:
 

Amygdalan

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Dec 9, 2008
Messages
45
#19
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!
 

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
569
#20
Amygdalan;130494 said:
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!
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.
 

Attachments

Members online