[Octopus]: New O. Mercatoris

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Susan Grosskopf, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    Hello All,

    I bought one of the dwarf O. mercatoris from KP Aquatics. He just came today so I don't have much to report. First of all, I am not happy with the Fedex guy. The box was prominently marked "Live Fish", "Careful Handling" and when they finally got here, almost an hour late, he was tossing the box between his hands. I told him to please be careful that there was a live animal in there and he replied, "ya I know".
    Their packing was great with a small clear plastic water-filled bottle in a bag of water, enclosed in 2 more bags. Unfortunately, I did not know the bottle had a lot of holes in it for circulation and when I took it out, bang, water all over the place and the bottle almost "bled out". Haha. I acclimated the octopus to the tank but I can't figure out how to get him out of the bottle. I put a piece of shrimp in the bottle with him and he did settle on it so that is a good sign.
    There were a couple of pretty big hermit crabs in there that I put in the 75 gallon tank just to make me feel better. Forget a picture, he is so little.
    I thought about cutting the bottle in half but it is a pretty sturdy one and I don't want to traumatize him anymore then he probably already is.

    I am still looking for an O. briareus though for the 75 gallon if anybody comes across one.
     
    DWhatley likes this.
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    The easiest way to get him out if you have not already done so is to open the jar's twist off cap and place the whole bottle (on its side) in the tank near a piece of live rock and ... wait. This is my typical approach. Some, like Shelby, are very anxious to leave their bottle (I usually remove the twist top at the beginning of my acclimation to be sure the tank water is mixing well with the bottle water) but others can take 30 minutes to realize there is a more comfortable environment waiting outside. O.briareus are particularly pokey to leave if they know you are watching but I don't have any specific memories about O. mercatoris.
     
  3. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    I did exactly like you said and removed the cap during acclimation and placed the bottle on its side by some live rock. I was honestly wondering if I was mistaken and he was dead. He was all curled up but against the side of the bottle over his mantle, like he was protecting himself. If he was still like that this AM I was going to use a bamboo skewer to investigate him a little but, yeah, no octo in the bottle!!
    Now, I am afraid I will never see him again. I am pretty sure he is in the plastic cave that a huge serpent starfish lives in and I might move him to the 75 gallon because he is posing in a hunting stance.
     
  4. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    I did end up putting the serpent starfish in the 75 gallon just to make me feel better. I have not seen my little guy and I guess I won't for a while. I am just going to assume he is in the plastic cave and leave shrimp in there. Any other suggestions?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    If you have or can get Giant Purple Barnacles (without varnish - most for sale will not have it but some "shell" shops do - they are not native to FL but you can find them in most novelty shell shops more or less suggested to be local/East Coast :roll:). I have found that all my mercs have preferred these as dens in spite of them not being a native home.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Decorations-/66789/i.html?_fspt=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_from=R40&_nkw=barnacle

    To try to locate him/her, try a small (pea sized, about the size of its eye - size seems important. Alternately, freshly killed - hard to skewer - shore shrimp and small live crabs - any variety with pincers removed - are a best choice.) piece of thawed shrimp on a skewer placed near where you think it is denning. Over time most mercs will come out for food, occasionally they will EXPECT to be fed at a given time and start pacing, a very few will interact with keepers. Sisturus was my all time favorite and would come out and pace at supper time even with all the lights on. Neal would often call me down from my office with, "someone is looking for you". All my females have taken to a barnacle and lived their lives in it as a single den where the males would experiment with different locations but often take up residence in the barnacles.

    As an aside, a dead octopus will not take up the arms over the head defensive position :wink:
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  6. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    No signs of him yet. I put my large serpent starfish in the 75 gallon because he would grab any food I put in the tank. I feed every night about 9 PM but a I have not seen anything yet and I have the same food stealing problem with the one fish that is in there. That little fish has been in there since I started the tank 1.5 years ago.
    At least I know he can't eat all the food so hopefully if there is an octopus in there he is getting the food.
    I did buy some of those purple barnacles so who knows.
    I am still on the lookout for a briareus though. I really lucked out with Bob being my first octopus, he was beautiful!
     
    DWhatley likes this.
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    I'll mention it because I feel remiss when I don't and something happens. I strongly recommend no fish with an octopus.

    Hopefully, he/she is OK and will find the barnacles. It is rare that they don't :grin: If you can, place it about 1/3 of the way up the tank, anchored into the live rock. The mercs seem to prefer being off the bottom substrate. If the cluster is tall enough to have small shells at the top and sits about this high, setting it on the bottom substrate works too.
     
  8. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    I still have not seen the little octopus since I bought him on July 11th. I will keep leaving food every night.

    That being said I jumped on another Indonesian Octopus from LiveAquaria that will be delivered tomorrow. I am excited.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Good luck. I am glad to see Live Aquaria still offering them but expect that to change as the new owners (Pet Co) integrate.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    @Susan Grosskopf can we change the title to your multi-octopus post to reflect different animals OR could you start a new thread for Fred and I can move his posts there (just start a post entitled Fred and I will move the content)? Neither are necessary but it makes it a bit easier to find information on the individual animals as time goes by.

    I am still guessing Abdopus but it is odd not to see distinct body changes. Looking forward to pictures!
     
  11. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    OMG!!!! I am posting on this site because I think I have an explanation of why I never saw the dwarf. This morning I was checking everything before leaving for work and I looked into the 30 gallon and saw a BABY OCTOPUS!!!!!!! I could not believe it. It looked like a little spider, has 8 arms and is about as big as my finger nail. Yes, DWhatley, I got a short video of it. I will put it on Facebook tonight and if you could transfer it to this post please. I will look for it tonight but I probably won't find it again.
    So, I got the merc on July 11th and never saw it again. How long does it take their eggs to hatch? That means she was brooding? So exciting
     
    ekocak likes this.
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    So sorry I did not suggest that as it is common with merc. Keep watching the tank and particularly the tank walls at night. There can be anywhere from 6 to 100 to hatch over a 10 day period. Mercs are a large egg species and it is possible (albeit difficult) to raise a few - five being the common survivor number when successful.

    Here is one of my journals for suggestions on what to do next. There is a link to Trapper's hatchlings thread in the first post in the journal and additional links to her grandchildren in the additional thread.
     
  13. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    Ok, I have good news and bad news. Good news, I have found 3 babies. Bad news, I just cleaned algae off the tank walls a few days ago as I have been a little neglectful so I may have lost some babies at that time.
    I put a stocking around the water intake and I will read your suggested journals. I guess there is not much I can do except enjoy this wonderful experience
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    LOL, read my journals (I can point you to another extended set as well if you want more reading :grin:). Yes, you CAN try to raise these since they are benthic at birth (sort of, it takes a day or two before they disappear into the live rock). It is possible to catch them on the tank walls (video yourself trying it for future humor :wink:). You probably did not lose any in your tank cleaning as you will see if you try to catch them. They will likely stay in a breeder net if you provide snail shells (this keeps them out of the filter and increases the chance of getting them to eat). Cyclop-eze is no longer available but you might try other frozen tiny food (daphnia might work, any other cyclops shrimp you can find should also be acceptable, live is not necessary).

    They hatch out over a period of about 10 days. Typical experiences are a few the first day or two then a bunch somewhere between days 3 and 6 followed by a few stragglers up to day 10 (Trapper only hatched out 6 total but that is unusual. It may be why she lived for 11 more weeks. Typically the female will die very shortly after the last hatchling is born but we have seen a few other females survive a week or two (Trapper was an extreme exception).
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
  16. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    charlotte nc
    Thank you for putting this video on the website, too. No babies tonight. Amazing experience!
     

Share This Page