[Octopus]: New O. Mercatoris

Susan Grosskopf

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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

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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.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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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.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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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?
 

DWhatley

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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:
 
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Susan Grosskopf

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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

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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 :biggrin2: 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.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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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.
 

DWhatley

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Good luck. I am glad to see Live Aquaria still offering them but expect that to change as the new owners (Pet Co) integrate.
 

DWhatley

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@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!
 

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