New Octo is here!

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Jocephus, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    He is here and he is TINY! About the size of my thumbnail curled up, maybe an inch and a half across the legs. Best I could get from the supplier was "pacific brown" octopus. I'll put up pics later tonight, he's going in a critter keeper inside the 55 gal tank. This is awesome!
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: :octopus:
     
  3. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Is it a young octo, or is it an adult dwarf?
     
  4. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Adult dwarfs are much larger than a thumb nail. I am really excited to see this one. Wow, sounds like a baby, don't loose him. I am going to follow this, can't wait to see a photo.
    Congratulations!
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Jocephus,
    I am afraid you will discover that an octo that small will not stay in a critter keeper long. You will have a slight chance of him staying if you have shells in the critter keeper for him to use as a den but that is not likely to keep him in it long. Don't panic if it has escaped into the tank (unless you have something in there that will eat him - which is just about anything you might have in the tank). If he does (or has) escapted. Try to establish a feeding area and put food there every other day. You won't likely see him but he will see you. I would also recommend feeding Cyclop-eeze and frozen mysis to the tank if he is roaming free.
     
  6. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks, he is still in the critter keeper as of now. If he escapes, he has a 55 to himself, it would be unlikely that I would ever see him though. I can't seem to get a good pic tonight, but will try again tomorrow. He has a piece of live rock in the critter keeper to den in, when I checked on him he was on the bottom of the cage, but climbed into the rock when he saw me. I hope everything is okay. He is soooo small. He has his legs curled (upturned) but not corkscrewy, that is okay, right? I will add some frozen mysis to the tank. I put some tiny hermits in with him in the hopes that he may go for them if hungry.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Upturned arms are a protective pose and not a sign of impending death. Can you describe in more detail (be precise since you can't get a photo) what you mean by "curled up"? Mercatoris has a somewhat diagnostic pose that may fit your description but I have seen other species (particularly small or young ones) also assume the pose. What color is the octo at rest? When brown is it a yellowish or reddish brown? How long are the arms compared to the mantle (mantle length is from the eyes to the back of the body). How wide is the mantle (compare to an object like a pencil, pinking finger, thumb etc.)
     
  8. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I know these are horrible, but it's the best I could do.

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  9. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    So any ideas on what I may have?
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Arms to mantle ratio, coloration and bulging eyes have my vote for mercatoris which is neither Pacific nor brown. Look through the journals of other mercs (Forums->List of Our Octopuses 2010, 2009 and 2008 - the names and species are listed and are linked to the journals). Babies are not easily identified though. If it is merc, it should show a red color with white markings when upset and a little starburst around the eye. You would likely see it with one eye looking out and an arm wrapped around the eye as you will see in several of the photos.

    As a point of interest, the dark spots near the back of the mantle are gill hearts and are often easily seen on the mercs.

    Unfortunately, you might want to consider an alternate on housing. If I am correct, this one will never get very large and will be lost in a 55. One member kept his (Animal Mother with Einy) in a large Critter Keeper within a larger tank. A 20 gallon tank is a more viewable size for the dwarfs, especially one that is nocturnal. The good news is that it appears to be fairly young so you should have more time with it than most of the WC mercs.
     
  11. davelin315

    davelin315 Wonderpus Registered

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    Photo tip, set it to auto and take one picture then switch to manual and focus it on the octo - use an eye to focus on. By using auto first you'll set the exposure levels and then maintain them for focusing by hand.
     
  12. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I'll try for more pics shortly. Do I need to worry about bristleworms with the octo?
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The only time I have worried about bristle worms is with a dying octo that can no longer defend it self and has unhealthy flesh. At that point, I have placed them in a breeder net to allow them to die unmolested.
     
  14. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks. I'm a bit concerned that he has not tried to find a den. I went down a bit ago and he was perched atop the live rock. The rock is really porous, I assumed he would have crawled into it and denned there. I will add some snail shells and see if that tempts him.
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If my guess is correct, not looking for a den is not a good sign if the tank is not in the dark.
     
  16. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Well the tank is dark, it's in the basement. Maybe he just hasn't found the right spot yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
     
  17. Jocephus

    Jocephus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Sad day

    My little Thumbnail didn't make it through the night. I went down to check on him a bit ago and the hermits and bristles were on him. I tested the water, everything is fine, no traces of ammonia/nitrite even with him dead and the pH was 8.2. I guess this is probably a shipping stress issue. Next time I will try to get a larger specimen, I think something that tiny cannot be very hardy.
     
  18. jblystone

    jblystone O. bimaculoides Registered

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    :angelpus: rip
     
  19. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I was afraid of that. The size does not suggest old age but size is rarely a good age indicator. Assuming it was a mercatoris, a healthy one should have immediately turned red and headed for the LR, not to come out again until after dark (often unseen for a couple of weeks). They are very nocturnal and I have only seen them out in the light when they are senescent and in their last few days of life.

    For the size tank you have prepared, finding an animal with 6-8 inch arms (not diameter but individual arms) would be more diagnostic of one that will be large enough for the aquarium. Most very young octopuses tend to be very shy and don't really start allowing themselves to be be seen until they are somewhere in the teenage age bracket. Where it is true you will have less time with it, the time with the very young is often frustrating. Unfortunately, we often end up with octos well into adulthood but until there is enough interest and a suitable animal is cultured, we enjoy what we can find.
     

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