New Octo owner

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by allanda1, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. allanda1

    allanda1 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all

    I've been on your great site for several months now and have just joined.

    I have a quick question - just bought home a baby Octo (not sure of what species but will post pics soon - 1 cm mantle size - still deciding on a name). He/she is crawled up into a tiny ball with it's legs curled inwards and it has turned white. I've read this is not a good sign? It was not like this at the store. Is it just acclimatising or should I be worried?

    A little about the tank:
    48 x 28 high x 22 wide - approx 450ltrs (120 gallon i think) and a sump/refugium
    Protein skimmer
    4 T5 lights
    30 kg live rock
    Has been cycling for 2.5 months
    Keeping him in a plastic tank within the main tank to make sure he is feeding
    Am I missing any equipment?

    Apparently he is feeding on Mysis shrimp and small hermit crabs.

    Thanks again for this great site and the information - it has greatly helped in preparing for the new addition to the family.

    Cheers
    :grin:
     
  2. iAlex

    iAlex Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    57
    Whats's your salinity/ammonia/nitrite/nitrate?
     
  3. allanda1

    allanda1 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry should have included the stats

    salinity 1.025
    Amm 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0

    Cheers
     
  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    8,738
    Likes Received:
    515
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    :welcome: allanda1 and thanks for joining!
     
  5. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    5
    I'd love to see some pictures or video if you can manage it.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    I always say it takes 2 weeks for them to tank acclimate and this is a dangerous period. If they make it beyond the two weeks, you should be able to keep it for the full normal life span (sometimes this is only another 2 weeks though). The size is a bit scary as it sounds like a very young animal so your chances reduce and the two weeks is tentative. Keeping it eating is prime for the next few months. It should be eating roughly a mantle length (but not width) meal at least once a day now and you should see (if you see it) a visual difference in size about every two weeks.

    White is a natural octo color and all octos uses it. That being said, we don't have a good handle on what, if anything, colors mean as far as emotive expression. They are often white when they "sleep" and many will blanch white when surprised or frightened, however, O. briareus and O. mercatoris are often white much of the time and I will see my O.joubini white while she is relaxing in her den. Even Diego (O. bimaculoides) will be mostly white at rest behind the LR but not at rest in the open.

    The curled up in a tight ball is likely stress and you want to see this go away within the next two days. If you are not offering several hiding places (shells and or LR - shells probably best for the size), this can cause terminal stress. If you don't have shells, offer any kind of saltwater safe, clean, dark environment (more than one) where you can't see it (if you can see it, it can see you) and reduce the lighting over its critter keeper. Do not be surprised if it leaves the critter keeper on its own in a day or two but be sure to note it so that it will continue to be able to eat. I have had good success with using a particular type of breeder net (very large for a breeder net with a grid 1/3 off the bottom) for O. mercatoris hatchlings but not successful with this arrangement for O.briareus hatchlings (they returned to the main tank). It needs to hide, especially this young. You may not see it at all for the next couple of months but be patient. IME, octopuses don't begin to socialize until somewhere around 4 months old. Often they will seem to break my rule of thumb when first introduced but once they fully acclimate, revert to the more natural reclusive behavior and then slowly become social.

    Can you estimate the ratio of the arms to the mantle? Do you know which body of water it came from? What colors did you see in the pet store?
     
  7. allanda1

    allanda1 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all and thanks for the helpful information!

    I have some pics which I should be able to download tonight.

    I have provided 2 shells and a black pipe in the kritter keeper and Toko (seemed to suit the little one) has turned a mottled brown colour (just like in the aquarium. When I turn off the lights off he sends out a tentacle or two from his hiding place.

    He also seems to move in a jerky manner, not that fluid like I have seen in the videos from this site. Not sure if this is normal?

    His arms are about 2.5 times the length of his mantle.

    He also has not eaten anything since arrive 2 days ago. The guy in the aquarium had him for 3 weeks (apparently he was from the great barrier reef) and advised he was eating Mysis Shrimp. Dropped some in but he showed little interest. Today I dropped a tiny hermit crab in there and he is showing interest - he sent out 2 arms towards the new arrival.

    Will post pics ASAP

    Cheers
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Caution Advised

    CAUTION: See if you can verify the GBR location. There is only one common dwarf (suggested heavily by the arm to mantle ratio) that is collected and shipped from there and it is the poisionous blue ring. Please KEEP YOUR HAND OUT OF THE TANK!

    They don't show their bright blue ID spots unless aggravated and the few I have seen are usuallly a tan or yellowish color, not brown, (but colors are a degree of interpretation and the octos mood) at rest but extreme caution is advised while we try to figure this one out.

    Please get photos up ASAP and I will PM Roy to be sure he sees the post. He works with the Blue Rings regularly in the lab at Berkeley and would be the best reference for trying to determine a GBR species (sometimes Roy has an uncanny way to introduce a subject in a timely manner :grin:)


    A more common animal we see is the Atlantic O. mercatoris that fits with your initial description and color display (the brown would be reddish and often marbled with white) so determining the catch location would be critical.

    Feeding the little ones can be challenging. I always use frozen Cyclop-eeze as part of the supper offering (and is great for anything else in the tank). I use a pipette and squirt it directly over their dens while they are small. If you can remove the hermits from their shells (a real challenge - I freeze them first and then crack the shell, the trick is to not crush the hermit), this was also a hugely successful "baby" food. Small shore shrimp (recently killed and offered on a string or carefully stuffed into a pipette - again a trick that takes patience) work well too. Mysis can be used the same way but have not been as successful for me.
     
  9. allanda1

    allanda1 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0


    Hi DWhately

    Just tried to upload the pics....hope it works. 2 of the pics are from his first day when i had him in smaller breeder box but he has been transferred to a larger Kritter keeper.

    Thanks for the tip. I don't think it's a Blue Ring (I asked the guy at the aquarium and he advised it was not a BR). It has no discernable blue rings/markings. But I will keep an eye out. :smile:

    Toko was out this morning and moving around the kritter keeper. The hermit crab is still alive so will try the Cyclops this weekend.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers
     

    Attached Files:

  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    See if you can get a hermit large enough to remove from its shell and offer it. Once he starts eating he is likely to continue but not eating is not good.

    I just realized you were IN AU so that the animal was not exported and that there would be local variety :oops: and that locals have a better idea of what is and is not a BR (not so in the US). It also makes it much more difficult to guess species since we don't see much else here. The only one we have seen in situ from members has been the Gloomy (there are two similar one larger than the other and we have had members post both) and this little guy is definitely not in that family.
     
  11. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    51
    Welcome!

    Looks like Callistoctopus aspilosomatis, originally described by Mark Norman from Australia in 1993, but fairly widely distributed across the Pacific (have seen it all the way over to Palmyra). If it shows white spots over a red background on its arms but and a fully red mantle when disturbed, then this is probably it. It is strictly nocturnal, so that would explain the lack of much activity and color patterning during the day. I've seen it in sandy/rubbly habitats, intertidal to subtidal. This species is prone to crawling out of tanks, so make sure to keep the lid on tight. Salinity tolerance is pretty amazing- perhaps because of its tendency to go tidepooling, I've seen it go temporarily into salinities in the 22ppt range. Chances are it will not easily go into a pre-made shelter such as shells or a tube. In the wild C. aspilosomatis probably buries into rubble mixed with granular/pebbly sand, so the best you can approximate this the better.

    I'm not exactly sure what it eats in the wild, but if I recall correctly one I kept briefly in an aquarium took small crabs and stomatopods. Judging by the diets of other Callistoctopus it might eat small bivalves as well.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,079
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    A quick Google search came up with this Link to a photo taken at Lizard Island. The picture is down a ways and to the right of the cyanea (search the page for aspilosomatis as there is a small amount of text accompanying the picture).
     
  13. allanda1

    allanda1 Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all

    thanks for the additional information. Toko does seem to have white arms and a red mantle when resting. Good news he is also eating Mysis Shrimp!!! Took half a cube over the last 2 nights and he he has picked out a shell for his den (thanks Dwhately).

    Will try to post more pics later on this week when he is out at night.

    Thanks again, your help is greatly appreciated!!!!

    Cheers:grin:
     

Share This Page