New Octopus! (Comments or Suggestions Needed!)

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Mheat, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Mheat

    Mheat Larval Mass Registered

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    So, I've been wanting an octopus for awhile, and finally got one about a week ago. I've been looking at pictures online and think it may be a Bimac. Below are the current stats/plans, I would appreciate any suggestions or comments.

    Pictures of Octopus/Feeder Crab:

    Octopus:
    http://i50.tinypic.com/2iuf3sw.jpg
    http://i47.tinypic.com/11t1jc2.jpg

    Crab:
    http://i46.tinypic.com/30uu8af.jpg

    Tank
    -29 gallon Coralife
    -Aprox. 10 lbs live sand
    -Aprox. 30 lbs live rock
    -Hydor Koralia 550 Powerhead
    -One 2 inch elbow pvc pipe
    -Plastic baby toy key set

    Back Chambers Set-Up
    -1st Aquatic life 115 Protein Skimmer
    -2nd Media Basket with the following layers: 1) Poly Fiber 2) Purigen 3)Chemipure Elite
    -2nd Cont. Ruge Chaeto

    Live Stock
    -Octopus

    Corals
    -Two small polyp frags
    -One small ricordea mushroom

    Maintenance
    -5 gallon weekly water changes

    Feeding (Really could use advice)
    -4 times a week live saltwater crab shown in picture (About the size of a silver dollar and half)
    (They are about $1 each from the local bait shop)
    (They also have 12 3-4 inch saltwater shrimp for $2.25)

    I was planning on keeping the feeder shrimp or crabs in a separate cheap 10 gallon with a simple filter.
     
  2. gpx1200

    gpx1200 GPO Registered

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    not shure if it's a bimac or not but it does look like it has an eyespot, if it is a bimac you need a chiller.
    29g is way to small for most octos including a bimac, even if it's small now it will out grow the tank in a matter of months, i think the smaller the tank the more reclusive the animal will be becouse they fell they have nowear to run so they allways stay hidden
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: Mheat!

    99% confidence call as O. hummelincki. This is commonly called the Caribbean Two Spot (bumble bee and filosus) and often looks similar to a bimac in more than just the eye spot but the smooth skin look is different and IME, you will find the bimac almost slimy to the touch, never the case with hummelincki. The real key in the photos though is the purple around the suckers. The sucker tips for a bimac are orange (when they show color) and hummelincki' show blue/purple.

    Live or frozen shrimp, live clams, blue crab claws and any small crab (disable pinchers) are a good diets. I feed daily while they are young (and as often as they will take food when older, not to exceed once a day) and quantities vary from octopus to octopus as well as age. I don't believe they will over eat during one meal. It may be possible to overfeed with multiple meals. It may be that a larger meal will result in an every other day optimal feeding but we don't have empirical comparisons, only anecdotal observations that suggest a hungry animal may live longer than one that is fed frequently. Unfortunately quantity and frequency don't have standards and likely vary at least with each species.

    Tank size might be a concern. One really annoying problem with this species is the diversity in size. Even from the beginning of its idetification, the size variance was considerable. I have seen (and now can't find to document) where it was at one time classified as a dwarf and then reclassified as a medium sized animal.

    Please journal your new guy!
     
  4. Mheat

    Mheat Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for the welcome DWhatley!

    After looking over pictures of an hummelincki, I am certain that's the type haha. He is very active surprisingly during the day when I come home, while the lights are on in the tank. What would you recommend with the feeding though? Is there a difference between the saltwater crabs or the shrimp? I was looking into a feeder that would be easy to maintain in like a separate 10 gallon tank with just a cheap filter or air pump.
     
  5. oneandseven

    oneandseven Cuttlefish Registered

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    As for food, it is best to stick to saltwater crabs and shrimp only. Sachs Systems has shore shrimp which are super easy to keep, and fiddler crabs which come in a variety of sizes. I have fed my A. aculeatus on them for 8 1/2 months. I keep mine in a 10 gallon tank, and they do fine. I have a small filter in the half with the shrimp, and the other side is built up with sand and rocks for the crabs. I change water frequently, and feed them regularly to keep them fortified. Good luck with your new little fella.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I recommend feeding BOTH as well as alternating with other things. If you only want to keep one live food, provide the other as frozen. We find, over time, they eat much better when there is variety offered and we try (being inland, this is sometimes difficult) to provide at least two different foods a week. Our primary feed is frozen crab claws and frozen table shrimp with a live clam once a month or so. I try to keep a clam in the tank most of the time but they are not always in season. Sometimes they are eaten right away, other times they will clean the substrate for a few weeks before being discovered. Some have survived multiple octopuses. To offer as a specific meal, open the shell. These are a very easy to keep live and the seafood market variety are just fine. I do keep them in a bucket (tall sides or they will empty it) of tank water overnight to allow them to purge the nasty water they have been in and to be sure they will survive. You can feed any kind of mollusk but oysters and mussels are quite messy where clam pollution is minimal and is usually full accepted. The only mollusk that has been odd is the frozen scallop. A number of us have offered them and seen it happily accepted ... ONCE then never accepted again. I don't know if this means we have been duped and are feeding fish flesh or something in the freezing does not digest well (it must taste OK since it is accepted the first time). I don't but you can offer a piece of fresh fish if you have it for dinner but don't buy it as a food. Crawfish are a treat that they all seem to really like but are more like a candy than a food and should be used sparingly. You can freeze the tails and claws but not the body and they are happily taken live.

    As a simple mainstay to keep at all times I recommend that you set up your live bin for crabs and keep the water changed regularly and then buy live and freeze or purchase frozen shrimp. If the crabs don't survive (some species are hard to keep when small where others thrive), switch your live to shrimp (10 gallon is probably too small though) to fiddler crabs (these do well with shallow water and rocks to climb on in a plastic tub) and find a source for blue crab claws (Asian markets are good for this inland but not sure what you will find near by). We pick through the live bins and just leave with the claws and then freeze them. When you go to the market, keep in mind your octo might like a little change and buy a minimal quantity of any raw seafood you might want to try (yes the seafood people will look at you a bit oddly for a $2.00 purchase :wink:

    Shore shrimp, while great for smaller animals are too small to satisfy O. hummelincki. You can put them in the tank as a findable snack but catching them in any quantity would expend too much energy to provide a proper meal. Fiddlers are pretty much universal but, again you will need larger ones than for an aculeatus and likely two per meal AND provide a larger food (like medium regular shrimp) on alternating days.

    Also, I try to remember to recommend new member edit their profile to display (there is no automatic display) something about their location (city and state recommended). This helps a lot with food recommendations as well as sharing local information and traveling TONMO miniCons.
     
  7. gpx1200

    gpx1200 GPO Registered

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    D know's the hummelincki much better than i but i still think your octo would be happier in a larger tank, petco is having it's dollar a gallon sale right now so you could pick up a 40 breeder or a 55 prety cheep. and give him alot more space to roam and the extra volume will help maintain more stable water quality
    as for food i was feeding my aculeatus fidlers every day for about 6 months and he would generaly just wait for it to hit bottom or walk close to him and snatch it up but now that i have started feeding him chunks of table shrimp he is much more responsive at feeding time he will come right up to the glass and to the top of the tank and beg for his food as soon as he sees it on the stick.
    the point is my aculeatus loves table shrimp and at about .25 a shrimp for 3-4 meals that beats the h$$ out of the .80 each i was paying for fidlers when i has buying them by the hundred
     
  8. Mheat

    Mheat Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you everyone for all the suggestions! You guys are very knowledgable and helpful! :)
     

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