O. mercatoris

Tommycs

Wonderpus
Supporter
#2
While Mercs are nice little octo's They are nocturnal and usually are bought as adults who are ready to start brooding. Hopefully D or someone else who has experience with them will step in and give a detailed answer. I don't think that they will be that hard to take care of but I don't think they will be that fun either. But again I could be wrong.
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#4
It's not difficult for a beginner. You don't have to have as large a tank as the larger octopuses require. But, there is one big disadvantage: they are nocturnal, so you'll be viewing mercatoris at night using a red lamp.

Nancy
 

mcmusashi5

GPO
Registered
#5
Nancy;140431 said:
It's not difficult for a beginner. You don't have to have as large a tank as the larger octopuses require. But, there is one big disadvantage: they are nocturnal, so you'll be viewing mercatoris at night using a red lamp.

Nancy
cephs cant see red lamps:confused:
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Killifish,
If your tank is bigger than about 30 gallons (I did keep 3 in a 45 though) you are not likely to see them much at all (and multiples would definitely be desireable for anything over 15 gallons). I had the good fortune to keep a WC female and raise two generations from eggs. I enjoyed them (I am a night owl) a lot but only one was interactive (most are not). If you want your friends and family to see the interesting critter you are keeping, mercs are not a good choice (my folks were not sure I was being truthful when I told them there were octopuses in the tank. With work, you can likely get them to come out around 11:00 PM but not a lot earlier unless you can religiously change the lighting in the room.

The posts of the three generations I kept are in the journals forums. The WC female's is listed as Trapper is finally here and the last post gives links to her children and grandchildren. If you decide to read through them, please be aware of the time passage between postings, it was a long time before they were even a little social.

My dwarf tank is currently hosting an errant green serpent star but I may well decide to keep them again.

Red light is much harder for cephalopods to detect but I would not feel comfortable with saying they don't see it. My mercs grew up with a red light on the tank at all times and accepted it as night. Beldar also was kept bathed in red light 24/7 and accepted the red lighting as proper night but she could definitely detect and disliked my red flashlight.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#8
My crew ate fiddlers and shore shrimp with some nightly Cyclop-eeze (frozen, not dried) squirted in for good measure. Each octo would eat a single shore shrimp nightly. If they got a crab, sometimes they would not be very hungry the next day. Others were successful in getting them to eat hermit crabs or snails but mine would have nothing to do with either. Most any raw seafood can be offered (no canned crab is raw) but only buy a small quantity to see if they will eat it. I could get them to eat frozen shore shrimp but not pieces of regular eating shrimp but my larger guys all eat the larger shrimp very soon after arrival. Be sure you have live food on hand when the octo arrives as some take longer than others to accept anything dead (on occassion, they never do or, like Beldar, start refusing dead after they are older). IME the mercs are the most expensive octopuses to feed.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#11
There might have been at one time but they seem to have all been eaten :wink:

O. chierchiae may be more encouragable for earlier evenings judging from the broods that Thales and Roy raised but finding them has been all but impossible.

Sedna thinks her last Izabela was O. bocki and more personable than the mercs (still nocturnal though) but, again, finding one is more of a by chance than by design.

Have you considered one of the smaller mid-sized octopuses (45 or larger tank recommended). The aculeatus is a great animal, somewhat easy to find and is the smallest of this group. My favorite is the hummelincki, larger bodied than the aculeatus but found in US local waters so the stress is less if you can locate one.
 

killifish

Cuttlefish
Registered
#12
I have a 55g, but I was saving that for trying to breed a few S. bandensis, other
than that I only have a 29g f/w tank a 10g nano reef tank and a 10g killi tank.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#13
In that case, you really don't have an available tank big enough for any of the available octopuses. A Fifteen gallon aquarium would be the absolute smallest I would recommend even for a merc (20 is probably ideal but round or hex seems to give them plenty of room in a 15).

If you octoproof your 55 it can be used for either an octo or cuttles over time. If there is an advantage to the short life spans, it is that you can experience multiple animals through their natural lives. ... she says as she cleans four octopus ready tanks each week :razz:
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#15
Killifish, we have a very peaceful tank on TONMO most of the time - are you trying to start an argument? :roflmao::roflmao:

There are pros to both and some people have kept both. You can get your best feel for keeping one or the other by reading through the journals and photos histories but personal preferences will be scewed by the keeper :wink:
 

Members online