O. Mercatoris

Octoman=^_^=

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#1
:smile: hi everyone i am new to tonmo.com(ive actually had one for a while but never really used it :tomato:) anyway, i was just wondering if the care for O. mercatoris was hard, because i plan on keeping one in my old 20 gallon thats just collecting dust in the basement. it will be my first octo, but i know the care, i have researched a bunch, so we will see how it all works out.
 

DWhatley

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#4
uh hemm, are you indicating that I am bit verbose, Jakester? :wink:
 

Octoman=^_^=

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#5
i plan on using a sump that i originally had on my 72 gallon FOWLR system. i got a new sump and skimmer for it, so i figured why not use that sump and the water will be great since it kept my 72 clear and healthy. it has an overflow box, though, so will i hav to cover it on account that the merc might go into it? and what do u feed baby mercs. i wuz thinking live or fresh dead shore shrimp or cyclop-eeze(i think thats what its called) through a pipette. would this work?
 

DWhatley

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#7
It is not likely you will find a baby merc for sale. Most WC only live a few months in captivity and then expire naturally (life span is from 8 to 12 months). When they are plentiful, we often get fertile females and the hatchlings are the easiest to raise of all the octos we see (and are often used for scientific experiements because they are relatively easy to keep, mate and grow out). Note that this does not mean they are easy to raise from hatchlings or that a large number successfully survive but hobbiest have had reasonable success with this species.

Wild caught juveniles or adults have easily taken impalled shore shrimp, live fiddlers (a favorite), hermits removed from the shell and Cyclop-eeze (used as a general tank additive and sometimes accepted from a pipette). I have only had one adult that would accept pieces of table shrimp but others have had more success. They have also been known to eat (but not in my tanks) small live hermit crabs, snails, thawed mysis and thawed krill.

I raised my hatchlings on a diet of Cyclop-eeze and freshly killed shore shrimp until they could eat fiddlers. I only recently experimented with hermits removed from the shell and found it a good addition to the menu.
 

Octoman=^_^=

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#8
so i'll probably be getting an adult then?? or will i have to get a fertile female and raise babies, because i am definately not prepared for that, to be honest
 

DWhatley

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#9
Getting any octopus is an unknown. Sometimes (less so with O. mercatoris) the animals are not the species we expect but age and sex are always a mystery until they arrive. Females will eventually lay eggs, if she mated in the wild there is a chance that they will be fertile if the eggs are laid before roughly 4 months. Very few keepers are successful raising hatchlings and the small egg species (O. mercatoris is a large egg species) have not been successfully raised in a home aquarium. Because of the short life span and need for a dedicated tank, it is a necessary understanding that you will be keeping several over the life of the tank and not a single animal for a long period of time.
 

Octoman=^_^=

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#10
i understand its sad that these amazingly intelligent creatures dont even live that long im still excited to keep one and hopefully it goes successfully, and i hear mercs only live for about 8-12 months, or shorter.
 

DWhatley

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#11
Mercs are not for everyone but I have enjoyed keeping them and usually have one in residence (sadly the merc tank is currently empty but it did give me a place to put monty until he grew and we could establish a larger home in the breakfast room).
 

Octoman=^_^=

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#12
well my original plan was to keep an octopus in my 72 gallon tank, but wanted to establish it with fish first. but now i have a lionfish, angelfish, eel, clown, and a tang, and i dont want to get rid of them, so i thought why not get a merc. i feel i know enought about saltwater in general, plus all the research i have recently done on octopuses, and i dont want a tank to go to waste! LOL
 

Octoman=^_^=

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#14
i dont know much this wud b my first ceph but i know they are relatively small and wud to fine in a 20 gallon i dont want to give specifics cuz i might b wrong and that cud b bad
 

DWhatley

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#15
Robinspa,
A good guess on merc sizing is roughly 1.5 - 2" mantle with arms 1.5 - 2 times the mantle length. If you go to FORUMS->Journals and Photos and look at the top of the forum you will see List of Our Octopuses 20xx threads. The lists from 2008 - 2010 have links to the journals. We have not seen many mercs this year but looking through some of the older threads and clicking on the species should give you an introduction to keeping a mercatoris.

Octoman, PLEASE, PLEASE don't use text speak. I know phones are now a common way to use the internet but some of us have real issues trying to read the resulting short cuts for words :old:
 

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