Octopus Health

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by ReefHousePaul, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. ReefHousePaul

    ReefHousePaul Larval Mass Registered

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    I have a customer that purchased an Octopus from me. I have to say that I manage a Reef Speciality store, but we do not keep Octopus' in stock.

    He purchased a common red octopus and took it home. At which point he added it to the octopus setup he had waiting for this little guy. It did OK for the first few hours. Then in the middle of the night he checked on the octopus and found him on the glass and he was white. At which point he removed the guy from the tank to examine him. The octopus changed to a sandy color when he left the water and stayed this color when returned to the tank a minute later. But he did not move after this point.

    The customer also pointed out that the underside of the legs had a slight pink tinge. He had a squid that turned pink when it passed a few years back.

    The truly sad part of this tale is the customer then placed the octopus in the refridgerator in the morning, thinking it had passed on.

    I am not convinced that the little guy had passed. As I understand it the color changes are an upper brain function and the animal would still need to be alive for this to happen. As well as clinging onto the glass (where the customer first found him).

    I have to say this customer does seem to know what he is doing in the setup up of a marine tank. He may have limited knowledge on Octopus' though. I know little about the guys myself.

    I am in search of anything pretaining to this situation. Was the Octopus alive when he was placed in the cooler? What are the sleeping patterns for the common Octopus? If anyone can lend a learned head to this matter, I would be eternally grateful.
     
  2. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Re: Octopus Health

    This is untrue.

    I am not sure about the color changes but while I was in Mombasa a guy hit an octopus with a spear and I touched it. The octopus sucked my arm while a big stick was in his head so I think it could be might be a reflex of dying.


    I would ask the guy what his setup was along with his temp. and specific gravity was. Also tell him about this wonderful site!

    I hope I helped.



    Jesse
     
  3. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    The octopus was still alive I think.
    I saw in this TV show that when an octopus starts getting a reddish pink underneath there ARMS not legs, they get Ammonia.
    Im not sure how the guy made the octopus have ammonia, but I heard of it.
    It's bad.
     
  4. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Well there's one thing first.
    Tha bag shaped part of the octopus is NOT it's head. Manye many people always mistake that part for it's head. I dont see YOU or any other humans with your organs in your head and not in your body.
    I thought it was called a mantle, or a trunk were all it's organs are.

    I also thought the spear went through its HEAD. In between the eyes.
    But I guess it still died with ammonia. Cause it was red underneath its arms.
     
  5. stits

    stits Blue Ring Registered

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    Re: Octopus Health

    It could have been any of a dozen things. Ammonia, CO2 with out a species I have no clue as to the reason common red means nothing. For the record most "reds" are nocturnal and the worst to start with. As to color change its just muscle around the chromatophore it can happen at any time even if it’s nearly dead.
     
  6. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Im pretty SURE that red underneath the arms totally means ammonia.
    I learned on animal planet when they tried slowly putting this giant octopus into its new tank after being shipped and it started getting sick and red.
    So they had 2 take it 2 better water quality. And then it was fine.
     
  7. mikeconstable

    mikeconstable GPO Registered

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    Death of Cephalopods

    I can only speak from experience with cuttlefish.
    I have seen them suddenly stop moving, while the tentacles and arms lose muscle tone and go floppy. Any attempts to revive the animal has no effect, but the tentacles (and arms to a lesser extent) cling to things they touch, remaining extended. Chromophores can continue to expand and contract for 24 hours or more, and the skin of the mantle can be seen to wrinkle and move as well.
    I have heard of octopi dying after delivery to shops and they may react badly to changes/stress.
    I once had a perch (European freshwater fish) which had a fit, went stiff with mouth and gills flared. It looked totally dead but later was found swimming round the tank! Subsequently I have been reluctant to dispose of "dead" bodies too quickly, but nothing else has revived like that fish!
     
  8. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Re: Death of Cephalopods

    Yea that's true.
    When octopi die there arms become seriously FLOPPY cause there muscles aren't being used anymore, and there suckers aren't muscled anymore so they become floppy, and there mantle becomes wrinkled and smaller. I also tink there eye sockets REALLY SHRINK.
    I know all this cuase I see em' at the fish store all the time.
    There webbing shrinks as well.
     
  9. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Paul,

    its true that the name 'common red' does mean very little as far as ID is concerned. Any idea on a scientific name?

    if the customer was able to catch a new octopus in a tank easily then there is something wrong! I would agree with Mike's responses and I would tend to think that shipping stress or the acclimatisation is to blame.

    Cephalopods can continue to change colour, especially when touched after death And i have also seen a dead octopus still attached to the glass.
     
  10. ReefHousePaul

    ReefHousePaul Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you for all you responses.

    I am fairly confident that the poor guy has passed on. For what reason I will have to wonder still, but I do see that it could have been several things.

    I will have to take a close look at the water conditions and go from there.

    The purchase invoice just says Ordinary Octopus Medium... so I am not sure the breed it was. I am not very educated on the Octopus breeds, but I am getting a crash course this weekend.

    Can someone list the water parameters for an Octopus tank and I will check this poor guy's tank out. We shall see if we can keep this from happening on the next go around.

    I am also thinking of setting up a Octopus tank here in the shop and would take any idea for setup... decoration... (clear hiding tubes or PVC?)... and anyhting else I would need to know.

    Again, thank you for all your help.
     
  11. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Paul

    the conditions are the same for a reef tank but pay attention to the SG which has to be 1.026 and do a test for copper, even trace can kill... and depending on species the water temp

    How are you getting a crash course???

    And yes, the names the octopuses are sold as mean not a thing!!! :)
     
  12. ReefHousePaul

    ReefHousePaul Larval Mass Registered

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    I am hitting every site I can find on the subject. I am finding that I am learning more than I thought was available.

    It is an interesting subject. ANd the more that I learn, the more apt I am to set up a cuddlefish or octopus tank.

    So in otherwords... I am getting a crash course on Cephs.

    Back to the topic at hand... I am having the customer bring in a water sample and I will test it for copper.

    Thank you for your continued assistance on this issue.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Paul,

    While you're immersed in your crash course, don't forget to have a look at our Ceph Care articles
    http://www.tonmo.com/cephcare/cephcarejump.php

    I think you'd find the Equipment List (which also contains ceph care information) and the Checklist quite useful.


    Nancy
     
  14. shannen74

    shannen74 Blue Ring Registered

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    Colin, you said SG at 1.026? I was under the impression that 1.024 or 1.025 was about right, and that ammonia and nitrates were most important water quality factors. Is there anywhere on the ceph care articles that has a list of recommended water parameters and about where they start to get dangerous? I have looked around a bit for something like that, but it was not obvious.

    Thanks mucho,
    Shannen
     
  15. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Shannen

    basicly, many people keep their marine fish tanks at a lower level of SG to prevent parasites in the water, some keep it as low as 1.017, so whether its 1.024 or 1.027 is not so important just make sure that the sea water is full strength 1.025 - 1.026 is kinda in the middle and acceptable to cephs.

    Ammonia is certainly a ceph killer and one reason why we suggest that a ceph tank is matured for at least a few months before you put one in. Nitrates on the other hand dont seem to bother octopuses too much as 500ppm is frequently recorded in ceph tanks. that would certainly have a reef keeper pulling their hair out!!! :P

    If you try to keep all nasties at zero and do a check for copper and keep the SG stable and a temp that suits your species you wont go far wrong!
     
  16. shannen74

    shannen74 Blue Ring Registered

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    Thanks Colin!
     

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