Octopus sick - arm decay???

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by petromir, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hi guys,

    I need your help. I`m from Germany and octopus keeping is here not so common, nobody out there to help with questions. Saltwater aquariums are my hobby for over 15 years and I kept many sensitive fish like frog fish which even spawned in my tanks however I have no luck with octopus! I`m trying it now the 2nd time and the octopus is somehow not ok. I received it one week ago in good condition, it`s an smaller species from Indonesia, don`t know which one. Since I got it, it`s not hiding, just sitting in front of the tank, it ate small dead fish which are sold here as fish food. But now I saw that two arms are in the beginning of a decay, one is missing half over night and the other one seems to be dead. The are is still there but it`s not moving nor changing colors. The tank is ok as it`s running now for over 2 years and I kept frog fish in it without any loss. I also chekced the water which is ok. I really don`t know what this could be? Infection? Fungus? The tank is equipped with live rock and I know that there is a crab inside these rocks as I saw it ones some month ago. Could the crab destroy the octopus arms? I left the crab in as I thought this would be a good food source. Thanks for any advice.

    Take care

    Markus
     
  2. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    22
    How big is the crab?

    About how big is the octopus in mantle size?

    I'm not sure if it's autophagy, but that's a real risk if individual parts of the body are diseased. I have no idea if you have access to drugs to treat any bacterial infections (perhaps a willing veterinarian?), but if it's autophagy your octopus is going to die fairly soon, and if you had the means to euthanize it I would suggest doing so to keep whatever suffering it may be experiencing (inasmuch as cephalopods experience suffering; we don't know how much yet) to a minimum.
     
  3. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    The mantle size is about 5cm or 2 inches long and the crabs body w/out legs is approx 3-4cm long. I could have access to antibiotics. But are these ok for octopus?
     
  4. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    22

    THIS IS IMPORTANT: The tank has zero copper, right? What are the exact parameters of things like nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, etc? Octopuses may have very different needs from frog fish.


    I'm not a veterinarian; I'm still an undergrad and I'm not headed for vet school, I'm headed for a biology PhD.

    But I have the chapter of the Invertebrate Medicine textbook edited by Gregory Lewbart, who is an aquatic animal veterinarian, written by Joseph Scimeca, who has done research on cephalopod disease. It says this:

    Antibiotics and dose
    Chloramphenicol - 75 mg/kg PO or IM - q 12 h - 6 days
    Enrofloxacin - 10 mg/kg PO - q 8–12 h / 5 mg/kg IV - q 8–12 h/ 2.5 mg/L bath for 5 h - q 4–6 h
    Gentamicin - 20 mg/kg IM - q 24 h
    Tetracycline 10 mg/kg IM q 24 h
    Nitrofuran (Tank treatment)
    Furazolidone - 50 mg/L for 10 min - q 12 h
    (Furoxone)
    Nitrofurazone - 25 mg/L for 1 h - q 12 hr / 1.5 mg/L for 72 h
    Metronidazole - 100 mg/L for 16 h

    The crab may be a bit too big.

    Take my advice with a grain of salt and at the very least, anyone whose user name is in red's advice should supersede mine.

    If you end up needing to euthanize your octopus, it says a solution of at least 10% ethanol in seawater should do it if you can't get magnesium chloride, but MgCl2 (magnesium chloride), from what I've read, is more humane.
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    :welcome: to TONMO

    The arm decay sounds to me like the octopus is eating his own arms, it is called autophagy, as neurobadger mentioned. it can happen for any number of reasons but it is usually a sign that the octopus is going to die soon. The two leading causes are old age, and stress.

    I'm not sure i would bother to try antibiotics, but then again I am interested to see if it works. I think it may be too late. and i dont think there are very many cases of hobbyist being successful with the antibiotics, if any at all.

    Octopuses typically only live a year, even less for dwarf species. At the end of that year the octopus will go through sensence during the sensence they will usually stop eating, but not always, and their behavior will become erratic; they will stop using their den, or never leave it, and they will wander aimlessly around the tank.

    With a mantle of 2" it could very well be an adult Adopus that is at the end of its life. If it is an Adopus, which it typically is when we see them come from Indonesia the average keeper gets about 2-3 months with them before they die.

    We'd love to see some pics of it!

    If it were a 100% healthy octo that crab would be an easy meal. I have seen mine take prey that was the same size and even larger than their mantle.

    How big is the tank? What kind of filter do you have?
     
  6. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    My tank is approx 30 gallons and attached is an image before the arm decay started. I will check the water parameters again tomorrow, but I`m afraid it will be too late. The octopus is behaving strange, it sits in the tanks and his arms look like knotted...

    Thanks!

    Markus
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,218
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    Could be autophagy, although with this they usually bite off the arms close to the web and your one hasn't done that.

    If it is you will need to sterilize the tank BEFORE you add another ceph. This is incredibly infectious for cephs (it may be a prion like mad cow disease). Anything that can be thrown away, must be, other stuff has to be sterilised in Sodium hypochlorite for at least a week, then neutralised for a week, then soaked in freshwater for a week, then left dry for a week.........then you can use it again. This is the only way we were able to prevent a re-occurrence in our public aquarium (a huge job with a 3000L tank!)....miss out a step and the next octi gets it too.

    Good luck.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    The knotting is what we call "cork screw" and an animal sitting on the glass with its arms hanging down and cork screwed is not going to be around much longer. On occasion, we will see a small amount of this behavior (with only the tips curled) when they first enter an aquarium and attribute it to stress. Sometimes the animal will recover if this condition is during the first day or two of entering the aquarium but with the arm issues I am afriad you will lose it by tomorrow. I think they go high in the tank to avoid clean up predators and you might offer it a hanging breeder net until it dies.

    It may be a natural end of life aging you are seeing. These little ones seem to go very quickly where some of the larger ones will be senescent for a week or more before dieing. The abdopus complex octopuses can break off their own arms a specially designed points around the arm (designed for predator escape) so a missing arm, in itself is not an indication of upcoming death (the loss of arms in any octopus is normal in the wild but this complex can release an arm without it being bitten off). The attached arm that appears lifeless is a new observation though and sounds like either senescence or a bacterial infection (or both as we often see infection at the end of their lives).

    I am curious if the prior inhabitants could have impacted the tank. Were your frogfish of the poisonous variety? Octo skin is sensative to the sting of anemones and may have a reaction to other animal poisons. I don't know if this is a possibley but would consider a major water change if your frogfish were of the venomous variety.

    This also brings up another question about your tank. Do you have higher stinging anemones or polyps? These can definitely sting an octopus and cause infection. I have had possible luck using tetracycline for an arm and an eye infection in young animals but they have to be eating (no luck at all with topical or older animals) and ingest the antibiotic.
     
  9. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    First of all I would like to thank all of you and I´m really delighted that you get real advice here and no blabla...

    However, as expected, the octo was dead this morning. Nobody will ever know if it died due to stress from shipping, new tank, etc and old age or from autophagy...means I cannot use the tank setup anymore for any octos and I have to set up a complete new tank.

    What species could you recommend? Here in Europe one gets only the Bluering, Wunderpus, Macropus and some "Reef octopus" from Indonesia. The Octopus vulgaris from the Mediterrean will grow far to big. Are there any other, smaller species in the Mediterrean which I could collect by my own.

    And to answer your questions, the frog fish I kept are from the genus Antennarius and not poison and I removed all live rock, corals quickly after I suspected the crab to be the killer which lives in the live rock.

    Thanks again and talk to you all soon again

    Markus
     
  10. neurobadger

    neurobadger Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    475
    Likes Received:
    22
    If it barely survives the trip from Indonesia, it will probably barely survive the trip from the United States, in which case that would be Octopus bimaculoides or Octopus briareus or Octopus hummelincki or Octopus joubini or Octopus mercatoris. But you don't want an octopus that barely survives.

    Ever tried Sepia bandensis?
     
  11. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sepia bandensis would be one of my favourites but it`s very hard to get them here. One gets Sepia offincinalis or Sepia eggs but the importers can`t tell you the species so it could be also a larger Sepia. Keeping chephs is not so common in Europe, unfortunately!
     
  12. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    The occy doesn't sound like autophagy to me. Sounds like a octo on its way out with 'clean up crew' eating it arms. I think sometimes ceph keepers are too quick to look for exotic explanations for natural end of life issues. Hope you have better luck in the future!
     
  13. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey. I'm in England so fairly local to you as far as the world goes! Don't consider blue rings, mimics or wonderpus, the first will kill you and the second will die quickly.
    Very few octos we get in europe are small enough for a 30g, a 50g+ would be better, you can often get them from eBay for fairly cheap. I would also consider any advice from shops with doubt, I've not met one yet that knows what they have. My local shop, despite me giving them ID for the species I have still believe it's a 'common octopus' and I'm mistaken!!
    I'd also like to mention that your frogfish may have had some poison, as Antennarius striatus is venomous and maybe a few others.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    As I mentioned, I have no experience with frogfish and don't know if they could have had an impact but if the animals died in the tank there is the possibility of undetetable contamination (there are other fish and some cucumbers where this is a known problem even though the animals don't sting humans) so heavy water changes and filtration with fresh charcoal might be a good idea before adding new critters of any kind.

    You will definitely want live rock in the tank and it is unlikely that a small crab would harm a healthy animal but I do break the claws on the ones that I feed, more to prevent skin damage and resulting infection than concerns about direct impact.

    One animal that I have had the pleasure of keeping twice is a small Indonesian octopus in the macropus complex. Both of mine were very nocturnal but very interactive. If you can either adjust them to come out before you go to bed or happen to be up regularly late at night, they make a nice aquarium animal (but not one you can show your friends).

    A larger tank would definitely be a good idea if this is an option.
     
  15. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    I have been a frogfish fan for years and have never heard that claim before. I can't find any literature that says that any frogfish, including Antennarius striatus has venom. Fish base does not list it as venomous. I can find one mention on google that says something like 'It is thought that it is venomous' which seems to be unsupported. I think this is a myth generated by confusion between frogfish and Rhinopias, but if anyone has any credible evidence I would love to have my mind changed. Even if it was venomous, I don't believe there would be any reason to believe that it's venom could effect animals in a tank if the venom could be ejected into the water.
     
  16. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had been told by the LFS that some are venomous, not that I'd 100% trust them, and google brought me this - Striated Anglerfish
    May not be true tbh so I'll believe your experience.
     
  17. petromir

    petromir Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    4
    I`m also surprised that Antennarius sp. could be venomous, I never heard of that before.

    Reg. the octo, it`s nor problem for me to set up al larger tank, currently I have 5 saltwater tanks running and can easily add another one in my cellar. If I would set up a 50+ what tropical octos would be suitable. As mentioned here in Europe we have no access to the ones you keep in the US. The only one not from tropical watres would be o. vulgaris from the Mediterranean which will grow real big.

    Thanks, and I will keep you posted.

    Markus
     
  18. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any tropical octo would be fine for a 50g+ as far as I know. Indonesian or Macropus seem like the best bet from your list, though whatever you get could be misidentified. I've found the best bet is to order whatever they can get tropical wise and identify it once it's at the LFS.
     
  19. ieatfalalfel

    ieatfalalfel Wonderpus Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    2
    if im correct, there are some very much keepable octos labeled as "indonesian". i think these are usually abdophus spp. and i think the biggest in that group is aculeatus, which needs 55 or so gallons.
    devi, o briareus is tropical and it needs 65 doesnt it?
     
  20. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,996
    Likes Received:
    69
    That is the only link I can find that says they are venomous. Everyone else at work has not ever heard of them being venomous either.
     

Share This Page