Please give me your advice

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by apollo, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. apollo

    apollo Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey guys this is a very odd and troubling situation i need some advice on. I have had many cephalopods and currently i have a fifty gallon tank and a 29 gallon tank. In the 29 gallon tank i kept a octopus briareus (temporarily) for two weeks. I then transferred him to the fifty five gallon tank and he is doing really well. Upon moving him i put a small octopus in the 29 gallon tank. I transferred him well and he was actually thriving, i put him in the tank six days ago. he found one of the many hiding spot i made for him, in the tank there were about 20 snails for him to snack on and i attempted to feed him shrimp from the fridge (which he was not interested in). I have a fifty gallon filter with fresh filters in it on this thirty gallon tank. This morning i found him in dire straits and i dont think he has long. I know unfortunately i cannot do anything for my small friend. But i was curious what went wrong because i need to make sure i fix something i may have done wrong. Was it just his time?[The bigger octopus briareus lived in this tank for a while and is still thriving in his new tank (to reiterate)]. Thanks, This is a picture of the tank.
     

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  2. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    What are the water parameters? How long have you had the octopus? Do you know what kind of octopus it is? Could we see a photo of the octopus?
     
  3. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    If your water params are OK and depending on species, you may have done nothing wrong, it may simply be at the end of it's life. Do you know what species it is?
     
  4. apollo

    apollo Cuttlefish Registered

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    my Salinity is in a normal range and he has been living in it for several days. Everything is normal in the water quality. Here is a picture. He is still alive he is breathing still hes been immobile though all day. Also there was and is alot of live food for him to eat and he hasnt also he didnt eat the frozen shrimp i tried to feed him. Is there something i can do hes been fighting all day today?

     

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  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Please give numbers and not "are OK" on parameters. Most of the time the two agree but often enough they don't.
    Of most concern are:
    PH:
    Ammonia:
    Nitrite:
    Nitrate:
    Salinity:

    The nitrate (not nitrite) in particular may be impactive for a newly introduced animal where one that lived as it accelerated may be less likely to show immediate reaction. There is no live rock in the tank to handle waste so I would suspect there is a problem that you are not seeing.

    Do you see any traces of eye spots on the little one? This is not an O. mercatoris and I suspect either O. hummelincki or another animal from the Caribbean that has been recently showing up that is an unknown species. A hummelincki will have two eye spots that can color to a blue and yellow target with the blue inside a yellow ring. The unknown animal will have a dark brown eye spot (might even be blue but blue-black, not the bright blue of hummelincki) surrounded by a tan/brown ring.

    As Jean mentioned, it may be a simple case of senescence with nothing to be done but if you want to try something at this point, the only suggestion I have is to place it in clean water (possibly from the larger tank if it is closer to the current tank parameters) and see if you notice a positive change. If so, empty and refill its tank, if not at least the clean up crew will not be chewing on it while it lives. Be sure to observe the container at all times or secure a lid that allows air exchange if you try this.
     
  6. gpx1200

    gpx1200 GPO Registered

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    looking at that pic i'd bet that tank has only been set up a few weaks and it is still cycling and the peramiters are not ok at all.
     
  7. apollo

    apollo Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey guys thanks for all the advice. My salinity is too high, i dont know how i let that slip past me i dont even know how it got soo salty in the first place but ill remember this and check the salinity weekly. I am currently putting him in the bigger tanks water that has a healthy salinity thanks again..
     
  8. apollo

    apollo Cuttlefish Registered

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    the tank has been set up for several months and all the chemicals are balanced except the salinity has risen too high.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Apollo,
    The tank is not cycled. The reason you show no ammonia or nitrite (or did when you checked it) is because there is no bio-load to create the noxious gasses. A tank has to be actively cycled and this one clearly is not. Please do not take offense but you asked for some help and we are trying to save the little guy if it is possible so hear me out without being upset.

    The rock you used was dead rock so it had no starting bacteria. Simply leaving it in the water does not add bacteria. There are a couple of methods to start a cycle and you need to read up on the processes but you can't do it with an animal in the tank because the purpose is to generate the deadly ammonia that turns to deadly nitrite and starts growing the bacteria that turns that into less impactive nitrate. It is very likely you have both ammonia and nitrite in that tank now from the waste of the prior occupant but the cycle is far from complete.

    If the little one responds to the new water, completely replace its tank water. This will NOT cycle the tank and you will need to do daily water changes just to keep up with the pollution. If the larger tank has truly cycled live rock (a picture will be helpful) then you can place some of the rock into the small tank and some of your uncycled rock into the larger tank to start a culture. This does not happen overnight and a 3 month minimum with continually adding bio-load is needed to culture a tank for the waste of an octopus. Unfortunately, anything you try to buy will need to be cycled away from the animals before it can be helpful to the tank (and not doing so will make matters worse). The only reason you can put your dead rock (and then only a piece or two) in the larger tank is because you have had it in the tank for "several months" and it was dead to begin with. If you have friends with an aquarium that will loan you rock that has been in their tank or sump for a long time, this will also help but not cure the current condition.

    If you lose the little guy, and wish to maintain the smaller tank read a little on active cycling. The following is a brief description of three of the most common ways to cycle a marine tank but you need to find a full write up to get the results you want.

    The oldest method is to add hardy fish and overfeed them but there are better methods today. The object is to create ammonia (the fish eat and eliminate and create the ammonia) that will become nitrite and grow bacteria that will turn the nitrite into nitrate. The nitrate is then removed through your water changes and any macro algae you may decide to put in the tank (not really viable with an octopus) or sump. It is NECESSARY to see a huge ammonia spike followed by a nitrite spike and then smaller ammonia/nitrite spikes as the tank matures. If you never see the ammonia, the tank will not cycle.

    One way I have not tried but is written up as working well is to add a dead shrimp (the kind you find in the grocery). How often and how many you will have to find in another forum that specialized in setting up marine tanks but this should give you some key words it it interest you.

    Another method, and my preferred way is to use live rock. Finding it is not the easiest and it is expensive. Here again friends can be helpful if they have sump rock they will sell you or if you can find someone breaking down a tank that is still wet. The live rock will have die off that creates ammonia as well as some starter bacteria. After the first month, you would start adding a clean up crew and feeding it. Generally, hermit or other small meat eating crabs are good for the first critters. They will eat meat but also help clean the rock of algae. By the second month you should be able to add larger clean up animals. I find serpent or brittle stars to work very well for this as they love meaty foods, are hardy and can remain in the tank after it is cycled (any crabs may or may not be eaten).
     
  10. apollo

    apollo Cuttlefish Registered

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    Im sorry i wasnt super clear i cycled the tank but i lack the tools to test it on a whim, i take it to my local saltwater pet store to get it checked i know for a fact it is cycled. I used water from my larger naturally cycled tank and i have live rock in the both tanks. thanks though
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Apollo,
    Water from a cycled tank will not cycle a new tank and the rock you have is clearly dead, has been dry and contains absolutely no residual bacteria from when it was alive. It will come back to life over time if exposed to the ammonia->nitrite->nitrate cycle but it takes many months. You can speed up the process a little by adding live rock (rock that has live bacteria will not be white) but it stills takes many months.

    Yes, your water would have tested without ammonia or nitrites (as will your newly made saltwater) and your LFS will test it and pronounce it ready to go if he has not required you to show an ammonia spike. The absence of ammonia and nitrite alone does not mean a tank is cycled. It MUST start growing bacteria that we detect by seeing first ammonia then nitrite then no ammonia or nitrite. If you bring a sample of newly created water to your LFS and he has no knowledge of your prior tests, he will tell you the water is ready for fish.

    The problem is unfortunately common and not well understood but the results has long been given the name, "New Tank Syndrome". An octopus generates far more waste than fish of equal sizing and its tank needs to have far more bacteria in place to keep from having a new ammonia spike.
     

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