Possibly buying an Octopus!

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by devi, May 12, 2011.

  1. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey,
    I've been signed up here since 2009, which was the first time I decided I wanted a little 8 legged friend and after 2 years of researching on and off and thinking it over I think I'm going for it. Been ringing round a few places looking for the right species at the right price.
    I think my number 1 choice is Mercatoris, being as they don't get too big and can live in smaller tanks, availability seems dodgy though so I'm happy for any dwarf species I think, obviously apart from blue ring.
    Has anyone got any tips for actually purchasing one? Like how do I know that the octopus they have is what they say it is? Is there a pictoral ID guide anywhere? Or should I take it on trust? What should I be looking for health wise when I see it?
    Thank you!
     
  2. asid61

    asid61 GPO Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keep in mind you may only have your friend for a few weeks.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,080
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    We have not seen a lot of mercs for about two years. Your best suppliers will be live rock farmers who find small ones in the aquacultured rock when they bring it in for sale. Some years the crabbers will find them in their traps and local fish collectors will buy and offer them for sale but crabbing season is over for the year and we did not see many in this year's season. eBay is your most likely bet for finding one (usually a rock farmer is the offering party). Another place to watch is Drs. Foster and Smith's Live aquaria but they are pricey for this species and won't likely ID it.

    O. joubini is a (still nocturnal) Caribbean dwarf but even when labled this way, they are more often actually O.mercatoris.

    There is another Caribbean dwarf but I have not had any bites on IDing it or where it might have originally migrated come from (from one photo I found, I am thinking Brazil). Sadly, Monty and likely one other that did not survive shipping to another member are the only two that have been found and offered for the aquarium industrty (that I know of).

    You might want to subscribe to the Octopus Availability thread to be notified when members spot octopuses for sale :grin:
     
  4. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the responses. I'm aware of the short life span but I'd rather get a small one and have the ability to give it a great month or so than a potentially huge one and not have the facilities for it.
    I've had a look at your ideas and they all seem to be US based and I'm in England. I'm ringing round my local places but as you say, not seeing much mercatoris at all. I've found that most places can get 'zebra' octopus, which from googling I think is a mimic? So that's a no. Macropus, which is too big for me, and 'common octopus' which I'm assuming is Vulgaris, but could be anything I suppose.
    I've found a place that has suppliers in Indonesia and Bali who sell 'assorted octopus species' and they can get them in for £30, which is about $50, all they know is it isn't zebra or blue ring because they get separated and sold for higher prices, so they're going to get one in for me and let me identify it, so I will probably be asking for your help there!
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,080
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    :oops: I obviously failed to note your location. It appears most UK keeps order them and they will come either from Australia (which will most likely be blue ring) or Indonesia. Discounting the Wunderpus (frequently called zebra or mimic and with the same concerns) we see a small Macropus (not sure of the species but it is nocturnal and relatively small but needs swimming room) and A. aculeatus. We also hear of O.briareus showing up there (definitely not a small species) and I think they may be imported from the Caribbean. I don't know if O. mercatoris is native to other waters but if O. briareus is imported, O. mercatoris may be as well.
     
  6. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, that's really helpful. Well I've got one of these 'assorted octopus' showing up in the next few weeks, if it's too big a species then they say they'll have no problem selling it to someone else. I've also managed to find another shop that has suppliers in Miami which know their species and may be able to get a mercatoris, so I may have some luck there, but it's likely to cost double the price. Not sure if I want to spend £60-£80 on an animal that may not last more than a month.
     
  7. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2000
    Messages:
    8,738
    Likes Received:
    516
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Tough call Devi! Thanks for resurfacing :smile: - Please keep us posted...
     
  8. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    After a month my octopus arrived at the shop, poorly packed and dead. :sad:
    Does this happen often? I feel pretty bad that I put the little guy through the journey from Indonesia and possibly contributed to his premature death.
     
  9. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    it does. it seems to be happening less and less, I think because venders are getting better at packing them. 1/3 of the octos i have ordered were DOA or close to it.
     
  10. devi

    devi Blue Ring Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh dear. If I knew that I may not have ordered it in the first place. They've complained about the bad packaging and ordered me another, hopefully this one makes the trip ok. At this rate I'll have saved up for my 55g tank before I get anything in my 15g!
     

Share This Page