[Octopus]: Priscilla - O. Mercatoris She's Here!!!

Elizabeth247

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Well my little Priscillia is here!!! She is about as big as my thumb nail plus legs. I have her in a breeding net for now so that I can monitor what & if she eats. She has a very strong grip, although I admit that this my first encounter with an octo. I have added 2 small juvenile saltwater grass shrimp, which she hasn't touched yet. But I know that this is her first day in a new place.

I'm so worried about her chances of survival. I'm holding my breath now for 2 weeks. If anyone would like to add anything I should do or not do to give her the best odds....please feel free to comment.

And I do believe that this may be my new hobby & conquest in life.
 

DWhatley

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@Elizabeth247
Pictures! Octopuses are addictive :gigas:
With your permission, I would like to move this to our journal section in hopes that you will continue to record your experience with Priscilla
 

Elizabeth247

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This is her! A strong little bugger lol
seems that i should try feeding her something smaller...more close to the size of her eye. I do have pods. so I will dump a few in there as well.
 

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DWhatley

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Feel free to experiment with any raw seafood. Anything dead should be offered on a feeding stick as the will often ignore dead food just lying on the substrate (IME, very much dependent on the individual animal) You can try damaging the shrimp or killing them and offering on the end of a feeding stick or thin bamboo skewer (a bit tricky). As a rule, the shrimp are too fast for them to catch (younger animals do better than older but they waste a lot of energy for the calories).
 

Elizabeth247

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Thank you for the above advice! I did see that some of the pods where gone this morning. But, I guess they could have crawled out. The 1 shrimp was missing this afternoon. This time I got a smaller shrimp & took a large shell and corralled it in the corner with Priscilla, She grabbed it and tucked it up under her. I will check back to see if it is actually gone.

1 other question.....at what temp. should her water be? I get confused with some needing warmer, room temp or colder.
 

DWhatley

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Without direct, controlled experiments (hard to do), long time observational, anecdotal evidence suggests keeping octopuses near the bottom of their range will extend life but will also make them more sluggish. However, it is unclear if this is safe for very young animals so I tend to go mid-range throughout their lives. For Caribbean species the range is roughly 72 - 78 degrees and I target 75 allowing roughly 2 degrees seasonal fluctuation.

NOTE: a heater should never be placed directly in an octopus tank (I keep a heater in my sump that is used only when temp dips below 72. Pumps and lighting usually make its use unnecessary but today's LED lighting may change that a bit) . They are not exposed to anything that will burn and can cause themselves damage. Jacques Cousteau observed an extreme when they took underwater torches (still don't know how this worked - it was not a synonym for flashlight in this case but actual fire) to film and were fascinated that the animal's curiosity damaged the animal but it kept exploring (they stopped the experiment - Octopus and Squid, The Soft Intelligence, great read!).
 

Elizabeth247

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Thought I would give an update on Miss Priscilla! I got up this morning and she was gone :confused2:. She is loose somewhere in my DT......happily making a home I suppose :snorkel:. I have looked up and down and can't see her anywhere but at least my DT is pretty well closed up because I kept have large wrasses jumping out & finding them a little to late. I few a few small holes to cover & all should be well there. My fish shouldn't bother her. However, I hope she doesn't get my clam & scooter blennies. Now I have a nice 30 gal with live rock all ready to go with nothing to put in it. Any suggestions for a tank that size?
 

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The octopus when you find her. I am strongly against keeping ANY fish with an octopus. At best they will stress them by trying to get food scraps, at worst they will pick on them. The larger octos will usually end up killing the fish, not sure about dwarfs.

The typical eating type clams are not a problem but the more decorative may take an arm off (or worse). Merc are not strong enough to open a clam by force and I have never seen them drill one but don't know anyone who has combined the two.

If you have ordered/found some of the giant purple barnacle, place the cluster about 1/3 of the way up the aquarium and see if she will find it as a home. Then you can transfer her easily to the 30.
 

Elizabeth247

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Great idea! I do have the purple barnacle clusters on their way. She doesn't seem to like the bright lights in my coral tank however, she moves around a lot in the mornings with just the sunlight coming across the room. So, I'm going to start at 1 end tonight and keep looking for her. And then again in the morning if no luck tonight. I will move every piece of rock & coral if I have too.

I don't want her there either but at least I knew she would have plenty of places to hide and lots of food while I was at work today. So, off I go to turn the lights out a bit early hoping she will appear :fingerscrossed:.

I'm such a bad octo. mom.
 

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