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

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Elizabeth247, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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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.
     
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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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
     
  3. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I will get some pics posted tomorrow ( if not tonight) and yes always feel free to move my post to where it will most benefit people.
     
  4. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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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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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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).
     
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  6. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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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.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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!).
     
  8. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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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?
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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.
     
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  10. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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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.
     
  11. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I will also, keep a look out for any shell re-arrangements! I know where every rock, shell, ect. is at (or should be at) in my tank.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    She may also hide inside a rock so be careful if you move them around. If she is in a crevice, moving the whole rock may still be the easiest and least stressful way to swap tank.
     
  13. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

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    Yay! Exciting! Welcome!
     
  14. Elizabeth247

    Elizabeth247 Cuttlefish Registered

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    New update: 24 hours after placing the purple barnacle cluster in my tank......Miss Priscilla found a nice comfy place in 1 of the barnacles. She has since been moved to her new tank as well as her new friend (male). Haven't named him yet but I figured that she had a 30 gal to herself so I may as well add a male too.

    Thank you for all the info. I will get a pic of the 2 of them soon and post it. The male appears a little larger but not by much. These will be the only 2 living things in this tank unless its live food! I do have a few small snails,grass shrimp and copepods.

    Jacco: thank you for the welcome :grin:
     
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  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm always glad to know that some of my suggestions work out. Like human children and cats, you can't always count on octopuses to behave as you expect. :wink:

    We have had excellent luck keeping siblings together as well as animals that were captured living in close quarters (same live rock). This leads us to believe mercs are one of the few octopuses that can be successfully housed together. However, we have occasionally seen one animal die when pairing unfamiliar animals. I believe this has only happened (partially because it the infrequency of trying it) within the first 2 weeks of acclimation and may have nothing to do with placing animals together. My lack of pairing concern is mostly based upon the fact that none of the dead animals were eaten.

    If you have a male and female you will almost be guaranteed to have hatchlings. They are not easy to raise but are one of two commonly raised and the only species where we have had multiple generations journalled. Five seems to be the prevailing number of full lifespan offspring, regardless of the number of hatchlings (6 to 100+ have been journalled). Our two longest journals, GHolland's Varys and my Trapper, may come in handy for what to expect (there are forward links in the parent journals to the children and grandchildren of both mercs) :grin:
     
  16. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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  17. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

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    2?! Ohmygoodnes! Pics? Video?
     

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