Problem with Food Supply

Green_Tree

O. vulgaris
Registered
#1
Hi people.
First off let me say that I'm looking into getting an new octopus and am really excited. :smile:

I am having a slight problem with the logistics however. I have access to a fairly experienced Reef Tank Aquarist (my father) but both me and him are having problems with this. I live in a small town in Iowa. The closest marine supply store is in Chicago. :cry:

so my problem is, I have no practical Available live food source. Im looking for suggestions and help.

Thank You,
Green Tree
 

bluespotocto

Haliphron Atlanticus
Registered
#2
Well you can always order live food from places. Also you can try and feed you octo frozen seafood that you can get at the store. Usually all octos will take a clam or mussel if you store can get them. But you can order live food from cramers or pauls aqua culture store(sorry i am not sure what the urls are).
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#3
Frozen shrimp from the supermarket work great, as the main stay of the diet. Then as an added supplement order some crabs or shrimp online

I order live crabs online from Cramer's Caribbean Critters

and and I know some other people order there shrimp from Paul Sachs
 

Green_Tree

O. vulgaris
Registered
#4
Im fairly new to marine aquariums and so one thought that came to mind was the possibility of breeding my own live food. My father saw this as very complicated and not practical. Any views here would be appreciated.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#5
There are not a lot of food items that you could raise easily (most would take more aquarium space than the octopus) but attempting a few snacks might be fun. I have seen (but not tried) individuals that raise scallops and clams in smaller tanks. Small fish can be a treat but it is important that they are not treated with copper and most pet stores routinely treat incoming fish to avoid disease so getting a breeding pair that would produce safe food is risky. Unfortunately, shrimp and crabs are difficult to successfully brood past the first day and would be too small at hatching to use as food (great for dragonettes and pipefish though).
 

flaherty8153

Cuttlefish
Registered
#8
my cuttles seem to be doing fine . I fed my 1st cuttle saltanimals only and my latest 3 seem to growing at about the same rate with out any issues except I don't have any eggs yet
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#9
You can eat SOME candy but your health would suffer if you ate only candy is the general take on feeding any kind of freshwater critters. There is debate on crossover freshwater animals with exoskeletons (freshwater shrimp and crayfish) and I have not found a definitive argument. However, feeding crayfish as a treat is not a problem. The concern comes in when they are used as a primary diet.
 

flaherty8153

Cuttlefish
Registered
#10
D what would be the health problems ? Would it be a real concern in an animal that only lives a year ? Would it cause the animal any dicomfort ? I fed my fish mostly freshwater mysis for 6 years and they are doing great . I do not however have a control to compare them to . Could selcon be injected to the food to help ? just wondering . thanks
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#11
I have been trying to find info on nutrition for some time but the available resources (I am not affiliated with a university so only open papers and abstracts are available) are limited. I have not been able to find a lay person readable study on the differences between freshwater vs saltwater inverts and begin to suspect, as you are finding, that the subtle differences are unimportant unless, perhaps you are attempting to breed and raise the young. The studies I DID find compared feeding saltwater fish vs crustateans (done in South America, unfortunately, I did not keep a journal of references or if I did I can't find the post :oops:). The studies were initiated to see if it was viable to raise octopuses as a food source on something cheaper than crabs (but still saltwater). The results showed that octopuses did not grow as well fed entirely on fish and the discussion/summary indicated that supplementing and further research would be necessary. One of the noted thoughts was that crabs contain usable copper (vs lethal) that may be needed for proper blood development. Effects of freshwater fish or inverts was not attempted and not relavent to the intent of the studies.

As an asside, most of us feed (those not living near the coast) grocery store shrimp to our octopuses (as well as frozen fresh water mysis). If you read the fine print, most of these are freshwater raised. However, from what I could find in the net, freshwater shrimp are actually saltwater shrimp raised in lower salinity but in the normal to high SW PH. Neal and I go looking for wild caught SW varieties but those that we find contain sulfieds for preservation. I have not seen this noted on the FW ones but they may also be treated. We feed as much variety as we can find in hopes that we avoid a build up of the negatives of any one of the options. When I next get the opportunity to try to raise a few young, I think I will experiment with food to a bit to see if I can get a result that may be worth studying.

Trying to give this kind of a discussion when someone asks what to feed their octopus, however, presents misinterpretation problems for the new ceph keeper so my initial response is to stay with saltwater animals. Freshwater fish, for example will not provide a proper diet at all but if an octopus eats a freshwater fish it will not kill it (assuming it was not treated with copper).
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#14
Sorry if my ramblings confuse the response.

More concisely, the studies I could find on octo nutrition deterined that feeding crustaceans (crabs specifically) had a lower mortality rate than octos being fed saltwater fish only. I could not find information on fresh water inverts to confirm or deny the food value for saltwater animals. It is known octopuses can eat fish (fresh or saltwater) and freshwater inverts without harm in limited quantities. I cannot find reports that give answers to the mortality and health impacts if octopuses are fed freshwater inverts as a regular diet. Our little guys are not with us long so I choose not to include freshwater food in their main diet, knowing the saltwater crustaceans provide a better mortality rate than fish and don't take chances on the fw inverts. If I had a number of tank born, I would be willing to experiment with fw inverts (but not fish) just to see if the fw food makes a difference in a small study.
 

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