Pygmy Atlantic Octopus care

Hannahhhh

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I’m pretty sure my octopus can see the light from the red flashlight I have. His eyes contract and dilate based on if the light is on or off him. What type of light should I be using?
 

Hannahhhh

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I also wanted to ask how you guys go about interacting with your octopuses? Mine is still extremely shy, but he's still adjusting to the tank. Is there anything I can do to encourage him to be interested in me? I have multiple hermit crabs living in the tank at the moment, but once he finishes those off, I will try to feed him by hand, although I am assuming he may be to scared of me to eat while my hand is near him.
 

DWhatley

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From my observations, they do see red light but it is much dimmer than any other color. With my dwarfs, I left a red light on all night so that there was darkness but it was never complete. My most successful O. mercatoris was an animal that would come out regularly at 9:00 PM and expect to be fed. He would get quite active and Neal would call me down from my office with, "Someone is waiting on you!". Other mercs have been a little interactive but not as personable as Sistrurus
 

Hannahhhh

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Can anyone give me suggestions on enticing my new Pygmy octopus to eat? He has multiple hermit crabs living in is tank but I don’t believe he has eaten any. He’s still super shy and afraid of the feeding stick (and everything) at the moment. How long can he go without eating before I should be really worried about him.
 

DWhatley

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If you can find some small fiddler crabs, they seem to be a universal food. I have had great difficulty getting dwarfs to eat thawed frozen shrimp until I reduced the size of the offering (about eye sized). Freshly killed shore shrimp are also a good option.
 

Hannahhhh

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If you can find some small fiddler crabs, they seem to be a universal food. I have had great difficulty getting dwarfs to eat thawed frozen shrimp until I reduced the size of the offering (about eye sized). Freshly killed shore shrimp are also a good option.
I will look into fiddler crabs. In the mean time, do you suggest sticking the small shrimp pieces on a feeding stick or just dropping them in? And also, how long is normal for a new octopus to go without eating? He arrived on Wednesday.
 

DWhatley

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Definitely use a stick, you don't want rotting pieces of shrimp creating ammonia in the tank.

I would not worry until you are sure it is about 2 weeks but do try daily. However, it may be that the animal is in senescence and will not eat again.
 

Hannahhhh

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Definitely use a stick, you don't want rotting pieces of shrimp creating ammonia in the tank.

I would not worry until you are sure it is about 2 weeks but do try daily. However, it may be that the animal is in senescence and will not eat again.
Ugh I hope not. Anyway to find out if he’s in senescence aside from just not eating?
 

DWhatley

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The typical signs are not coming out of the den (or aimless wandering), a very grayish white coloration most of the time (vs bright white or other colors), not eating, in females, the mantle will often be floppy but lack of coordination is true with both sexes. However, since this is a newly introduced animal, there is no good way to distinguish acclimation from senescence.
 

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