Sick Octo? HELP

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Octoville, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    I bought an octo from my lfs about 4 days ago. I have it in a 30 gallon tank. I have tried feeding it frozen fish and shrimp (thawed), live shrimp, and there is even a domino damsel in the tank but it won't eat anything. It hasn't even tried to go for the damsel. The tank has been running for about 3 months now. Ever since I put the octo in the tank it has refused food and it frequently curls and twists its tentacles. For the past day it has pretty much just stayed in one or two spots for hours at a time. I'm not sure what is wrong with it or what i need to do to keep it alive. Any suggestions will be great!!
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to TONMO.com.

    This doesn't sound too good.

    How large is your octopus? Do you know what species it is?

    What are your water parameters: pH, sg (salinity), nitrites, nitrates, ammonia?

    Your octopus might be old or in poor health, or your water paramters might be off. We need more information to help.

    Nancy
     
  3. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    Its head is about 2 inches long and its tentacles are probably 4 or 5 inches. I went to get my H2O tested today but the lfs was closed. Last time I had it checked, the PH was about 8 they said the ammonia was a little high but I have done a good size water change since (about a week ago) and the nitrates and nitrites were both fine they said. I didn't use RO/DI water when I first set up the tank but I recently put in water conditioner when I did my water change in hopes of clearing out some of the heavy metals... I don't know what else to do.
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: Try offering live food. Also, the domino damsel can be aggressive, it may be intimidated by the fish. I would remove the fish. I would do a water change with RO/DI water.
     
  5. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    This is probably a dumb question, but I don't want to spend $200 on an RO/DI system so where can I buy RO/DI water? Is all purified water RO/DI? I'll also try to take out the damsel, which should be tricky :) Thanks for the advice.. I will keep the octos progress updated..Hope it does okay. Any other advice would be great! thanks again.
     
  6. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Ask at your LFS if they can give you some RO/DI water. You could also buy bottled distilled water from the store. Eventually, you may want to invest in the RO/DI system. Try to find some live food. See if your LFS has snails, hermits, small crabs or even ghost shrimp.
     
  7. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    If you have a water store they usually have systems that work good.
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Most LFSs sell RO/DI water -it may or may not be buffered.
    They also sell premixed salt water.

    It's possible to find it in stores such as Whole Foods, but you need to provide the container.

    Adding water conditioner isn't good, so the problem may be your water. The suggestion to do a water change with salt water based on RO/DI water is good.

    Nancy
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You local LFS should sell a container of test strips to keep at home. It only take 60 seconds to check the strips. Some aquarists do not like them but I have stopped using reagents altogether to look at nitrites, nitrates and PH (multi-test strips show all of these in one strip). There is also one for ammonia but is not in a multi test and needs to be tested with water removed from the tank (the multi test can just be dipped directly into the tank). Additionally, an in-tank ammonia checking card is a good idea, particularly for a small tank. They are only about $3 and only need to be changed about 3 times a year. I highly recommend keeping the multi-test strips on hand for water testing and for acclimation water matching. If you have traces of ammonia then you are also likely to have nitrites. Saying the they are OK does not help diagonse a problem and in an octo tank, ammonia and nitrites should not show a detecable reading. You have a very small tank for an octopus (I am assuming it is not a dwarf) and sizable weekly water changes are necessary. Adding a sump with the same water volume would be desirable and a larger tank preferable.
     
  10. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    Good news! I have since transferred Lucy (finally came up with a name) to my 90 gallon tank. I had to remove several fish and anemones which was tricky to say the least. The 90 gallon has a sump and I did a large water change using RO/DI water. I had the water tested and there were no traces of ammonia or nitrites in the water. I have also added an extra power head to provide more circulation. Lucy seems to be much happier. She has slowly started moving around a bit more and has gotten much of her color back. Her tentacles are still slightly curled though. Do you think this is still a bad sign?
     
  11. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    Are there any other suggestions for what I should do to give Lucy the best chance at making it?
     
  12. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Sounds like you are on the right track. Try offering a variety of live foods - snails, crabs, clams, mussels. Tentacles curled just at the tips could be ok - the corkscrew look is not good.
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Excellent sizing for most of the octos we see and the tank change was a big step in saving Lucky if the problem is water and for maintaining her if she makes it the next two weeks (2 weeks is arbitrary but IME it seems to be a good timing on how well they acclimate). There is a chance that senescence (old age) is the problem (we often see end of life animals because they are easiest to catch) and there is not much you can do to slow it down but good water quality will give it the best shot for longest survival. The fact that you are seeing more color is a good sign. Has she taken any food yet?
     
  14. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I just want to chime in on the cork screw thing. When i had my bimac for about 6 months he did what you are explaining. I saw the first week i had him got worried but didnt think that much of it. He continued to do that about 3 times a week the whole time i had him. He lived a natural life and was playful in the tank. What i observed it looked like he was cleaning himself. After he was done cork crewing he would stick his tentacles in his breathing holes and rub them around. If i was you i would not worry about it since my octo lived for a good 6 months doing that a lot.

    Has lucy eaten yet? you should try clams. Get a couple at the super market and crack it open so the meat is on one side and place it where she can touch it. Make sure you take it out she does not eat it with in 24 hours.

    Have you started a journal for her i would like to hear more about this octo!:grin:
     
  15. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    It sounds to me like ammonia was at least part of the problem. Ammonia is particularly toxic to octopus (nitrites follow close behind) and should not be detectable. It only takes a few hours of exposure to cause a serious decline. Corkscrewed arms (as opposed to arm-tip twirling) is a negative sign. Hopefully you solved the problem in time

    There is a tendency when adding a new octopus to a tank to disturb the substrate. This can be due to a last minute rearrangement trying to create a lair, dumping in replacement water, or just cleaning. Such activities can cause the exposure of organic material and an ammonia spike. I've traced several deaths in our lab to such disturbances. While a tank that is rock stable can quickly recover from such a spike, ammonia is so toxic that even a few hours of elevated ammonia levels can prove fatal to an octopus.

    Roy
     
  16. Octoville

    Octoville Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for all the advice. Lucy seems to be much happier. The tank was pretty well stocked with hermit crabs and snails. I also added a ghost shrimp in case she wanted something to catch. I haven't noticed any missing hermits or snails but that's probably because there were a ton in there. Right now it looks like she is making her den in a back corner. I can only see one tentacle wiggling around. I checked the water again a few minutes ago and it is still stable and ammonia and nitrite free. The PH is stable as well as the salinity. I'm going to stay up tonight to see if I can see her make an appearance (and maybe a ghost shrimp kill!) Thanks again for the advice. It looks like she is going to be fine :)
     

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