Thinking GPO...

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by davelin315, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. davelin315

    davelin315 Wonderpus Registered

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    The new online retailer out of Oregon (that's you, Stu!) has got me thinking GPO now... they currently have a small one for $850 which would end up being in the neighborhood of $1000 I'm guessing when it's shipped to me, but there's a story behind the madness here.

    I recently lost my entire tank to a velvet infection. This is a few years after I lost all of my corals (40+ mini-colonies to colonies of all sps) to an overflowed toilet on the floor above. This recent loss included fish that I had raised from little tiny babies about 1" to monsters that were in the 10" range including a couple of Dussumieri tangs, a unicorn tang, and multiple other fish. I also had a 10" emperor and a mixed pair (blue and yellow belly) of regal angels that I had had for several years. Anyway, all was lost over the course of a couple of weeks and my tank has been sitting empty for weeks now as I prepare to rip it all down and start over. My tank was designed as an sps reef without any powerheads or vortech-type pumps. Circulation is done via return pump and 2 closed loops. I have 4x400W metal halide lights over the system (I wouldn't use these but the power consumption would be comparable to the chiller) and the 300 gallon display is supported by about 350 gallons in sumps behind the tank. I have multiple media reactors on the system as well as a very over-sized carbon reactor that can probably house about 3 gallons of carbon. I also have 2 chillers that I do not use on the system any longer and if I turn the lights off for an extended period of time the temperature of the tank is ambient room temp to slightly lower due to two of the sumps sitting on the foundation of my home. I believe that my larger chiller has the capacity to chill the tank down to pretty close to 50 degrees and then I can use the second chiller as a back-up in case of emergency chiller break down.

    So, back to my thought process. With an octopus I'm prepared for it not to live but hopefully it would be easy to tell that a GPO was a juvenile simply based on size alone - I figure if it's not big enough to pull me into the tank yet it's probably got a couple of good years left to live. I have always had a passion for octopuses that started with getting blue ring octopuses when I was in college to less deadly species as time went on (including toying with purchasing the first mimic I saw many years ago at Old Town Aquarium in Chicago) until my recent experimentation with Korean Long-Arm octopuses from my local Asian Food Mart.

    Certainly, a GPO poses a far more difficult proposition than a smaller octopus, but at the same time it also presents a far easier creature to feed. In speaking to friends at the Invertebrate Exhibit (many of you met Mike Henley at TONMOCON as he was one of the hosts for our social that night) at the Smithsonian National Zoo I know that my system is plenty for a GPO if I can get the temperature to the desired 50 degrees and there certainly is no shortage of blue crab around here. Plus, the fact that many of the local food marts here have various types of clams and mussels, abalone, oysters, live shrimp, fluke and flounder, stone fish, and lobster, feeding a GPO becomes a far easier proposition than a finicky eating smaller species.

    Now, all of that aside, I know that a GPO is far beyond the reach of most individuals, but I also think my situation is pretty unique in that I've got a 650 gallon total system with a 300 gallon display that could easily be converted over to an octopus system since it's now devoid of vertebrate life and has 3 openings cut in the bracing that could easily have covers placed over them.

    So, that said, anyone have any thoughts? My intention is to also touch base with friends at the National Aquarium as they know me pretty well and are very familiar with my marine husbandry skills. I'm hoping that some of the public and large private aquarists chime in here as you have experience keeping them. My discussions with friends at the Zoo have already offered to help with enrichment activities for the octopus if I opt for this route. On top of that, anyone here ever keep a GPO that wasn't involved with a zoo, aquarium, or educational institution?

    Oh, and one more thing, my board level just happens to be GPO.:roflmao:
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you are not dead set on this supplier, check with Stu at Coldwater Marine Aquatics (he is a new sponsor in Oregon). He is raising one now that he caught (it is for sale ... sort of but he can look for a young one again when the tank is ready) ... oops, I just looked up the thread and see that you have found him :oops: It would be a good journal to follow and Stu is easy to communicate with for questions.

    The alternate you might consider (I worry about a 300 gallon display being only about half of what it should be for the adult) is experimenting with his contact in Europe for a Mediterranean vulgaris. The tank would still need chilling but not as much and they get a good bit bigger than our Caribbean animals.
     
  3. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    It was at caught back in October on Halloween weekend. So I've had it in captivity for about 90% of its life so far :) Theres some good photos of it when I first got it at the begining of my journal thread.

    Based on the size that I caught it at, and the rate at which they grow, it was estimated to be less than 2 months out of the egg when I caught it. So it is about 8-9 months old right now and should live to be at least 3 years old if not older. ( There is verying reports of their max age but 3 would be minimum) When I found him he was missing about half of one of his legs (hence the "septopus" jokes, lol) but its grown back quite nicely :D
     
  4. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    Oh yeah, and I don't know if you saw this or not on our website but any orders over $500 get FREE same day/next day air within the US :D

    So you'd be looking at $850 shipped to your door ;)
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Stu,
    A link back to the journal is better than duplications of photos (dups are frowned upon). In this case, I saw Dave's original post and cross referenced your thread already (see post #2).
     
  6. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    Gotcha :) Thanks, I'll edit them out.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    ... of course NEW photos are encouraged :sagrin:

    I am kind of hoping Dave takes this one so we can continue to watch it grow but I am worried about the tank size. Of course my favorite (or one of them) is the vulgaris but I am afraid my 140 is too small for the Med version so if he goes that route, I could vicariously enjoy watching ... just sayin' :grin:
     
  8. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    Don't know if you've seen this but it is a live streaming feed of the Hatfield Marine Science Centers GPO tank :)

    http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/visitor/octocam

    Pretty cool since it shows you a camera inside the tank as well as one looking down on the entire system.
     
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  9. SandV

    SandV Wonderpus Registered

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    I would love to hear what enrichment ideas they had for you?
     
  10. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    Ive been giving mine some of my kids' old non toxic play toys. Mirrors and stuff, played the old crab in a bottle game a few times :)

    Other than that just trying to make sure and handle him once a day. Mine is by far the most active GPO I've ever seen.
     

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