What is the safest and best way to ship an O. briareus?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by twinkiewink, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am a senior in Friendswood, Texas and I'm in an aquatic science class. We recently bought a briareus octopus from Toms Carribeans (in Florida). Everything seemed okay, but the breathing seemed a little off once he arrived from fed ex. He arrived yesterday around 2:15pm and died around 4:30pm. We contacted Tom and he said that we did everything right, he just believes the octopus went through a lot of stress on his way here. He is willing to send us another if we pay for shipping but we are unsure if we want to go through with it. So please, what are some ways you can ensure your octopus will make it if they travel on fed ex's overnight shipping.

    Oh, and he did come inside of a bag with water in it so we believe that he wasn't in the water all the time while he was being driven around.
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    :welcome:

    Tom is an excellent source and defiantly knows how to pack octopuses for shipping. With Cephalopods it is a gamble every-time as to weather they will make it or not. Even when they survive shipping the first two week in the tank can be nerve racking. There are some disturbing numbers somewhere on the net about how much G-forces fed-ex packages are put through. I dont have the link but it is like 4-5 g's on average.

    Good luck with round two! I hope you guys start a journal of your experience here on TONMO we would love to hear all about what you guys are doing.
     
  3. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi and :welcome:
    Sorry for your loss, it can be heartbreaking. I have ordered many from Tom. (agree with Captfish, he packs them well) Shipping is very stressful and sometimes despite our best efforts, we loose them. What is your set up like? How did you acclimate? How long?
     
  4. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,723
    Likes Received:
    5
    Captfish is right, there is a lot that determins whether or not the animal will arrive ok, i.e. weather, handling during shipment et cetra. But that is the risk you take with ordering any living thing. Its never guaranteed they will survive shipping. That is why its always best to order from those that offer a replacement if something does happen. Tom is really good at this so I hope you give it another go.

    What is your class using an octopus for?
     
  5. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ask Him to ship airport to airport. It might cost you a little more but it will be much quicker and safer IMO
     
  6. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    We had a small salt water tank with a heater. We also put some live rock in it and a little place for him to hide under. I think we might have not been too careful when trying to acclimate him because my teacher and I were excited. We put the bag in the water and left it in there for about an hour and then attempted to get him out. We believe that because of that, we stressed him more and he didn't like that. Also, we had a ton of kids standing around watching. Next time, I said we should seperate the octopus and the tank from everyone else and leave him alone for about a day. Let him get out of the bag rather than us take him out.
     
  7. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my aquatic science class, we are split into groups and required to have fish tanks. We have coral reef, salt water marsh, fresh water, all different types of tanks. My group decided we wanted to be the cephalopod tank, which is why we are using an octopus. We just want to learn how to care for it and how to keep the water quality good so that at the end of the year, one of us can take it home and know what to do right. :)
     
  8. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7

    :welcome: Fellow Houstonian!

    First I have a few questions... What size tank are you putting him in? Also did you actually put saltwater into the bag? Or did you just float the bag and then release it to the tank? Also how long has the tank been set up?

    Octopuses need about 3 hours of acclimation time, using a slow drip. It can sometimes be cut shorter if the octopus inked in the bag or the free ammonia is really high but its always better to be safe than sorry. Having the room very quiet and somewhat dark is a good idea too.

    If you need any help we are all here for you. And if you need additional help I am really close to Friendswood and would be more than willing to help.
     
  9. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    2
    It sounds as if this octopus was only temp. acclimated. If that is the case, shipping had nothing to do with the loss. "Small tank" has me a little worried too.

    Sabrina, what a generous offer. I hope Tinklewink takes you up on it.
     
  10. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    I am a little concerned too to be honest.

    I am REALLY close to Friendswood, like I walk 50 feet and am in Friendswood so helping wouldnt be a problem. I hope they take me up on it too... I would hate for them to have another loss because of the lack of information.

    Depending on the size of the tank there are smaller octopuses that can be kept so you have options.

    Where are you getting your water from? (You can not use tap water to mix saltwater)

    I have access to filter saltwater from the ocean if you are interested. Ocean water (unless contaminated) is better than synthetic saltwater as it has natural elements that they need IMO.
     
  11. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    This makes me think the tank is small enough to carry with one person. Probably a 20 gallon or so tank? This is FAR to small for most octopuses to be kept in. We recommend 55 gallons as the smallest tank to use though you can "get away with" using a 40 gallon breeder with a larger sump for some octopuses.

    Also do you have testing supplies to check the water?

    ... waiting till after school to hear back is going to be difficult for me :lol: I dont wait well.
     
  12. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,832
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    South Florida
    For O.briareus you definitely want larger, I would say 65 min. 75 gallon recommended. this species can get quite large. I had one, Legs, that had a spread of over 4'.
     
  13. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yes I should have included that! I was referring to the much smaller octopuses that are commonly available in regards to the 40 gallon breeder tank.
     
  14. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yeah, we put water into the bag and what not like we do with the other fish but I believe that we sped the process up. We should be getting the next octopus after spring break and I did ask my teacher to get us a bigger tank. I would love to take you up on that offer and I will talk to my teacher about it. I'm sure she'd be greatful too :) I'm not exactly sure how big the tank was and the tank was set up for about a week before he arrived. We got our water from the store (distilled water) and mixed it with her saltwater mix. If you have something way better, that'd be amazing. We do have testing supplies to check the water haha. We checked the ammonia, pH, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate. I believe there was another one that we checked but I'm blanking out on the name. We also checked the salinity and temperature. Basically, the water was right for him but I think the fact we didn't spend 3 hours acclimating him caused him to die. so if you could help for the next one after spring break, that'd be awesome!
     
  15. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    I am very willing to help you out. As far as getting a bigger tank I maybe able to help you out with that as well. Although a new tank would be better, If you talk to a few of the local fish stores (LFS) you can almost always get them to donate a used 55 gallon or 75 gallon tank. Also craigslist is another good place to look. You can find people who are trying to get out of the hobby and getting rid of theirs for cheap. Also one other thing to be very careful of is copper. If your tank has ever been used for freshwater fish then copper is of great concern. Copper can kill octopus very quickly and is to be avoided at all cost.

    The water that I get is collected by NOAH and filtered then stored in a storage tank in Galveston. I take three (3) 15 gallon water storage containers to Galveston and pick up the water then bring it back home. The salinity is normally a little low so I need to add a bit of salt (maybe a cup, if that) to bring it up. Its ready in about 30 min. as there isnt a lot of salt to mix.

    Being that the tank is a fresh set up you need to make sure that there is as much live bacteria added to the tank as possible. The sand needs to be precycled at least some (5lbs at least) precycled sand should be added to your current sand, and precured live rock is needed as well. I can help you acquire these things as well. Also starting with natural sea water will help with this. If you can get the tank up and running before spring break that will help your cause greatly as it will give the tank time to cycle if it has one using the above method (adding already cycled bacteria).

    Please let me know if I can be of assistance. The sooner you get on this the better your results will be for your new octopus.

    One last thing, do you have a protein skimmer on the tank?

    As you will soon find out keeping octopuses isnt for the faint hearted. A lot of time and work goes into the set up, and their already short lives can be easily cut shorter if you arent careful. If you can get passed the set up and the short lives, octopus keeping can be an extraordinarily rewarding and challenging experience.
     
  16. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you so much. I believe my teacher has a bigger fish tank, about 75 gallons, that we will be using this time. I'm going to show her all of this and talk to her about it and then reply with when we should get started and all of that. She's interested in your help as much as I am :) So thank you and I will keep contact with you.
     
  17. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    No worries... Its a lot of fun for me setting up a new system. :wink:
     
  18. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    My teacher and I were wondering if you'd be available tomorrow or thursday or next tuesday or thursday after 2:30 so you could help us set up the tank. It's actually a 45 gallon tank so I'm not sure if that's big enough or if you have a bigger one.
     
  19. twinkiewink

    twinkiewink Pygmy Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is Mrs. Olivier, Yoandra's aquatic science teacher. I really appreciate all of your help! I would love to know where you get the water. Do you buy it? If I can find a source of salt water, that would be great. We do have a 45 gallon tank set up already, with filtered water so the bacteria is good, and cycled sand as well. It has been set up since September (with fish in it) so we should be good with water quality, although I will definitely check the copper. It is a saltwater tank, but doesn't hurt to check.
    I do not have a protein skimmer, I haven't had to use them for any of the other tanks I set up. If you would be willing to come and check our set up that would be a huge help! I have a few years of experience in keeping tanks now, but I haven't had much luck with octopuses. I did keep an atlantic dwarf for about a month last year.
    This is a student project, and I am trying very hard to let them figure stuff out themselves and do the research themselves without endangering the life of the octopus, but as I told them, this is also something I am learning about too. I would love to discuss this more with you - if you feel comfortable in emailing me, my email is eolivier@ccisd.net. Thanks again!
     
  20. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    I have sent you an email to the address listed.
     

Share This Page