What species is my new Octopus???

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by pandora, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. pandora

    pandora Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello, Last week I purchased my first octopus from RMS. I've been into reef tanks for two years now and have a 74 gallon and a 125 gallon tank. I need to know the species and how much should I be feeding him. In one week he has eaten one chromis fish, several feeder saltwater shrimp, and two fiddler crabs. Any help would be great.
    Thanks, Pandora
     

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  2. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    It is in the genus Abdopus - probably species aculeatus.

    Roy
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    To get some idea what to expect, try looking at the List of Our Octopuses 20xx at the top of the Octopus Care Forum The lists show the keeper, the animal species and entries from 2008 forward contain links to the individual journals. Fish don't make good tank mates and if you have others in with it, you would be wise to relocate them (I know you can tare apart a tank trying to catch a chromis though). Mostly we see fish losses but there is also concern for the octopuses eyes.
     
  4. pandora

    pandora Larval Mass Registered

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    We have set up a ten gallon octopus only tank for him. I used live rock from one of my reef tanks and no sand. It's water is connected directly to my reef tanks. All of the tanks overflows are pumped down into our basement where it is skimmed,bio filtered, uv sterilized, heated or chilled, calcium and misc is added. We also have our ro/di water system hooked up to replace evaporated water automatically. It is mostly run by the computer, I could not have done all this without my husband who oversees all of the water testing and equipment.

    My octopus is mostly nocturnal but he comes out a couple of times a day just to poke around the tank. It's too bad that their lifespan is so short. I don't know how well I will handle his death. In the 10 days we have owned him he has grown almost half again his own mass. I'm hoping this means that he is still a baby?

    This forum has been a great source of information. Any comments would be welcome. Thanks, Pandora
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO



    For this species we typically recommend a tank that is 45 - 55 gallons. You could probable get away with a litte smaller because you have it plumbed into a larger system, but you still want to give the octopus room to move around, swim, and hunt.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As CaptFish mentions, you seriously need to reconsider your tank size for animal room. With your set up water quality should not be a problem as long as you are exchanging a lot of water (no bottom substrate is helpful here too but I am not sure about lack of sand for the animal's comfort - likely OK but they come from primarily sandy areas, perhaps Roy will comment as they keep them frequently in the lab).
     
  7. pandora

    pandora Larval Mass Registered

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    Ok thanks, The ten gallon will be temporary until she gets a little bit bigger. I have a 70 gallon reef tank for my predators, which is just two lionfish and a snowflake eel. I'll move them to my larger reef tank and get the 70 gallon octopus proofed. The only corals in that tank are mushrooms, pumping xenia, and some friendly encrusting corals.

    Looking at my octopus I do not see an extra appendage for breeding, does this mean it is a female? She seems to be growing very fast. Right now her head is the size of a grape and each thin arm extends about five to six inches. How much should I be feeding her? I purchased some crabs in the saltwater section of RMS. They were marked fiddler crabs. They are the size of my octopuses head. So far I'm feeding one a day but she seems to be looking for more. I plan to purchase crabs in bulk as the octopuses main diet and throw in a fish or shrimp once in a while.

    Thank you, Pandora
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Fish are not the best offering for both nutrition and potential problems. I found two studies done to see if octopuses (to be used as food) could be raised on inexpensive fish and both concluded that the octopuses did not grow well on fish as a main diet. If you feed (or try to, there is a good chance fish will be rejected, even the tank mates killed were often only partially consumed) them, do it sparingly. Any saltwater crab or other crustacean (fresh or frozen) that it will accept is fine. An occasional freshwater crayfish is likely to be a desired treat but the current thought is to only use them for treats. They won't survive long in saltwater but the ones I have fed never died of their own accord. Live shrimp can be hard to catch so watch to be sure it has eaten. They can be left in the tank for extra hunger days and hunting excersize but if they are used for a main food supply (like days when you may run out of crabs) be sure they are caught. Catch, kill and offer one if the animal misses a meal or two.

    Feeding quantity is unestablished. Roy firmly believes that their lives can be somewhat extended with reduced feeding days (roughly every third day for O. bimaculoides - using this schedule one of his wards lived almost 3 years). We feed ours daily and don't see extended life span but they live the expected amount of time. With Roy's 3 day program, I believe he feeds multiple crabs during a feeding session, we feed one a day so the quantity is similar but not the schedule. In our experience, they don't seem to overfeed so when there is left over food in the tank, we reduce the quantity until all is consumed. In general, younger animals will eat more than mature ones and we have noticed that aged animals need softer food (they stop accepting or leave most of the offered table shrimp but eat crabs and krill easily).

    In most octopuses we keep, it is very hard to see the specialized tip. It is not really an extra appendage, but a modified tip and a channel down the third arm to the right (clockwise looking down at the animal with the eyes at 11:00 and 2:00) . Additionally, some species have enlarged suckers on a couple front arms (arm number and number of arms varies but will be on the same left and right pairs). Typically sexually mature males will carry this arm curled most of the time. Here is a thread with photos to help identifying a male. There is no external characteristic for identifying a female but before brooding the mantle grows quite rapidly.

    The 70 will make a nice home for most of the species we keep. If you get (or already are) hooked on keeping these guys it should serve very nicely for either octopuses or cuttlefishes.
     
  9. pandora

    pandora Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you for all of the good information. Our plan is to raise him mainly on marine crabs. We just picked up 13 more crabs from RMS. They are marked fiddler crabs (under $3.00) and are shaped just like them but they live in saltwater, are bright red, and none have the larger claw that the fiddlers you normally see do. Their not strawberry crabs and seem to like to be able to get out of the water just like fiddlers. I plan on ordering fiddlers in bulk like I saw on the feeding forum. I now order marine grass shrimp in bulk for my picky lionfish. Besides the fiddlers what else do you suggest? I go searching on the what to feed forum too.
    Thanks, Pandora

    "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
    but by the number of moments that take our breath away."
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The picky lionfish shrimp would be good and if you want to hand feed, impaling (or just holding and offering, depending upon your animal) works well if it has trouble catching them. Mantle sized shrimp (or slightly larger) are usually easy (relatively) for them to catch if you can find them (I always pickup a couple of dozen bait shrimp when I get near the coast). Occassional crayfish (occassionally only because the dietary requirements are questionable but recent discussions suggest they are better than often thought). Clams (usually need to be on the half shell, mine have mostly opened and consumed exactly one and then won't bother with them),mussels (but they are messy and need monitoring - don't try in the 10 gallon) scallops (frozen or live, again it may be necessary to open them), krill (I have not had luck with the frozen fish food but have had very good luck with some I picked up from an international market), marine hermit crabs (you can keep these as tank cleaners and some will be eaten but if you want to use them as a meal, removing from the shells works best for me. This means you need the larger ones just to get them out of the shell. I freeze them first but they can be fed live). Tour your international market and see what they offer. I have not had luck with fresh (but dead) abolone (too touch I think), squid (not sure why) or conch (again, I think it is too tough). You can pretty much safely offer anything saltwater you find in a fish market for a change of diet but minimize the use of fish. Only buy small quantities (they laugh at me :grni:) because your octo may or may not decide to eat it.
     

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