Where can I find an Octopus for sale either online or in Southern California?

Discussion in 'Sources for Cephalopods and Food' started by rjd0521, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi to all!

    I am new to this site. I had a O. Vulgaris in the past in a 55 gallon tank. I will post picture of him once I find it. Long story short, I had him when he was an adult so he only lasted a couple of months. I have since upgraded my tank to a 185 gallon custom tank. It is sealed and ready for an octopus. Yesterday, I called a nearby lfs and they told me that they have a mimic octopus in stock for $150; however, by the time I got there after work, it was already sold :( The owner then told me that he had cuttlefish egg and that it was 69.99 for one egg. No way I would spend 69.99 on just one egg. so I left disappointed.

    My questions is:

    Where can I find an Octopus either online or in-store (I live in Orange County)?

    Any fellow selling their octopus at this time?

    Thanks
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Finding an octopus is always a challenge. Do you live in Orange County FL or CA? (I try to recommend that new members add some form of location to their profiles - country, state (or equivalent) and city are most helpful).

    EDIT - I just saw the FULL title of your post and you can ignore the FL info :oops: but do consider putting something in the location section of your profile.

    FL residents can sometimes find O.briareus through their local LSF (usually brought in by divers). Some LSF's will order them from wholesalers and up until the earthquake, O. hummelincki would often be the animal that showed up from Haiti. If you are near the water, check out your local fishing docks. Fishermen (especially crabbers and lobster fishermen but you are too far north I think ... assuming FL) will sometimes find them and use them as bait. If you befriend a few, they may be willing to hold one live for you.

    CA residents can sometimes find their own in tide pools but it is important to note the rules (fishing license and non-restricted fishing area - fines can be extensive). The most often caught along the CA coast are bimaculoides and your tank would need a chiller. That far south, O. maya may be available but we have not seen them. Locally caught live octopuses will not be for sale here (not legal) so any you find will be imported, usually from Indonesia.

    On-line is pretty much catch what you can when you find it. Live Aquaria offers imported Indonesian animals on a fairly regular basis but they tend to be older animals with little life remaining. On occasion they have sent a Macropus (unknown species) that does well, is interactive but is very nocturnal. All the animals they have had would likely be smaller than what you would likely prefer for this tank. Sometimes Tom (Tom's Caribbean Tropicals) will have O.briareus brought in from the crabbers. You can email him to check on availability.

    Lastly, subscribe to the Octopus Availability thread and allow your profile to send emails. When members notice a new source or an old source that has current animals they will often post a notice there
     
  3. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks for the info. I have updated my location on my profile and subscribed to the Availability thread.

    I think that I will just have to wait for my lfs to get one in stock. I don't want to order it online because of shipping stress on the octo.

    Also, one of my friend currently have an octopus in his tank that he is trying to get rid of, he said that it is a small brown octopus. He told me that he has not seen the octopus since he put it in his tank but knows that it is still alive because he lost almost all of his cleaning crew. He said that it is mine if I can catch it. so the question is, how can I find the octopus in his tank? (he has a lot of live rocks and it is a 250 gallon tank), is there any way to lure the octopus out of the rocks and out in plain sight so that I can catch him/her? Any advice would be great.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    A "plain site" catch is unlikely but you might design a trap by attempting to create a den environment with food as a lure. Initially, you need to determine that it is, indeed alive and not brooding. I have not read anything that is guaranteed to work but would suggest putting a container (like a plastic jar) with a live fiddler inside. You will have to make the jar easy to enter (yes, they can learn to open them but the object is to get a quick response) but the crab needs to be trapped to the back (otherwise arms will remove it - not bad for ascertaining it is alive and not brooding but not really helpful for capture). I think I would leave the back of the jar (where the crab is trapped) clear but might wrap the container body, or part of it in something to block light to encourage staying in the jar during the day or at least longer than just to retrieve the crab. The crab needs to be accessable (i.e. not in a sealed container) but difficult to remove (and not allowed to escape). You might go through several crabs before you figure out when it is coming out and being available to put a lid on the trap while occupied.

    A critter keeper might work for this and you could add live rock in hopes that it would den inside but don't expect it to contain the animal for long.
     
  5. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I will try your suggestion. I will have to try it in the middle of the day with the lights off. Hope it works.
     
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  6. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    This was my Octopus, I named him Roger. I believe he was an O. Vulgaris but I could be completely wrong.

    If I am wrong, please correct me.

    I have since upgraded my tank and am looking for another one.
     

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  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Did Roger exhibit a pair of colored (blue with a yellow ring) spots below the eyes? Unfortunately, the pictures are not conclusive. A clear photo of the eyes and mantle will usually give a clue on vulgaris but many patterns are common amoung different species. The last photo looks very bimaculoides, particularly given your location but the first photo suggest blue/purple ring at the tip of the suckers. Do you have a photo or can you remember if the sucker tips showed orange or blue? If you saw eye spots (ocelli) and orange sucker tips then O. bimaculoides almost guaranteed. If the sucker tips were blue/purple then I would be tempted to guess O. hummelicki but the arms look too thick for the full length (O. hummelincki has a very distinct taper to its arms) and are more O. vulgaris like than O. hummelincki but it is unusual to see that much cirri on O. vulgaris.

    I visited LMecher's el Diablo and my LittleBit's jounals to look for a similar patterning. El Diablo did have a couple of pictures with cirri that was similar but not the coloration and I had not shots with this much skin patterning for LittleBit. The photos I have of O.bimaculoides show a thicker, more spike look to the cirri and not the thin multibranching in the picture but bimacs may show both types.
     
  8. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, I don't think Roger was any of the normal animals we see. The swimming video is the most telling and I will take a wild shot in the dark and suggest Macrotritopus defilippi, the Atlantic Long Arm octopus. Here is a nice video Roger Hanlon recently published on this species. Take a look and see if the behaviors seem similar.

     
  10. brent&kitty420

    brent&kitty420 O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Looks just like the two I have
     
  11. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hey I know you said you weren't too interested in online octopus purchases, but I just saw that NYaquatics.com has a mimic octopus in stock. I have dealt with NYaquatics just recently when I purchased my cuttle eggs. Great customer service!
     
  12. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Sorry for the delay in my response. I've been very busy with work recently. Thanks @brent&kitty420. I got an Octopus from Coral Oasis. I do not know what kind of octopus it is. I asked the owner and he did not know either. I will post pictures when I have a chance. The little fella is only eating live crabs and is not touching frozen at all. I even tried to put hermit crabs in the tank and they are all still alive. What can I feed the octopus as an alternative to live crabs? The LFS that is close to my house sell live SW crab but it is 2 for $5, which is expensive. What kind of frozen food is accepted by the octopus in general?
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    How big (best to use a known object, fruit, money, etc, not measurements) is the mantle (behind the eye to the end of the sack) and what ratio are the arms to the mantle length? What size (dime, quarter, half dollar) crabs is it eating?

    For crabs, Paul Sachs is a reliable and relatively inexpensive supplier for fiddlers (pretty much a universally accepted food) as well as shore shrimp. If the animal is small, try some ghost shrimp (unless you can get saltwater shore shrimp) recently killed and offered on a feeding stick (the acrylics are fine but a bamboo skewer works very well). Once you get him to take the shrimp on a stick, start offering pieces of saltwater thawed, tank temperature frozen. Keep in mind that ghost shrimp are freshwater and can't be housed in a saltwater tank so you will need an aerated bucket. Freshwater animals should not be the primary food but can be used on occasion.

    Foods you can try:
    - Clams (roughly mantle size) from the grocery. I prefer to leave them in a bucket of tank water overnight to eliminate existing contaminates. Try putting one, unopened in the tank and see if he can/will open it. You can open it and offer the meat or serve it on the half shell but try just putting it in the tank first. Any saltwater muscle is satisfactory but the others are very messy and pollute easily where clams are not really a problem and can live easily in the tank and serve as part of your clean-up (minimum impact - good or bad) crew.
    - Crab claws (check your local asian market for live crabs and harvest any loose claws you can find then freeze them. Do not freeze the whole crab. These are often seasonal and we stock up when we can find them.
    - Craw/cray fish. You can freeze the tails but not the whole animal. These are freshwater and should only be used on occasion but may be accepted for a younger animal to get it eating frozen where table shrimp seems to be too tough for young animals. You can slice off sections relatively easily while they are frozen if a whole tale is too much.
    - Frozen krill/baby shrimp if you can find these at an Asian market, they will be better than the ones frozen as fish food. I would not invest in these until you get it to take a fresh killed shrimp on a stick.

    Their taste/acceptance will often change as they age so retrying something rejected in a month is worth doing. There have been a few (very few) that will never accept anything but live.
     
  14. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Finally I got him to eat frozen after a couple of tries. He took the frozen krill from a wooden stick. What is the best frozen food to feed?
     
  15. rjd0521

    rjd0521 Cuttlefish Registered

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    That is him in his temporary house until my new tank fully cycles. Probably two more weeks. He is doing very well so far. I didn't drip acclimate him because at first my wife put the bag in the water to match the temperature and after 30 minutes, then She opened it to do the drip acclimation but the little fella decided to take off and took a walk across the aquarium top so my wife kinda freaked out and scooped him with a fish net then put him in the aquarium (I was at work). So far so good.

    I don't really understand why we have to do drip acclimation with octopus because in the wild or at home, they can get out in the open air then go to a nearby tank then come back to the main tank which would mean that they are or can be exposed to different water perimeters within a short amount of time. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     

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  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Try regular table shrimp. Buy the raw with the shell ON. Slice a piece (retaining the shell) a little larger than the krill he ate (be sure to thaw to tank temperature - maybe 5 minutes in tank water). If he takes this, then it can be a primary part of his diet but you will want to alter with other foods, preferably twice a week. We typically alter between blue crab claw and shrimp with occasional, live clam, live fiddler or crawfish (depending on the season either just the frozen tail or a live animal - must be watched as they don't live long in SW but they are usually captured and eaten before showing obvious stress).
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't drip anything (not fond of the method) but do take about 3 hours. Thales feels that less time is better so you will see varying opinions. My standing thought on how successful the transition is takes two weeks. If the animal is still alive on day 14 you have a good shot at full natural lifespan (all things being properly kept). Eating is a good sign but I never breath comfortably until day 15.

    Can't tell much from the picture but you can look at a few things that might start the ID process. When not white, what color are the rings at the tip of the suckers? Do you see any distinguishing markings that are visible most of the time (particularly a target looking circle below the eye on each side). When it shows a spiky pattern are the spikes solid or do they look like little branching trees? When frightened, what color does it turn (expect bright white or deep chocolate brown). Pay particularly close attention when he eats as I notice they seem to show markings often when they first take their food.
     
  18. brent&kitty420

    brent&kitty420 O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Mine had babies last night
     

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