why did my octopus die?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by socal_saltwater, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. socal_saltwater

    socal_saltwater Blue Ring Registered

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    i scored a free octopus (light brown, big eyes) from a chinese restaurant 2 weeks ago that they claim they had for a month. they had to move and didn't want it, so i took it, and built my tank around the parameters necessary for octo-keeping (read on this site). i had the perfect 1.025/26 salinity, pH buffer, no ammonia, did frequent water changes due to his waste-producing, and he was doing fine, dancing around, seemed happy then the other night he turned whitish/yellowish and died.

    if anyone can tell me why....one of my white snails was attached to his tentacle, not sure if that would have anything to do with it or what. i do have a small tube anenome that i read just today you shouldn't have with an octopus, but i doubt he went near it much. sorry to be so morbid, but i think the restaurant was just gonna pitch him anyway....thanks!
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    sorry to hear about your octo, but at least you saved it and gave it a good home for a while... I can't think of anything worrisome in what you've described, so it may have been unrelated to anything you did, but you should wait for the octo-keeping experts to chime in for a more educated and experienced view. It's often impossible to tell why there is an unexpected ceph fatality, unfortunately, though.
     
  3. socal_saltwater

    socal_saltwater Blue Ring Registered

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    i hope they did chime in. i just don't get it. i kept my ammonia to a minimum, to the point where i was changing 25% twice a week! Octos do produce a lot of waste, so i dont think it's unreasonable.

    i was thinking....i have the long-spined urchin, and for a month they got along fine but maybe the shorter, venemous spines that are close to the urchin's body were touched by the tentacle of the octopus? i can't imagine the anenome killing it, but i do know the shorter spines on a long-spined urchin are venemous to animals and even give a bee sting-equivalent to humans.

    this was him in the setting:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=dHwpPiN0q2s&mode=related&search=
     
  4. jc45

    jc45 GPO Registered

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    What were your other water paramenters? I see that you were worried about ammonia, but did you check on nitrite or nitrate, and was your tank cycled?

    Joey
     
  5. socal_saltwater

    socal_saltwater Blue Ring Registered

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    interesting thing was....nitrate was registering high on my test kit, but i took a sample into a LFS, where they tested it twice with a more professional kit, and found NO nitrate. at home i found about .25 ammonia and no nitrite.

    yes the tank was cycled, but it's only about 2 months old. the cycling finished because i added cheap fin fish to increase the ammonia level to get that started, and i went thru the diatoms phase (brownish algae on rocks). after the diatoms pass, usually a tank is done cylcing. maybe not in this case?
     
  6. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    After watching the videos you have posted on YouTube, it seemed to me the octopus was quite restless, like it was possibly very stressed out. I'm just saying that because I know that's how most fish react to poor water quality.

    What was the temperature of the tank?
     
  7. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    One day I noticed one of my octopuses was resting by the top of the waterline. When he noticed I was in the room he became frantic, like trying to climb out of the water. Turns out I had a clogged Eheim and the ammonia level had risen from 0 to .50. After a major waterchange, and unclogging of the filter, he returned to normal. I have noticed with all the octopuses I have had over the years, they have zero tolerance to even the slightest trace of ammonia. I am sorry for your loss, but it is imperative to let a tank fully cycle as their skin is extremely delicate and any trace of ammonia, I believe burns or stings their skin.

    I hope you will "rescue" another at some point, but when you are sure your tank is stable.
     
  8. socal_saltwater

    socal_saltwater Blue Ring Registered

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    I totally agree Octos have sensitive skin, however...i've talked to quite a few experienced LFSs here in the LA area, and all say it's impossible to have a totally 0 level of ammonia. if the octopus is creating 3x as much waste as a fish its same size, you'd have to literally change the water every day in order to keep a 0 level.

    i think a larger tank is the best because there's more room (literally) for error. an octopus creating waste on a daily basis will be more absorbed in a 70 gallon tank as opposed to a 24 gallon. but, i've been told repeatedly a nano cube/aquapod is a great tank for them because you can rig the full lids, or in the case with mine the glass sliding lid can be rigged with professional strength velcro, and the sticky part is re-useable so you can remove it for feeding and stick it right back on.

    another interesting point i learned at a LFS here in Studio City, CA, a fellow who has been servicing tanks for 9 years told me he's seen 2 nanos with octos where velcro was placed all along the perimeter of the tank at the top because apparently the octopus won't escape once he feels it. he said they might try but due to the sensitivity of their tentacles, once they touch it they return right back into the water. sounds odd, but he wasn't trying to sell me on an octopus (which are so cheap anyway). anyone ever heard of this? FYI Home Depot has some killer pro-strength velcro for those who are looking for it..
     
  9. DrBatty

    DrBatty GPO Supporter

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    It has been noted that both velcro and astroturf will irritate an octo enough to stop them from escaping. I used velcro to secure the lids on my tanks and it worked wonders....never had an escape.

    Nanos may be easier to seal, but they are smaller tanks and are sometimes not always so easy to modify if you need to, and as you continue to keep cephs, you'll find a lot of little mods you'll want to do. With the exception of pygmy species, most cephs require a minimum 50 gallon tank to be happy and healthy....some require a great deal more space. If I remember correctly, Vulgaris requires 150 gallons [I think Colin mentioned this in one of his articles].....and under no circumstances should a ceph be placed in a tank that has not finished cycling - that goes for any scale-less marine animal.

    A bit of info I got at my LFS the other day about ammonia levels in home aquariums: I was told that a lot of the most commonly used test kits for the home aquarist will never register a 0 ppm for ammonia - not because it's impossible, but rather the supplies given to us are not finely calibrated for an accurate reading below .25. Of course, you can purchase a high end kit to get a more accurate reading. My LFS has tested my water lower than .25 ppm on a few occasions - it is definitely possible, with a strong skimmer, of course. :smile:
     
  10. norgebyblood

    norgebyblood O. vulgaris Registered

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    i also have velcro on my tank, its along the inside at the top of the glass. i also have a weighted (fishing weights at the end hanging off) peice of screening on the top that it cut at the corners so it has an overhang. im in the process of making a hinged wood/screen lid at the moment.

    one thing to check would be your alkalinity at the lfs, my teacher had been adding baking soda to lower the pH because he said it did that for freshwater, but he didnt know about saltwater and it raised the alkalinity really high, off the charts the store had! so when we got the first octo it died in about 3 days, and that was the only thing wrong with the tank. now weve done 2 complete water changes and the new octo is doing great. also, do you have a protein skimmer? you're mentioning a LOT of water changes in a short period of time, makes it sound like you're skimmer-less. we have a protein skimmer for a 65g and also a regular filter made for a 60g on our 50g tank and its doing great.
     
  11. socal_saltwater

    socal_saltwater Blue Ring Registered

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    YES! i have a protein skimmer, it's the small one for Nanocubes/Aquapods. As for the temperature question, i have a chiller and have been keeping it at 76 degrees. I was told to go slightly colder because of the octopus.

    As for pH, why would anyone add baking soda/powder? They make a 8.2 pH buffer that is so easy. Just add a tablespoon of it and it counteracts the natural inclination of the tank to return to its old state. It's just called pH buffer and i think you only need to do it once a month (or when your pH starts changing).

    i thought my tank cycled and confirmed this with a few LFSs because the ammonia spiked, then went down to 0 for a while, the diatoms came and went and other living things in there have done great (i.e. long-spined urchin, damsel). maybe my tank was just too small! LFSs have told me Nanos are great for octos, but i think the species i got was a bit too big and probably would've grown even more?

    thank you all again for your help and ideas, this is interesting amidst the huge disappointment of the loss of this octopus...
     
  12. griffen7777

    griffen7777 O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Since you dont know where the octo has been and how old it was mabey it was just at that point where it's life cycle had come to an end.
    Very interesting videos.
    I cant wait till I'm cycled out and ready to make my own.
    I'm in the final planning stages of starting a 72 gallon octo tank.

    Wish me luck!
     
  13. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Good luck :shamrock_t: and :welcome: to TONMO!

    Is "The Nut Tree" restaurant and "roadside attraction" still around in Vacaville? I used to like stopping there on the way to Tahoe when I was a kid....
     
  14. griffen7777

    griffen7777 O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Wow! What a small world. Yes its's still there however it is taking on a much more commercial form ie: Best Buy, Petsmart, Barnes and Noble and others.
    I read that they will be bringing back the train and theres a family park area. It's all still coming together. Also the Nut Tree airport continues to see increased traffic. The whole area has been dormant for many years and now it's coming back to life.
    Did you ride on the wooden horses and Giraffes?

    Anyways....Thank You and I look forward to contributing and sharing my Octo experiences.
     
  15. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I mostly remember the restaurant itself and the toy store... I think I was a bit too old for the rides, but I may have tried them the first few times we stopped. The restaurant made a big impression on my young mind by offering the option of marshmallow creme on their fruit salad... which probably drove my parents nuts by having me bouncing off the walls of the car, but was also probably good for having a lot of calories to burn when skiing.

    It's a bit sad that it the giant chain commercialization has moved in... some of what I liked was that it gave the impression of a solo rags-to-riches sort of thing that took a roadside nut stand into a multi-million dollar enterprise...

    Anyway, thanks for the update!

    (we now return you to your regularly scheduled on-topic ceph discussions)
     

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