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Old 02/14/2001, 08:55 PM   #1
Rinaldi
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Mr. Ceph, or "Little Eddie" as the wife has named him, arrived today for his new 75g home. He's really a "Pentapod" as he is missing a few legs in the front - Thankfully they are growing back. His head is about 2". Took to the Tank quickly, exploring almost immediately without too much fear of his curious observers. Lots of good color changes, which I think is a healthy sign.

I ordered him from Fishsupply.com on a decent recommendation from the James Wood Cephalod Page. Unfortunately they could not confirm which species.




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Old 02/14/2001, 10:22 PM   #2
Sinbad
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Cool,

I've been thinking about getting an octopus from fishsupply.com also. (My tank is just getting ready.) What's your experience? I read that they mostly have bimaculoides. If your new friend has couple of blue spots on the arms, it's a bimac. Good luck.


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Old 02/19/2001, 08:53 AM   #3
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hehe rinaldi you bum you grabbed my octopus! I was going to order the octopus from fishsupply today to be delivered this week I hope they have another one now? Did you take any pictures yet? I wonder if it's the same one they sent me a picture of?

http://www.rpi.edu/dept/union/aquari...l/Octopus2.JPG

Nick


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Old 02/19/2001, 11:48 PM   #4
Rinaldi
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Sinbad: I don't think it is a Bimaculoides - It doesnt't seem to have the two "eye spots". Maybe its a Bimaculatus.

Johnny: It does look alot like the one in the picture. Its head is about two inches. Don't be too bummed, I'm having a little trouble with him and I am a bit worried. He doesn't seem interested in food and its been about five or six days. He let a goldfish bump right into him and when it squirmed he let it go.

Also he arrived missing a few arms - Which is a concern as he may have eaten them; I've heard differing theories as to whether that might be stress or possible infection.


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Old 02/20/2001, 07:10 AM   #5
johnny
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hmmmmm

unfortunately there is VERY little information out there on cephalapods and I'm a beginner at it. I've heard of them eating body parts and the occasional story of detachment when they get yanked on (may have been tugged out of the cave it lived in). The best food to try now might be hermit crabs or if you have the gall... sally light foot crabs. (there are plenty of better suited shell fish, but I have no way of getting any live ones in NY ... I don't know about you)

Have you tried the "cocktail shrimp on a stick" method yet? Wiggling the shrimp in front of the octopus until he grabs it?

Those two methods and the goldfish are all I've really heard/read about.

I've also realized species identifications are pretty stinkin hard! Even with that picture I sent you I couldn't figure it out, but guessed at bimaculates.

The other possibility is if this is one of the smaller versions it may have already laid its eggs in which case it will not eat again and will die within the month. Let's hope that is not the case though (which it probably isn't since it's head is only 2". It would have to be a pygmy and it doesn't have the defining shapes of a pygmy)

In any case, good luck! keep us posted and get some pictures... i'd love to see your tank setup!

Nick


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Old 02/22/2001, 07:22 PM   #6
Sinbad
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Hey Rinaldi

How is your Mr. Ceph doing? Is it still not eating?

I also want to know about your setup. I have my 29G tank up and running now, and with a covered top, my temperature is always around 80. A lower temperature is prefered. What temperature do you run yours at and how do you keep it there? Is a chiller necessary!?

Sinbad.


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Old 02/22/2001, 09:25 PM   #7
Rinaldi
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Well, here's the report:

Unfortunately he passed away last night. It was gruesome too as the hermits in the tank went from prey to predator.
Luckily i got there is time to spare him some misery, but it was clear it was all over. I had him a week and could tell toward the end that things weren't right. He wasn't eating. The arm thing was concern too as he was missing most of three arms - not a good sign from the beginning.

I had looked forward to this and now I am not so sure that I want to go through it again. I was hoping that he would live for awhile and then after he died a natural death I'd move on to create another reef tank and maybe breed clownfish. I probably will try again, but if I do, I might wait until summer or until Cephsource has some captive bred Octopus in stock.

I had an Octopus years ago and it was a great experience. It lived for several months in a 30g undergravel filtered tank. Now I set up a special octopus tank (75g) with live rock, skimmers, etc., and it dies within a week.

I'll get over it.

Sinbad: Mine is a 75g, with a 30g sump. The tank has a 3" Southdown sand bed and live rock, and the sump also has a refugium area in 10g tank that sits in the sump. Tank is fully cycled, but continues to have some algae growth. The sump has a Turboflotor 1000 Hang-on skimmer (Aquamedic). Temperature is about 77, but I intended to lower it to the lower seventies. No chiller, but tank is in the basement. The return from the sump is by two weak Rio 2100's, and the tank also had two maxi-jet 1200's. The top was cut acrylic sheets that I taped down with masking tape.

Good luck





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Old 02/22/2001, 10:12 PM   #8
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Unhappy

Rinaldi,

You have my sympathies. I'm getting my ice cube... i mean octopus tomorrow from fishsupply.com I'm sort of upset in that when I ordered it tuesday it was 50deg here in NY, now it's snowing and in the teens I hope the shipment is ok.. i paid extra to have it delivered early.

If you don't mind, I'd like to try to get as much info out of you as possible to try and compile a list of things to try so to hopefully avoid this devastating event in the future.

Did eddie eat AT ALL?
-what foods did you try?
-did he show any interest in any of the foods?

Where in the tank did he stay mostly?
-rockwork, cave, near top, near bottom?

Did you try different temperatures at all?

How long did you acclimate for and what kind of acclimation?

what did you have for current in the 75?

what did you have for lighting?

ok i'm pretty much out of ideas, but if you can think of anything please add it in! sorry for all the questions, but there's just SO little info out there! Keep on trying though!

Nick


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Old 02/23/2001, 10:56 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

The cephalopod arrived today alive and well (sigh of relief). He's pretty darn small, much smaller than the one in the picture. his head is MAYBE one inch and arm span of 2-3" or so. He's acclimating now and has been for the last hour... i'll probably continue this for 3 hrs. I bought 3 feeder goldfish for him last night (didn't have time to go to the baitshop) but I don't know if they'll be too big for him.

I have my tank at 77 deg right now and Im slowly lowering it to 73. I don't want to go any lower than that until I can get a positive ID on him and make sure he's a pacific.

He's a light brown and has a black/blue spot a slight bit larger than his eye at the base of his head (can't see if there's a matching one on the opposite side).

I also found out he doesn't like me being too close, when I was getting this description he showed his "get the heck away" attitude by turning half his body jet black (his left side).

I'm pretty sure he has all eight arms... it's pretty hard to count them in the dark and through the bags.

I'll try to write some more later.

Nick


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Old 02/23/2001, 12:26 PM   #10
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Thumbs up

Good news!

well no problem with him eating... i added a goldfish and he changed to amazingly bright colors, red, purple, blue and waited for it to come within reach... then pounced on it. I waited a few minutes and added another one... same thing, but he sucked on it for a while and spit it out (maybe he's full?).

also, fishsupply.com called me just now to make sure everything was ok with the order, octopus, etc. Very good customer service.

Nick


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Old 02/25/2001, 07:25 PM   #11
Rinaldi
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Sorry Johnny - I have been out of it for awhile with alot to do at work. Great news on yours - Sounds like a safe delivery and a healthy appetite. I bet one goldfish was plenty for a first meal - I'm a little surprised that you got him to eat right away! Thats a good sign. Sounds like a Bimaculoides - California "two spot".

Maybe I will try again ... The missing arm thing wasn't a good sign on the one I got.

As to your questions:

Did he eat at all? Not to my knowledge - There was one large snail in the tank which he turned over - I'll have to check if he ate it - I think he might have. The goldfish swam right into him and when it squirmed he let it go - no interest. I don't think he ate the dead goldfish, which I was unable to remove from the tank.
By the way, goldfish are generally discouraged as a food source. They are convenient and cheap, but not the best according to Biogeek. He says freshwater food are not good for marine species - I think he said it would be like living off Big Macs. My octopus didn't even try for the oversized hermits and two cheap blue damsels that were in the tank. In hindsight, neither was a good food choice - hermits were two big and for some reason my octopuses are never interested in damsels.

Where in the tank did he stay mostly? All over. He would hide in the live rock cave, move all around the front glass, and often crouch in the front corners (bottom) near some live rock pieces. He'd often just hang on the glass walls in the middle of the tank. Generally not to timid.

Did you try different temperatures at all? No, never got around to lowering it as planned. I was going to lower it too about 70 degrees

How long did you acclimate for and what kind of acclimation?
Probably not long enough. I cut holes in the bag and allowed slow diffusion through the holes in the bags.
I probably could have done it longer.

What did you have for current in the 75? Two Rio 2100 return pumps (weak!) and two maxi-jet 1200 powerheads. Pretty good current all in all.

What did you have for lighting? I am borrowing a friends simple dual 40w 48" strip light with one white and one actinic bulb. They don't need alot of light and prefer less light. In some ways, less is better.

Keep us posted!


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Old 02/25/2001, 08:48 PM   #12
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Rinaldi,

hey, thanks for the update! It's hard to find food around here other than freshwater stuff. i bought a few small small hermits and ordered a dozen ghost shrimp for tuesday delivery (no clue how big they are). The only other thing I could find was a softshell crab (sorta large) so I have to cut it up and wiggle it to hope he'll eat it. I don't know if maybe there's somewhere I can order crabs from? Any ideas?

I went into work yesterday and checked on him... couldn't find him anywhere (thoughts of escape going through my head)... so i popped in a goldfish and he came flying out (phew!) He didn't go after the hermit right away either. How big do bimaculoides get out of curiosity?

Thanks.

Nick


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Old 02/26/2001, 01:45 AM   #13
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I think the reason that freshwater fish are discouraged is that they aren't as rich in fatty acids. Frozen silversides are a marine fish and are widely available.

I was going to mention this in a seperate post but figure it'll probably be better appreciated here. I recently purchased a sargassum fish and have had trouble getting him to eat. He was said to eat silversides off the bottom in the store but doesn't show a hint of this in my tank. He won't eat anything that isn't moving. Using live freshwater fish might seem like an easy solution, but sargassum fish aren't really active hunters and the fish would just die before they ever got close enough to be eaten.

So what I did was tie some fishing line to the tail of a silverside with a lose overhand knot and dangled it in front of the sargassum fish. The motion of the dead fish without any apparent external cause of the movement (such as my fingers ) was enough to get him to suck in the fish, at which point I gave the string a little tug and it came loose. I've done this three more time and it works perfectly.

Figured you might want to try this trick if you try the frozen silversides and have trouble getting Mr. Ceph to take one.


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Old 02/26/2001, 07:34 AM   #14
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Unhappy

I arrived to my office today to find the octopus dead... no apparent cause of death. All the food (hermits and one goldfish) are gone, so he was eating. Temp is at 75 deg. Water tests fine on all accounts. He's just curled up in a little ball with his arms wrapped in front of his eyes as if he saw something he didn't want to see I have no clue, usually with a fish it will take a day or two or you will be able to see some reason for the death... nothing here.

Tis a sad day.

Nick


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Old 02/26/2001, 09:13 AM   #15
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I am sorry to hear about your loss, this makes me think even more about not getting one. I really would like one but it does not sound to positive on success at least easy success. Good luck to you.
Jonathan


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Old 02/27/2001, 12:38 AM   #16
Rinaldi
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Sorry to hear that Nick - Your reports were so positive. The appetite seemed good.

I am going to wait awhile before deciding to try again.


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Old 02/27/2001, 07:58 AM   #17
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Hey Rinaldi,

Yeah I was going to wait before trying again, but I contacted fishsupply.com to tell them what happened and ask if they knew what I did wrong. They couldn't point to anything except maybe acclimation (I acclimated for four hours ) but they're going to send me a new octopus. I'm kinda hesitant on that because I don't want to kill it, but at the same time it's not like I can say... oh no please send that in a month for free. So I guess I'm going to give it a shot. Besides... i have the order of ghost shrimp coming in today and a chopped up soft shell crab at my freezer waiting for him Ghost shrimp seem to be the only thing I can find for food, unless I want to buy little hermit crabs for 40 cents each (he ate the three I gave him before in one day... I could only imagine how many it would take to feed him)

I'm going to do a 100% water change with ro/di water this time (used tap last time.. maybe there was something in the water). And I'm going to try to figure out what the correct water temperature is.

Also, do you think adding a air pump and wood air stone would help? I dont' have a skimmer on this tank so maybe I need more aeration in the water that the filter isn't providing for it?

I'm pretty much ready to try holy water at this point


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Old 02/27/2001, 10:41 AM   #18
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I would recomend using RO water, tap water can be very bad. I would also agree on the power head or something to make sure that there is plenty of air in the water. How long before he will arive. If it is only a few days I would only change about half the water, freshly made salt water can be bad for animals.
Just my 2 cents
Jonathan


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Old 02/27/2001, 12:35 PM   #19
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Johnny,

Sorry to here about your octopus. The initial report was so good, I thought this was going to be a success...

As someone said, tap water is very bad. Any metal in it can be fatal. Also, I think a skimmer is a must. With a covered tank, there is just no way you can provide enough oxygen. Even if water is good, a skimmer is the way to go.

Good luck.


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