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Old 01/01/2008, 12:18 AM   #1
gholland
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New octopus ID

I know it's not the best footage, but it's all we have at the moment. "Varys" was definately collected from the Florida coast by a friend of our LFS keeper, and is eating live snails and crabs voraciously (we don't see him eat, but the bone pile is growing rapidly)... so far he's completely nocturnal. Mantle is approx 1.5-2". He's in a low-light/no-light tank and we're working on adapting/cephalopod-proofing a larger tank, and thinking of using a "reptilian red" lunar light (any input would be appreciated as this is our first octopus). The first day he stayed hidden completely burrowed under the live rock, but after several days we can see that watchful eye in the entrance to his burrow. Hopefully he'll get a little more comfortable soon and come out to eat when we're not sound asleep, etc. We know it's pretty difficult to ID these guys, but what characteristics would maybe be helpful for us to try to nail down an ID.... Thanks!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yce5DoMBkeA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KDXTlyyfQE


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Old 01/01/2008, 12:46 AM   #2
Echidna09
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Looks like O. Mercatoris, and it probably doesn't have too long to live. He will stay nocturnal. The red light might produce a lot of heat, but red is the way to go if you want to view nocturnal octopuses. They do not need a tank larger than 20 gallons unless you plan to keep a group.

Also, if those are Dendrophyllia in there, you may want to reconsider because they could sting the octopus because they have super sensitive skin and that would not bode well. Just something to think about if you have another tank you can put them in.


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Old 01/01/2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks- we're planning to get him out of the tank with the dendros as soon as his new tank is cycled. The dendros are in that low-light system and they do sting their neighbors. Little monsters but we love them. We looked up a you-tube video of O. mercatoris adult and as far as we can tell, it looks exactly like Varys. We know cephalopods in general are short-lived but hopefully this one still has a few months to go and we can provide everything it needs. Any idea how old they are when they reach adult size, (ie how many weeks/months do we maybe have assuming he carries on with the voracious feeding)??


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Old 01/01/2008, 04:45 PM   #4
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Dendros are my favorite coral too, and I have thought about putting some in with my cuttles when they get older to see if they will avoid them or not. I dunno if I will though.

This http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthre...t=10133&page=7 is a great thread to learn more about O. Mercatoris. Dwhatley raised her babies from the egg and has compiled an extensive journal about them. I haven't followed it much, but I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you post asking when they reached maturity. They are currently 9 months I believe and are mating and showing signs of senescence. My guess would be between 4 and 6 months depending on how much they ate, but other factors play a role as well.


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Old 01/03/2008, 05:43 PM   #5
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Yup, definitely looks like an adult mercatoris.... that is mature size. Apparently Cyclops-eeze is very good for them. Like Echidna09 mentions, Dwhatley has had hers for over 9 months now, and their typical lifespan is only considered 6-8 months.

Use the red light and toss in a fiddler crab


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Current Tank Info: 60 gallon cube, w/ 30 gallon sump, octopus-proof lid. Dry for now.
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Old 01/03/2008, 07:27 PM   #6
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We've been reading about these guys and thanks for the input and links. We're not sure how to go about feeding cyclopeeze- wait until a tentacle is out and then squirt some over it? Or just add to the tank and see if he comes out.... he is getting more and more bold. Fed a partial silverside on a bamboo skewer yesterday and he came out enough to get 3 or 4 arms around it.

It's time to make a run to the LFS and get another delicious emerald crab.

We also read that super-fine "sugar" sand is best, and we don't have it for the new tank we're cycling. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if that can be purchased as live sand?


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Old 01/03/2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Any bagged live sand should be fine. Merc's aren't diggers so it won't be spending a lot of time messing around on the sand.

Try using a turkey baster or small pipette for the cyclopes-eeze. Merc's have a tendency to sit with their front arms looped up over their head, between their eyes. This is possibly filter-feeding and would be the ideal time to add the cyclopes-eeze.

You should consider ordering fiddler crabs from www.aquaculturestore.com they are MUCH cheaper than Emerald Crabs and not considered to be any less desirable of a meal for an octo. Just make sure and disable their big claws!


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"You might
not believe it but under fire Animal Mother is one
of the finest human beings in the world. All he
needs is someone to throw hand grenades at him for
the rest of his life." - Full Metal Jacket

Current Tank Info: 60 gallon cube, w/ 30 gallon sump, octopus-proof lid. Dry for now.
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Old 01/06/2008, 10:14 PM   #8
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Yep, this one does sit with 1 or 2 arms up between his eyes. We used a pipette and "basted" his arms with cyclopeeze. Some seemed stick onto his suckers but soon after, he started squirting/shooting sand out at us, so we stopped. Unsure what he was trying to accomplish with that behavior (???) but he's really starting to get less shy. Will now come out to nab a crab. =)Thanks for the link to the aquaculture store. We're ordering the fiddler crabs and maybe also some amphipods and copepods for our various and sundry little critters.


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Old 01/07/2008, 05:23 PM   #9
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You probably but too much on him and he didn't like it. Try feeding less next time.


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Old 01/07/2008, 07:31 PM   #10
Animal Mother
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Haha, I pulled mine out in his large turbo snail shell den one time, and looked in the shell, and he blasted me right in the face from about a foot away. It's an attempt to force you away, saying "Back off buddy!".


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"You might
not believe it but under fire Animal Mother is one
of the finest human beings in the world. All he
needs is someone to throw hand grenades at him for
the rest of his life." - Full Metal Jacket

Current Tank Info: 60 gallon cube, w/ 30 gallon sump, octopus-proof lid. Dry for now.
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