Al's journal

sedna

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Well maybe that last post was confusing, the snails and the polyps are the tank mates I've decided on. Not too exciting, but more than enough for us (and most importantly Al). On the show Futurama, the heads of people are kept alive in jars (Richard Nixon, for example), my husband was joking that if I had one of those I could take Al with me when I travel (like to MANCA!).

We just returned from Chicago, where we always stop at Shedd's aquarium. Before I had my own octo and learned so much about their needs, the GPO was one of my fave exhibits. Now it just makes me SAD. Not enough room in such a boring tank! Here's a Q for you experts: why don't aquariums keep smaller breeds of octos? If we are able to keep these guys at home, why don't aquariums keep smaller diurnal animals like Al or some of our others?

After that, I'm even more antsy to move Al into the larger tank, especially since he is trying to swim more often. Slowly but surely the nitrates are falling and it will be ready soon. For all of you who have done this before, what are your suggestions for moving day? He'll only be going across the room into a tank that is slightly cooler than his current home (a constant 78F). When I initially brought him home and tried to acclimate him, he got out of the cricket keeper in 5 min. flat. What would be the optimum acclimation time (I'll put him in a critter keeper w/ smaller vents so he can't escape too soon)? I always appreciate all the help and comment you all come up with!!
 
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Ohhh now I see. It would be neat to take them everywhere with us, like dogs. :smile:

I think the reason for public aquariums keeping GPO's is the impressive size. The GPO display at the San Diego Sea World is probably the smallest I've seen. I swear the inside was a 4'x4'x4' box (if that). It was the most active GPO I've seen though. There appeared to be a hole where it could escape into another area though, hopefully much larger on the other side. The Birch Aquarium actually had a couple of Bimac displays which surprised me. As massive as GPO's are, people still tend to overlook them since they hide and blend in so well, so I imagine smaller octos would be even less noticeable. But I agree with you whole heartedly. Why not throw in a vulgaris into one of those displays?

I would acclimate him to the new tank over an hour or so unless your water parameters between the two tanks match up. If it's just a matter of temperature then just floating him in something should be fine.
 

Nancy

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Relatively long lifespan is another reason public aquariums keep GPOs - they don't have to acquire new octopuses as often.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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Animal Mother;123040 said:
Ohhh now I see. It would be neat to take them everywhere with us, like dogs. :smile:


AM, you might not make that analogy if you had an Irish Wolfhound and a Newfoundland!

Sedna, be sure to post how it goes. I am hoping to transfer Octane next week and I am still creating ideas on how to move him. I have moved the Mercs without problems (very unceremoneous scoup walk and drop to well matched tanks) but Octane is much bigger and aging. I am still of the mind to catch and drop to reduce the stress but I will have to see about water temps. Salt and PH I can get matched but the new tank will be much lower in nitrates and I don't know if this might be a problem. I know with fish, it can be deadly even if the water is cleaner.
 
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dwhatley;123086 said:
AM, you might not make that analogy if you had an Irish Wolfhound and a Newfoundland!

Sedna, be sure to post how it goes. I am hoping to transfer Octane next week and I am still creating ideas on how to move him. I have moved the Mercs without problems (very unceremoneous scoup walk and drop to well matched tanks) but Octane is much bigger and aging. I am still of the mind to catch and drop to reduce the stress but I will have to see about water temps. Salt and PH I can get matched but the new tank will be much lower in nitrates and I don't know if this might be a problem. I know with fish, it can be deadly even if the water is cleaner.

Okay well I know my Dane isn't quite the monster those two are but I think 64lbs for a four and a half month old is pretty large, and she goes places with us! :nyah: An octo would make for a neat pocket pet... haha.

Sorry to hijack the thread.
 

sedna

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Is this corkscrewing?

Well, it's been a dramatic day at the Bentley St. Zoo (as friends and relatives call our house). I took the collard lizard to the vet, turns out he's just dehydrated and constipated- we're keeping our fingers crossed that's all it is and he'll be o.k. soon. Too bad there is no good herp site like TONMO!

I have also been growing more concerned about Al's behavior. What are the signs of senesence (sp?)? What does corkscrewing look like? For the first time Al didn't eat a hermit crab, and as I look over other journals, I think he could be starting to start going downhill, but maybe he's just lost interest. He is wild caught and my first octo, so all I know about "normal" behavior is whatever I've seen of him so far. I tend to obsess a bit about my pets, so if anyone could answer or direct me to a good link, I'd really appreciate it!
 

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sedna

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His color is good, in these photos he is in the top corner of the tank, in the brightest spot. He usually seeks out the brightest spot in the tank during the afternoon/ evening and is at his lightest coloring then. If you run your hand on the other side of the glass he'll respond with a color change, albeit very slight.

He did do his usual hunting behavior and color change when I put in the hermit and even looked to be eating it at first. This was Sunday. He let the hermit go and now it is still alive and walking around the tank. He did stick feed today, some frozen shrimp, and displayed his aggressive coloring then.

I'm not sure if I'm over- reacting and he's just bored. It does seem that he just isn't as tightly balled when he sleeps, that his arms hang loose more often. Then again, as I watch him now he is nicely balled up in his fave spot for this time of day. One thing I don't seem to see much of lately is TEXTURE, he's usually more smooth.
 

corw314

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The corkscrew look is exactly like your one pic, where his legs are dangling. Unfortunately, I've learned over the years after many different octopuses, this is not good. I have never had one live much longer after this appears. How are your parameters? The loss of color and texture is also another sign of senescence setting in.

:sad:
 

DWhatley

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Sedna,
Anytime Octane showed a behavior oddity, I did an extra water change and the next day he seemed back to normal. His tank was smaller than I thought (we have had it set up several years and never measured it until Octane was in residence to discover it was 10 gallons smaller that advertised) so I was doing 2 water changes a week as it was. I never showed a detectable drop of ammonia or nitrite so it could have been temperature or oxygen improvements but it always seemed to help. It could also have been skin shedding time and the water changes had absoultely no effect:hmm: but it is a "do no harm" kind of action.
 

sedna

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Keeping fingers crossed...

Another tricky day at the zoo... The H2O is good, with just a slight rise in nitrates. Still, I changed out about 8 gal. of the 20, including cleaning the filter media (it's been a month) and added nitrate sponge to the filter. He perked up some for a while, but he's sleeping right now as usual for this time of day.

The big tank has almost perfect H2O with the exception of the nitrates, which are still about 40 ppm. I'm getting more antsy because I've noticed that there seem to be a TON of little anemones in Al's tank. During that major power outage that hit the midwest 3 or 4 years ago, my only casualty in 3 tanks was an E. quadricolor, a nice "cutting" from one of the guys at my LFS. Afterward I noticed 2 or 3 really small anemones, but over time they seemed to disappear. I've had anemones enter filters before and then had 2 or 3 at the output. I'm not sure how likely it is that these little guys are part of that same animal or not, but that was the only anemone in this tank, and now they are big enough to both be noticed and look like bubble tips. They are so very tiny, and yet they have the same greenish cast and bulby white tips. I think I didn't notice them before because I didn't spend much time looking at the live rock (after 8 years who'd think anything exciting was lurking) and now they are thriving because the filter is huge for the tank and the H2O is finally so good.

While this may be a cause for celebration on one hand, my big fear is that this is why Al is always on the glass- that now that I can see that there are lots of these little anemones on all the live rock- maybe they are stinging him. If everything else in the big tank is good, is it safe to move Al with the nitrates at 40 ppm?

Meanwhile, I am keeping my fingers crossed that Al will stay perked up and also that Saltador the collard lizard makes a turn for the better. Some days it's stressful to be a zoo keeper!:goofysca:
 

sedna

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Al has moved!

Well, it was another long day at the zoo yesterday. After the big H20 change and tank cleaning in the 20 gal. on Wed. Al just seemed irritated more than anything but he usually sulks a bit after a H2O change before perking up. I changed out 25 gal. of the 55 tank yesterday- my premix can is in the basement, it was a lot of trips up the stairs with my 2 1/2 gal. bucket! By the evening nitrates in both tanks were negligable but my husband thought the pH was lower than I read it (I hate comparing colors- leaves room for too much interpretation) but the 55 was ready, so out he went!

The transfer could have been much more delicate for my taste. I scooped him out of the corner to put him in the critter keeper but he hung on to the glass with one arm and fought me a bit. I didn't like having to force him so much- I don't think it hurt he just doesn't like it. Once I got about 5 steps away he inked in the box, but it was easily rinsed away before I put on the top and put it in the big tank. I scrubbed the clam shell I use to make his den and his little toy and put them in the big tank. I set his familiar objects near by the critter keeper where he could see them.

When I first put him in the tank and he settled down look around, he did turn dark and texture when he noticed the large rock he was next to- more mimicing, A.M.? After an hour and a half, I took of the top so he could come out, but he stayed in the box for 45 min or so before coming out. He immediately went over to his toy and touched it, then explored a bit. I left the room and came back to find him in the new den I made him, then spent the rest of the time walking the glass. He's now in the opposite corner on the same wall of the same room, I was imagining how new but the same everything must look for him.

This morning he was on the glass as usual for that time, he looks o.k. I will be watching to see if he starts to explore the rocks more or if he continues to mostly just sleep on the glass. For this morning I'm happy that he made the transfer and what I see is "normal" so far.

In the meantime, we have been giving the lizard 3 warm baths a day and fed him H2O with an eye dropper, we have a 1:10 vet visit so he can be x-rayed. Think of how much money we'd all spend if there were octo vets!
 

Lime

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Al looks really cool! He looks like a great pet to have. Are you ever gonna buy another octopus to play with Al, or would that cause a fight or something?
 
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Lime;123422 said:
Al looks really cool! He looks like a great pet to have. Are you ever gonna buy another octopus to play with Al, or would that cause a fight or something?

It's not wise to mix octopuses. Usually does cause a fight, and usually to the death.
 

Lime

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What if like you bought two baby octopuses and put them in the same tank and raised them together since they were very little? And what if it was a boy and a girl togather?
 
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Lime;123429 said:
What if like you bought two baby octopuses and put them in the same tank and raised them together since they were very little? And what if it was a boy and a girl togather?

That seems to work out with O. mercatoris. And Abdopus aculeatus has been discovered to be a fairly social octopus when it comes to a male/female pair. But all the same it's a risk that involves the potential for disaster. It's not worth finding out. Sexing octopuses isn't all that easy until you've observed them for a while and know what to look for. So buying two and HOPING it works out would just be irresponsible.

Dwhatley and Gholland have both raised O. mercatoris babies from eggs and I don't believe they ever reported any cannibalism.

The majority of octopuses are solitary creatures. Meaning, they live alone. They meet a mate, the concieve, and then they either kill each other or go their seperate ways. They do not live together.
 

sedna

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Al stays, Saltador travels

Al seems to like his new house, not exploring the rock work much but more so than in the other tank. He also ate a hermit crab that was already in there. As I sat sulking near the tank this evening looking at A's curly arms, he came over to play his favorite "chase me around the glass" game, with my hand on the outside of the tank, him mirroring my movements. I will post pics of his new home after the weekend.

Lime- No, I'm not keeping anything but mushroom polyps, hermit crabs and snails with Al. When he does finally pass, though, I know I will get another one for sure, tank raised if possible. Even with all my zoo keeping problems this week, I'm hooked on octos for life!

It costs $60 to have a lizard x-rayed. Saltador's was clean. We have to go out of town to a relative's baby shower tomorrow and stay over night. We are going to bring the lizard too, so we can bathe him regularly and feed him by hand. I'm starting to think those great big dogs are looking more attractive...
 

Lime

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Animal Mother, what about like if you had an octopus and a cuttlefish? Would their be any fighting between the two?
 
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