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[Octopus]: Arthur - Aculeatus, my first octopus

Reggie

Blue Ring
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Jun 17, 2014
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Hi Rhodi! I'm happy you liked it. Good luck and keep us updated! So I went away for a couple days (yeah, I know, baaaad timing), but my brother took care of him while I was away. So I took out 75L water and since I only have one 25L can and it takes 24 hours to make new saltwater, I'm pouring the last can of 25L in today. This obviously means that the water was way too low and everything stopped. My circulation pump was broken and the filter, the heater, the skimmer and the overflow needed higher water so basically the entire tank was standing still. So when I came back home last night two of my shrimp died (quite possibly because I put three of them in a quarantine-thing, like a transparent box that floats on top of the tank. Also some weird algae started growing on top of the sand, like bubbles that are about to float up and then was stopped. So basically the entire bottom looks crystalized. Pretty cool, but I don't think it's a good thing.

Anyways, I know have just enough water for everything to run while I'm waiting for the last 25L, two shrimp left (one in the tank and one in the box) and Arthur seems to be a bit more active (whether that's because I'm killing him or because he is getting better, I'm not sure) and his color is pretty much the same, maybe slightly better. This weekend was one hell of a ride, but I think we can make it through.

Edit: Actually he still has that bad looking color. Well, sometimes. As he changes color every now and then, I mean.
 
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Reggie

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Update: He still has that bad color and he isn't moving much, but he is eating if I put the food into his arms
 

Reggie

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I don't have a test kit available at the moment, but the salinity is better at least.

Earlier I said that I thought he was missing one arm. He is missing three :frown: He also has wounds one the leftover five. I think he was already missing one when he came here, but I checked some photos I took the first days and he had at least seven back then. I've put stockings over every propellor or anything that could hurt him, except tiny shafts into the filter which he seems very curious about. I would do something about these as well, but I have no idea how to (as they are very tiny) and it should be a long way from these shafts in to the propellor in the filter. Yet he has lost those arms? Any suggestions?

Also he eats IF I put the food next to his arms, so he almost has to taste it before he grabs it. I certainly can't put it in the front and wait for him to come out. I feed him scampi the size of a thumb nail, but (I think) he barely eats any. Some days I see him leave it and some days I can't find the food by the end of the day. He is also switching between to hiding spots where he spends most of his day.

I'm really getting worried now. Shouldn't he be more active and eat normally by now? It's been two weeks.
 
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Rhodi Hawk

Cuttlefish
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Nov 24, 2013
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I'm very sorry to say this, but it doesn't sound good. Maybe someone with experience will chime in. But from what I've read on the boards and in books over the past year or two, I'm afraid that what you described does indeed sound like a dying octopus. I hope I'm wrong. Their systems are apparently very sensitive and they are so short-lived. If he was already missing one arm to begin with, it's possible he was already in or near senescence.

That said, I've also read anecdotes about octopus hitch-hikers on live rock--accidental survival where conditions are far from ideal. It may be possible that Arthur could pull through. It does sound encouraging that he'll eat when you hand feed him.
 

Reggie

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I've been thinking the same, just afraid to say it out loud. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'll do my best to take care of him and hopefully he'll get well.
 

KA&KA

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Sep 5, 2014
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Hi Reggie,

I just want to say I have been following your thread and hoping for a good outcome. I wish I had some advice other than to keep up with water changes if there is any doubt about the water quality. I am also new at this and recently got a rocky start myself with my first octopus and fought off an ammonia spike with a frantic series of water changes. But it was really interesting to see the biology at work when after a few days the ammonia concentration suddenly shifted to zero.

Of course if Arthur is old then there is nothing to do but be happy he lived a full life in the ocean before coming to you, and maybe you'll have the chance to adopt one of his children.
 

DWhatley

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Losing arms is not a sign of senescence. This species complex (and quite possibly others) have special points along the arms where they can drop a section if they feel threatened. We have seen this on happen with a number of newly acclimated individuals. Some have done well after fully acclimating, others not. It is not clear if water (or other forms of) stress will cause this but getting an arm stuck in hardware definitely will. The successful animals have not dropped as many arms as Arthur and I think you need to examine the tank for stressors and hardware that could be causing the amputations.

On the other hand color and rapid breathing are often a signs of poor water quality or senescence and it is the coloration that concern me the most for survival.
 

Reggie

Blue Ring
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Thanks for the replies and tips ka-ka and DWhatley! The only possible place where he could get an arm stuck is In the filter, but I really can't see any way to stop this as covering those holes would stop the filter. I found this picture although its not mine. Mine is similar, but with two more sections of chutes. Any ideas? image.jpg
 

DWhatley

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The grid on the filter should not be a problem and I suspect water quality is causing stress. You did remove all the fish, right?
 

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