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bought an octopus, but what kind?

DWhatley

Kraken
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I would recommend NOT squirting the octopus. Mine, at least, take offense and sulk or ink. You can use a pipette as you would a stick (something to hold the food) but don't spray it on the the animal. It is fine to let them grab the feeding utensil (I don't know if it is avoidable. This is very typical of all species).

What they eat the first day or two is not always an indicator of what they will accept after they have settled in. First feedings may be more of a panic eating so don't be surprised if you have to train him to eat shrimp once he is comfortable. I always try (not always successfully) to take advantage of this behavior and feed a new animal just before releasing it. This way I know it has eaten and lessens my concerns if it does not eat for a day or two while it is acclimating to its new environment.

I have read a lot of conflicting "facts" on fiddlers and am not sure which to believe. I have even read that they don't shed their exoskeleton and I am sure that is wrong. Supposedly they go out to sea to lay their eggs but as adults, they live on land and breath air from the surface so the brackishness of the water is not part of their breathing needs. I am not sure if constant freshwater (no salt vs low salt) would negatively effect their exoskeletons or shed but we don't normally keep them long enough for that to be a concern. I would think we would see them around freshwater lakes if the saltwater (or at least very brackish water) was not a requirement. As I understand it they can alter their breathing method to extract O2 from water but I am not clear on how they do this and if the salinity of the water matters.

Some people keep them on sand with only a freshwater bowl. I keep mine in a container with shallow saltwater and a climbing rock. I can't say that my survival rate for this last group has been stellar though. I still have a group I brought back from a bait shop during my trip to FL for MACNA and I think I will split them into saltwater and freshwater buckets tomorrow to see if there is a difference in die-off. I usually don't loose any before they are consumed when I order from Paul but these are somewhat different and I am loosing 2 or more a day. If I find them quickly enough (ie there is NO smell), I freeze them and they are usually accepted when I run out of live food and want to offer something in addition to frozen table shrimp.
 
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Squirted in his face was maybe the wrong wording. I gently squirted until some mysis came out at which time he started to grab them.

I have bought shore shrimp and mysids from Paul in the past. Shipping was always around $75 which is why I am trying to see if I can find a local or at least Canadian supplier first. If not I'd want to order a lot from Paul say 100-200 crabs and 200 shore shrimp and end up paying say $100 for shipping and then not have to deal with it for a long long time.
 
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Oh one more question for now : Just how nocturnal are they? IE only come out at night or mostly active in the night but appears a bit in the day? I was thinking I could put the tank on a reverse lighting schedule so the lights would be off during the day but on at night if he is going to be fully nocturnal.

I've been keeping the light off just to ease in acclimation for now and am scanning the tank with a red flashlight trying to figure out where he is now. Not in the same spot as yesterday but it's very possible he is deep enough in the rock I won't be able to find with a flashlight. This is why I'd like to leave some live food in since at this age he should be eating everyday but there may be days where I can't find him to target feed.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
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technically they are crepuscular, which means they are active at dawn and dusky. Mine, Leggs, was active a lot in the morning from just before sun up until about 10 or 11 then she would stay in her den most of the day but would make a few excursions, then around 3-4 she would come back out and stay out until about two hours after dark.
 
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So I bought 3 fiddlers today or at least similar brackish / marine crabs. They were being kept in fresh water. They were only $3 each which is not bad considering they were sold as pets. The lady asked me if I was going to keep them as pets and I said honestly they are food for an octopus and she wasn't going to sell them to me! I had to fill out and sign a form at petsmart saying I'd keep them as pets / take good care of them ect! Whatever if they wanted them to live longer they'd at least keep them in their natural habitat. Anyway I put them in just half an inch of RO/DI water. I'm not sure if I should acclimate to marine or just drop in. I also still don't have the slightest clue where my octopus is.

Should I leave the lights off when I feed making it more likely he will come out and grab the crab or turn them on since he has poor vision and may not see the movement?
 
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I put one crab in it quickly retreated under the rock. I put a second crab in, near where I found the octopus yesterday he's still out in the open but no attack.
 
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Feel free to tell me I'm posting too many updates but I found the octopus and no sign of the 2 crabs. I'm going to put the 3rd one in beside him to see if there is any reaction. The crabs may have been eaten but they just as easily could be hiding. There is a LOT of hiding spots in my tank.
 
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last update for now

Success! He ate at least one of the crabs and it's looking like 2, perhaps all 3. I put the 3rd one in and he kinda grabbed at it, but then I noticed there was already a crab leg beside him, so he consumed at least one.

I know at this young age he should be eating everyday, but how much? The crabs are roughly the size of his mantle. Would one a day be good? 2, 3? Other food options included raw frozen shrimp - he spit out the one I offered him yesterday but I'm not surprised it was very old I'll pick up a fresh pack.

I could also get clams or other stuff from the grocery store but these types of things are far more likely to pollute my tank. Finally I have found a semi local fiddler supplier I am placing an order for 100.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Don't worry about over posting, this is YOUR journal :biggrin2: (and Tony has ensured we have space)

You should see the carapace floating around in about 24 hours when a crab is eaten. It is very light and usually shows up on the substrate.

Each octopus is individual. Our briareus' learned to come out around 6:00 PM for the dinner hour (theirs and ours) but would then go back into hiding until after 9:30 ish and were most active just after 12:00 and in the early AM (before 6:00 AM). We have never tried reversing the lighting as the room has many windows. Once you have him eating from you, you can try sliding the feeding time to something that works best for your schedule. We have started this with our hatchlings and they have to be coaxed to the earlier time (9:30 PM) but if we wait until their original feeding schedule (11:00 PM) they are now out on the rocks waiting for us.

Be aware that this does not happen "over night" and that patience is the primary keyword, consistency is the next important one. The more time you are seen (whether you see it or not), the better. Sitting in front of an "empty" tank is not fruitless.
 

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