[Octopus]: Bubble & Squeak (O. mercatoris)


Pygmy Octopus
Sep 6, 2020
Atlanta, GA
Hey everyone!

Today I finally brought home Bubble & Squeak from one of my LFS. They were dripped in and put in the aquarium about an hour ago and are both in their first-picked dens but still visible. They're being kept in a modified Innovative Marine Nuvo Fusion 20 with a glass lid (a 1/4" piece on top of a 1/16" piece so fairly heavy and with silicone around the edge of the aquarium to keep the lid from sliding) and mesh siliconed around the intakes. Right now, there is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and barely readable nitrates but still there. The water is at 77-78F, the pH is at 8.2, and the salinity is right around 1.024 SG. It has a small protein skimmer in the rear as well as a refugium compartment with chaetomorpha algae and a magnetic fuge light on the back to keep nutrients down. I tried 3D printing a giant barnacle as a den, but found that PLA floats a little too well, so I ordered some real ones on eBay. Here is a picture (while it looks bright, I used the night mode on my phone's camera to take this):
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So far, I have seen Bubble take down a hermit crab that the LFS provided in its container while acclimating in the bucket, which I'm very surprised of but am very happy to see. It went into a more obscure hole in the live rock, but can be seen if you look hard enough. Due to its increased activity over Squeak during acclimation and transport, I suspect it is a male but can't be certain. It is pictured below acclimating and on top of the hermit shell:

Squeak is the most visible right now as it chose a hole in the live rock that is front and center to the tank. It is less active and seems to be more prone to just sticking to a den, so I suspect (and hope) it may be female but again can't be certain. You can see it below in this picture I took:

For right now, they are in a dark room with no windows and one of my freshwater planted tanks that is across the room that doesn't shine much light onto the octo tank at all. Because of this, I've switched their day/night cycle to be dim white lights on from midnight to noon and dim red lights only from noon to midnight. I'm going to experiment with this to see if they can still sense the light from the planted tank as daylight even if it's very dim and see if their circadian rhythm will change at all. If not, I will go to a normal day/night cycle.

There are plenty of hermits and snails in the tank for them to munch on when they get hungry as well as a couple of small emerald crabs (I work at an LFS, so food will not be hard to source for cheap). I also plan on putting a couple gorgonians and maybe a slow growing macroalgae in here to make the tank a little more natural. Once they are more comfortable in the tank, I will attempt to feed frozen krill and clams and keep this post updated!

I'm very happy with my two little ceph friends and hope they are as rewarding to keep as everyone says they are. I'm also hoping that they're male and female and end up breeding at some point! Looking forward to sharing more!
It's hard to see, but it's the best picture I could get. Squeak is still in its den, but I came home from grocery shopping to see that Bubble cracked open an emerald crab and gutted him pretty well. Bubble is no longer in the den it was in earlier and is hiding out somewhere in the rocks. We've got a hungry one!
Just a quick update: I decided to switch their day/night cycle back to normal. I figured I will still be able to watch them in the mornings and late nights on the weekends and that it's probably best I don't try to completely overhaul their existing circadian rhythms.
Update! They were both very out and active last night! Bubble ate two hermits and explored the tank pretty extensively. I tried putting some reef roids in the tank about an hour after lights out to simulate a planktonic bloom and they were both crawling around within minutes. Squeak stayed a little more secretive but was very visible. Going to experiment with frozen foods soon.


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I didn't see Squeak at all last night, but I managed to witness Bubble come out and eat an emerald crab. Man, was that a sight! Watching his hunting techniques and the methods used for cracking the crab open to get the meat out were awesome! As soon as he attacked, he wrapped tentacles around each of the crabs claws to immobilize the arms and keep the claws shut while he worked on killing the crab. These are just amazing animals, hoping Squeak's continued inactivity means we have a M/F pair!

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