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Dr. Octopus - Young mercatoris

Icabod169

Cuttlefish
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Feb 21, 2009
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I have to say, the blue light worked pretty well but I'm still goin to switch it out with a red one. As for what I thought was a feeding last night, I found the shrimp still in the tank. A little chewed up, but there none to less. I also thought he might have ate one of the minthrax crabs but i just found both of them:-/. My next try is going to be blue legs.
 


DWhatley

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I am glad you reported the krill as not being eaten. It does appear that frozen krill are not accepted almost universally so when someone reports consumption a follow-up is desired to determine if there is a difference in brands or, as in your case, a sampling and rejection.
 

sedna

Architeuthis
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I have one merc that loves hermits, and another one that so far will only eat fiddler crabs that are cut in half! Keep trying different stuff, you'll hit on something he'll eat.
 

Icabod169

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As I'm sitting here on my computer next to the tank, I keep looking over and Doc has moved to inside the top barnacle and is poking out with his head staring at me. I love it. It's like he's keeping post. The tank's lights are off and the blue light is on. There's a little light in the room.
 

Icabod169

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FIRST FEEDING

WOW! So I went to the LPS today and bought 4 hermits. I threw them all in when i got home and relaxed for a while. I came back into my room and realized Doc was in a weird position like he was wrapped around something. I counted all the hermits and still had all 4. Checked the mithraxes and the red one was missing.
After I observed him for about 10 minutes he brought his whole body out with his left overs, couple legs and a shell ripped open and empty. :octorun:Should I remove this stuff immediately? I really hope he accepts the hermits or my krill. Mithrax crab is too expensive for Doc to have.
 


DWhatley

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Sometimes I feel like a broken record, fiddler crabs will be the most universal live food to feed an octopus. They are far cheaper than mithrax and you can reliably, legally and ethically purchase them here: http://www.aquaculturestore.com/swinverts.html

If you order from Paul, request the smaller ones. If he can get them (he collects them weekly) he will (it does depend on availability). The male has a wickedly large claw and I always disable it by breaking off one tip. Often the fiddler will drop the arm when I do this so be sure you have the crab over the tank when you prepare it.
 

Icabod169

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Feb 21, 2009
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Hey D,
What time do mercs usualy come out at night? What can I put in the tank that can give me evidence that he comes out at night. I don't know if he ever comes out of his barnacle at all. Doc has also chosen a barnacle facing upward towards the light. Isn't this unusual? Everytime I view him he is just curled up in his den.
 
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dwhatley;133861 said:
Sometimes I feel like a broken record

Most of these questions have been asked (and answered) many, many times. A little use of the "search" option will reveal much info: http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/8884/

The dimmer your red light and the quieter the room, the sooner a new mercatoris will come out. After many nights of feeding and socializing, they will start to peek out as soon as it is "dark" and they see you. Mine often occupy upward facing barnacles, so I wouldn't worry.
 

DWhatley

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Mercs are like the bigger guys, they all have their own personalities and sense of timing.

Tapper (original wc female) was only seen rarely in her 45 gallon tank until I put in a barnacle and she chose it for brooding. Then she was visible on a 24 hour basis if she did not have her door in place.

My wonderful Sisturus (captive raised) would come to the top of the tank every night at 11:00 and expect to be fed. It was so regular that Neal would check on him before going to bed and call me down from my office saying, "Someone is calling you". Medusa (his tank mate) learned from Sisty about feeding time but did not come out until I arrived with the goodies.

Wiley (captive bred) could not be relocated to the smaller tank (he was born in a large tank and continually escapted the net). He was assumed dead over and over again for weeks at a time. I eventually quit feeding octo food to the tank and found him in the front looking for food. I captured him and put him in the smaller tank but he never took an interest in humans and denned at the back of the tank. He did learn to take shrimp from my fingers but he would not leave his den in my presence. He lived to be over 13 months old.

Here is my "go by" for merc:

If it is eating its health can be considered acceptable. If it closes itself up and won't eat, it is likely a brooding female. If it stays out of a den during the day and is overly friendly, it is dying, likely of old age. Old age can also be detected by the richness of color and the ability to hold color on a regular basis (not just once), but color is hard to determine with the nocturnals. I could tell more from the flash photos than by looking at them under a red light (where they are almost always white and rarely show red).

It does seem to help to keep them in a well trafficed area, especially an eating room where people are regularly there but not running around (no help with this for Wiley though). You can encourage early night time appearances by turning off all ambient light around 9:00 PM. I think (subjective analysis) that leaving a red light on over the tank 24/7 is helpful for regulating their out and about time.

There are no hard and fast rules with anything related to behavior, that is part of their attraction and curiosity.
 

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