[Octopus]: Ellen after Harlie

Bill Walton

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We received a new dwarf octopus after Harlie passed on, Ellen. Ellen is much skittish and hides as soon as she is disturbed. Another difference is Ellen inks very easily. Harlie only inked once when she arrived, Ellen has already inked three times. Today we found what seems to be a small crustation.
crustation.jpg
, about 1/8 long. They are attached to the back wall by what might be a string of some sort. We crashed about 10 of them today.
 

Bill Walton

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Ellen was under a rock and when we lift up the rock she holds onto the substrate. Finally after about 5 minutes, she lets the substrate loose and hides.
 

Bill Walton

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Ellen inks when she is disturbed, so I thought I show how one stretch of ink looks. It seems thick enough to hold together in salt water, it does not form a cloud, but streaks
IMG_4707.jpg
The ink is not like a cloud, but streaks of black.
 

Bill Walton

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This picture shows the parasite that lives on Ellen. It looks crushes, when attached to the aquarium back it seems to be attached with a string and requires concentrated scrapping to get it completely lose.
There are several on the eye and arms. The are spreading to the aquarium back and rocks.
parasite 01.JPG
 

Bill Walton

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Here is one more picture to help with the identification. the white lines on the mantel can change in intensity and size. The two mantel "horns" and the two mantel white spots seem to be part of the anatomy. Ellen often swims with two of the arms curled up as in the picture
identify 01.JPG
 
D

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Look up octopus mercatoris. I can't comment on parasites unfortunately.
 

tonmo

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octopus mercatoris
I was gonna say the same (fwiw)
This picture shows the parasite that lives on Ellen. It looks crushes, when attached to the aquarium back it seems to be attached with a string and requires concentrated scrapping to get it completely lose.
There are several on the eye and arms. The are spreading to the aquarium back and rocks.
It's hard to see (pic is very small), but it sounds like a very big problem; these things seems to go south very quickly -- but, how are things looking here after the weekend?
 

Bill Walton

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Yes, Ellen catches a Fiddler crab every other day.
I don't know what chemical would be safe to try to kill the parishes.
I was wondering if it is possible to hold her and physically remove the 1/8 inch "crustaceans".
I know this would be difficult, but is there an octopus doctor in the house!
 
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Yes, Ellen catches a Fiddler crab every other day.
I don't know what chemical would be safe to try to kill the parishes.
I was wondering if it is possible to hold her and physically remove the 1/8 inch "crustaceans".
I know this would be difficult, but is there an octopus doctor in the house!
For now. As long as it is eating, I would not resort to medication. If it really starts to spread then do some research.
 

Bill Walton

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The Red Sea 350 is now cycled and we added the first 5 fish. If all goes well, in two or three weeks we will be ready for an octopus.
 
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I would be careful trying to keep an octopus in that tank, rimless with an easy to escape from overflow seems to be a huge escape risk. Also, fish with octos is usually a bad idea and a newly cycled tank is going to be very unstable for months.
 

Bill Walton

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I am thinking of a O.Bimaculoides, but any suggestions are appreciated. I am looking toward something diurnal and larger than a dwarf.
The Red Sea 350 is 75 gallons with a 18 gallon sump. I have the standard filter socks ,Skimmer and loads of Biological filtration media. I have also made a heavy 1 inch thick lid of (I think PTFE ) that covers the entire aquarium quite tightly. The overflow are covered with mesh.
I am thinking three weeks should be enough, but I will wait longer if needed.
The fish will keep me on my toes and support the cycling as I wait to see how the aquarium stabilize.
Things went well with my first aquarium and the two dwarf octopuses, so I don't expect any surprises
The tank is automated using Neptune's APEX system and I regularly use several test kits and biweekly water changes.
I'd appreciate any advice and suggestions, I don't want to make any slip-ups.
Let me know if you know of any O.Bimaculoides, that will be available say in three weeks.
I'll put up some pictures as when the lid is complete.
 
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TomH is a memeber on here who sells Bimacs. He would be someone to watch out for.
Remember bimacs are really a cold water species. It does not kill them being in the warmer end of their tolerance, but it will shorten your time with them.
They can still get pretty good size though I will attach a photo of a former one I had for size reference.
I think a bimac or a briareus would be appropriate for that size. Remeber anything that is potentially food for the octopus can be eaten. So fish and some of your clean up crew species will be canon fodder.
If your system is within safe parameters. That is your call. If you have a good skimmer that will help with oxygenation. A lid that is not heavily vented will help with evap and salinity changes. The ph needs to stay within a certain range.
Those are my 3 personal fundamental requirements for the animals well being.
Obviously a proper nitrogen cycle needs to be established. Test your ammonia and nitrite for another week to be safe, if no changes happen then you should be good to go. I personally think you would be ok. Bimacs aren't cheap so if you want to take the time though, it is not going to hurt.
They are pretty tough animals by the way. If you can keep a simple reef tank, then it should be easy. They can handle sustained levels of ammonia up to .2 If you ever see that tiny spike don't freak out to much. The lowest ph tolerance is 7.5, but never! let it get that low, that could be a sign of a problem with your system. I recommend testing ph daily in the evening after or right before lights go out. After some months go by and you notice a stable ph pattern then You can start doing it less frequently.

If you start training an octopus to open things, make sure to use plastics that have a recycle symbol with the number 5 in it. That means that plastic is aquarium safe. There are other safe plastics though.

The picture attached is of jolene. Her mantle was bigger than normal do to it being close to egg laying time. With female bimacs (and other female octopus in my experience) you can actually see growth like a pregnant womans abdomen.
The aft end of her mantle will start getting bigger.
If you can identify their branchial hearts the two dark spots close to the end of the mantle. When it gets closer to egg laying time you will notice a definite distance change of those spots from their position to the end of the mantle.

Some of this information won't necessarily be helpful but it is here now. If you get a male that is a different story.
 

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Bill Walton

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Thank you for the your helpful reply.
At the end of the 25 day cycle the values are pH 8.4, NH3 0, NO2 0 NO3 30 and Salinity 30.0.
I have been keeping the pH at 8.3 and the Salinity at 31.0, so there is still some adjustments needed.
As for the fish, I'll keep a record of what the octopuses preferences are.
I feed the dwarf octopus one Fiddler crab every other day. I enjoy seeing Helen do her stuff.
I don't know how much about a Bimacs dietary needs are, I am looking forward to finding out.
The first dwarf laid eggs, this was exciting and very rewarding.
 
D

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A bimac will eat well on live crab and you can buy frozen shrimp from Walmart. I mainly feed mine those peeled raw shrimp from the freezer section. They are pretty cheap. I have also fed one squid, chicken, and frozen crab. Feed them once a day. Wait for them to be active though. Go in and start interacting. Then give them some food. Krill was not accepted by Jolene so I never tried with Snips. So keep that in mind.
Your salinity needs to go down... I think the ph too.
Other than that. You are good
 
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