Getting To Know Me

ChrisMohrSr

Cuttlefish
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Jan 23, 2010
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I am an 80 year old retired photographer. Down through the years I have had several marine aquariums. I even cared for a pregnant octopus at one time, a story which I will recount in a moment.
Keeping 55 gallon marine aquariums became quite a chore as I became blessed with arthritis, so it's been some years since I've had my hands in salt water. Lately however, I have been thinking more and more about getting the salt water back on my hands. When I set up my first marine tank over fifty years ago we had to contend with metal aquarium construction and aquarium cement that became toxic when used with salt water. The consensus was, "Keeping salt water fish alive is impossible!" And, at that time, if you even suggested that some day you could keep live coral in your living room, you would have surely been commited.
Maybe I am just before my time. I have been shooting stereo slides with the same Stereo Realist camera since 1952. Three dimensional technology was inevitable. I knew that the first time I picked up a Stereo Realist camera in 1952. Unfortunately, digital technology wasn't there to make it a viable medium at that time. So I had to wait. The irony is, that I will probably be dead before it reaches the full potential I have waited all these years to see.

I like radio controlled electric helicopters, old movies on DVD and surfing the web. I also enjoy turning some of my several thousand stereo slides into anaglyphs by copying them into my computer using my Nikon Coolpix 5700. Currently, I am trying my hand at hydroponics using The AeroGarden and learning R/C quadrocopter flying.

Several years ago I cared for a pregnant octopus my son caught. Of course we didn't know she was pregnant at the time. However, she soon retired to a cave I had made for her and started stringing her eggs from the ceiling. She then began aerating them for what seemed like forever, but must have been several weeks. I can't rememeber how long. All that time she would not accept any kind of nourishment. I never peered into her cave and saw her when she wasn't aerating those eggs. I don't think she ever slept. I tried to find out what I should do when the eggs began to hatch, but in those days there was very little about the octopus in captivity. The smallest live food available were brine shrimp and I knew the babies would not eat those, at least that was my understanding. The female dies after the eggs hatch so there was nothing to be done for her, but I was hoping for some kind of a miracle for the progeny I guess. I don't know how many hatched, but I saw a few swimming around. Then, they just seemed to disappear and were gone. I really felt pretty rotten considering all the work she had put into giving them life and, through ignorance, I just let them die.
I would like to comment on statements I keep reading that maintain it is impossible keep an octopus unless you completely seal off the tank, for they will always try and escape. That is not strictly true. I have kept three octopusses on three separate occasions, not counting the pregnant female. None of these animals made any attempt at escaping although there was more than enough room to do so. Nor did any of them do any inking. I have reached the conclusion that as long as the animal feels safe and secure and is receiving enough food, it will, in most cases, stay put. And will ink only when it experiences real fear or terror.
I am now setting up a 20 gallon long tank for a baby octopus my son can capture at one of the spots where he goes fishing off his boat. I would like to communicate with people in a similiar situation so that we may compare notes.

Have a happy and productive new year.

Christopher R. Mohr Sr.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Christopher, If you split yourself into two (or Neal and I combine into one but not add our ages or even add in the age of our youngest son) then you have summed up a lot of our experience and interests. Neal never did accomplish the R/C plane thing but did rekit several planes and helicopters (and sunk one boat) :wink: before giving up. We did not have the metal framed tanks when we first attempted saltwater but be did experience the, bleach everything for a month, soak it a month more and then have ugly brown dead coral in your tank era (not to mention dolamite and UG filteration).

Live Rock is amazing and I have a bio-Orb tank that has NO other filtration, only an air ring for water circulation/co2 exchange and it thrives (I DO make HEAVY water changes - 5 gallons for an 8 gallon tank - weekly). I limit what goes into the tank, of course, but even the mantis and sponges have done well in it. I set it back up (it had been in storage), removed the inept filtration system and had hoped to use it to experiment with a baby octopus envrionment. As you will learn, there are two kinds of young. It is possible (but not easy) to raise the large egg benthics but impossible (todate) to raise the small egg pelegic species. It is the later I was hoping to try in the bio-orb. Unfortunately, my female did not produce viable young so I played with the tank and now it has become a favorite regular tank so I have a counter full of other experimental possibilties when the next opportunity arises :smile:

You will likely enjoy reading through some of the octopus keepers' journals. If you will open the post marked List of Our Octopuses 2009 (and 2008) (top of the Journals and Photos forum) you will see the species and links to the individual journals of the animals. I am not sure if regular saltwater baths help or hurt the arthritus :hmm:
 

Nancy

Titanites
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Nov 20, 2002
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Hi Christopher,

Welcome to TONMO.com! I'm the one who referred you to this site when you posted on the Ceph Group.
We're glad to have you - you'll find many people with common interests here, and there's so much information on octopus keeping.

Nancy
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
1,375
:welcome:
I do hope you get back into saltwater again. I too was out of the hobby for almost 20 years only to dive back in. There have been so many changes in keeping these tanks, it is like a miracle. Now we can actually keep fish, corals and inverts alive and healthy for years as opposed to weeks or months. Having arthritis is a curse and I feel for you, my mother can barley use her hands as hers progresses. :sad:
I hope you have help as the chores of reefkeeping can be strenuous.
 

Robinspa

Cuttlefish
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Sep 20, 2009
Messages
21
Welcome! I am a relative newbie. I have only joined this past fall but it has been so helpful to be able to talk with experienced people!
 

ChrisMohrSr

Cuttlefish
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Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
27
I want to thank everyone who welcomed me aboard.
I have set up my 20 gallon long aquarium and will try to start cycling my tank with some hermit crabs when I get my next Social Security check on February 3rd.
I will welcome any advice on how to hurry up the process so that I may get my baby octopus as soon as possible.
I also have to build at least one cave for the little one. I have been surfing the net to try and find something on building simple artificial rocks and caves, but I haven't been satisfied with any of the material I have found. I am thinking of building small rocks around a PVC elbow, capped at one end. That might work out well. We will see.
Thanks again for your support.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,990
You may want to leave the PVC uncapped. Only my mercs have chosen dens with only one entrance. In a 20 gallon tank, however, you can only comfortably accomodate a mercatoris pair (possibly three). Any other octopus will out grow the tank very quickly. Mercs seem to be particularly partial to the large purple barnacles found in the Pacific (as well as on eBay and most novelty stores along any coast but not in their native environment :roll:).

I am assuming you live in the US (many of our members do not) but are you on the East or West coast?
 

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