Mercatoris Pair Journal

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Nov 9, 2008
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Two really awesome things happened today!
I was in the process of doing a water change, removing about 30% of my tank's water when all of a sudden Hugsy came out of the sump and started crawling into the tank. She got on my officemate's hand who then gently guided her into the water. She darted in between two rocks. I totally thought that Hugsy had died or something! I'm glad to see I still have two Octos!
Here's some video of her.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/968717

We tried to feed her a crab but she pushed it away.

This is when the other awesome thing happened... Mr. Boots darted out of his tank and attacked the crab! He crawled around with it around the rock but ultimately found a dark area in the back of the tank to munch on it.

Here's some video:
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/968825

Here's a photo:
945084e5286461698f05d95de6249b1b.jpg


Have a great weekend guys!
 
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I came in the office today and peeked in the tank to check on Mr. Boots and I saw him looking straight back at me from his den. He's a little less shy everyday.
As I was doing my water check I see him dart his arms out and catch on of my hermit crabs. After an unsuccessful attempt to yank the crab out of it's shell, he let it go and came back into his den. Mind you, the lights are on as this is happening... it lead me to think one of two possibilities, he is either really less shy or just very very hungry... or both.

I take the opportunity to see if he'll eat some frozen krill. I found this brand from Petco. http://www.pets-warehouse.com/vpasp/shopexd.asp?id=87213

I carefully place a krill in his den and he instantly grabs it. Success! He likes it I think. Lets see if he'll learn to enjoy this more over time. The crabs are getting expensive and I want to see if I can make those a weekly treat instead.

I throw another krill in the tank for Hugsy... I still don't know where her den is so I am hoping she can grab this snack on her own. I turned off the lights to help her feel safe if she comes out to eat.
 
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Happy New Year guys! It's been a while since my last post.
I am happy to report Hugsy and Mr. Boots are doing well. I've been visiting them at work over the holiday break to clean up after their mess. (They seem to be dropping all the carapaces off in the same area in the back.) They've been eating the free roaming fiddlers I've been dropping in the tank.

Yesterday I put a couple of crabs in a glass bowl and Mr. Boots tried to attack them through the glass. I guess he's still trying to figure it out. Here's a short clip: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1024491

Here's a longer 50 minute clip of him relentlessly trying to attack through the glass.
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/1024498 He tries to attack the crabs from both sides of the bowl... It's pretty funny. You'll have to scrub through the video to see the action. Mr. Boots does not seem to be too smart.

There was only one crab in the bowl this morning so maybe he figured it out eventually. It's hard to say because my recording stopped after an hour. The crab could also have escaped on an updraft current. I'll try recording again tonight.

Dino
 
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The Sony line of videocameras with the "Nightshot" feature are perfect for nocturnal octopuses (I have two!)... you might find an older model for a little bit of nothing on ebay.
Greg
 

DWhatley

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gholland;130929 said:
The Sony line of videocameras with the "Nightshot" feature are perfect for nocturnal octopuses (I have two!)... you might find an older model for a little bit of nothing on ebay.
Greg

They can't be connected as a web cam, can they? Dino has been streaming the vids (see Octo Cam link on his posts) remotely. There might be a cheap night web cam but the problem is no knowing which ones will really shoot a clear picture since they are kind of no name items. I was impressed with the $10 one I got (on eBay, of course) but I have not tried using it at night (or even on OhToo's tank as yet).

One thing you might try is placing a blue sheet of velum (or using a blue filter) to help with the red. I did not have a lot of success with my experiments but did not put a lot of effort into it.
 
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dwhatley;130960 said:
They can't be connected as a web cam, can they? Dino has been streaming the vids (see Octo Cam link on his posts) remotely. There might be a cheap night web cam but the problem is no knowing which ones will really shoot a clear picture since they are kind of no name items. I was impressed with the $10 one I got (on eBay, of course) but I have not tried using it at night (or even on OhToo's tank as yet).

One thing you might try is placing a blue sheet of velum (or using a blue filter) to help with the red. I did not have a lot of success with my experiments but did not put a lot of effort into it.

Yes they can be connected. My home webcam is actually an old Sony camera connected to a laptop via firewire http://icanhaz.com/boxy . I was originally planning to use this setup with the octo tank in my office and use the nightshot but it would have taken a larger footprint in my cube with the tripod and all.

Currently my office setup is a dinky 10 dollar webcam suction cupped to the front of the tank with a small LED pinlight. This is all I have space for as I have frequent visits from my art director and need the space for my reviews.

I've seen your cool vids with Tarzan and the rest of the gang Greg. The one with the jar and the octos bouncing around is my favorite. I think I'll bring in the Sony camera sometime and see about some guerrilla shots but I don't think I can keep it there 24/7.

I'll try the velum trick. Sounds like a good experiment to do. Thanks again guys!
 
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Sorry I haven't checked in for a while. It's been really busy at work. Boots and Hugsy are doing very well and I think they have grown considerably since they arrived a few months ago. They are less shy and eat out of my hand now.

Boots is a little more interactive... and loves to put out his arms when I wave a crab in front of his den. Hugsy is more of a opportunistic eater. She waits for Boots to kill something and she comes out to play tug of war on the carcass. (their dens are right beside each other like a duplex)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FZRFsKHwK4

Here's a video of Boots dragging a crab to the back of the tank so Hugsy does not take it.
 

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Thanks for the update Dino, maybe not quite so long next time?:old:

Boots looks like he is doing well. :biggrin2:

I noticed you were using a flashlight for the video, have you stopped using a red light at night?
 
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dwhatley;132184 said:
Thanks for the update Dino, maybe not quite so long next time?:old:

Boots looks like he is doing well. :biggrin2:

I noticed you were using a flashlight for the video, have you stopped using a red light at night?

Hahaha! I'll make an extra effort!

I am still using the red LED... This video is not from my webcam... I took Greg's advice and I tried recording some video with my old Sony DV cam with Nightshot. The Nightshot feature makes the red light seem white.

These two octos are really showing their personalities. Playful Mr. Boots will attack and kill crabs even when he's not hungry. He'll mangle them till they stop twitching and toss them.

Hugsy is a little more cautious... she seems to only come out when the crab is dead and he steals it from Boots. I sometimes leave a crab for her in a glass bowl. I assume she eats it when I leave the office at night. She's a little shy.
 

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Since you mentioned that they room next to each other, I assume that Hugsy has not made any more trips to the sump. Did you block it or has she just stayed away. We have had several people ask about the all in ones and the mercs but you are the only one I know of that is trying it.
 
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Hugsy hasn't gone back to the sump. She's found a safe home in the rock duplex with Boots. I did not need to block the sump as I originally thought I had to. I am assuming that she realized that there is no food back there and probably likes seeing me and the people who walk around my cube here at work.
 
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I've been worried lately as Hugsy has not been as easy to feed ad Boots. Boots a little piggy and will eat every night if offered. He quickly snatches a crab from my hand every time I wave one in front of his den.

Hugsy is a little more difficult to feed. She eats once a week or so if any. Yesterday I was able to coax her to take a crab that she nibbled on for about 2 minutes but dropped immediately. When I try to give it back to her, she blows it away or pushes it away from her den.

Is she dying? Could she possibly be having eggs? Is she just not as hungry as Boots? Should I be worried? My water quality has been excellent.


Thanks... and sorry I haven't been as active on the forum... it's been really busy here at work.

Is she dying? Could she possibly be having eggs? Is she just not as hungry as Boots? Should I be woried? My water quality has been excellent.
 
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If you're sure Hugsy is a female it's possible she's about ready to lay eggs. It's not likely she already has eggs if you're still seeing activity although it's not totally unheard of. Refusing food and a significant decrease in activity usually is a sign of the end approaching.

Hope for the best.
 
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I have some exciting news... Mr. Boots is female.... she has eggs in her den.
I see 3 hanging from the roof of her little hole. She stopped eating a day ago...
I guess she's been preparing to lay eggs.

Should I continue to hand feed? Should I stop pestering them? Should I change light cycle? How do I baby proof the tank? How long till they potentially hatch?

Hugsy who still isn't eating as much from my hand I assume is eating free roaming crabs. I think she is just shy and would rather hunt than be fed.

Any tips would be awsome!!!! I hope these eggs are fertilized... It would be awesome!
 

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Time to dig up some old threads. Starting from about #9 of Trapper's thread I journalled her incubation. There are foward links to her children and grandchildren at the end of her journal.

This is a link to GHolland's first merc (the grandmother of his current brood). He has two other journals on the raising of the children and now grandchildren.

Unfortunately, in almost all species, the female dies shortly after the eggs hatch. If you can keep her eating, she will likely survive longer. Trapper was a very rare exception in that she ate during most of her brood time and afterwards. He extended life is not to be expected and is nothing similar is journaled on the site, most won't eat while brooding.
 
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Thanks for the links!
So basically I am expecting a 30-40 day brooding period.
I am going to continue to try feeding Mr. Boots and Hugsy. Maybe I'll switch to freshly killed fiddlers or frozen mysids.

I leave free roaming crabs that seem to be eaten by the next day... One of them at least is still eating. I hope they do well through the brooding.

I still haven't seen any embryo in the eggs but it's really only been 3 days or so. When is a good time to expect the ebryos if they are fertile?

I have a bunch of snails in the tank... Are they a threat to the babies if and when they arrive? Should I find them a new home? I also have a little Diamond Goby sharing the tank... I am assuming he has to go asap. I have a feeling he'll gobble up the babies..





dwhatley;133357 said:
Time to dig up some old threads. Starting from about #9 of Trapper's thread I journalled her incubation. There is a foward link to her children and grandchildren at the end of her journal.

This is a link to GHolland's first merc (the grandmother of his current brood). He has two other journals on the raising of the children and now grand children.

Unfortunately, in almost all species, the female dies shortly after the eggs hatch. If you can keep her eating, she will likely survive longer. Trapper was a very rare exception in that she ate during most of her brood time and afterwards. He extended life is not to be expected and is nothing similar is journaled on the site, most won't eat while brooding.
 

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Dino,
You seem to have a good handle on what needs to be done. Fry of almost any sort is food for fish, so yes the goby needs to be relocated. I don't think the snails are a problem. Boots will protect the eggs but not the hatchlings.

If the crabs are being eaten, it will be Hugsey (unless one tries to enter Boot's den, then it will be killed and maybe eaten) and continue to feed them. I would strongly suggest feeding frozen Cyclop-eze as soon as you can't get Boots to eat and continue to feed it to the tank when the fry hatch. I have not had luck with frozen mysid but have with dead shore shrimp (killed just before feeding) and dead fiddlers (frozen on death or frozen alive - there can be NO smell or they will be clean-up crew food only).

Unfortunately, I can't tell you when to expect to see eyes (the first thing you will see) as I have never seen an egg. Both my females chose the same barnacle shell as a brood den and kept the eggs completely out of sight.

Good luck, keep us posted and get a breeder net :biggrin2:
 
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