Mongo, the mighty merc

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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Well, I got this little guy on Saturday (1-17-09) from my favorite LFS- "The Pet Connection" here in Livonia. They had been getting a steady stream of aculeatus this summer, and when I walked in last week they were excited to have 2 different types of octopuses. I could ID the merc right away- they were really cool about letting me photo the animals so I could post the pics for IDs. BTW, if your LFS won't let you do that, walk away! If they can't ID for you, they should be happy if you can for them!

After the last go 'round with aculeatus eggs, D. Whatley suggested I try mercs in addition to a different something in the 55 gal., so I was already in the process of changing my 20 gal. fish only so it could house some mercs. I was so happy to happen upon this guy! It was in a critter keeper holding itself to the bottom while holding a small piece of live rock over it. The LFS guy turned the keeper upside- down and the little guy was not going to let go of anything.

I brought the critter keeper home to acclimate in, they were NOT going to wrestle him at the store. I started by floating the box inside the tank, as the room temp is lower than the tank's. Slowly I'd add H2O from the tank, after an hour I'd parked the box at the bottom of the tank with the top off and weighed it down with a cluster of barnacles. I turned my head for only a second and it had moved into a barnacle apartment, never letting go of his live rock chunk!

We were out all Sunday and I was worried that it hadn't eaten at the store or at home yet. When we got home in the evening- an hour after sundown, he was eating a hermit crab. I stick fed him a ghost shrimp last night, but he wouldn't give up the stick. I left it in all night and this morning, he STILL fought me for it. I think he only gave in because he also eating yet another hermit. In the photo, you can see him in his den looking out at me, holding on to his hermit crab shells.

Even if he is nocturnal, he's still fun because you can always see him looking out. I'm guessing if he can make regular meals out of hermit crabs that he is on the older side? I didn't get measurements while he was in the critter keeper, and being my first I can't tell by size how old he might be. Also, I'm not 100% sure it's a "he," the way it keeps its arms curled up around the mantle looking out of the den I never really see all of the arm, but it looks like that 3rd arms is kept curled up tighter...
 

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sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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Mongo, out and about

This morning I got up at 5 am so I could spend some time with the n'octos. When I first saw Mongo, he was just hanging out in the door of his new den. He's moved into a different barnacle "apartment," I think because the original one is now filled with so any empty hermit crab shells he won't fit!

He dove back into his den at first, but slowly came further out, head only, arms tucked back into the den. As long as I sat as still as him, he was happy to get a closer look at me, too. I went to check out macropus for a bit, and when I came back to Mongo's tank he was all the way out in the top corner of the tank. This is the first time I've really gotten a good look at his whole body. Oh, MAN, what a super cute little guy!! I don't think he was very happy to be caught out, as he was painfully still until I bent down, by the time I looked up again he was back in the den looking out. I went back to bed at 7, and when I got up for good at 9:30 he'd found a good shell to wedge into his door. He never closes up his doorway completely, he's always able to look out at us as much as we peek at him!

Today's anagram: Moog'n
 

sedna

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Mongo, the MESSY merc

"Mongo," Alex Karas' character from the movie "Blazing Saddles." He was really big, so it is ironic to name a dwarf after such a big guy (former Detroit Lion, also). I thought of it when he was SO strong for something so tiny.

Do any of you clean the empty "food" shells out of your mercs' dens? Mongo moves back and forth between two dens, and both were packed with empty hermit shells. When cleaning the tank yesterday, I cleaned some out, then wondered if he may not like that...

With the aculeatus I liked to use a combination of stick feeding raw shrimp and free feeding hermits. I always took out the spent hermit shells in order to keep track of how much they were eating, but they didn't leave them in their dens. Mongo is always holding on to shells like treasures. I can assume that if a hermit shell is in Mongo's den, it's eaten. Still, I have a bit of a control issue when it comes to keeping track of consumed food (the curse of a mom of a type 1 diabetic), and he's so messy with all the shells! He has lots of other shells to use, it's not like cleaning out the hermit shells will leave him without.

Outside of my own quirky control issues, Mongo is doing great. He was out this morning at 4, it looked like the 4th right arm was curled? I'd be so very happy if he was a she, it's hard to tell...

Today's anagram: Omnog
 
Joined
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sedna;132151 said:
Do any of you clean the empty "food" shells out of your mercs' dens? Mongo moves back and forth between two dens, and both were packed with empty hermit shells. When cleaning the tank yesterday, I cleaned some out, then wondered if he may not like that...

Today's anagram: Omnog

I didn't feed hermits to my mercs too often, but I only tended to remove what was left of the crab itself (mostly legs) and leave the shells. Whatever you decide, don't get rid of them... you'll want them if/when you have merc babies! :fingerscrossed:

Tomorrow's anagram: Omg,no!
 
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