My First Octo: Elvis! The Long-Arm Octo

dagtaggart

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Hello everybody!

I am a first-time ceph owner and I just got my juvenile Indonesian Long-Arm octopus. He is currently acclimating beside me, a little stressed but occasionally moving about and changing color. His name is Elvis and he'll be living in a 29G BioCube AIO with a Tunze 9002 and various macroalgaes. Right now he is very small, the mantle is about 3/4" and tentacles 3" or so. The tank has been up for 3 weeks and water quality is very good. 0 ammonia and nitrites, .2 nitrates, pH 8.4, SG 1.026. The tank is sealed tightly and the lid has books on it to prevent escape. The return has mesh over it so he can't get into the pump. Currently there are nerite and turbo snails in the tank, as well as 2 peppermint shrimp, to provide food. There is also a sixline wrasse which I am attempting to catch and remove. Plenty of hiding spaces and caves in the rocks as well.

Any advice is appreciated, please be kind! I am so excited to embark on the journey of caring for such an intelligent animal!
 

dagtaggart

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Elvis is in the tank and hiding, but he did show a passing interest in one of the peppermints and has changed colors a few times, hopefully this is an indication of general health. I believe the species name is aphioctopus marginatus.
 

CaptFish

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I hate to pick on you but you asked for advice it was given to you by an extremely knowledgeable person, one of the best on this site, and you chose to ignore her. It makes it hard for people to help you if you don't listen to their advice, and you are not honest with them.

I hope your tank works. 11 days is WAY too short of cycle time. You told us you got the system on March 17, now it is only march 28, 11 days!
DWhatley tried to explain that a three month cycle period was very important for setting up a successful system, and establishing vital bacteria. She also explained that there was no short cuts. (http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthr...-my-octo-tank!&p=152274&highlight=#post152274)

That being said whats done is done, and we should move on. So, I hope in the future you will listen to the advice given to you by experts.
 

dagtaggart

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I was told by many members of my local reef club who have kept cephalopods that they waited just until the tank was cycled before adding their octos, and that water quality is the most important thing. Establishing large quantities of bacteria is necessary for processing waste, meaning, high quality water with 0 ammonia and nitrites, and low nitrates. Achieving this quality can be done through many ways in addition to having an established tank, such as frequent water changes and water testing and having a skimmer that runs over capacity, as mine does. For this reason, I respectfully chose to add the octo now, while they are available due to seasonal changes. I kept reef tanks for a year prior to this and feel I have some experience in keeping water quality high. I have never had a fish, coral, or invertebrate die while in my care. If he dies, then I will have learned an unfortunate lesson, I suppose, but I will do the best I can on my first attempt and hope that it works out well, as it did for my fellow reef club members. I do not intentionally ignore advice given to me by an expert, but I had many other experienced keepers telling me otherwise and didn't want to wait until October.
 

dagtaggart

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Elvis is out and wandering! He seems to be breathing quickly, but I'm not sure how quickly or slowly he should be breathing. He is also moving in a sort of jerky fashion, also don't know what this means. He is curious, though, and follows me from one side of the tank to the other! He's so cool!
 

dagtaggart

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It seems I have a nocturnal species, as Elvis was out for most of last night exploring his new home. I believe he ate a hermit crab as it is nowhere to be found and was crawling outside his den last time I saw it. He was very active and his motions got much more fluid, watching him move was incredible! Hoping that day 2 goes just as well!

photo.jpg
 

Omega

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erm...peppermint shrimp x2..and you didnt disclose how many snails and hermit crabs +an octo? even if your tank cycled having that much life in it at once is going to nuke it..especially in a 29 gallon bio cube thats a small amount of water for that much shock

that said, i would test the water quality daily for at least another month..expensive but you should be able to stay on top of a bad situation if it occurs.i would also consider removing the extra life he isn't going to be eating all of that in the next day or two. Making sure you pull out his leftovers will help too. keep us posted on the octo and keep posting pics we love to see them, I'd love to see a clear shot of the other side of him, every ones always just got leg shots=p. You might also want to consider a red light for the tank for night time viewing.
 

dagtaggart

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the peppermints were in there to help with a few aiptasia that I found on the rockwork. I can move some snails to my other tank in the meantime. Thanks for the tip, omega!
 

dagtaggart

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Elvis had another very active night last night. I woke up at around 3 a.m. to check on him and make sure he was awake and seemed healthy. He's so hard to find! The texture of his skin as well as his color changing abilities are so amazing. When I woke up this morning, he was back in his den, but he came out for a minute to check me out. I attempted contact by placing my fingers a few inches from him and he immediately stretched out two tentacles and wrapped them around my fingers. I hope to go toy shopping for him today, I read that baby toys are the best because they are non-toxic. Please correct me if I'm wrong/let me know what you guys use with your octos for enrichment. Thanks!
 
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