Neptune - O. Vulgaris

Ajemptage

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Hi, I'm new to ceph keeping, I just got a small vulgaris from toms Caribbean, mantle size is around 2". I acclimated him for an hour and a half and he seamed fine in the bag but when I released him into the tank he was ok at first but two hours later he's hanging by one leg from the side of tank not looking too good, is this part of the acclimation or is there something wrong? The tank is a 55 gallon, nitrate at 30-40 ppm, nitrite and ammonia at 0. The lights are out and I'm not disturbing him at all.
Any help or info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
 
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You also need to be concerned about:
1) Oxygen (you want lots)
2) Temperature (you want about 77 degrees F)
3) PH (8.0 - 8.3, but sudden changes are bad, so if the shipping water had low ph, a longer drip acclimation would have been a good idea)

You want to make sure that the water has really good gas exchange, and skimmers don't do a good job, so you need to agitate the surface a lot in the display, and/or sump.

BTW: If it's really a vulgaris it's not going to do well in a 55 gallon tank for long (they get much to large for a 55 gallon. 130 gallon or larger is recommended)
 
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I would say it's the nitrates that are killing him. That's a pretty toxic level. Is this a new tank that is unestablished? Why are the nitrates so high?
 

Ajemptage

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Wow thanks for the quick replies, yeah I have a skimmer, temp is fine and so is ph, I have a 250 but it's still cycling so he is in the 55 temporarily. As for the nitrates il try and lower it, I wasn't too concerned about them because I have been doing my homework for about 6 months before getting him and I thought from what I read they could handle nitrates up to 100ppm with no Ill effects.
 
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Why are the nitrates so high though? 100ppm should be toxic to pretty much anything, it's not like they will drop dead, but at that level any sustained time in the toxic water would cause damage..
 
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Maybe O. Vulgaris is different, but in my heavily fed cold water system, my bimacs often have nitrates that high, up to about 50, and they are very long lived.
There have been several cases this winter of octopus that got very cold during shipping and died soon after arrival, but as I remember they didn't look good in the bag.

Maybe an air stone would help, in case your oxygen level is low. It sound like you've covered all the other bases. Micro bubbles can collect inside an octopus's mantle, so try to avoid a lot of micro bubbles in the tank water, but an air stone in the sump should be fine, and a good idea, just to eliminate low oxygen as a possible cause of the problem. Do you see labored breathing?

Octopus are very sensitive to even trace amounts of copper; could your tank have ever been medicated with a copper based medication (like is often used for freshwater fish)? That's a danger with used tanks that have an unknown history. Any brass in the plumbing?
 

Thales

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I am not worried about the nitrates, but if they get higher I would be. Something is off, but that can wait.

I would bet that the problem was the long acclimation. Ammonia builds up during shipping by is rendered less toxic by the co2 in the bag depressing the pH. It is thought that octos produce a lot of ammonia in the bag during shipping (I'll try to test this next time I get one). In the long acclimation the pH in the water rises and the ammonia becomes much more toxic. Sitting in there for and hour with toxic ammonia is not a good thing.

I recently got a vulgaris from Tom (last week) and it looked bad in the bag, and the water looked bad, so I did a 10 minute acclimation and thought I blew it because it took the octo a full day to recover. Same kind of thing, it looked good at first but got worse. Really thought it was a goner, it was sitting in a plastic cup, white, for a full day on display for the public, but it recovered.

I agree with Joe - get as much air bubbling in the sump as possible. I might even risk it in the tank proper. Hanging by one leg is pretty worrisome, if you have a glass jar, maybe see if you can get the octo to go in there so it feels protected and so you can see it. That last is a judgement call for you - it might be better just to leave it alone and hope.

It could be nothing more than shock at a new place and shipping stress.

Good luck!
 

Thales

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A side note, I am not convinced about the theory that a tank dosed with copper in the past is dangerous to cephs. I have the feeling that that is really and idea that someone had that stuck, and havent been able to find an example where the idea was confirmed. If anyone has evidence that it is true, I would appreciate hearing about it.
 

DWhatley

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I agree with Joe-Ceph, 30-40 ppm nitrate is common and my tanks are usualy in that range. Any detectable nitrites, however, is another story.

It does sound like the animal is stressed but unfortunately, you are at the point where the only thing you can try is increasing the oxygen in the tank. The first two days followed by the next two weeks are always scary with a new octopus, particularly with shipping during weather extremes.

[edit]I guess this is pretty much a redundant post but Rich beat me to the enter key :wink: ... great minds ...
 

tonmo

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Whether or not it's the cause, it's a good reminder about weather extremes. I was just wondering if there is something we at TONMO could do to better advise the community, but really I think the suppliers should advise their customers that it would be better to wait on shipment based on the occasional extreme forecast. They are the ones who know what the weather risks may be based on the route / destination at the point of ordering. We should provide this feedback to our friendly suppliers.
 
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