New to octopus


May 29, 2007
Hello. I am in Pensacola FL and am new here. I have looked around oin this sight for awile, but this is my first post. I have a 20 cube with about 30# LR and 20# LS. It is drilled and feeds into a 3gl chaeto fuge which feeds into a 5gl LR sump. I have had this going since Aug 06. There are no inhabitants except for what is growing on the LR-coraline and some macro algae. I don't have a PS hooked up but do a UV and running carbon and purigen.
I am getting my first octopus next week from south FL. It is a dwarf, supposedly Joubini.
I am concerned with the shipping. Isn't it quite possible that the octopus could ink while in transit and die?
Anyway, any tips and info would be greatly appreciated.

Most of the time the octos ship fine and strangely enough don't ink. Be sure you open the box in a darkened room (the dark packing box may be part of the reason they seldom ink during shipping) and acclimate under low lighting. Avoid the use of a flash but do try to take pictures on the day of arrival (you probably won't see her/him for a while after the initial introduction).

Since it is recommended to acclimate the octo over an extended period, any ink needs to be removed. I have read (but not had to deal with) that a heavily inked bag is worse than no acclimation, especially if you can meet the current water parameters (salinity, temperature and PH - salinity and PH usually being well lower than long term living conditions) with clean water, then start the true acclimation process to meet your tank parameters. Fortunately, both dwarves (more likely Mercatoris than the Joubini in spite of how it is labled) from Florida are exposed to frequent temp and salinity changes and are better candidates for survival if immediate clean water is necessary.

You will want some kind of fine filtration somewhere in your tank-to-fuge-to-sump setup to catch ink (especially if you don't add the recommended skimmer). I keep a tight sponge in the overflow (also to keep the octo out) and place poly filter (the brand name water filter pad, not just a polyester filter material) under the water hose entering my sump. The combination easily removed the small amount of ink Trapper would occasionally squirt.

Please start a journal on your new little guy. I have completed one for Trapper (she died of old age last week - see "Trapper is finally here" for her story and an idea of what you can expect when your new critter arrives. I will start another for her 5 hatchlings (now 12 weeks old) after TONMOCON. If we get enough people journaling pygmies, maybe Tony will give us our own forum :grin: or at least a separate space designated for individual life logs.

As a word of caution. Most pygmies will be fully grown when they are captured and their tank life is short. I have not found information about the longevity of hatchlings since almost none are caught in the ocean (even the hitchhikers I have seen mentioned are adults) and there are only two of us to have successfully documented hatchlings in any recent time. Many of the entries about pygmies suggest a shorter lifespan than the larger "tankable" octos but my theory differs from that opinion. If my hatchlings survive to full adults, we may have a better idea.

I assume you know that both FL pygmies are nocturnal. Over time, I was able to see and eventually interact with Trapper around 9:30 IF I turned off all the lights in the room at 9:00 and fed her at that time on a regular basis. I do keep a red LED light set turned on at all times and the hatchlings are feeding on the same schedule. Something I will recommend (from my only experience) but did not do when Trapper first arrived is to put a small amount - several potato peeler scrapings - of Cyclop-eeze in the water about half an hour before you add live food. This may stimulate appetite and help her start feeding early enough for you to enjoy her.

Good Luck and keep the cards and letters coming!
Thanks. I have ordered it and it will be here Wedsay. I am pretty sure the set-up is ready. As I said in previous I have had it going since Aug 06. It has an escape \proof top and I am going with low lighting. The LR I may move around a bit to make a few caves and I may add some more sand. I will probably hook a Magnum 350 to the sump and run carbon and purigen. I live just a few minutes from the Gulf so I can get fiddlers quite easily.
Now I cross my fingers and hope it ships well. The octopus was $30 and shipping $50. Seems like it shopuld have been the other way around. Oh, well. If you want it you gots to pay.

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