[Octopus]: O. minor Hmart Rescue Attempt 8 (Project Save Ocho)

WTTW

Pygmy Octopus
Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2023
Messages
10
Location
Austin, Texas
Hey y'all! I've been lurkin for a while now, but, as I think my tank is finally almost cephalopod-ready, I thought it was time to go ahead and get my journal going! :biggrin2::sly::tentacle:

My goal is to have a sort of octo-hospice where I can give octopuses I get from Hmart sold for live consumption (so sad) a peaceful place to live out their final days (months, hopefully). I've learned from the following threads chronicling people's experiences who have done this before (thanks Tonmo for the leads!)

davelin315 - https://tonmo.com/threads/rescued-an-octopus-from-an-asian-food-market-today.11865/
and [Octopus]: - Asian Food Market Octos - Take 2

DWhatley - https://tonmo.com/threads/thing1-and-thing2-o-minor.23156/

Niagara Octopus - https://tonmo.com/threads/sushi-the-octopus.23355/

ACC4 - https://tonmo.com/threads/o-minor.54709/

erider6 - https://tonmo.com/threads/h-mart-octo.23062/

I'm documenting the whole journey almost daily on my instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/project.save.ocho/ But I want to post major updates here to get feedback from y'all, the internet's best ceph experts :cool2:.


So here are all the specs, I'd love feedback and any tips y'all may have:

23.75" width x 23.75" height x 23.5" length tank with overflow box (~60 gallons).
20" x 20" sump usually filled to 11.75 inches (~19 gallons).

Nyos 150 protein skimmer.

Active Aqua 1/10 HP chiller , soon to be upgraded to JBJ Arctica 1/3 HP DBM-250.

I got everything second-hand off of facebook marketplace, over the past 2 years of scouring :facepalm:.


Here is the timeline for the tank setup/cycle:

Tank acquired January 2022


Filled August 2023 - no livestock, tried ghost feeding, but don't think it did much of anything.

February 27th, 2023 - First inhabitants, 3 abalone from Hmart, were introduced. One passed within the first couple of weeks, I believe due to lack of food. I started feeding nori to supplement algae in tank, and the other two, Shy Rodney and Rhianna, have been thriving since.
DWhatley before her passing, referenced keeping some alive for over two years in https://tonmo.com/threads/h-mart-octo.23062/#post-203634

April 10th, 2023 - From the generosity of fellow southerner
Dr. Lizz , I recieved 7 European green crabs which he shipped me from his Asian Food market. Five have died due to bullying, I believe, but the 2 largest ones I am left with seem stable. The bodies of the deceased have been frozen for the octopus.


As of the last couple of tests, the water parameters seem to be pretty stable. These are what I'm aiming for:

Specific gravity of 1.026
Ammonia and Nitrite as close to 0 as possible (.1 ppm recently)
Nitrate below 20 (it's been close to 18 and I have been doing regular water changes to try and keep it down even more).

Temperature has consistently been at 60, but reviewing some of the other threads, I may lower it, no more than 5 degrees probably, because it seems like 55-60 is the ideal range? That's why I've upgraded chillers; that, and the great price two JBJ 250s were offered at!

I have a couple local fish stores that can supply me with crayfish, and hopefully I can ween Ocho onto what else I can get from Hmart and the frozen section of other stores.


I am planning on acquiring our first cephalopod inhabitant (seems like the consensus is it is Octopus minor offered for sale at Hmart?) at the end of the month! Y'all will be the second to know how it goes, after the livestream on instagram :nyah:.



Despite the seeming thoroughness of this post, I am still very new to saltwater aquarium keeping, so please do not hold back any kind feedback :). I tried to include as much detail for posterity and also my own sake for reference :razz:. Thanks for sticking around, here are some pictures to reward ya! I have been keeping all the cheap, live rock I could get my hands on in the tank, but will try to open up the structure/remove some rocks as I set up my other tank (foreshadowing!).


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WOW! I am extremely impressed with this project. "Rescue" projects are among my favorite initiatives taken on by members of this community, and you've cited them above. I've never seen an attempt at this scale.

The beautiful thing about it is that there is no losing -- market cephs are almost always kept in very poor conditions. I appreciate you giving back to the TONMO community with your updates, @WTTW -- excited to follow along! @DWhatley would be very proud, deservedly so.
 
WOW! I am extremely impressed with this project. "Rescue" projects are among my favorite initiatives taken on by members of this community, and you've cited them above. I've never seen an attempt at this scale.

The beautiful thing about it is that there is no losing -- market cephs are almost always kept in very poor conditions. I appreciate you giving back to the TONMO community with your updates, @WTTW -- excited to follow along! @DWhatley would be very proud, deservedly so.
Gosh, thank you so much for your encouragement 💛. It really means so much. There have been so many trials and tribulations along the way already, and your kinds words strengthen my resolve and belief in the worth of the project!
 
Also, because I'm trying to spread the word about my efforts, I made a vinyl sticker to be distributed! DM me if y'all would like a sticker or 10 to place in your favorite spots around town :biggrin2:. No purchase necessary but donations are appreciate :geek:
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Well, I called Hmart this morning and confirmed they had live octopuses. I went, and there were many that looked like they were already passed/passing 😥, a few that looked pretty sickly, and then the one I ultimately ended up getting! He was super active and responsive after he came out of the box that held all the abalone. We bought him and drove home with no incident. So without further ado, everyone, meet Ocho! I am over the moon.

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I drip acclimated him for much shorter than I think I should have, because I was so antsy to get him in the tank. I say "he" because some of his arms are definitely shorter, suggesting one could be a hectocotylus, but they may just be normal arms regenerating, correct?

He is now in the darkest corner of the tank dug under the rockwork (of course :laughing:). Some of his arms were briefly corkscrewing every so often, but this is not necessarily a sign of impending death, but could just be stress, yes? Is there any typical time frame passed which it means he has successfully adjusted to the new tank? I am eager to know if he is okay and has a shot. Thank y'all for coming along on this ride! More updates to follow :smile4:☺️😁!
 
Hey y'all! Just wanted to give a 4-day update.

Ocho has been settling in well, I think! He looks so white and dead during the day, but colors up well and is active at night consistently. We watched some netflix together last night☺️. Still haven't gotten him to eat but I'm returning to hmart for some live food today and will let y'all know how that goes.

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I'm pretty sure Ocho is a guy, if this looks like a hectocotylus to anyone else?

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Also, he has this hole taken out of him I noticed but got a good picture of for the first time today... I'm sad about it regardless, but I'm worried it could be where they removed his beak? It doesn't seem to go all the way through, maybe it's just a chunk taken out of him while with all the other octos. What do y'all think? Sad regardless, but I really hope he's able to eat 😥 .
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wow, if that is indeed his beak (hard to tell but if it's at the center, then yeah?) - I don't think I've ever seen that -- I wouldn't think it would be a clean hole like that. Very interesting - agree, I hope there's no issue with eating; what are you freezing? If non-live, maybe finely chopped shimp is in order here -- but I'm not an expert! Ideally the community will chime in on this.

At this point, he should be eating, yes?
 

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