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Octopus Availability

DWhatley

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Good, I try to remember to state FROZEN and not dried but sometimes I forget (I don't feed any dried) and if it is tiny, you should have the correct version. The brittle/serpent will start moving around almost as soon as you put it in the water and you should have seen the Chromis eating it right away. Get the brittle accustomed to feeding about the same time each day (just by putting food in at the same time). They are nocturnal for the most part but will learn feeding time and come out before you offer food if you are consistent. Then try offering a very small piece of table shrimp. This is a treat though and likely should not be offered more than once a week. They can't hurt you but they do feel a bit strange. You can try your hand once it starts coming out at feeding time but you may wish to start with a stick. They have no eyes that can focus but do have photo and chemical sensors so they will react quicker than most animals to stuff in the water (and once comfortable in their environment will scramble to the incoming food location. They live for years and are entertaining to watch. This is a video of Mr. Green Jeans (the kind I recommend NOT getting) scarfing up a piece of hand fed shrimp:

The piece presented is really too large for most and I would use a quarter that size (.25 or less than the disk). Neal fed this piece to show that the greens can take in much larger pieces of food than you would think. Mr. Green Jeans is my oldest living mobile animal at somewhere between 6 and 7 years in my tanks (I say tanks because he has been moved over time, initially because he was picked on and the isolated because he became aggressive).
 

mtlarsen

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I'm a little excited about hand feeding the starfish. Something to work on while i pass the time. I have a small army of hermits and their battles are entertaining as well. Thanks for the tips.
 

DWhatley

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For a long time we had a pair of what I will call (for lack of knowing the species) common brown hermits named Dumb and Dumber. At feeding time they would make their way to the top of a 3.5 foot small diameter tank and be hand fed. The problem (and hence their names) is that they would often loose their footing while trying to grab the food and fall to the bottom of the tank.
 

mtlarsen

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I had two hermit crabs that would fight my zebra moray eel for his food. Dumb is an appropriate term when speaking of hermit crabs. On an unrelated note. I would like to find someone on this forum that is from the Coastal region of Florida that knows where I can collect an Octopus Briareus. I am willing to fly down to Flordia I just need a guide.
 

DWhatley

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It would be a fun trip but, even with a guide, it is not like you can just go pick one up. When we were in the keys last year we did snorkel in an area where they are often found and did see an empty den but did not see any octos (this was at a public park but you are allowed to fish there and octos count as legal take-outs). Likely it was fortunate we did not see one or I would have wanted to take it home and we had no temporary housing (albeit, I could have gotten a favor and used Kara's facility but Ken would not have been comfortable until we started home, he is not fond of having octopuses in the holding facility).

If you were lucky enough to find a juvenile, how would you get it home? You would surely have problems with the current issues about taking anything liquid on a plane? It would likely manage a car ride if you could keep it areated or get a local fish supplier to pack it in an oxygen and water filled large bag but transportation would be problematic.

Just to make you feel bad, but give you a small amount of hope :wink: for something before December, Kara and Ken received a very large order for live rock for one of the public aquariums. It will take them several trips (and major work-outs) to collect the rock from the LR farm. During trip two Kara found a little octo in the rock that she thinks is a dwarf because of the arm proportions. Usually the animals from their LR are mercatoris (Sleazy was the last one I had) but one was a small female hummelincki (Serendipity). I mentioned your plight and she promised to be on the look out for a non-dwarf and will let me know if one surfaces. She said she has seen several middens lately but the pile consisted of full sized conchs so the animals were too old to collect.
 
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mtlarsen;160407 said:
I would like to find someone on this forum that is from the Coastal region of Florida that knows where I can collect an Octopus Briareus. I am willing to fly down to Flordia I just need a guide.
I live in southern California, and keep bimacs that I collect myself. Catching an octopus is not just about "where" to collect, but also very much about "when" and "how". A good guide can help with all three of those, but as D suggested, it's not like picking an apple off a tree. I found a local guide, through tonmo, to show me how (a 15 year old kid who really knew what he was doing) and still I only find octoups about one out of three times I try. I think your best bet would be to connect with one or more people who like to catch them and are willing to hold one for you for a few days. You would just need to be able to get down there and pick it up (or arrange for shipping).
 

mtlarsen

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You are on a quick path to being one of my favorite people. Of course you know by now that I am extremely excited to get an Octopus. If I don't get one anytime soon that is fine. I am going to research a little more about rearing the young in case I get a female that is expecting. I will read your blog more and try to understand how to raise them. If they hatch is it ok to leave them in the main aquarium? Sorry couldn't resist one question. As for the trip I think it would be a blast regardless of whether or not I caught one.
 

DWhatley

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I agree that the hunt would be lots of fun but would suggest that you are better off not finding one during the exploration. Learning the environment, looking for the elusive and just snorkeling (or diving) with a new perspective would be worth the trip (thinking about it makes me want to go too:wink:). Briareus do live in shallow enough waters to snorkel and find them just off shore in the Keys but I have only seen one octopus while in the water (in St. Maartin, not in the Keys) and I was not the one that located it. Of course I spent the rest of the time trying to get photos and missed the rest of what was there to see, fortunately, no one expected otherwise and left me to my attempts.

If you are SCUBA certified there is one adventure you might enjoy. You won't find octopuses but you would meet people that are involved with trying to help restore the environment and would have to opportunity to ask if anyone local could make suggestions. The next nursery restoration dive for Coral Restoration Foundation is on August 21. I am the webmaster for the site and the Adopt-A-Coral coordinator. If you chose to investigate, pass my name along. It won't get you a discount but it will give me brownie points.
 

DWhatley

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A basic summary of what we are currently seeing on-line:

Most of our Caribbean octopuses (primarily O. briareus and O. mercatoris with occassional O. hummelincki/filosis and rarely O. vulgaris) come from licensed fish collectors that get them as bi-catch from the crabbing (and CaptFish has mentioned shrimping now as well brings some of them to the aquarium trade) industry so seasonality is based upon stone crab fishing season (October 15 each year and runs through May 15). It is a nice arrangement IMO as the animals would have been killed as nuisance animals in most cases since they eat the primary catch. Occassionally Live Rock farmers will also offer O.mercatoris that have been found in their live rock (sometimes listed as O. joubini).

California has laws against taking octos (primarily the two bimac species) for resale (private use is allowed and I don't know about the availability of permits. It is understood, ie I don't know the laws, that it is legal to sell offspring raised in an aquarium). Primary individual use is generally consumption or bait and we don't see many people trying to raise them.

Indonesian and Australian (almost exclusively blue ring) are imported (obviously) and I am unclear on any seasonality but the abdopus group (most assumed aculeatus) and the small macropuses do seem to be available in more than ones and twos when they show up (primarily Drs. Foster And Smith) and will normally be labled "bali" or "Indonesian" octopuses without description or species.

Local Fish Stores and a very few chains will get them either as an ordered novelty or as an unordered inclusion in a bulk shipment from a wholesaler. We don't have enough info on this type of availability to determine a seasonality and they typically only show up in the larger cities with an established hobbiest interest (Atlanta, NOT being one of those areas). LFS in coastal cities are another source on occassion where divers my trade catch for product/credit but these are rarely marketed on-line.
 

mtlarsen

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Live Aquaria

I just wanted to let everyone know Live Aquaria has an SW - Octopus - Assorted - (Indonesia). No clue what species but they do have one. I wanted to order it so badly, but I am going to do the responsible thing and wait for my water parameters to settle. I hope someone finds this info useful. :smile:
 

CaptFish

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There is no way to tell what kind of octopus it will be, but if you play the odds it should be an Adopus, likely aculeatus. But with LiveAquaria it is always a crap shoot.

I would have ordered him, but just yesterday I asked my LFS to get one which is a huge crap shoot cause they cant even tell me what part of the world it comes from.
 
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They go like hot cakes!

Yes,
You need to get on the email notification list, and be sitting at your computer when the email notice arrives, ... like I was this morning, then place your order right away... like I did. :wink:
They say they're shipping Thurs for me to pick up at my local FedEx hub first thing Fri morning.

Yippee! ( I've only been on the notification list for a few weeks).

I'm already keeping a live foods tank as some of you know. Low tide is around 6:30 this evening so going to stock up.
 
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