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[Octopus]: Oswald - O. bimaculatus My new Bimac from Tonmo

RSG

Pygmy Octopus
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View attachment 60610572370__F4DCBAD8-0218-4675-BE1E-95FA2D1C2B23.MOV
Well, I am home from hospital and my Bimac, Oswald is doing great. He would eat 3-4 crabs a day if I let him. He is very friendly and will always come out when I approach the tank. He really likes to play "tug of war" with my fingers or whatever is placed in the tank, ie. net tongs, bottle etc... Something very interesting happened yesterday. I was looking at the tank with the lights off and I saw what appeared to be a tiny octopus on the front glass. To my surprise, I have scooped up about 20 baby octopus and put the in a separate little tank. Before I received my octopus from Tonmo, I was sent an octopus from Aquarium Creations which was supposed to be a small O. Briareus. when I got it, it did not look like that species and it must have been an adult dwarf octopus and had babies. A week after I got him, I did not see her anymore and I though it had escaped. Must of went into the rock work and laid eggs, which jus hatched. Now, I collect them when the lights are off and they are attached to the front glass. When lights are on they are hiding. Can someone let me know how best to try and raise these little guys. I am going to the shore and getting newly hatched shore shrimp to feed them. What type of vessel is best to house them? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated . Stay safe everyone. A few videos attached.
 

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DWhatley

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If you have or can set up a separate tank (using some of your substrate from your bimac tank) any size will do to start (preferably something larger than 15 gallons but go with what you have as the die off rate is rapid and extreme. I recommend trying to keep the hatchlings in soft breeder nets, preferably something with a shelf/netting mid way. Place a number (at least one per animal) of small snail shells in the breeder net(s) and attach them near the surface. Too far down and the won't stay in the net. This way you can target feed the shells even if you don't see the hatchlings but you will have the volume of a larger tank.

Here is a photo of the nets I have used Little Girl 2007/11/17 ~ 2008/05/? Octopus Mercatoris
 

DWhatley

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For feeding try any kind of cyclops shrimp you can find along with frozen mysis. Do put live in their containers but only one or two. Eventually you should see them hunting but target feeding the shells is my suggestion for right now.
 

RSG

Pygmy Octopus
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Thanks, DW
I have caught about 8-10 of them and set up a small tank for them. I keep adding my DT water and have added the substrate on some small live rock rubble and some macro algae. I have a small filter and small air pump to blow some large bubbles (no air stone) just the tube under a rock. I will keep looking for them in the main display tank. I will try and add some amphipods as well as the new born shore shrimp. I am giddy about the opportunity. these little guys are so amazing.
 

DWhatley

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Keep using the water from your display tank, do not do water changes with new saltwater (use what you pull off for water changes on the DT). If you can't use the DT water, don't do water changes at all. It is anecdotal but it seems to matter.
 

pkilian

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In addition to what DWhatley said, I would also recommend doing your best to get them individual enclosures if you intend to keep as many alive to adulthood as possible. Juvenile octopuses can and will kill each other, and sometimes they may seem fine in a tank and then all of a sudden half the population will be dead overnight. I've seen a tank of 22 individuals be reduced to 5 after one particularly bad night.

If you are determined to keep the individuals alive I would plan on setting up a seawater system for them as soon as you can, with a sump and a manifold that leads to your different individual tanks, and a drain system to bring all that water back to the sump.

I've seen two main schools of thought when it comes to tank sizing for growing octopuses. The strategy you employ will heavily depend on your individual situation.
1) You can start each animal in a small tank (something like a retrofitted bug enclosure or tupperware-esq container) and then gradually move them into progressively larger tanks as they grow. This has a few advantages because you have smaller tanks to clean, and it is easier to find and feed the octopus. Keep in mind that you will have to spend more time moving the animals to larger tanks when thy get larger, as well as purchasing/making many differently sized tanks. (I usually do three different sized tanks for the octopuses that I raise)
2) You can start each animal in a fully sized tank. This is nice because you don't have to move the animal to a larger tank when it grows out of the small tank, but requires a larger system and you don't know how many babies will actually survive to the size where they will need the larger tank, so you may waste resources buying and setting up tanks for animals that don't live longer than a few weeks. Some people also think that the larger tank the more comfortable the animal is at any size.

Some other strategy you could use to separate you octopuses initially without having to set up individual tanks for every one is to buy something like a bead organizer (heres an example) and drill 1/2" holes in the bottom of each bead compartment, and then glue screen over the entire underside of the bead organizer. Then you can put each octo in their own compartment with a shell as a den and you will be able to separate them and keep track of them by writing numbers or identifiers on the lid of the organizer. Prop up the bead organizer in your tank near an area with good flow to make sure that they get a proper turnover rate in their enclosure.
Its important to note that some of these bead organizers don't close all the way, and animals may be able to move from one enclosure to another within the bead organizer.

This is just a cheap alternative that you should only really use for a few weeks until you have time to set up a separate system with individual tanks for each animal.

Again, this is just advice if you are really serious about having maximum longevity for each of these animals. The suggestions made by DWhatley will work much better than just leaving the babies in their original tank, and these are a few additional steps you could take in the future once they grow a bit more.
 

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