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Problems with OCTOROK? :(


O. vulgaris
Jun 12, 2004
Hi everyone,

I have recently noted a change in OCTOROK's behavior and I am starting to get worried. He spends almost all of the time 'shrivled' in a corner nowadays and really doesn't seem to take any food. A lot of stuff has happened recently and I'm wondering if any of this stuff is probably to be the culprit ---

Introduced a large hermit crab

Introduced mushroom rock w/small pest anenome

An aggressive damsel who was bothering OCTOROK was found killed (OCTOROK'd I believe), another 4 stripe damsel remains but I have yet to see him interact with OCTOROK

The temperature has dropped, unheated tank

OCTOROK used to readily eat frozen food, and loved silversides and shrimp. Now he just kind of picks at stuff or ignores it completely. I also tried feeding him a clam and a snail tonight, which he used to take. No luck.

I'm getting worried because this has gone on about a week. I have just done a water change but am considering doing more. This upcoming week I will be eliminating the anenome.. and I can always try to remove the hermit crab; but he rarely moves or does anything. I am also considering trying to find saltwater fish to put in as live food for him..........

Anyone have any other ideas or suggestions for me? I feel like this is really turning serious ........

Robert :rainbow:

****************** Update *****************

I had left this piece of table shrimp in the tank after OCTOROK ignored it.. it was kind of down in the corner so I figured he wouldn't go for it anymore. So, I cut a new piece of shrimp to get it ready to put right up to him w/a turkey baster (hes always taken this). Well, first I saw him go down to this piece of shrimp in the tank that had been sitting, and he jumped on it like he was going to eat... but then he just sort of moved away like 'oh well nevermind'; and he did the same to the shrimp I offered to him. I have a theory that he is not going to eat anything that he doesn't kill from here on out. Can anybody confirm that this is possible, and give me possible routes of action?

Hmmmmm. It's probably not bored (because you've changed a few things). A temperature drop will reduce metabolism - it could be (I stress 'could') as simple as that. Can you put a small heater in the tank and see if octo picks up (and have a light above the tank, or somewhere in the room, that duplicates summer conditions - as in long day length)? If it does then problem solved. If not then you've got to look for something else.

I know that's not very helpful, but try the most likely things first.
:-/ Ah..sounds worrying, I've had a octo for a while (less than a day) and it already devoured 3 small crabs, 1 shrimp and half a slice of fish paste...I have no idea why octos eat so much, but why is ur not eating, I don't know....sounds like you have a troublesome octo
Have you checked your water parameters? How long have you had Octorok? What type was he? If he's a tropical species could be due to temp. Have you tried live food recently?

Good luck!!!! Please keep us updated!!
I did check my water parameters last night and it seems that OCTOROK has some high nitrates in his tank! I have mixed up 2 buckets of saltwater and am going to do a bucket change twice today and twice tomorrow (each change spaced out by about 12 hours). I have read a lot of things that say nitrates won't really bother an octopus, but they COULD affect his behavior I suppose!

I keep the flourescent lights on about 7 to 12 hours a day, I should put these on a timer I guess...

OCTOROK is a bimac, I should have specified this before. Being a bimac, I didn't think the winter temperatures would bother him much... shame on me that all of my thermometers have broken; I don't actually know what temperature the water is. I'd guess probably around ~65'F whereas during warmer times it'd be around ~72'F. I have already gotten a heater out; I think I will put this in soon.. perhaps I will shoot for 70 degrees with it

Am definitely going to call around today and try to locate saltwater guppies and maybe some crabs...

Robert (still accepting any suggestions!) :cyclops:
Hi Robert,

Carol is right, check you water parameters. Sometimes higher nitrates can cause less interest in eating.

I believe Octorok is a bimac, and they don't come from tropical waters, so they tolerate lower temperatures, even down to 60 degrees. But perhaps the change in temperatures has affected him.

Some bimacs never adapt to dead food, always eat live food. All of them need some live food. When they get to be a little larger, they don't seem much interested in hermit crabs or snails (at least this was my experience). But the fiddler crabs from the site listed below were a big hit through the rest of Ollie's life:
She also liked the little shrimp.

Pieces of fresh or thawed frozen uncooked shrimp can be appealing, too.

Keep us posted -

I found that site to be very reasonably priced and have ordered 10 fiddlers... I still think that I am going to try to get some s/w guppies also.... great link though! I can't believe their prices are that low and include shipping

Robert :cyclops:
Here are some tips on keeping your crabs - you could put them all in Octorok's tank, and they'd live maybe a month or more.

A better idea is to put them in a shallow bowl (I think mine was an all-glass turtle bowl and cost about $5 at the pet store). I used half distilled water, half salt-water. Also, I put in some rocks so they had a little island to crawl out of the water on. I fed them flakes.

That way you can give Octorok one or just a few at a time. I'd put them in front of Octorok, or at least where he can see them.

Hope this brings back his enthusiasm for food!


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