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Pygmy Atlantic Octopus care

Hannahhhh

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For feeder foods, you have a few options. I feed my octopuses fiddler crabs that I get shipped from Florida each week. I store them in a separate tank that is on its own system (crabs are really dirty and I don't want them on the same system as my octopus). You could also do the same with any species of crab. If you are close to the water in Massachusetts you can go crab hunting yourself! Between August-April is a really great time to find Asian shore crabs all along the rocky shoreline (I have done this very same thing myself). You have to be a bit careful when harvesting crabs from the wild because Massachusetts has some guidelines on recreational crab fishing, which you can read more about on their website here.

If you don't want to feed live foods you can also feed frozen shrimp. The kind you can get at the grocery store should be acceptable (you may need to remove shells/tails depending on how picky your animal is). Otherwise, you can source shrimp from a restaurant distributor, but they don't always sell to hobbyists. Training your octo to eat frozen food can take a few weeks, but once you have gotten them to eat off of a stick they will be happy to eat that way for the rest of the time you get to spend with them.

I'm sure other members have more experience feeding frozen foods and could weigh in with their opinions as well.
I’ve done live fiddlers in their own set up, as pkil

Are fiddlers too big for a Pygmy octo?
 

pkilian

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Are fiddlers too big for a Pygmy octo?
It depends on the size of your animal, but probably not. I've had octos with a mantle length of 1" take down a crab that's the same size. Just make sure to take off their "fiddle" (the large claw) before you feed the crab so that it can't hurt your octo.
 

sedna

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Are fiddlers too big for a Pygmy octo?
I have always cut off that big pincher claw if they’ve got one, and fed smaller ones to pygmies. Blue legged hermit crabs have always worked well for me, too. They act as clean up crew until they get eaten- so there’s that added bonus! 🤣
 

Hannahhhh

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I have always cut off that big pincher claw if they’ve got one, and fed smaller ones to pygmies. Blue legged hermit crabs have always worked well for me, too. They act as clean up crew until they get eaten- so there’s that added bonus! 🤣
Are small octopus able to eat hermit crabs? I had assumed they wouldn’t be able to crunch the shell.
 

Hannahhhh

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Not so sure about duct tape INSIDE the tank... there are other adhesives that are tank safe, though. What are you needing to stick underwater?
I need to attach the mesh to the overflow of my tank. It needs to a type of adhesive that I can easily remove and replace every time I need to clean the overflow.
 

pkilian

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Hmm this is a tough one. I don't have as intimate knowledge of your setup as you do so my suggestions may not be very helpful, but maybe you could glue one edge of the mesh down using coral frag glue (I like IC Gel) it can be applied underwater and cures underwater as well. Then maybe you can attach the other side of your mesh with suction cups (if the other side is under water) or velcro (if you can find an attachment point that's outside of the water). Then, you could undo the suction cups or velcro and fold the screen over so that you can work on the overflow.

This is a rough suggestion that hopefully you can refine. Also, if you use larger size mesh you probably wont need to remove it as often. Alternatively, is there a way you can glue the mesh to the overflow so that you can service the overflow without having to remove the mesh?
 

DWhatley

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.
 

B_Walsh

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.

You can certainly buy an Aquaclear 110 sponge and cut it to fit that slot as well and see if that works. Maybe cut it slightly larger than you need so it's snug in place and less chance of it being maneuvered by tiny arms. Pkilian's suggestion for securing the mesh sounds great too.
 

Hannahhhh

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.
How did you attach the sponge?
 

DWhatley

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Most overflows have a box (weir) where you can place the sponge. If not or if it is too deep (as is the case with one of my tanks), a bamboo skewer, thick sponge or make shift ties (like shoe laces) might work to keep it in place.
 
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