Sleipner update


Dec 22, 2004
Well, we came home from our trip Sunday night and there was Sleipner, holed up in his den peering at us and no crab carcasses in sight. There was however a cerith shell nearby that I'm pretty sure is his work. Since we've been back he's had a particular shell guarding his den, and today when we came in from work he had a second shell inside, so I think he is eating snails.

Here's a little picture of him staring at me.

I spoke too soon, the snail inside was still living and only a temporary guest. I have no evidence that he's eaten for over three weeks. Given this, I just got a little bit radical and evicted him from his PVC den. He climbed onto a rock and was very reactive in terms of behavior and color change. He hasn't grown at all that I can tell, and to some degree he looks odd: his eye stalks seem somewhat disproportionately large and sometimes has a pale spot near the tip of his mantle. Also, his mantle appears to have a somewhat 'clumpy' appearance. All eight arms are fully accounted for to their tips.

I tried frozen krill again. He grabbed onto it and brought it to his mouth each time I offered it, but each time he ultimately rejected it. I also took some snails and brushed their feet against his suckers, but he wasn't interested.

Finally I grabbed a female fiddler and tried to work it between his arms. This interested him a little bit, but he generally moved away from it. I decided to get aggressive and started slowly chasing him around the tank with it. He did try to engulf it a few times but ultimately gave up. Eventually he made his way back into his old PVC den. I put the crab in with him, then blocked off most of the entrance with a Lego, making sure there's enough gap for water flow.

These actions are pretty aggressive on my part and I acknowledge they may be stressful on the little guy. On the other hand I don't think he's eaten at all and I think some degree of intervention is necessary. Luckily he didn't seem too stressed by my attempts to feed him: he didn't at any time show 'terror' colors, ink or jet. When he did withdraw while I had the fiddler it was never very quick. I hope now that he's stuck with that little fiddler for a while he'll go ahead and take it down.

Well dang... sorry Dan :(

Sounds like he's getting skinny by the description of his eyes and mantle. He doesn't sound like he's become weakened though... keep the hope man!
I agree, you gotta do what you gotta do.

With seahorses, if they don't eat for a few (5?) days, they become physically unable to do so. To combat this, adventurous keepers force feed using a small tube until the seahorse is able to feed on its own again. Such actions usually are the deciding factor between life and death.
Mr. Crab managed to escape within an hour or two and Sleepy is staying away from his pipe now. While obviously an indication of anxiety associated with his traditional den, I see this as a positive side-effect because he's tryed out a few different dens in the rockwork, meaning he's actively moving around the tank when we're not looking. Before this, we had no indication he had left his den for weeks.

In his first good week, he chose a few "duck blinds," one in every major piece of rock that he would use as a staging area when stalking food. He seems to have a memory because I've seen him in each of them since last night. The one he's in now has been occupied for the last three weeks by a rather territorial fiddler--I wonder if Sleipner scared him out or if he ate him. I don't see a carcas but I'm trying to be hopeful :).

Will try krill again and report back.


I am also concerned that mine is not eating enough to stay healthy and am looking for alternate foods. How big are the krill? Are they big enough to be skewered? I have tried frozen shrimp and even found some with the shell on (no heads though) and still can't get Trapper interested. It does bring all the other "food" options together in one place but Trapper doesn't seem interested in the banquet.
You can get the krill at most decent LFS in a frozen brick with clear packaging so you can see how big they are in person. They're just barely big enough to get skewered.
You used a key word (or two), decent LFS - no such animal in Gainesville, GA and only a very few in north Atlanta. Needless to say I order most stuff and only manually shop on our occassional "fishing" days but frozen anything is hard to find here.
Lets move the food discussion over to a thread I'm starting on Alternative Foods on the Octo Care Forum, and leave this thread for Sleipner reports.

Try a DEAD fiddler with Sleipner. I noticed that one I put in Trapper's tank 3 days ago looked like it might have been Octo eaten (all my clean-up crew attacked it when it went in the tank however) so tonight when I found two recently departed, I put one at Trappers newest cubby then sat and waited. In less than 5 min his arms were investigating and he pulled it in to his den. I had tried dead fish but I think the serpent stars made them disappear so quickly but I know he took the crab.
Good news for SLeipner

Again last night I tried getting him to take some krill without any luck. Later in the evening, however I walked into the room and he was sitting on top of a piece of PVC, which is very unusual for him. I grabbed an Oregon crab out of the feeder bin and WHOOSH he was on it like stink on a monkey.

He didn't kill it--which is unfortunate--but he did chase and attack it a few times. This is good news because its the first time he's shown interest in any food item in over a month. Now that I know he's got some life left in him I'm going to stop terrorizing him with krill.


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