[Octopus]: Trapper - O.mercatoris

Jean

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Once the specimen is fixed in the formalin, I would decant it and store the specimen in alcohol (which you should be able to get from a pharmacy, although good vodka works :biggrin2:), much less toxic than the formalin. I would also seal the lid, you may be able to get the wax that's used for sealing jars of preserves which would give an effective seal to the jar, just to avoid any leakage!!!
 

DWhatley

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Jean,
Thanks, I will point Tina back here if she misses the post. I had already suggested that she seal the final jar with glue or wax (I will only provide a temporary one for shipping). I also recommended plastic rather than glass if she can find something very clear.

I preserved the baby by first using a strong formaline mixture and then transferring it to alcohol BUT I did not remove the formalin or "decant" it since I didn't realize I was supposed to :oops: until Steve said something about one of his critters being soaked in saltwater to remove the formaline. Any suggestions on time in the formaline bath and/or the best way to "decant" the preserved animal would be most appreciated.

Carol,
I was debating about preserving Trapper (the Davy Jones commode was just to difficult to accept) but didn't really want her little carcus around my already over collected house. Tina gave me a great opportunity to let her continue to teach so I am feeling much better about the coming event.

Unfortunately, planning her preservation seems a bit like picking out your own coffin :-/
 

Jean

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Our lab instructions!

Tissues can be left in buffered (our buffer of choice is borax)neutralized formalin for several months, but formalin hardens specimens; therefore, after fixation, longterm storage in alcohol may be better. After preservation the specimen should therefore be washed in water and transferred into ethanol for permanent storage.

For permanent liquid storage of specimens in alcohol, after fixation in 10% buffered formalin solution the specimen must be washed by keeping it in slowly flowing water for 24 hours (for instance in a box closed with gauze) for removal of formalin remnants. Then the specimen should be kept in distilled water for about 30 minutes (exchanging the water twice would be best). When the formalin is completely removed, the specimen can be transferred into 50 % alcohol for 30 minutes, then into 70% alcohol for some time. For longterm storage in a collection, a final transfer into 80% alcohol is recommended.

Steve may have different techniques.


J
 

DWhatley

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Jean,
Thanks for the timing on the liquid exchange! What is my "fixing" minimum time in the Formaline before I can "rinse and hold" (American dishwaser cycle :biggrin2:)
 

DWhatley

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Pipette Feeding

Trapper no longer stays in a den since she started her final walk (happily longer than expected, again). She was (actually is constantly) hungry with the lights still on so we shot a short video of her feeding. Unfortunately it is too long to upload but here is a link to my photobucket site:

http://s116.photobucket.com/albums/o6/dwhatley/Octopus/?action=view&current=FeedingCyclopeese.flv

You will note the red Cyclopeese leaving the pipette and then disappearing as Trapper "sucks" it into her mouth. One behavior we did not catch but observe frequently is Trapper using her arms to catch the particles and then transfering them to her mouth, reminiscent of a child sucking its thumb :smile:
 

DWhatley

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Unusual photo

This one came out sort of surreal :smile:
 

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DWhatley

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Trapper's Last Day

Trapper ate tonight at about 10:30. She sat in my hand for the feeding and was so weak I was sad but not surprised to find her at the bottom of the aquarium at 1:00 this morning. She lived 12 weeks - 2 days from the birth of her first hatchling. I put her in formaline and will transer her to alcohol and then send the preserved body to Dylan to further his adventure into the world of cephalopods.

Good Night Trap :cry:
 

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monty

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I've never run into reports of an octopus living so long after her eggs have hatched. It may be worth asking some of the pros (maybe posting over in the ceph science forums, or the yahoo ceph email list) if this should be documented somewhere more formally than TONMO. In addition to thinking it seems like a great honor you did Trapper by extending her time, I wonder if some of this is that no one has tried to hand-feed with a pipette at this stage before? I'm sure this will be of great interest to people in terms of pet care, but I suspect it could also be of interest to scientists studying the mechanism of senescence in cephs.

You certainly deserve a lot of credit for going as far as you possibly could for Trapper, and being the best pet-owner an octopus could hope for.
 

Nancy

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RIP Trapper:angelpus:

I've been following her life for so long through your detailed reports, I almost feel she was my octopus, too. We'll miss her.

D, you've shown that keeping dwarf octopuses can be interesting and that they can be more interactive than we thought. So glad you took photos and videos.

I hope you'll now keep us well informed about her children.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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Thanks everybody, I am still a little weepy and it is hard to look at her tank but I have high hopes for the little guys. I wish Lev had continued to report on hers as her journal was very helpful.

Monty, I will stick a note in the science forum about her longevity with a reference back to the journal but there are so many factors the results are not remotely scientific. I definitely think (read that IMO) that "going backwards" with the food (from adult to hatchling food) added several weeks and the pipette feeding maybe two more. The zooplankton feeding idea was not mine but was an observation of Trapper's behavior (almost a duhhh afterwards since I had had to provide easier food twice during her brood and post hatchling time). Lev's female lived 5 weeks without specialized feeding but after I observed Trapper eating the baby food that was loose in the tank I wondered if this was also true in Lev's case since the babies were also housed with the mom and may have benifitted from the floating food.

I also hope some of the readers will try the frozen Cyclop-eeze, even on healthy cephs since it seems to be an appetite stimulator and offers some variation. I have started to put a little in all my tanks now but am monitoring for any nitrate spike that might result. I have been feeding Zooplex (and an assortment of other zooplankton) with success so I am hoping the Cyclop-eeze will not have a major nitrate impact.
 

Opcn

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The zooplankton feeding idea definitely was yours, You saw her behavior and responded, it may have been obvious to you what to do, but it was still all you.
 

Jean

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dwhatley;95689 said:
Jean,
Thanks for the timing on the liquid exchange! What is my "fixing" minimum time in the Formaline before I can "rinse and hold" (American dishwaser cycle :biggrin2:)

Trapper is pretty small, so 24 hours ought to do it. Sorry about the delay in replying. It's been crazy here!

J
 

DWhatley

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Jean,
Thanks for the post! I was afraid it would need to be much longer after reading Steve's large squid preserving procedure (I didn't inject anything either - hate needles).

I am hoping to pack her up this weekend and will try to find a good way to ensure there is no damage during the transport. Do you happen to know if bubble wrap gets sticky in alcohol? I am trying to come up with something to immobilize her.

I notice the lack of attendence and wondered if you were on vacation, finishing your thesis (finally) or just miffed because you are not going to FL with the rest of us :wink:
 
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Trapper:smile:

Trapper is here with Dylan. She was well preserved by dwhatley. Upon recieving her , she was put into a plastic (it looks like glass but it isn't) container with a metal lid. The fluid used is alcohol (91%) The container was sealed with silicon, and weighted and allowed to cure or 24 hours and is very well sealed. It seems this will be an adequate container for her. Dylan couldn't be happier to have recieved her ( I am adding pictures, the bottom one is a duplicate from my marketplace thread but I thought It was fitting for this journal as well, as Trapper is still providing joy and education after death:smile:
 

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Jean

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dwhatley;96116 said:
I notice the lack of attendence and wondered if you were on vacation, finishing your thesis (finally) or just miffed because you are not going to FL with the rest of us :wink:

Whats a vacation??????? :roll::wink: I've been online less because I was marking final assignments, working in the aquarium, working on that book thingy :biggrin2: and slightly green about FL :mrgreen: Sigh........missing out on meeting a group of cephalophiles and nice weather :sad: (it's winter here! cold, damp, icy..........brrrrrrrrrr)

J
 
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