[Octopus Eggs]: Trapper's Babies - Tank Raised Mercatoris

Thanks Sharon,
I am thinking about moving "Little Girl" into the tank with Medusa but am afraid he might kill her. Since Wiley (brother that is lose in the larger tank) has not shown up for several weeks, I assume she is the only grandchild left. At 6 months old, she may be mature enough to mate with her uncle and the tank would be better than the breeder net to encourage her to come out more (she stays in or on her shell all the time) but I have not made up my mind to risk her with him yet.
 
HideNSeek showing his age

I believe I am in my last week with HideNSeek. If he makes it until the 17th he will be within a birth week of 14 months old. Most of this week he has stayed tucked behind LittleGirl's breeder net all day and stays totally white. I check him daily for signs of breathing but he does not flee when I approach.

From my limited observation and gathering from what others have reported, I believe that nocturnal octos' eyes cannot tollerate much light. Trapper, Sisturus and now HideNSeek have not minded daylight in their last week and their eye sight seems to be failing. Others have reported that their octos have gone blind before death and I think this is related to the nocturnals coming out in the daylight when they are about to expire (none of mine went fully blind before death).

Interestingly, Medusa, my late maturing male, shows no overt signs of emminent expiration. His patterning is not as strong as when he was younger but I have not seen any distinct signs of aging in months.
 

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Medusa - Good Night

Dusa is still alive but may not be in the morning. Last night he seemed to have suffered "stroke" similar to Sisturus. Medusa is not as disabled and still has the use of all of his arms but cannot stay upright when resting on the bottom of the tank. He is still eating and can climb the wall but I don't believe he will survive another day.

HideNSeek is still able to wander about the tank in a controlled manner. He appeared to have had a mini-"stroke" earlier in the week but is in less immediate trouble. He has become very shy (he was never over enthusiastic) but still comes out to eat. As soon as he sees that I have spotted him he goes for cover but will creep back to the breeder net to eat the Cyclop-eeze I feed Little Girl. He declines shrimp most nights but the crabs seem to dissappear (the reason may be more because of my other discovery - see next post)
 
Wiley LIVES!

The little "male" that kept leaving the breeder net and disappearing into the live rock (last seen just over a month ago) showed up between the breeder net and the tank wall tonight. I thought Little Girl had come out of her den when I spotted him but when I looked inside the net, the object on the wall was not visable. It took me a minute or two to realize the he was outside the net and totally invisible when looking through the mesh from the inside. I was delighted and determined to catch him and put him in the tank with Dusa (not likely to harm him at this point) since he will not stay in the net. Unfortunately, HideNSeek decided to join him and when I returned with a capture net all I found was an ink trail.:banghead:

Since he now knows there is food behind the net, I hope he will return in the next few days and I can move both the little ones (they are 6 months old but very small, slightly larger than nickle size with arms and mantle positioned for feeding) to the smaller tank. Unfortunately, when I frightened him before, he did not return to the same location and I have continually looked for him for more than a month with out the first spotting.
 
Medusa passed away at 14 month

Medusa did not make it another day as was expected. I forgot to check on him this AM so I am not sure if he died last night or during the day. The clean-up crew had eaten over half of two arms so I hope he was dead before they started their grusome business. I monitored Sisty all during his last day and kept any investigating snails and bristles at bay and put him in a separate container when it was obvious he was not going to survive many more hours. I wish I had done this with 'Dusa as now I worry that the clean-up crew might have been a little early.

I have moved HideNSeek to Sisty and Dusa's tank as he is showing signs of Sesenence and is likely to expire this week as well. His prior home claimed his two sibbling without a trace and no shock to the tank but I felt it was better to remove him while I could (he was in the front barnacles today but is often not easily found).
 
gholland;118342 said:
Sorry about 'Dusa D. :sad: 2nd oldest mercatoris on record?

Hard to say. :razz:. I don't think HideNSeek will live another week and all six were born over a 5 day period so technically they could be as much as 5 days apart in age. I don't know of anyone else keeping Mercs this long and Roy recently answered my question about dwarf ages by saying their last Merc recently died at 12 months. I know they have done well for Mercs but I don't really know how well. The two :smile: CB young are very small and the "female" would most likely starve if not pipette fed every night but we will see what happens when they are put in the small tank that housed Sisturus and Medusa. Little Girl appears to be (she doesn't get out much) the same size as Wiley even though she does not hunt and Wiley hunts for all his food (energy conservation vs more food?).

Thanks for the empathy everyone, it will be strange not to have these guys around. We will go on vacation in June and I am worried about how the octos will fare. 'Tane is not young and the little ones are so small, I don't know if their life span will be shortened because of their dimunitive nature.
 
RIP HideNSeek - 14.5 months

HideNSeek passed on last night. Not only because he is the last of my tank raised Mercs but his death was the most difficult in that he did not have a "stroke" like his two long lived brothers. When it was obvious he was dying I moved him to Sisty and Medusa's tank where he languished for close to a week. The day I was sure he was not going to live another 24 hours, I put him in a container with an air stone (It bothers me that Dusa may have been partially eaten before he died). He survived, more or less, for two more days. He was totally limp but would occassionally move an arm (no ability to attach to me or the walls). Several times I thought he was dead but I would see color changes and arm movement. I know this can happen with a dead animal but when I picked him up and turned him upside down, there was distinct movement around the mouth.

On the second day in the container (I changed out his water twice a day) he began to float with arms fully extended downward. I believe he may have gotten air under his mantle. It was sad and made me consider euthanizing him but oddly interesting. The next day, he was sitting on the bottom of the tank, still alive but barely.

The undesired extension of his life made me ponder about the air stone and possibility of extra oxygen (or lowering of CO2)being the cause. It is not something pleasant to watch but extra air exchange might be something to consider when an octo first arrives, shows stress but is not dying of natural causes or the water temperature is higher than it should be.
 
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