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Wonderpus - Fontanelle

Thales

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After a bunch of discussion in this thread -
http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/6682/page-3 - here goes my wonderpus journal.

Oh - here is a nice link to mimic/wonderpus id:
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~chuffard/index_files/WunderMimic.htm

Getting this occy was an easy/hard decision for me. Easy because I was in the right place at the right time (I would not have bought it from and LFS) and happened to have a tank ready. Hard because we simply don't know enough about the species in the wild and have little idea if they are being overfished or suffering from habitat destruction. They sell for 300-600 dollars at LFS and this is a mixed blessing; they are expensive so they will continue to be collected, but not many will buy them because they are expensive.

I have a good relationship with some local wholesalers, and I was able to pick up a Wonderpus photogenicus from one of them on 2/16/07. This is the same wholesaler that called me last year with about a wonderpus that I brokered to Dr Roy Caldwell at UCB. This time, two came in from Sulawesi, but I only had space for one and I have zero experience with the species so both of them was out of the question. I was please to be able to obtain the animal at the wholesale level, as it went from shipping straight to my tank.

The wonderpus, named Fontanelle (I think all octos should be named
Fontanelle) is small. The mantle is only about an inch long and the
arms when spread out from tip to tip maybe 16 inches. Currently, it is an 18 gallon tall, the top of the tank is covered and weighed down, that is and has been connected to my larger cuttle
system - I'll see how it does. I don't want to stress it by moving it from system to system too quickly. If I do decide to move it, I will either plumb a new tank into the existing system, or talk to Tru Vu about slightly modifying a standard system they build for occys - something I have been interested in talking to them about for over a year.

The tank has a 1 inch 'white' sand bed that I covered with black sand on the idea that wunderpus live in the 'muck' and that the darker substrate might be better for it.

The first night, Fontanelle was out and about in the tank almost
immediately. I dropped in a bait shrimp that I also feed to the cuttles
and the next morning there was half a shrimp left still inside the
shrimps shell.

Fontanelle has made its home behind the cpr overflow (stuffed with foam to prevent the occy from climbing through the overflow) and has been out and about parading on the glass every morning and often during the day. Last night, it was curled up sleeping in the vertical middle of a corner of the tank essentially in the open. Sometimes it likes to hide between the side of the magnetic glass cleaner and the side of the tank. It doesn't seem to be scared of me at all, and has eaten 3 times since I got it.

It doesn't seem particularly strong, and I haven't seen it even try to
push its arms out of the water or dig very much. There are some rocks and some pvc in the tank, but they have so far been ignored.
 

tonmo

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Very cool Thales -- I'll be very interested in this thread! Appreciate you posting the link to the other discussion thread regarding the well-known debate about keeping these species in captivity.

Any idea on Fontanelle's age?

Also -- I'm curious -- you ARE coming to TONMOCON II in Sarasota, correct? Do you have someone to care for Fontanelle while you're away?

(Perhaps you can present on your experiences with him/her -- that'd be cool! At the very least would like to talk to you about it over a beer on Saturday night...).
 

Thales

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tonmo;88292 said:
Very cool Thales -- I'll be very interested in this thread! Appreciate you posting the link to the other discussion thread regarding the well-known debate about keeping these species in captivity.

Any idea on Fontanelle's age?

No idea. Maybe someone who knows more about them has an opinion.

Also -- I'm curious -- you ARE coming to TONMOCON II in Sarasota, correct? Do you have someone to care for Fontanelle while you're away?

I am, and I do. Same person who cares for the cuttle collective (ooo - maybe gotta get that domain) and the stupid big reef tank. The amount of work I go through with the multiple tank sitters before I go on a trip is silly. :biggrin2:

(Perhaps you can present on your experiences with him/her -- that'd be cool! At the very least would like to talk to you about it over a beer on Saturday night...).

Your wish is my command! Erich and I were talking about my doing a narrated video presentation, and I have started work on the Fontanelle video.
 

monty

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Since I'm the proud-but-not-very-active owner of the wonderp.us and wunderp.us domains, I'd love to use some of your stuff, either by linking or hosting wonderpus-related things... I'm pretty sure that neither Tony nor Thales has an objection to linking to their cool stuff as long as it's credited correctly, and I'm not sure about copying content to be hosted at my site (I figure I should ask on a per-item basis about copying...) Anyway, I'd love to use wonderp.us to promote responsible attitudes toward these animals.

I already link to Roy's article on why it's not such a good idea to keep them, but I don't think it'll dilute that message if I also link to Thales's stories here and such.

I have no particular intention of ever using those domains to make money or anything, I mostly just snapped them up before some evil rare-fish-dealer did, and want to use them for an ill-defined good, ceph-friendly cause... and 'cause I can pretend that owning an internet domain gives me some sort of credibility.
 

tonmo

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Monty, no problem from me, yes giving credit is always the right thing to do, and asking before copying content is a definite must.

Thales -- those pics are awesome. Can't wait for Sarasota.
 

Colin

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Just as an idea, could you try adding some pipes to the tank but have them sitting vertically? perhaps silicone one end to a slate or bit of glass and have them about a few inches tall to see if it maybe prefers a surrogate vertical tunnel?
 

Thales

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Monty - same for me as for Tony. :biggrin2:

Tony - thanks! I finally got a digital SLR.

Colin - the pvc in the tank is vertical, but the octo hasn't seemed at all interested. I may add a few more in the next week, but I don't want to freak it out by making too many changes too quickly. It does seem content to hang out behind the external overflow intake.




I am a little confused 'zebra' octo info and articles because if we know so little about these animals and even less about what they need to thrive in captivity, and if there has been little long term success keeping them, how can people be so definite about what they do and don't need to thrive?
 

Colin

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I think that's part of the problem and at a few hundred dollars per piece, who wants to experiment? Who can afford to try different things?
 

Thales

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But where do the hard and specific opinions about husbandry come from?

I think there are lots of people willing to try things (I don't like to think about how much I have spent on the cuttle projects). In the coral world 10-20 years ago we had the same situation regarding acropora. They were expensive and people couldn't keep them alive. It was mostly hobbyists that were interested that figured out how to do it.
 
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