Abdopus Abaculus = Nocturnal?


So my first two octopus turned out to be completely nocturnal. They basically lived in the live rock, only coming out an hour a two a day and only under red lighting. They were fun and all but it did get frustrating how little I would see them. Sometimes I wouldn't see one for 3 days at a time. When I received my abaculus a couple weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised that we was always out and about. Based on his eyes I figured he was nocturnal but the light didnt seem to bother him. Even when he wasn't active he would just perch on the back glass for a few hours. He never hid in the live rock. Well, as of a couple days ago he discovered he can go in the live rock and now that's all he ever does. The second the lights come on In the morning he retreats in the live rock and doesn't come out until late at night when the lights go back off. Is this the behavior I should expect from here on out?? I was under the impression they were a pretty active species. Ay help appreciated.


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I don't know if abaculus is nocturnal (I have kept a few Indonesians but not many and have never obtained the aculeatus I was shooting for) but we have seen some of the smaller Abdopus complex animals appear to be night time hunters rather than the daytime activity we usually see with aculeatus.

I have observed that the first two weeks (or so) with a new octopus is never the behavior they will display after they initially fully acclimate. The most common observed difference is the suggestion of interaction with humans and staying out to be easily observed. IME, this is most commonly observed in older animals than in very young octos (that hide almost immediately) but even with the young ones, it seems that you will see them more in the first two weeks than afterwards. IME, it takes about a month for an octopus to fully acclimate to the tank environment and I find the easiest signal for it having accepted its new home to be a home "defense" action (usually a lot of arm waving initially to out right aggression once it knows its keeper - today Margay grabbed and would not release the siphon :grin:) during tank maintenance.

This does not mean that an animal won't interact or be visible again in the future but the long term (if you can suggest that with such a short lifespan) behavior will slowly reveal itself if the octopus is going to become human friendly (ie, any action that is immediate or quick will not likely be long lasting). My best suggestion is to not give up on the animal and make yourself visible for a minimum of 30 minutes during the same time every day (this is OUTSIDE of feeding time) even if you do not see the animal. The Caribbeans (except for O. mercatoris) almost always eventually respond over time and become curious but octopuses are known to frustrate researchers with their inconsistencies.


Thanks. That helps. Today when the lights came on he didn't immediately go hide. He did go to one of his retreats in the rocks but only for a few seconds. He was out exploring for about 50 minutes and just now crawled back in the LR. He definitely seemed a bit more skitish than he has been. Somewhat like when I first put him in the tank. Maybe something happended that spooked him and sparked this new behavior. I'll be patient and see what happens. Also, I have been feeding him thawed shrimp and sometimes he quickly takes them but a lot of times he just touches it and has no interest. I think he has been eating some of my hermit crabs so I don't think he's hungry. I would like to feed him something he could hunt like fiddler crabs but I live in an apartment and have too many hobbies and zero space left for some kind of enclusre for them. I know they only live for so long in the tank. BTW, how big does an octo have to be before you can feed them fiddler crabs. That's been my other concern.

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