[Octopus]: Brainiac II - Callistoctopus aspilosomatis

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Pennyworth, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    This is the journal for my Octopus, Brainiac II (I liked the name too much to give it up so soon, given how quickly my first octopus died).

    This octopus was ordered from Live Aquaria on December 23rd, and arrived on January 7th. It was listed as a medium Indonesian octopus, although so was the previous dwarf they sent me. It arrived at about 10am and was acclimated into the tank at about 11:30am.

    When it came in the bag, it seemed to be in excellent condition...not that I have that much of an idea, but water was good, it seemed active and was moving around...

    Here is the first video I took, of introducing it into my tank:

     
  2. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    I saw it briefly in the morning on the 9th, but it went back into hiding before I could take a picture. That night however, at a few minutes 1am after coming back form being out, the lights were off and it was very active, crawling all around the tank.

    [album="medium"]56[/album]

    The photos in daylight are from today in the morning, where it was still quite active. It didn't seem to want to interact, but certainly seemed to be studying my girlfriend and I.

    So far it seems to be doing well, exploring at night. I assume the interaction will happen later as it is still adjusting to tank life.

    I'm pretty sure it has eaten my entire cleanup crew, which I find worrying. On the 9th I had a piece of table shrimp in the tank, up high on a fake plant which was gone the next morning, I had assumed due to Brainiac. However I did the same thing and it was left untouched, while I seem to be missing a bunch of crabs and snails.

    Hopefully it will start to take table shrimp. I don't know if it is large enough at the moment to take fiddler crabs, but will look into this option and mysis shrimp if it needs live foods.

    I have some videos I will upload later this evening. I'm planning to set up my webcam once again, and have it record at night. Hopefully over the next year I will have enough footage to splice together to make an interesting short film :)
     
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  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    It often takes several months for an octopus to voluntarily interact on any kind of regular basis. I find that their activity the first month is usually VERY different from their behavior afterwards (often less active once they are comfortable in their tank). I would not do more than let it see you on a regular basis and offer it food on a stick for the next several weeks and then slowly give it the opportunity to check you out. Patience is a virtue ...
     
  4. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Noted, definitely not rushing into anything just keeping a firm eye on things, as I want to make sure it's healthy and lives as long as it can.

    I kind of like that it's nocturnal so I don't have to deal with worrying about it trying to get out during water changes.

    I saw it last night crawling around the edge of the tank, and it looked like it was testing the lid everywhere, which was pretty amazing.
     
  5. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    I added some more photos to my album, nothing interesting but a nice picture of him exploring a skull decoration.

    I was worried about the octopus being in the tank with the spider decorator crab, but it seems there was nothing to worry about.

    Over a year with the crab and peppermint shrimp, and I haven't even though they were remotely at risk, so the octopus should be fine. Besides, the crab is so slow. I saw them one night and the octopus slithered right past the crab, and didn't seem fazed, so for now it seems like a successful tank-mate.

    I don't see him every night, but at least every second or third night. Most of the time he seems to just be hanging out, not swimming around, and often once I feed it food it seems to retreat into it's den...however I don't know where it's den is just yet.

    I will buy a clay pot to convert into a den, but have been unable to find one without a bottom hole, which would defeat the point I think.

    The emerald crabs I had in the tank seem to have disappeared, although I haven't seen any remains of them.

    I've yet to feed it live food, but am buying some fiddler crabs now and will see if it takes them.

    I've see it breathing..or expanding in a way that I am unsure if it is typical or not, and would appreciate anyone warning me if this is a sign of something being wrong:



    I have the aquarium pretty close to my TV and home theater system, which is necessary due to the layout of my apartment. I think the sound disturbs it, but I'm not sure what I can do and I'm hoping it will get used to it. I have a curtain I put around the tank which completely blacks it out, so I know light isn't the issue.

    All in all, everything seems to be going well and I'm looking forward to interacting with it more as it gets more comfortable.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The breathing is indicative of stress. This can be caused by poor water quality, low oxygen or being upset/frightened (it is also present near the end of senescence but the color doe not indicate old age). If you can arrange you power head (that I think you turned off) to point up at the surface, disrupting the top layer, that may help oxygenation. Air stones can be used to help O2/CO2 exchange with caution but it might be better to run one in the sump rather than the main display. We have only limited reports of air under the mantle but know it can happen using air stones.

    Sounds you can hear should not bother Brainiac. In the last couple of years it has been discovered that they can hear (previously it was determined they could not) but the frequency is lower than our own. Here, is some TONMO discussion about hearing with links to other discussions and material. Googling "frequencies Octopuses can hear" brings up quite a list of papers that may be interesting and include material later than the last TONMO discussions. However, if you have your base turned up and are vibrating the floor, he will feel that and it could cause agitation. One of my tanks is against the laundry wall and I had to stop using the laundry after dark because it upset one of my diurnal animals that could not sleep if the machines were running (daytime vibrations did not seem to upset him though).
     
  7. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Wow, Thanks D.

    I'm glad I asked about the breathing. It was only doing that after it was brand new to the tank, and not subsequent times I saw it, so it may have just been nervous when it was new.

    I haven't tested for oxygen but I would assume it is fine...the sump is directly exposed to air and near a window, and my sump is far overrated for my tank and produces a lot of air.

    I ended up pointing my power-head at the surface a while ago, as it seemed to be what most people were doing after reading up on it.

    That's a relief to know about the hearing, and I do plan on investigating it more. I turned down the base after I got him, and it's very low now.

    I'm going to keep monitoring, but for now everything seems to be going well.
     
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  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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  9. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Thanks D, hopefully I'll have some better pics to post soon :)
     
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  10. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    So, I'm actually getting kind of worried about Brainiac.

    My water is good quality, no nitrates etc.

    Brainiac has taken to hanging out only on the walls of my tank, and often near the surface.

    He has inked in the tank twice, I'm guessing because my fake plants and overflow box have a brown residue on them.

    He has started coming out more in ambient light, which is cool, it's just his behaviour I find worrying.

    He isn't eating well, as he will often take the thawed table shrimp I offer(cut to size), go a little bit away with it (although still very visible), do something with it for a while and then drop it.

    My entire CUC has basically gone, even Mexican turbo snails which I thought were safe due to their size.

    Last night on the wall all his tentacles were very active, and he inked at me for seemingly no reason (no sudden noise, movement or light).

    Is this all fairly normal behaviour, or should I be worried?
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Each animal is slightly different so it is never easy to guess seeming issues with an animal that you don't live with (and even then noticing behavior changes does not always help with the why). How are his colors? If he is primarily white, then I would say senescence is an explanation but if his color is still very deep red/brown then he is not likly on deaths doorstep (this can change seemingly overnight though).

    Gauging from the two I had, coming out in daylight is a sign of senescence, HOWEVER, two other members had one at the same time I kept Beldar and both would sometimes be daylight active. I don't recall either of mine inking but they were not out in the day so it is possible the two are related.

    Not eating is also a typical senescent sign but quantity will often reduce prior to final aging. Try offer food every other day instead of everyday to see if his appetite is better. You can also try adding more snails to see if he eats those better than the shrimp. Some animals never take well to frozen if they are older when the are introduced to a tank. I have had to switch foods for some as they aged even though they ate shrimp for most of their lives.
     
  12. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Hmm, thanks D.

    I guess I'll stop at petco tomorrow and grab some more snails and hermit crabs.

    It's hard for me too see the colors because I tend to have the lights off or dark, and the red lights I have in the tank (The same ones you recommended, the Marineland airbubblers being used only as lights), however when I have seen it it's been the same rusty brown/red as seen in all my pictures.

    Whenever I feed it, it takes the shrimp and puts it under it's body and I assume it is eating it, but every time I've seen it it drops back most of the shrimp and leaves it.

    Is there any way to judge the age of the octopus I have? Based on how big the species can get, I would have thought it is still quite young.

    As for daylight activity....the sun comes through my curtains where the tank is, and as soon as it gets to late he will go back to wherever his den is (I have no idea where it is :confused:). The latest I have seen him out is 6am, although that could be because I am seldom up that late/early.

    Going to do a water change, continue to monitor and replenish my collections of snails and crabs and see if that makes a difference.
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think you are looking at senescence. I misinterpreted "ambient" to mean daylight. Try experimenting more with the food variety. Also note that he may be still eating animals in the tank (particularly the small shrimp like "pods) and supplementing what you give him with what he finds.
     
  14. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    OK, great. I ordered some fiddler crabs but they are out of stock, and I have access to some great live fish markets here in NYC but the ones I have checked out so far don't have clams or live shrimp, nor any kind of small crab that would be appropriate for food.

    So if live foods are what I need to switch to, it seems $1 snails and crabs from petco are going to be his new diet.

    Despite recording my tank at night and checking footage each day, I've never seen it actually take and eat one on the snails or crabs that were already in the tank. I wonder why it doesn't feel comfortable doing that in the open, unless it's just a coincidence?
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    In the wild octopuses typically take their food back to their den, hence divers use midden piles to locate octopus dens. Often an animal living in an aquarium will eventually eat in the open but, again, individual animals differ.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I also order small live saltwater crabs (not fiddlers) from Kevin, at_your_door_fishstore. If he does not show crabs listed, send him a message through eBay and mention me :sagrin:. He will know what kind of food to send.
     
  17. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    Thanks D :)

    I bought some crabs online but it will be a while until they are sent out to me due to a stock issue.

    I've contacted Kevin and will see what he says. I put some clans in the tank which seem to be feeding everybody nicely.
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm hoping for a shipment this week from Kevin but the temperatures here are not healthy for shipping anything live (potential record low for Atlanta on Thurs - a bit warmer where I am). I hope he ships anyway as I am almost out of crabs for Jabba (last surviving cuttlefish) and if they don't survive the temps, they should still be viable as food and can be frozen. I don't think he is collecting this week (and possibly next week) because of the cold. He planned to go out for shrimp late last week and promised to get me whatever he could find. I really had not expected Jabba to still be alive at this point so I let my stock get low. I have a couple of crabs as clean-up in my shrimp tank and a few shrimp so he should not starve.

    I picked up half a dozen new clams last week when I went out for crab claws. The two I put in Jabba's tank (the warmest of all my tanks) did not survive but the other four are doing fine since there are no predators to bother them.
     
  19. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    OK, Thanks D. Same as you I have enough small crabs and snails in the tank that Brainiac won't starve, but I want to find an alternate food source for him so I can have a CUC.

    Just have to continue experimenting in what works best.
     
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  20. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    I am concerned that my octo has no apparent den. I have a claypot which I made a doorway in (sanded to make sure it isn't sharp), but it isn't being used for anything. I have a decorative bridge which could be used, but remains empty. My rocks are in such a formation that, as far as I know, there is no obvious den. I can't see any shells or..anything that has been arranged to indicated a door. When I see it retreat, it seems to go under a certain rock..is it possible it is just hiding under a rock all day and is not using a den?
     

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