caribbean reef octopus

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Robinspa, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Robinspa

    Robinspa Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey everyone! I just got a new octopus from Saltwaterfish.com and they are calling it a caribbean reef octopus. I am not sure iwhat that really means as it seems it could be a couple of different types from what I have read on line here. I have it in a 55 gallon tank with a over spec filter and protein skimmer. He is in the tank with live rock that has bristle worms. THere are nassarius snails and small reef hermit crabs in there for his feasting. I had a bimac that did very, very well until I made the mistake of feeding him goldfish. I still feel so badly about that. He was doing beautifully , had tripled in size and then I thought I needed to give him bigger fish. I didn't realize the distributor of said fish had treated them with the copper sulfate. Man I hate to have keeld such a glorious creature through my own stupidity. Does anyone have any hints or suggestions for this new species of octopus for me? This one is much less friendly, goes waaaaay flat b ut is happily eating the snails. Thanks for all your help I so appreciate it!
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    we really need picture to id it. A Caribbean Reef Octo is a O. Briareus, but alot of vendors miss label the critters
     
  3. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    In general, we try to stay away from feeding octos fresh water food. The general agreement is that crustaceans are the best choice. They usually get bored with snails but they won't hurt it- I've had good luck with the hermits, too. Stick feeding grocery store shrimp (raw) is a great choice and encourages socialization. If it is from the Caribbean then it can only be one of a few species, but check out some journals of O. briareus so you can compare it to photos of confirmed briareus. CaptFish is probably right!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As Sedna mentions, avoiding fish altogether as intended food will never cause harm. They do best on crustaceans and there is a variety to try available at your local fish counter or market.

    SWfish often sends O. hummelincki/filosus but almost always labels them the same, regardless of the species in-house and their photo is not one taken in the facility at all. If you can get a photo, it is likely we can ID it if it is actually a Caribbean species (likely but I think they have sent some Indonesian animals in the past if I remember correctly). You can use the List of Our Octopuses 2009 (sticky at top of the Journals and Photos thread) for links to journals on the different Caribbean species.

    For O.briareus (the actual synonym for Common Caribbean Octopus or Caribbean Reef Octopus) the animal will be white with green sparkles when you see it in its den or undisturbed and is crepuscular/nocturnal. It has a lot of webbing on the arms and is arguably (maybe) the most attractive of the octos.

    O.hummelincki/filosus is a smaller animal with much, much shorter arms, diurnal and likely the most friendly of the Caribbean group (you will have to give it time to acclimate to you though). You will not see it white for more than a second or so and then only when frightened. It has two false eyespots just below the real eyes that can virtually glow with a blue ring and yellow center (not always visible but often enough that you will see it over a week of observation). It has a wide range of color and pattens and happens to be my favorite for personality.

    O.mercatoris and occassionally O.joubini or O.vulgaris also come from the Caribbean but it is rare to see the latter two. The merc is a common nocturnal dwarf species and unlikely to come from SWfish.
     
  5. Robinspa

    Robinspa Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey Everyone! Thanks fo you help. HI will try to get a pic of him. He is not blue green is is mostly deep brown/purple with a white underside. He isnt very big and he will take ghost shrimp (live) that have been impaled on a stick. HSe is munching on smails as well. I will try the raw shrimp do you use the frozen adn then thaw them? THanks!
     
  6. Robinspa

    Robinspa Cuttlefish Registered

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    http://picasaweb.google.com/fpapbiology THis is a site that has some pics and videos. I hope someone can ID him but I have to tell you the little guy can really camoflage. Additionally he makes his mantle into a point![​IMG]
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am strongly guessing hummelincki. Look for a false eyespot that will glow blue around yellow (just below the eyes on either side). They don't show the ocelli much of the time but when they do it is quite striking. If you will look at the List of Our Octopuses 2009 and view some of the hummelincki journals, I think you will agree.
     
  8. Robinspa

    Robinspa Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks so much! I thought that as well as I have never seen any blue green on him. Of course I have never seen the eyespot on him either. He is sooo much more shy than the bimac I had before. It is interesting because I the one hand I can gently nudge his arms with a ghost shrimp on a stick and he will leisurely take it. But he will ink at seeming nothing- to me anyway. The bimac would eagerly grab the shrimp, I could never really get too close much less prod him! Of course he had been born in a lab so he only knew "food on a stick." This guy is eating the fiddlers well and I have ordered a bunch for him.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Typically, the hummelincki become very social animals. Both my males (Octane and OhToo) would come to be petted (there are videos on their journals). Octane would come to most any female (my mother and my grandaughter only needed to put their hands in the tank and he would come to them). This does not happen overnight though and I suspect the difference in WC and Tank raised/bred is why you had immediate interaction with the bimac more than a social difference in the two species. It takes a full two weeks (young animals seem to take much longer but this is based on other species observations) for the animal to become comfortable in the tank enviornment so just keep working with this one. If it is typical of the ones I had, it will make tentative attempts to touch you. Resist letting it pull your fingers to its mouth (usually a light touch on the back of the arm will get you released when it is being inquisitive - not necessarily so when it is frightened or aggressive). Eventually, it will touch without pulling and at that time you can try a gentle petting between the eyes.

    We also noticed that the hummelincki will sometimes ink for no apparent reason and have wondered if they build up a supply that needs to be released on occassion. We have not noted this in the two other species we have kept.
     
  10. OctopusBoy

    OctopusBoy Cuttlefish Registered

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    Ya mine makes his mantle into a point to
     
  11. Robinspa

    Robinspa Cuttlefish Registered

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    That is really interesting because he does seem to ink for no reason! He is just now coming our of his den during the day and wandering around. I am trying to get him to eat off a stick but man, he is sooo skittish! I don't want to freak him out so when he comes out I try to feed him a shore shrimp on a stick. Otherwise there are fiddlers and snails for his enjoyment!
     

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