[Octopus]: Charlie - (?) Newbie Ceph Keeper

Tilly_tylerr

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Featured Thread #1
Hi guys, I’m new to keeping cephies and I’m looking for just general tips and information that regular research just could not cover. Just some background. I’ve been in the fish keeping hobby for roughly 13 years. I currently work at my LFS. I’ve done pretty much everything under the sun in terms of keeping fish- so I bought an octopus for my empty 55 gallon tall. I can’t seem to get an id on him in my research either and of course at work he was labeled as “Brown Octopus.” He is rather shy right now and has established a den. Do you know when I’ll be seeing some more of him? I also bought 3 live littleneck clams
From my local grocery store and put them in the tank just in case he gets hungry. He also has 6 tank mates- which I assume will become snacks eventually. 2 Domino Damsel, 1 three stripe damsel, and 3 clownfish. Also, once I can snap a clear picture, I would like some help in IDing him. Thanks all!
 

DWhatley

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#2
Here is a link to a set of new keeper topics that are usually helpful to first keepers. Please reconsider your choice to leave the damsels in the tank (also see the Tankmates link in the referenced list). I am a strong opponent of keeping any fish with an octopus. Even if the fish don't attack it, they will pester it for food scraps and force it to hide much more of the time. I know damsels are very hard to catch and an attempt will be disruptive to the tank but still recommend their removal.

As for identification, it is too late for this one but I try to recommend taking a ton of photos during acclimation as often you will see many different colorations (and actually see the octopus). "Brown" or "Pacific Brown" usually means it came from a wholesaler that trades in animals from the Philippines. Typically these will be the nocturnal A. aculeatus (or at least one in the Abdopus family, images search), or a nocturnal animal we believe to be Callistoctopus aspilosomatis (Puddles journal may help as a comparison).

To watch for animal activity at night, use a red light (not blue) over the tank. If you know where it is denning, try offering a piece (roughly eye sized, you can go bigger later, after it starts accepting food) on a feeding stick. Either a bamboo skewer or a nylon feeding stick work well. The official feeding stick has the benefit of an angled end to approach the den opening. Move slowly and don't poke at the animal. If you are lucky it will investigate the shrimp and, once it touches it, will accept it as food. You might also try opening one of the clams and placing it near the den. Some animals have no problem opening clams, others will ignore them.

I hope this helps to get you started. Please record your journey by starting an entry in Cephalopod Journals as it is helpful for all of us and gives a nice timeline for the experience.
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#3
Here is a link to a set of new keeper topics that are usually helpful to first keepers. Please reconsider your choice to leave the damsels in the tank (also see the Tankmates link in the referenced list). I am a strong opponent of keeping any fish with an octopus. Even if the fish don't attack it, they will pester it for food scraps and force it to hide much more of the time. I know damsels are very hard to catch and an attempt will be disruptive to the tank but still recommend their removal.

As for identification, it is too late for this one but I try to recommend taking a ton of photos during acclimation as often you will see many different colorations (and actually see the octopus). "Brown" or "Pacific Brown" usually means it came from a wholesaler that trades in animals from the Philippines. Typically these will be the nocturnal A. aculeatus (or at least one in the Abdopus family, images search), or a nocturnal animal we believe to be Callistoctopus aspilosomatis (Puddles journal may help as a comparison).

To watch for animal activity at night, use a red light (not blue) over the tank. If you know where it is denning, try offering a piece (roughly eye sized, you can go bigger later, after it starts accepting food) on a feeding stick. Either a bamboo skewer or a nylon feeding stick work well. The official feeding stick has the benefit of an angled end to approach the den opening. Move slowly and don't poke at the animal. If you are lucky it will investigate the shrimp and, once it touches it, will accept it as food. You might also try opening one of the clams and placing it near the den. Some animals have no problem opening clams, others will ignore them.

I hope this helps to get you started. Please record your journey by starting an entry in Cephalopod Journals as it is helpful for all of us and gives a nice timeline for the experience.
Hello, and thanks for the advice! I am
Almost certain Charlie (my octo) is the species you mentioned. Except for when he was in my LFS, he was the most active out of the 3 octos there. That’s why I chose him. I think I’ll set a trap to get the damsels out as well. Ill give the feeding tongs a shot too... I have a pair and I also keep marine predators whom I prepare homemade meals for... I’ll update you on the feeding and how it goes!
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#4
Here is a link to a set of new keeper topics that are usually helpful to first keepers. Please reconsider your choice to leave the damsels in the tank (also see the Tankmates link in the referenced list). I am a strong opponent of keeping any fish with an octopus. Even if the fish don't attack it, they will pester it for food scraps and force it to hide much more of the time. I know damsels are very hard to catch and an attempt will be disruptive to the tank but still recommend their removal.

As for identification, it is too late for this one but I try to recommend taking a ton of photos during acclimation as often you will see many different colorations (and actually see the octopus). "Brown" or "Pacific Brown" usually means it came from a wholesaler that trades in animals from the Philippines. Typically these will be the nocturnal A. aculeatus (or at least one in the Abdopus family, images search), or a nocturnal animal we believe to be Callistoctopus aspilosomatis (Puddles journal may help as a comparison).

To watch for animal activity at night, use a red light (not blue) over the tank. If you know where it is denning, try offering a piece (roughly eye sized, you can go bigger later, after it starts accepting food) on a feeding stick. Either a bamboo skewer or a nylon feeding stick work well. The official feeding stick has the benefit of an angled end to approach the den opening. Move slowly and don't poke at the animal. If you are lucky it will investigate the shrimp and, once it touches it, will accept it as food. You might also try opening one of the clams and placing it near the den. Some animals have no problem opening clams, others will ignore them.

I hope this helps to get you started. Please record your journey by starting an entry in Cephalopod Journals as it is helpful for all of us and gives a nice timeline for the experience.
Update: Charlie ate! Reached out and grabbed it from me :)
 

DWhatley

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#5
@Tilly_tylerr May I move this thread to journals in hopes that you will keep commenting on your experience?

What did you offer as food? Keep in mind that you should be changing the menu during the week. The linked thread contains suggested, usually easy to find items to try.

I would recommend a feeding stick over tongs. You can also try hand feeding (note: not everyone agrees with this practice and you need to be sure your hands are clean and have no soap) IF you can make yourself move slowly without jerking when he tries to grab your hand as well. I don't recommend starting this way but it may be something you want to try in the future.

The second video in this post is very typical of a feeding experience. If you try hand feeding, often they will grab your hand like the feeding stick, not an experience everyone handles well.
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#6
@Tilly_tylerr May I move this thread to journals in hopes that you will keep commenting on your experience?

What did you offer as food? Keep in mind that you should be changing the menu during the week. The linked thread contains suggested, usually easy to find items to try.

I would recommend a feeding stick over tongs. You can also try hand feeding (note: not everyone agrees with this practice and you need to be sure your hands are clean and have no soap) IF you can make yourself move slowly without jerking when he tries to grab your hand as well. I don't recommend starting this way but it may be something you want to try in the future.

The second video in this post is very typical of a feeding experience. If you try hand feeding, often they will grab your hand like the feeding stick, not an experience everyone handles well.
I could deal with hand feeding. Today it was white shrimp he ate. My homemade food is a blend of 7 different seafoods, so I don’t think variety will be an issue. Also, I don’t mind if you move it to journals:)
 

DWhatley

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#7
A note about quoting previous posts. There is, of course, no problem using the full quote feature but I find I typically want to quote only a part of the original. You can to this by highlighting the part that you want to reference. When you release the mouse button, you will have the option to quote just that part (or add that part to any others you have marked) by clicking the +Quote pop up option. When you return focus to your own post there will be an "insert quotes ..." button at the bottom of the entry box.
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#8
Thanks! Also, I believe I may have a Veined Octopus, not the species you earlier mentioned. I say this due to the fact that he changes into a maroon colour when he’s out in the open, much like the veined octopus do. He also has the same neutral colour patterns as a veined.
 

DWhatley

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#9
Maroon would not be the color of aculeatus. O. marginatus (coconut/veined octopus) is known for not shipping well by you are the second person this month that has suspected they have one. It would be great if they have solved the shipping problem as they should be a good species for the home aquarium. Anxiously awaiting photos.
 

DWhatley

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#11
Sadly, not really but have another look at Callistoctopus aspilosomatis (Puddles was one of mine). This would be a more likely species than O. marginatus. They are often a reddish color (sometimes even bright red) but don't show much in the way of spikes or veining.
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#12
Update: I went away for 2 nights, and I came back to see one of the clams opened and cleaned out :biggrin2: considering the clam is fairly large and Charlie is fairly small, I’m astounded by his strength. As for what he really is, we’ll have to wait and see until I have some better photos.
 

DWhatley

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#15
How big is Charlie? His long, apparently webless/web minimized arms are a quandary and he may not be any of the common animals we normally see. I recently looked up Ameloctopus litoralis for someone trying to ID an animal from a dive and wonder if it describes Charlie. This is a very small animal with very long arms that the octopus can easily detach. The photo on Tolweb shows it can display quite red and this post contains a video (you will need to copy the link and possibly view using Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge as I could not get it to play in Chrome and it does not display properly on the forum) that shows the coloration in your images.
 

Tilly_tylerr

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#16
Charlie if probably about 8 inches tentacle to tentacle. I do not believe it’s the species you mentioned, as I did some reading and apperantly the species you mentioned does not have an ink sac. Charlie inked when we were first catching him at the store. Also, his mantle is larger than that of a Ameloctopus litoralis.
 

DWhatley

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#17
I pulled out my Cephalopods A World Guide by Mark Norman (2003 revision) and found an animal (unfortunately marked as SP) that appears to have similar markings and the row of raised skin evenly distributed along the arms. This animal is considerably larger than Charlie though and there are many in in Indonesia that frequently show this coloration. Sadly, finding out more recent info on the one in the book is impossible. I sure wish he would update it!
NormanOctopusSpPg240.jpg
 

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