Clarence - O. briareus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Haydawg, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    So im new to this forum, and bought my first octopus 2 days ago. i had been planning on it for a while , my (70g) tank was set up just for him , with a bunch of live rock and hiding places ( escape proof) . i had been looking for one for a while but my Lfs(s) never had them except for a blue ringed( i dont want to die ahah) anyway all they knew was that he was from indonesia. after some acclimation i put him in the tank and he immediatly went into holes in the live rock . he hasnt really come out since then . i have red lights on and he still doesnt come out. is this normal? hes probly getting settled or something i just wanted to make sure ... THANKS :bugout:
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Any chance you moniker references a local university? :grin: Our bulletin board does not automatically supply a location so I try to remember to recommend puting something meaningful (at least a country) in the display area (found in your profile options) as that can help somewhat with identifying where an octopus may have come from and help others locate an LSF as a source.

    My normal comment is that it takes about 2 weeks for an octopus to fully acclimate and any behavior you observe during that time cannot be considered "normal" for the animal. Shyness is typical but, as in the case of my current O. hummelincki (Octavia) and sometimes juvenile O. briarieus over frendliness can also be the temporary acclimation behavior. IME, very young octopuses typically stay well hidden until sometime between 4 and 5 months of age (I suspect sexual maturity defines the change). Lastly, the dreaded brooding female shows this behavior (brooding behavior is usually seen after several weeks though and is not typical immediately).

    It is rare for a supplier to know the species. It is common for them to misidentify the origination. Did you happen to take any photos during acclimation? If the animal is truely from Indonesia (a good bet) then there are three animals that are more typical than others. Two are in the abdopus complex. One is a not identified (and assumed abdopus) nocturnal dwarf sized animal and the other is the slightly larger and typically diurnal (after acclimation as I have defined it) aculeatus. The third is a great little animal about the same size as aculeatus that is fully noctural and in the Macropus complex.

    Sooo, which (if any) do you have? Start by looking at the member's photos to see if you can find pictures that appear similar to what you remember seeing :grin:. At the top of the Octopus Journals and Photos subforum within Octopus care are stickies entitled, List of Our Octopuses 20xx. The names of the animals will be links to their journals.

    Additionally, I have a not so easy to navigate slide show I put together for TONMOCON IV. Click on the intro page to gain access and use the scroll bar to the left for topics. There is not a lot of text but there are a few excellent photos that may help with ID. It does not automatically advance but text in red is clickable and anything with a camera will have photos.

    Lastly, and possibly most importantly, PATIENCE and time spent infront of the aquarium (where you can be viewed, even if you can't view). are key to the best experiences.
     
  3. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    they said he was from indonesia , its funny i sat in front of the tank all day and he finally came out! here he is...
     

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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I posted in your ID thread and will move this thread to journals so we can enjoy your time with him/her. Be sure to let me know when it has a name.

    Try offering a small piece of thawed shrimp (about eye sized, not bigger at this point) on a stick. You may have to hold the stick in the water awhile before he decides to take the offering but be patient. Keep in mind that behavior for the first two weeks can't be considered normal (IMO) but generally speaking once they take food from a stick, they will continue to do so. This may be the only time you see him for awhile but it is soooo reassuring when they show up for supper regularly.

    Unless I am mistaken (you have nothing for size reference) this is a juvenile O. briareus (do see my note in your ID thread about the other 1% possibility) and, assuming the next two weeks go well, should be with you awhile.
     
  5. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    i have some freeze dried shrimp , should i heat it up in some warm water? from what ive seen on google images, he looks pretty much like a briareus and not a macropus(bad spelling probly)
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    No, get some raw frozen at the grocery (unless you have access to fresh), freeze dried is not likely to be of interest and not likely to have much nourishment (particularly fats) and may put him off looking at the feeding stick as a source of food. We find that buying the shell on seems to help limit freezer burn (drying out). Shore shrimp and clams (I avoid oysters and mussles because they make a mess and have not been well received) are alternatives. Live clams (again from the grocery), acclimated separately in tank water over night to eliminate as much of whatever they come with, work well and, if not eaten, will help clean your substrate (some eat them, some don't). Be careful to add plenty of water and you may want to cover the container as they will spit :grin:. The photo reference I gave you in the ID thread shows success with krill but I have never had much luck with what is available here. The BEST ever food we find is blue crab claw from the Asian market tables of live blue crabs. We get a few odd looks fishing through the live crabs for loose claws but they are very inexpensive, freeze well (the whold crab does not) and very good food that does not make a major mess in the tank. You do need to retrieve the shells but you will find them picked clean.

    Thanks for posting your location. It is very odd to see O. briareus in CA for some reason. Most animals for sale there ARE from Indonesia and O. briareus is local only to the Caribbean. I am very anxious for Yeti to get this size and will breath much easier when he does.
     
  7. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    Thank you so much ! You are such a big help :D, so I made a list .
    Frozen or live shrimp(shore) , clams, and blue crab claw. I have a
    Local Asian market which I will visit today . What size of this stuff
    am I looking for ??

    His head is about the size of my thumbnail more or less.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You can use small live bait shrimp if you can find them. Too large are OK as long as you make sure remove them right away if they die. When we venture to FL we try to bring home live shrimp (I freeze any that don't make the trip and just cut them to size). They are interesting in the tank and do fairly well (my granddaughter was upset that they were food as she liked watching them). For frozen dead/food shrimp for eye size. They can eat larger but IME, little ones prefer the smaller sized portions and need tender foods (at least that is what I gleaned from observation) when they are young and again when they are old. Table shrimp can be tough but the shore shrimp and crab claws are easy to "chew".

    Feel free to experiment with what you find at your Asian market but buy in small quantity initially (unless you will it it yourself if it is ignored :grin:). You can make an exception quantity wise on the blue crab claws though, they seem to be accepted without issue. Other things you can try: Squid, abalone (not now though - too tough), mussels (messy, only get one or two if you try them and be ready to clean), scallops (mine have eaten exactly one but then no more). Most any seafood is worth trying but avoid fish. The bones can cause a problem and the fat content is not high enough for regular feedings (occassional, with no bones is fine for a change).

    One freshwater food you can use as a treat is crawfish (crawfish, crawdads). They won't live long in salt water so you need to be sure they are caught and eaten. If you remove the tails you can freeze them but, like crabs, not the whole animal. Octavia is never happy with her "fast" day and I sometimes break down an give her a thawed crawfish tail if he "looks at me" too long :roll:. Another is ghost shrimp. Use FW invert sparingly though as the SW foods are better for them.

    I am uploading a video of SueNami catching a shrimp. It was hosted here in an earlier configuration of the site but is no longer accessable. When it completes I will post it back to his journal and put a link here.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Here is a link to the thread with the video's of SueNami catching live shrimp. The link is to the first one but there is also a second, longer one no the next page.
     
  10. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    heres the clams that the asian market had . i got about 5 of them and they are soaking in a bucket.

    they didnt have any live shrimp and this was the smallest of the frozen stuff. what do you think??


    that video is awesome hahahah
     

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  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If the octo will take the krill, they look excellent for size. A number of people have had great success with krill (and they are a shrimp like animal) but the only kind I find are designed as fish food and have never been accepted, these have good possibility.

    If you have an acrylic feeding stick you can use it but I prefer bamboo skewers ($2/100 or so in the grocery - probably half that at the market but I did not think to mention looking for them).

    Be sure you have a towel around or a lid on your clam bucket (if it is deep, there is less of a problem). Do check on them on occasion but just leave them in your tank. Here is a series of photos of Maya discovering a clam, hauling it up the live rock and taking it to the tank wall to open and eat. There is another missing video associated with this journal and I am uploading it now. About 2 posts below the video are a series of stills when she was finished with the clam.
     
  12. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    im hoping to feed him the krill on a stick tonight when he comes out. i had the skewers at home luckily! how long should i let those clams soak in the bucket? and when theyre ready am i to put them all in ? & and are they helpful as a cleanup crew? thanks for answering all my questions D 8-)
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I leave them in tank water for a full 24 hours just to eliminate whatever water they bring with them and to be sure they survive the "for food" handling (most do but some may not). Throw away any that don't survive the 24 hour acclimation. They are not something I would freeze, especially if they die and are not killed just before storing.

    Clams can be considered clean-up crew (albeit I am not sure how much they help but they will filter the sand). With only 5, I would just place them in spots near the front of the tank so you can monitor their health. I have had them live for more than 3 years but you do need to check them occassionally. Usually you can see their siphon and that is all you need to see to know they are alive. If you see brissle worms on them, they have likely died but don't be surprised if the meat is gone (from the clean-up crew, not the octo).

    Don't be too disappointed if you can't find him right away but do try to feed him nightly even if you don't spot him at all for a few weeks. Read a few of the O. briareus jounals to have a feel for the slow introduction that is typical. The one I referenced for photos is good and Carol's current journal for Squid is only a few months ahead of you.
     
  14. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    haha i just realized i have 9 lol. okay they will be chillin in the bucket then. yeah ill try not to be disappointed, on the bright side at least it means he has a lot of places to hide! alright thanks ill check those out.
     
  15. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    i just fed him a krill on a stick ! i am so happy. it was probably about as big as him. should i try to feed him more or is one enuff?
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Quantity of food wanted, is best for them and is a healthy amount are all separate questions and almost every keeper has a different answer on how to to about feeding them.

    I'll start with how we determine how much and when to feed and then give a couple other opinions by successful keepers.

    We feed our late juvenile/adult octos 6 days a week, one meal a day in the largest size they will fully eat (hatchlings and young juveniles are fed daily but still only once, twice or more may be better for hatchlings). This takes a little experimentation. IME, they will not over eat at a single sitting and any uneaten food should be removed when no longer held captive in their webbing (sometimes you may have to fight to retrieve empty shells :grin:). The fast day comes from a combination of prior seahorse keeping, comments by Roy on reducing food intake (or possibly frequency) to extend life expectency and the eating habits of our first few octopuses. Quantity will vary from octopus to octopus and not necessarily by species. You may find, particularly as they near senesence, that you need to decrease food size or feed every other day if food is not accepted on a regular basis (not a single incident). Once they know their feeding time, the larger animals are smart enough to try to get your attention if you are late or if they are still hungry. Establishing a feeding corner or spot is good for this mutual understanding. LittleBit and Octavia want to eat every day and neither was/is happy with the fast day (often broken and a small portion of something provided usually followed by the human comment, "but she was LOOKING at me!"). Octane (same species as Octavia but male) would eat a large table shrimp 4 times a week but then fast on his own with some variation but roughly every 3rd or 4th day. He had no interest in food on his self imposed fast days but would still be active and interact. I find that starting with something about the volume of the eye (so something long and skinny would be bigger than a chunk of something more solid - krill vs piece of table shrimp) while they are small seems to be a good starting place. You should see 30-60 minutes of eating time where it is obviously concentrating on its food and not moving about the tank. Others will suggest mantle size (more in length than in volume I think). Once he is taking food regularly (PLEASE REREAD MY POST AT #2), you can offer a second piece after the first is taken (even if not yet eaten) to see if there is an interest. Alternately, you might start giving increasingly larger amounts until the food is not consumed and then scale back slightly (we use both approaches depending on the animal). If you see your snail and/or hermit clean-up crew disappearing, you may want to increase the amount you feed. I have found that snails and hermits are often left alone once octos are fully acclimated and accustomed to the food slave providing an easy meal. The one exception to this was our vulgaris. LittleBit would eat anything she could find but did not want seconds at feeding time.

    Roy and Joe-Ceph (correct me if I misstate please) feed every 2 to 3 days (this is specific to their cold water bimaculoides but the concept is thought to be beneficial to all octos and I believe CaptFish takes a similar but modified approach with his warm water animals) and allow the animals to have more food than they will consume but remove the uneaten (alive or dead) after a period of time (I am thinking an hour but would prefer you verify with them if they don't post a confirmation).

    A third approach that is useful for newly introduced animals that are not yet eating but has seen success for the life of the animal is to leave a quantity of "extra" live food in the tank at all times, offering a regular meal but leaving food to hunt if the animal is hungry. I believe Carol uses pretty much this approach with crabs.

    Keeping a supply of small crustaceans (pods) in the tank seems to be a good idea and gives them something to hunt. We feed our tanks Cyclop-eze (primarily for the serpent stars, mushrooms, polyps and gorgonians) and see that the octos are eating it (color of their elimination) but don't know if they eat it directly (we know this is the case for the O. mercatoris dwarf) or if they eat it indirectly through the pods.

    I have seemingly noticed but not documented (the antecdotal "thought" may be totally invalid) that females may brood quicker if well satiated and it might be better to keep them a bit hungry and possibly disrupt the tank purposfully once they are adult/late juveniles. I wish we could test the theory as it might help keep females alive longer in aquariums but it may be only wishful thinking that pushes this "observation". It is also menatlly very difficult NOT to offer food when they are making a show of bring hungry.
     
  17. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    this is very useful information! once again i thank you for being such a big help to me! i have fed "clarence" ( my girlfriend named him :P ) 3 of these little krill. during the day time he is unseen. but everytime i turn off the hood light , and turn on the red light he appears in the bottom right corner of the tank ( his new feeding corner ) i will post a picture of it shortly. no offense to anyone on these forums but i liked the way you feed your octos the best. since he has been coming out at the same spot i will try to feed him every night except for sundays( i work late anyway ) . i get what your saying about females. after i fed him the first krill he monched on it for a while, and then suddenly got up and started flying around the tank until i fed him ... i couldnt resist haha! im so pleased with his interaction so soon!
     
  18. Haydawg

    Haydawg Blue Ring Registered

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    here is my 65/70 gallon tank ( not quite sure ) i only have a red light on one side ... oh well thats where he hangs out anyway :P


    ...here is clarence monching on his krill. its hard to see but i didnt take it with a flash on because i did not want to interrupt his food session
     

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  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Liking, what is best practice and what is practicle all come together at some point but there are no fixed rules (execpt water quality and keeping the tank covered). These are still very much experimental home kept animals so reasonable trial and error (that is trying things that are not well established as not working ... there are a few others) is encouraged as long as the results (good or bad) are shared for other keepers.

    If your animal is typical of what I have experienced, you will see him disappear for a period of time very soon (roughly 1 to 5 days from now). This will instill panic in most keepers and I never get over it because, on occasion, they don't make it the full two weeks I call true acclimation time. SueAndHerZoo is going through this now and has not seen her animal in over a week.

    In addition to the acclimation I mentioned, I suspect something very odd about their memory. Researchers have fits with them because they get creative or stuborn. I have noticed that they will often seem to "learn" something and then forget it for roughly 3 days and then "remember" it after that, almost like it takes time to be implanted into long term memory (keep in mind this is fully layman thinking as I am a computer programmer, not a biologist). I have seen this mostly with interaction and, again, have not devised an at home experiment to coax out more understanding of how this might work (or completely elminate the thought). With Octavia, she was overly interactive immediately (during the 2 week period where they usually just disappear). I knew it would not last and she did become very shy but she has been slowly (much more normal) coming to my hand and tonight played for a good 20 minutes like in the video. So I am delighted she wants to interact but am worrying again that this may be a sign the she will brood soon :roll:
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I almost never intentionally use a flash (sometimes I use the wrong setting and it is not automatically turned off). Tripods are well worth having for both low light stills as well as video. Clarence will start coming out with the regular lights on eventually (if you eat in front of the tank, supper time is often a great viewing time). That being said, a few keepers have reported their octos really don't mind it or adjust quickly. Do note that they notice a camera as a "thing" and it is a good idea to have it in view as often as possible so that it is a familiar object.
     

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