Disturbing a new octopus?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by octobert, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    I am a beginner when it comes to octopuses and got mine 3 days ago. During those days I've tried to feed it but he mostly just out during a few hours during night (I have camera that's recording 24/7).

    Since I don't want the food to just lay there and making the water bad, I want to put it as close to the octopus as possible so it can grab it if he wants, or I can remove it if he doesn't want it.

    The problem is that he's small and can easily hide in and under my live rocks. I basically have to lift all the rocks until I find him and I assume that scares him.

    What should I do?
    And how long can an octopus go without eating?
     
  2. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    I maybe should add that it's an O. vulgaris I have. I guess different species can behave differently.
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi octobert and welcome to the site!

    No, don't lift all the live rocks! Leave your new octopus in peace so that he can settle into his new home.
    Are you using a feeding stick so that you can place and retrieve food easily?
    Place it where you think he might be. If uneaten, take it out the next morning.
    Are there other food items your octo might be eating, snails for instance?

    Nancy
     
  4. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    I'm using plastic pliers (Omdirigeringsmeddelande) so I can put the food in most places. The problem is the current in the water will move it during the night.
    No other food in the tank.

    However, last night I woke up and checked the camera and saw that he was out, so I got out of bed and fed him earth worms. He seemed to really enjoy them, so I hope he actually ate them.
     
  5. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    I just checked the tank and there are worms left and some of them seems to have been chewed, pieces are missing.
    I guess it's no surprise that there are worms left, I probably over-feed him.
     
  6. sirreal

    sirreal Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Couple questions. How big is your tank? How long has it been running? I know Vulgaris are different around the world but you say its small and only comes out at night. This makes me think it might be a different species. Most Vulgaris are so hungry they will eat anything in the system plus anything you give. Then again I only have dealt with vulgaris from the gulf of mexico. Do you have any pics or can you post some of the vids your taking? I stream my vulgaris online and it was pretty easy and cheap.
    Earth worms?? Never would have thought of that. I would rather feed something natural to my octo. Shrimp,crabs,fish Ect. Not saying it wont work but I dont know if I would do that. Welcome and I look forward to seeing your octo grow.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Earthworms won't have the kind of fats that the octopus needs to survive. Since he tried them, it appears he is hungry. For one that small, you might try using live hermit crabs, live shore shrimp and/or a small live fiddler crab (disable or remove the large claw of a male). To offer dead food, try a small (about the size of his eye) piece of thawed table shrimp, a small piece of raw fish or raw meat from the claw of a larger crab on a bamboo skewer or feeding stick.
     
  8. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    The tank is about 125 gallons (520 liters) and it's been running for about 1.5 month.
    A friend of mine who have had octopuses said earth worms were good if it didn't want to eat. It's the only live food I can get except for huge crabs (~20 cm over the shell).
    I've given it thawed shrimps (I guess table shrimps? normal shrimps we human eats) and clams but I found at least one of the shrimps under a rock. But I realize now I've given it too large pieces, so maybe he just ate what he wanted and left the rest.
    I also have frozen squid I can give him, haven't tried that yet.

    Videos:


     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  9. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    A fresh video when I fed him squid:
     
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  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Definitely not vulgaris. My best guess is a female Callistoctopus aspilosomatis, probably from the Philippines.
    Have a look at Puddles pictures and see if they are a match. Yours does seem to have longer arms and there is a small octopus common to Florida that I have not kept but I don't think it shows that red color. If you know the local of origination, that will help with ID.

    I would recommend trying to stick feed rather than leaving dead food for it to find. Often an octopus will scavenge carrion but they prefer live food. Stick feeding (not the tongs) is probably the closest we can get to approximating live with dead. Do try offering small pieces of shrimp (yes, the kind you eat) on a bamboo skewer or acrylic feeding stick. A piece of seafood market raw fish might also be accepted on a stick. You can also offer the claws of larger crabs. I get blue crab claws from my Asian market (scrounging the live bins for claws already removed) and freeze them (do not freeze the whole crab but body meat can be removed on a freshly killed crab and frozen like the claws).
     
  11. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    Based on those pictures my guess would also be Callistoctopus aspilosomatis. But as you probably would guess, my knowledge about octopuses are very small.
    The temperate is about 21 degrees C, should I increase it? Aspilosomatis seems to want warmer water?

    How often should I feed it eye-sized pieces of food?
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Given your location, I would expect this is an imported animal and Indonesia is a good source guess. So, yes, I would (slowly maybe a degree or two a day) increase the temp to about 78F (25-26 C).

    Feeding frequency is much debated. I feed mine daily with a 1 day a week fast (and skipped that if it appears hungry).

    Determining quantity varies with the individual animal and age. Once she is accepting food well, try increasing the size of the food slightly each day until she does not finish. As she ages, her appetite will decline so reverse the process. There are keepers that feed every other day and even every third day but anecdotally (ie, I have not done an actual tally), these schedules have been for cold water animals.
     
  13. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks for all the info!
    Anything else I need to know since I've mostly been reading about vulgaris?

    When I look at the recorded videos I see that he often sits pretty open and breathing heavy for a long while after being fed. Is he just eating then?
    The behavior can be seen in the video when he gets earth worms. That time he sat like that for 2 hours at least, but he got 5 worms or something like that.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Heavy breathing is a sign of stress/excitement but that could be due to the new environment or eating something alive. Does her breathing become normal after she eats? I do think she may be full grown so I don't know how much time you will have with her. Their lives as so short :sad:. You can look over Puddles thread for some of the things I noted as she aged. I have had two of this species and they both did well in captivity but were VERY nocturnal (like 3:00 AM being their most active times). If she starts coming out in the daytime (after she has acclimated to captivity - the first few weeks are unpredictable) then you can expect that she is near the end of her life. There is a video of Puddles around sunrise near the end of her journal. I was glad to get a video of how interactive he was but sad knowing that the video was after sunrise and he would not be with me much longer.
     
  15. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    Yes, I think the heavy becomes normal after a while. Can't say for sure though, since she's up when I should be asleep. But as far as I can see before feeding her (though she moves around quite a bit then) and what I can see on the video I would say the breathing is normal other than right after feeding.

    I've read Puddle's story and it's truly sad that they live for such a short time and it breaks my heart knowing that I will probably just get to know my octopus before the time is over.

    I was prepared for it to only be active when it is dark in the beginning, but now it seems like it will stay nocturnal. Can I fool it to be active during the day? If I have lights active during the nights, can it be fooled to believe it's night when it's actually day?
    I don't have any lights in the aquarium now, so the only light that comes into the tank is whatever light I have in the room. Not much, but it is still not night-dark during the day, far from it.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I was never able to get either of mine to be active at any reasonable hour. You might be able to shift its schedule somewhat by turning the lights on early in the morning, keeping the room fully dark as soon as it is dark outside and feeding just before you go to bed. It is worth the experiment, especially starting now before it finds a rhythm in its new environment. I was limited in my ability to experiment because my tanks are in rooms that did not allow me to control the lighting on a regular basis.

    For night viewing you can use red lights. Red is miserable for photography but it is a color they don't see. Blue may be even brighter than white to their eyes. Don't try to leave white or blue lights on 24/7 as this will definitely stress her and likely end her life early. However, I typically leave a red light on all night (or 24/7 if I don't have a timer).

    Except for the extreme nocturnal part, this is one of my favorites for interaction. Both Puddles and Beldar would come to my hand to be stroked for parts of their lives. My theory on octo "enjoyment" for being touched is not so much curiosity or friendly attachment but the thought that their skin may itch and our hands are softer than live rock. If you decide to allow physical contact, I recommend not trying to touch her but let her approach you. First contact is usually quite memorable as both of you will jump (try to limit your reaction, not easy). I recommend not using food as an enticement, they are curious enough to approach you if you leave your fingers in the water for a time and you don't want her to mistake your fingers for food.
     
  17. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    The tank is in my living room (it's actually my sofa table) so keeping the room fully dark while I'm in there isn't really practical. I'll maybe try to add something on top of the tank to make it at least a bit darker to see if she comes out more/earlier.

    I would love to interact with her but I'm still a bit afraid of her :oops:
    I touch one of the tentacles when she was in the bucket and she got a good grip on me (with only one sucker I believe!) and I think I would die if a whole tentacle got on me. After reading that the actually can bite, I'm not less afraid of her.

    It's funny since I'm used to "dangerous animals". I have stingrays, big gars and even an alligator snapping turtle. No problem with handling them. But those tentacles... :neutral:
     
  18. octobert

    octobert Cuttlefish Registered

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    I found a cool shot of her:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice to see her hunting! She is likely eating amphipods.
     
  20. Missnano

    Missnano O. vulgaris Registered

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    I love how she just shot out of the dark like that! Amazing!! Have you named her?
     

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