HELP!

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Mr Blobby, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    Just finished acckimating (2 hrs) a female briareus sent to me by Tom, with some eggs. At first she seemed rather occupied with finding a way out, now she is stuck to the glass with her arms spiraling tightly. I have read this is an indicator that she is dying. I know it could be stress from the whole ordeal, I've tested my water routinely, including yesterday and today, and everyhting is perfect, 0 nit, 0 NH3, S.G.- 1.025. Everything else in the tank is doing well. Does anyone know if the spiraling arm symptom is a certain indicator of a specific issue like (medical) shock, toxicity etc?
    I have the room adn tank lites out with just a little red lite going. Any ideas on anything I can do? The only thing that concerns me about the tank is the water feels awfully cold. The thermostat is set to 68F and the seperate thermometer reads that as well. It is likely much colder than room air and the acclimation water from my tank probably warms up in the drip bag to room temp. Could this cause shock/death? Any other water tests to take to LFS for? I have not done any Cu test because I live on well water and know exactly what my pipes ect are made of. Also, snails etc are fine.
    Also, if she does die now, any suggestions on manually removing the eggs she claimed and stuffed in her mantle? (or maybe she ate them?)

    OK, after typing all that, She has relaxed quite a bit, tho the last 1-1 1/2" of her arms are spiraled, but not at all like she was a moment ago. Is it possible that I just scared her? Does being startled illicit that response? (No ink).
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Briareus is a reef octopus and the temperature is too cold for her. Start warming it up to at least 76 degrees, then aim for 78 degrees.

    Is your heater working?

    What is your pH?

    Nancy
     
  3. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    interesting- Dr. James B. Wood (suppoed to be an expert) had on his website that briareus needed 19-25C, which I calculated to be 66-77F. I will certainly turn up the thermostat. I hope I can do it without disturbing her further. Oh, and pH is 8.2. Thanks for the quick reply.

    well, I'm certainly in a tizzy. Sorry for the terrible typing. Anyway, I went back to Dr. Woods' webpage and found exactly what I had saved to my hard drive over a year ago, "O. briareus eggs hatch in 50-80 days at temperatures between 19 and 25°C (Boyle 1983)". I assumed this meant I should keep the tank at that temp. I was actually afraid it would get warmer in the tank due to the weather getting into the 80's and my conservative use of air conditioning. But my heater thermostat did it's job and kept the tank at 68 like I set it to. I did make her a bit anxious changing it to 76. She's all wound up again and twitchy.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have come to believe that arm spiraling (so that the arm corkscrews down, not just rolled upward) is a true sign of stress but not necssarily on-coming death (but you will often see it towards the end if the octo is out . The photos usually depict a very grayish looking octo and I don't think they ever relax the curl). Octane would corkscrew the tips of his arms for the first two weeks but if I turned the lights off, his arms would relax. I experimented slightly, lights on tips curled, lights off, tips straight, etc.). Rolled up arms also seem to indicate stress but I have seen it more from immediate fear rather than the more dangerous stress (the mercatoris is an exception and is famous for its arm curled over the mantle).

    One thing I have no recollection of is any reports of a brooding octopus inking. I would be interesting to solicit that info from people who have had brooding females.

    Why do you think she removed eggs? Where were they when she arrived? Where were they in the tank? When you say she put them back in her mantle, did you see her do something with them and if so can you describe it precisely? If she did not eat them it would be very interesting to find out what she did with them. We have not had briareus young for quite some time (Joefish's Conanny is the most current I remember but I tried to take a couple of those home so there may have been others I fail to recall, none successful though). Does she have a sheltered place that she can move to?

    SueNami is still not coming out into the open after 2 weeks but she stayed on the back wall the entire first day. She is not brooding (yet) so I have no experience with brood behavior or even briareus for more than two weeks so I am not comfortable with what to expect. You might try a PM (or email if he has one open to members) to JoeFish to see if you can get his attention as we have not seen him around for awhile.

    We know this octo came from the Floriada keys so 68 is definitely not the temperature of her home.
     
  5. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    Her arm spiraling/curling is mostly upward. It seems to my inexperienced eye to be more like stress than a neuro issue.
    As for her eggs, the were in the jar she was shipped in, on strings, many stuck to the sides of the jar. When she left the jar (after acclimating, I placed it gently on it's side in the tank and removed the lid. She took about half the eggs with her on various arms. She deliberately gathered armfuls of them before exiting the jar once she realized she could go out the opening. She immediately stuck to the side of the tank facing me and I saw her use an arm to place a cluster of egg in her "mouth". I dissected a squid in college and vaguely remember that this is the only orifice leading to the mantle cavity which houses all organs (am I right? that's how I remember it anyway). I figured she was able to store them. Did she actually eat them in some altruistic final act in response to the terror of captivity? God, I hope not. (for her sake).
    As for the Fla keys temp, the thought did occur to me that 68 sounded a bit cool, however, I have never been to FL anytime of year, and assumed it was simply cooler this time of year.
     
  6. simple

    simple Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    can you tell if the eggs are fertile?
     
  7. Brock Fluharty

    Brock Fluharty Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I thought Tom said that the eggs weren't fertile, so he wasn't sending them to a different member?
     
  8. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    yes, I find that very interesting. I addressed that on the "...from eggs" forum. I guess if theyre infertile, nothing will have developed out of the yolk. So, I think I'll take one to work with me and look at it under a microscope. If something has started to develop, I should be able to discern it.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am afraid that if she them under her web then she ate them. If my understanding of their biology is correct, she would have had to put them in the mantle outside the the digestive track (where the funnel exits and where she would have received the sperm packets) but there is no way to store them going through the mouth. Some octopuses do brood eggs in their webbing and carry them around rather than brooding in a den but I don't believe this is true of Briareus. Are you sure they went into the mouth and are not in the webbing?

    It has been mentioned that females might eat infertile eggs but I could not find the source of that rememberance the other day.
     
  10. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    pretty sure. she was stuck to the glass facing me, so her web was not obstructing my view.

    In regards to the eggs being fertile, I got impatient, and dissected one with a scalpel under a metal halide. Under the halide, I could see within the blob inside the egg, two teensy weensy orange dots. I am under the impression these are early eyes. I have read that a week before hatching, the larvae (?) will flip to the unstalked end of the egg. About half have done this, altho I could not detect any movement in any of them. When I slit the egg and removed it, the contents- the blob, was just that- a blob, formless, and it disintegrated upon coming out of the egg.

    Perhaps an experienced egg-hatcher can tell me if they should be more developed and moving when stimulated by the time they first get eyes?
     
  11. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Wow... good luck with her, if you see two eyes in the eggs, then your eggs are definitely fertile. They may not be moving yet. What is the size of the yolk sac relative to the embryo? Is it bigger than the embryo or smaller than the embryo?
     
  12. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    I can't discern a yolk sac/embryo. Everything is the same transparent white-ish. Tho there are different sizes of "blobs" from egg to egg. Some are multiple lumps, some less so. Hopefully I'll see more if I take one to look at under a microscope.

    She is also a little more relaxed. Still stuck to the same place tho,and no trace of eggs in her webbing.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    19 degrees C to 25 degrees C is 68 degrees F to 77 degrees F, if that's the idea for eggs

    So, stay on the upper end of this range, warming up the tank slowly. Try 76 degrees.

    These are good questions about eggs. Yes, I have read that females will eat the infertile eggs. Bristleworms and other preditors may eat them, too, but the female probably won't let them. I had the same experience with a bimac, but I never saw her eating the eggs.

    It would be good to hear from one of our scientists or researchers who could provide more exact information.

    Nancy
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I keep hinting but I think they have all grown gills. I think Taollan is on dry land but has not made any comments
     
  15. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I think your eggs are in the early stages of development, which is why you are seeing "blobs". Eyes develop early in the embryo, before many other structures.

    Here is a link to with some photos of octopus development.

    http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/oct252006/1089.pdf


    Somewhere :roll: I have another reference with a more complete series of octopus development...

    Well, I found a reference by John Arnold, with some more complete drawings of squid development. It might help you with what is happening in your eggs.
    https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/1912/224/8/chapter%204.pdf
     
  16. Mr Blobby

    Mr Blobby Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks for the info! I looked at every google image of octopus eggs last night, none were helpful in determining development times. Per the pictures in the first pdf you posted, the eggs are not yet to the 15 day stage (which I realize may vary between species on exactly how many days it takes to get there). At least I know if they dont look like that in a couple of weeks, they're probably toast.

    So this morning I get up and the female is in the same place she was last night, up by the surface, appears to be floating- all her arms were floating with no effort at all- no suckers stuck to the glass, she was a deathly grey, and her eyes were all white. Assuming her dead, I reached in with a net and tried to scoop her up. Lo and behold she still has some life left in her and inked a little. Fortunately she was right by the protein skimmer intake and it sucked it right up. She has assumed a blotchy appearance and has sucked her legs back down to the glass. I rechecked parameters, all is perfect. And the tank is warmer.
     
  17. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    That is an interesting situation with octopuses eating their own unfertilized eggs. I had heard anecdotally that it happens but have never experienced it myself. Personally, I would love to know more about it because it seems like a bad strategy on three fronts: 1) Since an octopus put so much metabolic effort into those eggs, and they are her only hopes of reproduction, the cost of "mistakenly" eating fertilized eggs would be extremely high 2) Octopus eggs are more lipid rich than something that would make good octo food, and 3) Its not like there is a big fitness pay off for extending life for a little while by eating them, considering she is incapable of reproducing again. All that being said, not all behaviors are adaptive (especially behaviors just prior to death) and eggs, being so lipid rich, would be of high metabolic value for anything else that could eat them.
    Also, Mr Blobby, actual development times of octopus eggs are very temperature and species sensitive, and can vary by an order of magnitude in some cases, so looking at various development descriptions might be good. If you are interested, somewhere I have a .pdf of a master's degree done entirely on O. rubescens development in the egg.
     

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