ID if possible and any ideas how to remove

Discussion in 'ID Requests' started by MaccaPopEye, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I got home from night shift at 6:30 this morning and it's still a bit dark so I decide to shine a torch into my tank and see if I can find anything cool. Well I guess you should be careful what you wish for.
    I found this sneaky guy crawling across the back piece of glass. (sorry about the terrible photo, he's really fast)
    [​IMG]
    While he must have been in there for at least a month now and not caused any harm my tank is no where near occy proof and I am petrified that it is a blue ring, anyone have any clue if there is a way to know?
    Does anyone have any ideas how I could safely catch him? I am really worried having a possible blue ring in an unsecured tank with my 1 year old running around so I would like to remove it asap.
    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The photo is terrible and there were no visible blue markings however it wasn't feeling threatened or anything so that could be why. The background is also black so he could have been trying to blend in rather than the usual light colour that blue rings are. Best case scenario is that its not a blue ring at all however I have no way to tell and collected all my live rock myself and blue rings are everywhere here.

    I turned around to get a net and try to get him out of the tank and when I turned back he was gone. The tank is 400L and he's tiny so I have no idea how I am going to find him any time soon.
     
  3. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Well you got one of the coolest creatures you could ever want in a aquarium. First thing you need to sort out is, is it a Blue ring, if you are not sure what to look for do a Google search on them and have a good look at a lot of images. At least then you will have an idea what to look for, if it is, then you need to be quite careful how it is removed.
    You may be able to coax it out by feeding it, use a long thin "stick" with crab on the end and slowly move it around the tank and wait for the arms to reach out and take hold of it. Make sure the stick is long enough that you hand is NOT in the water for your safety, just be careful until you know for sure.

    If it's not a Blue ring then start reading, how to make the tank escape proof and enjoy what you have.
    There's a lot of people here that will point you in the right direction.
     
  4. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks for the idea about the crab mate. I'm going to need a fairly long stick for my hands to not be in the water haha should I use just a piece of crab meat or get an actual crab and put it on the end?

    I do agree that they are pretty much the coolest marine animal you can get, my post above may come across as a little anxious as I am just worried about it being a blue ring since my tank is open toped and it could get out very easily and I have a todler who loves standing at the tank and watching it.

    If I can catch it I beleive that I will certainly be able to identify it as a blue ring or not (not really that hard, agitate it a tiny bit and see if it lights up with blue). Best case scenario and it isn't a blue ring then do you have any idea what species of octopus could be found in the indo pacific up in Darwin?

    Finally (being hopeful here) are the majority of octopus reef tank safe and what are the first essential steps to escape proofing my tank?
     
  5. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, normally I would consider a post such as this excessive paranoia, but in this case I do think this should be taken seriously. The body proportions are about right for a young blue-ring. Also one of the local species of blue-ring found around Darwin is nocturnal and produces large eggs that hatch into demersal larvae, so it is possible that a very small juvenile was in your LR. Also, the "Dariwn" blue-ring hides its blue rings very well so you might not see them. I would say this warrents a few late nights or early mornings watching the tank to see if you can eyeball it. In the mean time, I have found that sponge filter material fitted over holes and cracks are effective keeping blue-rings in. I've attached a couple of photos of one of the Darwin blue-rings. Note the pinkish or orangish color that is typical of this species. This species should be considered dangerous.

    Roy
     

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  6. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Well thanks for not writing me off as crazy :P I grew up here and have seen quite a few local blue rings before and I agree about the body proportions combined with where I got the LR are what make me concerned.

    I'm staying up late tonight to try my luck at spying it. When I first saw it the octopus was black and as you said blue rings are generally orange brown color so I am hoping that it wasn't just camouflaging itself and that it truly is black (and hence most likely not a blue ring).

    Unfortunately my tank is open topped so there is nothing to cover it with. Tomorrow I am going to get some Velcro and try to stick the hook side all around the edge of the tank to discourage it from climbing out.

    I fully understand the dangers and will certainly report back when I have captured or at least sighted it again.
     
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  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome MaccaPopEye! I have always be grateful that the animals here won't kill you :grin: as I would likely find myself in a similar situation. Please keep us updated as your experience is likely not all that unusual and others may gain insight from your final success at capturing this little guy.
     
  8. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Unfortunately not much to update :(
    It's been over 3 weeks since my last post.
    Around 2 weeks ago I put a bottle trap in the tank with some shrimp. I know the bottle trap won’t hold an octopus so I had some string tied to it and the plan was to check it often and I could pull it out if the octopus crawled in. Well three nights in the tank and the shrimp was untouched. So I tried a smaller piece and this time a crab finally crawled into the trap. Not what I was trying to catch but at least something. I left the trap in the tank overnight and in the morning the crab was gone. As far as I know crabs can’t get out of bottle traps, so the only explanation I could come up with is that the octopus climbed in, ate the crab and left the shrimp and climbed out again.
    So I have been trying to find time to get out and catch some crabs at the beach and I still haven't had time to collect any live bait (I am going to try again to get out there tomorrow).
    I have been staying up as late as possible most nights and even pulled 2 all-nighters last week where I left the tank in darkness and came out and turned a torch on every hour or so to scan around. That combined with checking the tank first thing after finishing work at 0130am and 0630am most days and I still have not had another sighting. Not even a possible sighting.
    If I hadn't of snapped a photo I would think I was going mad. Even with the photo I think I may still be going mad
    Part of me thinks that the poor little guy could have died either in the tank or crawled out and over the back where I can’t see and died there, even if it is a blue ring I hope not as there will be no way to find out and I will forever wonder and have to be super cautious reaching into the tank. But then I remind myself that it was in there for a month without being seen to begin with. An octopus the size 5c piece has a lot of hiding places in a 400L tank.
    There are still lots of crabs in the tank and I am still seeing some small ones so if it is still there it won’t be going hungry. Hopefully I get out soon to get some live bait and try the bottle trap again. On recommendation of a friend I am also going to add a couple of "Octopus traps" aka a small terracotta pot and an empty stubby. Still hoping to catch it so I can get an ID. Or even sight it again just to keep a grip on my sanity.
    Cheers,
    Macca
     
  9. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Incase anyone is new to this thread the images in the OP accidently got removed from photobucket and I cant see how to eddit the post so the links below should work.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I haven't seen the one I PUT into the tank a couple of weeks ago so I feel your frustration!
     
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  11. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Haha thanks DWhatley, makes me feel a bit less stumped.

    Hopefully since it has been in the tank for 2 months now it is growing and getting bigger so if I am still searching in another month or two it could be easier to see :P
     
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  12. MaccaPopEye

    MaccaPopEye Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    It's been a while since I checked this thread but I actually have a small update. My crab population has been in decline and until last night I thought there had only been 2-3 left for almost a month now (and quite large ones too). Occasionaly I see mangled crab remains on the sand bed. This could be the occy or my mantis or even both.
    Working shift work helps as I reguarly finish at 2am and can grab a torch and check the tank. Well last night I got home and did my routine check, and as I am moving the torch from the left hand side over to the right I saw a blur fly faster than I thought possible from the top corner down to the bottom corner which is hidden by rocks. Whatever it was looked brown/orange and moved way too fast (and I was way too tired) for me to see any kind of shape but unless I was so tired I was seeing things then I have a pretty good idea of what it could have been.
    After I determined it was gone and my chances at a decent sighting were nil I moved the torch back up to the top right hand corner to see why it was up there and lo and behold sitting ontop of a powerhead there is the only small crab I have seen in the tank in the last few weeks.
    From this possible sighting I have concluded a couple of things:
    1) If it was the octopus then it is still alive but running out of food. So I will endevour to go crab collecting soon to top up the supply.
    2) This is only my second sighting if you can call it that, but both have been at night time. From what I know about blue rings they are diurnal hunters. So this is good news. It could still be a blue ring that is hunting at night as it is too shy with people around during the day but it is certainly a lot less likely.
    From here I am going to visit the local aquarium and have a chat with the guy there and see if he knows what other species of octopus it could possibly be. I will also re-commence my attempts at trapping. I am going away for a few weeks soon so I will try to ensure there is ample crabs by then to keep it alive.
    More than anything right now I would love to catch it and get an ID. Of course if I have any updates I will report back.
    Cheers,
    Macca
     
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  13. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Thanks for the update :thumbsup: - safe travels!
     

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