Lir - Octopus ?

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Crabcrusher, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi guys! Just got our newest addition here. He was picked up in California and listed as a GPO, however I'm not seeing the same habits as a GPO. Everything else the wholesaler had was Austrailian so my guess this far has been a veined or coconut octopus (amphioctopus marginatus). So far he/she doesn't seem to be nocturnal, or interested in eating fish, likes to burrow and collect shells to make a den and absolutely loves crabs (2 were eaten in the first 24hrs in the tank). I'm uploading the first pictures we've taken of him and will upload videos as well. Looking forward to identifying him/her and journaling all of our interactions to come. Hopefully someone can help shed some light on this species for me. Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The coloring and texture is definitely off for GPO or O. rubescens. It is important to identify the animal to be sure the water temp is correct, feeding does not vary much. GPO's and rubys (that are often mistaken for young GPOs) require very cold water. Coloration does but arm to mantle ratio doesn't suggest Abdopus (but arms length is often misleading depending on predator encounters and this would be my first impression) so could be marginatus (but we have not seen them from wholesalers - they seem to have shipping difficulties and the eyes don't look right). Are there any identifying other markings like arm spots or false eyespots? Each time I revisit the images (especially the last), I am inclined toward aculeatus.

    We don't have a direct video upload but the software supports videos to be displayed in-line from most of the popular hosting sites. Do not use the embed code, instead use the direct link (some sites will have a BB link and that will also work).
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
  3. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    :welcome: @Crabcrusher! What a beautiful octo. Tell us more about your tank!
     
  4. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks for the quick replies. Tank isn't anything to write home about, a meek 72gal set up with a refugium, about 30lbs of live rock and quite a few coral pieces. All the Damsels and Chromis were intended on being food, but I put them in early to help cycle the tank faster. Our 6 legged star was just a bonus from my LFS.

    Back to our octo, Lir, it's not liking the fish like I said and it's very protected in the nook of one of my larger rocks. When it sleeps for the past two days now it has grasped shells and ruble to hold beneath it, as if to protect it from attacks from beneath it. The first two days it was pretty active during the day, and yesterday it didn't come out once, just snatched a hermit that wandered by the den. I put the tank to bed and as soon as all the lights were off I could see it dropping out of its hole into the tank more, but this morning I can't see any definite evidence that it'd been out gathering all night.I'm unsure if this is still a settling phase or a sign of nightlife. My tank is at a steady 74*F all my levels have been perfect and steady. The arm lengths are definitely going to be a bit misleading with this one since I can confirm the front two and possibly two others show battle damage. In some of the videos and pictures you can see the new growth doesn't turn black when the rest of its body does. As far as identifying marks go- I can't point out any false eye spots or arm rings. The only thing I can see is that when we put it into the tank and it initially there were eye rings or eyebrows and a ridge up the mantle that stayed sandy-colored, I think you can see it in the first video below.

    Here's the first video of the tank entry;



    Here's the first crab, less than 16hrs in the tank btw;



    Sorry for such a huge post, but I'd rather put in as much as I can rather than wait for another question to answer. I'm hoping to get a solid identity quickly so I can change my tank settings if need be to make the best environment for my new friend.

    DW- Thanks a ton, I'm reading about aculeatus now looking for common traits.
     
  5. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    Must've copied the first link incorrectly, lets try that again.

     
  6. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Doesn't look like aculeatus to me.

    Roy
     
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  7. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    What do you think it is? Came out exploring for a bit today, but not much. How long on average does it take for a tank adjustment?
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I'd remove the damsels and chromis ASAP.
     
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  9. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    I can put them below in the Refugium. Think that'll coax him out?
     
  10. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Damsels can be intimidating to octopus, so yes, put them in the refugium. Also, I might add some more live rock, your bioload is going to go up... How long has your tank been set up?
     
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  11. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    I have about 30lbs up top and probably another 10lbor so in the refugium. Tank has been stable for about a month now. I added some snails and the star to try and help things out as well. I also have a mangrove and chito below in the refugium.

    EDIT- I'll remove the damsels and chromis in the morning. I don't want to remove them at night and my octo think that's the time to prowl.
     
  12. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I would remove them tonight. In the video, the fish are already affecting the behavior of the octopus. Usually you want about 1-1.5 lbs live rock per gallon of water.

    How long has your tank been set up? (Different question than how long has it been stable).
     
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  13. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    It's been set up a month. Finished cycling about 3wks ago.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    @Neogonodactylus - thanks for the review. The video has me wondering about hummelincki except I don't see eyespots and the suspected origination location would be wrong (most hummelincki we see come from Hatti and a few from south FL). The white "skunk" stripe and the "cone head" posture are something we see a lot of species display so it is not helpful for identification. You can search hummelincki in the titles on the journals forum to look for similarities.

    I would like to reinforce ALL of @cuttlegirl 's recommendations. You will note from many of my other new keeper posts that I STRONGLY advocate for NO FISH in an octopus tank. Damsels or wrasse both tend to be aggressive toward octopuses, may peck at them and definitely keep them on the defensive and stressed. Here is a link to some of the positive and negative tankmates. Adding more CYCLED live rock (and the rock in your sump should be cycled) and places to hide will help reduce stress but be sure you give it places to hide - if you can see it, it is not well enough hidden. As the animal becomes more comfortable (removal of fish, again, required) it will likely allow you to see it but it NEEDS the ability to hide.

    As far as tank maturing goes, three months of active cycling (adding additional biologic load the whole time, I prefer to use live rock, clean up crews and over feeding to accomplish this) is generally considered a minimum time for building up enough bacteria to handle the biological load of an octopus. I know the pet stores tell you a month and that you likely had your water checked but an initial cycle is only acceptable to handle the biological load of a few small, hardy fish and they often, unfortunately, recommend damsels. It takes much longer to accommodate larger animals (something they never explain or sometimes know and is sadly the reason for New Tank Syndrome). It is good that you have a 72 gallon aquarium and sump as the quantity of water will help but your denitrifying bacteria will not be mature enough for handling the waste. Keep a close eye for any ammonia. I would recommend 5 gallon water changes twice a week to help keep ammonia and nitrites in check (you should never see a registration of either). If you don't have a reagent kit, buy the strips. They are frowned upon by many but will give you quick readings for nitrite. Ammonia tests are separate but there are inexpensive kits easily available to be able to monitor - be sure you use the external vial and don't test in the tank.

    For feeding, I have found this sized animal very easily accepts blue crab claws that I find at my local Asian market. I pick out claws that are already severed but still fresh and freeze them. Thawed table shrimp is also often well accepted. Fiddlers and sometimes snails will be eaten but are expensive and multiples per meal would be required. You can also offer an opened clam (any mussel is acceptable but I find clams to not foul the tank where mussels and oysters make a mess). I usually keep live clams in the tank. Sometimes they are eaten but once the octo is accustomed to easy food, they are often left alone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  15. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    My tank has been sped up from the start, sort-of a super-cycling we did in preparation for this. The water has been changed a minimum of 10%/wk (an average of 5 day changes) and the water has been fully tested every three days. Every piece of rock (including the refugium) has been cycled, live rock. You can see in the videos, there's plenty of shade and hiding places, minus the left hand side which is shallow as it is. Can anyone here tell me if this isn't Maginatus for sure? I'll start hunting around my local Asian Market for some blue crab claws, clams and shrmp. So far emeralds and red claws are expensive, but it likes them more than hermits and hasn't touched the snails yet. Is it normal for any octopus, much more so an unhappy one, eat twice within the first 16hrs in a new tank?
     
  16. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    Hi Crabcrusher, and welcome to Tonmo! It's a little overwhelming when you first get started ceph keeping, and disappointing when you hop on to this site and find that your planning and research isn't as accurate as you thought. D and Cuttlegirl are two of the most experienced and helpful of all of us, and I'd have to agree with their comments so far. Know that all of the advice here comes with lots of friendly support!

    Regardless of what you have, you have one. It is normal to have to experiment with what your octo will eat- and even if you do have a positive ID, you still might have to try several things to be successful with that particular animal. Once you get all of those fish out of there, you can try stick feeding it a small chunk of raw shrimp from the grocery store.

    BTW, I think D is right about hummelincki, keep looking for dark blue eyespots. As mentioned, the ID is more important when it comes to knowing the correct temp, because a hummelincki and a GPO (as your supplier listed) have TOTALLY different temp requirements! And that's just for starters!!! Once again, when you get all of the fish out of there, it will be more comfortable and hopefully come out more. The more pics & video, the easier it is for others to help you ID.

    Don't worry about any beginning mistakes, we are not criticizing, just trying to help you make the best environment possible for your new friend! I can't tell you how much more LR I have in my octo tank than I used to. The more you live with them, the more you find yourself getting excited about the perfect chunk of LR and not even noticing the fish at your LFS. This year for X-mas, my girls each got me a new piece of Texas Holey rock, shapes chosen for octo dens.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
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  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for toning down the comments @sedna. None of us intend to come across heavy handed but we are so used to seeing new keepers being somewhat misdirected on an environment that often our first posts seem to be critical when they are meant to be helpful.

    There is a sticky in the Octopus Care forum where we try to keep a list of links of longer discussions with new keepers.

    I am pretty sure this little guy is not Marginatus, mostly because we don't see them and know that they have shipping difficulties ( as observed by @Thales when collecting and caring for them at the California Academy of Sciences, they do well in tanks, but have some odd issues with survival in between). I also think this is a warm water species so best guess is that you are good with temperature.

    The eating twice a day (and alternately not eating at all - the former being much better), is typical of a newly acclimated animal. The first two weeks are the most critical and I have found that if they survive for a full 14 days, there is an excellent chance they will live out a normal life (which is sadly quite short - 12-18 months from hatching and most will be a minimum of 5 months old when caught) in a healthy tank. Full acclimation takes about a month and you will see definite behavioral changes at about that time. Often they seem more "friendly" during the first month but become more reclusive afterwards. They may or may not become human interactive afterwards, much depends on the individual animal and the amount of human time spent in front of the tank.

    Hopefully, you will continue to journal your experience with Lir. If you would like, I can move this thread to the journals forum and alter the title to include his/her name.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  18. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    How is your new friend today?
     
  19. Crabcrusher

    Crabcrusher Cuttlefish Registered

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    Morning! After a rough day yesterday Lir seems to be back to normal. I underestimated catching fish with nets, 3hrs later I had them all out. Then it was off to scour more live rock. No eating or exploring happened yesterday, I had planned on it being just a settling day but the rock situation may have hindered that. This morning he was out exploring and snacked on a hermit out in the open so I think he's getting more comfortable. I have seen bipedal walking three times across the tank now, which I still felt was indicative of a marginatus. Yet today I noticed a spot that could be a false eye, sorry for the quality but the photos are below. He definitely seems to want to interact with us while we're in the tank, every time I reach in for something he comes out of hiding and either inspects what I'm doing or offers a tentacle to help/shake hands.

    Sorry to get so defensive and thanks for all the help this far. Feel free to move this to journals and amend the title.
     

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  20. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Lol, had a feeling it would take a while...
     

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