[Octopus]: Meet Bob - Octopus Briareus

Susan Grosskopf

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Meet Bob. I just got him today and DWhatley wants facts and pictures. I will do my best. I have been prepping my 30 gallon tank since February, with D's help, and It has finally paid-off. Seller states he is O. Vulgaris caught in the Keys so I hope someone card #3 Octopus 010.JPG one can ID him. He moves around the tank very well at first and ate a couple of snails that came with him. Then he got quiet and very pale and thought thought, "oh no, he's going to die". I think he was just stressed and getting used to things. He was flashing a mottled dark chocolate when he was around some of the coral. His mantle gets a lot of texture (papillae) when he flashes. Around his eyes is like a pinkish brown and I have not noticed any circular marks around his eyes. I have not noticed any coloration around his suckers but white. His body is about 2" and his legs are about 8-12". I bought him from Bill Samples with CB Distributors/The Serpent's Egg in Islamorada, Florida. At intervals he would come out of the cave and dance or shimmy up the side of the tank and then float back down. He found the serpent star who was out hunting and they checked each other out. He has been in the cave for a while now and every time I look at him I'm scared he's dead. He was "breathing" about once a second at first and was very stressed with him mantle inflating and deflating to the max. He is in the cave now and "breathing" at a more relaxed rate.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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Bob has been hiding since he first came home but I can see him a little. There are snails and crabs in the tank that came with him but I did offer him a clam on half shell and he reached out and took it.
 

DWhatley

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They are reclusive animals and it will take time for him to let you see him. Guestimating from you initial size description and looks (no reference for sizing in the photos) he appears to be the perfect age to start being curious (I think he is close in age to Shiitake, perhaps a month older). If you can manage it, spending between half an hour to an hour sitting quietly in front of the tank with the lights off or low on a regular basis seems to help. If you have a tablet, reading helps pass the time. Our octo tanks are in the eating area and I think this is helpful since we sit within view daily at about the same time and feed the tanks before dinner (the young octos usually have to be fed late but we offer at this time each day and eventually the expect an "early" dinner). O. briareus is considered a nocturnal species but often they will learn to come out for an hour or more in the early evening. Right now Shiitake appears to be an early riser and has favored me with her curiosity around 4:00 AM :roll:. Hopefully this will change soon. I have been experimenting with raw salmon and have now had at least two O. briareus, Shiitake being the second, to accept it on the first offering. Fish is not the best food but salmon is the best fish and can be offered once or twice a week.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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I decided to clean up the tank a little and removed most of the snails(30-40) and crabs(20-30) that the seller sent with Bob and put them in a 20 gallon I have. The tank looked dirty and I was worried about the bio-load plus I want to try and keep track of when and what he eats. I think he ate one of he BIG snails in the tank. At least I think he did because he had it near him and then he covered it with his body. I offered another clam but he ignored me and the serpent star got the prize.
I also do water changes on Thursday so he had to put up with that. He flashed a little but did not budge from his little nook and I didn't go any closer to him then necessary. Since he is so big and my tank is only 30 gallon D suggested I do water changes twice a week which I will start. If he lives a week I have decided to start a 75 gallon tank and we will try to get it matured and cycled asap.
 

DWhatley

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Bob sounds like he is doing well :thumbsup:. You can leave the snails in the tank if you want as they will help with cleanup. He may eat a couple but (famous last words - octopuses make a liar of me often) once he is used to easy food, the snails will be left alone (most of the time). However, I would keep the crabs separately and only put one in the tank when he does not eat offered food or for a treat once or twice a week.
 

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