[Octopus]: Meet Bob - Octopus Briareus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Susan Grosskopf, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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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.
     
  2. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    Here is another pic from when he first was in the tank card #3 Octopus 011.JPG card #3 Octopus 021.JPG
     
  3. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Bob is a beauty! How large is he?
     
  4. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    My first post "My First Octopus" has another picture. His head (mantle?) is about 2" and his legs are about 8-12".
     
  5. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    Can you help me ID him?
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Definitely O. briareus :sagrin:
     
  7. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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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.
     
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  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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.
     
  9. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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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.
     
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  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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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.
     
  11. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    I put a video on my Facebook page if you want to see Bob in the first couple of hours after I got him.
     
  12. davelin315

    davelin315 Wonderpus Registered

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    Very cool, have you tried using some red lighting? That might entice or fool it into coming out more during daylight hours if you can convince it that it is night.
     
  13. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    I do use red/blue light at night when I am home hoping he will come out. He excavated under a rock yesterday so we'll see
     
  14. davelin315

    davelin315 Wonderpus Registered

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    Blue is actually indicative of day for marine animals. Kind of funny that moonlights are marketed for night viewing and are blue, but because of the penetration it cues daytime behaviors (coral and reef geek here).
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I think I found a way to share your video. Facebook has new rules and does allow video sharing without signing is but there are individual options. If anyone cannot see the video, let me know and I will experiment further.

     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I watched the video a few times and think the "he" pronoun is correct. There are no external distinguishing trait for a female but the male O. briareus will curl the third right arm (clockwise as you orient your eyes with the animal's). Bob does not keep his arm tighly curled enough to be be sure and is moving too fast to see the associated channel but he does seem to keep the tip of the third arm curled while the other arms are straight. Here is a thread that discussed the hectocotylus along with photos of the external identifying male traits.

    Guessing an age is never reliable but I believe Bob is a couple of months older than Shiitake but still young. We have unofficially noted a "dent" that appears at the back of the mantle at about 7 months (guessing on timing here) and I see only a suggestion of that dent on Bob so best guess is 5-7 months old. This is a good age as, if I am close, he will be entering his predator vs prey age and should be more willing to be seen than a younger animal.
     
  17. davelin315

    davelin315 Wonderpus Registered

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    Very cool that he is out and about! The video played just fine for me.

    One concern, though, is how the tank is set up. Glass tanks put all of their pressure along the edges of the tank and with how yours is supported along the middle and then with a board at the corners, this leaves the longest panes unsupported along their length. I would definitely add a solid board beneath the tank to eliminate the stress and pressure on those seams. If this is the 30 gallon tank, you are looking at about 200 lbs of pressure being exerted unevenly across those side panes.
     
  18. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    Thanks Dave, I have a lot to learn but that's one of the reasons I am enjoying Bob. I found this blog many years ago but I never thought I would be able to have an octopus. I feel privileged to take care of such a fascinating and intelligent animal.
     
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  19. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    Another good tip Dave, thank you. Those are some random cedar pc's someone gave me. I love the smell of cedar. I will p/u some more wood for support
     
  20. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    I am so glad I got those initial videos but I do like to document everything with notes and video. I have hardly seen him since then but that's alright. If he is going to come out more in the future that's great.
     

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