Meet OCTOROK!

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by rcl, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. rcl

    rcl O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi everybody! After months of preparation and waiting I finally got my first octopus, a bimac from octopets, last thursday (August 19th 2004). Perhaps it is siblings with Walter and Crazy Legs! How can we find out?

    I did not post until now because I am always very scared about new aquatic friends.. all too often I have become really overjoyed and told a lot of people about a fish, just to have it die shortly after arrival. Luckily this does not seem to be the case with this guy!!

    I expected him to do a lot of hiding, and that was the case for the first day or so.. but he is EXTREMELY active now -- specifically near dusk/evening.

    I had been cycling the tank with 5 mud whelks, a domino damsel, and a 4 stripe damsel. To my SHOCK, he ate one of those mud whelks (the shell is as big as octorok's mantle) the first day!! He was in his hiding spot (which he has adopted as his den it seems) and I was watching him with this whelk nearby, not expecting him to do anything. The whelk moved a little bit away.. and octorok shot his arms out and totally went to devouring the thing!!!!!! By the 48 hour mark after his arrival, all 5 were consumed (or at least dead in his den).

    I got pods and clams from octopets to feed octorok with but due to possibly overstocking the 10g feeder tank with all of this, EVERYTHING had died. I only got a few clams out of the deal alive.. which has left me rather sad. For now I have fed him some malaysian trumpet snails from my 120g freshwater, where they are breeding rapidly. The first time I offered this food I held it right up to octorok, and he ate it right out of my hands!! He is so bold -- quite a change from my plecos :) Soon I am going to restart this 10g feeder tank and probably get blue legged hermits from the local saltwater store... and then after the tank adjusts to their load I will probably get clams from octopets (depending on shipping costs).

    My filtration has done a good job of keeping up with him, which I am hoping continues as he grows. He seems to really like adventuring around the tank, and has found many places to hide and bury himself. I have a lot of 'puka shells' in my tank, and at his size the larger chunks of these seem to serve as cover for him a little bit. I am going to be adding larger seashells in the future. I have also pointed a fan at the tank and managed to keep the temperature between roughly 74 and 76, which is not so bad in the middle of august. This temperature deal was what concerned me most about him, as my temp originally was around 80+ .... some added cooling and reorganization of my room yielded these lower temperatures. Not perfect for him, but it's the best that can be done!

    So far his colors range wildly, he will go from almost pure black to almost pure white, and lots of shades in between. He likes to flash his eye spot when he gets excited about food, or when those damsels get a little too close!! He does one pattern I think is especially neat, it is a sort of white/brown marbled one. He likes to do this one and raise his skin to make himself look spikey. I think this is really cool! He also likes to put stripes down his body.

    My digital camera is extremely poor at taking pictures of fish, but I did get some videos that show him moving around the tank. These can be found here --

    These show him moving around on the rockwork --
    http://lucidsoft.org/~rcl/pics/octoaug22

    And these show him moving around mostly on the glass --
    http://lucidsoft.org/~rcl/pics/octowalkaug22


    I will definitely keep posting pictures and information as I get it. I am excited at the possibility of sharing experiences with could-be octopus sibling owners!!!

    Robert
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Robert,

    Welcome to Octorok! I liked your videos of him. Cute little guy! :) Quite a hunter and eater, too.

    I think we can assume that he's a sibling. I'll be contacting Octopets soon and I can ask, but lets add him to the list of August 2004 Siblings.

    Also, please add Octorok and his tank to the Octo DB - we need all our current octos in there.

    Good that you reduced his temperature. That should be better for him. Have you tried offering thawed frozen shrimp yet?

    Keep us posted on Octorok.

    Nancy
     
  3. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Welcome rcl and Octorok

    Has he grown much since he arrived? He's eating really well. The damsel doesn't have much longer...

    Melissa
     
  4. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Welcome OctoRok!!!!!!!!
     
  5. reefer911

    reefer911 Cuttlefish Registered

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    wat are the specs on your tank?
    gal, filtration, light
     
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    You can find a lot of that information on the Octo Database - just click on OCTO DB above.

    Nancy
     
  7. rcl

    rcl O. vulgaris Registered

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    Just to give an update, Octorok is still doing really well. I have noticed so many new colors and patterns and body shapes from him, and it has only been about 3 weeks now. He is QUITE a character!!

    I have him eating out of my hand evey now and then. He likes to get curious and today had 3 arms around my finger -- I am still so shocked about how strong he can pull even though he is such a small guy!

    I am positive that he has grown since I got him now, I tried to measure and got his mantle at a little over an inch (I measured from tip down to about his eyes, is this standard?) and his arms are each a little over 1.5 inches -- and much thicker than when I got him.

    He hid a bit for a week there, but now he is very active once again and explores the tank every night (and during the day too I think). He jets himself around now (which is very new) and I have seen him hanging on my filters and powerheads quite a few times.

    I have been feeding him mud whelks and blue legged hermits when I am feeling rich (or foolish), but have mostly switched over to feeding him malaysian trumpet snails (which I have tons of breeding in my 120g fw tank) and freshwater clams which are somewhat large (1/2 - 2 inch maybe). I am hoping to sustain him on these feeds as they are so much cheaper than saltwater critters.. but I of course will vary it up.

    Have tried thawed STEAMED shrimp and not had much luck, keep meaning to try thawed raw shrimp but haven't had a chance. Hoping for better results with that. One time the damsels and octorok were fighting and I guess he was spooked, and I tried to hand feed him shrimp (to get him to pay attention to it), and he inked a bit and hid. Haven't messed with shrimp since then.

    Just keeping everyone updated!

    Robert :cyclops:
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think I've ever heard of an octo eating steamed shrimp! Try thawing out some raw shrimp, most of them like this a lot and it's convenient.

    Do you have damsels in the tank? We've had some trouble with them and don't recommend keeping them in the same tank with an octopus. Sometimes they attack the octopus' eyes.

    Glad Octorok is doing well and that he's become so friendly so quickly!

    Nancy
     
  9. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    good to hear that you are doing well :)

    try raw shrimp as nancy said, cooking everything always removes a lot of the goodness
     
  10. rcl

    rcl O. vulgaris Registered

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    Nancy, I do have damsels in the tank. One leaves the octopus alone, and the other kind of 'backs into him' when the octo is in his hiding places. Lately though, the octo has been the one doing most of the aggressin. He just can't seem to catch them but sure seems to try.

    Octorok seems to be growing a bit. He is always ready for more food and is now out roaming the tank the vast majority of the time. This makes me feel good that I gave him a proper home (at least so far)

    I tried the RAW shrimp and had good luck with this. I need to get a bit of it to freeze so that I can always have some on hand. I had been scared of shrimp because I fed some steamed/frozen/thawed shrimp to my FW tank one day, and then the next day one of my large balas was dead with swim bladder problems. I think that was just a coincidence though, and not anything from the food..

    Octorok has been a little less shy with me lately, and today he actually scared me some!! I was hand feeding him a snail and he went for my hand instead.... he investigated my hand and pulled the snail away from me, but then he just dropped it -- and then put all 8 legs around my finger!!!! This is something that is DEFINITELY new!!! He pulled me close like he thought I was food, so I just started pulling him across the tank.. his colors stayed calm so I don't think he was ready to bite me, but I guess I am a chicken and did not want to find out today :) So I gave him a little shake to get him off, and he jetted away with a little puff of ink.

    This is the second time he has inked, either I am scary to an octopus, of he is on edge because of the damsels that he always chases, or Octorok should have just been named Inktorok!! I've read people's journals on here doing things like hand feeding their octos and never having them ink, so twice seems a bit interesting.

    Also, I got a chocolate chip starfish for the tank at the LFS. The star doesn't really move, but it is definitely alive and moves its arms.. it just hasn't moved its location in 2 days. Can anyone experienced with this creature tell me if I should worry about it?

    Thanks and goodbye from Octorok and rcl!! :cyclops:
     
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    About that inking - I don't think he would have inked if you hadn't shaken him off your hand. And maybe he was intending you give you a little exploratory bite - well, better while he's tiny! He's just trying to understand what you are. That he would try these things is a very good sign. I think you'll be able to have lots of interaction.

    Yes, bimacs like to be swished around the tank. I did that with Ollie while she was hanging onto the feeding stick.

    You could buy a small bag of frozen raw shimp - unbreaded and all that. Just take out a shimp at a time. I then sliced the sliced the shrimp into appropriate pieces, put all but one back into a small plastic bag in the freezer, and thawed out the small piece. Fresh shrimp are good, but unless you get them in a very high quality fish market, they are likely to have some sort of preservatives on them, I've been told.

    So keep on playing with Octorok and be sure to tell us what he's doing!

    Nancy
     
  12. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I wouldnt worry about the star, they can be quite loyal to resting places and will probably be stuffed from all the wast an octo produces :)
     
  13. tjohnson

    tjohnson Wonderpus Registered

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    I do keep a Chocolate Starfish with my Bimac. His name is 'Chip', no big suprise there. He will have times where he will stay in and area for a day or two then the next day, I will find him litterally doing laps around the tank, with a very suprising speed. So dont worry.
     
  14. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    only problems stars are the huge green brittle stars (serpent stars) they tend to overpower baby octopuses and steal their food!
     
  15. rcl

    rcl O. vulgaris Registered

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    Yeah my chocolate chip star did not move for the first couple of days and I figured he was a goner, but he didn't look 'dead'.. but then all of a sudden he started moving like crazy! Definitely gave me a scare for a while there!! As far as him eating, I hope he will make due.. because there's no way I see to really feed the guy short of putting him on top of food. I'm assuming this isn't neccessary

    Funny story about my chocolate chip's name -- we have a friend called 'chip' who we sometimes call 'chocolate' as a nickname... and his real name is RICHARD VINCENT; so we named the star Vincent. :) Seemed natural..

    I have been playing with octorok using my turkey baster quite a bit and he really seems to like tugging at it. My girlfriend brought over a very small rubber ducky today as a toy for Octorok, and we took turns putting it in the tank with him. She had been nervous about me getting an octopus from the start, so it was neat to see Octorok finally 'shake hands' with her. After being around a baby octopus for a few weeks it is amazing how someone's perception of them can change!!!

    I also got brave again, as I had been spooked from the last encounter.. so I held out the rubber duck for the octopus for a while (He liked to tug of war at it with me), and then finally he ignored that and went onto my hand. I figured he was going to bite me, but I just figured I'd get it over with while he's young.. but surprisingly he did not attack me at all. He had his beak up against my hand all over, but instead he just explored for a while. I think he liked me because he tried to drag me back into his den!!

    Some feeding news, I feed my fish a mix of some of the following: cyclop-eeze, mysid shrimp, krill, 'prime reef (tons of seafood stuff)', and brine shrimp.. I always feed by turkey baster, and since Octorok was attacking the baster I decided to give him a big squirt of the stuff -- and he ate it right up!!! All of his little arms were going after different pieces and pulling it into his mouth. Totally cool!

    That's all for this episode..

    Robert :cyclops:
     
  16. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    glad to now that everyone is coming round to the octopus :)... dont think I'll ever get my other half to clean out the tarantula tank though LOL
     
  17. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Glad to hear everyone has gotten more comfortable together. I have to ask, what made your girlfriend nervous? Was she worried she wouldn't like the new pet? Worried about caring for a demanding animal? Or that you'd want to spend all your time at home with the octo? That the cat or other pets would drown trying to get the octo?

    Maybe I'm blinkered, having lived with other people's tarantulas and monitors and such. The only thing I don't really want in the house are rodents.

    Melissa
     
  18. rcl

    rcl O. vulgaris Registered

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    Octorok Update September 30th

    I have been getting my 8 legged friend to play with me lately by moving sand and especially larger pieces of shell (i have this in my tank) around with my fingers, almost 'stirring up' the sand. This almost always draws his attention and he reaches out some of his arms onto my finger right away! He'll then pull me and anchor himself with his other arms. Whenever I am in the tank he is calm and always climbing on me!

    Tonight I think he tried to bite me but I am unsure. He had his head over my finger and then all of a sudden I felt a very sharp 'pinching' sensation on my hand. It happened several times, but no skin was broken.. I think either he was nibbling on my finger but couldn't/didn't break skin, or he was pulling extra hard with one of his strongest suckers (near his mouth). Any input would be appreciated.

    I am kind of concerned about octorok's eating habits. He will eat frozen foods that I put in the tank for the other fish.. but he doesn' seem to get excited about any food I put in with him. This includes hermit crabs (small ones) and even clams. He will eat them but never seems very interested at first, and barely changes colors it seems... I think this happens when he is already full though maybe, as now for instance he looks to be hunting around the tank and is changing colors a lot.

    He has grown some I can tell, but no measureable amount. He seems to be getting stronger and stronger though. I play with him every day still!!

    As comfortable as he is with me, when I bring food into the tank it scares him a lot. The other day I was putting a clam near him and he actually jetted away squiriting ink THREE times. This is about the millionth time he has inked.. at first I thought that I was what scares him, but if I come into the tank "alone" he is completely fine and has never inked or anything, it's always when I bring food into the tank. I think maybe he thinks I am on the CLAMS' SIDE!!! At any rate I am pretty much done hand feeding him since I don't want to see him get upset and ink, but I might start it up in another month or so.

    Over and out from octorok :cyclops:
     
  19. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    What's wrong with rodents???? I used to have a pet rat! She was naturally very clean, affectionate and playful!

    (I've also had a pet hedgehog!)

    J
     
  20. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    What temperature is 'Rok sitting at? Sometimes the warmer water an make them a bit more skittish...
     

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