New Aculeatus now in hiding

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by oneandseven, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. oneandseven

    oneandseven Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello again! I have a new A. aculeatus (6" mantle and legs) and it arrived May 11th. It is diurnal, and came out twice a day at least. Fed live, and dead fiddlers, and a chunk of raw shrimp, almost every day. Then, four days ago, it did not come out. It has not come out since, at least any time I was watching. I made the mistake of putting a 3 stripe damsel in there because it was being naughty in the big tank, chasing new fish. I noticed it was a pest to the octo, but neither seemed particularly traumatized, just annoyed. I took the damsel out two days ago, and still no octo. Today, I dangled a dead crab in front of his den(a hole inside a rock), and as it hung in the opening, a tentacle slowly took it in. What do you make of this behavior?:bonk: I moved the rock, by turning it so the opening is toward the front, so I wouldn't have to be a contortionist to see it.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Notorious for this species is the acquisition of a female not long before brooding (my personal guess is they are more readily caught because they are out foraging for extra food and/or mates at this time). If my guess is correct, you will see very tiny hatchlings anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks from the time she disappeared.

    The one complication you have added to what would be my normal guess is the fish. SOP is no fish in with an octo. We make the assumption that either the octopus will kill the fish (and may or may not eat the soft parts - usually the stomach area) or the fish will harrass (with a potential for blinding) the octopus (or both). You may have read about fish and octos that have survived together successfully but it is very rare over the life of both animals. Adding a live fish expecting it to become food is simply not a good idea.

    That being said, mostly for future reference, I still think she is likely brooding (unless it is a male, of course) because of the reluctance to eat. You may want to provide a few small shells for her to use as a door to her den. Sadly, this is a small egg species and keeping hatchlings alive more than a couple of days has been an on-going challenge (I believe the lead accomplishment has been 21 days, most are only a day or two). I have not heard or read of a single animal in the abdopus complex that has been successfully tank raised from egg (I have read of a couple of small egg successes in extremely low numbers for vulgaris, joubini and an Alaskan animal whos species I can't recall). The failures should not keep you from experimenting though if you decide to take the challenge.

    I have consolidated several article references for raising octopus hatchlings in the Article and Journal Links sticky in our Raising Octopus From Eggs subforum. The subforum has numerous adventures recorded and should be helpful in deciding if you want to put effort into the project as well a giving you a good idea on what to expect if my assumptions are correct.
     
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  3. oneandseven

    oneandseven Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thank you ever so much for replying. I found the crab taken in, outside the hole a couple hours later, with the top of the carapace taken off, but it didn't look like she ate any of the meat. This morning I see she dragged a 2" piece of dead coral to her den as a door. I am up for any challenge, but I'm sad that she will die. This is my third attempt, cowpie climbed out. The second one died shortly after receiving it, and now this one is brooding! I am not getting much past the three to four week mark.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Let's hope your moniker is not an omen :hmm:

    Success does seem to run in spells. I lost three in a row and finally decided we needed to change the shipping water volume. I believe that made a huge difference but the evidence is antecdotal. I have attempted to try a couple aculeatus but have only had one (the others have been other species) and have pretty much decided against trying again because of the limited time they survive (not due to care but to age). I wish LA would work on supplying other species as they are an excellent facility and might even make a few dollars on the animals if they would look to Mexico or the Pacific in stead of Indonesia (It is my understanding that the Indonesian animals are bought wholesale and not really part of their best program). Unfortunately, the food market is much more lucrative than the pet market on foreign shores.

    Since you are in this situation and up for a challenge, do some reading and original thinking. Water movement is likely critical and food probably the major stumbling block. One of the things I have wanted to do with the large egg species (I don't believe it will be successful with the small egg animals though) is to place several pair in a filter sock and leave them unobserved for a month. Neal and I set up an arrangement to try this at one point but had no hatchlings and I Mama Cass's little ones did not live long enough to try the setup. I read about success of a palegic urchin using a rolling water bottle. I bought a hotdog turner and an indoor grill with a spit but have not experiemented with using them. The point is that since you are in a situation where there has never been success, you can experiement without being concerned about doing something wrong - we don't know what might be successful. The only factor that seems common is that animals placed in larger water volume seemed to live the longest. This may be more that the larger water volume was an aged main tank with something to eat more than anything to do with the quantity of water or it may be that the movement was gentler. Lots of unknowns!
     

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