New Octo Advice Needed

Spinelli1

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Here are the only images I have of him. This is when we put him in prior to him going into the rocks.
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And here is the tank right now with night vision
Screenshot_20190802-233715_Wyze.jpg
 

DWhatley

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I recommend a small (eye sized to start) piece of regular table shrimp (this type of shrimp would be common for O. briareus in the wild) over other frozen foods to begin training. With all my octos, they would try thawed scallop once and only once (odd since scallops are also native to FL and likely eaten). I think freezing may change the taste in some way. If you can find live blue crabs and can collect just the claws that have been already severed but do not smell (I use Asian markets but they have been absent lately - you should have better luck in FL), these make almost irresistible food (I do crack the back and peel away some of the shell). Fiddler or small shore crabs are also a big hit for live foods. Some people have had success with hermits but my guys (with one exception -- LittleBit ate ANYTHING you put in the tank) would never find them interesting.
 

Spinelli1

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I recommend a small (eye sized to start) piece of regular table shrimp (this type of shrimp would be common for O. briareus in the wild) over other frozen foods to begin training. With all my octos, they would try thawed scallop once and only once (odd since scallops are also native to FL and likely eaten). I think freezing may change the taste in some way. If you can find live blue crabs and can collect just the claws that have been already severed but do not smell (I use Asian markets but they have been absent lately - you should have better luck in FL), these make almost irresistible food (I do crack the back and peel away some of the shell). Fiddler or small shore crabs are also a big hit for live foods. Some people have had success with hermits but my guys (with one exception -- LittleBit ate ANYTHING you put in the tank) would never find them interesting.
Thank you for the advice!

Give him the whole claw? Just wave it around and leave it in the tank for him? The octo was collected in FL but I live in NY. Still shouldnt be hard to find fresh blue crab here.

Update: he still has not come out or been seen since he relocated from the bottom den on Wednesday. Tomorrow will be a week since he went into the tank. I ordered a red flashlight to search with. I'm still not overly worried as it is a large tank with a nice mountain of rock so there are plenty of cracks and crevasses for him to be in. Plus there are a lot of fiddler and shore crabs in the tank so he can be feasting without leaving the rocks. Hopefully tonight or tomorrow we will see him. I will go in early and offer food for a while before work.
 

DWhatley

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Give him the whole claw? Just wave it around and leave it in the tank for him?
Yes, whole claw, there is not that much meat. Try placing it near where you think he may be denning. Once it becomes accustomed to a specific feeding time, you should see it nightly if only for a quick food grab.
 

sedna

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I’m sorry I’m late to your post! I’ve kept mostly briareus for the last 11 years- my absolute favorites! I didn’t read in previous posts what time you’re looking for your new friend to be out- but know that briareus are crepuscular/ nocturnal, so you have to look for him to be out at times that fall in those ranges- don’t expect him to be out in the middle of the day.

I have always gotten mine from the Florida Keys, and I feed them live blue legged hermit crabs and I stick feed pea sized raw shrimp from the grocery.

The last thing to consider is that you’ve got a female who is comfortable and started to brood... wait a few more days of not seeing it before worrying about that.
 

Spinelli1

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I’m sorry I’m late to your post! I’ve kept mostly briareus for the last 11 years- my absolute favorites! I didn’t read in previous posts what time you’re looking for your new friend to be out- but know that briareus are crepuscular/ nocturnal, so you have to look for him to be out at times that fall in those ranges- don’t expect him to be out in the middle of the day.

I have always gotten mine from the Florida Keys, and I feed them live blue legged hermit crabs and I stick feed pea sized raw shrimp from the grocery.

The last thing to consider is that you’ve got a female who is comfortable and started to brood... wait a few more days of not seeing it before worrying about that.

Thank you. How can you tell it's a female ready to brood? Is that good or bad?

No sign of her today. We searched with the red flashlight and tried to feed at 8am via stick for a half hour and again once lights went out around 5pm.

I have a cam on the tank 24/7 with motion detection so I believe she hasn't been out at all. She could be moving within the rocks and not in the open.

I'll keep you posted daily if I see her or not. If not, let me know when I should worry or do something different.

Thank you
 

sedna

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Can you keep red lights on all night long? Sometimes if you have a completely dark time in your photoperiod, they learn to wait and only come out when it’s totally dark. I keep lights on 24/7- but from 7pm to 9am it’s red lights only!

The way to sex an octopus is to check out the tip of its third right arm. If it’s “stubby” then that’s a hectocotylus, it’s male reproductive organ. You can find lots of references here. So first you have to see the octopus...

If it’s a female who’s decided to brood, then it’s laying eggs (fertile or not) and will die soon after they hatch. The way to tell if it’s a female starting to brood is to watch to see if it’s building a “barricade” around it’s den, packing any shell, rocks, substrate- anything it can find- tightly into any hole of its den.

I’d set my alarm for the middle of the night and check the tank out then. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

Spinelli1

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Can you keep red lights on all night long? Sometimes if you have a completely dark time in your photoperiod, they learn to wait and only come out when it’s totally dark. I keep lights on 24/7- but from 7pm to 9am it’s red lights only!

The way to sex an octopus is to check out the tip of its third right arm. If it’s “stubby” then that’s a hectocotylus, it’s male reproductive organ. You can find lots of references here. So first you have to see the octopus...

If it’s a female who’s decided to brood, then it’s laying eggs (fertile or not) and will die soon after they hatch. The way to tell if it’s a female starting to brood is to watch to see if it’s building a “barricade” around it’s den, packing any shell, rocks, substrate- anything it can find- tightly into any hole of its den.

I’d set my alarm for the middle of the night and check the tank out then. Good luck and keep us posted!
The red light I have is a flashlight so that wouldnt work. I'm ordering some lunar LEDs to have on timer when these lights dim out. Until they come I left the regular lights on 3% for the night. Extremely dim but not totally black.

No sign of the octopus today. Did a scan behind the tank, in all the overflows etc to make sure and couldnt find him. Hes def in the tank.... alive or not I'm not sure.
Offered food after lights out for 30 min and nothing.
 

Spinelli1

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Unfortunately, still no sign of the octo today. :-(

Tried to offer food for a while after lights went out. Still nothing. Camera has yet to notice motion in the tank (besides some walking crabs or an occasional piece of dust floating by)

Tomorrow will mark a week since he has been spotted. I have no proof that he has eaten. Should I go into search and recover mode yet? I'm just afraid of disturbing it if it is alright and just shy but I'm a little worried something went wrong. I read a previous post that briareus is rumored to scare itself to death. Could it be possible that is what happened when the Damsels darted at him?
 

sedna

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I don’t know about that- I can neither confirm or deny that rumor. BUT, I have absolutely torn the rock work apart in your situation! I’ve found dead octopuses, and live hiding ones. Correct or not, if I were you I’d have broken down and gone into search mode... Good luck! 🤞🏼
 

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