O. Briareus - Odd Behavior

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Destinova, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Destinova

    Destinova Larval Mass Registered

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    New member here. I've been a longtime lurker who focused on absorbing as much information as I could before buying a cephalopod.

    Perhaps I will post a more in-depth journal entry later. For now, I am concerned about my new O. briareus' behavior.

    Some background: I set up a 125 acrylic aquarium with a 40 gallon sump. For now, I have an octopus protein skimmer running in it and plan to add a canister filter from another established aquarium.

    The octopus aquarium had used sand from a 3 year old established tank. The tank contains only 50lbs of marco rocks because I had initially only had a 55 gallon setup before upgrading to the 125. The tank was allowed to age for 3 months.

    When I received the octopus from Tom (pretty popular guy here), it seemed well. It had not inked. It was reasonably calm in appearance. All test readings were within acceptable range except the pH was lower than 7.8 (guessing from my API test kit).

    After 4 hours of acclimation, the O. briareus has been in my aquarium since yesterday morning.

    My current readings:

    Salinity: 1.026
    pH: 8.0 (Plan to raise the pH to 8.3 slowly due to low shipping pH)
    Temp: 74F
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5-10
    Hardness: 13 dKH (a little high)

    Now the octopus' behavior is concerning me. He seems to be fidgetting a lot. He curls his tentacles up (not corkscrewing) and seems to rub at himself. He shifts a bit when he sits. He inked once when put into the tank but it wasn't much. It was very thick.

    I've never seen an O. briareus in person before so I am unsure about their usual behavioral patterns. I'm used to seeing octopus sit still with only their syphon moving.

    I did notice that when he was acclimating, he had shed a bunch of suckers. He's ceased rubbing at himself from what I can see but the fidgetting is making me crazy with worry.

    My mind automatically leaps to heavy metal poisoning. I use RO/DI water and though the tank is used, the owner swears he did not use copper. I worry about his memory because he hadn't used the aquarium for 12 years. The tank does not have any measurable amounts of copper and because it is acrylic, there is no silicone to absorb copper.

    Now if it was copper poisoning, how long would the cephalopod live? It has been 24 hours. Once the damage is done, is it really done? Could I potentially go out, buy a new aquarium, and move the octopus to improve his health? That's very stressful and risky in itself.
     
  2. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I recieved an O. briareus yesterday from Tom also. The rubbing arms and shedding suckers is normal behavior. Mine had tons of sheds in the shipping bag. I an mot quite sure I understand what you mean by fidgity behavior. Do you have a camera that takes videos or even just a photo? I know copper is deadly but have no idea how an octopus would react when exposed. This is my second O. briareus and have never seen behavior I'd describe as fidgity. Another member received an O. briareus from Tom yesterday (big day for Tom) and is currently loosing his. A picture would give a better idea of your octopuses health.

    This is a very good argument against used tanks of questionable past. If you are not sure pass on it.
     
  3. Destinova

    Destinova Larval Mass Registered

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    I took photos during acclimation but there's nothing too telling about them. He wasn't acting odd at the time. I'll have to post them when my roommate comes back with the camera.

    Now it's impossible to get photos or videos because the little guy is hiding. I know he's alive because I caught a glimpse of him. He's hiding like he should be, which is good, I think. And since I've last seen, he has all of his tentacles intact.

    To further describe his motion, he seems to constantly shift his curled tentacles. He's not spasming or having any jerking motions. He just seems like a kid who can't sit still and has to shift his weight often.

    I should have resisted the temptation of a free 125 gallon TruVu.
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: and :fingerscrossed: It doesn't sound like he's showing the worst signs (corkscrewing, limpness, lack of color) at least.
     
  5. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Sound like what ours does, when he's "grooming" for lack of a better term, shedding old skin cells etc, just double check that the established sand etc didn't have any copper in it, if it did get rid of it!

    J
     
  6. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    What the others said, keeping my :fingerscrossed: too. Hiding is a very good thing, hopefully all will be fine.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    See if the action in this video is what you saw:

    It has been sited as "normal" grooming behavior by several of our scientists but I have only seen it when an animal is stressed (not lethally). It IS a normal behavior and IS NOT related to poisoning.
     
  8. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :fingerscrossed: Hiding is very normal behavior....How is he today?
     
  9. Destinova

    Destinova Larval Mass Registered

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    Good news! My Octopus (named Johnson for now) is doing fine!

    He's still alive and behaving in a way I now consider normal for him.

    My partner and I have decided that Johnson's behavior is linked to anxiety. When we catch glimpses of him at a distance, he sits still and comfortable in his den. It isn't until we walk to the tank for closer inspection that he begins to wiggle his tentacles and body. He pretty much only does it when my partner looks at him now. I spend much more time around the aquarium.

    Though Johnson hasn't eaten a lot, we have found an empty snail shell in his den. At least he has eaten something. We'll get him some live crabs today.

    How Johnson moves is much more calm and slow. He doesn't curl his tentacles like that - he simply curls them as if flexing his "biceps" - like the curl of a snail shell.

    I'm further considering starting a journal but I do not have internet access at home. Pictures soon, hopefully!
     

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