[Octopus]: Octonaut (species unknown)

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by SkyFl, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Hello.
    We welcomed our first ceph last Friday. (1/31/14)
    Based on my location - and the little info I was able to pry from my LFS- I believe it to be an O. Briareus. However, once I can get some good photos - I will let you experts help! (He is a "him" until proven otherwise :) )

    (After mentioning the name "Octonaut" it just kinda stuck. Both my husband and my 7 year old son loved it!)

    Unfortunately, I was not able to be at home during his delivery. The employee from my LFS (who set-up my tank and has been amazing!) brought the octo as soon as it was delivered to him, as they are not set up to keep them.
    My husband took this amazing video of him after he was drip acclimated and then released into our tank. He called it "recording his first steps!"
    I only caught a quick glimpse of him the first night.


    (2/1/14) The second night, I saw what I am calling the "arm dance." From his den, I can see him moving his arms around and it almost looks like he is tumbling around. (Although, he picked a great den, and its quite hard to make out details.)
    Then, in the middle of the night, I woke up to see him out of his den, but just at the entrance. He did a little head-bob at me. I did it back. He did not seem amused. !

    (2/2/14) Another sighting of arm dancing inside his den. Did not see him leave the den.

    (2/3/14) No sightings at all. - not for lack of watching!

    (2/4/14) To my relief, more arm dancing and this time he was really letting his arms wander outside the den. I also noticed a med sized snail in his den... wonder if he will end up as dinner?
     
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  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Awesome!.....Cute little guy! :welcome:Just from observing your video my guess would be an O.joubini. The arms seem too short to be O.briareus. When U post more pics we'll be able to give u a more accurate ID.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
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  3. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    That is an interesting observation. I noticed the lack of webbing as well. Once he finally decides to come out again, I will try to get some pictures!
     
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  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOVE the name! I'll chime in with an agreement on NOT O. briareus (99% certainty). From what little I can see using HD and full screen on the video and replaying it multiple times :grin:, the eye to mantle relationship makes me thinks it is a dwarf species. The arms look too long for O. mercatoris (but only slightly) so if it is Caribbean (an assumption based upon your location), then Dave's suggestion of O. joubini would fit what we can see (there appears to be a suggestion of banding on the arms, one trait that is somewhat diagnostic but not definitive). O. joubini are most often reported around TX but sometimes in the FL panhandle. The few we have had on TONMO have been more active then their more common O. mercatoris alter ego.

    If you can rig some red lighting for night viewing you may see more of the animal. I leave my red lights on 24/7. During the day to eliminate another timer and all night to avoid any all dark time. Nocturnals seem to do quite well with this arrangement and it provides good observation light. Unfortunately, it is miserable for photography.
     
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  5. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I have red lighting for night. We are using an LED strip/tape.

    AND....

    We just had 30 minutes of "out of the den activity!"
    He didn't seem to notice or mind that we were all watching. He was hunting shrimp and just kinda checking out the tank.
    Then, he went back to the opening of his den, and I decided to try a piece of thawed-frozen shrimp on a feeding stick. I didn't have high hopes, but figured I would start introducing him to the stick anyway! HE TOOK IT. Almost immediately. Didn't hold on to the stick. Then stayed out in the open while eating!
    It was so amazing!
    (Of course, we have no pics!)
     
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  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I DID click the like button but am adding a :sad: for the no pics :wink:. My camera lives on a tripod in the octopus room (and I still miss good pictures!:roll:)
     
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  7. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Last night was another success. He was actively "hunting" and again, took a piece of frozen shrimp off the stick. Our video was too blurry to be of any good - but we learned from our mistakes and will try again tonight!
    We also were able to watch him eat a snail - which looked quite challenging!
    He seems to be eating anything he can grab!
     

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  8. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    After a few very active days - Octonaut has gone into hiding and does not want to be seen! I can catch a peek of him in his den every night, so as long as I know he is okay, I will let him be.
    I did notice that he has discovered the red legged hermits - My husband noticed him in the middle of the night curled up in a bottom corner - once he moved, all that was left was an empty shell.
    He is still very much enjoying the snails. I guess they are easy prey!
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Adecdotally, it is often observed that newly introduced animals are "friendlier" than after they acclimate to their new environment. They are shy but curious animals. Some will remain shy where others will eventually interact with their keepers. Most will learn to be fed from a feeding stick and will ignore hermits and snails if offered shrimp or small live crabs at the same time everyday. Nocturnals will need to be fed at night but often crepuscular animals will learn an early feeding time.
     
  10. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Yes, I have read this in other journals as well. We are continuing offering the feeding stick and have added a fiddler. I am trying to keep a watchful eye on the fiddler though, as I don't want it to die and mess with my water parameters. Should I take it out in the morning if it is still uneaten and add it back the next evening?
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Fiddlers generally can survive in a tank for weeks (unlike crayfish) so I watch to be sure they have not died as well as to remove the emptied shell but leave one alone otherwise when I put it in the tank. I break the tip off the large claw of the males but don't worry about the small claw or either of the female's claws.
     
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  12. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I am very lucky to be about a 5 minute drive from the beach to collect my own fiddlers - so I try to only collect females! :)
     
  13. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    What a cutie! Welcome to you and Octonaut!!
     
  14. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    All is still going well. Octonaut continues to take shrimp from a skewer almost nightly. I typically wait about 3-4 hours after turning off daylights to offer the stick.
    He has amassed a large collection of empty shells in his den, and uses them to seal up the openings during the day. I can tell he is awake, when the shells have been moved for the night, and this is when I offer the stick.
    I have added two small Pepermint shrimp to the tank and so far, he does not seem interested. He swats at them, however, it dies not seem to be in effort to grab them... more like "get away, you're in my space!"

    He did ink for the first time last night (at least that I have seen.) It was a very small amount, I would call it a "puff." I had just opened the top to offer the stick, and I must have startled him.

    It seems every 2-3 days he is more active. He will stay hidden (at least while we are watching) for a few days, and then seem to get restless and come out for us to watch.
     
  15. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    We had an awesome night with Octonaut last night. He was out and interacting for over an hour. I was trying to make Saturday his fasting day, but he was not having it. After dancing for a few minutes, I gave in and gave him shrimp on a stick.
    He then continued to play around the tank. A few new behaviors I have noticed:
    *He makes a game with the large Turbo Snails. He grabs them and pretends to eat them, but after about 2 seconds drops them. Then he waits for them to get about half way up the glass and does it all over again. Poor snails!
    *We have observed several new "poses." One I assuming is the seaweed pose. He typically does this right before attacking something to eat.
    *Because we have only been able to observe him/her under red lights, color changes are hard to see. The most common coloring appears to be very light with two dark spots at the tip of the mantle. But we have observed very dark coloring, as well as a very neat striping coloring on his legs.
    *I confirmed my suspicions of re-growth from a lost leg. It is very thin and only about an inch long. (About 1/3 of his other legs.)
    *I have not noticed one leg curled often - so maybe he is a she?
    *We also have created a fun game. If I put one finger on the glass and move it up and down, he will mimic the movement with his head. He is not comfortable enough to come on the front glass, but gets on the closest rock possible. He will also do this if we bob our heads, but we must be very close to the glass.
    *The thermometer has become a favorite toy. He bounces up and down and tries to move it/slide it around the glass.

    I am still having much trouble getting photos and videos. I think my red lights are not bright enough, even with my best camera on night settings and with editing software, the photos are too dark to see much. I am going to try adding one more strip of red LEDs and see if he still comes out as often. I dont want to make it too bright, but I really want to get some photos/videos.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have been able to use very viewable red lights without negative impact as long as I left them on all night. On one tank I have a dome style set of LED's (don't know the wattage), on another I used an outdoor light with red velum and then red painted housing and on a third a red screw-in fluorescent 13 watt bulb (60 watt equivalent). They will never be good for photography but are great for viewing and interacting. I keep a red lit side on all my octo tanks and up until senescence, the animals have preferred this side of the tank for denning as well as awake time.

    I avoid flash photography with all my cephs BUT have accidentally forgotten to use my no flash settings (not possible on my newest camera but my Canon did not require me to activate the flash manually). The occasional flash did not produce a reaction and others have had similar results with intentional flash photography. I would not recommend using it often or for more than one shot during an interaction. If you want to try, I suggest using a tripod to get your best image and not trying again if you get a reaction.

    New arm growth starts out looking like a thin string. With my first experience, I thought it was dead material from the original injury and wondered if it should be removed :oops:. I left it alone and just observed it to be sure there was no infection. The string developed tiny suckers (or may have had suckers that I could not see) and eventually thickened to recognizable regrowth. On a young animal, it will be hard to detect the repair after several months.
     
  17. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Cant believe its been over a week since my last post! Octonaut is just plain awesome.
    He is still taking small pieces of thawed shrimp from the stick nightly. He has refused only twice, that I can think of. He likes to hold onto the stick for a while. He tries and tries to get it into his den, to no avail - then lets go.

    I believe he finally ate a fiddler. I found what looked almost like a molting - except it was only the top half of the shell with the legs attached. The legs had black gook in them - but because it wasn't intact, I believe it was what was leftover from his dinner?!?! At least, that is what I am hoping for!

    I put the fiddler in a small glass container (tea light holder) that is maybe about 2" tall. Enough so the crab cannot escape and bury herself - but the octopus can still grab her easily. I have not seen him go to the glass - but the crab was missing (until I found the shell.)
    I waited a day and put another in the glass. She has now been in there for 2 days. Still waiting for action!

    Octonaut has a new game - he likes to go to the top of the glass and crawl against the current. Then when he reaches the head, he lets it blow him back slowly and fights against it. He does this over and over again.
    He also has one portion of the tank that he seems like like the most and dances for hours.

    We have added another set of red LEDs and we can see much better. I will try for some photos soon!
     
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  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    These (assuming the Indonesian Macropus) would be really, really high on my favorites list (bear in mind @Neal Whatley says my favorite is whatever is currently in residence :wink:) if they could convert to even a crepuscular schedule. I have only kept two but both were delightful and lived long tank lives.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  19. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Yes, it is true he is a true nocturnal. I have found that if I "make it night" right at 8:30 - he will come out within 10 minutes and remain out (for the most part) until I fall asleep watching! ;) I am glad we decided on our bedroom for the tank, as I get more viewing time.
     
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  20. SkyFl

    SkyFl O. bimaculoides Registered

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    We finally were able to take a few "decent" photos and videos as he has been super interactive all week.
    I will try to post the videos in a few!
     

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