Octopus Rubescens

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by octo.., Aug 10, 2012.

  1. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Hello, I am thinking of setting up a 250 gallon cold water Rubescens tank. I would like to know as much as I can about them like temp, lighting, personalities, diet. I would also like to know how many I could keep in a tank this big, and where I would buy them. I know that this species schools when young but can they live together peacefully as adults too? I think that O. Rubescens is a very interesting animal and I would like to know more about them.
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    As far as caring for one they are just like any other octo. Water temps would be the same as Bimac. These guys are escape artist so extra care has to go into securing the tank. I also think Roy or James mentioned that these guys are more prone to bite but i may be confusing another species pretty sure it was these guys though.

    Find one for sale is pretty much impossible. We have all looked :)

    One

    That is when they are Planktonic though, not once they are Benthic they don't school any more.

    The short answer. No.

    There have been a few exceptions with Mercatoris that were thought to be siblings, and MOTE had a pair of Long Arm octos that shared a tank, but it is thought they were siblings as well. 99.9% of the time it will result in one or both octos dying. even when breeding them the octos need to be separated, they are only in the same tank for a short period.
     
  3. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    The distribution of O. rubescens is a bit further north than that of O. bimaculoides. Bimacs can handle temperatures 15-20, but O. rubesecens should be a bit cooler. I've had good luck keeping them at 14-17C.

    The schooling behavior that has been observed is by juveniles, not paralarvae.

    Roy
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh i was going by what it says in Mark Norman's book: "The young are planktonic and can form large schools to feed on small shrimp"(Norman 298)


    when you say "The schooling behavior that has been observed is by juveniles"
    They actually swim around together, or they stay on the seafloor/reef in a group?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Very cool on the schooling behavior!

    Taollan did his master's thesis on O. rubescens and has various posts that might give you some insight. Try googling:

    taollan rubescens site:tonmo.com

    As far as obtaining one, when you have an environment ready, you might contact Coldwater Marine Aquatics. Stewart would have to find one for you so it would not be an immediate acquisition but is likely your best bet.
     
  6. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I don't know where I read this but people have kept several of them in a single tank before. Is there any way to keep more than one, if not is there any other large ish octopus that can be kept together besides Mercatoris and bimacs.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The first thing you should do is find out where you read it and go back and look at the environment and be sure it was referring to O. rubescens.

    O. vulgaris have been kept together raising them as a food source as well as the two caught together and displayed at Mote (this pair was found as very young juveniles and, as CaptFish mentioned, were likely siblings). The articles under the species section (octopodidae) attached to each species may be helpful. Note that they mention a degree of predation and stipulate the tank size they used. You cannot take the information out of environment context and expect positive results.

    May I ask why you would want to keep multiples in a single tank? Most interaction would be either mating, hiding from each other or cannibalism so there is little advantage to pairing them unless you want to breed. Other than O. mercatoris, most breeding experiments involve introducing the animals only for that purpose and then separating them. Going back to my :soapbox: on an aquarium is not the ocean, the size tank you are considering is still a small amount of room for a single medium sized octopus, not enough for multiples and you would still need to keep it as a species tank. It would make a very nice home for a single O. vulgaris (a personal favorite) if you can locate one (not an easy task, usually an accident). Warning though, although it is at the top of my favorites list, IME this species will eat anything that moves and not on the known list of safe critters. Mine was interactive but played a bit rough (I have photos of sucker marks) where O. briareus, O. hummelincki and O. bimaculoides are gentler. CaptFish felt his (Penelope) would attack and bite (and avoided the opportunity to confirm) if given the chance. LittleBit wanted to play but I would not let a person without experience play with her. El Diablo was a sweetheart but still frightened people unaccustomed to octopuses and may have outgrown his 130 gallon tank.

    Have you considered keeping cuttlefish instead of an octopus? It would seem that cuttles are closer to the environment you prefer. You can keep corals (but not fish) with the cuttlesfish and could keep several in a tank that size, potentially raising hatchlings. Look at this thread and see if it grabs your attention.
     
  8. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Im not sure where I read this as well but when someone kept multiple bimacs from a young age in the same tank they made little groups and moved around together. I think having multiple octopus would be really cool especially Rubescens although I think I will just keep a single one in a 55 gallon. Are there any special bits of foliage that Octopus Rubescens like im going to put a beer bottle in there for sure:wink:

     
  9. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    I'll be doing a night collecting trip tonight on the Oregon coast for mostly tidal animals for a public aquariums touch pool tank. If I find any small octopus I will let you know :) The only species that occur up here are the GPO and the Rubescens.

    I have a collector in Europe that just sent us a bunch eggs of the Common European Cuttlefish (Sepia Officinalis) if you are interested let me know :) We can also get hand caught european Vulgaris from them.

    Here's the link to our cuttlefish eggs, I posted up a bunch of info that I found from a great article out of the UK.
    http://coldwater-marine-aquatics.myshopify.com/products/european-cuttlefishsepia-officinalis
     
  10. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I would not recommend keeping multiple O. rubescens together in a tank. I have always kept mine separate, although anecdotally I have heard from public aquarium workers that you can keep them together in VERY large enclosures (1000s of gallons) if there is sufficient hiding space for all of them. I have seen aggressive interaction in the wild, and I generally don't want to re-create those among my lab individuals.
    As for temp, you should really find out what temp they are coming from. I am a bit north of Roy (Northern Washington) and I keep mine at 11C, because that is the temp of water I pull them out of.
    And yes, they can be prone to bite, although this really depends on the individuals. Some I have kept have been very unafraid and even aggressive towards me, while other are shy, or others quite docile.
     
    DWhatley and CaptFish like this.
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the input Taollan. For those of us who think in Fahrenheit, 11C is about 52 degrees F and will take an expensive chiller (not only in initial cost but the cost of running it 24/7 in electric bills is impactive).

    I had to grin a little on the aggression observation because, if I recall correctly, sometime during your Master's you mentioned that you had not been bitten in response to one of Roy's post. Did that change or were you just able to avoid a bite when you noted aggression?

    AquaticEngineer,
    So wish I could house an officinalis but my largest tank is just not big enough and that will be the primary issue (in addition to chilling a large enough tank) for most hobbyists. Similarly, the Mediterranean vulgaris are larger and need colder water than our local version of the species.
     
  12. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Aquatic Engineer if you can find an Octopus Rubescens that will be great except that I don't have the 55 gallon set up. Although I do have a cold water 30 gallon will this do for the time being (perhaps a very small ruby)
     
  13. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    If you do find an octopus please make sure it is not a GPO I definitely cant keep one of those please post a picture or two of it on Tonmo
     
  14. Taollan

    Taollan Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    DWhately: I still have not been bitten by O. rubescens, despite having continued to work with them throughout my PhD program. However, that isn't for lack of trying (or what I interpret as trying) on their part. Every 10th O. rubescens I get or so will be either so friendly or aggressive that as soon as it sees my fingers in the tank it will fly out of its den, attach four arms to the side of the enclosure, four arms to my finger and try like the dickens to pull me into the tank. I have been EXTREMELY careful not to let their beak get into position to bite me, and knowing the personalities of each octopus well before handling them without neoprene gloves helps.

    And for what it is worth, I keep my O. rubescens in 110 gallon used Lobster tanks, generally surplus from closing grocery stores or restaurants (marineland makes some nice models). They generally come as a complete unit with chillers that can get you down to about 8 or 9 C, and some nice filtration as well. Lobsters, like octopuses, are also sensitive to copper and other metal ions, so you can be pretty confident that they haven't been tainted in that way. Nevertheless I usually keep an assortment of inverts, especially some mollusks like nudibranchs in there for a a few months before using the tank for octopuses. You can find them for around a $800-1000 on Ebay if you look closely, but shipping can be a pain.
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, I don't use gloves but then I don't weigh them but I DO know the personalities before allowing fingers anywhere near the beak for ANY species I get to keep. Some only get head pats :grin:
     
  16. AquaticEngineer

    AquaticEngineer GPO Registered

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    Here's a video of the 2 octopus we just caught.

    First one was without doubt a GPO. Second video is of the smaller one which we suspect to be a Rubescens.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. octo..

    octo.. O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Wow that is a very small octopus I see why hes in the critter keeper How much are you selling him for. Also could people here help ID him.
     

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