Rubik - O.briareus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by gruffy, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hi everyone! I new to the site but not new to keeping octopuses. My issue is that I have only caught grown octopuses before, but have now acquired an o. briareus baby. Mantle size is approximately the size of a dime. My tank is a dual corner overflow 125, and I have had to make some adjustments so the little he/she can't get under to the sump. I have used fiberglass screening on the return pipes in the overflows themselves as this was much easier than attempting to prevent he/she from getting into the overflows. Does anyone know if this fiberglass screening is harmful in a tank? I have doubled the amount of carbon I am running to be on the safe side. I didn't find him in the tank again until last night. I waited 30 minutes with the lights off and then used a red head lamp for backpacking to scan the tank. I found him hunting, and then watched him return to his current den with a hermit crab. His movements were slightly twitchy, and he appeared to exhibit some involuntary jerks of his tentacles. When I acclimated him he was very fluid. Is this typical for this species?
     
  2. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I new to the site..... wow I sound bad. The little guy is fine. The screen obviously had no effect as he is eating like a madman.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I have seen jerky movements in newly acclimated hummelincki and a macropus because they seem to need time to adjust to releasing suction from the slick surface of an aquarium but I don't recall seeing that with my briareus. I have seen "hickup" type jerks in briareus at the end of thier life span but that should not be the case with your little guy. Hopefully, all you were seeing was an acclimation adjustment. If he has started hunting and eating well I suspect you are fine.

    As an asside, all three of my briareus and my current macropus (unknown exact species) seem to notice red flashlight light and don't like it. They will tollerate it to a point but it seems more visible to them than the mercatoris. My briareus also seem to notice the green focus assist I have on my camera so it may be more that they don't like the point of light where a red flood light would be less disruptive. Puddles (the macropus) will move out of the direct field but stay within a dimly lit distance of the flash light but the red outdoor (velum and paint to make the light red) light in a nearby tank does not effect her at all.
     
  4. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks for the reply! The red light does seem to not be appreciated. Also, the jerky movements have ceased so I am assuming that it was just an acclimation issue. We are calling he/she Rubik. I have only gotten a good look at Rubik once since he has gone into the tank, as he has found a sizable hole in a live rock that he has not left much if at all. Just to make sure Rubik is eating, I have removed some hermits from their shell and placed them outside his den. Pretty cool to see the tiny tentacles come shooting out to find it. I am assuming that he is currently not daytime active and is only coming out at night to hunt. Can you sex a juvenile octopus the same way you can an adult?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If your octopus is sexually mature, then you can observe male traits but we don't have a set of countering ones to suggest female. Here is a link to my best photo attempts for identifying the males in a few of the commonly kept species. I am always on the look out for additional/alternate photos though.

    May I move this thread to our Journals section?
     
  6. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    That would be fine to move it to the journal section, as it has very little to do with fiberglass screening at this point.
     
  7. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Rubik is now utilizing a shell door in the hole in the live rock.
     
  8. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    :welcome: gruffy, nice to have you with us. Can't wait to see how Rubik adjusts and photos eventaully.
     
  9. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I should have taken some pictures during the acclimation process, but I was just busy making sure it was all going smoothly. I have been waiting for a photo op, but currently Rubik is exclusively night active. I have some stone crabs that are quite large in my refugium (think that spelling is correct), and have been removing their claws and crushing them to feed Rubik. This is by far the fastest taken food to date. The only time I have seen him completely out of his den since I caught him out the first time was at 2am a couple of nights ago. He was sitting just outside his den, but upon seeing me put his body back in the hole and stretched his eyes out to watch me. I offered him a small piece of squid, and he promptly grabbed my finger and tried to pull it into his hole. This has happened several times now, and I wonder if he has just missed grabbing what I am offering for food or is trying to determine if I am food. He has done this during the day, and is surprisingly strong for such a little one. It is noteworthy that the successive times he has grabbed me the amount of time he holds on has decreased.
    I guess since this is now a journal, I should detail his current diet. Since he is new to the tank and adjusting, I have avoided taking a flash photo at night. I figure he eventually will come out during the day, especially if I quit feeding him and force him to daytime hunt. He has decimated the hermit crab population in the tank within a week. 15+ blue leg hermits have most certainly left this plane of reality to date.
    He has shown a propensity for hermit crabs and the crab claws, but was uninterested in a very small stone crab. He has eaten squid on several occasions, but shows an almost reluctance at taking it. I want to get him some shrimp to try, but I have not had the time to get any, and the live shrimp available are very large compared to him. He has visibly grown some since entering the tank, as I can tell his tentacles are larger. My greatest concern is that he is not much bigger than a half dollar with his tentacles, and that if he moves his den it will be very hard for me to locate him again as there is 200+ pounds of LR in my tank. His current den is ideal for me to observe his habits, and his "door" is pretty funny as he now uses an astria shell and another put together like teeth so they mesh very well. I can tell when he comes and goes by how the holes in the shells are orientated. Wow, didn't expect to type this much. If anyone else has or had a Briareus and has any helpful info on habits and dietary choices particular to them, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  10. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I really have to start editing my posts. When did my English get so awful?
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Look in Journals and Photos for the threads at the top of the forum marked, List of Our Octopuses 2008 and 2009. Both posts list the species have links back to the journals of the animals.
    Grabbing fingers or feeding sticks in lieu or in addition to the intended meal is an octopus trait (all species). As you have also noted, after awhile the finger grabbing should get more exploatory and less grabby. Many times (but not always) touching the back of the arm will get them to release you (or at least with that arm). If you want to physically interact, I would encourage allowing Rubik to explore but resist allowing him to bring your fingers to his beak. Different octos socialize differently. I have yet to have a briareaus to come for petting but have had two hummelincki and to different unknowns in the macropus complex two do so. Legs (CaptFish) and Kalypso (Animal Mother) on the other hand, are/were anxious to interact this way.
     
  12. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I have had a hummelincki, and he was insanely social and playful. That octopus was so much fun. He would just sit on the glass and watch tv with me. With Rubik, I am not letting him get my hand to his beak. I just hold my hand in place so I don't hurt him pulling away, but also don't give in on the tug so he learns I am not food. I fed him some more crab claws today, and the hole in the live rock must be expansive b/c managed to pull one all the way into it.
     
  13. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    That's what the edit button is for and i have used it a time or two, and just FYI your English is pretty good compared to many others :wink:
    Can't wait for photos but I know how difficult it can be. I have been experimenting with videoing, not going so well. Ollie is proving to be the most uncooperative subject. I just keep the camera ready so I don't miss an oppertunity. Maybe someone else can chime in (D that would be you) Is is a female thing to move shells and rocks around to cover their den entrance because I have had 2 so far, both confirmed males that have never showed the slightest interest in this behavior.
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    IME females do seem to rearrange a tank to make it more to their liking where males seem to move from den to den enjoying the change or accepting the habitat as it is :sagrin:. I feel that young octos of either sex may keep doors handy and collect suitable material.

    I have only had one male briareus and he fully rearranged one side of the split tank but moving the rocks was not his intent (he was determined to take the feeding stick that was not going to fit through the lid but he pulled hard enough to lift the substantial rocks he was sitting on).

    I don't remember the male hummelinkis moving anything where Maya was would even climb up the rocks with her clam meal and created two distinct dens by carting stuff from one side of the tank to the other (including a gorgonian). On the other hand little Serendipity (also female hummelincki) never moved anything of note and dug under the LR to brood.

    The mercatoris females only seem to move things to make doors and like a variety of choices. I really noticed this with Trapper and my current little girl, Sleazy. The males I have raised changed dens regularly but the females stayed house bound. The girls have changed dens but not wandered far and have returned to their favorite spot within 24 hours. I watched Miss Broody leave her barnacle for one just below it, saw a serpent enter the old den and when the serpent left, Miss Broody immediately returned so I always say they leave so the maids can come and clean up the mess inside.

    I think you have to have a certain number (and I don't know the number but I was ever so thankful when I did) of posts before the system allows you to edit.
     
  15. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The little guy is still in his hole, but last night he made his first significant kill. I removed the claws from a stone crab apprx 2 1/2 times his mantle size and offered it him with some needle nose pliers. He showed a quite forceful attack and immediately pulled as much of it as possible into his den. I waited around 20 minutes and came back with a red flood light to see what had become of the situation.... got my first good look at him since acclimation. He has almost doubled in size, and it is amazing that he even fits in the hole. Mantle size is now almost the size of a nickel inflated, but I think he may have been trying to appear larger with the presence of the red light. Rubik is still very small, but is now becoming a little less shy. I put my hand next to the den and let him explore it some. He gave me a couple of the "can I get this to my mouth" pulls, but really seemed interested checking out my hand. Rubik still did not want to expose his mantle during this process, but the fact that there is a much more exploratory feel to his interaction with me is quite pleasing. I was very amped trying to go to bed.
     
  16. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Scary, he was just laying in his den not moving and showed no reaction to light. It didn't even look like he was siphoning water. So what did I do? Tried to remove his shell door. What did he do.... nothing. He looked quite dead. I moved him with my new feeding stick, and no movement. He was scarily limp. I then tried to move his shell door with the new feeding stick. He suddenly came to life and was extremely pissed off. The way he was laying was like a sunbather at the beach... very strange. Today he has massacred two hermits and a stone crab that is the same size as his mantle. Very odd period of behavior. He has moved his shell door aside and now watches out into the tank. So I introduced 20 glass shrimp to give him some new playmates. They are very small, but still will make a decent meal for him at this size.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Iguanas are infamous for that kind of behavior but the only thing I have seen that only approximates it in octopus is when Puddles is sleeping on the glass and I fail to wake her up before touching her. It takes much less to awaken her and she gets pissed and swims off showing aggression colors (she is never really aggressive, also an odd behavior for an octopus).

    What is your water temperature?
     
  18. gruffy

    gruffy Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Water temp is 78, which is about spot on the temp where my friend caught him. Is red the aggression color? Pardon my ignorance, but the hummelinckis I have kept typically never turned red where rubik does so quite often. He also has a kind of clear spotty coloration that is exhibited a good bit. I have not noticed the green sheen that seems to be trademark to the briareus.
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, briareus have a red color (usually kind of peachy but sometimes more red) as do mercatoris. It is definitely not the brown that the hummelincki's show. The only times I have seen the briareus all red I have felt they were POed. They will show a splotchy (almost stripe like if you go across the arms) red white and I don't know if it is a mood signfier or not. SueNami's acclimation pictures show her on the back wall with the coloration that I think you mean and I can't imagine that she was not stressed. KaySoh is pretty much pink all the time now and she is in her last days but I don't know that the color has anything to do with the stress or the waning life (KaySoh is post brood). We really don't have a good go by as far as color and mood. Look at the List of Our Octopuses 2008 and 2009 the species are listed and there are links back to the journals where you can look at some of the coloring we have photographed. Where I have the info, the beginning journal date and the death date are recorded so finding one with a longer history will likely have the most photos.

    The green fluorescence is mostly seen on the skin "bumps" when they are primarily white.
     

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