[Octopus]: Schnitzel - A. aculeatus - New octopus!

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
Featured Thread #1
Hi everyone,
I just got an octopus from Odyssey Pets in Dallas, TX! They don't know for sure what it is, but they think that it might be a pygmy or algae octopus. I'll be sure to post updates on him. He came healthy and extremely active, so far so good! Just hope he doesn't eat my snail...
Squirrel1
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,282
Location
Gainesville, GA
#2
Squirrel, He is very likely to eat (or try to) your snail in the first few weeks. After he is well acclimated (about 1 month) and accustomed to being fed regularly the snail as food MAY lose interest. If you have become attached to the snail, I suggest putting it in the sump (if you have one) or setting up a small tank for it and swapping pieces of rock in and out. You can use your water change water to keep a small tank for a snail healthy.
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#3
I filled the tank with more preferred foods (like emerald crabs) than snails until I figure out what I’m going to do with the snail. Hopefully crustaceans and fish will keep him away for now. Anyway, he is too small right now (hopefully) to eat the 2.5 inch snail. I think he’s an algae octo. His beak right now looks to be around 1 mm. I’ll try to add pics as soon as I can.
(I’ve been calling the octopus, who I have named Schnitzel, a ‘he’ because it looks like his third arm is missing)
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,282
Location
Gainesville, GA
#4
Please reconsider removing ANY live fish in the tank with him, especially because of his size. Fish will often pick on octos and annoy them to capture food scraps, causing stress. Fish are not a natural food. Even when they do eat them, we have seen that they only eat the soft underbelly and the dead fish become a pollution hazard if the carcass becomes lodged or hidden in the live rock. While live food (crustaceans like shrimp and small crabs) are excellent, you are providing an unnatural environment and need to consider compensating for the difference.

Most keepers find they can feed dead food at a regular time of day by offering it on a feeding stick (bamboo skewers work well as do nylon feeding sticks). This ensures that it is getting enough to eat and helps it become accustomed to you and the tank. You can try offering a piece of thawed table shrimp about the size of its eye. Once he starts taking that you can increase the size until he rejects it. I have found that most octopuses will also enjoy blue crab claws that I get from my local Asian market. I hunt up the loose claws in the live bins and then freeze any that do not smell. To feed, I thaw and crack the claws so that a good sized piece of meat is exposed. Interestingly, I always get the cleaned out shell left or pushed to the front of the tank, even when the food is consumed in the back.
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#5
Please reconsider removing ANY live fish in the tank with him, especially because of his size. Fish will often pick on octos and annoy them to capture food scraps, causing stress. Fish are not a natural food. Even when they do eat them, we have seen that they only eat the soft underbelly and the dead fish become a pollution hazard if the carcass becomes lodged or hidden in the live rock. While live food (crustaceans like shrimp and small crabs) are excellent, you are providing an unnatural environment and need to consider compensating for the difference.

Most keepers find they can feed dead food at a regular time of day by offering it on a feeding stick (bamboo skewers work well as do nylon feeding sticks). This ensures that it is getting enough to eat and helps it become accustomed to you and the tank. You can try offering a piece of thawed table shrimp about the size of its eye. Once he starts taking that you can increase the size until he rejects it. I have found that most octopuses will also enjoy blue crab claws that I get from my local Asian market. I hunt up the loose claws in the live bins and then freeze any that do not smell. To feed, I thaw and crack the claws so that a good sized piece of meat is exposed. Interestingly, I always get the cleaned out shell left or pushed to the front of the tank, even when the food is consumed in the back.
Thanks for the advice,
There are lots of crustaceans in the tank right now. I want to try out the thawed shrimp, though... would he accept it with all of the other options available?
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,282
Location
Gainesville, GA
#6
USUALLY (note the caps, each animal reacts independently) the animals are very disoriented when they are first put into a tank and will eat (or at least take in self defense) anything offered if you approach them slowly and touch the food (be sure it is small in the beginning, I recommend eye sized) to their suckers (this is where their sense of smell and taste is located, the most sensitive being closest to the mouth). Once they learn that the stick is bringing food, larger portions are actively taken. The amount of human-octopus interaction varies after that.

Note that the behavior of the first couple of weeks will often appear more "friendly" toward humans than after it fully accepts its new home. After that, patience and consistency pay off for the keeper. We keep our octo tanks in the "breakfast room" ("fish room") where they see us sitting quietly and eating every night but is also the most trafficked room in the house. Even the shyer animals often come out and watch us eat.
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#7
UPDATE:
Schnitzel has been extremely curious lately, and this morning he came in contact with me during one of my attempts at interaction. He only touched my finger with a single arm, but he only showed two signs of fear during the 30 minute period. I wish I could get some videos of him, or at least good pictures, but he only comes out when the tank lights are off.
I did, however, get a blurry pic of him when he first was put into the tank:
IMG_0012(1).jpg
He's been taking food every day, and last night I found him trying to eat a hermit crab, so he seems to be doing really well! Also, unlike my other octos, he turns many different colors and textures. The two most common that he does are beige with grey and white bumps (which he uses to blend into the sand when buried) and the algae color and texture like above.

One last thing:
Can anyone confirm that Schnitzel is an abdopus aculeatus?
Thanks!
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
5,681
Location
Dallas Texas
#8
Welcome to Schnitzel, who looks like a fine little octopus!
Odyssey Pets is a very good store - I’m ordering a new tank from them for next month.
Hope you can get some more photos.

Nancy
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#9
Schnitzel has gotten to be very curious and interactive lately. When I interact with him, he now is not as afraid when I pet him on his mantle. He also crawls across the tank glass in zigzag patterns side to side and up and down, as though still unsure whether to approach my hand himself. He takes food directly from my hand now, too, not only from the tweezers, and he's now starting to catch his own prey instead of only eating frozen (he had been unable to catch food for some reason when he first came, probably side effects from the shipping), his favorite right now seems to be emerald crabs. I put some small, loosely connected legos into the tank, thinking that he might try to figure out what to do with the new object. However, he just decided to use it to cover up his den's entrance during the day :smile:
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#10
I need some help... earlier today I was catching a crab in the tank to place in a separate tank. I lifted up a rock to get it, but I hadn't realized that Schnitzel had moved dens to underneath that rock. Now he's kind of freaked out when he sees me. He didn't come out for interaction with me this morning, unlike usual. How can you regrow bonds with your pet octopus?
Thanks
 

tonmo

Titanites
Staff member
Webmaster
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
9,468
Location
Pennsylvania
#12
...such sensitive creatures!
 

Squirrel1

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Jun 3, 2018
Messages
39
Location
North Texas
#13
I honestly hadn’t expected him to want to interact after that incident so soon, if ever again. But, yesterday night he was extremely interactive, more than usual, actually. He was weaving himself in and out of my fingers and when offered a crab, he began to eat it while sitting on my hand. I had to do a gentle tug of war to get him to get off of my hand.
:sink:
 

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
19,419
Messages
202,267
Members
8,320
Latest member
frankiecarl

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
TONMOCON V (2013): Jean
TONMOCON VI (2015): Taollan
TONMOCON VII (2018): ekocak

About the Monty Awards
Top