[Octopus]: Shiitake - O. briareus

DWhatley

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#1
When it rains it pours. After Onn died in January, I did not look for another ceph for awhile to be able to give full attention to family. When I was ready for a critter, I could not find quite what I wanted and saw that there were cuttlefish available so two weeks ago, I ordered eggs and am now attempting 5 cuttles.

Last week, @TMoct was ready to ship a couple of his surplus hatchlings and KP Aquatics happened upon a baby briareus so now I have a house full of younguns' :grin: (Not to mention I will be taking care of a very active grandchild next week :roll:)

This little one is probably between 3 and 4 months old. I had to laugh when @TMoct thought M&M was "huge". This one is ready for fiddlers and I tried to introduce one during acclimation. My approach was not the best and he shied away and was stressed but showed interest when he saw it running around outside his release jar. Tonight I can't find him but did see the top shell of a fiddlers in the sand so I believe he has successfully hunted.

He showed a few interesting color combinations during acclimation but the dark brown was new to me for O. briareus.

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DWhatley

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#2
Unnamed is still unseen since acclimation. I may have caught a glimpse of an arm early this AM but it could have been a brissel worm :roll:. Tonight I found another top shell from a fiddler crab (no legs or gills from either of the two carcass finds though) so I think he is eating. I put a total of three fiddlers in the tank, have only found evidence of two being eaten but have not seen the third scurrying around. I tried poking a stick with food in various locations but so far, no arms have investigated. The "Pesky" (orange brittle star) in the tank moved tonight so I keep looking in that area for the new guy since this species often homes with the octos.
 

DWhatley

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#3
Still being too shy to name. She dens inside a rock but caught a glimpse of her out last night and can see part of an arm or occasionally an eye if I squat and shine a flashlight up into one of the holes seen from underneath.
 

DWhatley

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#4
No name still but it has started accepting food from a stick for about a week. Today I noticed the last clam in the tank has been opened but I am not sure if the octopus managed it (he is still pretty young) or if it just died (it has been in there quite some time and another placed in the tank at the same time died before the octopus arrived).

Like most octopuses, the stick was of more interest than the food on our initial tries but it only took a couple of feedings for it to understand the stick meant food delivery and now the stick is quickly released when the food is removed. We started with freshly killed shore shrimp. Once this was accepted we offered a small piece of table shrimp, then a slightly larger piece and last night were successful with a piece of salmon. I have a few more live fiddlers I will put in the tank once or twice a week but since the easy meaty food acceptance, the last crab died in the tank uneaten.

Sadly no photos. When he decided to investigate the stick I saw eyes and multiple arms but over the course of getting him to take food on a stick, he has lost some of his curiosity and only brings his arms out far enough to accept his meal. After another week of feeding this way (or when I see him anticipating being fed), I will encourage him to come out a little further by keeping the stick further away from his den.
 

DWhatley

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#5
After almost a week of eating well from a feeding stick, this one is now rejecting food offerings. I still have a few live fiddlers (this batch did not survive well) that I offer if he does not eat for a day but I hope he will return to daily stick feeding.
 

Inkman

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#9
Twitch eats eveything she dont care what it is lol im pretty sure she ate a green cromis I couldnt catch and a few hermits with her usual shrimp dinner
 

DWhatley

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#11
Clams (either live or on the half shell depending on the octopus), fiddler or other small crabs (disable pinching claws), blue crab claws (we scavange from Asian market live bins, only for larger animals) and occasional pieces of high omega fish (like salmon), scallops (oddly, mine have accepted exactly one and no more), muscles and oysters (I avoid these last two because of the mess) are all varieties you can offer.
 

DWhatley

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#13
First clear and extended sighting at about 10:30 PM. I had placed the last of the female (dead) fiddlers in one of the rock holes near his den earlier in the evening. He had not touched it so I removed it about 10:15 PM. The next time I walked by his tank he was observing his world in clear view. S L O W L Y I turned ... and grabbed the camera. Photos are not stellar but I was excited to get them.

He appeared to be hunting for pods and later I noticed that the population had dwindled considerably and the visible amphipods were much smaller than I normally see on the back wall at night. I tried offering salmon (the quickest thawing food I had on hand). By the time it was thawed, he was under cover again but locatable (he seems to have moved out of his known den, likely because he knows I know where it is and wake him up with a flashlight to eat). He took the fish from the stick but his Pesky (red brittle we keep in octo tanks, all are named Pesky) ended up with the whole piece. I am not sure if he rejected it or Pesky took it away. The serpents are not very strong, just insistent so I suspect it was rejected. I tried a shore shrimp next but never succeeded in getting him to eat (but Pesky got additional food).


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Inkman

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#15
Does he come out with the lights on or is it just for pic my twitch hates light and will rush back to den I also veiwed your pic of previous briar octos all in light do they not mind when larger? Nice pic by the way love the snail eyed look lol
 

DWhatley

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#16
They definitely mind the light and are rarely seen out until they are older. Even the adults only tend to stay out for an hour or so when the tank and room lights are on. I leave the red lights on 24/7 so often you will see the red showing even when the normal white/blue are on. One thing I have noticed but have not figured out a way to test is that they seem to be more aware of the ambient (room) light than the tank light. In this case the room lights were off but the tank light was on.
 

DWhatley

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#17
FINALLY, after 4 weeks this mushroom hugging octopus has a name, Shiitake. He came out around midnight and I watched him for about two hours. Much of the discarded video was waiting for him to do SOMETHING as he wore the mushroom as a hat. The only mushroom hat wearer I found was Toad in the Mario series so I went for a mushroom name (subject to an alternate from Neal). I did manage a few photos and a red light video.

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DWhatley

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#18
Not only did she/he get a name tonight but we had our first human/octo interactions. The first was unrecorded when she reached out for my face on the glass. The second did not record well but touching the glass brought her from inside the LR to reach out to my finger (you can see the action a bit better in full screen). Sadly, I missed the spread eagle pounce against the back wall just after she left me and climbed the rocks.

 

DWhatley

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#19
Week 7 in captivity
Shiitake's tank got new LED lights this week and I need to work with my camera settings. These are somewhat programmable with options for percentage of blue and white (sadly no red), and timing. This week I am using one of the presets and leaving the screw in red fluorescent on. The preset has an all blue night light and combined with the red the photos come out badly focused and magenta. I broke down and used the flash to record growth and get a good visual but the focus is not sharp.

Only a couple of my O. briareus have tended to take this upside down rock hugging posture. I know one was female but not sure about the other and will have to see if I can find where I mentioned it to see if there appears to be any sexing significants.

She stayed out and watched me for half an hourish last night but did not reach for my finger as she did a few weeks ago. She has been mostly reclusive for the last couple of weeks so I hope this is the beginning of more sightings but tonight I have only spotted her on the back wall behind the rock.

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DWhatley

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#20
Shiitake (4 months in the aquarium) is rarely seen in daylight so I am playing with the white balance to see what the camera can do to correct for the red lighting.

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