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staying in its cave?

Danny Gonzalez

Cuttlefish
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Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
22
#1
i have an O. briareus octopus and all she does is stay in its cave! iv seen her twice out and about looking but iv had her for about 3 weeks now and all she does is stay in the cave i bought her and even when i feed her i have to put the fish in the cave for her to eat it! it it normal or is she still just getting used to me?
 

Danny Gonzalez

Cuttlefish
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Nov 23, 2012
Messages
22
#3
the 2 times i saw it fully out was around 5:30 in the morning because that's the time i wake up but now i dont even see her then and i never see her at night :( just her tentacle wrapping its self around the silverside and then refracting back into the cave
 

Danny Gonzalez

Cuttlefish
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Nov 23, 2012
Messages
22
#4
is there any way i can encourage her to come out and about? mabye only feed her outside the cave. like put the fish on the outside instead of on the inside?
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Sep 4, 2006
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19,806
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Gainesville, GA
#5
Danny,
It takes awhile for them to adjust to you and tank life then you still have to consider what else is in the tank, its age and its own personality.

IME, very young octos of any species will be very shy until they are about 5 months old (give or take) but older octopuses (10 months or older guestimate) placed in a tank sometime never become interactive. In most all cases, especially with nocturnals and crepuscular animals, you will need patience, luck and a lot of observation to encourage interactivity.

How are you offering food and what food are you offering? If you are not already doing so, try using a feeding stick and placing the food just outside the den at the same time every night (somewhere after 6:00 PM or if mornings are better for you to spend time with it, try early morning but be consistent). It is typical for them to try to take the stick as well as the food. I am not sure if letting them have the stick or not has any effect but you should start seeing this kind of possessive action. Eventually a captured stick will become ignored and you can retrieve it. Don't jerk the stick away and let it have it if the rock work moves but otherwise you can hold it until it is release if you wish. Once it is comfortable with stick feeding you will likely see it start to investigate the hand holding the stick. This starts with a tentative touch and release and can become aggressive. Touching the back of the arms (sometimes easier said than done) will usually get the animal to release you hand without alarming it (this only works well until it becomes accustomed to touching you but in the beginning it is pretty straight forward). They have pretty good internal time clocks and your initial goal should be to start seeing the animal come out of its den just before feeding when you walk by the tank. It will also help if you feed other things (polyps, gorgonians, serpent/brittle stars) about 15 minutes before trying to feed the octopus. If you have fish in the tank, I recommend rehoming them.
 

gpx1200

GPO
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Sep 1, 2012
Messages
163
#6
i would try puting some live prey in the tank like fidler crabs or grass shrimp, i think you should be feeding somthing besides silversides every day, an octos diet should consist of crab,shrimp,clam,ect.. fish is at the bottom of the nutritional scale for them and should only be fed ocationaly.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Gainesville, GA
#7
I missed that you were feeding fish. Definitely try changing to thawed frozen shrimp (initially with shell on, once it takes the shrimp regularly, then shell off to lessen the waste) and some form of crab. We find that our Asian food markets regularly have live blue crab. We scrounge the open bins for unattached claws and freeze them (do a quick smell test to be sure they are fresh but we have had no trouble with collecting them this way). Small live crabs (fiddlers that can be ordered on-line at reasonable prices) are almost always accepted but briareus outgrow the smaller crabs quickly.
 

Danny Gonzalez

Cuttlefish
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Nov 23, 2012
Messages
22
#8
i have many hermits in the tank for eating purposes but she seems not interested in those. i had 3 damsels that also acted as live food and she did eat all 3 so thats good and i have a crab. i for got the name of it but it also was eaten which is good. after i ran out of the live feeders i have been giving her the silversides on a feeding stick. at first yes she tried to grab the stick but gave up very quickly. i feed her at night with the stick every night but il admit im not very consistent which i will change immediately. its better if ii feed her at night rather than in the morning because of time management. i knew her diet had to be a big variety but haven't had the chance to go out to buy the shrimp but seeing as how its more important than i thought i will do so very soon (tomorrow probably). would feeding her around 8 be ok? for the life of me i cant tell if shes old or young but she is medium sized-ish i think. iv been wanting an octopus for a VERY long time so i will have as much patience as i need. if its worth anything she does seem a bit curious as to who her feeder is. after feeding her with a stick in her cave she pokes her eye out as if to see who gave her tonight's meal. i hope this is a good sign. i have nothing in the tank besides a few hermits that, like i said before, was for her to eat but they seem to be a better clean up crew than anything else. i plan on putting a star fish or/and urchin after christmas time
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Gainesville, GA
#9
IME, most any naturally dark time will work with O. briareus as long as you are consistent. They have very good internal "clocks" and learn pretty quickly when to expect food (true of all the species I have kept). With the exception of a prebrood females and an O. vulgaris I have kept, most snails and hermits are left alone once they know there is easier prey being offered regularly.

For a number of reasons, I strongly recommend NOT keeping live fish in the tank, even as food. After observing a wrasse and an octo in the wild and with other reports, fish are a nuisance to octopuses. They hang around and attempt to eat the scraps and annoy the octo. Aggressive fish will pick at the octopuses and can cause skin damage (or worse if they are successful at attacking the eyes), allowing an opening for bacterial infection. At best, the octopus will come out less to avoid the fish.
 

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