Aku's Journal


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Jul 13, 2008
Livonia, MI
It's been a week so I'm ready to start a journal for this new octo, Aku. I got it from marine depot live last week. They shipped overnight and it got to my house by noon. It was packaged well but still the H2O temp in the bag was 66F, and the water was cloudy with sucker shedding and it smelled bad. I did a drip acclimation over 6 hrs, and when the temp got to a stand still at 73F, I put her in the tank. This was totally hassle free thanks to the great tip in Nancy and Colin's book! I put a piece of live rock in the bucket for her to hide in, then it was an easy and ink free transfer into her new home.

I'm pretty sure it's another aculeatus- only "pretty sure" because I hardly EVER see her. I'm not sure it's female because the 3rd and 4th right arms are growing back, and of corse, I hardly EVER see her. When I have seen her out, after lights out, her suckers are like a perfect ear of corn: small, uniform and in perfect rows. She is darker than my other ones, but still has all the same features. Also, as usual I couldn't get an ID from the supplier, but they did say she is from the Philippines.

I was really spoiled by how social Al and the Once-ler were. This octo is painfully (for me) shy. She lives under the middle piece of live rock in the picture. The first night was good, she was on the glass after dark even though we were in the room watching t.v. The next day I was sooo patient and sat a distance from the tank all day. She finally came out in the evening, and my husband came into the room too fast and spooked her. She inked the biggest cloud of ink I've seen yet (the Once-ler never inked once). Since then I only see her all the way out after dark, when the tank lights are out and the kids are in bed. When I come into the room she'll freeze on the glass, if I approach, she hides. If I sit on the couch and watch from there, she'll continue to dance on the glass until after I go to bed. When the girls are at school during the day and the house is quiet I do see her eyes peeking up over the rock, watching me. As soon as she knows she's been spotted she freezes, and the moment I glance away she's gone. She will stick feed, but even then it takes a few minutes for her to grab for it, only arms will extend from under the rock.

I'm trying hard not to be disappointed. My family is not happy to think it's a girl. My husband points out that I spent the same amount of money on an octo we don't see as the used guitar he passed up, "I knew you'd be buying another one soon enough." I'm trying to be patient, not all animals yield to my nature charms right off...


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Hi and welcome to Aku!

Poor little octopus - far too early to say it's really shy or will continue to be nocturnal. I know it's hard to be patient at the beginning. Most (but not all) octopuses become more outgoing as they become more secure. Just imagine how frightened it must be! So be patient and continue contact and see what happens.

If you look at some of the other octopus journals, you'll find quite a variety of early behavior, some shy and some friendly.

Excellent idea sitting by the tank every day, even if you just sit there and read a book.

And I hope your family is more supportive.

:welcome: Aku! I hope she starts to become more friendly once she realizes you're a food source more than a threat.
Yes, I think about what a new experience it is for this new little animal, to be hauled out of the ocean, live in various plastic bags and eventually end up in no more than 55 gal space. The other thing that occurred to me is that the other octos I got had been in at the LFS for a while- in a critter keeper inside a larger tank, being stared at by passers by without much chance to hide. My others had time to acclimate to human contact before my house- Aku's first experience in a settled tank is mine. I know she'll come around, and if she doesn't, it's o.k. For me, it doesn't matter if she is more shy by nature, it's just hard when every one else has been a downer about it!
There may be a bright side to her shyness. Younger octos all seem to be very shy (even the tank raised) by nature. You may actually have gotten very lucky and received a young one. I firmly believe spending a minimum of an hour a day in front of the tank is the best way to get them comfortable with you. You might even try reading within touching distance for an hour even if she stays hidden. I will admit that it took a LOOOOONG time for Trapper and many very long nights where I would not see her at all but eventually she chose to brood where I could feed and watch her and was very interactive afterwards. Wiley and MIA are the only ones who did not respond (both noctural dwarfs, Wiley being Trapper's grandson, MIA being one of her sons). OhToo is once again getting less shy and is starting to want attention so I am crossing my fingers that this is the scenario for both of them.

Also, it seems, anecdotally, that younger octos ink much more than adults.
Well, we are being very patient, and Aku is still slow to warm up. She is coming out later in the afternoon and evening when no one else is in the room. When we come in the room, she freezes on the glass, and as soon as you look away she is gone! At least there hasn't been andy more inking.

I have both girls paying more attention to how they are entering the room, slow and with quiet feet. It's funny, because they'll whisper if they catch him out- as if he can hear their voices. I'm still threatening to bind my younger daughter's feet if she won't stop stomping and jumping around the house, though. No wonder it's afraid to come out.

Tonight she did come out and watch us eat dinner from the back wall of the tank. Dinner time has been of interest to all 3 of my octos, now. With this one, I think dinner will be her favorite time to check us out- at a distance.

She is stick feeding regularly, too. She is sooo slow and almost gentle in taking the shrimp off of the stick. With Al and the Once-ler, they would color change and pounce on the stick, remove the food and hide in their dens while they ate. Aku is slow to take food, and doesn't really color change while she does. Yesterday I fed her while she was on the glass, and she didn't go into her den to eat- she ate on the glass! She is also slow to let go of the stick, not in a playful way, still very shy. I'm slowly trying some tug of war in.

Here is a shot him/ her on the glass. I'm hoping that someone with more experience can tell if I've got a girl or boy based on the suckers? It's easy to move between "him" and "her" now that I've had on of each!
Aku- boy or girl?

DUH! Here is the shot of Aku on the glass. Do those suckers clue anyone in to it's sex?


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Aku is coming along very well and is a lot less shy now than she was. Already she's watching you and taking food from the feeding stick. I wonder whether she'd watch TV :smile:

Fast movements are a problem. Sometimes movements from the side can startle an octopus. Because of this, I've always tried to approach from the front of the tank.

Here we go again...

Last week was super busy (I've officially been a mom for a decade now) but there wasn't much worth posting, Aku continued to be shy and mysterious. Friday I placed a large clam shell in front of her den in hopes that a better hiding place would coax her closer to the front of the tank while having a secure feeling spot to watch. Apparently it worked to make her feel safe- it seemed to trigger an immediate scramble to BROOD. We went to Chicago over the weekend, and when we got home I saw the familiar sight of arms scrambling from under the den, pulling in every available shell and pebble in sight. By Tuesday morning, every small shell in the tank was gone from sight, and now she's holed in for good...

To be honest, after the Once-ler, I hope every wild caught octo I get will be a fertile female, it's a fun experience and great for the kids. I just hadn't hoped to be at it quite so soon again. I had hoped for a chance to have some time with Aku, but that's how things go. When I told my husband, he answered appropriately, "Just let me know how you want to tweak the kreisel and I'll help. Next time, could you try a different kind of octopus? I'm not saying not to have this type ever again, but wouldn't you like to try something new?" I've been following the new cuttle journals with great interest...
Christmas tank!

Merry Christmas! This year we opted for a smaller potted tree that we can plant later. By default all of the Christmas scene ended up around the corner with the tank. Being notoriously secular, I enjoy this- it's my "Octo- shrine," to my brooding Aku. As with brooding- nothing to report, I don't expect babies for another week. No news is good news for now. If only she new we built a shrine to worship her noodly- appendages!


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Merry Kreiselmas and Happy New Borns!

I am excited to announce that Aku's eggs have hatched! I was getting irritated all New Year's Eve because that's when I had predicted they'd hatched based on my last "Aku sighting" and they hadn't come by the time the ball dropped- but like clockwork, yesterday morning the tank was filled with 100 or so babies. I didn't post yesterday as I was in the throws of the gastrointestinal bug the family has been sharing for the holidays- the best I could do was keep the brine shrimp hatching and catch glimpses between visits to the bathroom.

It's almost stupid to try and take pictures of the babies, but here are a couple. They are about the size of an uncooked grain of rice- as that was all I could keep down yesterday I compared a grain to a baby. They absolutely hang out in the brightest places in the tank, but that doesn't help with the pictures because they are just so small. They also don't hold still much.

As with last time, I am trying two separate tanks, the parent tank and my frankentanked "kreisel," which I have modified since last time based on that experiment. Aku's den is under a piece of live rock, if I look under the tank I can see a bit of her and know that she is still alive. As she has refused to eat during brooding I don't expect her to last much longer.

I will post any other exciting happenings with Aku but I don't expect any. I will keep posts for the babies on the "raising eggs" thread from here on out.


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