Al's journal

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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Hello and welcome to Al's journal. Thanks to the wonderful people who helped me id him as an aculeatus! I have been living with him for just over a week now and I'm completely in love!

He's done with crayfish, there really was no "teaching" him to stick feed or take frozen food, he doesn't seem too picky. Last week I put a hermit crab in a glass bottle w/o a lid. Way too easy for this guy!

He absolutely seems to have established a routine- fave hang- outs, sleepy and active times, etc. He watches t.v. with the girls, stares down the cats, and even comes out "after bed" to watch The Daily Show with me!

Yesterday we got him toys to play with, I was hesitant about my hands. My 9 yr old spent 40 min warming him up to it before giving up. When I took over and had my hand deeper in the tank, he went right past the toy and for my finger!!! We played a bit and then he went to sleep. Maybe my hand looks less strange than the toy as I have been playing "follow the hand" on the tank glass since he came home.

I will really try to keep up with journaling and pictures. In addition to my 3 salt tanks (55 gal, 20 gal &12 gal) I also have 2 cats, 2 crested geckos, 2 corn snakes, a collared lizard and 2 daughters, one of them a type 1 diabetic on a pump. I LOVE to raise living things and take their pics. I have never journaled before, but then I've never had such a compelling reason to!

mom- in- law "Why didn't you just have more children?"
my reply "I'll get arrested for keeping kids in glass boxes..."
 
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:welcome: and great pictures! Make sure the shrimp you are feeding him is raw (it should look gray in color, not pink). It appears that the shrimp in the photograph is pink... He/she looks comfortable in his new home.
 

DWhatley

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Jennifer,
I have noticed that some of the raw shrimp we have bought turned pink and I suspect that the retailers may use something like lemon juice to keep it fresh. If I understand ceviche, correctly, lemon juice "cooks" the fish/shrimp. The shrimp we have been getting from Publics does not seem to do this.
 

sedna

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Cuttlegirl and D,
Well, the shrimp may have had a pink tinge in the photo but was fresh and clean for sure (I eat shrimp when I can, too). I talked to the guy who runs the local market fish counter and explained why I needed CLEAN and FRESH marine foods. He was excited to have an octopus as a customer! He then listed off what comes in on which days. He's even willing to special order anything Al decides is a favorite!
 

sedna

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weekend update

Well, yesterday was a great day with Al showing off for the girls' friends, active all day, ready to play with me and even getting the courage to try and peek out of the tank. I gave him a fresh mussel in the shell, but he had no interest or just no idea that it's food. He immediately gobbled up 2 hermit crabs, though. He also got a visit from Keech the crested gecko, they had an in depth conversation about the differences between transverse lamellae and suckers.

This morning, though, he seemed to be a puddle at the bottom of the tank, much like the descriptions of Octopus Prime's slump. He reacted to people and cats approaching the tank with color change, but looked listless and disinterested all morning. I obsessed all day. I ran down the list of things: water Q is good, temp is a bit warm (80 F for an aculeatus), small water change... Then I did adjust the power head venturi attachment to bring up the O2 in light of the higher temp.

By this evening he seemed back to his old self, walking the glass and playing a bit, even more interested in the other side of the glass... Was he over fed, over stressed from so much attention yesterday, hypoxic?

I know I was even more obsessed today because my daughter's diabetes was acting up and the protocol is pretty similar, testing blood glucose and ketones just as h20, set change for the insulin pump like an h20 change, adjust insulin or glucose levels just like adding buffers. At the end of the day when you know you've done all you can, you sit and wait and see what happens and try not to second guess yourself...

Well, I have an endocrinology clinic for Elise, and luckily this web site for Al. Any more ideas of things to check for?

He's absolutely moving into the 55 gal, it's a constant 78 F w/o a chiller. It's a move just across the living room to a long established tank, still, any pointers or hints?
 

Nancy

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Glad to hear all is going well, and that you have a good place to buy food. My fish store put up a photo of my octopus and liked to tell people that they had an octopus for a customer :smile:

Nancy
 

sedna

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Al makes more friends

Today my daughter Julie played with Al for he first time! She was thrilled and was even able to lightly stroke his mantle for a moment. For those of you familiar with "Caturday," Linus was looking on asking, "I can has pus?"

On Saturday I was worried that something was "off" with Al because he seemed to be sleeping so much. Now I've noticed that he just seems to have longer active times, and longer inactive times since he's moved in. Maybe the novelty has just worn off...

Al has developed some cute habits. When he rests, it usually somewhere near his den. He spends more resting time with 1/2 in, 1/2 out of his den, holding his toy. He never actually plays with the toy, but seems to really like having near the opening of his den and rearranges it a lot. Then treats it like a blankie or teddy at bedtime, always keeping a few tentacles on it.
 

Nancy

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Yes, he's cute!

Funny that you should mention holding onto the toy. I haven't heard mention of that for some time. When I kept a bimac called Ollie, I gave her a little corked glass bottle, about 2 inches high. It had some seawater and a tiny shell in it (I made it for for). She never played with the bottle, but you could see it inside her den. When she slept, she always had an arm around the bottle!

Nancy
 

sedna

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Al doesn't do tricks!

Well, things with Al are going well. Both of the girls have been able to play with him, and he is part of the family now. We know when he is active on the glass that it is time to "play," though he doesn't really want us to do anything but hold our hands close to the glass so that he can pass back and forth and rub the back of his mantle on our hands. My older daughter is able to stroke his mantle with a finger, but when I do it he actually pushes my finger away slowly with one arm. He has started to "noodle" me when I work in the tank, too, instead of hiding or ignoring me.

He absolutely loves hermit crabs and will snatch them up before they can hit the bottom of the tank. But when I put them in a glass bottle, he barely tries to get them out. He will wrap his body around the bottle and turn dark like he does when he eats, but within moments of realizing he can't get the crab easily, he gives up. Then he'll come right to the top of the tank to tell me he needs help. I really don't care if he "does tricks" or not, but it's like another kid, "I can't find it, Mom..." I have only let him try for 24hrs or so before I give up and dump out the crab, he's always right there to scarf it up.

The 55 gal tank would be ready to go except that the nitrates are too high. The tank has been running for 9+ years now and I've always used R/O water, but I have been over feeding the aggressives in that tank. I have done some big H2O changes and added nitrate sponge to the filter but it looks like it's going to take longer than I'd hoped to have it ready. Any ideas for speeding things up?
 
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