I'm enjoying reading about Anya! I hope it's ok if I ask a few questions:
What food do you stick feed her?
How long did it take to get her accustomed to eating from the stick?
Have you tried any live food for enrichment purposes?
How do you tell the difference between escape behavior and "playing" behavior? Do you think the fact that she is trying to escape could be a sign of imperfect water chemistry or are you not worried?
How long has she been shedding suckers? Sometimes my octos do the same thing and i'm not sure if it's due to a specific stresser or just a general stress response.
Thank you again for the awesome journal!
Great questions, I don’t mind them at all! I feed her wild caught shrimp and salmon that I get from the grocery store counter. Honestly, she took food from the stick right away. In 11 years of keeping octopuses, I really haven’t ever had to train any of them to take food from the stick- they all warmed up to it right away. I do free feed life foods, blue leg hermit crabs and fiddler crabs when I can get a hold of them.
I’m not worried about water chemistry as we check it weekly and record everything- each of our 15 fish tanks has its own chemistry record. This tank has been set up for 20 years, and at this point is very stable. I would be more worried if I saw physical signs of stress from her, like heavy breathing, extreme white coloration, etc.
The reason I’m more likely to call it play behavior, is because I only see her do this when we have been in the room for a little while. I hate to anthropomorphize, but she seems like she knows when we are just chilling in the living room, and she decides she wants to play. If we don’t play with her, she stops walking along the top of the glass after a few minutes. It seems like her way of letting us know she wants some physical interaction. I never have walked into the room to see her walking along the top of the glass. That said, we have double checked any place she could get out to make sure that it is “octo safe.” There’s nothing wrong with hypervigilance in this case! 🤣
She seems to shed her suckers regularly, I might see one or two every day but a large shedding every few days. Again, this doesn’t worry me as my past briareuses have shown the same pattern of behavior. I think it’s just a general response of a full-grown octopus.