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It appears as though Deuce has found a new den. This is what I was expecting as it happened with Octonaut, and I have read it happening a lot in other journals. He seems to notice when I come with the feeding stick (I don't know if it is movement, noise or scent) and he seems to come out within seconds of the stick entering the water. So to my surprise, a few nights ago I started our normal feeding routine and I was left waiting with no octo-arms emerging from his den. I called my husband in the room to tell him that Deuce must not be hungry tonight, and he laughed and pointed. To my surprise, Deuce was on the other side of the tank, out in the open on top of the rocks. He was bouncing up and down and waving his arms like "Hey, woman! I am over here! FEED ME!" I felt rather silly, and promptly did as requested! He has remained on that side of the tank for several days now, so I am thinking he found a new den!
I have been red faced more than once trying to find an octopus just to have it sitting in the open (much less with O. briareus than O. hummelincki) and often the next person to enter the room starts laughing because they have come from a distance and can more easily see the whole tank rather than the area of expectation.
I swear they change dens so the maids (clean up crew) can come in and tidy up. The most extreme example I have noted was with a female O. mercatoris. The female mercs I have kept/raised all have chosen a permanent den within the first day of entering the tank. I watched one animal move out of her claimed barnacle, a serpent star slide in at her exit, serpent left after a short time, octopus returned. She was hatched in that specific barnacle and laid her own eggs there as well.
An alternate tale with an O. hummelincki is shown in Maya's video when she was trying to locate a den for her eggs. She switched dens for about a week and then returned to the one she had been keeping but dragged a gorgonian from one of the other sites to the front of her old den.
With O. briareus I have seen them leave a den for a time and then return. Shiitake moved from her original den to the opposite side of the tank and returned to her old den just last week.
A few days ago, I placed a fiddler in a small glass votive candle holder. It is tall enough that the crab cannot escape, but easy enough for Deuce to grab! As I mentioned before, my husband set up a security camera overnight to see what Deuce was up to, and we were able to catch him grabbing the crab. The video quality is not the best, but I am happy to see him "hunting" and eating the crabs he is supposed to be eating (instead of my hermits)
Deuce is still doing great! He is becoming very interactive and has settled into a pretty predicable routine. He will gladly take 3 fiddlers a night - and I have found if I give him less (And sometimes even if I give him 3) he will just resort to eating my hermits. I place one fiddler in the glass jar in the morning before I leave - and he is apparently coming out at some point, because the crab is always gone. Then, I put one in around 9 and another as soon as he eats.
Here is one video showing some great color changing - sorry for the framing. More videos coming later.