Diego - O. bimaculoides

DWhatley

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That pretty much describes what we were doing to get his attention. He seems to understand that if he comes to the front aquarium wall (his official den is on the left side but there is a full laberinth under the LR and he can pop out most anywhere) while Neal is feeding the tanks, he will get supper.

Neal used the "floating ice cube" feeder tonight (a plastic ice cube with a zip tie) and like the briareus, he was most interested in what was at the surface a (the ice cube) and eventually took the food from the zip tie. We had thought this behavior was due to the poor close up eye sight of the O. briareus but this similar behavior suggests something else is involved.
 

DWhatley

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Diego still stays mostly in his den but is getting bolder and comes out to the wall when he is hungry and sees one of us walking around. Today when I approached his tank he went back to his den (but not in it). When I moved to the other side of the tank, he left the den and came over to where I was sitting. From this action, I am going to try sitting where I don't have visual access to the den to see if this gives him more confidence.
 

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I see you have some corals in this tank. How are they holding up to the lower temperature? I imagine there is a seasonal fluctuation in the temp of sea water naturally. Just wondering if they are being effected.
 
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Lmecher;175301 said:
I see you have some corals in this tank. How are they holding up to the lower temperature? I imagine there is a seasonal fluctuation in the temp of sea water naturally. Just wondering if they are being effected.


I wonder the same thing... I would like to be able to put some corals in the tank... maybe some deep water zoa's but I am not sure how they would handle the temps.
 

DWhatley

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When I broke down and wrote Joe-Ceph about taking Diego, I opted to keep him at 72 degrees (knowing that this is a safe but not best temp) in part because of the corals in the tank. The rocks in this tank are glued down so anything in there has to stay (it was our first octo tank and we wanted to be sure the rocks would not move :oops:). I have the temp set at 70 and it reads a constant 71 at the chiller. With two exceptions, all the corals in the tank are from the FL Keys so they will have been exposed to this kind of temp in the winter but not all year long (and have been living at a much higher temp). So far, so good. The polyps initially bleached when I fragged them and I think it was because the tank was too hot. We lowered the temp over a couple of days and saw no negative reaction. At the moment, everything is doing as least as well as before we lowered the temperature but only time will tell if they will survive the colder watere indefinitely. The gorgonian seems particularly happy and is feeding well and the leather (of unknown origin, inherited from a friends tank several years ago) is doing better than it has in several years (based upon extension).

Linda, as you know the bubble tips are the first anemones that have not done well for me. As a last ditch effort I transferred them to this tank before deciding on the octo (and did not attempt to move them since they have been in the other tanks and not done well). They continue to survive but I don't know for how long, however, they seem to have stopped shrinking since adding the chiller and are eating well.
 

DWhatley

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Diego is now socializing a little each day, more on the weekend when we are home than in the early evening but is never late for supper and is growing at a detectable rate. He has started to take ownership of his tank and does not see the need for me to clean it :wink: but so far is tollerating all the commotion with only slight objections.

Hex tanks are a pill for trying to get decent photos. Old, scratched Lexan (that does not want to buff out), hex tanks make it almost impossible.

If you enlarge th photo, you can just make out part of the "chain" in the ocellus (eye spot)




Diego was batting around his floating plastic ice cube feeding stick so we decided to add a couple of toys. He was curious about the Legos but did not play with them for long.
 

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Cool!
Okay, I'm a little confused. There are two species of bimac: bimaculoides, and bimaculatus. I thought bimaculoides had a solid blue ring, and bimaculatus had a "chain" type ring. By that test Diego would be bimaculatus, but he was captured in the shallow tidepools, not out in deeper water where bimaculatus are reported to live. The three bimacs I've kept, that were both caught in the same place as Diego, had solid rings, and I thought they were all bimaculoides (one laid large eggs). I wonder if Diego's blue ring should be considered "solid" because it is unbroken, even if it does look a little like a chain. I'll try to get a good picture of the ring on the little bimac that I have, also from the same tidepools, to see if his "solid" ring is a at all like a chain when looked at closely. The habitats for the two overlap, so maybe there are a few baby bimaculatus mixed in with the baby bimaculoides in the shallow tide pools, and maybe that's what Diego is. If so, you might be in for a surprise because bimaculatus generally get larger as adults than bimaculoides.
 

Nancy

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Go to the home page, click on Care in the gray bar, and select the Bimac Care Sheet. My photo of Ollie (you may have to enlarge it) shows the O. bimaculoides ring, which is an unbroken chain.

Nancy
 
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Okay, so what is it about the blue ring that distinguishes a bimaculatus? A broken blue ring? All of the bimacs I've kept (presumably all bimaculoides) have been from the same exact location, and have all had a solid, unbroken, blue ring, but it wasn't chain-like, it was solid, as if it has been drawn with a blue sharpie (the blue ring shown in my avatar was on a bimac that laid large eggs - bimaculoides)

I read in another thread on the subject that Ollie laid large eggs (definitely 'oides) so it means the chain pattern is an arbitrary regional variation, and that 'atus must be distinguished some other way, like maybe broken vs. unbroken ring (either a chain ring or a solid ring). Is that true, or are we kidding ourselves that the blue ring can be used to make a definitive ID?
 

DWhatley

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Try enlarging some of your photos, you should see the "chain" (try your avitar picture). I did not see the link with my eye so it was cool to notice it when I reviewed my photos (and even blown up you only see one, unbroken link where the rest look solid). According to Norman the bimaculatus' "chain" is "broken" and has spikes (I picture it more like a pinwheel) where the bimaculoides "chain" makes a contiguous circle. His photos of bimaculatus are not close enough to see but the bimaculoides has an excellent close up of the chain effect.
 
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DWhatley;176492 said:
According to Norman the bimaculatus' "chain" is "broken" and has spikes (I picture it more like a pinwheel) where the bimaculoides "chain" makes a contiguous circle.

Ah, that's a good description. I remember reading a post that used the term "sun burst" to describe the blue ring on a Bimaculatus. When you say "spikes..like a pinwheel" I get a clear idea of what you must mean. Does anyone have a link to a clear photo of the blue ring on a Bimaculatus?
 

DWhatley

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After his first flirt with interaction, Diego became mostly recluse (except at dinner time) but this week we seem to have overcome shyness and he is coming to the front wall for attention. He is not sure if he likes having his mantle rubbed but he does seem to like sliding his arms through loosely closed fingers and usually wants to touch the hand in the tank before settling down for supper. He is also staying out with his meal now where, up until this week he would take it (albeit casually) to his den.


We gave him an easy challenge with the double shot glass. He mostly ignored it the first day (he had already eaten one crab) and just wanted to play with the hands in the tank. He did notice the crab moving inside and investigate but gave up after surrounding the bottle several times. It almost looked like he was thinking about it though and eventually went to the live rock and tried going over the top of the jar (the move to the live rock and intent of going over the top was direct and with intent). We were pretty sure he would go right to the top the second day and, as you can see that is what happened.
 

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DWhatley

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Yeah the saltwater ain't thin. It'll stick right to your skin. And makes you feel fine.:wink:

A little poetic license on an old, favorite Jimmy Buffet song. I think Diego was mad at me today. With his chiller, he did not suffer from the excessive heat in the house so it wasn't anything with his tank but I did go shopping and come home late (Neal feeds so I was late for playing, not feeding). In any case when I saw him front and center (location used for inviting to play) and went to the tank he was exceptionally aggressive and immediately grabbed my hand forcefully trying with all eight arms (not touching any wall or substrate) to pull my fingers deep into his webbing. In an attempt to get a finger or two free to stroke the back of his arms he was lifted partially out of the water and proceeded to cool me off with his siphon (several times). He does not have the water force of a hummelincki but managed to soak my face. His grip was so tight that wiggling my fingers to free them made a popping sound like releasing a well stuck suction cup. Once my hand was free, he reverted to his normal self (Neal says we should expect this "bi-polar" behavior from a cold water octopus :roll:) and wanted to play our normal 15-20 minutes of squish (where my fingers would be easily accessable for biting if he really wanted to bite). Usually (and he did so today after his temper tantrum), he will send me away once during this time and then call me back for a second round.

He has part of the idea about turning dark brown to send me away established but not as clearly as some of the easier signals I have used with other octopuses. When he has had enough play, he will go to the rock and sit. When I don't remove my hand he will slowly turn dark brown. Initially, he would go to his den and turn brown but has figured out that the den location is not necessary. He has not quite figured out that it is just the color change but seems to be getting there because when I don't remove my hand he starts slowly changing his mantle color. I was not confident that we would get this far and was not sure how aware they are of color change so I am delighted that he seems to be experimenting. He does seem to know that going to the top center of the front of the tank is an invitation for me to put my hand inside. This signal he picked up in just a couple of days.

Update on the polyps, flower anemone, gorgonian and leather unaccustomed to 71 degrees. All are doing very well except the bubble tips (that are neither growing nor shrinking and were in trouble before the addition of the chiller). The leather is at least 10 and likely 12 - 13 years in an aquarium (inherited from a friend) and was not growing. I moved it because it disconnected itself from the rock that has been its attachement for 5 years. I cut off the bottom that had become hard in hopes that it would reattach (it has) and it has doubled in size since we put the chiller on the tank. The polyps that initally bleached (prechiller) are all nicely colored again and the gorgonian is feeding well (as it was prechiller). The flower anemone had shrunk to the size of a nickle (heat issue last summer in one small tank) and was moved to this tank prechiller in an attempt to save it. It is now half dollar size and has excellent color.
 

DWhatley

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Diego only seems to squirt when he is POed and he only bubbles the top of the water (rarely actually getting me wet). If he comes to the opened tank top, starts putting his arms over edge and squirting, he will be quite aggressive with any fingers put into the tank. The only time we see this behavior is when we are late to feed him, if food arrives timely, he does not act this way. He has pretty well gotten the idea that if he comes to the front center of the tank when he has my attention, I will come over and play. If he really does not want me to open the tank, he will go to the bottom when I come over but most times he waits at the top. His interaction/contact time is relatively short (maybe 2-3 minutes). I am no sure if I have fully succeeded with the turn dark to send me away part as he will sometimes go to the LR and wait for me to leave or simply go to the bottom of the tank and wait but often he will turn dark (once he starts to turn dark, I wait until he is very dark and it almost appears as if he is testing to see the proper goaway color) even on a light substrate and I think he understands that as a signal. I think he is one of the more intelligent (in terms of a pet keeper, I'll let the scientists battle out their own definition) species I have kept and originates more action/reactions than others. He is the only one I have kept that takes things apart but I have not come up with any object that seems to entertain him. He is very territorial and when he moves an object, he wants it to remain where he placed it and will come out of nowhere if I think it belongs somewhere else and try to rearrange his rearrangement.
 

DWhatley

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Diego continues to be very interactive and pissy if he does not get enough face time. Neal and I have both noticed when he is particular insistent on sucking on our hands and climbing our arms that the result is a lot of sucker shed and suspect there is method in his madness. He seems to like me to tickle his suckers (and will not stick to my finger) after he has had his fill of pulling my hand as close to his mouth as he can get (sometimes I am too slow to prevent center contact but so far, no nipping just hard suction). Tonight he seemed to like much more petting than normal but we were not around the tank much of the weekend.

I think I found a good enrichment object for him. We bought several largish crayfish and froze the tails and a few claws. I really did not expect to have any success with the claws but we offered one last night and he carried it around most of the night. Tonight I retrieved the shells and all the meat was gone. A lot of work for a little food and we will see when we offer another next week if he decided it was not worth the effort (I have seen this with clams and other octopuses but Diego is much stronger than the Caribbeans I have kept).
 
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