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Diego - O. bimaculoides

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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).
 


DWhatley

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Somewhere between Kalypso and Penn :biggrin2:

Tonight he beckoned me and when I obeyed, he crawled to the top of the tank and partly over the top and proceeded to squirt at me. Fortunately, he does not fire very far. I thought maybe Neal had not fed him yet but he had already eaten. He let me pet him without being aggressive so I am not sure what the squirting was all about. When he first started to squirt at me, it was always when I would look over the top so I make a point of looking through the sides. This time, I was properly watching but he felt the need to climb out (half way and no effort to go further) and try to give me a bath.
 

DWhatley

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Enrichment

Diego has been quite different from the warmer water animals we have kept. He is the first octopus to disassemble hardware (fortunately, the cap he keeps removing is for esthetics only and the Koralia just gets redirected (we cut off the other pump because of his interest and concern he would pull it out of the pipe and get an arm caught). I have never felt that additional entertainment was needed for any of the other octopuses but this one seems to need a challenge. There were a few legos in the toy box so I constructed a feeding puzzle:



The first offering (very loosly attached) was taken immediately. Last night I made the legos tighter and still did not have time to grab the camera so tonight, I firmly attached the pieces. He was pretty quick with getting the main treat block separated (removing the green one from the group) but then held on to the red and blue group until he had eaten everything from the red (three small pieces of shrimp). Then he separated the red and blue group and got his dessert



 

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