Glove Growing Up

This is definitely consumption. Trapper lived over 12 weeks on nothing but Cyclop-eeze (while and after brooding young). After she quit eating crab and shrimp, I noticed her "sweeping" the water whenever I would feed the babies so I started including her in the pipette feeding. Now I include Cyclop-eeze daily in the diet of the adults as well as the new babies (note I said include as I also feed crab and shrimp). The adults will sometimes decline shrimp but never decline the Cyclop-eeze and are still doing well after nine + months.
More Pics

Gloves Suckers on the Glass:


Mr. 3 Legger's Suckers on the Glass (as you can see, Mr. 3L is out much more when the halides are on now that he has grown a bit):

So far, no sign of enlarged suckers that I can detect (3L may not count in the observation) but I am not sure all species have this male/female distinction and Medusa did not show his until several months after they were very clear on Sisturus (both Mercatoris). So far, observing my 2 males in a small tank and two males and 1 female in a larger tank, I am beginning to think that males are more social than females (observations limited to this one brood) and that keeping two males together may produce better pets, just no young.
I witnessed another interaction between Glove and my Blue Ribbon Eel. This time I was nervous (probably because I was walking out the door on my way to work ughh). It looked like Glove took a very aggressive pose and almost seemed to be grabbing the eel to bite. I was surprised that the eel wasn't squirming or trying to get away. I took a closer inspection and it just seemed like Glove was inspecting or just liked the way the eel felt. Weird. Anyone have an idea of what this behavior is? I've always kept my Octos in species specific tanks before these two so I am not sure what Glove was doing. Glove was light brown in color, no patterns, and seemed almost to be stroking the Eel. As the Eel was swiiming around, Glove would pull in part of the eels body towards him (thats what made me think he was going to bite) but then would let the eel swim away gently as if he liked the way the Eels body rubbed up against his suckers and tentacles. The Eel showed zero sign of alarm or that he felt like he was being restricted.

I'm just hoping it wasn't Glove sizing the eel up as a potential meal (the Blue Ribbon Eel is full grown). Any thoughts?
I can't remember anyone putting a ribbon eel in with an octopus before. It is very possible that he wants to eat the eel. It is also quite possible that he was just examining it. If you continue to worry about their interaction move one of them unless you want to see how it plays out.

d- I think a more accurate way to differentiate between male and female is the 3rd left arm curling. Have you noticed this on your mercs? My O. Hummelinki did not have enlarged suckers on his hectocotylus but ALWAYS kept it curled. There were no suckers on the last couple centimeters of his hectocotylus.
Eels and octopuses are natural enemies. Watch Octopus Volcano (Animal Planet) to see a large eel trying to attack an O. vulgaris (it doesn't succeed because the octopus is able to retreat further into its den).

I don't know what this means, but anything goes in a mixed tank. Your tank inhabitants may live together in peace for some time, and they you'll find that one has eaten another (or, maybe not).

im new to octos,but i do have experience with reptile's.I have a friend that kept a mixed monitor tank with little problem for aprox 6 months(not a good idea).he went to feed them one morning and thier was only 1 fat monitor,and unfortunatly the eater died also do to a blockage.not that this will happen, you would know better than i would but it can.
There is risk for sure. The ribbon eels are much more peaceful than most marine eels. I know that sounds silly but its because they have no choice. I've never seen eels with such poor eyesight and the inability to catch anything other than super slow dying minnows. I feed mine frozen fish on the end of a stick and it takes major patience. They are easily confused and only eat small fish that fit easily in their mouth and can be swallowed whole. Any sudden movement by me and they jet back into their den.
That is why I was suprised the Octos curiosity (or what ever it was) didn't startle the eel. It makes me think there has been a lot of interaction between them over the last 2 months plus that I have not witnessed personally. Hopefully the eel keeps his guard up if and when he needs to. I'm not worried about the eels eating the Octo as I am of the opposite. I'm going to hang tight and see what happens in the next week or so. It could possibly be time to move the Ribbon eel into another tank as it is not the best sign that he is free swimming so much (now you all know why I have so many tanks). He may no longer be happy with the current set up. The other ribbon eel I have, almost never comes completely out of his den and I have had that one much longer (about a year or so).

Here is a picture of Mr. 3 Legger getting a rare and somewhat expensive ($10) treat (I don't mind the money as long as he enjoys and it brings variety to his diet):

Ouch! Is that a little lobster or a shrimp (it seems like I remember an old, old video that showed a Vulgaris getting a lobster out of a jar, maybe a Cousteau film? ) Please, please continue to let us know what they ignore and what they attrack and what you move! I keep watching my Mercs for signs of changing relationships too. At this point, I have decided not to move anyone and just observe (they are almost 10 months old now). So far so good. Ribbon eels are my favorite but I have never kept one (for some reason Neal won't agree to one and he likes eels).

Shipposhack, yes, the Mercs curl up their hectocotylusized arm but they curl all their arms (even as juveniles) and the tip is very, very hard to observe (even when they are poking it about - I think I need a blow up female octopus doll for Sisty and 'Dusa). The suckers, on the other hand, turned out to be a definite sign of sexual maturity in the Mercs (and not just on the third arm), and easy to spot, especially when plastered on the tank wall :biggrin2:. As you mentioned, not all species show this distinction but it is an additional confirmation for those that do.
dwhatley;107334 said:
Ouch! Is that a little lobster or a shrimpQUOTE]

It is one of those purple reef lobsters (about 2" maybe less). I got them just to see if they would eat them and sure enough Mr. 3 Legger devoured both.

I witnessed another interaction between the Ribbon Eel (same one) and Glove this morning. This time it was more clear what is going on. The Ribbon Eel is trying to get into Gloves Den and Glove is boxing him out. It was funny to watch today because what Glove decided to do was use his body to fill the entire PVC entrance so there was no way the Eel could fit. He stayed in that position until the Eel gave up.

I feel bad for the Eel because he must remember the entrance and wants to use it. This is definitely a sign he wants more space so I may move him this weekend :goodbye: Although I like having the two Ribbon Eels together as I feel it triggers the feeding response better.
I have seen a similar action from my pygmies between my brooding female and a serpent star. The female very gently removes the arms of the exploring serpent. The gentleness of the interaction was what I found so interesting and that you have seen a similar effect with a different animal and octo species. I wonder if the gentleness has to do with self protection in that they do not want to upset the other creature and risk loosing an arm. When the shore shrimp have gotten in the way, the technique is very different and the pygmies swat at them like a fly but don't go after them like dinner, a passing crab, however, usually becomes dinner.
Rigby would swat at the damsel when it would come near his food and swats at the bristle worms when they come out to eat his food...
I have been quiet due to a computer issue and thought I had new updated pics but only a new video. I am sorry to say but Mr. 3 Legger is no longer with us. I found him half eaten about two weeks ago. He was about a 1/3 of the size of Glove. He just didn't seem to grow at the pace Glove did. I guess Glove killed him although I never witnessed any altercations. Very sad :frown:

That was a few weeks ago. Glove now has some new friends. I've added two Alligator Pipefish and Two more SHs. Glove's eating habits seemed to have changed. Glove wants shrimp and a lot of it. She decided to eat all of my shrimp including my Cleaners I've had for a while. The only survivor is a monstrous coral shrimp. Other than the shrimp, everything else is fine.

Here is a video of Glove disposing of the Exo skeleton of a shrimp. If you watch closely, you'll catch an alligator pipefish eating mysis shrimp: Photo and Video Storage | Photobucket

Here is a pic of one of the new additions:

Here is a full tank shot:

Old and new friends:

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