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he never comes out


Nov 7, 2006
i got my aculeatus almost 3 weeks ago now and i have only seen him 4 times. i read that they were diurnal not nocturnal. He hides out in one of my pieces of live rock and only comes out in the middle of the night to eat. is this normal?
I suppose there are two possibilities: he's not really an aculeatus but a nocturnal species, or he's very shy and may eventually come around. Do you have any fish in the tank ?- fish could keep your octopus from coming out.

If the problem is shyness - I'm having the same problem with a big coral-banded shrimp, who is the most timid coral-banded shrimp that anyone has ever heard of. He hides behind rocks all the time. But, after a month, he's getting the courage to come a little more towards the front. Octopuses have different personalities and perhaps you have a timid one, but he should eventually come out.

my aculeatus was exactly the same way when I got him. He was out and about the first day, then nocturnal for the next few weeks. I don't think it is all that uncommon for them to be timid at first....have faith! :o)
Now my octo is always out during the day...although from time to time, he prefers to be out at night instead. Every octo is different, but I think as you spend more time with your octo, you will establish more of a relationship.
The amount an octo comes out seems to depend on how comfortable they are in their surroundings.
1) Whether it is a nocturnal species
2) how powerful the lights are- cephs like low light, in a reef tank even a comfortable octo would barely come out.
3) how many hideouts there are. Do you have alot of places for him to hide and feel secure? Be sure they are all over the tank and not in one rock pile and everything else barren sand.
4) acclimation- they take time to come out-give him a month to get comfortable.
5) Fish, as a rule, will cause octos to hide. Most fish will nip at the eyes of the octo or kill them outright. There ARE exceptions to this rule, but the octo doesn't know that- and hides anyway.
A. aculeatus is a diurnal species that lives on very shallow reef flats. As such, they experience bright, broad spectrum light. The ones that we keep in the lab don't seem to mind bright ambient lighting.

We have a juvenile A. aculeatus right now that lives in a cavity in a small rock. Usually all I can see is his eye looking out of a 1 cm hole and much of the time he keeps that hole closed with a small rock or shell. However, when he gets hungrey, we see his head bobbing up and down from behind the rock and when he is really hungry, he comes out and paces back and forth on the glass. As soon as he is fed, he takes the food back to the rock and we don't see him for another day or two. This behavior is very different from what we have seen in mature adults and I'll be curious to see if he becomes less cavity oriented as he matures.

i have not seen him in 3 days/nights. he has also stopped eating. i have him in a 125g tank with alot of rock and places to hide.no fish. I keep the lighting on low all day but i still never see him. he just hides in that one piece of rock. I know that they say the more they spend time seeing you the better but right now he never comes out so hes not going to get used to me.

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