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He came out and perched on a rock earlier, in clear view. I went ahead and offered him another damsel fish fillet. No coaxing was required. He went after it with gusto. I shot a lot of video in red light, then accidentally switched my headlamp over to white light. He didn't seem bothered. Perhaps he was too transfixed with the bliss of his feast to care. I took the opportunity to get some clear video.
No sign of him until tonight. I added 4 live feeder shrimp (Palaemonetes vulgaris) to the tank on tuesday. It didn't seem as though he was successfully feeding on them though, as they were all accounted for since then. I didn't get a conclusive count today, but it seemed like he *might* have gotten one last night.
A few minutes ago, I saw tentacles sweeping from a rock, so I sat and watched. He unsuccessfully swiped for a shrimp. I went ahead and captured one from the container where I'm gutloading them and came back to offer it to him. When I got back, I found him crawling around in the chaetomorpha ball in the corner of the tank. I offered him the freshly killed shrimp. He needed no convincing. He took the shrimp, ran to his hole and that was that.
I'm wondering if he's been foraging in the chaetomorpha. The tank is effectively a refugium. I have a big chunk of chaeto and a small forest of Caulerpa prolifera. The sand is ~2" deep and heavily seeded with worms of all kinds and pods. The chaeto is teeming with copepods, isopods, amphipods and mysis shrimp. Is it possible/likely that he's living off of pods and mysis shrimp?? He is quite tiny - maybe 1" mantle and ~3" total legspan, if i had to estimate. He seemed to be eating hermit crabs for a while, but I think he's mostly depleted the supply of them now. The microinvertebrates, however, are quite plentiful.
The amphipod populations of most octo tanks are often noted to dwindle. That and the typical web style hunting highly suggest that they do, indeed, eat the small pods. The evidence is anecdotal but probably well founded. I don't know how well eating ONLY the small shrimps would sustain the smaller octos but the larger animals clearly only use these as "snacks".
@DWhatley I took your advice with the gutter foam. Took a long break from work today and did some fortifications and a water change. It sure ain't pretty, but it's more secure. I even put foam over the return pump outputs just in case.
LOL, that is not how I intended to suggest using it. My use has just been to block the weir openings to the overflow but if it works, you have come up with a good idea for additional securing and given me an idea on how to possibly prevent inquisitive arms from pushing at a closed but not secured top feeding door.