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Love at first sight/Do they hold a grudge?


Blue Ring
Jan 6, 2004
My octopus (Kang, after one of the Simpson's aliens) has been "spunky" lately. He often likes to tinker in engineering. He had recently pulled all four suction cups off the powerhead feeding the protein skimmer, nothing new, he loves to do that and then stack then in the middle of the tank. This time he then yanked the elbow out connecting the head from the skimmer. He then paraded around the tank (all while I was at work), with the power head spewing water. I got home in time to find him dragging it around the tank like a ball-and-chain. Due to the tight cover only the inside of the tank top was wet, but the tank was a bit rearranged from the water pressure. In fact a large portion of the tank (with 3 inches+) of substrate was pushed aroudn into one corner. The opposite corner was down to the glass. Anyway, this powerhead seems to keep him occupied, but never in danger. Until yesterday.

I was out overnight and found out he knows how to undo the 2 clasps that hold on the bottom intake grill, protecting everything from the impeller. Which he was getting ready to play with. Despite yelling 'No!!' and tapping on the glass (turns out they are in fact stone deaf, or ignoring me), he was getting ready to play with the impeller. I thought I could lure him away by dropping a crawfish. Came down, got the crayfish, and back up the powerhead. I tried to "shoo" him away from it again this time with an algae scraper. No dice..until it went into his den with it, and I used it to pull out a few cherished shells. That got his interest. So now, he comes down and goes after the 14" wooden dowel with the scraper (Im holding it by the scraper). I thought a little tug-of-war would keep him busy/wear him out. After 15 min of tug-of-war he climbed the glass and pinned the stick against the glass. I felt through the wood him scraping the wood. Presumably with his beak. No attacking though. He then closed his eyes, and for the next hour held the stick against the glass. Even with some gentle tugs, he was content to just hld it there, and not play. The whole time with his eyes closed. I took this opportunity to get all the parts out and removed the powerhead (Its it now curing. I used tank silicone to afix all suction cups and both removable coverings). Even when I was poking around getting the parts, he never even open an eye. Id occasionally touch the stick and give it a tug or turn, but he never budged or opened his eyes, only scraping lightly against the stick with his beak. The whole time he had a crayfish pinned against the glass from earlier. He wasnt giving up either of them. After an hour I went back to the TV and checked in about 30min later after I heard some banging from the tank. Kang was plodding around the tank with the crayfish and a 14" stick. He was even jetting around the tank with the stick, which isnt easy in a 46gal corner. While desprately trying to get this in his den, he literally cleared out every rock and shell in his den. It looked like a garage sale in front of the den. No matter how he turned it, it would go in, obviously. I figured for my sake. his sake and the tanks sake I needed to get this out. Besides it was almost 2 hours later now. More tug-of-war was useless as he simply wasnt going to give it up, no matter how hard I tried or tugged. I figured maybe a 2nd crayfish woudl distract him or get him to give up the stick for a second so I could grab it. OK, flash forward 5 min. So now I have an octopus with 2 crayfish and a large wooden stick...

After some more-tug-of war and a new crayfish trying tog et away from him while he held both plus the carcass of the one from earlier, he finally relented and gave up the stick, but not without chasing it as it left the tank.

OK, thats a long story, told longer, probably, but this morning (it all happened around dinner time last night) most rocks, even one large one sunk 3 inches to the glass bottom that he never messed with were all turned over, and his den still not in order. He apparently is searching for the stick and/or the powerhead I removed to seal. He really seem to be missing that stick, what do I do? Find a replacement, he seemed WAY to enamored to the stick!? I'll need to use that stick again during cleaning...
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

He sounds well funny, what a character!!!

I dunno about givin him the stick meself, ive no experience. But if you dont think he'll do any harm with it why not? then again you could always use it for games with him or a distraction device to enable you to clean with another tool?

Had to laugh at this, although it's probably been distressing for you at times. Really funny how Kang took to the feeding stick.

When I had Ollie, I sometimes slipped a 6 inch piece of drinking straw over the feeding stick, and then the food. When she tried to grab it and keep it, she was hanging onto the straw, and I could remove the feeding stick. But I hated to spoil her fun all the time. When she absolutely wouldn't let go, I let her keep it for a while, and she tried to haul it into her den.

I suppose Kang could bite the stick in two....

:lol: I love it!!! They simply delight in harrassing us!!! I used to have to make a mad dash, anytime I needed to do anything with Inks' tank! I finally learned if I fed her a large crab, she would leave me alone!! She also delighted in disconnecting the powerhead!!!

Would love to see a video!!!

:lol: What a mischevious fella!

he giving you a headache? Glad you sealed the powerhead though, it ain't gonna be funny when we see shredded tako. :smile:

MAybe some pics and a clip :heee:
No real headaches. I dont have any kids, but I have a feeling this is like having one. As soon as I turn my back its into something else. More so even when he was caught dragging the powerhead around the tank. He stopped when I walked in, and despite having it in his tentacles, he gave the look like 'it wasnt me, it was the clownfish'.

The den is slowing getting back to normal, with all his toys and shells making their way back in. I think he'll be OK, I just need to get him yet another toy, on top of his already large collection. My luck, I got the octo with A.D.D. I'll grab some pics next time, it was hilarious to watch him try to hoard everything in the tank, esp when one of the items was as big as it was. It must have looked like a comedy routine if you didnt know what was going on with the two of us. Despite it being a couple hours of hassles, I had nothing else to do so it was somewhat amusing. Its when hes created chaos and I'm on my way out the door...

Melissa, I had thought many times over the two months Ive had him to hook up a webcam in front of that tank so I could gaze in from work to check in on his shenanigans when Im away. I had one in front of my Moray/Lionfish predator tank for awhile.
Update: I put the newly sealed powerhead in. Apparently he has gotten a tried-and-true method down for "playing" with the powerhead. In less than 2 minutes after putting the powerhead in, it became his toy. He scooted right up to that corner, anchored a few arms, wrapped a couple more over the top (outside the water) and in one motion yanked it, and all 4 suction cups off. The pop for yanking all four suction cups off the tank made a large 'pop'. I think I may need to use much bigger suction cups. I wonder what his infatuation with the powerhead is. The low rumble, the vibration? Whatever it is, its like crack to him.
I am not sure about the age. When I got him the first few days of January he was already fairly big. His mantle is about the size of a peach, and his arms around 8"-10" long when extended. I know he cannot have a ton of time left, but I sure am enjoying the time right with him right now. Very, very, very active, even during the day. Eats a ton. At night when the moonlighting is on, hes all over the place. I wish I was a little less timid about having him play with my hand. Everytime Ive tried I've balked after he gets the first tentacle or two on me. I feel him suctioned to me and then he'll bolt toward the hand. I know hes not being aggressive, but natural instinct takes over to get the hand out. Shame, as he really seems to crave interaction. He doesnt even care the least about the 3 fish in there (small damsel, mated pair of sebae clowns). After the first few days where he was scared of them, he never payed attention to them again, they can even bolt in front of him and he doesnt even blink, let alone react. The clowns occasionally will even hide in his den with him. The weirdest part of that scenario is that the clowns when alone in that tank with the damsel, were skittish. I couldnt even stick my face near the glass without them hiding, even after having them for a year and a half. They would never spawn either. With the octopus in the tank and the moonlighting, the clown are so mellow and trusting it's downright odd. Even the female has gotten fat quick....perhaps ready to spawn? I know the moonlighting helps set a spawning rhythm for them (the clowns).
What great stories about your octo. Our Alice also loves the powerhead. She takes it apart and puts all the peices in her den. She rally hates when we o near her den, so we have gone though a rotation game of replacing the powerhead. She will immediately go to it, and I can get the peices from the one she just took apart out and fix it. Silly kids. Keep the stories comming. I laughed out loud!
If Kang is a vulgaris, he has some way to go and you'll have him around for some time longer.

If you don't want him to get on your hand, maybe you could try petting him.

I love these stories!

I found a pic of Kang dragging arounnd the cleaning stick, oh, and 2 live (well for a few more minutes) crawfish that he couldnt let go of either...choices, choices.....

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