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[Octopus]: Meet Bob - Octopus Briareus

DWhatley

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Actually, this is a GOOD sign. These are not normally daylight active but we often see them appear more "friendly" during the first couple of weeks and then become more reclusive. If they don't follow this pattern, they often die (stress being the likely factor). I try to make a point of mentioning the greater activity when they are first introduced (we see this with all species) so that keepers are not disappointed or panicy when they "disappear". Whether or not Bob will be interactive will depend on how much (often boring) time you spend trying to feed him using a feeding stick (bamboo skewers work well but a normal feeding stick is also a good option), how often you are in front of the tank and the individual personality of the animal. The next interactions are usually rather humorous for first time keepers and frighten (or at least get a reaction from) the best of us and usually occur during feeding or while cleaning the tank. You can expect a "touch and go" as the animal gets curious. It is common for some species to provide keepers with a saltwater bath but this is less common with O. briareus :biggrin2:.

I advise keeping a camera near the tank at all times. Mine stays on a tripod.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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Bob is alive and well. I keep the serpent star off his clam so he gets fed. I have ordered the 75 gallon tank and sump and I hope to get it set-up this w/e. I have elected to buy a sump already made because of time concerns. I ask Nemo's for a big piece of live rock at one end of the tank with a cave made into it about the size of a baseball with the opening a little smaller. Will this be large enough for him when he gets older? I try to keep the room darker when I am home and sit by his tank and caught a glimpse of him late last night and 630 this am.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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Bob and I had a good meeting. He has touched me a couple of times before, probably by mistake, and it did scare us both but this time I was ready and he touched me with a few arms and I moved my fingers a little. So cool.
The SW store that is helping me said it would help if we start my 75 gal with some of their reef water. These guys seem very knowledgeable and they said it was a totally seperate water supply from the fish and they know the dangers of copper. Anybody have any thoughts?
 
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Starting a tank with water that is already in a cycled tank introduces bacteria that's part of the nitrogen cycle. If you're using established live rock, there's really no reason to add the water from their system - if you start with RO/DI saltwater you'll end up with a cleaner tank. If you feel you need to introduce some bacteria, just buy some microbacter or other product to add.

Regardless of how you start, the most important thing is fully cycled rock as that will be the basis of your nitrogen cycle. If you use rock that is not cycled, you'll most likely end up with a cycle and this will mean you'll have to wait a few weeks for the cycle to complete itself and also will be wanting to add ammonia to the system to prepare it for a living organism.
 

DWhatley

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Plus one on Dave's first comment. Water is of little use for cycling, the bulk of your bacteria is in your live rock. I don't even use live sand for the same reasons Dave mentions in addition to unavoidably adding nitrates (one of the things you are trying to minimize with water changes).

The rock sounds excellent for now and later. Add a few smaller pieces that he can easily move around to make a door.

Love that you are enjoying Bob and have not freaked each other out too badly :biggrin2:

I keep the serpent star off his clam so he gets fed.
Hence the reason our red brittles are all named Pesky :roll:
 

Susan Grosskopf

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I bought some shrimp and put a piece in front of Bob's den and it dissappeared. Last night I was a little late feeding him with fireworks watching and all. I put the shrimp on the end of a wooden skewer and was trying to position it near his den. I changed the water yesterday and moved some rock around to try and make his den darker so it is a little more difficult to get food there. Well, I did not have to worry about getting it close because first there was one arm reaching way up on the skewer and then the rest of him came out and we had a tug of war going on! I guess I could have just let go of the skewer but he finally let go with the shrimp and went back in his den. He is strong!
 

DWhatley

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LOL, feeding stick capture is one of the first things new keepers mention and most journals (new or experienced keepers) record. Sometimes you get it back, sometimes you just wait until they are bored with it :biggrin2:. Shiitake is the first briareus I can remember that give up the stick as soon as the food is in her webbing. Normally I use a bamboo skewer but have been using a nylon feeding stick to take advantage of the curved end. I don't know if it is the nylon or just a peculiarity of the animal.
 

Susan Grosskopf

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The new 75 gallon tank is up and running with the sump. There is some live rock in there but it does not make a good den yet. I'll get that fixed. What do we do now to get it to spike and hopefully start cycling?
 

DWhatley

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Adding live rock (the fresher the better) and clean up crew would be my normal route. Depending upon the condition of the live rock in the new tank you can swap it with some in the existing but you need to be very careful about poisoning the existing tank and/or taking away biological filtration from Bob's current home. If the new rock is precycled, it will take longer to build bacteria but is safer to swap (after about 2 weeks in the new tank). If the new LR is fresh and uncycled, don't swap the rocks and cycle the new tank with it, adding and feeding a clean up crew after it shows ammonia and then no ammonia or nitrites (I use test strips for this but be aware some frown on their accuracy. My comparison tests matched and they are the only thing you can really use during an acclimation because of the time it takes to test with reagents). One way to kick ammonia up is to put in a dead shrimp. I would only do this in the beginning even though others recommend continuing to add shrimp by itself. Once you have a clean up crew (brittle recommended and you can have a couple in that sized tank) you can feed it (or to a lesser extent hermits) pieces of chopped shrimp (we do this to feed ours even after cycling). A more expensive but easier food for the clean up crew would be frozen mysis. It is a form of shrimp and can be found in frozen cubes (no chopping needed). The frozen mysis are not adequate for Bob at this size but are fine for brittles and hermits.
 

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