MEET 'octavia'!


O. vulgaris
Jun 12, 2004
Well recently I have been bummed because of my loss of OCTOROK obviously. I did a really large water change, algae scraped the tank, and had these fiddlers establish themselves in some hiding places. I'd been taking my time on making another order from octopets, and had been somewhat worrying about putting a baby octopus in with these crabs and all that, so I wanted some time to 'sleep on' what I would do next.

Well, as it always seems, things worked out for me better than I could ever have imagined!!!!!!!!!!!!

On friday I finally went to this far away 'legendary fish store' that everybody has been recommended to me, because I wanted to get an exotic betta. This place was insane, they had about 15 types of plecos (I ended up picking up an L333, 'yellow king tinger plec', so cool), a huge area of exotic bettas for $2.99 (I got a light/dark/medium blue, white, green, with orange gills crowntail. Unbelievable!!!), and in their dry goods section I saw aquarium lighting, which I want to upgrade in my 120g FW to be a bit brighter. Their staff was happy to plug in bulbs into a universal-sized fixture to show me how they looked -- this was really really cool I thought.

Now the part of the store that obviously COMPLETELY floored me -- they had FOUR octopus for sale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have never seen ONE, or any SINGLE LFS that would even take an ORDER for one before, so this was completely new to me.

They had a bimac and I thought, 'well awesome I can at least get this guy and save myself some money/octo stress from shipping from octopets', but then I saw they had even more! They had a tank with one small bodied very long/thin legged octpus, with 2 labels 'small octopus' and 'bali octopus'. I believe this may have been briaerius from the descriptions I had read/seen, but hard to know for sure of course. In the next tank they had two octopus side by side, both labelled as 'octopus joubini'. I chose the larger of the two to take home :smile:

It has been named by my girlfriend, and is 'octavia' and a girl. She was much larger than expected when I saw her really stretch out in the jar she came in!!!!!!! My friend took a picture using his camera phone, which I will attach at the end of this.

I am looking for an ID on the species; I have a feeling it is actually not joubini. octavia's mantle I would guess is about 3 inches (~7.5 cm) which exceeds the max size for a joubini. Also cephbase does not show any mature pictures of this species, so it's hard to make the match. However, the red look and size for rubescens seems to match much more closely.

At first while acclimiating, the octopus did not move much and would not come out of the jar. When I came home hours later I noticed a severed fiddler crab claw in the tank and a crab carcass, and octavia was moving the sand around to burrow underneath live rock!!!! I notice a lot of sand was blown around by her, and she has pulled a large rock in to cover the opening of her den. Really neat stuff! When I woke up this morning I saw that another crab had become prey.

I can't remember if I had the light off last night when I left for several hours or not, but I have a feeling that this octopus is nocturnal from what I have seen so far. Of course, it has only been a day or so, so I have no real idea of its 'normal' behavior.

Robert & octavia :tentacle:

This is so cool! I'm still mouring for the loss of Mr.Ink, A local octo I bought from the fish market that died on my journey to the seaside where I was planning to se it free. Mr. Ink is currently in the sea at last and at peace where it body will once again be in the life cycle of the animals in the sea. I have made a clay tab that says R.I.P Mr. INK :cry: But I hope you have sucess with your new friend.
Welcome to Octavia! Robert, I'm sure you're glad to have an active octo in your tank again. I'll add her to my list of octos as soon as I have a moment.

Sorry about Mr. Ink, Chrono war. It was kind of you to try to return him to the sea.

Welcome Octavia!!! You didn't by chance run out to Lancastor did you??? This is where my favorite shop of all time is, and usually that is why at times I am a 2 octo family because I can't resist!!! Good luck with her!! She's cute!!!

No but I'm interested in hearing about this place in Lancaster! I went up to a store near baltimore, MD called 'aquarium center'

450 tanks of freshwater fish and invertebrates
50 tanks of marine fish
46 tanks of marine invertebrates
60 tanks of live aquatic plants
500 gallon reef aquarium display

Also of possible interest to people on this forum, they had a porteugese man of war jellyfish for sale!!! There's something you won't see every day; $350 though (ouch)
rcl said:
Also of possible interest to people on this forum, they had a porteugese man of war jellyfish for sale!!! There's something you won't see every day; $350 though (ouch)

Welcome to Octavia! and definitely ouch about the p-o-w!!! They can be very hard to keep too! They have real difficulties with filtration (given that they can't swim against a current!) and probably would eat your other fish! Definftely a species tank inhabitant. We've held them in the past but we have to modifiy all our inlets and outflows....a real pain in the neck!! Plus they can inflict a fairly nasty sting!


It looked totally mean. They had it sitting in a specimen bag on a counter -- I thought somebody was buying it but then I realized that's probably the only suitable setup they could provide for it. Do they do much of anything when you hold them in a tank, or do they just float around? Also what do you feed them? Just kind of curious

Here is a picture I just remembered I took of the acclimating of octavia. This is actually a pretty good shot of my OCTO TANK. When tonmo's revamping is finished hopefully I can get some extra good shots to put in my tank profile.


You can see him in a plastic cup in the front lower right of the tank. You can also notice a hand decorated rock that I use to hold the lid of my tank closed. The rock features a sea-water color on the front, and an orange felt octopus with some green felt seaweed. Extra cool! This was a christmas present from my wonderful girlfriend, who is extending the universal symbol for 'peace' to our new 8 legged friend.

Since P-o-ws can't swim, you'll need a round tank that makes the current go in a cycle. Not like the one on Squidcam but like a rolling pin. Then you'll need a fine mesh over anything that sucks too and then you'll need to find small fish larve as food. But the real bad part is when they eventually die, you'll need nets, plastic gloves and all the other things to remove it from your tank. Also be careful since I heard that P-o-ws can grow to over 40 cm on the bell ( the floating thing where you can pop it with extra strong shoes). If you want to buy jellies, start with moon jellies since they don't sting.
It has been a while now and I have not seen OCTAVIA since the day I put her in. For several days I found the shells and rocks closing her den disturbed and different every day, and I kept finding crabs dead, and I could see her sometimes (just an arm or her eye)... now the den has been completely closed in and I have not seen her at all. I'm starting to get a bit worried.

I only have one crab left but he is still quite alive. I have added 50 common shore shrimp, and its impossible to know if any of them have been eaten or not really...

Right now I have replaced the bright white flourescent lighting of the tank with blue cold cathode lighting. I ordered a pair of red cold cathode tubes to swap into this DIY fixture I made, on Nancy's suggestion. Hopefully this can lure the octopus to come out.

Assuming this is octopus joubini, is this normal? Should it be a completely nocturnal species? What kind of temperature should I be keeping it at? As for now I have been keeping it room temp (like I did my bimac) which is ~68-72'F.. should I have a heater going maybe?

I should get the red light in a couple days and then I guess I will experiment around.. I am starting to get worried though, and if this keeps up for another week I think I am going to have to try to uncover her and see if she is ok :frown:

Robert (HOPEFULLY with octavia!) Havn't heard of using redlight. But there was a video on NG that shows Humbolts 'seeing red', dunno if it agitates them or not, but they sure know something is going on with the red ligths. :shock:
Dunno if the other cephs will also see red.
If Octavia is a dwarf, there's a possability she has eggs! Especially the way you describe she has herself blocked in the den!!!! Her arrival shot reminds me of Rummler who I believe we also identified as Joubini!

Also, if you do a search for That Pet Place in Lancastor Pa, they have a website with directions!!! :smile:

Cool present!!!! Interesting to see that stores are getting more into octos...same down here !
I have installed red lighting in my aquarium and have had some interesting reaction to it (and a dark room)! First off, my urchin has now moved like CRAZY since I made things dark/red. This is something it hasn't done at all, so way cool!

As for the octopus, I have SEEN it now for the first time in a while. It isn't coming out, but I can see it peeking out at me and moving around inside the den. This makes me less worried, I'm pretty sure its safe... but its weird that it isn't coming out at all. I'm beginning to think that it indeed may have something to do with eggs. Is anything known about the breeding of octopus -- would it have waited until it got to my tank before doing this, since in its 'creature cage' it wouldn't have had a proper place to lay the eggs? This could explain the reclusion happening shortly after the octopus coming to my house. Also, what about males? Do they do anything special or weird before their life ends?

Hi Robert,

I've read over this thread - your little octo does seem rather large for a pygmy octo. Now that it's hiding, it will be hard to take pics. Joubini only grows to a mantle size of less than 2 inches, and is reddish orange with pale bands across the web and arms, if that helps.

It's the time of year for egg laying. She might have a den with eggs - be sure to offer food where she can reach it without leaving her den. Most of them do seem to continue eating when provided with food like that. If she doesn't accept frozen food, try live - someone else had an octo with eggs that wouldn't accept frozen food anymore.

She is an attractive little octopus and I hope you enjoy her whatever.
As for the temperature, without knowing the species, it's hard. Probably just leave it at room temperature. O. joubini lives in the Gulf of Mexico - I've been told it's in the bay between Galveston and the Mainland, and I don't think the temperatue there is always so warm.

I'm going to start a new list of our octos for the non-bimac octo pets, so I'll add Octavia.


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