My new O. Briareus

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Ok so this is not only my first octopus but my first journal. I recently purchased an octopus at a local fish store under the assumption that it was a dwarf species but it turned out to be a briareus. From what I've seen from the video about Kalypso I'd say my octo was about 17 weeks when I bought it. After about 3 - 4 hours of acclimating I placed the octo in my tank and it quickly crawled to the back of the tank. Eventually she crawled into one of the live rocks and I hadn't seen her for a whole day. The next day I found her crawling in between the rocks. She started eating all my crustaceans instantly. I had to rescue my horse shoe crab and place it in my tank at work. Over the next couple of weeks she's settled into a specific rock. This makes it really easy to find her being as the rock only has one main hole that she can fit into and she is easily seen from the outside through the holes in the rock. It only took a few days before she would eat from a feeding rod and she took the shrimp instantly without hesitation. About a week later I was able to start hand feeding. Again she instantly and willingly took the shrimp. The majority of the time she spends in her den and only comes out a few times. Usually around 6:00 - 7:00 am and sometimes around the middle of the day. My fiance told me she's seen her out and about around 3:00 pm. I've had her for about a month now and she's almost doubled. She doesn't eat much that I can tell. I feed her about have of a thawed shrimp tail every two days. Whether she's eating hermits in my tank or not I can't tell. There are still alot running around in there. I try not to feed her too much so as to not excel her life span and also because when I feed her she eats and then spends the next day in her den, only coming out to eat. I find this to be curious because the octopus we have at my work (O. Dofleini) comes out all the time to crawl around and swim, and is well fed daily. I know I keep refering to my octopus as a female. This is because I have yet to find the presence of a hectoctylus (spelling?) I just recently found a post of someone who just recently purchased what looks like a male briareus that looks of the same age. I'm cursious to know if this octo is near by. I would love to find a male to breed with mine. Anyways I know I'm ranting. I just wanted to try my best to sum up the past month that I've had her and not posted anything. I'll try to keep this thread more up to date. What is the best tempurature to keep O. Briareus?
 

DWhatley

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The briareus we see are from the FL keys (I don't know if they are indiginous to other areas) and temperatures between 75 - 80 are common to their environment. I tend to try to keep my tanks toward the 75 degree mark as 72 is not harmful and 75 gives a buffer for either direction but CaptFish keeps his tanks between 80-81 with no negative side effects for Legs.

Breeding will be a difficult task and should be approached very carefully. As hatchlings, they will attack and kill each other in an aquarium. I witnessed this first hand with Joe Fish's Conanny. Densities to prevent this are unknown. They may be cannibalistic as adults but the jury is out on this one. CaptFish found Legs in a group of others where the main course was not each other. The ones coming from the crab and lobster traps are always shy several arms or arm tips. In crab traps this may be the crabs but the FL lobsters have no pinchers so it may be from other briareus, we just don't know.

If Creepy turns out to be Male (still unsure of sex) then I will likely attempt a mating with KaySoh. KaySoh's tank is a split tank with upper and lower 8" tubes joining the separate sides. I have always thought this might work for breeding if I block the tubes in such a way that only an arm could pass to the other side. Time will tell if the idea will work. Roy has mated a variety of octos and I am hoping he will have some suggestions. I also hope you have a larger tank in the works for this one if you are using the 29 gallon you discussed previously.
 
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Yes. Since I had purchased this octo in hopes for a smaller one I'm getting a larger tank ready to accomidate her. This is going to be kind of like my pilot or test octo. She will be my base for any future animals. My long term goal is to have 3 large tanks in a box formation with one sump connecting them all so I can breed them. I have her in my small reef tank now and like I said she stays hidden CONSTANTLY. So when I have the other tank set up, there won't be near as much live rock. I'm thinking a mud/sand mix with a few coconut shells and some fake sargassum. I helped raise our baby S. Pharaonis from eggs at work and I know about O. Briareus's canibalistic tendancies so I think I could handle it. But I don't think I'll be breeding for some time. As for your breeding tube idea, it sounds like a good idea but I think Richard Ross has a good system going for his S. Bandensis that might work with octos as well. He divids one large tank into several small tanks and places a male and female together. When he's ready to bread them he removes the divider, let's them copulate, then separates them again. This keeps them from killing each other.
 

DWhatley

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skywindsurfer;146044 said:
but I think Richard Ross has a good system going for his S. Bandensis that might work with octos as well. He divids one large tank into several small tanks and places a male and female together. When he's ready to bread them he removes the divider, let's them copulate, then separates them again. This keeps them from killing each other.

Unless I am mistaken, Thales abandoned this method some time ago after he lost over zealous cuttles trying to break down the barriers. His current method keeps males and females living together in a minimalist tank (correct me if I misstate this Rich). I believe Roy does use the separate except for monitored copulation method in a bare tank with his lab octopuses though.

An octopus NEEDS to be able to hide. Reducing its den choices is not a good idea. It will start coming out when it is fully tank acclimated. Briareus is crepsecular (coming out to hunt early evening and early morning) and not diurnal by nature. Most briareus will start coming out at around 7:00 PM Eastern STANDARD time after a couple of months in an aquarium environment. Some animals will adapt to human times and come out when they see their human entertainment approaching. Fully nocturnal octopuses usually do not change (as I have observed with the mercatoris) but Thales did/does see Zod (macropus) in the daytime where Beldar(also macopus complex) was strictly nocturnal until her last week post brood.

You may want to rethink the mud bottom. Most of the octos that are appropriate for a home aquarium come from a sandy bottom area rather than a muck bottom. My briareus and hummelinckis have all removed even the sand from their dens if they chose a bottom area (my two hummelincki males chose hight dens) and seem to find the smooth bottom preferable. Mud would be very difficult to keep free of dangerous sulfide pockets over time.
 
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Well thanks for the corrections about Richard. I don't plan on taking away all her hiding places. It's just that in my reef tank which is 30 gallons I have about 30 - 40 lbs of LR. But the new tank is still in the works. I still have time as she is not that active in my tank right now. I think this Is due to the three fish I have in there. She seems to sh away from them alot. Is O. Briareus canibalistic to other cephs or just it's own species?
 

DWhatley

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We have never had a success in TONMO journals (in my memory) where two octopuses of mixed species both survived the arrangement but there have only been a few recorded attempts. The attempts we have seen were disasters within a week (or less). Even shared tanks with dividers have not been successful. It has been rare (out side of sibblings raised together or octopuses found together in the wild) that same species have survived in the same tank. It is likely mercatoris would be viable as tank mates even if not raised or found together but we have no journals of successful attempts (there are a few unsuccessful attempts but the causes of death are unknown and may not be due to multiple animals in the same tank). Sibbling bimacs have been raised together by TONMO member Zian Silver but I don't recall another attempt with multiple bimacs in a tank.
 
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Well my thoughts were trying to raise a diurnal cuttlefish with a nocturnal octopus. I have changed out my gravel to a very soft and fine sand bed. My hopes are that I could place a small cuttlefish in there that will bury itself in the sand during the night while my O. Briareus is awake, and during the day my O. Briareus will be in her layer out of reach of the cuttlefish. I understand it's a long shot, but I think it would be something worth trying. Anyways, back to my Briareus. I bought a fiddler crab this afternoon and after cutting off the top part of it's claw, placed it in the tank. This encouraged her to come out with the lights on. She has been laying in the shadows of the back wall of rocks but at least she's out right. She's been out for about 3 hours now just sitting in the same spot. If she's still out in a couple of hours then I'm going to try giving her another piece of shrimp.
 

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