[Octopus]: New Bimac: Octavia


O. vulgaris
Dec 3, 2021
Galveston, TX
Well guys the big day finally arrived!

Months and months of obsessive research and planning have finally paid off~ we got our first baby!

“She” (I am hopeful it is a she anyways) arrived this morning about 11 am in fantastic shape. @Tomh is an joy to work with! I can not say enough good things about our experience.

We drip acclimated for about 3 hours and made sure all the water matched temp and salinity. While the drip was going I kept peaking in on her. When I would look at her she would raise her eyes out of the water and when I would look away she would blow water at me! I think she is going to be an absolute ham!

When we added the bucket to the tank she came out fairly quickly! I was expecting her to be more timid but she came out of the bucket and held on with two arms while she tested the rocks out. Once she decided they were to her standard she released the bucket. Within 30 seconds she grabbed a hermit crab and presumably ate it and discarded the empty shell quickly after. A minuet or so later she pounced on a shrimp in the tank and ate that too! It all happened so quickly we all (my husband, my sister and I) just kinda stood there shell shocked! This was better than turning on National Geographic!

After she ate that shrimp she made her way around the tank scoping it out testing all the caves. She found another shrimp and killed it but then came up to the glass where I was sitting and spit it out at me and went the other direction 🤦🏼‍♀️ Not quite sure what that was about but it was funny how she brought it half way across the tank to “give it back”

She did a cute little dance on the side of the wall going up and down when my cat jumped in my lap to see what was going on before retreating to a corner behind some rocks to take a little nap.

She came out an hour or so later and picked a den. She started moving sand around and once she got it how she wanted she curled up inside it and has been resting ever since.

Her breathing seems normal? Although I don’t have any previous experience to compare it to other than all the videos I have watched. It’s rhythmic and steady with no signs of tachycardia. Her color seems good and she has displayed multiple patterns and variations.

I’m holding my breath and praying hard she does well. I have put so much work and love into this and feel like a kid on Christmas morning!

I will post more pictures as I take them but here’s a few I got so far today❤️


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Day 2:

Well, last night was doozy. For me- not her! I think I was up every hour on the hour checking on her. I was so scared to wake up and find her out of the tank- despite the insane amount of octo proofing we did- I could not sleep. There is not enough coffee in the world this morning to prepare me to go to work! On a positive note she however, seemed to rest peacefully last night with what I am sure was mild irritation at the red light that was shined on her every hour throughout the night lol She has remained in her den since about 5pm yesterday. I am thrilled with the spot she picked! It is right up against the glass where we can easily spot her and she has a full view of the living room- which is where we spend the most time so I think it will work out beautifully! Pre-Octopus I was glued to the tank every spare moment I could spend watching the snails, hermits and serpent star so it was really hard not to be "in her face" all night. I figured I would give her a day or so to adjust before I resumed. My husband made the comment last night he was shocked I was sitting on the couch with him instead of the chairs I have next to the tank. I told him if an alien grabbed me from my front yard, threw me in a box and shipped me to a space shuttle I would probably appreciate a day to get my bearings about me too! Haha.

Interestingly she shacked up with the red serpent star. I am not sure if she wanted to have company or just liked the serpent star's den. They seemed to be cohabitating well though. It will be interesting to see how their relationship evolves.

I know people have mentioned the depth and complexity of their eyes but- wow! Pictures and videos really just don't even compare to real life! I am so smitten with this little one. I still feel like this a dream I will wake up from any minuet. I hope this intense feeling of aww and wonder happens every time you get one..

We have settled on two names- Octavia if it is a female and Davy Jones if it a male. My husband and I have argued for months prior to the arrival because he wanted to name it Squidward if it was a boy so I am thankful now that she's here, he gave that up.

I thankfully have a very short drive from my house to work so on my lunch break I was able to spend some time with her. We have the lights set to come on around the time I get home for lunch and go off later in the evening. This has seemed to work for our schedule getting more viewing time when we are home and I hope this doesn't bother her in the long run.

While I was home for lunch she stayed in her den "decorating". I have maybe a 1 inch sand bed? With less sand in the front of the tank. She has now started moving all the sand from under the rock where she dens I am assuming to help make it more closed off. While I am glad she chose where she did for a den it is the most "open" of all of the choices. I made sure when aquascaping to have multiple places with different styles of caves and hiding places. Towards the end of my lunch break she found the reef rubble I had put in the tank and was in the process of -what I am assuming- making doors. I was mentally thanking DWhatley for suggesting a shallow sand bed with frequent cleaning and putting the rocks in first in the event this very situation happened! The inside of her cave is now a bare bottom. I can not wait to see what she has done with the place when I get off work!

There are still tons of hermits and snails in the tank. There is two live bait shrimp left after her buffet yesterday and her 3 dozen fiddlers were delivered during my lunch break as well. Should I throw a couple of crabs in the tank tonight or hold off until the shrimp are gone? I will be picking up some clams this weekend for her- they have been slightly hard to find but the guy at the seafood market said he will have more tomorrow. After the live shrimp and crabs are gone I will start trying to feed thawed frozen shrimp and the clams. There is just something about these big bait shrimp swimming into the side of the tank that give me the heebie-jeebies....

Crossing my fingers I get to see her more tonight!
I told him if an alien grabbed me from my front yard, threw me in a box and shipped me to a space shuttle I would probably appreciate a day to get my bearings about me too! Haha.
:lol::alien:... funny, but also a really good thought! Wow, everything really sounds (and looks) to be going wonderfully! It's such a tough hobby, hats off to you! 🎩 Looking forward to following along.
:lol::alien:... funny, but also a really good thought! Wow, everything really sounds (and looks) to be going wonderfully! It's such a tough hobby, hats off to you! 🎩 Looking forward to following along.
Thank you, I really appreciate that! I’ve read so many journals and having my own now feels quite surreal! I’m one proud octo momma!
Nothing major to report on last night and this morning. No news is typically good news right? I am happy to say that I was able to sleep better through the night and in turn I am sure she did as well without all the red light waking her up. When I got home from work last night there was another shrimp missing. We went ahead and threw the last live shrimp we had in a separate container into the tank and that little piggy ate that one too! So, one live shrimp left in the tank. We will try adding a fiddler crab tonight as well.

She still remains in her den. Even with her new décor she remains visible enough we can check on her. I hope she settles in soon- the excitement is so hard to handle. I remained on the couch again after work instead of next to the tank. I will peak in on her and wave hello often. She should be able to see me from her den when I sit on the couch. Maybe tonight I will begin sitting next to the tank again- I am just trying so hard not to put any more unnecessary stress on her.

Is over eating something I need to be concerned about? I recently left the veterinary medical field after years of being a tech- in mammals it can be a bit of a concern but I am not sure if that correlates over? These shrimp came from the bait shop and they really are more of a prawn so they are roughly 5-6 inches. I was not expecting them to be so large but figured when we got her if she didn't eat them we could dispatch, freeze and cut them into smaller pieces.

Also something I noticed- I stalked the tank heavily with Nassarius snails (and others) before we got her in hopes they would help get the leftovers. Pre-Octo I was feeding the hermits and carnivorous snails daily to help keep the BB going and I saw everyone daily eating. Since I have hooked up the chiller though I have not witnessed one Nassarius snail. I am wondering if they do not like the colder water or if it is something else entirely? :hmm:
The husband thinks I am being cruel because I said I am not going to feed the hermits and snails daily now that the octo is here and producing leftovers that it is their job to be the "clean up crew" now. Is this something I should still do? After he made the comment I started to feel bad the more I thought about it. The meaty remains of one of the shrimp was still in the tank this morning when I got up and normally that never happens the snails and hermits would devour it.
There should be enough scrap left overs for your clean up crew but remove any remains soon (no more than roughly 12 hours) as they will pollute the water. Turning down the temp will slow down the cleanup crew. Depending on the temp some may even die but most will likely adapt.
Day 4:

I woke up this morning and sweet girl was still in her den. It appears there is an empty turbo snail shell and an empty hermit crab shell as well in there with her. She still has not emerged. I sat beside the tank and drank a few cups of coffee when I woke up. It was pretty neat how she watched every little thing that I did.

Around lunch time I came and sat next to the tank again to eat. I put my finger on the glass and moved it side to side and she actually put her arm out on the glass like she wanted to touch me!!! I sat very still and then a minuet or two later she came out of her den and touched the glass again for a moment and then retreated back to her den. The fiddler crab I put in last night before bed I noticed was in pieces in her den. She defiantly has a good appetite! I started looking around the tank and noticed a half eaten shrimp on the other side of the tank so I scooped that out and found a few pieces of shrimp shell and snagged those up too. To be on the safe side since I am assuming the half-eaten shrimp was left on the first day (that’s the only time I have witnessed her on that side of the tank) I went ahead and did my weekly water exchange vs doing it tomorrow. That was likely the last time I’ll have an easy water change on that tank and honestly I’m not even mad about that😂

After I finished her tank I moved to my other tank (reef tank in the making) to clean and when I was done I went to sit next to her again. That little booger grabbed and ate the last live shrimp while I was messing with the other tank! I keep missing the all the action- dang it!! I’m thankful she got that one though- I doubt I will feed anymore bait shrimp. Those things were creepy! I’m still shocked at how much she’s eating!

She has stayed in her den all afternoon- likely digesting her huge lunch! I am crossing my fingers our first interaction is a good sign and that she will see soon I’m her buddy!

After dinner my husband and I were sitting on the couch watching TV. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and looked- she had emerged and threw a half-eaten shrimp a few inches outside her den! I couldn’t help but laugh and compliment her house keeping skills. I grabbed the net and removed the debris. No sooner did I sit back down did she do it again with the fiddler crab remains and after that was removed once more with the snail and hermit shells. I sat down next to the tank and we played through the glass for a minuet before she retracted her arms and sat watching me. With her having only been with us four days I’m hoping this a good sign that we will have a strong bond!
My sister has been obsessed with cephalopods since she was in high school so I have tried to include her in this process as much as possible. She took the day off of work to come over for the delivery/acclimation process and was able to snag this video right after she came out of the acclimation bucket. It’s a little shaky since my sister was so excited but I thought it was pretty awesome to get something like this on camera!


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Great catch (both your sister and Octavia)! I have to chuckle at your distaste of the bait shrimp. We transported some to GA on one of our FL trips and my granddaughter was heart broken when she learned they were food and not just tank mates for the octo. She definitely wants at least one of the more decorative kind for her first saltwater set up.
Great catch (both your sister and Octavia)! I have to chuckle at your distaste of the bait shrimp. We transported some to GA on one of our FL trips and my granddaughter was heart broken when she learned they were food and not just tank mates for the octo. She definitely wants at least one of the more decorative kind for her first saltwater set up.
There are some really cool shrimp out there- prawn however are just creepy lol my husband is very fond of the peppermint shrimp in the octo tank. Hopefully he learns to dip, duck, dodge and weave! Lol!
Day 5:

Not a whole lot to report today! Sundays I spend with my grandma so I was only able to spend a little bit of time with her today.

One behavior I’ve noticed her doing a few times since she got here is is sticking an arm or two inside her- syphon? I’m not sure on the correct terminology. I attached a video of what part of her body she is doing it at. Unfortunately I have not been able to get the action itself on video as she is still in her den and by the time I pull my phone up to get it focused she has stopped. Is this normal?


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