I recommend a small (eye sized to start) piece of regular table shrimp (this type of shrimp would be common for O. briareus in the wild) over other frozen foods to begin training. With all my octos, they would try thawed scallop once and only once (odd since scallops are also native to FL and likely eaten). I think freezing may change the taste in some way. If you can find live blue crabs and can collect just the claws that have been already severed but do not smell (I use Asian markets but they have been absent lately - you should have better luck in FL), these make almost irresistible food (I do crack the back and peel away some of the shell). Fiddler or small shore crabs are also a big hit for live foods. Some people have had success with hermits but my guys (with one exception -- LittleBit ate ANYTHING you put in the tank) would never find them interesting.
Yes, whole claw, there is not that much meat. Try placing it near where you think he may be denning. Once it becomes accustomed to a specific feeding time, you should see it nightly if only for a quick food grab.Give him the whole claw? Just wave it around and leave it in the tank for him?
I’m sorry I’m late to your post! I’ve kept mostly briareus for the last 11 years- my absolute favorites! I didn’t read in previous posts what time you’re looking for your new friend to be out- but know that briareus are crepuscular/ nocturnal, so you have to look for him to be out at times that fall in those ranges- don’t expect him to be out in the middle of the day.
I have always gotten mine from the Florida Keys, and I feed them live blue legged hermit crabs and I stick feed pea sized raw shrimp from the grocery.
The last thing to consider is that you’ve got a female who is comfortable and started to brood... wait a few more days of not seeing it before worrying about that.
The red light I have is a flashlight so that wouldnt work. I'm ordering some lunar LEDs to have on timer when these lights dim out. Until they come I left the regular lights on 3% for the night. Extremely dim but not totally black.Can you keep red lights on all night long? Sometimes if you have a completely dark time in your photoperiod, they learn to wait and only come out when it’s totally dark. I keep lights on 24/7- but from 7pm to 9am it’s red lights only!
The way to sex an octopus is to check out the tip of its third right arm. If it’s “stubby” then that’s a hectocotylus, it’s male reproductive organ. You can find lots of references here. So first you have to see the octopus...
If it’s a female who’s decided to brood, then it’s laying eggs (fertile or not) and will die soon after they hatch. The way to tell if it’s a female starting to brood is to watch to see if it’s building a “barricade” around it’s den, packing any shell, rocks, substrate- anything it can find- tightly into any hole of its den.
I’d set my alarm for the middle of the night and check the tank out then. Good luck and keep us posted!