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New Octopus


Feb 2, 2008
I got a new octopus last weekend and acclimated him very slowly. As soon as he was let free in the tank he climbed into the live rock and I haven't seen him since. He blends in very well and I have a lot of live rock so he could be somewhere that I really can't see. Is it common for some types to stay hidden in the rock or do most of them come out? I really want to go and start moving the rocks around to see if he's ok. I would really appreciate any information. Thanks!:confused:
It is typical for a new octopus to hide at first. Give it time. Just offer live foods. Digging around in the rocks can stress the octopus out and you risk smashing it on accident.

Do you know what species? How large?
Hi and welcome to you and your new octopus!
I second Animal Mother's advice. The worst thing you can do is dig around the rocks. It's perfectly normal for your octopus to disappear. If there is live food in the tank, your octopus will do fine and will come out as it gains confidence.

It would be useful for you to know what species you have (at least where it comes from) in order to determine whether it's normally active during the day or at night.

:welcome: to you and your octo... patience is a virtue. For nocturnal species, observing them with a red LED flashlight at night can sometimes help spot them and making sure they're OK.
Hi, thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure what type I chose, when I got it they showed me one that had shorter tenticles with more textured skin and one with longer tenticles with smoother looking skin and I chose the smoother longer tenticles octopus. Some of the sand in one corner of my tank is moved up on the glass so I'm thinking he might be making himself a little home. The guy at the LFS said that it would be fine to feed him snails and ghost shrimp. When I acclimated him, I added some ghost shrimp. Is there something that he might like better than some snails? I just want to see my little guy already. Sorry for my long post.
Ghost shrimp are not the best thing for your octopus - they live in fresh water and don't contain the nutrients your octopus needs. It's natural for him to eat snails, but try to give him a few crabs (not more than 1/3 the length of the mantle). You might try pieces of thawed frozen shrimp, or even live shrimp. Pieces of fresh scallop or mussel are often appreciated.

I see you're from Florida - do you live along the coast? You might find good food in bait shops.

LFSs rarely know anything about octopuses.

Can you post a photo? What does your octopus look like - long arms? color at rest?

So I am very happy to say that my octo is still alive :biggrin2:. He hasn't come out, I can see his tenticles inbetween the live rock where his den is in the back of my tank. I have only seen his tenticles come out and they are very dark blue/purplish. I've been feeding him some hermit crabs, he still hasn't touched my snails. He doesn't come out enough for me to get a picture of him to post. He also seems to be active around the evening hours, I've only watched him around 4-7pm. I asked the guy at the fish store what kind of octo it was and he said that it was a common atlantic octo. If anyone can help me out with the ID I would really appreciate it.
Well, the most common Atlantic octo near the US that would be that shy is probably mercatoris, which are also very small, so that's my first guess. It's hard to say without a picture, though... dwhatley's avatar picture is one to compare, the arm posture is very typical for mercs, too.
if he's from the atlantic, he's probably nocturnal. you may be surprised at how well they can camouflage, so he may be sitting right in front of you. :octopus2:

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