[Octopus]: Octane - O. Hummelincki (filosus)

Acrylic. They scratch like crazy but I still like them over glass for a number of reasons. This one was a fresh water setup but just the right size to put on our counter (whos sole purpose today is to house various feeder/hospital/QT tanks along with this display;>). We drilled it and added a sump DIY style (as we have with several others). Our "overflow" is on the unusual side but it was easy to modify yet again for the octo. I particularly like this tank (we have two of these, the second acquired somewhat serendipitously) because of its size and height. Unfortunately, the photo does not display it very well but I had to post the photo of my rescued red Mithrax ;>)
Octane walked, up-right across the sand in her/his tank tonight! I saw her/him hunting in the live rock late this afternoon (after feeding time). This in itself is intresting to watch as s/he kind of spreads out and starts poking arms into all the crevices (not a wonder that an arm tip was missing). This is not often performed in front of us, possibly because a pathetic look will always cause the food slaves to bring a meal. When Octane saw me s/he pulled away (not hurridly) and stood up on her arms and walked back to the normal feeding quadrant (roughtly a 12" stroll). Her arms held her head about 2" of the substrate during the entire prominade. Afterwards, I set up the camera (and found I do have a light compensation for movies) and waited for the better part of two hours to see if it would happen again - I even put a crab in on the opposite side of the tank - but no such luck. Food slave is present, no need to hunt ;>(. I have kept the camera set on a tripod with the light settings adjusted so I hope the opportunity presents it self again as it was very interesting to watch.

Do note that I am revising my thoughts on Octane's sex. Now that s/he is more relaxed in the tank and the arms uncurl (and recurl) during movement, one arm is staying curled up all the time and it is the third on the right side. I haven't pointed this out to Neal yet (who has been insistent that Octane is male for no reason other than he does not want him to brood and disappear for the last month of life) as it just became apparent tonight and Neal is under the weather so he also missed the walk. I still have not been able to get a good look at the arm tip to confirm but the deference to that arm is becoming quite distinct.
Octane is very cute! Seems that conehead is a normal behavior as quite a few of mine have done that also, when they "act" scared or hunting.
It does seem to be more posturing than true fear since Octane turns very white he is not quite sure if the food dropped in the aquarium is pray or preditor. If one of us surprises him (including the Newfie) the reaction is ink and hide but the striped cone head never results in ink, fleeing or white coloration. When the Mercs would show it (I have not seen them do it for quite some time) they did not flee either so it seems to have some other meaning, perhaps it is a threat (?) but, with the Mercs, it was not directed at each other.
I have been trying a "toy" experiment with Octane. My son (28) got this as a stocking stuffer two Xmas' ago and thought it might make an interesting octotoy. The mercs ignored it but we are trying again with the larger octo. I have a plastic tie attached to one ring and put a shrimp on the tie and push it into the ball. So far Octane will investigate it a little (we are leaving it in the tank for now without the shrimp) but look who learned the first day :oops:


  • conv_292365.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 97
  • conv_292366.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 117
  • conv_292367.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 118
You are actually looking at three different stars. I don't have the proper names but they are all from south FL. The tan one is known as a "common" star (a lot like a common brown octopus - they can vary in what they really are), the orange, a knobby and the one you don't really see is a green serpent star named Mr. Green Jeans (I believe he is the longest kept critter I have and is constantly loosing arms - he has done best in this tank with Octane and looks healthier than he ever has). The knobby is a really great bright orange. It is not suitable for a reef tank but is my very best octo clean-up critter and a major favorite.
You DID read that I said it was NOT reef safe, right? It WILL eat clams (it has not messed with the snails or hermits though), some corals and anything an octo leaves behind. It IS safe for an octo tank if the aquarium is designed around the suggestions on TONMO but if you want corals, I don't recommend it (Dom's tank, for instance would not be a safe bet). They should also be a great a addition to any FOWLR tank for the same reasoning. Also, I noted that you mentioned an interest in harlequin shrimp, not a good tank mate for these guys.
Octane is starting to get the idea that the ball is a food container. He was a bit odd about it last night because we put the food ball at the front of the tank. He made pass after pass around it and felt the shrimp with his arms but would not stop and eat. By bed time the shrimp was still in the ball (now with starfish - a curious race every night) so I removed it and put in two live crabs for him to find in the morning. Tonight we put the ball back in the feeding area (back right side of the tank) and he only took a few minutes to decide to take the bait.

If I am going to have ugly plastic stuff in my tanks, they need a purpose. My initial thought was to see if Octane would communicate when he was hungry by going to the ball or pushing it around when he saw me but Neal had a more interesting additional suggestion that we are going to try. Once Octane is a little more comfortable with the ball, we will add a second object that will only contain crab while the ball will only contain shrimp. Our goal is to see if he not only recognized the difference but trys to communicate which he would rather have.

We both, independently, thought about how interesting and sad this will be since we know we are on a short time schedule and may not be able to finish the experiment but so far Octane is doing well and gives us a show anytime we sit with him.
There has been a live clam in Octane's tank for months before Octane arrived. Up until today, he has ignored it but tonight I found it open and totally empty. There were no drill holes (very thick shelled variety) so I don't know if it just died and he scavenged or if he found another way to open it but nothing else in the tank could have emptied it that quickly. He only ate half a shrimp tonight (but he did take it out of the ball) but did take his crab (Octane usually eats one shrimp and one crab a night) from my fingers. I put another clam in the same location so we'll see if it is still alive tomorrow.

If anyone has an idea for a live crab container (no top desired), I am looking for something for the second half of our feeding experiment.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.