OhToo has started into an "affectionate" stage similar to the behavior we saw in Octane. He had come to my hand several times even before the tank transfer 3 weeks ago but would accept a couple of touches and move on. The seemingly acknowledged sequence goes something like this.
OhToo goes to the petting corner and approaches the surface while I am in the room. If he stays there I open the top and offer my hand. Initially he will slide down the corner (but not leave) then go up the short side of the tank and approach my hand. He may or may not make a few false starts but eventually he touches my fingers and then crawls in the the cup my hand makes on the glass (sometimes coming up from the bottom, sometimes sliding in from the side - often making a circle from approach to exit). I pet his mantle with a few strokes to whatever side he presents (often underneath but sometimes he will place his eyes at my finger tip) then he slides down the glass. Sometimes he will choose to slide between my finger for extra touching. Sometimes he will slide sideways on the long side of the tank rim and seems to want me to follow. He will reach the opposite corner then slide down the wall. I do not put my hand more than 1/3 of the way into the tank so "escaping" is simple. When he has had enough, he will go to the tube connecting the tanks and I close the lid. Sometimes he will pretend he is going to the crossover tube but not put his arms through. If I close the lid, sometimes he hurries back to the initial starting point and at other times he will wander about the live rock and avoid the wall until I leave the room. Up until Sunday night, he would not stay very long for the sessions but on Sunday he must have played for 15 minutes before he went toward the tunnel. I closed the lid, tuned my back and he inked THEN he went back to the starting point and accepted more petting when I offered my hand. Tonight while Neal and I were talking and standing near the tank, he inked again for no apparent reason (he did not flee or show a color change). I offered my hand but he declined until Neal left then once again headed for his play with me corner. I am hoping he is not going to start using the ink to get my attention
It is interesting to note that both OhToo and Octane have shown no aggression after reaching this phase in aquarium life. There is no attempt to pull on my hand or fingers (I don't handle his food before we "play") and there is no sucker side exploration even though he often flows between my fingers and could stick to my hand at any time.
It will be interesting now to see if he still approaches my hand to tell me NO when I move something in the tank. Normally he is not fond of cleaning day and does not like me to touch his stuff . If I move something or sometimes when I am cleaning a wall, he will come over and try to move my hand with his arm. It is not a grab and sample (he has done that, as did Octane earlier in the relationship) but it is more of a pushing behavior.
Carol, has Oscar either shown the "keep away from my stuff" or "pet me" attitude? I know Chef_Reef would locked up Little Chef during cleaning because he would make the process almost impossible.
Yeah, I know. I got my Xmas present early but have to wait for my birthday for the remote firing device (finally found a teathered one for the camera after weeks of looking - lots of DIY and messy looking stuff but this one is a fitted clip on - still have to find a long cable but the hard part is accomplished, why they left the wireless remote off the G9 I don't know, saw lots of laments).
OhToo came to the petting zone three different times tonight and, not wanting to tempt an inking episode, the slave offered three backrub sessions. I am definitely getting a case of prune-hand (and loving it). We have changed the rules a little and I will take my hand out of the tank when he goes to the live rock instead of execting him to put his arms in the cross-over tube (I wish I had taken a video of his fakes). I think he decided this was appropriate since he now knows I will not follow him. I wonder what tricks he will teach me next.
I tried shooting a some stills and video of OhToo coming to play using my new wired remote (wireless remote not available) . Since the aquarium is in a corner, just setting up the camera on a tripod is a bit daunting but here are my first results.
He is outgrowing his den and seems to be having trouble finding another suitable one. Last night he slept on the wall (Carol has mentioned that Oscar has done this from the beginning but OhToo has always slept in the LR). I scared him when I check the water temp this AM. He went ballistic and ran all over the tank lid as well as spewing a ton of ink. Stroking the glass seemed to get him calmed down enough to come to the side wall. He did not want to play too much tonight but did take his crab quite willingly.
great pics D, specially n3.
Great report and interesting aquarium setup. I'm on travel so had some time to read it from the beggining, but I think I'm gonna save it to disk and read it on detail.
Thanks for taking the time to share this
In an on-going effort to take a suitable picture for our calendar , I am trying to get a "prize winning" picture of OhToo eating. So far my camera skills have not been up to the challenge and I find what is interesting to watch does not always provide a photogenic opportunity. Here are some of my rejects
The first one shows OhToo's suckerless arm and undevelopped sucker.
The second was a semi-posed supper picture where Neal put a live crab in the crossover tube and OhToo decided to eat it there. If you could see the darned crab, I probably would have submitted it for uniqueness but he hides his food very, very well. Even in the up-against-the-glass two there is a need for a find the supper game.
The third one was some trick photography where my camera played a trick. I have it set to take 3 shots with different exposures for lighting. With a moving object, the pictures are not exactly the same. The series with this picture came out strangely with one picture missing the mantle entirely and then this one that is very odd.