[Octopus]: Orion. Callistoctopus Luteus

MissPH

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Do you have an urchin in the tank? What you describe sounds like urchin detritus (likely ground up rock) but there are other critters that will grind rock as well.

We see three kinds of waste from an octopus (all float), Here is one type after eating Cyclop-eeze (accounts for the red color) and a more typical look at the clump kind combined with the stringy. The third is more of an ink-like thin white cloud (may be closer to urine equivalent).

I agree that the scallop was probably too big. When over fed, they often do not eat for a day or two. We have various ideas (not quite disagreements) on how much and how often to feed and I believe the successes with the differences are species and age dependent. Everyday, every other day and even every three days are common schedules. I tend to go by when they are hungry :roll: but do fast once a week (but will often give in to a small "snack" if the animal is dancing around on the glass just after normal supper time).

I don't have an urchin that I am aware of! That is I have never seen one out and about. But new critters are always turning up out of the woodwork... Rockwork.. :smile:

The waste didn't look anything like the pictures you link to there, it doesn't float and is just a fine dark powder. Mysterious.

Orion seems to have taken to a feeding schedule of once every 3 days, however this is possibly due to the fact I tend to give him large portions so I have started giving him a bit less. Partly because I would like to see him more often and partly because I don't want uneaten food polluting his tank.

On day 19 he fed well on some prawn. I also tried putting a couple of large lego blocks in for him to investigate. He seemed to like them enough to take his food and sit next to them to eat (I will add videos later today). I tried interacting with him with my hand but I think he got a little confused and thought I was dinner - he approached me fairly quickly and latched on with one leg and I flinched, which in turn caused him to jet off. He didn't hide though, so instead of risking spooking him again I just fed him. I was expecting him to approach more slowly and was worried he would latch on fully and bite. I know he can move quick when he wants to!

This morning - day 21 - I was very surprised that he was up and about at dawn waiting for me dancing on the glass when I came down to get ready for work. Not an ideal time when I have half an hour to get dressed, eat breakfast and be ready to set off! I don't think he liked that I had turned the living room light on which I think contributed to the shortness of the exchange. I tried interacting again and he came straight up near my hand but wouldn't touch. He seemed curious but nothing more. He soon retreated beneath a rock (possibly because of the lights?) so I held some prawn close for him and he latched on to it but nibbled the stick then let go instead of taking the food. I did skewer it a bit further than I have in the past so perhaps that confused him? Or maybe he wasn't too hungry? I will make sure food isn't skewered as much from now on.

I am not too worried he didn't take it - I'm sure if he was really hungry he would have had it! Tonight/tomorrow morning he should be ready to eat. I hope he isn't bored of prawn, he loved it the last few times!

Videos to follow :smile:
 

tonmo

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MissPH this is a great journal. Thank you for keeping it! Will promote it on our FB page soon. :thumbsup:
 

DWhatley

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Don't worry about how you skewer the food, Orion will get it off the stick if he wants it :biggrin2:. They often find the stick as interesting as the food and will "claim" it. Occasionally you may be forced to relinquish it and retrieve it later when it loses his interest.
 

MissPH

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Thank you very much! Here are the videos from earlier this week when he took the prawn and sat with his lego:





Today my red LED lights arrived - they are the waterproof flexible tape style lights which some people use inside their cars or for ambient light. I attached them to the underside of my tank lid next to the regular day time light and they looked fantastic, but after about an hour or so started flickering so I think I will need to send them back anyway. Disappointing. They were brighter than I was expecting - perhaps too bright- see attached photos. So I am stuck with the quality street wrapper over a torch until I either get these lights working or buy some different ones! Does anyone have any recommendations?

red lights 1.JPG red lights 2.JPG
 

DWhatley

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Oddly, I don't think we have anyone who has indications of any red lights being too bright (I have one that I put on a 15 gallon that is an outdoor light with a painted lens). Just be sure he has a den that is well shaded and can be completely dark. These do look very nice. If they work out (ie the replacement does not have a problem) Please post them to this thread for others to find.
 

MissPH

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Well the red lights are still on the blink (pun intended), looks like it's a problem with the adaptor I am using. Still working on fixing that.

I have a few more feeding videos from this morning (3:30am, day 23)

I tried the interaction thing again wiggling my fingers near him and he appeared to be watching and curious (I think?) but wouldn't come closer or investigate. Here's a video of his reaction, my hand is just out of shot above him:


He fed well on some prawn and looked pretty excited when I was lowering it down for him! He still waits for me to nudge him with the food before taking it which makes me wonder how good his eyesight is in the dark. Perhaps if he can't see well this is why he isn't interested in coming closer to my hand? His pupils definitely dilate and squint with changes in light.


Today I dug out some shells I collected on holiday in Mauritius earlier this year, boiled them and put them in the tank to play with. I am really dubious buying larger ornamental shells to put in there in case they are painted or lacqered.. Whenever I see them in shops and ask about this the vendor never seems to be able to tell me if they are or not and I never want to take the risk. Does anybody know if there's a simple way to check if a shell is lacqered/painted and safe to put in the tank?
 

MissPH

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Quick update

Day 25 - 1st night with red LED's installed and working (turned out I needed a very specific plug to get them to work right). Orion was up and about at 3am sat on the glass beside where I enter the room. After I approached him he jetted off to the other side of the tank - he seems to have adopted this corner as his favourite place to feed the last few times. He definitely reacted to me a lot more under the red LEDs - like he could see me much better than before. Unfortunately he appeared more cautious than usual, trying to camouflage in his feeding spot while watching me. I slowly put my hand in to see how he would react and he watched it then slowly slinked into a cave, he didn't seem to want to investigate. I decided not to pester him and just let him feed. He reacted to being fed more actively than usual - in the past he has always waited for me to nudge a tentacle with it before readily taking the offering but this time as soon as it was lowered as far as the cave opening he pounced up and took it from the stick! He was too shy to eat out in the open, instead blowing some sand from beneath a rock and crawling underneath with it.

Last night - Day 27 - At 1:30am I came down to see if he was up and he was! This time he looked very happy and not shy at all. He was all stretched out dancing on the glass in his "feeding corner". I have kindly been allowed the use of my partner's tripod and digital camera so I quickly turned that on and pointed it in his direction, in which time he had settled nearer the bottom of the glass watching me. Sadly the video came out VERY grainy - it is obviously way too dark to get a decent video with this camera. I haven't even bothered to upload it because of the quality. Somehow my camera phone takes better pictures and videos than a proper camera under the LEDs!
Last night did however feel like a huge breakthrough. Again I put my hand in and slowly wiggled my fingers just above him. He watched them for a few seconds then slowly extended upwards and touched a finger with one tentacle for a couple of seconds before letting go. He changed colour to what looked like might have been white (hard to tell under the red LEDs) and shied away a little bit. He didn't jet off or hide, just moved a bit lower on the glass. I didn't want to push my luck (and wanted to reward him for being so brave!) so fed him straight away while he hung on the glass. He was climbing back up to me as I started lowering the stick so if he was spooked it couldn't have been too badly. He took the food very happily and wouldn't let go of the stick for a minute or so. I had heard anecdotally about the "tug of war" often experienced while stick feeding, very fun! He didn't hide when he ate, just snuggled up underneath one of my circulation fans beside a couple of floating lego bricks. He has eaten here 3 times now and it appears to be a favourite (2 of the 3 times was when the lego were there).

I am thinking of crafting a few different toys for him, I have a nice open area at the front of the tank I could utilise for a sizable toy. Will get my thinking cap on!

I would love to get some more good photos and videos of Orion but he never comes out while the regular white lights are on any more. I'm going to research and buy a decent camera for an upcoming diving holiday to Bali later this year, is there anything in particular I should look for in a camera which could help taking good pictured under red LEDs? I have read about the use of a flash/strobe for taking photos of nocturnal creatures but I don't know how you could do this without causing distress! Would a camera that allows you to adjust white balance allow good photography in such dark conditions? Any links or info would be greatly appreciated!
 

DWhatley

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I wish I had a suggestion but don't. My Canon had a feature to adjust white balance using solid white background for adjustments. I finally acquired the perfect white backdrop (the top of a scanner) but destroyed the camera shortly thereafter and never got to try the feature under red LED's. My replacement Nikon does not have the custom white balance feature (but I have saved the white plastic :biggrin2:).

You may be able to get less grainy videos by forcing a lower ISO. My Canon allowed me to disallow the highest ISO setting and the images and videos were less grainy but dark. Some octos will tolerate a flash for a still or two but it is unlikely Orion will stay out for a video under white lighting.
 
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