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[Octopus]: Oscar the ornery octopus (O. briareus)

Jean_R

Pygmy Octopus
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Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
9
Got this beautiful, small O. briareus this morning from Philipp at KP Aquatics. Climbed right out of the jar, spent about 5-10 minutes exploring his new home and then proceeded to devour an emerald crab. Then went into hiding and take a siesta, so let's see.

I have 4 emerald crabs and 4 peppermint shrimp in the 40 gallon aquarium in case Oscar gets hungry. I have a tank full of asian shore crabs and grass shrimp we caught on the shore this past weekend to keep him fat and happy. I turned the lights to a reverse light cycle as I am hoping to get him out more during the day, let's see if it works.

Looking forward to the adventure!




IMG_1745.jpeg
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
76
Got this beautiful, small O. briareus this morning from Philipp at KP Aquatics. Climbed right out of the jar, spent about 5-10 minutes exploring his new home and then proceeded to devour an emerald crab. Then went into hiding and take a siesta, so let's see.

I have 4 emerald crabs and 4 peppermint shrimp in the 40 gallon aquarium in case Oscar gets hungry. I have a tank full of asian shore crabs and grass shrimp we caught on the shore this past weekend to keep him fat and happy. I turned the lights to a reverse light cycle as I am hoping to get him out more during the day, let's see if it works.

Looking forward to the adventure!

View attachment 66705


View attachment 66706
This is all so new to me. A beautiful animal. I had no idea that the eyes would be so prominent.
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2020
Messages
76
I do not expect to ever want to go to the trouble of maintaining a marine tank; however, I am completing my SCUBA refresher course tomorrow. Maybe I’ll soon have a chance to watch them in their natural environment.
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
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May 30, 2000
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10,353
I do not expect to ever want to go to the trouble of maintaining a marine tank
I'm the same. It's clearly a ton of work and responsibility. Rewarding hobby by all appearances, though... If I were to do it, I'd intend to do it well, and I know that takes a bit more than I'm ready to give.
Maybe I’ll soon have a chance to watch them in their natural environment.
I've never SCUBA'ed but I've snorkeled a bunch; never had the pleasure of finding an octo, though, except for a local fisherman in Jamaica (no boat, just swimming out) who was returning with an octopus on his line; I met him in waist-deep waters. I got to touch it but was unsuccessful in convincing him to let it go!
 

Jean_R

Pygmy Octopus
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Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
9
No sighting of Oscar since Wednesday. Am guessing he is hiding in the live rock somewhere. When I count the emerald crabs and peppermint shrimp they all seem to be there also, so Oscar does not appear to be eating.

Any advice on what to do? Sit and wait or go looking for him?

Thanks!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,969
IME, the young animals stay hidden until they are somewhere between 4 and 5 months. It seems that this is the time that they a) become sexually mature and/or b) become predator vs prey. It is usually helpful to (mentally and for feeding) to determine where it is denning and then try to lure it out daily with a small piece of shrimp on a stick. I never left live food in with the animals I kept so it may be much harder to encourage a regular feeding/observation time.
 

Jean_R

Pygmy Octopus
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Jan 18, 2020
Messages
9
Thanks for the advice! About an hour after posting this last night Oscar came out, devoured another emerald crab, and returned to what must be his den.

Just now I made a makeshift feeding stick out of fishing line and a plastic rod. I cut off a piece of raw shrimp, looped it onto the line and dangled it in front of the den. It took about 30 seconds for Oscar to reach out and pull the shrimp piece into this layer.

The shrimp I just fed him was what we had in the freezer - shelled and deveined so mostly just meat. I guess I have it in my mind that small whole shrimp (head and all) would probably be the best for nutrition as it represents the "whole" prey. Not sure where I find whole shrimp small enough for Oscar, but guess an asian market the likeliest place. What do people on TONMO recommend?
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,969
Actually, I recommend feeding just a pieces about the size of its eye. They do not eat the same parts that we do not eat, raw seafood works well when live is not available or you are trying to monitor feeding and those parts will foul your tank if you don't relatively quickly remove the cast offs. I do use my Asian market often and buy their cheapest shrimp I just don't offer the waste. Blue crab claws (I ask for permission to collect the already separated claws from the live bins -- don't get frozen crab as it has been cooked and may not offer enough nutrients) are also a great food source. For little animals, you will need to remove the meat and stick feed but once it has grown, cracking the claws is enough (again, removal of the waste within a few hours of feeding is a must but the crab claws are less of a problem than shrimp shells). Until it is used to a feeding routine, I would recommend staying with either of these two items. Once it has grown and is used to a feeding time, you can try bits of fish, scallops and whole clams. Clams work well but you need to put them in a DEEP -- they will squirt all the water out of something shallow -- bucket of tank water for several hours to let them clean out their waste. If you leave them overnight, be sure to add an air stone so they don't suffocate. If the octo does not eat them, they will help keep your substrate clean. Pretty much anything that is native to the ocean is acceptable if it will eat it. Do not offer freshwater foods on a regular basis as the protein and fat contents are typically not in balance but crayfish and small live freshwater ghost shrimp can be offered on occasion.
 

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