Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Jul 13, 2008
Livonia, MI
temp= 59F
pH= 7.2 (double checked!)
"Sedna's Center for Senescent Cephs" proudly welcomes new resident, Osgood. I got her from Tom"s Caribbean, she arrived in good condition but cold, and with 10 hermit crabs as a bonus! At first I thought she was dead, but she was just very cold. Then I realized she was HUGE, like "full-grown-and-near-death-old-age" huge. I placed a heating pad under the bucket as I acclimated- keeping very close attention to not boil her, and it still took over an hour to bring the temp up to 64F. At that point she began to "wake up" and began siphoning in the bucket- I'm glad the lid screws on tight and that I didn't drill a hole larger than the H2O drip tubing.

After 3 1/2 hours the water was within a few degrees of the tank but as warm as it'd get without a heater, and the pH only had to go up to 7.8 to match. Then I had to get her out... the best container I had (she certainly couldn't fit in the measly barnacle I first tried) was a coffee mug that is too big to drink from comfortably. After some gentle cajoling, she went into the mug and I plopped her into the tank as gracefully as I could. She hasn't been out of the mug since (that I've seen). At least there was no inking- I can only imagine what a mess an octo this size makes!

At first I was amazed to find her alive each day- she's that big and so I assume OLD. After the first few days, I began to worry that she hadn't explored out of the mug, there are much more suitable chunks of live rock in more secluded areas. I thought about trying to coax her out of the mug or rearrange the landscape around her. She doesn't seem very sociable, but then I realized that she's got a great view of the room where she is, and she can retreat all the way into the mug to hide when she wants. She can grab any shell in the front of the tank without leaving the mug (I have actually seen her move around a bit WITH the mug, but not out of it) and she rearranges the shells in front of the mug daily, sometimes repeatedly throughout the day.

She has only eaten the crabs Tom sent along, and not all of them, (although sometimes she arranges them and they sit all day until the red light comes on- I think afraid to move in fear of being eaten). I have offered her shrimp on a stick, she pushed it away with her arm. I tried again, and enveloped the shrimp and literally threw it out of her den! I gave her a mussel and found it rearranged with her shell collection, finally removed it after 2 days.

I have "day lights" on for 8 hrs and red for the rest of the day. During the lightest part of the day she is mostly in the mug, and mostly out of the mug during the red lights period. She is very shy and so far hides when I'm working in the tank. She is still fun to watch- my husband thinks she's the best octo so far despite the fact that she's probably very old. Her daily "shell show" is cool, and I'm happy just knowing she peeking at me from across the room. If physical contact isn't her thing, so be it!


  • conv_303584.jpg
    488 KB · Views: 116
  • conv_303585.jpg
    403.3 KB · Views: 103
  • conv_303586.jpg
    648.7 KB · Views: 144
  • conv_303587.jpg
    450.1 KB · Views: 124
Welcome to Osgood!

Depending what species she is, she may not be so huge. Many Tonmo members have kept octopuses this large.

You might want to use marine buffer (I use Kent Marine Superbuffer-dKH) and slowly (over a period of days) bring the pH in the tank up to 8.2. Am I misunderstanding that it's now 7.8?

If you found my response to your first post, I agree with Nancy. This is the largest octo that is commonly kept and far larger than the ones you have had in the past so huge may only be your comparative perspective. Measure the coffee cup diameter and see if we can come up with a mantle length.

SueNami is only now coming out from behind the rocks (and only comes out for food). It has been a month and two weeks since she arrived and we still have a long way to go before we even think about any direct socialization.
Measurements made: diameter of the cup is almost 4 in., the barnacle in the bucket (now in tank) is 8 in long.

I know that by comparison she should be larger than I've had (Izabela is now grown a whopping 3 cm mantle). She is a bit intimidating, even compared to the female aculeatus I've had. This is the first octo I've had where I put a weight on the tank lid! I think I'm also just preparing myself to not be too disappointed if I don't have her long.

Yes, Nancy, my pH fluctuates between 7.8 and 8.0. I've been combatting it a while, have added aragonite sand and the large chunk of holey rock. I have buffer, but I need to get more intense with it, and I think what I have might be old (does it have a shelf life?). The R/O water I buy from my LFS is at 8.2 in my pre-mix can, but for some reason it drops in the big tank. The guys at the store told me older tanks can develop hard water (it's been running 10 yrs, now), but I don't want to add a bunch of weird stuff. I trust my guys not to sell me stuff I don't need (they talk me out of stuff all the time), but I don't know if they have the best advice for this problem. I have 2 different pH tests and they match up, so I trust the test results.

I am pretty sure she is female, that 3rd right arm trails around outside the mug, and looks like all the others. She has blown away all of the substrate from under her mug and the floor where she likes to be. I am finally convinced that the mug is as good as any other den, I see how she's moved everything around where she wants to be, the barnacle and holey rock, not just the smaller shells. If I watch her too long or too close, she starts to breathe harder and writhe her arms around, so I've kept "up close" visits to her comfort level. Of course, as soon as I move away she pops her eyes over the shell wall to make sure we didn't go that far. She likes to watch the girls watching t.v. or practice piano, but as soon as they notice her she retreats. I think games of "hide and seek" are going to be the way to this girl's heart!
If my rough calculations from your measurements are close, her mantle should be about 2.5 inches (1/3 the size of the barnacle and slightly larger than half the size of the mug). Pictures can be problematic trying to take even approximate measurements but the two objects gave the same number. SueNami's mantle (behind the eyes to the mantle tip) measured roughly 1.75 in but she has visibly grown during her month of seclusion. I guestimated (from memory that may be way off) that she is now about 3/4 the size of Conanny when we saw her post brood (guessing about 4"). I wish AM had some measurements on Kalypso but on have Norman's number that show a max of 4.75 inches. If any of these numbers are close then you may still have some decent time with her.

SueNami is obviously Neal's favorite of all of ours as well and the size may be a lot of the reason but he has spent more time with Sue and enjoys seeing her start to accept us (he is far less patient than I am with the critters so this is significant).
YEAH!!! I would agree with the proportions you gave, D. I'm glad to think that we'll get more time with her- this is horrible but I was just hoping she'd last through the Stanley Cup play-offs- that she and her namesake will bring each other good luck (no, I don't believe in that but it's fun for the kids! Red Wings hockey is the only bright spot for Detroit right now...) Now to get the pH just right...
The ONLY product I like for changing the PH is SEACHEM's Reef Buffer (NOT Kent! by a similar name). I have used it for several years and can finally cut way back (the argonite helped some with this I think) but still have to use it on a weekly basis.

Gauging solely from AM's posting on Kalypso, not eating is a good go by for judging when the end may be near (but not immediate). With our females, it is likely to turn into brooding starvation of course, fertile eggs or not. Fortunately, SueNami is eating very well. I don't know if briareus will be a petable. Sue seems interested in touching with her arms and is not too grabby (except with the feeding stick - now changed out for a hanging zip tie that is much better for the LR placement) but we have a long way to go with her before I will be able to experiement. Sue has not rearranged her aquarium (yet) but Kalypso did so I am hoping that is not a sign of brooding behavior. Briareus is large egged but there is no record in recent years on TONMO of any tank raised young.

I just looked in on SueNami when I went down for coffee and noticed that she has blown all the sand that was behind the LR to the front of the tank. I noticed a pile of it in the front and peeking at the back (I have an opaque, black back on the tank) I can see the clear floor of the tank. :confused: No clue what this means.

I forgot to mention that SueNami also does the heavy breathing and arm thing when she sees you looking at her in her den but does not do it when she is in the open. We see a lot of sucker shed immediately after she does this and I don't know if it is from the new arm growth or just a natural by product of the wiggly arms.
I'm so glad to hear that Sue does the heavy breathing thing, too, I was worried it was a "bad" sign of something. I notice a lot of sucker shed from Osgood, too. Maybe they just like a bare floor? I'm not too worried about the shell arranging as she is not barricading in, more like making a fence that she can peek over and hide (only partially) behind. As for the eating, though... I had the same thoughts. Still, I can't tell how many crabs she's eaten so far, so she may be satisfied with her current food source.

I will look in different stores this weekend, my buffer is Kent brand and as mentioned before, old (a couple of years). There's no expiration date, but it's obviously time to try something different!

As for eggs, you know me, I'll try everything possible to raise healthy babies!
I got Kalypso measured, dead and limp, wish I had a pic with measuring tape, but that was just way too morbid and I didn't have anything but my crappy camera on my phone.

longest arms were 14.25ish inches limp, mantle was just at 3.75 inches. Much smaller dead than alive.

Sorry I haven't been on much.
AM, glad you're back, we have missed you.

Also very glad for the measurements. It is particularly helpful since the numbers fall in line with but would be slightly less than Norman (assuming larger in life 4-4.5 inches seems appropriate). I have been thinking the sizes are overstated in Norman for what we see in the aquarium. Could you post that on Kalypso's journal so we can find it again? I wish I had done that with my others and will make a point to now. I have asked for OhToo's body to be measured but I think they forgot. Hopefully they will be at TONMOCON and I can rerequest the numbers.
My husband estimates the mantle at about 3 in. Right now she is mostly out, watching her namesake- GO RED WINGS! She came out of the net to watch Chris in the net!
couple of pics

Here are a couple more photos of Osgood. The one is of her farther out of her den, she's slowly becoming more interested in watching the rest of us.

The one shot is the bottom of the tank taken from inside the stand- a totally different view of her den but kind of fun. The mug was a gift- it says "mellow cup," which is kind of fitting. I loved to read about Kalypso's antics, but this girl has a much more laid back approach. She did touch the front glass with one arm this morning as I was admiring her, like maybe I'm o.k. after all...


  • conv_294196.jpg
    878.1 KB · Views: 82
  • conv_294197.jpg
    419.3 KB · Views: 99

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.