[Octopus]: Pandora - O. joubini? Tom's Pick


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Jul 13, 2008
Livonia, MI
On arrival:
time:12:30 pm
temp= 60F
On Sunday I called Tom (of Tom's Caribbean) and asked if how small the briareus (how do you pronounce that?) that he has are. We talked a bit and I told him I'd ordered from him before. He assured me he'd pick me a "good one" so I placed an order. He didn't let me down!

I was amazed at first at how small the box was- good sign. I was even happier to see a little octo floating around in a plastic cup! This little one is SO much smaller than Ozzy was- maybe a quarter but no more than a third of her size. The 10 oz. cup has an opening of 4 in and bottom of 2.5 in diameters, and JOHN estimates the mantle at about 1 1/4 in. I set up my drip acclimation bucket and the little cutie just floated around in it's cup, color flashing when I peeked in. After 3 hours the temp was 75+F and the pH much closer, but the little one was going pale and corkscrewing and I just wanted it in the tank... It went in at 3:40.

Tom's genius was evident when I made the transfer, as I was able to put the cup w/ octo straight into a critter keeper. It was the easiest transfer yet. I was unsure if I should put it straight into the tank or into a critter keeper first. It's not that small, but still I'd loose it in the LR and if it didn't make it through the night I wanted to find it easily. I opted for "the box."

For several hours it just sat in it's cup looking at us, tightly balled up and pale. At first there were no tank lights on at all, but by 8:30 the red lights had been on a bit and the octo had relaxed arms but still wasn't getting out of that cup! I was lucky to still be up at midnight, when the red light went out and all of a sudden it just decided it was time, and out it came.

When I got up this morning it was still hanging in the same spot in the critter keeper, looking O.K. but I was worried that it was unmoved. Then when the tank lights came on, it changed colors and gracefully swooped down to the small chunk of LR in the keeper with it. Instead of going through the hole (it has to fit) it decided to lift the LR up and set it down around itself!

I usually wait a week before starting a new octopus journal, just in case it doesn't make it. D has convinced me that it's good to journal the ones who don't make it, too. However, I haven't known it long enough to name it (or ID it's gender, even) so I'm still going to take my time with that part!:fingerscrossed: With any luck, I'll get to have this one for a while.


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I love the affirmation on the mantle length :razz:

It is always an adventure to figure out the references for your names so I am waiting with typing fingers ready to do research :wink: You would never know that I absolutely hated doing research in school ... if only we had had the internet back then.
That little grass stuff i see one you live rock, what is that? I have it on one of my rocks and it has almost covered the whole thing. Do you know how to kill it? Its really annoying it grows really fast and is hard to get off.:mad:
That is the infamous macro algae called feather caulerpa. Here is an excellent short write-up but if you Google it you will find the same annoying answers. Basically once it is successful in a tank, you have to continue pruning it as you will unlikely kill the little darling. It is good for exporting nutrients as long as you keep it pruned but it can go sexual (basically turn to seed) and cause havoc in your tank. I always liked the look of it in Kalypso's tank but AM warned me against even thinking about it.
still lookin' good

My new little friend made it through the night just fine, and ate the hermit crab that was in there, too. It had been in the critter keeper with her on Tuesday, but she didn't care about it until sometime last evening when we weren't looking.

Convinced that she (the girls are calling it a she, so it's that for now) be o.k. I took the lid off of the critter keeper this morning. She has been playing with the LEGO diver, or at least moving around the objects with her. While we have seen her use the holes in the LR as exits, she still shifts the whole chunk of it around her, too.

The shots of the tank as a whole and it's placement in the living room are for bluespotocto. It is a 54 gal. corner bow front tank that I run on a canister filter that's rated for 100 gal... The shape and placement of the tank make it hard to use a sump, so I clean the whole filter weekly with my H2O changes. I wouldn't recommend this shaped tank to anyone! It HAS to be in a corner (seemed like a good idea at first) and the bowed front makes good pics hard. It's placement near a window means that during certain times of day I'm going to get a reflection from the surface- again bad for pictures. This tank has been established for 10 yrs now, and octos are absolutely the best thing I've kept in it. They are the only animals who have utilized every odd corner and height difference. Even so, I've been getting lots of comments lately from people of all ages that the bowed front makes things "look funny," and some people actually stop looking because they get queazy from the effect!


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on algae, lighting and tank placement

Here are a few shots of the other tank in the same room. No octo in there, but I include it as more answer to bluespotocto's algae Q's. The two tanks are on opposite sides of the same window. They both are fully on walls, but close enough to the windows to receive some natural sunlight. Yes, the incredible, 1/1, hand drawn by Chuck Jones animation cel over the tank is crooked:oops:. Chuck understands amok.

Each tank has different type of lighting, the 20 gal. has much brighter lights. Due to it's placement in the room, it only gets really direct sunlight in the summer. I keep the blinds closed during the brightest times of day because the tank (and whole room) get hotter. I am always pruning the macroalgae in this tank because of the artificial lighting, but only get hair algae blooms in the summer.

The macroalgae in the 54 gal never seems to get out of control, I prune it back much less often. The artificial lighting is much dimmer on this tank. After 10 yrs, though, I can always count on my New Year's algae bloom in this tank. The angle of the sun is only right for a month or two to give me algae problems. I have to say, thought, that I've caught all my aculeatus and the last briareus sunning themselves in the afternoon. Depending on the time of year the direct sunlight may be in a different place, but they all seemed to like time in the sunny spot. It's cool because if I leave a stool near the tank, one of the cats will often be sun bathing with the octo!

In the end, I like the macroalgae, but I haven't had a big problem- YET...


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I have been reviewing briareus journals and I think it's going o.k. for the 3rd day. I took the top off of the critter keeper on Wed. and we haven't seen the new one leave it- but she's got a great chunk of LR in there with her, and she's moved around the shells and toys. Elise was worried that there was something wrong with her this morning because she hasn't come out yet, but as I type now (sitting in front of the tank) she is poking her head out of the LR and is checking me out. It might be Bruce (the dog), though, because she was ignoring me until he came over...

Oh, she's gorgeous! :rainbow: She just came out all the way out and displayed about in the box a bit and has now retreated to her den! Now she's got an eye poked out, watching Bruce and me. This is the first time I've seen her fully since she's been in the tank. The tip of the 3rd right arm is missing, maybe I'll focus on unisex names...

Oooh, she's coming back out! It's 2 pm and I didn't expect to see her out at this time of day. One of my reasons for posting today was to ask what TIME OF DAY these guys are most active.

I turned off the tank lights and just put on the red one, just puttering under the tank. Leads me to the next Q, what LIGHTING SCHEDULE are people using with their briareus? Did she feel comfortable enough to come out just now because it got dimmer?

Share your thoughts!
For me. Legs comes out a lot during the day, at least once in the AM between 9-11 and PM from 3-5. but sometimes she is out all day. Se like to hut shrimp when the tank lights are out but the room lights are on.
I am an experienced reefer, but am fairly new to fish only systems and species tanks. I was wondering how much live rock you have in the 54g tank? I notice you said you use a canister filter which means no sump or refugium correct? It looks from the pics like you only have a few pieces in the tank. You stated the tank had been running for 10yrs so I am sure you know exactly what you are doing, but I can't help but wonder how that would affect your tank....on the other hand a tank that developed my not need much LR anymore. Gratz on the octo btw! He looks great!
One of the things about that deep back corner is that you can toss endless amounts of rock back there that is never seen. The other thing is that it is really hard to find tall pieces of LR that octos can't topple, at least around here. Over the years I have cycled chunks of LR in and out for various reasons, so I don't know the exact poundage in the tank now. I just added a 12 lb piece of Texas Holey rock because I wanted to hand pick a good chunk for and octo den and know it is free of aptasia and other undesirables. In the photo, that bright white newer piece really stands out, dwarves the smaller pieces around it and blocks the stuff behind it. Plus I had to shove everything in the corner to make room for the critter keeper.
Reefer Tom,

a lot of octopus keepers have a sump and don't use a canister filter. It's not a requirement to have a sump for octo keeping, but makes it easier to seal off the top of the tank, plus the additional water in the sump is helpful.

Many octopus keepers use large quantities of live rock - you need to allow room for your ceph to move around, of course. The live rock, in addition to providing natural filtration and looking good, provides hiding spots of various size for an octopus to use.

Still unnamed!

Wow, finally a moment to stop and post! The new one is doing great. She has moved into an "apartment" of the barnacle that Mongo used to live in. She has arranged shells an front of her den, and sometimes uses one as a door. She stays in there most of the time, with her eyes poking out of the barnacle. She comes out when I put my hand in the tank, usually investigating from afar. Last night, a week after getting her, she reached out and touched me, then rushed back into her den.

I'm not sure why I have been at such a loss for a name. I have been incredibly busy lately- it takes more time to run the school Book Fair than I realized! I haven't had enough time to observe her and get a sense of her personality. I am just happy to have made first contact!
:welcome: to your new octopus! Sounds like she is doing very well. On an interesting note, I have found ones missing part of a leg, months down the road they lay fertilized eggs. I have seen this over and over again. I think the missing limb could be from mating?
In the case of the briareus' from Tom, these animals have learned to find a banquet hall in the crab/lobster traps (he gets them from the trappers). I suspect the over crowded lunch room accounts for many of the missing arms.

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