Rubik - O.briareus

gruffy

Pygmy Octopus
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Hi everyone! I new to the site but not new to keeping octopuses. My issue is that I have only caught grown octopuses before, but have now acquired an o. briareus baby. Mantle size is approximately the size of a dime. My tank is a dual corner overflow 125, and I have had to make some adjustments so the little he/she can't get under to the sump. I have used fiberglass screening on the return pipes in the overflows themselves as this was much easier than attempting to prevent he/she from getting into the overflows. Does anyone know if this fiberglass screening is harmful in a tank? I have doubled the amount of carbon I am running to be on the safe side. I didn't find him in the tank again until last night. I waited 30 minutes with the lights off and then used a red head lamp for backpacking to scan the tank. I found him hunting, and then watched him return to his current den with a hermit crab. His movements were slightly twitchy, and he appeared to exhibit some involuntary jerks of his tentacles. When I acclimated him he was very fluid. Is this typical for this species?
 

gruffy

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I new to the site..... wow I sound bad. The little guy is fine. The screen obviously had no effect as he is eating like a madman.
 

DWhatley

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I have seen jerky movements in newly acclimated hummelincki and a macropus because they seem to need time to adjust to releasing suction from the slick surface of an aquarium but I don't recall seeing that with my briareus. I have seen "hickup" type jerks in briareus at the end of thier life span but that should not be the case with your little guy. Hopefully, all you were seeing was an acclimation adjustment. If he has started hunting and eating well I suspect you are fine.

As an asside, all three of my briareus and my current macropus (unknown exact species) seem to notice red flashlight light and don't like it. They will tollerate it to a point but it seems more visible to them than the mercatoris. My briareus also seem to notice the green focus assist I have on my camera so it may be more that they don't like the point of light where a red flood light would be less disruptive. Puddles (the macropus) will move out of the direct field but stay within a dimly lit distance of the flash light but the red outdoor (velum and paint to make the light red) light in a nearby tank does not effect her at all.
 

gruffy

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Thanks for the reply! The red light does seem to not be appreciated. Also, the jerky movements have ceased so I am assuming that it was just an acclimation issue. We are calling he/she Rubik. I have only gotten a good look at Rubik once since he has gone into the tank, as he has found a sizable hole in a live rock that he has not left much if at all. Just to make sure Rubik is eating, I have removed some hermits from their shell and placed them outside his den. Pretty cool to see the tiny tentacles come shooting out to find it. I am assuming that he is currently not daytime active and is only coming out at night to hunt. Can you sex a juvenile octopus the same way you can an adult?
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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If your octopus is sexually mature, then you can observe male traits but we don't have a set of countering ones to suggest female. Here is a link to my best photo attempts for identifying the males in a few of the commonly kept species. I am always on the look out for additional/alternate photos though.

May I move this thread to our Journals section?
 

gruffy

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That would be fine to move it to the journal section, as it has very little to do with fiberglass screening at this point.
 

gruffy

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I should have taken some pictures during the acclimation process, but I was just busy making sure it was all going smoothly. I have been waiting for a photo op, but currently Rubik is exclusively night active. I have some stone crabs that are quite large in my refugium (think that spelling is correct), and have been removing their claws and crushing them to feed Rubik. This is by far the fastest taken food to date. The only time I have seen him completely out of his den since I caught him out the first time was at 2am a couple of nights ago. He was sitting just outside his den, but upon seeing me put his body back in the hole and stretched his eyes out to watch me. I offered him a small piece of squid, and he promptly grabbed my finger and tried to pull it into his hole. This has happened several times now, and I wonder if he has just missed grabbing what I am offering for food or is trying to determine if I am food. He has done this during the day, and is surprisingly strong for such a little one. It is noteworthy that the successive times he has grabbed me the amount of time he holds on has decreased.
I guess since this is now a journal, I should detail his current diet. Since he is new to the tank and adjusting, I have avoided taking a flash photo at night. I figure he eventually will come out during the day, especially if I quit feeding him and force him to daytime hunt. He has decimated the hermit crab population in the tank within a week. 15+ blue leg hermits have most certainly left this plane of reality to date.
He has shown a propensity for hermit crabs and the crab claws, but was uninterested in a very small stone crab. He has eaten squid on several occasions, but shows an almost reluctance at taking it. I want to get him some shrimp to try, but I have not had the time to get any, and the live shrimp available are very large compared to him. He has visibly grown some since entering the tank, as I can tell his tentacles are larger. My greatest concern is that he is not much bigger than a half dollar with his tentacles, and that if he moves his den it will be very hard for me to locate him again as there is 200+ pounds of LR in my tank. His current den is ideal for me to observe his habits, and his "door" is pretty funny as he now uses an astria shell and another put together like teeth so they mesh very well. I can tell when he comes and goes by how the holes in the shells are orientated. Wow, didn't expect to type this much. If anyone else has or had a Briareus and has any helpful info on habits and dietary choices particular to them, it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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