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serpent star stole octos den !


Nov 26, 2008
last night when i came home (1:30am ish) i noticed the octo was out and about in the tank. the first time i had really seen it out exploring. i also noticed the serpent star in the tank had taken up residence in the octos normal den. the serpent has been hanging around the den for a while now. im assuming because of the amount of food that is usually around that area (crabs, krill, ect). anyways, i figured they would sort it out by morning but no go. the octo is in a new den and the serpent is still in her(?) old one. i tried to get the serpent out of the den and i also picked up the rock the octo was in the morning to make sure she (again, ?) was in there. what are the chances the octo will go back to its old den? and i havent scarred it for life by picking up the rock have i? its old den was perfect. you could see it from the front of the tank. and it was a great spot to hand feed and such. i feel really bad for the serpent stealing her den and for disturbing her this morning. :tomato:

focus with no light doesnt really work so well. :roll:

I wouldn't say you scarred it for life. My Merc has changed dens three times now, and I accidently moved his den last night moving some rocks around, and he just picked a new one. It may make him more anti-social though.
In my limited experience, I have found that the males will move around a bit (however, my first wc female made a regular counter clockwise circuit until she started brooding). Guessing at behavior, I think they may move when the den becomes dirty. One of my females chose her den after being freed from the breeding net and kept it her entire life. The only time I saw her leave it was for one day (she chose the barnacle directly below her birthing and chosen living den) and a serpent star cleaned it for her, left and she returned. Carol and I have both observed the serpent living in or staying very close to the octos and there does not seem to be any kind of negative relationship. If the serpent gets too touchy, the octos gently move the arms away. Two of them live with OhToo.

If you can find a giant purple barnacle cluster with shells about the right size for your dwarf, you might try putting that in the front with several doorway sized, light weight shells to encourage a den where you have better viewing.
I don't keep a serpent star, but my mercs all switched dens periodically as well. Large barnacles and large gastropod shells seem to be preferred locations and I keep all of those near the front of the tank. I wouldn't worry about having picked up the rock. I once picked up the rock that our Varys was under to see if she was still alive... only to discover eggs. She and the eggs did just fine after that.