unresponsive octopus

earlier this week i decided not to feed fluffy for a day to see if his appitite might return. and it has! he reaches out to grab food again and iv got him back to his normal sum of food, and today he came out to play :biggrin2:. im not letting myself get excited yet but it was most diffidently a welcomed behavior.
Although it has been a long time since this was posted, it still applies to my situation. Does anyone know the outcome for Fluffy?
I have a male A. aculeatus, whom I have had the pleasure of accommodating for 8 months. He has, for the past couple weeks, begun to stay in his den longer, and has become pale and unresponsive as far as coloration and texture changes. He goes from a pasty greyish brown to a dark brown, and once I saw him prickle up, but mostly he is that light color. He eats, but like Fluffy, he acts blind. I had a naughty damsel in with him for about a month, hoping he would get tired of his cockiness, and eat him, but instead, the damsel constantly intimidated my "Leggs". I finally caught him, and got him out of there, but I think it was detrimental. I feel so bad, but I cannot change what is done. Leggs comes out several times a day, and makes a trip around the tank, then back to his den. When he is out, I will give him a crab, and as soon as he feels it with one of his arms, he gets excited, and snatches it. Do you think this is senescence?
All the symptoms you mention (including having kept him for 8 months) do point to senescence. I have noted that eye sight seems to deteriorate and nocturnal animals will tolerate daylight near the end of their lives. The fact that he is still eating suggests he has awhile yet but I've not kept an aculeatus for a long period of time so I am only guessing that they are like the Caribbeans and Macropuses I have kep and stop eating roughly 2 weeks before the end.
I'm not sure what happened but I have to assume fluffy died.

8 month for an aculeatus is a really long time, most of us only get a couple months out of them. I fear the end is most likely near for your octo.
It is now April 2, and Leggs is still with me. He cruises the tank round and round and is very active, but his left eye is white, and the right one is almost shut. I have a pretty bright LED fixture on the tank, and a red light at night. Do you think it's been too bright? It's been this way all the time I've had him. I offer him a crab every day. He will either shy away from it when he feels it, or snatch it up and eat it immediately. I miss the inter action with him. Even though it was mostly from outside the tank, it was fun to dance with him with my fingers. Today, I saw a Macropus on DFS's Divers Den, and I wanted to buy it sssssooo bad, but I just can't set up another tank, or my mobile home will fall over!!
LOL, maybe MTS CAN be fatal (I often purport that it is not).

You are still witnessing normal signs of senescence. Some males seem to hang on for quite awhile, especially if they will eat. I am not sure if it is harder or easier when they go slowly. The eyes seem to often be affected as they are nearing the end. There is some anecdotal evidence that high nitrates may contribute to eye problems in adults but I have seen sight decline in all the animals near the end. Some have had infections that a bit of tetracycline in their food seems to clear up when they are younger but it often returns in the end and the antibiotics don't seem to help (or I can't get enough into them because they have stopped eating) when they are well into senescence.

Oddly, the macropuses I have had came out some during the day at this stage as sometimes will the mercs and I have attributed it to failing eyesight (it also makes me think eye sensativity is why they are so nocturnal). Having kept two (one from LA) I can say that the macropus is a great little animal IF you are awake at around 3:00 AM. IME, they are VERY nocturnal but very interactive in short spurts. Their "comfortable" color is a dull reddish brown and once they acclimate to you and their new environment, you won't see much of the bright red with the white spots. If you can find one, you might enjoy an O. hummelincki or another aculeatus more than the macropus (unless you are on a nocturnal schedule).
Thanks for all the good information. I'm sorry to say I don't know what MTS is??? I noticed the Macropus is still available at LA, and it's making the long senescence even more unbearable. I feel bad for wanting another one while Leggs is still my boy, but I know what's coming. I would prefer a hummelincki to a macropus now since you gave me a better idea of what to expect. I have the book by Dunlop & King-"Cephalopods" Octopuses and Cuttlefishes for the Home Aquarium, but there is not much info on the macropus. Do you know where the best source for trying to get a hummelincki would be?
LOL, Google aquarium and MTS the acronym is well known and established at almost the same time as the saltwater hobby :wink:

Before I suggest a place to look you MUST always keep in mind that most vendors and virtually none of the people that buy imported animals (al though LA is getting better :biggrin2:) do not have any clue as to species. You will have to accept and care for whatever you get and try again after it expires if the wrong animal arrives. That being said, WHEN they have octopuses, SaltwaterFish will often have hummelincki. I believe most of their stock comes from Haiti (or did before the earthquake) and they are quite common there. Lately, aquacon has shipped one to teacherKim. I hesitate to recommend this supplier because of past issues but I believe there are two from them within the last year (I would still avoid purchasing anything else from them and be aware that their guarantee is to replace items on your next shipment, not a refund or a reship). Any place you see a Caribbean Two Spot octopus for sale is likely to be selling a hummelincki but you will also occasionally see it listed as a Bimac (the trick is to call and ask where it was found, often it will be the Caribbean as it is not legal to sell bimacs caught in CA and that is the main source).

Additionally you can look in the List of our octopuses (the combined as well as this years) at the top of the Octopus Journals and Photos subforum and use your browsers find feature for the word hummelincki. When I know the source it will be listed (and linked in the 2013 listing). O. hummelincki has been hard to find in the last few years but we are seeing many more in this last season. Be aware that, in the past, we have seen the females brood quickly after being introduced to the aquarium. I think this is more a result of it being easier to catch because it is hunting more frequently in preparation to brood than anything to do with aquarium life but it does anecdotally seem to happen frequently. O. hummelincki is a small egg species so raising young is not a home tank viable endeavor.
April 25th update on Leggs. He is still alive and active. He doesn't go into his den at all anymore. He curls up and sticks to the glass. He ate up until 3 days ago and now won't hold the crab long even if he does take it. Tonight I am trying a small silverside. He is looking thinner, and appears to have dark veins showing on his mantle and legs. One crab grabbed one of his legs and you should have seen the color show he put on that time!! The only color changing I've seen in several weeks. I am hoping when his time comes I can find a hummelincki. What are mercs like as pets?
I definitely notice a loss of arm muscle near the end as well as a decline in strength but it usually takes more than three days of not eating to see the deterioration.

IMO mercs make a good "first" octopus in that they teach a lot of patience, behavior and care but most people find them boring. Some are never seen where a few have quite a bit of personality. When available, I have kept them as a second (but for the first couple of years they were the only species I kept) animal and enjoyed them. Mercs have not been available for a couple of years but we have seen several recently so I am hoping this means they are recovering from the extreme cold that hit FL in 2010.
Today I noticed an increase of what I call the "bucket of worms" move. He is balled up on the glass, and begins squirming all arms simultaniously and breathing hard. He does this for about 30 sec. and then rests. He is looking so poor, I feel just so helpless.:sad::goodbye:


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