[Octopus]: Victor and Poni - O. bocki? - They have have arrived

Mel Cheal

Jul 1, 2016
So I ended up having top push back the arrival date a week due to some personal things that popped up. This was no issue and actually worked out well because I took the day off for my birthday anyways. They arrived earlier this morning! I got them acclimated and they are now in their tanks. And wow they are tiny!
So the concern I have right now is one seems very healthy and active, but the other not so much. The active little guy was crawling around his bag the second I pulled him out of the shipping box. The other was sitting tight in the corner of the bag with his tentacles of his face. So I began to acclimate them both, and the active octo who I have now named Victor quickly explored the bucket I had him in during acclimation.
The other little guy, who doesn't have a name yet, still sat in the corner not moving. I got a better look at him, and it appears his mantle is injured. It looks like the skin is ripped a little. He didn't let me see for long and quickly covered himself with his tentacles. He also is staying a very pale almost translucent- ish color. I emailed the seller, and I'm hoping once he settles in he will be ok.
As for Victor, he is currently sitting in front of the filter current on the live rock. Something I noticed about him is that he is missing the tips of a few of his tentacles, is that something I should be concerned about? It looks like it wasn't too recent.
Here are a couple pictures of Victor to drool over. Don't mind the little bit foggy water in the background, a little sand got brushed up during acclimation. Any thoughts on species?
Arm tips. Any arm amputation without new growth will be current (they regrow their arms, predatory amputation is common). They don't detectably bleed when this happens as the arms seal themselves almost immediately. The one concern is self-immolation caused by either stress or bacteria. Both are a concern if you see the arms getting shorter. Bacterial infection is fatal but sometimes stress related problems will abate if they are left alone in a dark environment.

Victor's initial photos suggest O. briareus (eyes and arm length and coloration) but I am not confident with the call. Acclimation photos can easily fool an initial judgment, especially with very young animals. Species will be a bit easier to guess after it acclimates to the new environment.

If you have pictures of the other one, even with its arms (octopuses have 8 arms, squid and cuttlefish have 8 arms and two tentacles and nautilus have roughly 90 tentacles and no arms) over its head, go ahead and post. The arms over the head pose is common with O. mercatoris.
Here's another picture of Victor for yesterday.
They appear to be nocturnal, last night both were out exploring. I tried to get pictures but the second I turned any light on they went into hiding. I will try again Tonight.
They both ate live crab last night. The good news is it seems food is going to be free. I can collect up to 100 crabs a day, and they are all over the place here. So this might be an excuse to get more octopuses :wink:


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Got some picture tonight! Victor is doing really well. He ate a small crab tonight and was very curious about me.
The other guy came out for a few minutes. I tried feeding him, and he showed interest but didn't take it. Last picture is of him.

I'm in love with Victor's colors :shock:
I had a young briareus, but never saw this type of coloration. She sometimes displayed white or red-brown. But of course, your environment is different, so don't give up hope!

Hi Mel,

Did you get these from Saltwaterfish?

I believe they use the same wholesaler as I use for research specimens (based on very close concordance with the stock lists and the same images and descriptions for many of their products). I purchased four octopuses from the wholesaler a couple of weeks ago that were described as 'Octopus, Brown, Pacific', and I was working on them with Dr. Jean Alupay, who has done extensive field work on Indonesian and other Pacific species. Her opinion was that they are likely to be Octopus bocki. Yours look extremely similar, so I think you might be able to assume that's what they are. If that's the case, that's about as large as they will get - we had one gravid female at a similar size to yours.
Also - not to be pessimistic - but the second guy, in your last photo doesn't look great to me. I hope he'll do better as he settles in, but the grayish arms look a bit worrying.
Thank you. I was actually just reading up on bocki this morning, and it seems like a good bet. These did come from saltwaterfish.com.
As for the second octo, I agree with you. He isn't doing great. This morning he was back in the corner of the tank looking iffy. He hasn't been eating much, and I haven't seen him in a den. I will see if he eats tonight and update you guys.
As for Victor, he has been coming out every night around 10:00. I have him eating frozen thawed whole small Asian Shore crabs off a skewer. He seems very interested in me and when he wakes up comes right out to the front of the tank expecting food. I'm very thankful I've been seeing him, I was afraid that a tiny octopus in a 60 gallon tank would disappear never to be seen again! :wink:
Good news!! The sickly octo ate a small live crab today and his colors have improved a lot. When he was out, he was a dark red ish color.

Also for those wondering, these are what (some) of my tank stats are at currently;
Size: 60 gallons
specific gravity: 1.025
temperature: 26 degrees C
Each tank has aragonite sand, cured live rock, a few hermit crabs, and of course, what I believe to be O. bocki. I'm using a 20 gallon sump on each for filtration. The system has been running for 8.5 months but housed nothing but a small clean up crew till last week when I got the octos.
This seems to be working quite well for me.
So I have a bit of an unfortunate update.
The female, who I have now named Poni (which means mother in hawaiian, I'm very creative :roll:), has eggs. I have tried feeding with no luck.
But as for Victor, he is doing very well. He's been coming out and feeding every night. I have him on frozen thawed crabs at this point.
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