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"Wha, me attitude?" Not Ossie, the Octo

Akyu

GPO
Registered
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
114
Hi there people...

This week was a nail-biter for Westina and I. On Sunday, the crabs seemed listless, Ossie didn't make an appearance and we got really worried.

For the next three days, we could see Ossie moving in her den, but never out nor showing any tentacles. I started doing daily water changes of 20% on Saturday, but the ammonia levels still remained high.

Sunday through Wednesday, every day, twice a day, I'd stare into her tank, removing any thing that might produce ammonia in hopes of trying to control the levels. Tuesday, I decided to leave the light on inside her tank while we were out in hopes that some bacteria would start growing. Tuesday, I also stopped the daily water changes.

Finally, Tuesday, I got the ammonia levels down to .25 but the nitrate levels were rising (seemed to have skipped the nitrite stage). But further good news occurred. Her tentacles batted away a nearby shrimp that was close to one of her entrances.

Both W. and I breathed better that night and the next day, W. saw her tentacles when she was cleaning out the tank.

However, we were most concerned because we couldn't really find any evidence of feeding. Yes, it seemed like the hermit crab population was dwindling, but was it because we couldn't find some of the crabs? Yes, the ghost shrimp we were putting in seemed to disappear too, but was it cause they were drowning and bristle worms were getting to them?

By Wednesday night, we had convinced ourselves that Ossie was doing worse, even though the levels of ammonia had remained at .25, the nitrate and nitrite wasn't rising and I was buffing the water to ensure the ph at above 8.0. Sad and disheartened we went to bed.

The next morning, after a little disturbance, we finally saw a tentacle, proving that she was alive. (It's amazing how pms will work to convince one of the worst possible scenario).

Last night, we had decided to buy some frozen shrimp since we weren't convinced she was hunting for herself (despite the fact that we can only find 7 of the 15 crabs). W hovered over the top of the tank for half an hour, holding a shrimp with chopsticks, near the various entrances of her den. Suddenly, she let out a shriek. "Ossie grabbed the shrimp!"

A tentacle had darted out, grabbed the shrimp and was trying to drag it down the crevice. Excitedly, W. waited for a while, but the shrimp was too big for the hole. So, I took over, and got a smaller shrimp. Sure enough, Ossie grabbed that and pulled it into the hole as I tried to stuff it down.

10 minutes later, W got another shrimp and was waving it around the entrances. The older shrimp comes flying out the bottom entrance (we realized that that's her trash chute) and a tentacle reaches out and drags the new shrimp into a hole, effectively plugging it up.

Then when we put the older shrimp near the crevice again, a tentacle darts out, pulling that one into and plugging that hole up. As we continued watching, two tentacles came out the bottom hole, and pulled two shells over the entrances.

Well, that told us!

Laughing, we left her alone, feeling much better. Three hours later (after SEVERAL rounds on Fight Night Round 3), I went to go check on her. And there Ossie was, hanging in her crevice, giving me the eye. I shook W. awake and we watched her hanging there for about 5 minutes before letting her sleep.

This morning, ph was down but everything else was the same. I will try to get some pictures this weekend.

Sharon
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Registered
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
Your octopus sure is a hardy one! If your ammonia levels are staying the same any variation that you have observed in nitrates may just be within the error of the test. See if you can find a saltwater hobbyist in the area who'll give you a used filter pad: It will be covered with denitrifying bacteria and will give your cycle a big kick.

I hope your good luck continues :smile:

Dan
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
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Nov 20, 2002
Messages
5,771
It's normal that pH is lower at night - something I worried about for a long time until I put a contant-read-out pH monitor on my tank.

I've enjoyed very much reading about Ossie. Please keep posting reports like this!

Nancy
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2005
Messages
4,936
Thanks for keeping us posted on Ossie, I was beginning to worry about her. Good job on keeping on top of the water quality issues. Keep working on getting the ammonia down. You are lucky to have such an engaging octopus.
 

Akyu

GPO
Registered
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
114
The New Princess in the House

I don't know what it is about my karma - I seem to attract animals with a princess quality about them. People have been saying that about my cat, Ashley, for years.

Well, I think Ossie is about to usurp that throne.

When I got home tonight, I did my usual job of inspecting the tank, testing the ammonia (.25), cleaning out the dead things when I spied movement behind her den near the entrance we call the trash chute. The shell that W. thought was a snail was being moved. As I took a longer look, tentacles soon followed the movement, then eyes, then a full mantle. Ossie looked directly at me, let the shell go, then undulated herself back inside her den.

I dutifully removed the offending shell.
 

Akyu

GPO
Registered
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
114
It seems Ossie is far smarter than the humans who are her servants.

We have been trying to entice Ossie out of her den for the past few days with no success. She is very responsive still; when W. puts a stick near her when trying to clean behind the den, tentacles come out and wrap themselves around the stick.

And it seems she enjoys shrimp much more than crabs. The crab population has remained stable, as have the snails. However, one to three shrimp are disappearing - whenever our backs are turned or our eyes are shut.

Saturday night, W. stayed up about 3 hours past when she usually goes to bed, just to outwait Ossie. But she waited until we turned off all the lights, including the red one inside the tank before devouring 2 shrimp that night. So, then I had the bright (get it?) idea of leaving the red light on all night.

The first night, all three shrimp were alive by the morning. By the time I got home from work, all three were gone. The second night, I had placed one large ghost shrimp and one small one in her tank. In the morning, W. spotted the large one.

She turned off the red light, and went back to bed. 15 minutes later, we were at the tank, doing the morning tests and examination. Apparently, within those 15 minutes, Ossie had hunted down the large one!

And yes, we see her moving inside the den - breathing very slow and steady. But, she thwarts our every attempt at catching sight of her, much less another photo.

Sharon
 

monty

TONMO Supporter
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Mar 8, 2004
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I'm still thinking the red filter on your light is letting enough of the white through for Ossie to see it as bright (probably because I've been reading all the "ceph color vision" sections in the Hanlon and Messenger book that arrived from amazon yesterday :read: :biggrin2:)... maybe if you want to be sneaky, you could get a red LED flashlight, so you can spy on her with monochromatic red when the light's off... Unfortunately, most red LED lights I've seen don't put out that much light, though... I've found that Fry's electronics carries a lot of LED flashlights, although most of them are the white LEDs rather than the red; I don't remember for certain if they have a bright red one... anyway, both an idea to "decloak" your stealthy friend, and an experiment I'd be interested in, since it sounds pretty likely ossie can see your red tank light somehow!
 

Akyu

GPO
Registered
Joined
Mar 14, 2006
Messages
114
Thanks for the good thoughts and encouragements!

Not much to report except that today, we tried to feed her frozen shrimp because we noticed that she didn't get any of the shrimp we had put in yesterday, though an empty crab shell was atop her den. Ossie pulled the frozen shrimp into her den, and less than two minutes later, a chewed-on frozen shrimp was stuffed out the back entrance. We're beginning to realize that frozen shrimp apparently doesn't taste as good as the fresh ones. We're slow learners. :lol:

Monty, will take your advice this weekend to search out red LEDs. Dang it, we WILL get a picture of her for you guys one way or another.
 

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