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Old 07-30-2008, 02:40 PM   #21
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Just curious....how often do you feed her and what does her diet consist of? Oh what the heck....lets play 20 questions....

How long have you been into keeping octopi (or is that octopus')
How many different types of octopus have you had
What is the longest you've had an octopus


I still have 17 questions I'm going to bank!
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:12 PM   #22
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Just curious....how often do you feed her and what does her diet consist of? Oh what the heck....lets play 20 questions....

How long have you been into keeping octopi (or is that octopus')
How many different types of octopus have you had
What is the longest you've had an octopus


I still have 17 questions I'm going to bank!
That's why I joined! I wanna spread good information so people interested will be less intimidated by the "expert only" tag and "Extremely difficult" label that tends to go with the idea of keeping an octopus. The thing that I believe has led people to the misconception that they are extremely difficult to keep is the fact that they have short lifespans. Collectors catch what they can, and older octopuses are easier to find and catch. To avoid wasting money and being disappointed by a "premature" death, it's important to find a supplier and contact them and find a specimen that is very small, in relation to its typical adult size anyway. I had a choice between a "dime sized" and a "2-inch mantle sized" octopus when I ordered Kalypso. I went with the smaller. She was approximately 10 weeks old when I got her. The 2-incher I passed up was probably ~6 months old already, maybe younger, maybe older. Size isn't a good indicator of age as you never know what the conditions were where it was captured. Food might have been scarce, so less food, less growth, and vice versa. Being so teeny tiny though, I was pretty confident she was a baby, and indeed she was.
Another thing about purchasing an octopus is that most suppliers aren't very educated in the different species that are commonly available, so you usually see the label "Common Octopus" or something like that. Common. Like that's a good word for a police report when you're describing a suspect. There are about 200 different species of octopus that science currently recognizes. You can see the problem that could arise from that label.

I am by no means an "Expert" aquarist, and I think octopuses are easier to keep than a lot of fish. They aren't susceptible to "ich" or any other fish illnesses.

I feed her raw seafoods, once daily. Silversides, krill, clams, and shrimp. Every octopus I've had has taken to frozen foods quite easily.

I've been keeping them for 2 years. "Octopi" has been changed to "Octopuses" recently, as it is understood that "Octopus" is a Greek word, not Latin. Either is considered correct though. FYI...

I've kept dwarf O. mercatoris, "Caribbean 2-Spot Octopus" O. hummelincki (formerly O. filosus), "Caribbean Reef Octopus" O. briareus, and Abdopus aculeatus. So far my favorite was probably the O. hummelincki. They are everything you would expect out of an octopus, and everything you would want out of a pet octopus. Not nocturnal, not too small and remain a size most people could accomodate in a 50 gallon tank. Their skin shows endless texture, color, and pattern abilities.
Dwarfs are pretty boring. Strictly nocturnal, and rarely the least bit interactive. I guess if I was the size of a pecan I'd be pretty shy too.

I would like to get an O. vulgaris whenever I'm capable of getting a 200 gallon tank set up. They get significantly larger, but are similar to O. hummelincki.

So far Kalypso has been with me a little over 6 months. That's the longest I've been able to keep one. My dwarf was likely a juvenile when I got it, and it only lived 4 months with me, but dwarfs life cycles are only typically 6-8 months. Most of the larger species live 12-18 sometimes 24 months. The other octopuses I've owned were either fully grown when I obtained them, or they were collected under poor conditions. I believe the 2 O. hummelincki's I got must have been collected using chemicals because I was in touch with several other people who got them from the same source, and we all lost our octos within a few weeks for undetermined reasons. Someone else who obtained one straight from a different collector who used humane method of capture has had hers for about 6 months, and it has grown to be quite larger than the ones the rest of us had.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:26 PM   #23
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Those are some awesome pictures!
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:59 PM   #24
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So far my favorite was probably the O. hummelincki. They are everything you would expect out of an octopus, and everything you would want out of a pet octopus. Not nocturnal, not too small and remain a size most people could accomodate in a 50 gallon tank. Their skin shows endless texture, color, and pattern abilities.
Dwarfs are pretty boring. Strictly nocturnal, and rarely the least bit interactive. I guess if I was the size of a pecan I'd be pretty shy too.
How do you feed your octopus?

I've read about owners providing 'play-things' for their octopus (lego blocks etc) to keep their interest. What kind of interaction do you have with your octopus?

15 questions left...... :p
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #25
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I feed mine by just dropping the food items in the tank. When I first get them I put it on the end of a wooden skewer but they will grab ahold of it and take it with the food, and trying to get it back is like trying to pull a tree out of the ground. Once they learn to associate you with food they will approach you for it so you don't have to tease them with it. Sometimes I hold the food and let them take it from my fingers. That can be tricky though since they are very strong and have a very good grip.


I occasionally drop in a clean bottle with food inside so they have to actually think about how to get it out. I like cutting a slit in the side of a bottle so I put things that won't fit through the top inside, like clams on a half shell. That way they can't pull it out and have to figure out how to get it out, which they usually do within a few minutes. I've tried containers with snap on lids and that works too, as long as they can "smell" the food, it will hold their attention. For the most part though, I interact with mine hands-on.





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Old 07-30-2008, 05:45 PM   #26
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that is so COOL!!! Looking forward to more of your posts!! (besides, I've got 15 more questions to go)
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:14 AM   #27
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You have pictures of any of your other previous pets? Thanks for sharing all that good info by the way. very cool.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:33 AM   #28
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A few decent pics of my previous octos. We didn't get the nice camera until recently and that's when I went nuts with the photos. I'll post them tomorrow.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:35 PM   #29
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O. meractoris (dwarf octopus) "Einy"







He was TINY! (next to turbo snail shell)
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:40 PM   #30
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Pictures of this one aren't great. I took the stills with a video camera so blurring was inevitable. I have tons of pics of this one, but they all turned out rather terrible.

O. hummelincki
(Caribbean 2-spot Octopus) "Tuvalu"




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Old 08-01-2008, 01:22 PM   #31
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That bottle video was great, even though he didn't do what you wanted. So he can get small enough to go into the bottle as well. Thats sweet, maybe next time he will.
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Old 08-01-2008, 01:30 PM   #32
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That bottle video was great, even though he didn't do what you wanted. So he can get small enough to go into the bottle as well. Thats sweet, maybe next time he will.
Yeah I was hoping he would demonstrate the octopus' ability to slip into small places. I've made many attempts but he's already figured out he doesn't have to in order to get the prize inside. He'll tug on the shell for a while trying to get it out, but loses interest after all the meat's gone.

One neat trick he's learned is that when he removes the mag-float from the inside I come running. He won't pull it off the glass if I'm standing there, but if I walk away for a few minutes I hear the part on the outside fall and hit the floor. I come back, retrieve the other piece from him, stick it back on the glass. Stand there and watch... he acts innocent. I walk away again... and the process repeats itself.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:50 PM   #33
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I can't believe the small sizes of them and the colors are beautiful. The feeding video is great!
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:52 PM   #34
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That is very cool. Keep us posted with more pictures and videos. Very interesting creatures.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:23 PM   #35
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Ha, Awesome pics/vids!

Since they are so curious, have you had any casualties with them getting into your overflows or powerheads?
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #36
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Those are such cool pictures, Dale! Thanks for posting them and sharing your experiences with octopi with us! Fascinating!
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Old 08-04-2008, 05:40 PM   #37
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Astounding pictures, astounding thread... WOW
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #38
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Awesome shots! What a beautiful animal.
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Old 08-04-2008, 08:01 PM   #39
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By chance they both female? Was difficult to tell from the pics, just curious Nice shots
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:41 PM   #40
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Quite the contrary. I have a nylon window-screen lid with duct tape...haha.



I used the rough side of a velcro strip on the top of the tank to deter it from climbing over. It scratches the absolute crap out of my arms. It worked for a while but since Kalypso's arms are like 14" now he just reaches over and pulls himself over when I have the screen open. Otherwise it works just fine as long as I replace the tape ever so often.
Does the duct tape and mesh screen take away asthetics from the tank or is it difficult to see it?
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