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Ahhhhhh! Disaster!

Jan 16, 2004
I just received my new baby bimac from fishsupply.com, and it may be damaged! Here's what happened:

Yesterday on the phone, I told fishsupply.com to use heat packs (yes, plural) because it was extremely cold up here in Minnesota (-16 last night). So, when I opened the container just now, I saw one measly heat pack taped to the top. I picked up the bag, and I could feel the water was very cold. I couldn't see the bimac moving, either. I put a thermometer in, and the water was 46 degrees--yes, 46, no typo. I didn't want to slowly acclimate the octo just in case every minute counted. So, I put him/her directly into the 75 degree tank (yes, it must have been a shock). It immediately began vigorously pumping water through itself, but it does not move, and it's tentacles are curled-up. Does this mean the damage has already been done, or that it's in shock. Either way, advice please!!!!!!!!!
Hi Crevalle, I too ordered and received a baby bimac from fish supply today. And as you I also requested that they make sure there were enough heat packs in the box as we are having single digit temps here in Louisville. There was only one in the box. They assured me the cold would be no problem. I didn't bother to check the temp but I knew it was cold. A bigger concern for me was that the water in the bag was a dark charcoal gray. My baby had inked the bag! I acclimated it as promptly as I could. When I released it, it swam down and sat on top of a rock for a few minutes. When I left the room and came back there was no sign of it anywhere. It has come out this evening and is exploring a little, but retreats when we come in the room. I offered it some chopped up raw shrimp and it has shown some interest. It followed the food down in behind some rocks, I'm not sure if it ate it or not. My baby also has it's legs curled up. I hope they are both OK. good luck

Poor little guys, I'd say that it's probably done for, but don't give up hope. :(
Spring - They usually don't eat on the first day, try feeding live hermits tomorrow, it's probably finding a place to hide for a while.
-25 this morning, -40 with the wicdchill; can't imagine what it's like in um..., neck of the woods.
Shipping always has come uncontrollable aspects - the package may be diverted, it may be left in a cold or a hot place. At the time I ordered Ollie, I postponed the shipment a week because of cold weather in Texas and the rest of the nation. I also paid extra for delivery before 10 - not only does this result in less time in the bag for the octo, but it may force a direct flight (I was told by the shipping company that there were four possible air routes that the octo could take to arrive in Dallas).

Biimacs can tolerate some lower temperatures for short times - I don't know the real range. But it would seem that some acclimation would be better than a sudden plunge. It's a shame about the inking - I don't know what else other than accimating should be done, but it does take some time to clear out a tank when an octo has inked, even with a skimmer. So an octo can survive for a while in his own ink.

Perhaps some of you with more shipping experience can respond as well.
Hope both of these little guys pull through.

9:49pm CST -

Octopus has extended its tentacles, moves around some, responds to me by turning black, but does seem almost curious (comes toward the front glass on the tank when I kneel down). I think it will make it, but we'll see by tomorrow morning if its still alive. Sure hope so. I was speaking with a local ceph "expert" and he said the a bimac should be able to survive 46 degrees for short periods. He said they can be found in cool tide pools off California's coast, and that they change temps quickly.
I put a thermometer in, and the water was 46 degrees--yes, 46, no typo. I didn't want to slowly acclimate the octo just in case every minute counted. So, I put him/her directly into the 75 degree tank


i hope the little guy pulls through... but slowly adding heat is key, especially in cases like this where it was so low, that is an even better case for doing things slowly but i understand why you did it quickly.. if it happens to anyone else in this cold weather, make sure you do it slowly.. i think i would take about 3 - 4 hours for a temp difference like that at least.
Hi and congrats to both of you on your new babies!! How exciting! Ink was in poor shape when she arrived. Very weak. I took about an hour or to acclimate, with a drip line, and then because she was so stressed, I put the bag in the tank to let her come off the plastic at her leisure. Took her over 24 hours to feel well enought to let go of the bag! I cut away peices of the bag until she was on a little peice about 2 x 4". I think when they are so stressed, it is important to go very slowly and gently. I also left the light off for while.

Crevalle - How is yours doing?

Colin, what about a case like mine, where it was extremely cold and also inked the bag? I took maybe an hour to acclimate it as the water in the bag came up to temp quickly when I floated it in the tank. I felt it was important to get it out of the inked water asap.

I haven't seen my baby this morning, Hiding in the rocks I guess.

Crevalle, How's your baby?

That's terrible but I do hope both your octos turn out fine. Could you have requested for more heat packs? Try e-mailing the guys about what happened and see what they have to say.
Colin--Like Spring, the water my bimac came in was light grey, so I assumed there was ink in the water. That's one of the reasons I wanted to get it out so fast. I took a chance, I know.

Joel_ang--Yes, I've already e-mailed FishSupply.com about the incident. I just wanted to be on record with them regarding the poor shipping conditions, just in case things don't work out.

Update 10:32am Sat --

Well, last night my bimac started moving some, and even deliberately went over to a baby clam, grabbed it, and started eating it (although I couldn't see a whole lot under the octo). I went to bed a 1am and hoped for the best.

I woke up this morning, and it was still alive (whew!). I saw an open, cleaned-out clam shell too. Good sign. Looks like it is going to make it. I have to admit, after reading about octos for the past month, I thought they were the most fragile thing in the ocean. I'm starting to think that maybe they're fairly tough.

My favorite part so far is how awesome it is when they "pulse" a different color through their system. Chromataphores (sp?), I believe? Absolutely fascinating. When I get close, it turns almost black instantly. Then it chills out and turns light brown again. :D

Spring, how's your octo??

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