• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Ahhhhhh! Disaster!

Back to Spring's question -

I don't know how early they start playing - maybe you new octo owners should observe that and report back!

But, I have heard of people putting in small shells and then, when you bimac gets more used to you, pushing a shell or gently hitting it with the feeding stick so the little bimac can play.

Sorry Tony. I thought you were asking me if I had announced the new addition. I see now that you said you had done it. :oops:

Thanks Nancy. The little guy is still hiding out a lot. It was moving about quite a bit last evening, but hasn't really gotten to far away from the rocks. I've noticed it is finding little clam like shells in the rocks and working them loose. Looking for food, I guess. I don't think the shells had anything in them. Not sure if it is eating the hermits or not. I put a couple small ghost shrimp in the tank yesterday. Only found one of them this morning. I also have some Hawaiin red volcanic shrimp I ordered from "Ocean Rider" (seahorse farm). I put a couple of those in too. I went on a quest for fresh clams today. One local store will have them tomorrow. I thought I'd cut them up in small pieces and put the meat in one of those little shells it's digging out. What do you think? Will it work?

Spring :smile:
It worked! I chopped up a fresh scallop and placed the filled shell in the tank. It wasn't long til I noticed the shell had been emptied. I got another piece of scallop and placed it in the same place and in just a couple minutes the baby scurried out of it's cave and scooped it up and away it went! If surviving the first night is the biggest relief after receiving a new octo, then actually seeing it eat has got to be second best. :mrgreen:
I'm so happy!!! :biggrin2: :biggrin2: :biggrin2:

Spring :smile:
Hello all,

Just wanted to give you an update. Our new bimac (we named it "squirt" - yes, I know, not too original) has acclimated quite well thus far. I have been feeding it (by hand) small clams. One time, after it grabbed the clam, it squirmed over to the glass and climbed up a few inches. I was then able to watch it (from the underside) work it's way into the clam--quite interesting. I've gotten plenty of video (MiniDV), but I still can't find my digital camera. I'll find it eventually.

The way it changes color to match the LR is most amazing to me. I pointed to which rock the bimac was on, and my wife still couldn't find the little guy until I pointed him out. BTW, I was talking with the local ceph "expert" today (he's the one who has bred vulgaris and attempted to breed the European cuttlefish), and he said that he has trained all of his bimacs to never leave the water. He said he never keeps a top on his tanks (he likes the added air-exchange it allows), and has never lost one to escape. Whether or not you agree with his method, here is what he wrote to me:

"...I trained mine to not leave the tank. They are curious and will explore. I maintaned mine with closed top and some with open top aquaria. I trained them in the following manner. First get them to eat from your hand. This is pretty simple as they will recognize your hand and the immediate introduction of food. Soon they will come right up to your hand to grab the food from you. It is about that simple. Next they will usually explore, and nibble on your hand during the feeding process. ALWAYS keep your hands clean- antibacterial soap and vigorously rinse prior to feeding. After you have gained their confidence pull them out of the tank during this time. They will get very mad at you because they hate it. They don't like being out of water. They will begin to recognize that outside the tank is a bad place. Repeat a few times. Leave the lid off and monitor your octopus. If he still tries to slide out he hasn't learned yet. I did this and kept mine without a top - no problem. You will begin to recognize that each octopus has its own personality. Use this to your advantage during your training. It sounds kind of funny to train an aquarium pet but don't forget they are about as smart as a dog. I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with your new pet as he grows older. I personally order mine a little larger as it is easier to feed. All of mine lived off from hand fed shrimp and other seafood. I started hand feeding the day after acclimation. At first I use a long tong to wave the fresh food by them. Eventually I just use my fingers. Most octopus will eat within 7 days of introduction and the majority within 2-3."
Glad squirt is doing fine after that rocky start. The method might work but take care that it doesn't ink during the process. We'll be looking forward to some pretty nice pics and vids :wink: :heee:
Hi Crevalle...

sounds a bit like your local ceph expert is opening their mouth and letting their belly rumble!

bimaculoides are naturally less prone to climbing out but since there have been several cases of bimacs crawling out of their tanks we have been offering the information that they can climb out and no amount of 'training' is going to make an octopus realise that.

'After you have gained their confidence pull them out of the tank during this time'

I cant think of a better way to make an octopus wary of you, nobody ever uses negative reinforcement with animals like this!!! Might as well try an electric fence round the top!
Ever tried to pull an octopus anywhere? Its not an easy task! I have had them hanging onto my fingers/hands for ages without them letting go, whether in or out of water!

If an octo 'nibbles on your hand' it can really hurt, remember, although its 'only a bimac' they can still inject venom and it will sting!

Also by 'bred vulgaris' do they mean reared babies to a decent size or do they mean had a gravid female lay eggs in their tank?

It sounds kind of funny to train an aquarium pet but don't forget they are about as smart as a dog

They are smart but i have a couple of mutts who beg to differ :jester:
I agree with Colin - what a horrible idea to gain you octopus's trust, but then violate it by grabbing it and pulling it out of the water. I never would have been able to do all things I did with Ollie (my bimac, recently deceased) if I had ever violated that trust.

Cephjedi had an interesting point a little while ago - that some attempts at escape are just a result of the eagerness to solve problems - can I climb up here, can I get through this opening, etc.

Ollie was very curious and climbed out when we were present. She flopped her arms over the edge of the tank (lid was open), pulled herself up, sat on the edge of the tank and hung on to Bill with one arm while she explored the outside of the tank with a few free arms. She was very interested in the cleaning magnet, which she liked to play with. Also, she touched Bill's nose! She came out like this twice, and that seemed to satisfy her curiosity. I never saw any attempt to escape after that.

I agree with you guys--sounds pretty mean/unreasonable. But, the guy does know what he's doing when it comes to cephs (despite his questionable "disciplinary" methods). He's got a contact that can get him European cuttlefish (which he's attempted to breed with no luck). He bred and raised Vulgaris--he showed me some pics. Pretty cool stuff.

Maybe the next trick he teaches me will involve poking the bimac's eyeball when it peeks out of the water. That'll teach 'em! :wink:
Breeding Sepia officinalis should be the easiest thing in the World to someone that can breed vulgaris! :P

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