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[Announcement]: Ceph Care Ethics

tonmo

Cthulhu
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Hi everyone,

I want to alert you to a work-in-progress, but first let me address the many newcomers to TONMO.com! The recent Colossal Squid discoveries and news have made TONMO.com a highly trafficked site -- well, moreso than before. So, I'd like to introduce myself to all the new visitors and to people who don't know me:

I am the Webmaster of TONMO.com, but I am not a cephalopod expert. Everything I know I've learned from all the people who post on TONMO.com, I've read a couple of books, and I've done some amount of Web surfing. I've seen a few at aquariums, much to my delight, but I've never touched one or studied a specimen. I am not a marine biologist by any stretch, and I've never owned a fish tank (saltwater or fresh). I simply think octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus (and their fossilized ancestors) are extremely interesting (to put it mildly).

That is why I have a team of volunteer staff to help out! By far, Dr. Steve O'Shea is the most renown member of our staff (with no offense to any of our other staff members!) Dr. O'Shea is on a very short list of world cephalopod experts. When a giant or colossal squid is caught or recovered, he is among the first people contacted, and it would seem that more often than not, he performs the autopsy. You've probably seen him on the Discovery Channel, and have read his quotes whenever the newswires pick up a story on giant or colossal squid.

Giant cephalopods aside, TONMO.com is very much about cephalopod care. We have experts in the field of ceph care, who have deep knowledge on what it takes to safely and ethically care for an octopus. That is the focus of this post. Based on what I've learned from our staff and other members of our community, it is my belief that ceph care ethics can broken down into a few categories. The work in progress that I mention above is the effort being pulled together by TONMO.com staff to identify the right answers and parameters for keeping cephalopods. These are the areas under consideration:

1) Species: Which species are appropriate for being kept in the home for qualified tank owners?

2) Acquisition / wild-caught: how is the ceph retreived from its natural habitat? Is there a supported / preferred wild-caught method? Which methods (e.g., cyanide) are not supported?

3) Captive-breeding: what are the appropriate parameters for breeding cephalopods?

4) Handling: how is the ceph transported? What are the best practices?

5) Retail: how do LFS represent these animals? How can we, as a community, help improve the knowledgebase and care methodologies within the store, and at the point-of-sale (e.g., the TONMO.com flyer concept, a certification program)? If you see an LFS selling x, or promoting y, or advocating z, voice your objection / offer education.

6) In-home care: Per species, what are the proper tank specifications? A matrix is needed which identifies recommended specs per species or family. Also, what is considered proper / improper interactive behavior? e.g., "never try to make your cephalopod ink. do not tug on their arms. do not mix them with the following species:" etc.)

There may be other categories to consider -- again, I am no expert, but I recognize this as an important initiative. Because this is a community and we have many experts who visit TONMO.com, I wanted to share with you our ambition to set these parameters in the most appropriate and responsible way we can imagine. As ever, the primary focus is the health and well-being of the cephalopod.

Any thoughts or input is welcomed as these "statements" are defined. Thank you!
 

erich orser

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Nice posting, Tony. Especially right now during a Tonmo.com visitors upsurge.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Tony,
How about a positive Tank Mates and Fauna subtopic. Posting what not to do is always warranted but posting what TO DO is often more helpful, especially during initial tank setup. This might include recommended hardware as well if any members have found specific hardware that is easier to octo proof.
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
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Thanks D -- I appreciate the input.

Regarding hardware, I'd think the Tank Talk forum would be good for this? To your point, there may be an opportunity for sub-forums under our top-level categories. Tank Mates is a good one, I think.
 

Nancy

Titanites
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Nov 20, 2002
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We've stayed away from recommending specific bands of equipment (hardware). There is no one ideal set-up and a lot depends on your budget, space, experience, etc. New hardware is coming out all the time, and a would-be ceph keeper should visit an LFS to start with, and then do some reading.

We tell people what they need in general and they are welcome to ask questions (does anyone have this?) or search for a specific brand. We are always discussing specific protein skimmers, tanks, etc. In Tank Talk, there is a thread (sticky), where people list what they have and how much it cost, which could be used as a model.

We will be looking at all Ceph Care information this year and seeing what needs updating and improvement. We welcome suggestions.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Nancy,

I was thinking more in the way of stuff like cleaning tools, lid clamps etc. that could be more octo specific rather than the standard major hardware.
 

Nancy

Titanites
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That's a good idea. I keep meaning to post on my own hand-made tools and I'm sure others have their favorites!

Nancy
 

tonmo

Cthulhu
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Hi everyone, I wanted to provide you with an update, and want to make sure I point out that none of this is an April Fool's gag. :smile:... watch yourself out there today!

We have closed in on our text for TONMO.com's Code of Ethics pertaining to cephalopod care. It has been drafted, evaluated, and revised, and so here is what I'd call "version 1.0", the first release:

TONMO.com Code of Ethics

TONMO.com does not support the collection of cephalopods for the home aquarium trade by measures such as chemical or cyanide fishing or the collection of rare species or of species in which there is no known population figures. Where possible, always buy captive bred cephalopods and support aquaculture.

Guidelines for Cephalopod Purchase or Aquisition:

We recommend purchasing tank-bred or aquacultured cephalopods, when available. Rescued cephalopods, whether from a trap or from live rock, are also recommened.

Wild-caught cephalopods, caught by natural means (no chemicals) are acceptable.

Capturing a cephalopod yourself is recommended only for experienced keepers, and you need to check whether you need a permit.

Do not purchase octopuses whose populations are threatened or whose status is not known, such as wunderpus and mimic.

Do not purchase blue-ring octopuses because of their potentially lethal venom.
In the coming weeks we'll determine the best places to post and promote this new code.

Please note that the TONMO.com Staff has decided to move the Wunderpus thread to the Supporters' forum so as to avoid "public" promotion of the keeping of Wunderpus. Richard is a friend of TONMO.com's and we certainly respect his abilities and accomplishments in this space, but given the unknown status of Wunderpus, and out of concern of "sensationalism" within the trade, we believe that such material is most appropriate for a restricted audience.

Thank you!

EDIT: The thread has been "soft deleted" in the Supporter's area at the request of the author.
 

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