• 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.

....Bangin the Drum? or Banana's?

Jul 24, 2003
Ok as a result of readin Burstsoenergy's thread on the size of vulgaris, this sparked my brain into questions creating this thread, which is directed towards the common traits of behaviour for vulgaris, bimac etc and lets not forget other cephs i.e. cuttles and nautilus which I dont know much about. In other words all cephs!!! :biggrin2:

It would be good to get lots of reactions on this to hopefully create a thread that would help future ceph owners to decide, based on other's experiences what behaviours and sizes etc would be appropriate to maybe suit their needs or requirments in a pet.

In addition it would also be good for people who may have the same species to learn about things that may have happened to others and not yet to them & vice versa....

First of all I'd like to start with some basic concepts for discussion & some basic questions to be developed and get the ball rolling. However, feel free to add your own and satisfy a little curiosity that may develop.....

Also while answering and adding info it would be most useful for people to add the size of their tanks and what level of growth their species were/are at when particular things happened, and what they believe the most suitable size tank they reckon is for this species.

Get where im goin with this???? :confused: Hopefully!!! I can waffle on!!!

Below are general topics and questions to be expanded on and chopped at however you feel, have a go , im sure there's lots more to think of!!! :oshea:

1) Common traits of behaviour associated to vulgaris...do their arms , being so long effect how they act in certain situations compared to say bimac's?

2) Since I suppose its quite difficult to assess when a ceph goes through its 'teenage years' due to them having such small lifespans, does anybody reckon they have experienced this in any way? any expansion on a teenage period?

I seem to recall Nancy sayin Ollie hets p@s*ed off at her ocasionally and sulks....has anyone else had this (i think he is quite young?)

3) The varing levels of interation people get with them. Somebody spoke of their octo and starfish both taking food by hand from the top of the tank (and the starfish got dragged away to the den). Anyone else feed by hand? Do you think certian kinds of cephs are more interactive than others? if so what species of the kind? Why? does this change through age?

4)Is there a list of species and particulars with easy accesible info? sorry if this has already been mentioned elsewhere.

5)Do you think you get the results you may get from captive or wild my superceed the others in anyway and for what reasons?

6) Im sure you've got some more ideas on this...... :periscop:
Hi Scouse,

There's certainly a lot of questions and suggestions in your message! Let me take on a few of them.

First of all, Ollie is not a young octopus - he's an adult bimac, about 9 to 9 1/2 months old. He arrived at the beginning of March.

Then your Ceph Care moderators are thinking of doing some of these things you suggested: perhaps octopus fact sheets by species. This would help people make choices and bring together information. The first would be the bimac.

I had hoped that more octo owners would chime in on behavior. It's my main interest and something I've worked on a lot with Ollie. For instance, from the first day he was here I waved hello and good-bye to him everytime I visited him and everytime I left. This is why he learned to wave - he taught himself, and there were no food rewards or coaxing.

I don't think we have a good view of interaction our octo owners have with their octos, either. We'd all like to see more posted on interaction.

Ollie was wild caught and was very shy for a long time. But when he became friendly, he became really friendly. We've worked out a way of playing that involves him lightly suckering onto my fingers, my holding his arms and playing with them, and me rubbing his mantle under his eyes (which he seems to really like). Also we go eye to eye and stare at each other - face games! Well, there's lots more, I guess I need to document it some time. But it's fun to have an octopus to play with!

I certainly agree that we need to talk more about all these things! Thanks for the suggestions.

Hi Scouse.... how's things?

Okay, as promised my random thoughts on your points!

1) I firmly believe that the octopus’ behaviour and how it acts in a tank is mainly derived from the way in which the octo-owner interacts with their pet. Yes, there is a deal of behavioural differences between species but as we are mainly dealing with a small number of species that are in the trade then that doesn’t matter so much. So what I mean is that if you just want an octo in a tank and watch it go about its daily business then that’s fine and a nocturnal species like vulgaris will probably stay nocturnal and be wary of you. However, if you spend time and train your octopus to recognise you then it’s behaviour will be modified to a more ‘user friendly’ one. IE become diurnal or as near as damn it. I would also argue that it is difficult to compare species behaviour because of this training/grooming/encouraging behaviour and especially comparison between two species… EG a diurnal bimaculoides and a nocturnal vulgaris couldn’t be compared because as soon as you train a vulgaris to come out during the day it is acting outside the norm. The only species that I have ever had that will totally refuse to engage with me is Octopus cf. bocki… also referred to as Craptopus in some of my previous posts LOL.
2) ‘Teenage years’ in cuttlefish was very obvious, that was when they started getting nearer to sexual maturity and the colour and behaviour of individuals changed, the males started growing bigger and faster and took up small territories with a fair amount of violence dished out daily.
3) All my cephs have been hand fed except from bocki and a blue ring. All the others came round to the idea that my hand was a good thing to happen as they were getting bribed with food. But yes I think that some species are more ‘interactive’ than others and it also depends on their training.
4) Nancy has covered this but there is nothing online from a keeper’s point of view except what’s here and on a few saltwater forums. Remember that cephkeepers today are the pioneers and only 2 years ago there was nothing at all about keeping cephs!
5) No idea but that will only become apparent with successful captive breeding over many generations… interesting to see how this pans out!
6) Yes, lots, but I wish I had more time and space to see them through… It will need to be a while before I dive in to these kinds of experiments

Just for info… I have so far kept O. bocki, aculeatus, filosus, bimaculoides, briareus and a few species of which I have no idea to this day what they were. Also Sepia officinalis.

Most of them were kept in tanks that were part of a 200gal system.

As for S. officinalis… I had 7 in a 180 gal tank that was fine until they reached sexual maturity and the tank got too small too quickly! I was left with a pair at about 8” long and then only one male who got to about a foot or so long. So one cuttle in a tank 72x24x30”!!!!!

Hope this helps Scouse!
Nice one folks for your input, just to let you know I havnt had a good chance to sit down an read it all yet to try an get this goin.....

hopefully if we can formulate a good discussion it may help the moderators set up a database :bugout: !!!

I know it takes a little time people (colin that must of taken moons!! nice one!) but surley its worth it for the information you will be open to of how to interact with your octo's in as much widley ways as poss!!!

I agree Nancy, interaction is v. important. Thats the whole reason for havin pets isnt it!! Its a hobby and a friend, an if you welcome an animal or creature of any kind into your home which shouldnt naturally be there...The least you can do is give it the best living conditions possible. That includes water conditions, food, play and friendship.

At the end of the day it only has you!! As the RSPCA or who ever say!!!

Dont mean to bang on but if people even only give a little bit now an again when they come on the site, its better than nothin....an saves you spendin ages doin a load!!

All the best

Scouse :biggrin2:
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