• 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.

Bobtail Squid Next Monday!


Feb 3, 2011
Hi Guys.
You may or may not remember that in 2011 I got a call from someone at Boston University asking if I wanted to attempt "rescuing" some newly hatched octopus. They were done with their research project and were told to get rid of them so I made the trip to Boston and brought them home. That same person contacted me again today and said she is now at U-Conn (much closer to my home) and has 3 bobtails that need a home! Apparently they are doing a research project and these three were "runts" and did not meet the criteria for the project... they were to be destroyed. Thank GOD she contacted me - I'm going up to get them Monday night! They are 3.5 months old and very tiny (thus, runts) but hopefully they are healthy enough to survive a move.

I have a lot of homework to do between now and Monday and will be setting up (yet another) tank for them. All I know so far is that they need a sandbed and a temp of 71-73. Oh, and only Instant Ocean salt.... they found other salts have not been successful. I'm going to set all three up in an 8 gallon biocube for now and if they get big enough for me to sex them, I will then split them into two tanks.

I was going to go buy some live sand but I'm not sure live sand is all that "live".... it might still cause a cycle. Should I just take some sand from my other tanks for the squid tank or is it safe to buy clean, "live" sand?

I'll be back with lots more questions, I'm sure. Wish me luck!
I need to start making uni friends! How cool is that! Why will you be separating them? They only live a short time (I am thinking about 8 months but check that to be sure) and I would think your chances of keeping an on going population would be better if they were housed together. Hopefully someone will correct me quickly if I am wrong but I don't think they are cannibalistic.
I am VERY lucky, and I don't even remember how this person found me the first time but I thanked her profusely for keeping my contact information and contacting me again 3 years later! D - she mentioned that she had spoken to you at some point and that you gave her an update on my octopi so you DO have her as a friend, but I guess you meant one LOCALLY so that you, too, can help rescue lab experiments.

You're right, I will use sand from my other tanks and then replenish what I take out of them with new sand. I just hate how that stirs so much up and will disturb all my other inhabitants, but they'll get over it. :smile:

In the brief bit of info I got from this research person she said it would be ok to keep the three together for a while but when they became sexually mature I should separate them. Of course if I get a male and female I'll keep them together. :smile: They are "runts" so I have no idea how healthy they are or if they'll ever become reproductive - at this point my challenge will be keeping them alive. Need to start thinking about catching or ordering some food for them. The fun begins!

LOL, yes I did mean finding someone in LOCAL university (hopefully, more on this later). One thing that has always made me sad is reading the (required for publication) statements in cephalopod research papers that describe the euthanization of animals after non-invasive experiments. This is standard protocol for the animals overall welfare but I wonder about the necessity. It would seem that there are enough students hobbyists to post availability of some of these animals and allow them to live out their lives in captivity. It is likely a can of worms to open the possibilities but nice to see some people making the effort and not getting their hands slapped.

If you add more sand to either existing or the new tank, I would suggest NEW and not LIVE sand. I am not a fan of live sand even in new tanks. As @cuttlegirl mentions, new sand will only take on the properties of your existing tanks without adding nitrates or creating a die off.
Wait, did you say 8 GALLONS?! What sort of filtration are you using? Hearing this makes me feel like calling up my LFS to ask.

One is about 3/4", one is about an inch, and the other about an inch and a quarter.

Yes, all three in an 8-gallon biocube with standard biocube filtration and every other day water changes of 50%. Once I can determine what sex they are I will keep a "couple" in one tank and the odd-man out in a separate one.

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