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can changing salt affect water conditions?


Blue Ring
Jan 7, 2006
Hello Everyone! :wink:

I have had my octo (3rd one ) for about 3 weeks now and he is doing fine except he doesn't come out much. We only see him for a few minutes every day normally. The last two days we havn't seen him at all so I looked at him last night when he's out (4AM) and he looks a little bit lighter in color and one eye looks a bit darker in color. I did wake him and he moved into his cavern quickly annoyed by the light.

This morning he took the seaweed he was on when I saw him last night and dragged it into the opening to his cavern to cover it. I am guessing this is because he was annoyed by the light, but am not sure. Is this normal?

He is not as curious as my last two octos and keeps to himself. Other than his lighter color and darker eye he looked and moved as normal. I am still concerned because I simply can't view him as readily as my past octos. Any thoughts?

All I can think of that's different is changing to a different salt. I change 5 gallons at a time in a 50 gallon tank twice a week. I have only used this salt on the last 10 gallons. Should I go back to my old salt or am I being paranoid???

Thanks for your advice!:octopus:
It's quite possible you have a nocturnal octopus, so you may only see him at night. Try using a red light to observe him - octopuses can't perceive red light. I know the Maglight flashlights with the red lens works. Another person used red Christmas tree lights.

You should not abruptly change the salt mixture - phase it in a little at a time. It's better to stick with one brand unless you have real reason to change. For instance, I had to change salt mixes because the brand I was buying became unreliable with pH readings all over the place.


:goldfish: Thanks for the advice on the salt mixture; I'll get my old kind and mix it in slowly.

There is no doubt he/she is noctornal and shy. That is fine with me, I love it anyway! :mrgreen:

I also appreciate the red light advice. I have an atnic light in there, but it was pretty harsh in the middle of the night.

I guess my only other question is the lighter color and possibly darker eye. Because it was acting normally, I'll just shift to my old salt again for starters. Any more advice is welcome.

Fishy1 :goldfish:
Typically, a ceph's eyes are somewhat darker, or at least more "broken up" , than the body colour. You might be seeing an octopus under stress (they often lighten). Is there a chance you could post your water parameters?

The actinic light should not cause any frustration to the little guy, but leaving the lights on low, or off, might be a good idea for a day or two.
water parameters

Sure, :talker: my water parameters are:

Ammonia is at 0 but did go up to about .10 for a couple of days about 10 days ago.

Nitrite has been steady at 0

PH is also steady at 8.2

Nitrate has gotten up to 15 unfortunately
; this guy is not as hungry as my last two octos. It is now at 10. I know that's still high and am changing the water out in 5 gallon incerments. One per day.

My salinity is 1.024 to 1.024.5 my salt brand switch was about 4 days ago. I always used Oceanic, but they were out so I got some Aquatic Gardens Premium. I have since bought more Oceanic and am using a half and half mix at the moment.

Tank temp is set at 76 which I lowered from 78 three days ago when I saw it was distressed. I see a variance in temps on this site, but most are to the lower side. Is 76 to high?

He comes out every night and eats and plays with his/her toys. I saw her/him yesterday and it looked okay again.

What should I change in my routine or parameters? My goal is to keep it happy. :octopus:

Thanks for all your help and suggestions! It is appreciated! :read:

Hi fishy1,

Somehow I didn't put your little octopus on the List of Our Octopuses, so I'll do that. Do you know what species it is? You say it's nocturnal -what size is it (body length, arm length)? The two most common nocturnal octopuses people have are mercatoris (a dwarf) and briareus (larger). So you have any pics?

The water parameters that you need to watch carefull are ammonia and nitrites. There's some tolerance in nitrates.

The reason some people are lowering the temperature is because they have O. bimaculodes, which comes from cooler California waters. Most other commonly kept octos are from tropical waters. If your octopus likes 76 degrees, that should be OK.

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