• 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.

coastal pollution and food sources?


Blue Ring
Apr 8, 2004
Hello all, my first question for you!

I am afraid ive been bitten by the ceph bug. Right now I find myself living in holland (for a few more years) as a uni student, so I am quite strapped for cash, and I am looking to do things on a low budget. i.e. DIY protein skimmer etc. Another consideration for me is whether I can afford to feed my ceph! Buying the food is not really an option, as then the octopus would probably have to share its meals with me, but I do study at a university thats 10 kilometers from the beach. However, this particular stretch of beach is not exactly clean. About 40 kilometers from me is the sea port of Rotterdam (I believeone of the largest seaports in the world) and I am concerned with feeding my pet polluted crabs etc. The only pollution data I have been able to find is the following: Coastal waters contain about .6 micrograms/liter of copper and 1.2 micrograms/liter arsenic. I realise that the concentration buildup will be higher in the local fauna, but I have no idea whether this could be harmful or not for a small cephalopod. Can anyone clarify this for me, offer any advice or info? As you can imagine, I do not want to venture into this without being sure that it is possible...

Thank you in advance. this has to be one of the friendliest forums I have ever come across.

All I could find was that on average sea water contains 0.003 milligrams/liter copper. I think I'll leave this question for our water quality expert!

Some thoughts on feeding your octopus: You're not that far from the sea so should have some good seafood markets. You might ask them if they would give a special price or selection if you were keeping an octo, since you're a poor student. I used to carry my octopus' photo to the fish counter. Sometimes I got food free, sometimes not. I don't know what's available there, but commerial crabs are probably too large. Shrimps and scallops would be good. I only bought one scallop at a time for my octo! You octo will probably learn to eat previously frozen seafood, too. Then this could be supplemented by crabs you caught. Maybe you could do this for less than you think.

Nancy, thank you for the info! I guess that means that here the level of copper is twice the normal concentration.
Regardless, I contacted someone here in holland, and was told that this would not be something I should worry about... So, now I cannot think of any reason why I shouldnt give this a shot! heyhey!

Ps. I follow classes at an academy not far from a fishing harbor/market, so I will go have a look there too (once I have an irresistable picture to show them). Thanks. Let's hope the dutch don't live up to their name for stingyness... :P
I specifically told him about my intention to keep a ceph, and i was told that even the big sea aquarium in the Hague actually pump in sea water for most of their tanks (through a UV steralizer, and using the seabed as a filter), including the several octopus/cuttle tanks. They have a very nice octopus named oscar over there who has been around for at least 12 months now, so it cant be all bad.

I think i'll apply for a summer job there, maybe they need an english speaking tour person :) It's nothing like Baltimore aquarium, (I do miss that one) but it's ok.
Thom, thats one of the Sealife Centres in the company that I work for, their displays supervisor is a guy called Pete Mclean, he is Scottish but around now they will be looking for talks staff for all their presentations.

Copper is pretty deadly to inverts so i'd be careful, the sealife centre should be doing copper tests quite frequently though on their water as we advise the use of copper to treat cryptocarion so they might be able to help you out.

That's some good info, thanks! perhaps I shouldnt wait until the summer to apply in that case, ill call them on tuesday... ill have to get a haircut though... :oops: I would love to work there...

The guy I talked to is a good friend of mine, with a bio masters and more experience than me. But he is not directly affiliated with sealife...
It's nice to know they have a scotsman at the helm over there, I remember it has improved quite a lot since it opened back in 93 or so.

I did some more research and now I found that populations of both sepia and octopus in the north sea have been declining steadily since the 70's, even though they arent being fished here. I think I will stick to nancy's advice and go with the alternatives, which, after a trip to the market, don't seem to be as bad as I thought.
If you could get the job at the aquarium and make friends with the people who feed the octopuses...... maybe that would help your feeding problem!


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