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Concerns about octopus inking.


Blue Ring
Oct 4, 2006
I've been trying to make my pet octopus Proteus less nervous around me by feeding him when he's watching. I put a hermit crab or shrimp in the tank with him when I see him outside. This time when I tried that I must have reached too close to him because he inked at me and fled. I managed to get almost all the ink out immediately so that's not a problem, but can anyone suggest how to make Proteus less nervous around me? This is the first time he's inked in 2.5 months since I got him, so I guess it might not be that big of a deal, but I hope I can avoid that in the future!

By the way, can anyone tell me what species he might be? The fish store guy said he was a bimac but I don't think he is. The things I've noticed which may distinguish him are that he is nocternal and that he has a fairly limited range of color changes. He seems only able to produce gray, white, and sort of a mauve or burgandy color. Also, in the past 2 1/2 months he's grown from about 2 inches in diameter to about 5 inches in diameter.

Oh, and I have some lovely pictures of Proteus if you'd like to add them to your database. What do I do for that?

Thanks all!
When i had my octos...I would always just try to make very slow movement around the tank or if I put my hand in just go real slow to not startle it up. I only had mine ink one time on me in the year he lived.
i noticed if you try and feed them when they're full, they react poorly. when they're hungry, they'll take shrimp or goldfish right out of your hand. i heard in a LFS using long tweezers works well too, though i haven't tried it yet..
Send photos to Tony (tonmo), who will put them in the Ceph Image Gallery. Thanks! Also, you could post some in the Journals and Photos forum, but you might need to reduce the size.

Try a feeding stick - I made one using two bamboo skewers strapped together one after the other. It's a usefull tool for feeding and tug of war!

Sometimes octopuses are easily started. Walk slowly towards the tank, always from the same direction, if possible. Sitting in front of the tank and just observing helps your octopus get used to you, but Proteus must know you well by now. He'll get even more used to you as time goes by.

Octos are difficult to identify - you might want to post a description and photo on the ID forum and we'll try. When you give the size, please give a separate measurement for the mantle (body) length and for arm length. It's significant that your Proteus is nocturnal.

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