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mayb86

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Sep 28, 2018
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Hello!
New to the Octopus Magazine. I'm in search of enrichment toys for my day octopus (octopus cyanea) "Frank". He currently has a Mr.Potato Head, mega blocks and a kong. I would like to give him more options each day so he doesn't get bored. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!!
 

tonmo

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Welcome!! Glad you're here :hugs:

Our resident experts will weigh in but those are all pretty common (although I'm not sure I've heard about Kong being used...) ... My guess is that you might have some success withholding some toys and alternating them into the tank (vs. adding & leaving them in there). I think the dynamics of change may be more important for enrichment / stimulation than the persistence of variety & choice. Keep us posted and please do consider creating a journal!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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@mayb86 :welcome:
We have not had a journaled O. cyanea so PLEASE journal your adventure and tank information, I know @O. cyanea is working on creating an O. cyanea facility in Hawaii for researchers so there is a potential for sharing experiences.

In general, anything that is baby safe is OK to try for enrichment (make sure it is also saltwater safe). Some saltwater fishing floats have attracted O. vulgaris (the largest we tend to keep at home but our Atlantic version is smaller than O. cyanea) but be careful to remove any hooks and check the paint and materials before trying. Although easier said than done, jars containing live food with different opening methods have proved to entertain some of the smaller species. The most common form of enrichment, however, has been offering live food. Bait shrimp are probably accessible if you live near the water and small crabs do well (I would avoid larger crabs simply because of the mess in the tank - do disable any pinchers to avoid skin damage and the chance of infection).
 

mayb86

Hatchling
Registered
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Sep 28, 2018
Messages
2
Welcome!! Glad you're here :hugs:

Our resident experts will weigh in but those are all pretty common (although I'm not sure I've heard about Kong being used...) ... My guess is that you might have some success withholding some toys and alternating them into the tank (vs. adding & leaving them in there). I think the dynamics of change may be more important for enrichment / stimulation than the persistence of variety & choice. Keep us posted and please do consider creating a journal!

I usually just put it in the tank and leave it there... Thanks I'll take that into consideration the next time I add a toy in.. Maybe something floating midwater... Exciting!!
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Sep 4, 2006
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20,992
I full agree with @tonmo about replacing the enrichment items, don't just let them pile up.

In one of the landmark intelligence experiments Dr Jennifer Mather floated sealed pill bottles and allowed the surface current to move the floating "toys". The famous results were that at least one of the animals would push the "ball" into the current so that the current would return it to her/him (here is a BBC report mentioning that experiment along with other intelligence observations).
 

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