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First time troubles


O. vulgaris
Apr 27, 2007
I received my first octopus from saltwaterfish.com Wednesday. I spent four hours dripping water from my aquarium into its travel water before I put it into the tank.

My tank is a 75 gallon tank which has been set up as a refuguim for four months. There are no fish in there, just some crabs and snails. I figured the octpus would eat them. I also have about 40 lbs of live rock which is held together with putty from the LFS.

All test on the tank have been great. I added bio-chem and phoso-ban about two weeks before the octopus was ordered to make sure there was nothing in the tank that would harm it. I disconnected the two aquariums and put a protein skimmer, canister filter and a power head in the octopus tank.

Less than 6 hours after the octopus arrived, it was dead. Needless to say I was heartbroken.

Any ideas on anything I could do to improve my chances on my next octopus? I don't want to get a pygmy but I don't want to get big one either. Any ideas where I could find another one?

Also, are there any good books to purchase which will explain octopus care? I have read and read acticles from this site and others to gain knowledge but always on the lookout for new information.
First of all... :welcome:

When an octopus dies within 6 hours of being carefully introduced into your cycled tank, it is most likely NOT your fault. The stress of being captured, the method of being captured, the care at the fish store and the stress of shipping are just a few of the things that could have contributed to this octopus' death. It is also possible that the octopus was an adult, at the end of its lifespan and the stress of shipping hastened its death.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. You were prepared to house an octopus, things just didn't go well with this octopus.

Good luck.
I have never personally had experience with saltwaterfish.com but I know there have been some bad things said about them, namely about the treatment of the animals they keep/ship.
It sounds like you definitely did your homework, and you did all the right things to introduce the octo into your tank. Agreed with above, this is not your fault. There are some people here who sell octos who really know what they're doing. Another suggestion is that you find one locally. This can be hard for some people, but my LFS ordered my A. Aculeatus for me and kept him for a few days to be sure he was healthy before selling him to me, and as such, I had a much easier time with acclimation, etc.
As for species, most people prefer bimacs as they are diurnal and can be quite personable. I also had great luck with A. Aculeatus - he too was diurnal and friendly!
Hopefully you are not too discouraged, good luck if you choose to try again! :smile:
sorry to hear about your octo :angelpus: -- I agree that it sounds like you researched and prepared very well, so don't beat yourself up over it. The one thing I can think of that no one has mentioned is that copper, even in small quantities, can be lethal to octos. Occasionally, someone will have a tank where copper-based medication has been used on fish in the tank, and the residue from that is enough to kill the octo. I'm not sure if copper is lethal that quickly, however, so I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I thought I should mention it. There may be test kits available for copper, although I'm not sure.

Other than that possibility, I agree that it sounds like the octo may have just been stressed from shipping or otherwise unhealthy when you received it, and it doesn't sound like you did anything wrong.

and :welcome: to TONMO, too!
Over the years, I have had maybe 3 that just did not make it past 24 hours. I hope you will try again. Maybe contact the vendor and see if they have any type of guarantee, although octopuses can be a "specialty" animal many do not, but you never know. It sounds like you did everything right, so sometimes this just happens. And welcome!:welcome:
I sent the octopus back to saltwaterfish.com as it stated in the instructions. I don't know if I will get my money back. I'm more worried about losing the octopus than losing the money.

I will try again, as soon as I find a reputable dealer. I thought I was doing okay since I went with a dealer listed on The Cephalopod Page.
But, until I find one, I will keep reading and studying.

Thanks for all the support. It's great to feel welcomed.

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