Greetings from southwestern Missouri

Thomas Jay

Dec 20, 2013
Stark City, Missouri

My name is Thomas, and I am a biology nerd. All sorts of lifeforms fascinate me, and cephalopods are no exception to that rule. I have long had an interest in these creatures, particularly their intelligence.

I have kept aquariums for as long as I can remember, though I have never had a cephalopod. I would like to eventually keep some of the smaller species. For now, I just want to absorb as much information on them as possible. I figured this was a good place to start.

One interesting, and aquarium-related, fact about me is that I have completed two summer internships with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Neosho National Fish Hatchery in Neosho, Missouri. My primary responsibilities there were to care for federally endangered Pallid Sturgeon, which were to be released back into the wild, and Rainbow Trout for sport fishing.


:cuttlehi:Thomas! Is there any particular place you want to start exploring cephs that you have not already found? We do have a section on Behavior and Intelligence that contains links to papers (sadly many require a subscription) and anecdotal observations in the journals from our keepers but little hobbyist direct experimentation. My current resident is aging and recent reading has had me thinking about a simple experiment that I want to attempt with the next young animal I keep. Once I have the details figured out and a new animal I will post what I come up with trying.
Thanks, Denise! I appreciate the link; there is some really interesting information in there! There's no particular place, I'm just poking around here and there. I would love to conduct my own experiments in the comfort of my home. In fact, I think it would just be cool to own a cephalopod, and be able to observe its day to day life.

Living here in the Midwest, information on cephalopods and living specimens are difficult to obtain. I've only seen octopuses pop up two or three times at local pet shops in the 22 years I've lived here. A local public aquarium keeps a couple cuttlefish (probably Sepia officinalis), and these creatures astound me. What I find interesting is that they seem to be studying you just as much as you are studying them.
There is no denying that cephs appear to observe you. What they take in or "think" is an on going question.

Living anywhere but in a coastal city presents a sourcing problem for delicate marine life. Add to that are the complications of a short lifespan (about a year for most of the cephs we keep), the difficulty/impossibility(for small egg species) of captive breeding, the requirement for a species only relatively large tank and the fact that cephs are not a mainstream animal makes keeping them a challenge and long term commitment. Many (most) keepers use the internet and mail order to acquire their animals and differing degrees of DIY to secure the tank. Have a gander at the tank talk forum using the links in the Tank Buildouts sticky for some examples of set ups (just to peak your interests a little :biggrin2:).

We also have several new potential keepers joining us and you might look at the kinds of questions they have to gain more insight.
Thanks guys!

Denise, those tank buildouts definitely got the wheels turning in my head. I love DIY projects and tinkering around with things. I've got a few mid-sized tanks laying around, so I might have to fill them in the not-so-distant future...

Greg, thanks! I know it's not really cephalopod-related, but that has been my greatest adventure in marine biology.
Hi Thomas and welcome to the site! As D mentions, it's harder to buy ceph food when you're so far inland, but not impossible. I've had that experience as I live 200 miles from the coast. You might start checking out food sources before you get your first octopus, to make things easier.

Hi Thomas,

I've actually worked in a salmon hatchery in Alaska and on fishing boats up there. Experiences were awesome as well even though there wasn't too much related to cephalopods!

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