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Handfeeding/playing with your octo


Feb 9, 2008
East Haven,CT
In order to make mine feel more comfortable around me, I was wondering if everyone here hand feeds their octo, or at least gets them to feel comfortable around your hand. I slowly approached with a hermit crab yesterday, and he retracted a little into his rock, but not much at all. Not wanting to rush matters I left the hermit 1 inch away from him, and right after I took my hand away he attacked it.

Im just curious as to how people begin to play with or make their octo feel comfortable around them.

Also I had a great look at him yesterday, and noticed an orange background on his ocelli. That means I can feel confident I have a hummelincki!
It's best to just take it slow. I would use a stick to offer food until you know for sure your octopus trusts you. With the hummelinki's it doesn't take long. When I had mine I would dangle my fingers in the water at the corner of the tank and she would approach and slowly reach out and grab me. After doing that a couple of times it was really more of a matter of me trusting her enough to grab me.
Octane seems to think the upper right hand corner is where I should keep my fingers while she s-l-o-w-l-y creeps up to investigate. Initially, I though she was interested in the food but it seem she is just curious about my fingers. She touched them for the third time, this time a full touch, not a grab and not the super light bumb from last time. This time like the very first time she touched me, she scampered off quickly (this time I was prepared and did not react). It is interesting that both Tuvalu and Octane acted so similarly and it makes me wonder about what the facination the upper corner of the tank my hold. Perhaps there is a reflection there that makes it particularly interesting (my tank is acrylic with rounded corners but I believe yours was squared?)
Just remember to give your hands a very good rinse before putting them in the tank. Avoid any hand washing creams, nicotine and other noxious stuff that might be on your hand. Also you might expect a nip from your octo at some point, it's all part of how they explore their environment.

It wont take an octo too long to get used to your hands and expect food from them every time they see your hands... that can make tank maintenance tricky...
Just tried it with a skewer stick. First was tug of war! He is strong as hell for his size, I couldn't believe it. Then he discovered the tasty morsel at the bottom and let go, hes eating it as we speak. It appears he is getting less shy each day, this is exciting!
Octopus Prime has appeared trusting and interested in feeling my fingers since very early on. I initially offered food via feeding stick, which he readily accepted, and when i offer food by hand, he often seems more interested in my hand than the contents, which made me pretty nervous at first!

When he is perched on a rock, i can slowly approach with my hand and wiggle my fingers a few inches from him. if he wants to play he will reach out with an arm and grab on. When he is done, he usually swims away. He seems more interested in playing like this when he is sitting in a stationary place, rather than when he is out exploring the tank far away from his den (understandable).

as for the feeding stick, i used a bamboo skewer to offer frozen shrimp. now that i feed fiddler crabs, i either offer them by hand (which he doesnt seem to mind) or drop next to him to watch him pounce on it (which is amazing).
Last night Rigby decided (not unusual for him) that he want to grab me rather than his dinner... and he WOULDN'T let go... he just kept lifting up his shell pulling on my hand.... it was pretty funny... he is so strong... he he wasn't in a movable object (like attached to a base rock) I think I would be very nervous... but as it is he just moves he his shell up and down and turns it pulling on me... sometimes i just drop his food from the top of his tank down to his den.. which was my plan last night but the piece of salmon I was trying to feed him floated instead of sinking down like I wanted it too...

oh and when i finally got away he just pouted and shot away his dinner a few times until I convenced him this was the only dinner he was getting tonight....
dreadhead;110809 said:
Right on.I have to get my stick back,Olorin took it from me and its still in the tank.

:lol: we had one who loved the "helping hand" we use (a stainless steel gadget usually for people who have difficulty bending, so they can pick up stuff from the floor). he would grab it and fondle it, anyway one day I lost the tug of war and he got it, so I decided to leave it in the tank and retrieve it when he got bored. I that only to discover he'd bitten right through the steel shaft and it was in two pieces :shock: Makes me REALLY careful about where I put my hands!!!!


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