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help for the bobs

Jan 23, 2008
i need help! when i went to check on my bobtails this morning, one of them was laying on the sand. it's body is white, but the eyes are clear (not cloudy) and it's not moving. i thought it might be dead, but when i pick it up the tenticles are moving. but when i put it down it just sinks to the bottom of the tank. although i think i know what the answer is, i guess i'm looking for someone else to say it. i've never been very good at dealing with these sort of things. :cry:
Check your water parameters, and consider doing a water change... it can't hurt, and it might help... hopefully some of the experts can offer more advice soon.
i use filtered sea water, and i do a 25% water change every other day if not daily, the protien skimmer/filter that we use can handle a tank 2-3 times the ours. our water should be ok. i'll ask my husband to pick up a test kit on his way home from work. he thinks that it's dead. he said he'd look at it when he gets home. i just don't understand, it looks dead bet out of the water the tenticles are curling and wiggling around, but in the water it doesn't move, not at all, not even the tenticles, i don't see it trying to breathe. then why is it moving out of the water? i was going to flush it, but then it moved! i can't flush it if it's moving, if there's the possibility that it's alive and just taking a nap or something. although it is upside down and has been for over an hour, and it hasn't moved from the spot it was in. but if i flush it and it starts trying to swim back up, i won't be able to save it, and then i'll feel really bad. if it really is dead and has been, is it traumatic to the other bobs? will it mess up my water? how long can i leave it in there? (assuming it still tries to move when i pull it out) is it some kind of invoulentary thing? like when after you spear a tako, the tenticles stick to you and later that night the skin still changes color when you poke it? i think i might be driving myself nuts over this! what do i do? will someone please tell me what to do?!
Arm movement, and especially firing chromatophores, can occur for some time after death. Is there any ventilation visible on the specimen in the water?

It sounds like it is very far gone. If you do decide to "flush it" at some point I recommend decapitating it before hand.

At this point that may be the most humane thing to do for it.

I know this is a terrible time to make this request, but not many people have kept bobtail squid, so I hope you can post some photos of them.

It's very sad when they have trouble - hope the others all do well.

thankyou all for your kind words of wisdom and support. it really does help! But alas Sideshow Bob, the largest of our bobtails has passed. :angel: does anyone out there know if there is any lind of "bond" between tank mates? i think heard something about this with cuttles. i tried to feed the bobs last night and they haven't eaten at all. could they be depressed or traumatized by the death of sideshow, and the fact that i left him in the tank for so long? also does anyone know (or be able to guess) the lifespan of the bobtail squids? i have heard conflicting info. i think i'll try calling the waikiki aquarium, i know htey had a bobtail tank for a while. i'm not sure if they're the right place to call. (they seem to have a very high turnover of fish, along with anything else in the water) i tried the lab on coconut island, but the phone just rang. anyone know of a credible source i can go to? thanks again!
ps. i am working on the pics, i don't have any good ones yet, as soon as i get one i'll post it, promise.
I would think that the other Bobtails being depressed or affected in this manner from the loss is a little anthropomorphizing. With cuttlefish, I have observed that they will indeed have a specific partner only. Even when other mates are around. However, when one dies, Ive seen the surviving Cuttlefish take on another mate almost immediately.
Tintenfisch;109865 said:
Hi guys, there seemed to be some posts in this thread duplicating other posts from this thread about Vee's octo (sorry to hear about it, Vee) so I just removed the repeat posts to tidy things up.

RIP Sideshow Bob. :angel:

Er, that was 'cause I copied them to the other thread; I think there was one that referred to both Vee's octo and the bobtails... edit: that was Jean's, and I see you preserved that part...

I got a chance to read that PDF article I posted earlier, and I noticed that they do explicitly mention that bobtails are very short-lived... 139 days was the oldest they got. It also sounds like shrimp are the best diet, although they discuss that more for hatchlings than adults. In their closed system, it sounds like Hanlon et. al. used a deep crushed oyster shell bed with a canister filter, carbon, and UV filtration and weekly water changes, so I assume they cycled for 3 months as usual before introducing their bobtails... they mention that their open system was only "overflow" when they needed more space. That's not to say this is the only way to do it, of course.

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