Hi from Teacher Kim in Salinas, California

Teacher Kim

Sep 7, 2012
Hello to all of you crazy people like me! I agree with everyone that says it's great to find a place to discuss such an unusual topic! I am actually a preschool teacher that works from my home. So basically my family and I live in a preschool! I have been keeping salt water tanks for, I'm afraid to say, over 30 years! (Scary thought!)

Anyway, I feel it is very important to teach our children about how amazing and important the ocean is, so I have a 125 reef tank and a 30 gallon seahorse tank. A couple of years ago my class started asking about octopuses so I set up a 40 gallon "octopus tank". Our first octopus was only a couple of inches long. It had so many places to hide that I interact with it much until it grew a bit! It started interacting with me and was doing great until I found it dead half inside a toy I had made for it. :frown: We had gone on vacation and I had someone taking care of the animals. They were experienced, so I am not sure what happened.

We now just got our second octopus a few days ago and I am wanting more of a support group to help with new ideas and knowledge. This one came from Pete's Fish Place. Not sure if anyone has dealt with them, but he was great on the phone and sent me an awsome 8 inch long octopus! It's probably the common octo v, but it seems to have extra long stringy arms and is much more outgoing than the other little guy was. This morning it came out and climbed onto my hand to explore. I tried to give it a toy, but it only held it for a second and dropped it. Then it crawled back into its den.

My main concern right now is how to interact with it. I don't want to overdo it, but I feel like I should at least check to make sure it's still alive once a day? Or is this bad? The last one was so small it didn't matter! I appreciate any information you might be able to share.

Lastly, I have had trouble getting a good picture of it, but I will try and upload something later today. Just in case anyone is interested, I could put a couple of pics up of kids with it... when they saw it in bag, etc... am excited at the idea of them getting to see it up close and interacting with toys, etc in the future!! The kids are sooo excited about this one because it is so much begger than the last one!

Thanks and sorry if I rambled! Look forward to hearing from you!
A couple of concerns but, as CaptFish suggests, photos will go a long way toward resolving any issues. A 40 gallon tank is small for most octos and WAY too small for an Octopus vulgaris. However, it is rare that we see vulgaris and the Common Caribbean (O. briaresu) is often marketed without the Caribbean in the description. Additionally, since your are in California, there is a good chance this is an Indonesian species and long arms would suggest aculeatus. A 40 is still too small for O. briaresu (65 gallon or better is recommended) but will minimaly support A. aculeatus. If you can ask your supplier where the animal originated, it will go a long way (along with a photo) towards identifying it and its housing needs.

Toys are hit and miss and not often played with for very long. Probably the most sought after "toy" by most species is capturing the feeding stick :biggrin2:. Most of the larger animals can learn to get a live food item out of a container though and this is usually entertaining for humans (and maybe the octopus). One of our members has used the small plastic (clear) Easter eggs with success but different containers have been offered with good results. KaySoh's journal has a couple of videos and a description of the jars we have tried (I have also used the oblong Kraft mayonnaise container with success)

We encourage pictures (and I have several with my own octos) but you need to make sure that the parents will not object to an on-line posting. This is not usually a problem with this kind of forum but checking with the parents is advised.
Thanks for your reply! First, I agree and am going to set up a larger tank as soon as I find out a little more about what species it might be, etc.. Hoping you will be able to give me some ideas about size and shape, etc.. Yes, the supplier said it was from Indonesia and would not get bigger than 22 inches when full grown. He also said it changed colors and was more outgoing than the octopuses he usually gets in.

This morning it was moving along the front of tank and gradually flattened out and changed to match the sand. Really cool!! Then it just kind of got back up and kept exploring. It also darkened to a brown with a reddish tint. Later when I lifted the rock it was under it was a medium brown with bright green splotches on its arms and mantle. It doesn't seem to be very afraid. It's arms seem long and stringy to me, but I haven't really seen very many octopuses to compare it too! lol! I am going to post this and then try to add some pics of it. (I alaready tried and failed at adding pics once, maybe I will get it right this time!!) The pics aren't very good, but I think they might still be of use in figuring out what species it might be. By the way, I was just guessing when I said Octo V. I just heard that this was the species most often sold. Thanks for your help!! :smile: T Kim
OK, I failed again! Instead of a picture, a bunch of letters and misc stuff showed up! Am tired, so will try again in the morning. If all else fails, I will have one of my kids do it for me! lol!


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Sorry the pictures are so poor, but at least you can see some features, etc. :smile:


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Last pic I have as of right now. Sorry, above is a obviously a double! Not sure how I did that!! :smile:


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Just in case anyone wonders, tank is sealed tight, set up in a low light area and I'm keeping artificial lighting to a minimum. There are currently some snails and hermit crabs in with it. I have offered it silversides and krill, but it has not accepted any yet. I remove any uneaten food and am checking water chemistry every other day right now just to be sure it stays stable.:smile:

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