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How do you Acclimate????


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
There has been some concern with the recent death of so many babies within hours of introducing into their new home. Sometimes, there are no answers. I remember some 20 years ago when I was brand new to octo keeping, I had a rash of sudden deaths, probably 3 to 4 in a row. I learned my mistake was in rushing the acclimation procedure. I would be so excited about introducing my new octo into his tank, that I would drip faster. The result was shock, over a too quick introduction and death within 24 hours.

My first success, was my 5th octo, I believe it was a Bimac. I slowly dripped him for over an hour. Since that time there has been one little octo that died within a week out of probably around 8.

My procedure for acclimation is upon arrival, I pour out maybe 1/2 of the water in the bag into the sink and then place the bag, with the octo still in it in a bucket. I use a piece of plastic airline tubing with a knot tied in the middle to regulate the drip rate. Start a suction, and drip into the bag for over an hour, until the water is tripled or more in the bag. Next I pour some of the water from the bag back into the bucket and introduce the bag into the tank with the octo still in it. I like to let them come out on their own. It's fun to see the different styles the different octos have in coming out of their bag. Some come out immediately and others, very slowing, feeling around outside of the bag which sometimes can take several hours to emerge. I find going very slowly, gives less change of inking and shocking them.

Ink, was a shocky octo upon arrival. Not sure what they did to her, but you could tell she was stressed on delivery. With her, after dripping, I let her stay on a small piece of plastic from the bag after cutting away very slowly and carefully the rest of it. Took her 24 hours to come off!
Thank you for the adivce, I am not sure how the acclimation of my octo went since I was at work at the time, but I have a feeling it wasn't exactly how you described :smile: I am going to wait a while to get another, but the next time I will be sure to do it that way.
Good call...easy does it...patience is a must! I never rush the process at all...sometimes it will take a day or two to get the little buggers to want to get out of that bag! (of course, if you were a little kid, wouldn't you feel the same way?)
I think that slow acclimatisation is the answer too. Its the same with all aquatic life. Not long ago i happened to be in a shop who was trying to import marine fish for the first time, anyway, they were just dumping the fish into the new tanks, no aclimatisation technique and full light! Needless to say you could see them going into shock and dying. I spend nearly two hours in the shop trying to help and show them how its done.

An airline with a small tap set to drip is the best.

I have often used a bucket of small plastic tak with a lid for doing this.

Never put bag water into your tank, try and get the octo to climb into a pvc tube and cover both ends and lift.... unless its a BRO!!!!

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