• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

I can't Believe it...


O. vulgaris
Jun 16, 2008

I just made a phone call to my states most well known and probably largest aquarium "Underwater World", just to get some general information and too see if I could organise a convenient time to come down and have a word with one of there Ceph workers.

Too put it quite simply, I was 'chewd up and spat out', the response was shocking to say the least :hmm: they strictly told me to stay away from housing ceph's at home and condemned any fish shop that would hold stock of them (I deliberatly with held the name of my LFS when he specifically asked for it).

He said that its people like "me:sad:" that are destroying our Oceans and giving these Fish Stores a reason to continue to sell. I DID NOT give him the pleasure of finishing what ever else he had to say, I hanged up while he was ranting at me.

Has anyone ever had this before, I mean this is like probably the most respected Aquarium in Queensland ???
I don't think condemning this person for his opinion is really appropriate; and I think hanging up sounds a bit rude, although it doesn't sound like there was a lot of respect on either end of the phone.

My belief is that, except for rare and exotic species, home ceph keeping has essentially zero impact on the wild populations when compared with fishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and other such issues, and it is appearing that in many cases cephs' reproduction strategies make their populations more resilient than many fish. I also think that responsible ceph-keeping, both as personal pets and in public aquaria, educates the public that these animals should be treated (IMHO) with as much respect as is given mammals, rather than worms. But this is just my opinion, and it's quite possible that this aquarist has more grounds for his opinion than I do for mine.

I certainly find it horrifying that nautilus populations may be endangered because their shells make good conversation pieces, and that some of the more exotic-looking octo and cuttle species may be endangered by over-collection for personal pets, so I understand the justification for indignation in this aquarist, even though I think it was misplaced in ranting at you and blaming the hobbyists more than a lot of industrial-level ceph-killers.

I'm all for friendly debate rather than verbal attacks when discussing this, in any case.
I can understand both sides. I worked at an animal shelter for a few years and believe me, there are more ignorant people out there than enlightened people, even when it comes to keeping something as common as a dog.

I think it's important to discourage people in an diplomatic way though if they're going to be discouraging. People are going to do what they want anyway, so might as well just give the best information and facts possible so that when they do proceed with their plans they aren't going it alone. That's pretty much the TONMO way, and a big reason this is my most ventured forum.
Thats pretty unfair I think to rant at you like that. In all honesty, the extremely small amount of us that actually own cephs are for the most part educated about owning them, number 1. And number 2, how many boats go out there with the intent of fishing for octopuses to sell them to stores for a big profit!?!? I only saw 1 octo (Octavius I) in CT in 8 years of looking. He SHOULD be yelling at the fisherman that are overextracting the seas, cyanide fishing, coral blasting, etc....scary numbers. I've been in marine bio class and had the overextraction discussion with plenty of PhD's on the matter, and believe me its not the people like "us" destroying the seas. At the rate of human destruction, a few aquariums in the home may be the only place you can see coral and other species in the future.
most of you know my stance on this situation.

I actually agree with the aquarium keeper, that most people should be kept as far away from keeping cephs as is possible.

When I am asked at the zoo if " should I get a blahblahblah", I do typically say "no!" If they really want one, they will find the information necessary to obtain said animal.
Lol hah wtf? Great service from a huge aquarium, huh? Maybe a simple "Sure, come by and see what you're getting yourself into." Would work.
ive had experience with people like that but at a different store. there employees know nothing and don't even keep tanks themselves but feel the need to talk as much as they would like. and they get nasty when you ask questions:bonk:
KLtcb;123853 said:
ive had experience with people like that but at a different store. there employees know nothing and don't even keep tanks themselves but feel the need to talk as much as they would like. and they get nasty when you ask questions:bonk:

I believe this was an actual public aquarium, not a store.

You have to understand these people are very dedicated to their jobs. They're very passionate about what they do and they are there to educate the public. They should have been a bit more professional about it, but at least you know they care.

As for the pet store experience, I've been there and done that. When I would ask about certain fish I would get a "That one's not for sale," comment from one certain employee, and that same employee had also told me to forget about even trying saltwater when I was first starting out. He didn't last long at that store. Elite attitudes suck. Again, that's why I hang out here more than any other forum.
Cheers for the responses

I had called Underwater world up (my public aquarium) to try and get identifications on the species commonly seen in LFS. I did call my LFS prior to the public aquarium, to try and see if they could help me with I.D.'s on the occys they had in stock, however they could only tell me that it is a Reef species.

So I thought too myself who else would know ??? Then I realised who BETTER then "the" aquarium place, Underwater World. I was shockingly mistaken, it would seem that the gentlemen that had answered my phone call was strictly against Ceph Aquariums at home and started to really try and 'sink it in' it was when his tone in voice started to get ridiculous that I just cut him off.

I only called for info... :hmm:
If I came off as being "elitist", I am certainly sorry. I know very little about the captive maintenance of cephs.

I just disagree with it. I think they should be left in the ocean.

Captive breeding, such as is being done by several Tonmo members, is just great...there is no damage done to wild populations, and those of you who do like to keep them in tanks have the ability to do so, and enlarge our perception of these fascinating animals.
We get calls all the time from people wanting to keep this that or the other (often highly impractical) but we are NEVER rude nor do we rant. I can be quite firm, and I usually try to get a "feel" for the caller's experience and keenness and go from there, to just rant is not exactly professional behaviour and certainly isn't educational!

I think many of you are being far too generous to the aquarium employee, and forgiving his bad behavior because his heart was in the right place (a desire to protect animals and the environment). We each have passionate beliefs of one kind or another, but I think we are obligated to be respectful, or at least civil, to those who disagree with us, and also to make sure that our conclusions make rational sense. The notion that cephs can't be kept in home aquariums without hurting the animal and/or the environment is, zealous and irrational. If, hypothetically, a young woman asked a doctor for information about abortion, and the doctor responded with the same degree of condemnation that Kharn got from the eco-zealot at the aquarium, should we "see both sides" and fail to condemn the doctor? We can educate, advise, plead, or persuade, but to "chew up and spit out" should be off limits. Deeply held beliefs shouldn't excuse mistreatment of people, and shouldn't protect irrational beliefs from criticism.

I think the aquarium worker that attacked Kharn was a self-righteous jerk, and that his conclusion that people who keep cephs [no matter how responsibly] are "destroying our oceans" is dogmatic drivel.
Some people just think they are more rightous then all the rest of us. Others simply are too absorbed with themselves to understand that their point of view is not always the best or most popular point of view. It sounds like this person fits into one of those catagories.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.