• 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.

Ink and other questions...


Blue Ring
Jul 31, 2003
G'day from the wonderfull world of OZ!
We have many tanks and many pets ranging from basic native tropical fish through to marines and even seahorses (or as we refer to the 5 little devils "our ponies") however I have only recently convinced Rick to let me try ceph's, so here we are :roll: . There is sort of no one to ask in Australia so I guess we'll be relying heaps on this site :grad: .
I guess our first question is about ink... I have read a couple of things about ink but the one that made the most sense was that although it is mildly toxic it actually can cause the most harm by coating the oct and causing it to suffocate... is this correct? and if so how do we counter this problem? we have the wet/dry filter and protien skimmer etc. is it worth including a powerhead to maintain increased flow and therefore if there is a squirt then more chance of it filtering quickly... we wanted to sort this query out BEFORE we got our freaky little friend, so asto avoid any distress, so urgent replies will be worshipped appropriately!! "L" plates are deffinately on!! Thanks Guys
Hi, and welcome to TONMO.com!

I don't think inking is such a problem (it's more of a problem with cuttlefish) as long as you have the skimmer and other good filtration.
Also, if you have plenty of live rock and good places to hide, your octopus will feel more secure and won't feel a need to ink as much.

In the 5 months I've keep my bimac, he's only inked twice, both times when he was startled by a quick movement. These were not large puffs of ink, and the skimmer took care of them so quickly I didn't even have to do a water change.

The powerhead is a good idea for adding additional oxygen as well as flow.

Sounds like you have good relevant experience and are off to a good start. Have a look at Colin's equipment list (has more info than just equipment) and the checklist under the Ceph Care menu (on bar at left on home page)

What species are you planning to get?

Hi, Welcome to TONMO.com :smile:

If an octo does ink then you can sometimes catch it in a fine net before it spreads about the tank, but it's really the skimmer that helps remove it after that so keep that on 24x7.. it also adds much needed Oxygen to keep those three hearts pumping! :smile:

Also may be worth using a good quality carbon in your wet/dry somewhere as it will also remove ink.. change this every 2 months or so...

Carbon Query?

Is carbon in a filter much of an advantage?
A skimmer removes nitrogenous 'muck' completely from the marine system, which reduces the ammonia problems. Carbon only removes 'muck' from the water and the bacteria still have to oxidise it up through nitrite to nitrate, most of which has to be removed by water changes.
I have used skimmers alone with cuttlefish, and they worked very effectively. I suppose carbon may take some of other colour (yellow) out of the water?
Carbon adsorbs materials into its porous body and also removes it permanently from the aquarium. As long as it is changed as per manufacturer's instructions

Carbon also removes many other unwanted products in the water and is effective in removing ink and the yellow tint too... may even prevent trace amounts of copper being a problem
Thank you!

Thanks to all for replying so quickly! All the info was really helpfull. Im sure I'll be wanting more soon enough! Thanks again!
Hi krogey.

I'll be really interested to hear how you go. I'm in Sydney, not thinking of getting my own tanks at this point but would really like to connect with people who do keep cephs in my general vicinity. For a start... how do you get them in Australia? Do we need to apply to National Parks and Wildlife for a permit? They have forms for keeping snakes and frogs, but no mention of cephs. I'm hoping that since you're in the acquarium biz you might know about this stuff.

You've really come to the right place to get advice BTW. The sheer amount of knowledge and experience possessed by the people who post to Tonmo is kinda scary.

Hi Rachel!

Id be happy to help! Part of the problem is actually getting one! The ones we get in Australia are generally found up North in Queensland vicinity and because of this dont need to go through quarantine. However they only come in on Rocks etc, and its a bit hit and miss. I would suggest you go and find an aquarium that stocks marine fish and ask them to ask thier divers to keep a look out or that your interested. We have had problems with shipping - when they arive, because they have been bagged they sometimes ink in thier bag and are already dead by time they reach us... so I guess thats the biggest problem to get around... I dont have any suggestions for that sorry...anyone esle got thoughts on it??

Good Luck and If you need anything else just yell out!
you should be able to get in contact with a good aquatics shop and oder one.. as far as i know no invertebrates need to go through a quarantine period so that shouldn't be a problem
well first off you obviously have a 35 gallon tank right?
I know for a fact all octopuses no matter how small need at least a 35 gallon tank.
For the most part, octopuses will BAIRLY squirt ink if you ever try and scare it. If u give it hiding places it will mostly hide and be shy instead of squirting it's ink.
If it DOES squirt its ink the ink will most likely dissolve in the 35 gallon tank and disappear. If the octopus squirts a LOT of ink, it should either dissolve quickly, OR be filtered.
Octopuses will most likely not keep squirting, and since the tank is 35 gallons, it shoukdn't be a problem at all.
octopus ink never dissolves... its always in the water until it it is physically removed by a skimmer, carbon or water change...

it does disperse into the water and become less noticable though, that's why all good ceph tanks have a good skimmer and a bag of carbon with regular water changes.

I also beleive that a 30 - 35 US gallon aquarium is the smallest tank suitable for a species like bimaculoides.. bigger is better and i'd aim for a 55gal


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