Thanks for the advice. It's just good to talk to folks who have been through this.I have experienced a lot of octopuses trying to "haul out" as I put it. It's important to stay vigilant whenever you have the lid of the tank removed. You could also use a net or a piece of plastic to keep her from reaching over the lip of the tank.
As you've said earlier in the thread, Inky may be starting to under go senescence. Her lack of interest in eating, ignoring prey in the tank, strange behaviors, and that she is no longer spending time in the dens she has previously made are all signs of senescence.
Make sure to spend some quality time with Inky while they are still around. It's a pleasure to see all the photos and text write-ups you do.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am happy that we still have the interaction.I too have noticed that my octopuses become more interactive as they move through senescence. It’s a tough thing to go through, but enjoy it while you can! If you can have another person around when you are handling her, that can be helpful if she tries to haul out again- it’s a step I take with my more social octopuses.
It’s hard because it feels like you become more “bonded” with your octopuses during senescence, only to loose them. I just remember that I’d rather have them die at my house and make me sad, than get eaten by predators out in the ocean.
First, let me say that I love being able to physically interact with my octos. However, I have come to think that their willingness (desire) to be petted may have something to do with itchy skin and our petting makes a great, soft scratching post. Anecdotal observation suggest that as they become senescent, their skin my itch more than normal (possibly to the point of biting their arms and bringing on infection that heightens the itch). They are also bothered by bristle worms more often (they smell the flesh beginning to decay) and don't seem to be able to keep them away (possibly the reason for not using her den). These is ONLY anecdotal observations and conclusions but fit what I have seen after keeping over 20 animals.
Her symptoms are common for senescence and your captivity time is not overly short (they are a small egg species for for the first month they live as plankton then settle and grow exponentially). However the fact that she is no longer happy with her den makes me suggest that you double check your PH, salt levels and ammonia, either one being an issue can cause senescent like behavior. Since you are using untreated water, there may be something natural that is causing discomfort. If your salt is low, buy or make some slightly heavily salted water using RO/DI or distilled fresh. Bring up her salt level over a 24 hour period (similar to acclimation - slowly add new and take our an equal amount of old). PH is a little harder but you can still use RO/DI or distilled fresh and add a saltwater buffer to correct the PH and then do water changes. If ammonia or nitrite are the issue, do a large water change ASAP but check your water source first. If your normal water source is OK, use it, if not, back to the RO/DI or distilled base and add commercial salt mix.