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Instant fatality with a bimaculoides


Pygmy Octopus
Dec 15, 2002
I just got a baby bimaculoides, plopped him in the tank after proper acclimation, and he appears to be dying after about an hour. (He's stiff, unresponsive to visual stimuli, and slowly leaking ink.) He was active at first, swimming about, and seemed healthy. I have reversed osmosis water, and the PH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels seem to be ok. My 55 gallon tank is several months old with two damsels. I'm relying on my protein skimmer to provide oxygen. I never checked for copper, because I assumed that wasn't necessary with RO'd water. Any suggestions as to what might kill him so rapidly?
Hi brandon
Im 100% sure that this isnt something that you have done. i think it seems like shipping stress. Was it an overnight service?

If worse comes to the worst you should freeze the body, you may not be able to make a claim otherwise. Either way i would phone the seller and let them know ASAP that there is a problem!

In future, try and give me exact readings for SG pH ammonia nitrite and nitate... just in case i spot something

Perhaps get your LFS to check your water for Copper, save you buying a test kit

I think all you can do is leave the lights off and give it plenty peace and quiet.I wish you both the best.

PS for future reference i would remove the damsels before adding an octo
Hi Colin,
Thanks for the quick response and reassurance. :smile: It was, indeed, an overnight service, but I can't help but feel guilty about the little guy. Hopefully I will have better luck with the next one.
For the record, here are my readings:
SG: 1.0255
pH: 8.3
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: ~5 ppm
These are tentative, however, as I am unsatisfied with the accuracy of my "Saltwater Master" test kit. I've found the color readings highly subjective, but perhaps these tests are inherently vague. My pH, for instance, reads a shade of red that might be between this brown and that rust but could just as easily designate another reading.
The damsels were to serve as a snack for my octopus, since I own only one salt water aquarium. I doubt they'd fare especially well with my snapping turtle in his tank, so my octo's great unfortune at least spares them a few more days :shock: .
Not to be discouraged, I shall get my water tested for copper and try again! I look forward to putting my new G3 digital to good use and getting some octo pictures for everyone.
Thanks Colin,
I'm no expert, but I'd say it was some type of shipping stress as well. The SG, PH and ammonia all seem good if your readings are correct. While you're getting your water tested for Copper, you might as well have them do the PH if you think there might be a problem with your kit, just to make sure.
hi Brandon

Yeah, these things happen, it is sad but it it is not the rule! I have only had a DOA once out of about 10 octos.

The damsels can be pretty hard on new tankmates... Id be a bit worried about them trying to nip at an octo while it was settling in, might be okay but why take the chance? and the less stress the better to settle in.... (you may guess I dont like damsels LOLOL)

Cheers again
take them damsels out of the tank before putting the octopus in. I thought the clown in my tank would quickly become octopus food but it actually took him about a month before he finally ate it. The clown never bothered the octopus, but damsels will. They are quite agressive, especcialy when there is more than one.
First off I would like to say how sorry I am at your loss, and that what happened to you, is unfortunatelly common. I would like to know who you purchased your bimac from, I got my bimac from fishsupply.com and had no problems with my little invertibrate terror. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, at jfw60@hotmail.com. I hate to hear of your loss, and maybe fish supply could offer you a better quality octo. Good luck. John
I appreciate all the help and condolences. After buying new test equipment, the conditions again seem fine, and no copper was detected. I will consider putting the damsels in a bucket for a time, to quarrel among themselves, until the next octopus has spent a while acclimating. My provider was also fishsupply.com, but I would not count this as a mark against them. On the contrary, the correct species was provided, and the octopus arrived without inking and seemed healthy, at first. Even though everything seems fine and it is likely that I just had poor luck, I'm going to be cautious and add activated carbon to my filter system.
Thanks once again,
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