Introducing Sleipner


Dec 22, 2004
Sleipner (Odin's 8-legged horse) has been with us since Thursday morning.

As you can see he was very active and curious, even from day one. When I first put the bag in the tank after dripping he did wait a little while before he came out. He jumped right to the closest rock, then climbed around it for a few minutes until he found the best place to hide out for a while. He chose a hollow spot on the underside of the rock. It wasn't quite good enough so he spent the afternoon digging it out and making a sand wall around the outside.

He ate the first evening, and every day since. On Saturday he switched to a den on a rock that's a bit further up and affords him a better view.

Yesterday and today he's made social progress with us. Yesterday he was sitting on the rock just outside his den and didn't retreat when we came up to the tank to peer at him, but rather peered right back at us.

Today he came out for about an hour or two and hunted. When I came up to the glass he seemed curious about me, but after investigation continued hunting oblivious to my chasing after him with the camera.

As you can see he needs a bit more practice hunting fiddlers. He's killed no less than two so far, so maybe he's just better at ambushing them than attacking them outright.

Here's a good short clip of him breathing.

Here he tries again on the other side of the tank. He slinks away back to his den in embarrasment, and I went upstairs to upload the video. When my wife came home from work she was shocked to see him out on the glass oblivious to her, too. He walked along giving us a good view of his suckers (no video, sorry) until he found a snail that recently fell off the side. He left the shell behind and started making his way towards his den, spitting out the operculum halfway!

I'm kinda disappointed by the fact that all the other Zyan bimacs come out and hunt and stuff, when mine hunts only at night, and never leaves the den during the day. If I wanted this, I coulda gotten a dwarf...
Not all Zyan's bimacs have been like this--at least one has died.

Try to keep patient for a little bit longer. In the past people talk about weeks and weeks of hiding. Try not to crowd him, either, having people walk by or be close to the glass might spook him.

This is my third octopus, the first two I've owned each died within a week of their arrival. I first entertained the idea of having an octopus over three years ago and its taken me this long to have any success (knock on wood). Its all about patience.

Good luck,

I'm a little bit worried about Sleipner now, too. Despite being active and curious early on, he seems to have settled into a PVC den and, well, hasn't left. I haven't seen any hard evidence of him eating for about ten days (no empty crab or snail shells). For the past week I haven't seen any poops either (although that doesn't mean much because you have to be in the right place and the right time to see one).

He is as active and responsive as he can be from inside his den--he'll move around inside, etc, but he doesn't seem interested in food. I'll lay an overturned snail or hermit crab outside his den and he won't be interested. He doesn't seem very interested in fiddlers, either. I've dangled them in front of his den and sometimes he'll half-heartedly wrap arms around it but will let go as soon as he meets resistance.

Again, the water parameters are perfect and the temperature is 68 degrees. What temperature do our other bimac-keepers have? If their metabolism grows exponentially with temperature is it possible that he will only eat once a week at that temp?

You've only had him a couple of weeks, so it's not so unusual that he's not out and about. Sometimes they will have a period of night activity (don't know why, but this happened with my bimac, too) and even at 5 months, Sleipner could be snacking on amphipods, if available.

Are you also sure he's not sneaking out and hiding, so well disguised that you can't make him out?

We don't have enough reports of bimacs kept at different temperatues to say anything about frequency of eating. This could be different with individual bimacs, too.

I hope he's just feeling a little reclusive, and will be happy again soon.

Just wondering, is there any name relationship to this Sleipnir
His den is a 1" PVC pipe facing the front of the tank, so if he wasn't inside we'd know. He has a panoramic view of the entire room and we have a good view of him.

I spend some time each day sitting in front of the tank peering at him, and he doesn't seem to mind--he'll react by darkening the stripe on either side of his eye for just a moment. If he wants to be left alone he'll crawl to the back of the tube, but that's not common.

I hope he is coming out at night and getting his fill of amphipods. Now that I think of it I haven't seen as many in the tank as I have in previous weeks, but of course that might not mean anything.

Worried might be too strong a word, but I'll probably be a little on edge until I start seeing snail shells and crab carapaces again. Ivar died after not eating for 7 days, but Sleipy seems pretty healthy in there.
Sitting in front of the tank and watching Sleipner helps him get used to you, so you're actually building trust.

You might try tempting him with a piece of thawed frozen shrimp.

People think an octo that large won't eat amphipods, but I caught Ollie hunting them when she was older than Sleipner. In fact, she ate every amphipod in the tank! They must be very tasty!


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