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Latest on Octopets - Not good news

Nancy

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Today I managed to talk with a man at Carlsbad Aquafarm who knew about the status of Octopets.

Octopets is no longer at the Carlsbad site - Jim is apparently not even in the Carlsbad area anymore. They think he has not been actively breeding bimacs for several months.

Carlsbad Aquafarm is not considering taking up bimac breeding at the present time, although they may continue with the seahorses. They have not ruled out eventually breeding bimacs, but it's nothing they're considering doing right now.

It doesn't seem likely that Jim is continuing with Octopets somewhere else, but we don't know that for sure. There seems to be only one phone number for Jim, and he isn't answering calls or returning my messages.

I think we should look carefully at what our short and long term options are. Because Octopets was providing tank bred bimacs, no one else stepped forward to also provide aquacultured octos. Some of us are already thinking of that now. In the meantime, it looks like octos will be imported from Indonesia to the LFS. Some briareus are available, but the survival rate doesn't seem to be very good.

Nancy
 

monty

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Nancy said:
Carlsbad Aquafarm is not considering taking up bimac breeding at the present time, although they may continue with the seahorses. They have not ruled out eventually breeding bimacs, but it's nothing they're considering doing right now.

Did he say give any details about why they're not considering it? I'm thinking that if it's because they don't have the expertise without Jim, maybe we could work to address that, versus if they've decided that they just don't want it in their facility, we'd have to find another location, etc.... it would also be useful to know if there are reasons they don't want to continue with it that we'd have to address, too... (not profitable, too much work, high mortality rate, too much loss in shipping, ...?)
 

DHyslop

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Well, it would seem our worst fears have been realized. I'll stop by my LFS tomorrow night and see if they've heard back from their distributors about finding a diver to get eggs. Failing that I'll see if I can find one through Fish Supply, or start calling California dive shops.

Dan
 
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Its prob $ and time devoted to them that they dont want to invest. they dont see a big enough market for captive bred octo's or one at all, especialy when it is easy to capture them abroad.

just my 2 cents
 
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we just need someone to start up a similar buisiness. it doesnt have to be as large scale as jims but just enough to support the small market. maybe just have 1 or 2 sets of breeding adults to begin and just use them and the offspring to supply the market. that way the operation can be small enough to fit in someones backyard or house. even if they only get out 50 or so babies a year to the public it would be better than nothing. also what if we all bug the large research facilities until they decide to breed certain species for us and in return we pay for them in order to keep up their research?
 

DHyslop

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joefish84 said:
we just need someone to start up a similar buisiness. it doesnt have to be as large scale as jims but just enough to support the small market. maybe just have 1 or 2 sets of breeding adults to begin and just use them and the offspring to supply the market. that way the operation can be small enough to fit in someones backyard or house. even if they only get out 50 or so babies a year to the public it would be better than nothing. also what if we all bug the large research facilities until they decide to breed certain species for us and in return we pay for them in order to keep up their research?

The first goal is somewhat realistic as it is closest to what will likely happen. Remember that one breeding pair of bimacs means about 500 eggs, and are only really attainable in southern California. Hiring a diver to steal a single festoon of 10-30 eggs, shipping them across country and raising the hatchlings is a little more realistic. I am certain this will not be a profitable venture, but one done as a hobby that might come close to paying for itself. I'll let you know how profitable it ends up being.

I don't think its worth harassing the NRCC. James Wood's webpage puts it best:

The Cephalopod Page said:
It's not that people or institutions on this list have to adhere to strict government-controlled spending practices or that they could lose their grant money if they sold you a cephalopod, it's just that they don't like you, and they'd rather you not have the opportunity to have one for a pet.

Bugging them isn't going to make them like you any more. And how much would we really have to offer them? If you take the entire recent thread about bimac demand, assume everyone on there will indeed buy one this year (which is certainly not going to happen) you're only talking $500 or so.


Dan
 
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i think the best idea is multiple small scale breeding operations, dan i noticed that you are on the hunt for bimac eggs, say ten more people follow your idea and breed, then there would be close to the supply of octopets.
 

Nancy

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I think we can raise any large-egged octopus (bimac, briareus and some of the dwarfs) - but we'll have a learning curve. I can find out a lot and have the experience of trying to raise briareus hatchlings. It looks like amphipod culture is easy, too.

So our first step is investigation and learning and some of you might want to fill in with wild caught octos - perhaps these will lay fertile eggs. I'm going to find out more from Fish Supply about their wild caught octos (not the blue rings). Before Octopets, they supplied healthy young octopuses.

Nancy
 

DHyslop

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I doubt that there are going to be ten others out there like me. Keep in mind a hatchling bimac can eat 3 amphipods a day. Twenty hatchlings will eat 60 a day which ends up costing over $1000 a month if I were to buy them. Anyone who wants to raise hatchlings is going to have to set up one major pod farm to handle that first month or so. Really, multiple feed systems, since I'll want mysis for the first few weeks, too. Living in a coastal area I should be able to harvest some feed, but it might not be worth my while.

Dan
 

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