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Need some help please

Jul 16, 2004
I just purchased a baby bimac, roughly 3-4 weeks old from Jim @ octopets this past saturday, sept 11th. My water parameters are perfect and the acclimation went smooth. I dripped water from my tank to the bag that he was in with a turkey baster for about an hour then picked him up with my hand and put him gently in the tank. After he entered the he sat against the glass for a couple hours and then, while i was gone, jetted over to a whole about the size of a quarter in one of my 5lb. pieces of live rock.

Now, he's been in there since saturday. There is evidence that he's been eating a few(maybe 3 or 4 out of the 10 that I put in their) baby clams, a few cracked open shells, that i've been putting in front of his whole. But there is no evidence that he's been exploring the tank or that he's even left his whole/cave at all.

My questions are... Is this normal for a baby to be in a whole/den for the first 3,4,5, or maybe even six days without coming out to explore or interact with me? Is there sure fire way to persuade him to come out and explore? Also, because I can't see in the back of the whole where he is without light, is it ok to use a fashlight for 3-5 seconds at a time just to make sure he's in there, or will this do serious damage to his eyes?
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

We get these questions frequently from new bimac owners. Yes, it is perfectly normal for your baby bimac to hide. This makes it very hard on owners when they don't see their new pets. Some people want to remove all their liverock and look for their octo - bad idea.

Do you have amphipods in your tank? If so, he will eat these as well. He's a very young one, after all.

You need to be patient. Another aspect to this is that your octopus has excellent camoflage skills, and could be right in front of you. Practice examining the tank visually rock by rock to develop your "octopus eyes"

Cover your flashlight with red plastic or film and use that to look for your octo in the dark. He won't see the red light.

Good luck!

Okay, I'm no expert, but I dont think this is a problem(yet). He might just be a secretive individual that was scared by the trip. As for the flashlight, I'm not sure but at least put a red filter over it. red light is a lower frequency and should not be as bad as white light. He might still see it, but it'll do less damage-if any. Congrats on your new octo, by the way.

Wait, nancy, you sure octos dont? in a diagram of their eyes in a book I'm reading, they have more cones than us (a few less rods).

welcome to Tonmo! always nice to meet a fellow cephologist! Sounds like a normal octo, though...it will get more sociable!
Cephkid said:
Wait, nancy, you sure octos dont? in a diagram of their eyes in a book I'm reading, they have more cones than us (a few less rods).


It certainly doesnt make them react to the light in any way. I have used it for looking at really secretive octos like bocki who are nowhere to be seen when using a normal torch (flashlight) red doesnt seem to bother them.
Thanks for the replies guys, please keep them coming. So, i haven't done any damage from shining the flashlight on him a couple times in the last 3 days?

Nancy, i know that I should know what an amphipod is by now but can you give me an example real quick? I've only introduced baby clams so far, what else should I try? hermit crabs? fiddlers? Thawed shrimp?
ZentraediG35, as long as the red filter was on, no, it didn't.

Colin, you sure they dont just ignore it? I just know what it says/shows, and it just says that, also, btw, it says octos can even recognize polarized light. Impressive. :wink: maybe some algae creates light. I know recently algae on a piece of liverock(preparing for when I am finally allowed to get an octo tank) in the refugium my 90g reef tank fluoresced when the "MoonLite" turned on. Turned a shiny red. Maybe it just thinks thats what it is.

Nope, I don't think you've ruined your octopus with the flashlight, but you might have scared him!

Amphipods? Jim at Octopets sells them and your baby bimac was raised on them. They look like tiny shrimp, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Look at the pictures in this article:
If you have a mature tank with live rock, you probably have some.

Your bimac may be too young to accept non-live food for another month or so. I believe Jim offers them non-live food at about two months. You'll just have to experiment. But, you might add some small hermit crabs, otherwise your little bimac has his clams and, if you have them, amphipods. He will eat the hermit when he's ready.

One Maglite we had around the house actually came with an alternative red filter. I was thinking of using the rose colored Reynolds Plastic Wrap before I discovered the red filter.

I too tried the flashlight with the red filter on the little briareus, and she seemed totally unaware any light was shining on her.


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