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New octopus may be stressed--advice please?


Blue Ring
Oct 4, 2006
Hello, I'm new here & I just bought a new octopus. I only got him home a couple hours ago and I want to make sure his first day here is as stress-free as possible. He's a bimac about 2 inches in diameter. Any advice?

All he's done since I got him home is hide under a shell, which seems like pretty normal behavior but there's a yummy crab nearby that he hasn't even attacked yet so I hope he's ok.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

I wouldn't worry yet about not eating. It sounds like you bought him at an LFS and perhaps he had a meal there. Keep the tank unlighted and give him some quiet time to get used to his new surroundings.

It's normal that he would find a den for himself right away.


Arrgh... I spent about 2 months preparing for getting an octopus but I just realized there's one detail I missed. I think the temperature in my tank is too high. It's been reading about 80 degrees, but should be more like 70. Anybody have suggestions for what I can do about this?
Turn it down? I'm kidding....is there anyway that you can quickly replace that thermometer with one that's easy to control? I have a digital thermometer reader so I can adjust mine at ease. Mine always stays at 72-74 degrees! Good luck!

My octi did nothing but hide in his den for a whole day. This is normal. He came out to explore the next day though. He's been out ever since--except when it's bedtime.

Is the crab live or dead? I would suggest weening them on dead crabs. I weened mine on live after 2 days. He appeared to be stalking the dead ones---poor guy! lol
First of all, do you really have a bimac? Click on Ceph Care Articles above, look at the Bimac Care Sheet, and make sure you really have a bimac. Altlhough bimacs live in cooler water, they sometimes find themselves in tidepools where the water warms up to 80 degrees or move. This is not to say that you can keep your tank at 80 degrees, but that a short period of these higher temperatures will not damage him.

Do you have a sump? You might try running the protein skimmer only at night, to keep it from adding heat. Turn your air conditioner down a degree or two during the day. And best of all, if you have a sump, buy a small fan (6 inches) and aim it onto the water of ths sump. Evaporation will cause cooling. However, you must be prepared to top off frequently with RO/DI water that has been buffered, to replace the water that evaporates.

I don't have any sort of temperature control in the tank. How is a thermometer going to change the temperature in the tank? They just measure the temperature, not change it.
Thanks for the tip. Yes, I have a sump so I will try what you suggest.

The octopus is a bimac as far as I can tell so far; I haven't had a good enough look at it yet to see if it has eyespots or not, but a bimac is what I ordered at the fish store and after it arrived they told me that's what it was.
It's been over 24 hours since I put the lil guy in the tank and since then he hasn't come out at all to eat or anything. Is there anything I might use to coax him out other than food? Right now I have an arrow crab named Entree that I put in the tank to keep it interesting while the octopus was on order. I also have a small damsil fish named Lunch that was there to help cycle the tank. Right now I have some brine shrimp in an open plastic bag (that's so that Lunch can't get at them) but the octo hasn't gone after them yet as far as I know. :frown:

I think I may just have to get a chiller because I don't think I can I'll be able to cool the tank enough without one... phooey.
I wouldn't spend for a chiller until I knew for certain that I had a bimac. A cheap way to effectively cool a tank is to mount a fan to blow air over the sump: this will increase evaporation and remove heat from the system.

Move the damsel to another tank. They are territorial and will nip at your octo's eyes. Especially a little octo like yours. If I had a damsel coming after me I wouldn't leave my den, either :smile:
Ok, I got rid of the damsel fish. Thanks for that tip. I had no idea!

And as for the species, I'm pretty sure it's a bimac. The mantle is shaped correctly anyway, if the pictures on this site are anything to go on. Not that I've had a chance to see it again, but I distinctly remember the shape from when I put him in the tank.
The octopus most likely won't go after the brine shrimp and they have almost no nutritional value. Can you get some live shrimp? You can order from aquaculturestore.com, or if really desperate you can get freshwater ghost shrimp from your local LFS. Freshwater shrimp are not as nutritious as salt water shrimp but it could tide you over until you can order live salt water shrimp. You can also try frozen, raw shrimp (it will be gray instead of pink). Your octopus may not be interested in eating an arrow crab. Good luck!
Don't panic on the hiding...it's very normal for a young octopus to do this. Sometimes for a week or more so I would suggest to leave him alone and don't go digging up the tank to look for him. Many do make this mistake and that just scares them into hiding more. If you do indeed have a Bimac, curiousity will get the better of him, and eventually you will see if only an "eye" watching you discreetly. I would put some small hermit crabs in as they seem to be readily accepted by very young octopuses. Good luck!

Well I actually managed to see where he's hiding this morning but I'm still not sure if he's been eating anything. I don't see the feeder shrimp I put in the tank, but they're pretty hard to see. I just wish I could be sure he is ok. :frown:

What is the product name for those live saltwater shrimp? Lots of the products listed on the marine invertibrate page there seem fairly expensive. How do I keep them alive long enough to last as food a long time? Thanks!

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