Octo not eating

Dec 3, 2004
Just paranoid, however, Mimius hasn't eaten for two days now and is becoming very secretive - hiding more and more. Refused lobster and a live fiddler crab, that can't be good. I can't see into its den (it has a few scattered about the tank) to check for eggs, however, I'm pretty worried. If Mimius is indeed O , then it was pretty much adult size when I got it. Head is about 3" long, mantle about 6" across and arms over 18" in length.

I checked water parameters and the pH is 8.1, alk is 7, salinity is 1.026, temp is 77.8. I am going to do a 40% water change tonight just in case. I fear though that this is not a good sign. There is no outward explanation such as injuries or the like to explain his lack of appetite. I have had Mimius for three months now, I just hope senescence isn't the explanation as myself and my whole family are very attached to the little sucker, much more so than any fish, clam or coral I ever owned.
Hmmmmmmmmm any chance he's a she? could be denning up preparing for eggs.....which is not a good sign either....got my fingers crossed for you that Mimius is just a having a little alone time.

Did you also check the ammonia and nitrite? Water change is a good idea, but just be sure your parameters are the same as the tank so you don't shock him/her. Hate to say it but if she's holed up with shells and such being gathered in she maybe preparing for eggs. Gimpy went underground almost 3 weeks ago. I miss her. I have continued to offer live food, but she kills it and puts it far from her den.

Good luck...

Oh, I'm fond of Minimus, too. Hope he picks up after the water change.

We do get very attached to our octopuses and it's difficult with their short lifespans. We give them much better lives than they would have in the ocean - no preditors, lots of good food and someone to play with them.

I think Carol (corw314) has a good approach. She keeps one octo after another, and they're all fun in different ways. Sometimes she has two tanks going with octos.

Thanks for the replies. Mimius shrinks away from all food, but is more out in the open now. I will try and be patient as you never know. The nitrite and nitrate are undetectable on my test kits. The tank holds about 75 gallons and is filtered by a very large euro reef skimmer rated for 300 gallons. As well, I do partial water changes every week. I did do the larger water change and will check tonight when I get home how Mimius is doing. I have arranged for a friend to stop by Chinatown to get some smaller blue crabs today and drop them off to me at work. Maybe that will help. Thanks all.
Well Mimius is out and about a little more and not hiding so much. Still not taking thawed food. I have some Blue crabs and see if that interests him.


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No luck yet, I think he is intimidated by the crabs (I know I am). I've removed one side of the crabs pincers so no damage can be done. Mimius this morning was actually half out of the water. This tells me something is wrong with the water quality despite what the test kits say. I am preparing another larger water change and will do the change tonight when I get home from work. Will post as things develop. Thanks.
When Gimpy was trying to get out of the water, the ammonia had spiked. I did a more than 50 percent waterchange and changed the carbon and by the next day she wasn't frantically trying to get my attention any more and had returned to normal behavior and feed. Keep us posted.

A cautionary tale

Well, as it turned out two large water changes restored Mimius to his old hungry self. Tonight when I came home, there he was on top of a rock waving his arms for attention. I fed him some lobster and he practically ran to get it.

This morning I told some sealed flasks of tank water to work( a hospital). The pH was 7.5, alkalinity closer to 3 and salinity using a refractometer was 1.017! So much for my old test kits and "swing-arm" hydrometer. The pH test kit I was using reads everything at 8.2 regardless if its distilled water or acetic acid. Likewise the alkalinity kit seems to read everything at 7.

I have picked up new Salifert pH and alkalinity kits and will be ordering a refractometer. I imagine the nitrate kit was way off as well. When I poked around Mimius's tank I found several buried large snails that had tell-tale black hydrogen sulfide stains on the shell indicating decomposition.

I say this is a cautionary tale because I guess you have to trust the animals condition more than simply rely on test kit readings, especially when the kits have been sitting around for a few years in a very moist environment. By observing Mimius trying to get out of the water, the question of what was wrong with him was apparent. There was nothing wrong with him, the problem was the water quality, despite test results.

Just wanted all to know that Mimius appears his old self again - thank God, and that it is I who is senescent, not the cephalopod!
So glad to hear that Minimus is OK!

All of us need to pay attention to our test kits. They must be replaced anywhere from 6 months to one year - read what the manufacturer says.

Having a continuous readout of pH throught the Pinpoint monitor has been very helpful to me in maintaining stable conditions. You have to recalibrate and clean the sensor once a month, but that's very little work for the peace of mind it gives you.

Agreed Nancy, I am going to keep an eye out for a pinpoint pH monitor for peace of mind. The salinity monitor would be good too. Now all I have to do is teach Mimius how to use the monitors and the system will be completely automated! Thanks for all the support and suggestions, Carol your experience with Gimpy was right on the money and just in time. Thankfully this website exists, otherwise I might have waited to do the water changes and things might have come out sadly different.

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