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[Featured]: Octoproofing glass tanks

I don't think the heater guard is necessary for the safety of the acrylic box, and the octopus is going to reach in and mess with the heater regardless of if the PetBarn thing is there or not, so its down to your budget I guess if you want to include it or not. It won't hurt but I don't think its strictly necessary.

Duct taping the airstone should be fine to secure it in the proper height in the tank. I would tape the air line to the outside of the tank in order to keep it in the right spot.

For the bucket transport- I would fill the buckets as full as you can to prevent sloshing, that is what will cause inking the easiest. Either do that or pack your octopuses in bags that are completely full and put the bags in the buckets to prevent sloshing in that way. For airstones, I would drill a hole for the air line in the lid of the bucket if you can and then you can duct tape the air line to the top of the lid to keep the air stone at the right height. I've had plenty of octopus shipped to me overnight and they will be in about 3-5 gallons of water for 18-24 hours with no airstone and no problems. Bimacs are pretty hardy but your mileage may vary.
3 more days before collecting the octokids!!:bugout:

Preparations are in progress and almost done - thanks to all your advice!

I guess the last thing would be that the seawater where the octopus comes from has a salinity of about 44ppt (a unique group living in a shallow bay!), while my tank facility has incoming seawater at about 37ppt. My supervisor said to remove half the 44ppt-water from the bucket, and refill the half with the 37-ppt water for acclimation but I wanted to confirm if that's okay.

After all the driving it'd also be pretty late, so wondering if it's best to acclimate them in the tanks overnight instead of the buckets, while noting that the tanks are currently set to about 1L/h flow rate (tanks are 20L size but have about 18L water). I'll have oysters, mussels and crabs waiting for them in the tank too to help with their acclimation!

Do you have a way of adjusting the flow into the tanks that you plan to put the octopuses? What you could do is put the octopus and their bucket of water into an empty tank, and slowly drip in the makeup water overnight. This wouldn't usually be a good idea for a recirculating system, but if you have a flow-through setup at the research station then you shouldn't have any problems. I think combining half the 44ppt and 37ppt would probably be too drastic a change in salinity for your animals, especially because the temp and pH of the two different waters likely wouldn't be the same either.

In an ideal world, what you would do to have the easiest acclimation for your animals would be to:
1) Pour the transport water into an empty tank on your system and add your octopus to that water. Leave the heaters in the tank off for the duration of acclimation if the water coming from the makeup lines will be in an acceptable range.
2) Make the flow into the tank a steady drip. I like to have individual beads of water coming out of the makeup line and have them almost connecting into a steady stream but not quite that fast. I can send a video if that would be helpful. Additionally, double check the temperature of your transport water and the makeup water coming from the line. Depending on the difference between the two temperatures, you can adjust your acclimation time accordingly. A good rule of thumb is to only change the water temp by 1 degree per hour, but this varies on the species of animal you are working with.
3) After about 1-2 hours, increase the flow to a small but steady stream of water so that there are no longer individual beads.
4) After another 1-2 hours, increase the flow to a normal rate.
5) Depending on the current temperature of your tanks and the temperature you want your tanks to be before you start your experiment, slowly adjust your heaters (again, about 1-2 degrees per hour).

Now, I realize you will be getting in with the animals very late, and probably don't want to be up all night babysitting your octopus acclimation, so what you can do if you are pressed for time is:

1) repeat step 1 above
2) set the flow from the makeup line to a small but steady stream
3) leave for the night and come back in the morning to fuss with the heater and temperature acclimation.

Additionally, I wouldn't put anything other than a coffee mug or some kind of den in with the octopus while they are acclimating. Crabs and such could bother the octopus during acclimation and make the event more stressful. I usually wait until the next morning to feed my animals after acclimation.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes.
So it's been a rough week transporting the 12 octopus (all females). I was really unlucky to meet with hot weather and severe wind (accompanied by dust haze that didn't help with the temp) in the only 3 days that I'm collecting the octopus. I placed car shades all over the buckets. We had them at 15degC, and it was 23degC after a 9h trip back to the facility. I didn't use all of the water each octopus came in as most of them look cloudy, so I used half the spare seawater I brought from the collection site. And then let the line drip overnight as you've suggested. 6 octopus unfortunately didn't make the trip, I was so devastated... The next morning (Day 2) another octopus died.. And today (Day 3) I noticed two of them don't look good on the eye area - let's call them Oct A and Oct B.

Oct A looked weird since Day 1, arms are curled and it was resting upside down (funnel side facing up). It looked as if it's senescent but no eggs were laid. On Day 2 I gave one mussel, but the mussel is dead (the company gave me dying mussels when I asked for live ones..). Today, I saw the right eye area being swollen, the eyeball can't be seen and it's a white round spot where the eyeball usually sits. I also saw the other eye going downwards and an hour later it also became just a white round spot. It still moves about but the arms are so curled.

Oct B is a big girl and very active, generally looking healthy and curious since Day 1. I also gave a mussel on Day 2. But today I noticed the left eye has a bubble... I removed all the mussels as I learnt from a casual chat that bacteria grow fast in dead mussels (I mentioned that repeatedly to my collaborator but she didn't mention anything about it being harmful; she has never worked with octopus before). I immediately changed out the water to fresh ones and gave oysters instead.


Is there anything I can do? :'(
ugh, sorry for the troubles -- you definitely have your hands full here. Thanks for sharing your experiences here; the insights are valuable. I don't know much about this at all, but try a search for treating infections... Hopefully some experts can help, e.g., would tetracycline/oxytetracycline help, iodine?
This is really rough, I'm sorry your animals aren't doing well :frown: It seems like transport was really rough for them and I would guess that (plus the rotting mussels) is the reason they are dying so quickly. Do you have any live food like crabs or shrimp you can stick feed them? How many octopuses do you have left?Are you able to get any more when transport conditions are a bit better?

I don't think antibiotics or any treatments are the right way to go in this case, it will likely stress the animal more than it would help I think.
Provided an update in another thread but just to repeat here: 2nd batch (and the last batch) of octopus is successful and well!


@pkilian you've mentioned using bead organisers to keep the hatchlings. I bought some and drilled 4mm holes on the sides, and glued 200um mesh net over the holes (see Pic A) . Is this sufficient to keep the hatchlings alive? I'm a little worried about any large excrements building up in each compartment. I kept some crabs in that box and 2 out of 5 didn't do well the next day (they seem to have lost their righting ability), I see some particles in each compartment and so I changed the water afterwards. So I'm concerned whether the hatchlings will be affected - I'll be keeping them for 2 days only to keep track of age.

But I'll be keeping hatchlings in the acrylic box instead (see Pic B) which can sink by itself. Also because there are still gaps that hatchlings can crawl across the compartments despite trying to glue rubber hose on the dividers. The question above of glueing mesh over the holes in the box remains the same though.

Also, anyone has any budget ideas for sinking these kinds of compartment boxes (Pic A)?

Pic A:

Pic B:

Sorry admin @tonmo, looks like the topic has deviated from the title a little, more like octoproofing boxes for hatchlings!
The hatchling box looks great as long as they cant escape from the holes you drilled. Mesh seems like a good idea to me. You will have to clean each compartment every day when you feed. I feed baby octos pieces of cut up shrimp. I would avoid feeding them anything alive because they could hurt your babies. Feeding them dead things does mean you have to be more diligent with cleaning their enclosures every day- it can be time consuming, especially with a lot of babies.

If you are only planning to keep the hatchlings for 2 days, you probably don't need to feed them at all.

It's good to hear this batch is going better!
Wow it's been more than 2 years since this thread ended - I just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to @tonmo especially to @pkilian for all the valuable advice and guidance during my experiment when I had no one else. It was a very challenging period and I MAY have some good news about an upcoming publication for this work. I am giving credits to TONMO in the paper, and I'd also like to mention @pkilian - would you mind being included in the acknowledgments section and if so, will you mind providing your name (via DM or something)? I'll do a new post when things are more confirmed, but I'm close to the finishing line!
Nice!! Looking forward to that!
and I'd also like to mention @pkilian - would you mind being included in the acknowledgments section and if so, will you mind providing your name (via DM or something)?
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