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Octopus Ink


Dec 13, 2003
My Octopus who is only small (1.5-2cm Mantle) has just inked in the water, the tank is just under 30uk gallons I am unable to carry out any kind of water change for at least 12 hours will he die??

He should be OK, providing he didn't produce huge quantities of ink, Get yourself an aquarium net and line it with pantyhose material............it's excellent for scooping ink out of the water and have this on hand just in case of other inking episodes!

It is a good idea to keep a turkey baster and some panty hose mess near a cephalopod tank. Do you have a protein skimmer? From my experience, a skimmer can usually pull most of the ink out of a system quite quickly.

I have a question about octopus ink.

My personal experience has been wholly with large quantities of ink which cloud a tank instantly - it's thin and can't be removed by a panty hose net, but the skimmer does a good job clearing it up.

I once observed a a juvenile rubescens ink a small amount that could be removed by a net.

So is there a difference in the ink to produce these two effects, or this something the octopus controls? Is this due to age or the intent of the octopus in releasing the ink? Or does this vary with species?

My cuttles would ink in two different ways; a large thin cloud or small dark clumps that can be removed with a net. The clumps would usually be associated with an escape maneuver, and--given the cuttles' speed--I can understand how effective this would be against a predator. It certainly seemed like the cuttles could control the quantity and viscosity of their ink. Sometimes when one of them would get very excited he would release just the tiniest little squirt. An example of this might be when one might be very hungry and grabs a shrimp after missing a couple times. Sometimes the same thing happens to me (just kidding).

My octopus has only very rarely inked and in small quantities. It was of the thinner variety.

Dan and Nancy,
Timely question and comments! I moved a rock in my baby cuttle's net today and ended up with both kinds. I had only seen the "netable" before and thought it strange that I couldn't just scoop it up. My attempt at netting caused the second squirt that was the thicker kind. Thanks for the info!

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