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Octos eating is out of control!


Sep 5, 2003
I have two bimacs that are pigging out in my tank. I ordered 50 turbo snails and 50 hermit crabs about a week ago and they are already gone! I bought some scallops from the store to try the stick feed thing, but it doesn't always work out. Any other food suggestions that I can bulk order or get locally? I don't mind ordering the snails and crabs, but the shipping is a killer. By the way, the octos are about 6 inches from arm to arm.

Hi Mike,

Will your bimacs accept good quality frozen Gulf shrimp?

My current method is to phone the fish market (I use TJ's, at the corner of Preston and Forest in Dallas, since you're in my area) and tell them to start thawing out a pound of gulf shrimp - in about 1/2 hour, the shrimp are unfrozen enough to be pulled off the 5-lb chunk, but still partially frozen. I buy a pound at a time, rush it home on ice and in a cold proof container, and stick all the shrimp in plastic bags in the freezer. Then I can thaw out a couple a day for Ollie. She likes them very freshly unthawed.

I think whatever you choose, it's going to be expensive to feed two bimacs well (and you must keep them well fed if you have two in a tank, otherwise they start looking at each other). Look at it this way - it's probably not more expensive than feeding a large dog or two.

If you vary their diet, you can stick some cheaper types of food in - like frozen fish. I hope you eventually succeed with the feeding stick. It's a great communication tool, too.

I've had some luck with the feeding stick, I was just hoping to find someplace that sells fiddler crabs in bulk or something else that will stay alive in my tank for a few days or even weeks. I need to go ahead and order another set of 50 hermits and 50 turbo snails before they are all gone. Plus, my guys seem to eat a lot more food than the last few octos I've had. They have also grown quite a bit.
Hi Mike,

I think we have extra problems trying to keep octopuses here in Dallas. No LFS supports us by keeping fiddler crabs or shore shrimp, both of which would be convenient as feeders. I order these from Florida.

Then, we're a five hour drive from the Gulf, so we can't supplant the feeding with things we find on shore, like Carol can.

If we have enough octo keepers in the area, perhaps we can convince an LFS to keep a supply of octo food for us!

Out of interest...how much are you payin for 50 t. snails an 50 h. crabs?

It often puzzles me this that everyone over the pond feeds a constant supply of hermit crabs as they are quite expensive here.

Not sure about bulk orders but sigular you pay about £7.50 for the blue legged fellas or about 3.50 for normal. Ive thought about it an im sure you lot cant be payin that much.

Madness, absolute madness!!!!! :biggrin2:
With shipping, 50 crabs and 50 turbo snails is about $120. Sometimes they have specials though. I think I'll need to get rid of some shells in my tank before I put the next new batch in. There are piles of them everywhere.
Hi Mike,

You might check out
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Free priority mail shipping is included in the price - I've ordered fiddler crabs (mixed sizes) and shore shrimp from these people many times. The shipping takes two days. Has worked out well for me - but still not inexpensive.

How big are the fiddlers? Can I just put them in the tank or do I need to take off the claws first? Can my octos kill these guys without getting hurt? Are the shore shrimp bigger than ghost shrimp. I am looking at placing an order from this guy and one from fishsupply near the holidays.
Hi Mike,

The fiddlers are wild caught and are the size they find at the time- they are not too large - carapace less than an inch average. You wouldn't have to remove the claws, I think.

The shore shrimp are larger than ghost shimp - if you get 50, they are an inch or more - it might take your bimacs a little while to learn how to catch them, because they're fast. Big entertainment value for octos! The shrimp can live in your tank - I've put 100 in my 46 gallon tank at once. They are good scavengers - just feed them something like Ocean Nutrition Formula One several times a day. If not all eaten at once, the shrimp grow quickly. They will also live in your overflow box LOL These were a big treat for Ollie - I say "were" because she can't catch them now while watching over her eggs.

Probably priority mail will be late next week because of Christmas. You might have to wait before ordering. I have tried to use the shrimp and crabs as a supplement, while relying on scallops or shrimp as the main part of the diet. She still ate a lot!


How about a bait shop? Also I have never removed the claws! They always seem to catch them just right without getting pinched!!

Hi Carol,

Good idea, but....

If we lived in Galveston instead of Dallas, a bait shop would be fine. We could get those nice little shrimp and little crabs - but here they have only freshwater bait, no octo food. So those of us who live inland have it really hard - especially if we don't get strong support from our LFSs. We end up doing our own importing and visiting the fishmarket frequently to make sure we have good fresh food.

Hey Nancy, that place in Forida is a godsend! I can get 10 fiddler crabs sent here every week and it will only cost me 1/3 of what the other place did. Plus, the crabs are bigger so they go a lot further toward the octo's cravings. I might do an additional order of snails and hermints now that the fiddlers will be getting all the attention. Thanks again!
Glad this is working out for you. Ollie loves those crabs! The crabs and the shrimp are what made her so big and healthy, I think!

schmunkel98 said:
With shipping, 50 crabs and 50 turbo snails is about $120. Sometimes they have specials though.

I am SO in the wrong business!!!! That's probably NZ$200-220. If there was a member near the coast somewhere they could probably support themself through their degree acting as an agent for Tonmo members by just collecting food (and offering a better deal than this).

Are these live crabs and turbo?

For TONMOcon I should bring with me a pellet of frozen crab and Turbo. To airfreight ~500kg of frozens to the US costs ~ NZ$1500 ($3/kg - let's say ~US$1.60), then hand out a lifetime supply of octopus food parcels to people (what do 50 crabs & 50 Turbo weigh?).

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