Ollie inked


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
So much for my theory that adult octopuses don't ink as much as the small ones! A couple of days ago Ollie inked - and I was unable to figure out why. The blinds were open, so maybe a leaf floated by outside or something like that. Anyway, I suddenly saw Ollie's arms churning, a big puff of sand, and Ollie was gone through the back entrance of his den. It was a few seconds before I realized he had inked, and it was a big puff of ink.

I turned on the skimmer immediately and completed a 12% water change right away. The water was almost clear in three hours, but I left the skimmer on for 11 hours to make sure every ink particle was cleaned up.

The funny thing was, as I was peering into the cloudy water looking at Ollie at the bottom of his den, he must have seen me. One arm came out and waved at me!

This is the third time since he arrived at the beginning of March that Ollie has inked. The worst thing about it is that Ollie mopes around for about a day afterwards before returning to normal and playing with me.

Pudge inked for the first time this morning too, but it was little and i got it out in five to ten seconds, the water never got cloudy thanks to my pantyhose net. :P
Hi Nancy!

Do you usually leave your skimmer off? Hermin used to ink weekly. Always when he was startled. Pantyhose net? Pretty good invention!!! So far, Ink has not yet.....Thought my poweroutage would have triggered him!

I have my theories why Ollie mopes after inking. First I should explain what I mean by moping - he comes out, hunts, eats, and so forth - but he doesn't have his usual exuberance, bouncing around the tank, waving, wanting to touch fingers, coming to the waterline to have me rub his mantle. These behaviors don't come back for about a day.

I think both being frightened and inking must be stressful, and that must be part of the reason. He doesn't act like he's still frightened. But also, I think in every case he may realize he's made a mistake. The second time he inked, he caught himself right in the middle of inking and stopped. He looked right at us, seeming to realize that it was only us, not some scarey thing. This third time, both Bill and I were involved again - maybe we even scared him somehow, but it wasn't by any quick movement.

I guess he might also blame us for scaring him! We'll never know!

To control the heat in the sump, I don't leave the skimmer on all the time. I run it for 4 or 6 hours in the evening now, more if needed. By doing that and having a fan blow on the sump, I can keep the tank temperature under 72 degrees.

Guess I need a pantyhose net, too :smile:

hmm, he realizes his mistakes afterward huh, he must still be a bit frightened, I've made sudden gestures when im very close to my octo's and they've got scared and jetted away, it's natural. :smile:
shannen74 said:
Perhaps I missed this somewhere else... what is this pantyhose net you speak of?

A net, reinforced with pantyhose so when an octo inks most of the mucus stuff gets trapped in the pantyhose, so you don't have to do a large water change, worry about when the tank is going to clear up, or if the octo will die. Make one, all who have octos, they work great. :mrgreen:
Octopus ink

Is octopus ink always viscous enough to be filtered out on a fine mesh?
(Cuttlefish seem to be able to choose whether ink is high or low viscosity!)

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