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So, how do you?


Blue Ring
Mar 10, 2005
Get your octopus to eat from your hands and play with you?

I have read so many posts and looked up articles where this happens so often.

My boyfriend and I have a bimac, his name is Chance. When we first got him on Jan 10 he hid quite a bit but now is out in the front of the tank a lot. Dancing around, looking like he's trying to get out by thrusting at the glass, playing with the toys in the tank. We can now sit and look at him and he doesn't scoot away.

We feed him frozen raw shrimp, frozen scallops and some clams. When we go to open the top of the tank, he runs away and eventually (within seconds or minutes) will come out to eat.

If anyone has any advice on how to get him to eat from our hands or play with us, please let me know! I'd love to do that!

Thanks for reading!
Every octopus seems to have a distinct personality, so what worked well with one may not work well with another. For mine, she was already only mildly concerned with me. I started by feeding her something small to get her interested, then holding a small clam in my fingers near her and remaining still for a while. I'd eventually drop it close to her. Each time, I got a little bit closer, then eventually just refused to drop it until she took it from me. Her aim is still not too good. She'll try to just reach out an arm from as far away as she can reach and snatch it away from me, but she often misses and ends up grabbing a finger instead. She's still not comfortable touching me, so she jerks back every time she touches me, but eventually hits the target and takes the clam.

It's a matter of gradual exposure. Start as close as you can get before they look uncomfortable, then just get a tiny bit closer each time. Be patient, move very slowly, and let them get the scent/sight of the food to get them interested.

For some reason, I've noticed that mine gets most freaked out by the color black. My natural skin color (ie shirtless) seems to be the least threatening to her, but if I'm wearing a black shirt, she hides a lot more and acts much more hesitant.

Good luck!
I've only done this withcuttles but I'm pretty sure you can try the same thing with a bimac. I used to take live ghost shrimp, hold them by their feelers and dip just the shrimp into the water. I didn't dare put my whole hand in as i nearly got bitten once.
You might consider also using a feeding stick (I made one out of two thin bamboo skewers lashed together with fish line). It's a way of having interaction with your octopus, too. He'll love playing tug of war with you, and he'll win!

More importantly, a feeding stick also gives you a way of offering food when your octo is hiding or turns out to be a female and builds a den to lay eggs. If I had not used a feeding stick with my bimac Ollie, I don't think I could have continued feeding her so well while she was in her den. She continued eating and looked big and healthy right until the end.

I'm not suggesting using only the feeding stick, because it's fun to hand feed, too. But it does give you some options.


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