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Training octopus to eat frozen

Cephalotodd

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
6
Hi All -

Forgive me if there is a thread on this already. I couldn't find one. Brand new to this site and octopus keeping. I've got my first (a mimic) about two weeks ago. Been loving it. However, I can't seem to get him at all interested in eating non-live food. (Would like his diet to be a mix of live and frozen for all the obvious reasons.) I've been putting fiddler crabs (the sole source of his current diet) in an open jar to hope he starts associating that with food, but he still won't go near the krill or other things I've put in there. And afraid to leave the frozen in there too long because I don't want it to taint the water levels. Anyone have any tips on how to train the finicky little guys?

Thanks!
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
I've only kept bimacs, but here's what worked with them:
They like to hunt, so I would put a small piece of scallop on the dull end of a bamboo skewer, and then I would act like a puppet master and make the chunk of scallop run around the tank. The octopus would stalk it, chase it, and finally pounce on it. Then, using the stick I'd make the chunk of scallop struggle futilely against the octopus, and finally "die" (one of us would let go of the stick). Scallops are a naturally occurring food where bimacs live, so once the octopus touched it and knew what it was, it eagerly accepted it.
My bimacs would also take defrosted shrimp chunks, but with a lot less enthusiasm. I suggest that you try a few different kinds of raw seafood if it won't take shrimp. If you can find a market that sells live seafood (asian?) you can look for small live clams. I used to collect muscles for my bimacs, and they would drill a little hole in the shell with their beak and inject something that caused the muscle to relax, or die. For one octopus who didn't know the drill trick, I would use a knife to partly open the shell. That way the octopus could open it the rest of the way and feel like a great hunter, without needing to do much.
 

Cephalotodd

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
6
I've only kept bimacs, but here's what worked with them:
They like to hunt, so I would put a small piece of scallop on the dull end of a bamboo skewer, and then I would act like a puppet master and make the chunk of scallop run around the tank. The octopus would stalk it, chase it, and finally pounce on it. Then, using the stick I'd make the chunk of scallop struggle futilely against the octopus, and finally "die" (one of us would let go of the stick). Scallops are a naturally occurring food where bimacs live, so once the octopus touched it and knew what it was, it eagerly accepted it.
My bimacs would also take defrosted shrimp chunks, but with a lot less enthusiasm. I suggest that you try a few different kinds of raw seafood if it won't take shrimp. If you can find a market that sells live seafood (asian?) you can look for small live clams. I used to collect muscles for my bimacs, and they would drill a little hole in the shell with their beak and inject something that caused the muscle to relax, or die. For one octopus who didn't know the drill trick, I would use a knife to partly open the shell. That way the octopus could open it the rest of the way and feel like a great hunter, without needing to do much.
Thanks for the tip! I'm definitely gonna try this. I'm cleaning out all the fiddler crabs around town at the moment!
 

Cephalotodd

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
6
Thanks for the tip! I'm definitely gonna try this. I'm cleaning out all the fiddler crabs around town at the moment!
I've only kept bimacs, but here's what worked with them:
They like to hunt, so I would put a small piece of scallop on the dull end of a bamboo skewer, and then I would act like a puppet master and make the chunk of scallop run around the tank. The octopus would stalk it, chase it, and finally pounce on it. Then, using the stick I'd make the chunk of scallop struggle futilely against the octopus, and finally "die" (one of us would let go of the stick). Scallops are a naturally occurring food where bimacs live, so once the octopus touched it and knew what it was, it eagerly accepted it.
My bimacs would also take defrosted shrimp chunks, but with a lot less enthusiasm. I suggest that you try a few different kinds of raw seafood if it won't take shrimp. If you can find a market that sells live seafood (asian?) you can look for small live clams. I used to collect muscles for my bimacs, and they would drill a little hole in the shell with their beak and inject something that caused the muscle to relax, or die. For one octopus who didn't know the drill trick, I would use a knife to partly open the shell. That way the octopus could open it the rest of the way and feel like a great hunter, without needing to do much.
It worked! Had no interest in scallop at first until I literally shoved it in his mouth. Tried it for a second time a few days later and as soon as I waved it in front of him he grabbed it! Now I can slow down decimating the crab population at all my local fish stores. Thanks again!
 

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