UK aquarium cephalopod journal


O. vulgaris
Dec 14, 2002

After both Jean and Dwhatley's poking I've decided to start a little journal about my lot that I have under my care. Let me set the scene. I work at an aquarium in the UK (for the time being it shall remain nameless) and have had pretty much most type of cephalopod through my doors. Nautilus, squid, octopus and cuttlefish. Currently in my little world I have a common octopus named Pebbles and 4 cuttlefish (Daniel, Archimedes, Aristotle and little guy). This journal will be about them and their progression. I hope to have some more additions to the family in the coming year so they will probably be mentioned too.

Ok so let’s recap the last year so that you can then know what I’m talking about in the next postings.

Pebbles (Octopus vulgaris)

I’ve only had pebbles since December and after a bit of a horrible journey to my site (including a broken box and bouncing down some stairs, neither my doing) she got settled in right away. Her tank is on public display and in November last year I managed to get one way glass installed in front of the tank. This seems to have made a vast improvement on her activity when public are about. Previous octopuses were very hard to view as we had small viewing windows and although this was great for the octopus not so great for the public. I seem to have daily battles with her when it comes to things that she doesn’t want me to remove from the tank. Once she takes a liking to something she doesn’t like to let go.

Sepia officinalis

Daniel has turned out to be a girl, Daniel and little guy were part of 4 cuttlefish we got in for the one show (it’s a media interest programme here in the UK). Originally two cuttlefish were kept together in a tank away from viewing public, Unfortunatley if the size differential gets to big sometimes they will turn on each other even with ample hiding spaces, and so it came to be that Daniel bit his tank mates head off. He or shall I say she has been in isolation ever since, until recently. Just after Christmas Daniel laid some eggs only a small batch but basically she was saying I’m ready. Little guy who lives next door to her (they have a mesh screen so they can partially see each other) started displaying zebra stripes and on one occasion tried to ram the screen to get to her. Now being the sort of person that I am I don’t like to stand in the way of true love so on New Years Eve I let them have a date. I have to say the displays and behaviour were amazing (unfortunately I didn’t have a video camera which I’m now kicking myself about). After about 3 hours they were just buried under the sand near each other. Knowing Daniels previous history I decided to separate them again just in case she turned into a black widow. Well the next morning she had tried to lay eggs on pretty much everything in the tank. I have now isolated the eggs and am waiting to see if they develop as the water is pretty cold here. Both Daniel and little guy are still alive although the third cuttlefish which I haven’t mentioned until now also laid about 5 months ago and didn’t pass away until November.

Sepia sp

Archimedes and Aristotle are two little cuttlefish I got donated to me from somebody who found eggs on a beach then took them home put them in sea water then they hatched and they didn’t know what to do. Now the interesting thing about these guys is that they should be sepia officinalis, however, one spends most of his time almost purple and the other can do some interesting things with his mantle colouration. Also when they were slightly younger they used to crawl along the bottom a lot like what I’ve heard s.bandensis can do. In addition to this their cuttlebones are more prominent in relation to their mantle. All in all they probably are just officinalis but either way they are pretty cool. I’ll try and get some photos up soon.

Well that’s about it, if you’ve bothered reading this far then thanks :wink:
So I've been super slack keeping this updated but with good reason. I've been negotiating with my employers to help me complete a PHD and have finally struck a deal so this journal is about to get a lot more interesting. Firstly I should give an update on the creatures that we currently have unfortunatley Daniel and Archimedes have passed on to the big aquarium to the sky. But Aristotle and little guy are alive and kicking as well as pebbles. Aristotle at one point put on a lot of weight possibly due to the enthusiasim of my collegues wanting to see him feed, instead of getting bigger he just got chubbier until he could rock on his belly. Needless to say I've moved him to a better tank and have kept a better eye on his feeding regime. I also have a new addition to the family a flambouyant cuttle. Now I know that a lot of people are against having these guys and I agree however I will have 4 individuals which I will be using for research into camoflague technique which is what the lab that is attached to this aquarium's focus is. With that aside he is amazing although it seems that they get annoyed quite easily. I hope to post pictures in the next couple of days of all the little creatures.
OK so May was a long time ago. It's been all go I'm now in the throws of a PHD looking at octopus and cuttlefish. I've also currently looking after my new brood of cuttles I'm a happy mother of around 100 cuttlefish and like all children they are demanding and are eating everything in sight. My flambouyants are doing well and I'm going to attach a couple of photos of my little guys in the next post. They are very cute and everyone has fallen in love with them. Anyway data analysis is calling however I need to make sure I update this more often as now that I'm studying things may get even more interesting.
Ok so here are my flamboyants hope the attachments have worked


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