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Vader Dies


Dec 6, 2002
I almost feel like I cursed my octo sibling for posting how well he was doing a few days ago, but I lost Vader this afternoon and I'm not sure why. Yesterday, I did a routinue water change of approx 7 gal from my 75-gal tank. While this was going on, Vader was his usual curious self and kept "attacking" the python hose I used to siphon out the water. a few hours after filling the tank up; he became rather lethargic and did not want to eat (totally uncharacteristic of him). This morning I could tell he was stressed and displayed the same behavior my first octo did when I moved him from a 30-gal tank to the 75-gal tank and the water went thru an ammonia spike.

Since I'm fairly confident a 10-gal water exchange should not produce an ammonia spike, I checked the salinity and measured it at approx. 1.026. I immediately siphoned out 10 gallons of water and lowered the salinity down to 1.024. I thought this had done the trick because he immediately started moving around and even ate some fresh shrimp from the feeding stick. Soon after though he started swimming back and forth across the tank repeatedly (which he never did before). This initially alarmed me, but then he settled down into the rocks and I thought all was well. A couple of hours later, I found him upside down all of his tentacles curled up and stiff and he had inked the tank. He was still alive for a few more minutes and then he was gone :cry:

I am going to have my water checked by my LFS tomorrow, but the other inhabitants of the tank are doing fine. I am baffled as to how quickly he succumbed and can only think the high salinity was the reason. If anyone has any other thoughts on this, I'd appreciate the advice.
It sounds more like metal poisoning than a high saline content...octos are fairly used to changing salt levels due to their habitat (where rivers may run into the surf, etc). The behaviour you described is typical of metal trauma...you may want to check your r/o system, or your salt...
We are really sorry...it is always frustrating when something like this happens. Bummer big time.
:( Greg
Sorry to hear about the sudden loss of Vader. He had a nice life there in his big tank.

As to what caused his death, I don't think it's the salinity, either. And that's less than a 10% water change - I hope you can track down the cause and let us know, so that we can all learn from this and be better prepared.

You might want to include a test for copper when you have your LFS do the water tests.

I hope you will eventually be getting another octopus.

All the best,

I am tending to side with greg on this because of the speed of which it happened... i think something was introduced?

can u let us know what the test results were?

My water checked fine for ammonia, nitrates and Ph, but my LFS did not have a testing kit for copper or other trace metals. Up to now I have not used a RO for my two tanks (I never had a problem before this incident). I have always used my tap water (which is connected to a water softner) and then decholorinated it. I am only sorry I had to lose a great octo to recognize their necessity. To be honest, I don't know much about them and will definitely have to do some research before I purchase another octo; but I will get another one in the near future.
I can give you a similar example from something that happened to me a couple of months ago... May i think???

I did a water change as normal on my freshwater tank and the next day lost approximately 20 fish. It was only a ~10% water change in a 130 gal tank but it killed a lot. Probably about a 1/3 of my collection.

Very strangely it killed some plecs and not others and some individuals in a shoal but the rest looked fine... anyway, the next day the whole water supply for my town and the neighbouring towns was off for at least 12 hours while the water comany did some 'essential repairs' so if it was strong enough to kill fish what the hell was I drinking all day too?

The obvious lesson here is to NOT trust the local water supply for aquariums. Especially in octopus tanks... the water that killed my hardy well established fish would have slaughtered a ceph tank!!!
We have absolutely horrible water out here...to the point where the water company frequently has "no drinking" days...yikes. We finally went with a bottled water system (I work a lot outside, and go through several gallons a day in the summer) instead of an r/o. Use the same stuff for fish tanks...if I can't drink it, can you imagine breathing it??? :shock:
:( So sorry to hear about Vader. Any results yet for copper or chemicals?

I also have used water from the tap for years. Makes me think I should start taking some precautions!


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