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What do you do with your octo's when vacation comes?


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
I am thinking of hiring a petsitter to check in on Biddle and Spike and the cats etc. But I read with interest someone here left live clams etc. How long were you gone? I had thought about collecting massive amounts of snails for the 6 days we will be gone and having my son check in on them but I'm a little worried on letting any one feed as I'm afraid even with specific directions, the snails may be a safer alternative. Any thoughts?

We went collecting yesterday and found massive amounts of the type I know all my octos love. I put 20 in Biddle's tank just to see how long they last him. The snails do just fine and there is no die out so I'm thinking this may be the way to go.
My wife and I left our cuttles alone for ten days last August. We had a neighbor stop in every other day and fish a few shrimp out of the feeder bin with a net. We also had a trusted aquarist friend come by about halfway through to make sure the system was doing OK.
I left the cuttlefish for three days when they were young. I stocked their tank with live shrimp. I am pretty sure that they ate all the shrimp the first day... It would just be good to have someone check on the tank to make sure it is still running... and then they could call you for advice.

Once, when I was still living in California, I left my big tank for a week but I had someone check on it to make sure it "sounded right." He called me late one night to say it was making an awful noise. It turns out that the sump was running dry. He held the phone up to the tank so I could diagnose the problem. Luckily I had about 40 gallons of premade saltwater nearby!
I left for about 5 days once and left Beaker pretty much alone. I dumped a bunch of crabs into his tank and made sure the sump was full....as the problem Cuttlegirl had is one that happens to people a LOT. I would say food and empty sumps are the biggest problems with leaving for more than a couple days.
My octo did just fine with the crabs I'd left for him, but tank malfunction is something to keep in mind. I'd recommend having someone come once or twice just to make sure everything is running properly. :smile:
I'd definately have someone come in and look at the tanks if you'll be gone that long.

We've had some reports of tank problems during vacations, sometimes causing the loss of everything in the tank. Didn't joefish94 have that happen? - that's when he lost Kashmir. It can be power failure, pump failure, heater goes bad, a leak.

Odds are this won't happen, but it does from time to time, so it's better to be safe. Will give you more peace of mind, too.

I will have my friend check on them. I have noticed feeding snails seems to stay with them longer than crabs or scallops. Spike eats 5 and then goes over 24 hours without looking for more which is not the norm when I'm feeding crabs or scallops. Biddle did not come out for almost a week after those 20 snails I put in his tank, so I'm thinking this is what I will do when we go to Florida. I don't have sumps, but large Eheims so hopefully they will behave while we are gone, as I just serviced them.
I have someone stay at the house who gets briefed on all the ins and outs of the system. They feed regularly. I also have an aquarium friend drop by a couple of times a week. For food I set up an account so the guests can make a phone call and have the shrimp delivered. I also have a third aquarium person on call and all important phone numbers are written right on the tanks.

My systems are made to make life easy, so there is always 150 gallons of saltwater on hand and the tanks have auto top off. All the switches are label so if something goes wrong, its pretty easy to shut stuff down.

The week before I leave (tomorrow!) I go through the systems and relabel everything as needed and clean things up to make life easier. I write up several pages of reference so the house sitter knows whats going on, and in the future, I will have a 'Rich's systems for dummies' website explaining everything.

This plan will work well and you can leave with peace of mind. :smile:

We've had other Tonmo octo keepers use the combination of one person to be there (or at least stop in every day) and be responsible for feeding, and an aquarium expert to stop in and make sure everything is running well.

I leave mY octo for a week-10 days every other month. I just leave live clams and mussle in there and it is no big deal.

I get no one to check and he has been fine every time. I figure somebody who knows nothing about fish checking is worse than taking my chances with pumps and such.
rudy;95496 said:
I leave me octo for a week-10 days every other month. I just leave live clams and mussle in there and it is no big deal.

I get no one to check and he has been fine every time. I figure somebody who knows nothing about fish checking is worse than taking my chances with pumps and such.

Get someone who knows about aquariums or teach a rank newbie about your system. :biggrin2:

98% of the time your tank sitter will have to do nothing, but when that 2% happens, boy they come in handy.

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