Well, a number of studies have shown that seawater in areas around natural coral reefs are generally between 95-110% saturated with oxygen (i.e., 110% saturated means 10% more oxygen in the water than the value given in the table above). Tropical Fish Hobbyist #547: 94-99, Wood JB (1994) Don’t fear the raptor: an octopus in the home aquarium. I probably don’t have to work very hard to convince you that surf zones regularly pounded with waves aerate the water, and are probably always nearly saturated with oxygen. A research laboratory reported a similar story, with a security camera filming an octopus stealing fish from a neighbouring tank and then covering his tracks. That extreme sensitivity to low oxygen concentration is the main reason that I recommend high turn-over skimmers for any octopus tank – although the skimmer tends to maintain better water quality, and is therefore likely to be healthier for your animal, the highly efficient gas exchange that takes place in the skimmer and maintains a flow of highly oxygenated water into the tank is well worth the cost of a skimmer on any octopus aquarium. Hanlon RT, Forsythe JW (1985) Advances in the laboratory culture of octopuses for biomedical research. Ms. Harvey recalled one octopus at a British aquarium that escaped nightly from his tank, slithered to a nearby tank to snack on fish for dinner, and went home. *Until recently, it was widely believed that they had eight arms. toys (such as a ping-pong ball or some cat toys) for your pet to amuse themselves. "So we decided it might be best to let him go back to nature. that would immediately or eventually prove too tasty a treat for your octopus to resist. An example of this would be a top made of plastic egg crate (the light diffusion panel sold at many hardware stores) that is covered with shade cloth. First, elevated concentrations of heavy metals, especially copper, are especially deadly to invertebrates, whether they are corals or octopuses. The eventual loss of most of the animals that typically perform as the clean-up crew in your tank, especially when coupled with the additional nutrient input from a relatively large and highly active animal such as an octopus (even a pygmy octopus produces an enormous amount of nitrogenous waste in comparison to a similarly- sized coral), makes it very likely that you’ll experience a pretty significant increase in algal growth in your reef tank. than it can leave, and therefore it accumulates in those areas. One of his tank's sliding plastic doors was ajar but it was not clear whether someone had left it open by mistake, or whether he had opened it himself. Sharing the full story, not just the headlines, A few weeks later, Sid made a second dash for freedom. All-in-all, the vast majority of reef aquaria quite simply provide an inappropriate place to try to keep an octopus alive and healthy for extended periods of time in captivity…. If you hear any air escaping, first check all your valves and connections. An octopus has successfully escaped an aquarium and re-entered the ocean by squeezing through a gap in its tank. *During the same experiment, it was discovered that the animals could perform complex tasks with their arms, such as manipulating a Rubik's cube. try again, the name must be unique, Please Of course, protein skimming, turbulent water flow (e.g., “dueling” powerheads, and especially surge devices), and photosynthesis will alter that rate of exchange, and with the normal exchange rates of roughly 4-6g of oxygen per square meter of surface area per hour (e.g., Leclercq et al. Although it would be a healthy diet for your octopus, it is also This can be as simple as an air pump running a couple of airstones in the tank, or making sure that your air intake on your protein skimmer is plumbed in such a way that it draws from the room rather than inside your tank. Even in locations where live crustaceans are not easily obtained (either as bait or from a seafood shop or Asian grocery), there are usually alternatives such as “feeder glass shrimp” available from pet shops that can provide a nutritious and stimulating treat for your animal. 1999), the respiratory needs of your animals should be easily met. As I mentioned above, octopus tend to shed a lot of skin flakes on a regular basis, and if these are allowed to collect on the standpipe drain, there is a good chance that drain will become clogged and your tank may overflow. Now we can come back to the issues of filtration and water quality. (Previously, another octopus named Harry had escaped from the same tank and was found on a … even after I had glued them in place. Although it is impossible to know what an octopus is really thinking, this behavior has been compared to that of a dog getting excited and jumping about when you return home from work. Again, his door was found ajar. And in the wild some species bring food back to the den to eat- so those aspects fit with their natural behavior. A seriously clogged powerfilter can be more harm than good to an octopus, and you must keep on top of the filter cleaning on a regular basis. language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification, -1) ? After several escape attempts worthy of Houdini, he finally tasted freedom yesterday, with his keepers returning him to the ocean just in time for Valentine's Day. to your comment. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when So, despite their extremely sensitive reputation, octopuses seem surprisingly tolerant of a relatively wide range of water conditions in captivity (e.g., Hanlon and Forsythe 1985; DeRusha et al. Inky escaped his tank when the lid was left ajar but luckily ended up in a drain hole that leads back to the ocean. 1999). Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Mr Crane wishes him every success. 1992; Toonen 2000). Invertebrates use something like 0.2 – 15 μL of oxygen on average per mg of body weight per hour (Bailey et al. In fact, I have said more- or-less that same thing in this very article (above). Most liked. Octopus, like squid, have courtship rituals, which include changing colour. If fresh or live crustaceans are not easily available, the best alternative is to feed your pet good quality frozen shrimp (after you have thawed them, of course), provided that you try to vary the diet from time to time with other prey that is available (e.g., DeRusha et al. Octopuses are no exception to this issue, and a captive animal housed in a tank without sufficient hiding places and without sufficient stimulation can develop a number of stress behaviors including white color patterns, inking, frequent deimatic displays (these are sometimes called “startle flashing” in which false eye spots or brilliant colors are suddenly displayed in an attempt to startle a potential predator), autophagy (eating the tips of their own arms), hiding all the time (depending on species, however, this may be natural in some particularly timid species), and rapid jetting into the side of the tank, among others (e.g., Wood and Wood 1999). Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) 17: 128-144, Wood JB, Wood DA (1999) Enrichment for an advanced invertebrate. Keeping Your Octopus In Its Tank. now carry feeder shrimp) and are easily fed on nutritious fish food prior to feeding them to your octopus. "Some people compare them with dogs, because you can train them to open a jar, for instance, particularly if it's got a crab in it.". So, if you can’t use feeders, what should you feed your octopus? The use of activated carbon and an efficient skimmer can help to remove the ink from an aquarium, and give you more time to discover the problem and do a water change. In that respect, a reef tank is actually likely to provide excellent water conditions to keep one of these animals. The repeated disappearance of crabs or fish from nearby tanks has sometimes turned out to be “late night snacks” for a hungry octopus that is able to figure out that there is food a short distance away – the clever octopus figures out how to escape it’s tank, capture a quick snack, and then return home to enjoy it’s meal. Inky the octopus, described as a “curious boy”, seems to have found freedom after escaping from his tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand. An octopus named Inky escaped from his tank and made it to the Pacific Ocean, says the National Aquarium of New Zealand. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management. Inky the octopus made a dash for freedom by apparently breaking out of his tank and slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe. As I mentioned above, these animals are extremely intelligent predators, and spending their life in a completely predictable and unchanging glass box is not only boring for them, it has a strong impact on both their health and behavior (e.g., Wood and Wood 1999). They are intelligent animals, with excellent eyesight and a soft body, which can easily change shape. 1989). The restriction of flow tends to be more of a problem through time than when the mesh is first installed. Located a few hours later, he made several more escape attempts, usually when his tank was being cleaned. Even more than simply being smart enough to escape the tank, there are even reports of octopus making “shopping trips” by crawling out of their own tank into nearby tanks to feed, and then returning to their own tank once they have captured something tasty to eat. Another strategy is to have less space left open at the top of the aquarium (say about 12″ or so, again depending on the size of the octopus), but line the upper portion of the aquarium with ... a researcher opened their tank lids and put their head close to … Back in 2009 at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium in California, a two-spotted octopus took apart a water recycling valve, before directing a tube to shoot water out of the tank for a total of 10 hours, which consequently caused a huge flood. There are conditions under which excess oxygen can be forced to dissolve into the water (such as when water is under pressure in a pump, for example), however, and under such circumstances, the water can become supersaturated with oxygen. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss Animal Uprising: Octopus Attempts Escape At Seattle Aquarium (VIDEO) By Andres Jauregui. SEATTLE (PIX11) — A video posted to LiveLeak shows the harrowing moments a large octopus tries to escape from its tank at the Seattle Aquarium. Journal of Plankton Research 16: 673-689. Mr Crane said he had seen squid "split themselves in half, colour-wise, with one half an attractive light colour to appeal to a mate and the other half an aggressive dark red colour to chase away other males". SCHEEL: In a New Zealand aquarium, another octopus, named Inky, becomes famous on the news when it was reported for escaping its tank and crawling across the floor, disappearing down a … Community 'active' : ''"> Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that a captive octopus has tried to escape from an aquarium. In any case, regardless of the design you decide to use, I think that using a protein skimmer and power filter with carbon are always a good idea for an octopus. For most tropical species of octopus, a lifespan of about 1-2 years is all that you can expect. In the case of nitrate, even concentrations as high as 500 ppm did not seem to affect growth or feeding significantly (although reproduction was decreased at nitrate concentrations higher than about 100 ppm). Obviously oxygen is important to our animals, and if water around natural reefs is usually saturated with oxygen, then we should probably strive to maintain oxygen levels close to saturation in our aquaria as well (e.g., Ng et al. try again, the name must be unique, Please He was nicknamed Harry, after Harry Houdini. That means that in practice, they usually have much more particular demands on some aspects of water quality (in particular, the oxygen content of the aquarium water – I will come back to water quality when discussing filtration below) than do most reef invertebrates. (Previously, another octopus named Harry had escaped from the same tank … In the dark of night, an enterprising octopus named Inky snuck out of his tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand and made an eight-armed dash for freedom. In the 2005 thread, “Octopus escapes from tank to prowl on its neighbors” poster Iustinus said he’d heard a story about an aquarium where fish kept disappearing from one particular tank. Escaping from an aquarium is child's play when you are as smart as an octopus. Ten years ago, an octopus escaped from the same tank that housed Sid, and was found halfway up a staircase.
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