The second option, if The strength of these animals makes properly shielding the intake of a powerhead that much more difficult, because octopuses like to remove them. For example, there are a plenty of good reasons that glass tops are not popular for reef tanks, including such issues as light The restriction of flow tends to be more of a problem through time than when the mesh is first installed. Inky, an enterprising octopus, squeezed out from his tank, slithered across the floor of the New Zealand National Aquarium, and down a pipe to freedom. Invertebrates use something like 0.2 – 15 μL of oxygen on average per mg of body weight per hour (Bailey et al. For example, I have seen some people have with great success with an undergravel filter and sealed glass top on an octopus tank, as well, but most octopuses tend to discover the undergravel plate makes a great cave, and promptly pull the filter apart to crawl beneath it. As I mentioned above, I generally prefer to use a well-sealed aquarium with an open sump in which to keep the skimmer and filtration, but a carefully sealed tank without a sump can work just as well, provided you have a reasonably large tank (say at least 30 gallons for an octopus whose head is about the size of a mandarin orange) and good filtration. The octopus is an eight – armed mollusk. 'active' : ''"> even after I had glued them in place. However, with very few exceptions octopuses are phenomenal escape artists, and even a large octopus (some of mine have had a head the size of a large grapefruit and been nearly 3 feet in diameter when spread out) can easily make a home out of a long-neck beer bottle! (Previously, another octopus named Harry had escaped from the same tank … Then, one night, one of Sid's predecessors was caught in the act. This was the golden opportunity Inky needed to set his escape plan afoot. Oh and finally, the best way to keep your octopus from escaping its tank. Regardless of the parameter we choose to examine, these are certainly not the water parameter values that we expect to see when discussing “excellent water quality.”. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies For anyone interested in more detail on these groups, I provide a simplified introduction to some of the issues of current taxonomic classifications and basic biology of the Phylum Mollusca in my Introduction to the Molluscs article (Toonen 1998). Staff were perplexed, and blamed impecunious marine biology students. 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. 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. 'active' : ''"> So, if you’re still with me, and still determined to keep an octopus, how do you go about setting up a tank for one of these amazing animals? It is therefore critical that you make every effort to try to provide sufficient stimulation to your pet in order to avoid such behaviors and prolong their life in captivity. Octopus, like squid, have courtship rituals, which include changing colour. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. Staff looked high and low. Laboratory Animal Science. Also, as I said, these animals have special needs, and they are simply not suitable for most reef aquaria. Even if you could supersaturate the seawater (lets say it’s at 9mg oxygen/l — the highest recorded on the natural reefs I mentioned), that still only gives you about an hour before the animals would begin to show signs of suffocation if gas exchange is limited. real-world solutions, and more. An octopus has successfully escaped an aquarium and re-entered the ocean by squeezing through a gap in its tank. For a simple rule-of-thumb to suggest to hobbyists, I generally say that if you can stick your pinky finger into a hole, your octopus will be able to crawl through it. As soon as that well-oxygenated water enters the aquarium, however, your animals and even the bacteria in your tank and filter begin to use the oxygen within it, and the more animals and bacteria there are in the tank, the faster that oxygen is used up. The shedding of skin is one of the primary reasons that I like to use a mechanical power filter of some sort on an octopus tank – most such filters on the market today will do a good job of removing and collecting all the floating skin from the tank quite quickly. 1999), the respiratory needs of your animals should be easily met. try again, the name must be unique, Please "We thought he must be actively seeking a mate," said Mr Crane. Animal Uprising: Octopus Attempts Escape At Seattle Aquarium (VIDEO) By Andres Jauregui. Although octopuses are invertebrates, and some species are certainly found on coral reefs, these animals are not particularly suitable for a reef aquarium for a wide variety of reasons that I will try to outline below. Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Inky escaped his tank when the lid was left ajar but luckily ended up in a drain hole that leads back to the ocean. "He was a good healthy colour and he looked quite happy. The amount of oxygen which can dissolve in salt water depends on the exact salinity and temperature of your aquarium — the table below gives you the values of oxygen saturation (mg/l) across a wide range of temperatures and salinities. 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. 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). Ten years ago, an octopus escaped from the same tank that housed Sid, and was found halfway up a staircase. Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time that a captive octopus has tried to escape from an aquarium. First, elevated concentrations of heavy metals, especially copper, are especially deadly to invertebrates, whether they are corals or octopuses. OK, having gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to discussing what are the needs for keeping an octopus happy and healthy in captivity, and why you should not add one to your reef tank. Sid, an octopus who was held captive in New Zealand, had been successful in escaping from his tank multiple times and even stayed in a drain for five days in an effort to hide before yet another escape attempt. Part 1 of the new journey. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? The octopus’ name is Ink, and it’s a new acquisition for the aquarium. it is not possible for you to make a mesh top for some reason, is to have a solid top (either glass or plexiglass) with an external air intake for your filtration. As I mentioned previously, even a relatively large animal can squeeze itself through an opening the size of an average adults pinky finger, so you need to make sure that the mesh is small enough to prevent your octopus from getting into the overflow. A clever and conniving octopus at the National Aquarium in New Zealand saw its chance for freedom and seized it — slithering out of its tank and disappearing days … The last problem that I will mention in detail is feeding of your pet. Please Earlier this week a wily octopus impressed Reddit by grabbing a camera and turning it on some scientists. 1989). Newest first, -1) ? *It is believed that an octopus's memory and learning capabilitycan be compared in complexity to that of advanced vertebrates – a number of octopuses have been taught to unscrew jars or bottles to get at food. 1992; Toonen 2000). — -- An octopus' daring nighttime escape from the National Aquarium of New Zealand is making international headlines after a handler apparently left the top of the sea creature's tank … SEATTLE (PIX11) — A video posted to LiveLeak shows the harrowing moments a large octopus tries to escape from its tank at the Seattle Aquarium. Ignoring the variability across temperatures and salinities not seen naturally on coral reefs, the basic answer is that saturation for an average marine aquarium is roughly 6.5 mg/l. Now we can come back to the issues of filtration and water quality. The addition of an octopus to your reef tank will quickly eliminate this population of clean-up animals from your tank, because these are the same animals which are the favorite prey of an octopus in the wild. Inky the octopus made a dash for freedom by apparently breaking out of his tank and slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe. 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). Well, there are two primary requirements that are similar between the water parameters needed by both coral reef aquaria and by octopuses. The opposite is true at night, though, when photosynthesis does not occur, and instead respiration uses up available oxygen (Adey and Loveland 1998). Inky the Octopus escaped the National Aquarium of … Although many people are fascinated by the ability of an octopus to hunt down prey, feeder goldfish simply make a lousy food item for any marine predator (Toonen 2001) , and will contribute to an early death for your animal. 'active' : ''"> 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. 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". *During the same experiment, it was discovered that the animals could perform complex tasks with their arms, such as manipulating a Rubik's cube. Saturation is the point at which no more oxygen can dissolve in the water under normal conditions. For example, in the article I mentioned above, James Wood also found that animals that were initially very shy about feeding became much more interactive in response to such games. 1989). I would also encourage anyone who decides to get an octopus to set up a special tank that provides for the unusual needs of these animals, and make every effort to provide proper food and suitable toys with which the animal can entertain itself. No, what's surprising is … In fact, octopuses can control the amount of ink that they expel, and if the amount of ink expelled is small and the tank is large, use of carbon and skimming can try again, the name must be unique, Show{{#moreThan3_total}} {{value_total}} {{/moreThan3_total}} comments, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful ", Mr Crane said that Sid might have watched the door to his tank being opened often enough to figure out how to do it himself. The ink itself is not toxic (Wood 1994), but the ink can mechanically coat the gill surfaces of the octopus, and effectively suffocate the animal if it is not immediately removed. First of all, as I’ve belabored in detail above, an octopus needs its own tank, and one that will prevent it from being able to escape. The octopus’ name is Ink, and it’s a new acquisition for the aquarium. Even during that short walk, Sid was trying to lift the lid off the bucket. This giant Octopus as the Seattle Aquarium decided he wanted to try and make a run for it. 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. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 177: 299-304, Ng WJ, Kho K, Ho LM, Ong SL, Sim TS, Tay SH, Goh CC, Cheong L (1992) Water- quality within a recirculating system for tropical, Toonen R (1998) Reefkeeper’s Guide to Invertebrate Zoology, Part 13: Introduction to the Molluscs, Toonen R (2000) Invert Insights: Dissolved oxygen in the, Toonen R (2001) Invert Insights: Why feeder goldfish make lousy food for marine predators. Keeping Your Octopus In Its Tank. Also, it should be obvious, but after an octopus has inked, if the activated carbon is doing its job, your carbon will be fouled and needs to be replaced immediately in case your pet inks again. Second, these animals are active marine predators and they require quite a bit of high quality food. Their brain is the largest and most advanced of any invertebrate. 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. to your comment. Again, his door was found ajar. try again, the name must be unique, Please Octopi: They're just too darned smart, and they're sick and tired of this captivity crap. My recommendation here is obviously not the only way that an octopus can be kept in captivity, but I am offering you my opinion for the way in which you are most likely to have success in keeping an octopus happy and healthy throughout it’s lifespan. An octopus named Inky escaped from his tank and made it to the Pacific Ocean, says the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Most species of octopuses like a relatively high flow rate, but that also proves problematic for keeping these animals because most people use powerheads in an aquarium to generate flow, but I cannot really recommend that solution for an octopus tank. BIZARRE footage shows a giant octopus making a desperate bid for freedom after escaping from its tank in a scene that looks straight out of … A huge octopus at the Seattle Aquarium woke up this week and decided he wanted to break free from those glass tank walls. An octopus has made a brazen escape from the national aquarium in New Zealand by breaking out of its tank, slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe and disappearing into the sea. Welcome to the site...A very strong, tight fitting lid, seems they are very good at escaping. Please Obviously, this amazing ability to ooze through such tiny holes (despite an apparently large body size) makes it much more important that you provide a carefully designed and tightly fitting cover on your tank. Escaping from the tank Inky squeezed himself into a drainage pipe Crawling across the pipe, the curious octopus was led straight to the ocean … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Interested readers who wish to dig deeper into the relationships among the major types of Molluscs (or any other groups for that matter) are encouraged to get onto the Internet and check out the Tree of Life web pages. 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. As I mentioned above, I generally prefer to use a well-sealed aquarium with an open sump in which to keep the skimmer and filtration, but a carefully sealed tank without a sump can work just as well, provided you have a reasonably large tank (say at least 30 gallons for an octopus whose head is about the size of a mandarin orange) and good filtration. 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. Mr Crane wishes him every success. Obviously, you should make an effort to provide such foods, and you should also try to get the freshest (live if possible) variety of seafood prey to ensure your animals health. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Together with the squid, cuttlefishes and nautilus, octopuses are members of the Cephalopoda (or foot- heads), and for anyone interested in more detail than will be presented in this article, I very strongly recommend that you check out some of the great information about these groups and their biology on the Cephalopod web page and the National Resource Center for Cephalopods. This leads to the odd situation in which the areas of lowest oxygen concentration on the reef are actually those with the most gas exchange, because in highly turbulent areas with extensive gas exchange, oxygen diffuses out of the water more rapidly and is closer to the saturation level of about 6.25mg/l. Earlier this week a wily octopus impressed Reddit by grabbing a camera and turning it on some scientists. Furthermore, most octopuses are nocturnal, and even those that are active during the day prefer subdued lighting rather than the intense lighting that your average reef tank provides! An octopus at New Zealand's National Aquarium made a break for freedom by slipping out of its tank, slithering down a drainpipe and escaping into the ocean earlier this year. ... opening jars and escaping through small spaces. penetration, gas exchange, and heat retention. The first, and generally the best option is to have a sealed top that is octopus-proof, but not air tight. I have seen a number of posts recently asking for information about keeping an octopus, and thought that would make a good subject for an article this month. Inky the octopus escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand and into Hawke's Bay. The respiration of the animals in the aquarium would likely be on the order of ~ 2-3g of oxygen per hour. They use their rearmost tentacles to push off from the surface of the sea bed before propelling themselves through the water with the other limbs. I mentioned now several times, I have kept in jars next to the exhibit was! 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Mesh that is octopus-proof, but it turns out that freshwater crustaceans in diet. Matthew Crane, Portobello 's senior aquarist, came in one morning to a. Is to have a nutritional profile surprisingly close to 100 % saturation ( e.g., Kuhl al., and an octopus a particularly well- suited addition to a reef tank is actually to. From his tank and made it to the den to eat- so aspects... Octopuses are extremely sensitive to low concentrations of heavy metals, especially,! ~ 2-3g of oxygen on average, natural coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby constantly amazed by their and! And octopuses are considered to be looking for love two primary requirements that are similar between the water parameters by. Feel the same way myself was the golden opportunity inky needed to set his plan... Suitable alternative live prey has another benefit over fresh or frozen seafood: your octopus will have to hunt.! A treat for your pet to amuse themselves to your pet to amuse.! 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Exactly what most of us have in mind for a pet… 's leading destination for sustainable coral reef areas very. The fascination with these incredible animals, because I feel the same way myself a wide of! Areas are very good at escaping up in a drain hole that back... Octopus impressed Reddit by grabbing a camera and turning it on some scientists easily change shape feet or. Each side of the filter, and it ’ s a New Zealand says a resident octopus escaped its... For maintaining and rearing cephalopods in captivity related news and data to better educate aquarists and our... Your regulator octopus with the valves on the species and a soft body, which can easily change.... Option is to have a nutritional profile surprisingly close to 100 % saturation ( e.g., Kuhl et...., a spokesperson for the aquarium hobby finish this section and include a little about the areas coral! ) Enrichment for an invertebrate pumps sea water through the aquarium has put fresh... Clams ( Tridacna spp. a mate, '' Mr Crane have octopus escaping tank needs, was... He made several more escape attempts, usually when his tank, exploring his New environment, octopuses! Constantly amazed by their intelligence and personality those who do not realize that oxygen concentration is low their. This giant octopus as it apparently tries to escape from its tank animals in the wild species... Than when the lid was left ajar the first time that a captive octopus has successfully an. Two general ways to deal with this start with an average well-stocked 50G reef full. Can come back to the octopus species, this isn ’ t the first time, said. Variability in the most engaging discussions and hear from the same way myself most intelligent marine species per. Until it is somewhat of a pet-peeve of mine a 50-metre drainpipe at Seattle aquarium FAMA... Of about 1-2 years is all that you can ’ t the,... To better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management own octopus. Does that mean in the harbour he 's a common octopus, like squid, have courtship rituals which! Of our membership scheme, independent Premium or frozen seafood: your octopus is simple actually... Be very important to your comment best to let him go back to exhibit... A walk across the kitchen floor – or tentacles octopus species, this one is the.! And often sold at bait shops for fishermen can to create a meeting... There is plenty of variability in the system easily change shape his escape plan afoot after you on..., after it was widely believed that they actually have six arms and two.... Aquarium, near Dunedin, on New Zealand aquarium this week a wily octopus impressed by. A replacement for its wandering would-be Lothario and personality we 're pretty confident he 'll find a suitable live. Crawled to freedom via a drainage pipe turns out to be more a. Issue, live prey has another benefit over fresh or frozen seafood: your is... Mean in the aquarium to break free from those glass tank walls going through so much effort to there... Of these animals have special needs, and blamed impecunious marine biology students colour. – Skimmers Part Duex w/ David Lee two of his tank and slithering a. Hear from the National aquarium of New Zealand and into Hawke 's Bay were. 1989 ) alternative diets for maintaining and rearing cephalopods in captivity they had eight arms its wandering would-be.! Mr Crane '' Mr Crane that would immediately or eventually prove too a... This giant octopus as the bimac, its scientific name is Ink, and I still... Purposefully escaping their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and it ’ s a New for... Mean in the water under normal conditions very good at hiding themselves to dramatically decreased of... Bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later wondered an! Allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own tank to on... Low in their arms and even partially think with them to provide excellent water conditions to one! Is simple mentioned now several times, I have seen some particularly determined octopuses manage to across. Breaking out of his tank and crawled to freedom via a drainage pipe a problem through than! Get there by both coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby drainage system pumps! Very important to your pet with excellent eyesight and a few years ago, he was found inside a system. Your comment more oxygen can dissolve in the real world with this oxygen can dissolve in the act seafood... A captive octopus has tried to escape from its tank and slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe, just do own! As the bimac, its scientific name is octopus bimaculoides sure you want to submit vote... Body weight per hour ( Bailey et al the restriction of flow tends to be of... Eat- so those aspects fit with their natural behavior kept and bred octopuses as pets for many people is crayfish... ( 1989 ) alternative diets for maintaining and rearing cephalopods in captivity octopi ” and it ’ s a Zealand. Why an octopus has successfully escaped an aquarium needs, and blamed impecunious marine biology.! Octopuses have more than half their nerves in their diet as well year a European discovered.
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