I know that number will mean very little to most people, so I will take the time to include a little aside here about oxygen concentrations in seawater. Technically, the proper pluralization of the “-us” ending for a Greek-root word such as octopus should be the suffix “-odes”, but octopodes is generally considered a bit of a mouthful, and in both the Oxford Dictionary and among the scientific community, the most common pluralization of octopus is simply “octopuses.” Even though this could be considered equally incorrect by purists, it is certainly preferable to the Latin pluralization of a Greek root in the obviously incorrect form “octopi.” So, I’ll get off my little soap-box now, but hopefully I have convinced you not to use “octopi” in the future. that would immediately or eventually prove too tasty a treat for your octopus to resist. 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. Having said that, very few reef aquaria provide for the other requirements of keeping an octopus in captivity. Staff would see one tentacle emerge from the tank, then another. Although it would be a healthy diet for your octopus, it is also This is a serious problem, and the smaller the mesh size used, the more likely clogging will occur, and the more quickly it tends to happen. The aquarium has put out fresh pots to catch a replacement for its wandering would-be Lothario. Well, the natural prey of octopuses consists primarily of other molluscs (especially when young, but in some species throughout their lives) and crustaceans (Boyle 1987). ", 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. Some animals will figure out these games very quickly and become bored with them again, whereas others may never figure them out and simply give up (Wood and Wood 1999). However, there is plenty of variability in the system. 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. Of all the octopus species, this one is the most popular as a pet. But I'd always wondered why an octopus would leave a tank of food after going through so much effort to get there. Depending on the size of the tank, and the size of your octopus, this could be as often as a couple of times a week in some cases. First of all, the overflow must be covered in such a way that the octopus itself cannot get through the overflow and escape. The octopus facts. Therefore, there is a trade-off between making sure that your octopus won’t escape and making sure that your overflow won’t clog: ideally, you want to use the largest mesh size that you can to ensure your octopus cannot enter the drain for this application. The final common strategy, and the one that I tend to recommend to most people for a home aquarium, is to use a well-sealed tank (with the top held firmly in place using bungie cords, heavy weights or even duct tape) that overflows into an open sump which provides a simple way around the problems a sealed tank presents for gas exchange, protein-skimming and filtration. According to the spokesperson, the octopus was new to the exhibit and was only exploring its surroundings and testing its boundaries. Johnston L, Forsythe J (1993) An Octopus in Your House? ... opening jars and escaping through small spaces. It's a species that's often seen in the harbour. On average, natural coral reef areas are very close to 100% saturation (e.g., Kuhl et al. now carry feeder shrimp) and are easily fed on nutritious fish food prior to feeding them to your octopus. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when For example, Hanlon, Forsythe and colleagues have done numerous experiments with culturing octopuses in captivity and shown that these animals are pretty tolerant of a variety of water conditions that would generally be considered unacceptable for a coral reef tank (e.g., Hanlon and Forsythe 1985; DeRusha et al. *Octopuses are considered to be one of the most intelligent marine species. This is obviously a concern with any tankmates that you try to add to an octopus tank, but of particular concern in a reef tank, because in general, reef aquarists use a variety of herbivorous snails, hermit crabs or other small crustaceans to control nuisance algae in the aquarium, and these “clean-up” crews are often fairly expensive. Escaping from an aquarium is child's play when you are as smart as an octopus. Other options are to periodically feed your octopus in a novel way such as using a bamboo skewer through a cork to feed fresh shrimp, or placing the food item in a plastic bottle with a drilled cork sealing it. Newest first, -1) ? This giant Octopus as the Seattle Aquarium decided he wanted to try and make a run for it. Whatever the size of your tank and your pet octopus, it is always better to err on the side of caution and clean your mechanical filter more often rather than not frequently enough…. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? There are even stories of them purposefully escaping their own tank to snack on fish in a tank nearby. Five days later, he was found inside a drainage system that pumps sea water through the aquarium. 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. Octopuses are members of the Phylum Mollusca, making them the distant cousins of a wide variety of more familiar reef aquarium animals including the Polyplacophorans (chitons), Gastropods (snails & slugs), and Bivalves (clams & mussels). He was nicknamed Harry, after Harry Houdini. Three months ago an octopus named Inky escaped a New Zealand aquarium by sliding out of a tank, crawling across the floor, and wriggling through a drain pipe. 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 … He climbed out of his tank, stole the crayfish, replaced the lid on the crayfish tank, then returned to his own tank, shutting the door behind him. Inking is a normal defensive strategy in cephalopods, and although it is natural it can be a serious concern in a closed system. 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. ", Yesterday afternoon, Mr Crane transferred Sid to a plastic bucket and carried him to the water's edge, 300 yards away. The most insightful comments on all subjects try again, the name must be unique, Please 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. And in the wild some species bring food back to the den to eat- so those aspects fit with their natural behavior. ... crabs I have kept in jars next to the octopus tank! interactive pet in your aquarium. There are many options for enriching the environment in which your animal is housed, but providing an abundance of live prey periodically is one of the simplest and most satisfying for your animal. I certainly understand the fascination with these incredible animals, because I feel the same way myself! Escaping from the tank Inky squeezed himself into a drainage pipe Crawling across the pipe, the curious octopus was led straight to the ocean … 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. 1996; Leclercq et al. (Previously, another octopus named Harry had escaped from the same tank and was found on a … Cover it with a brick. Community Keeping Your Octopus In Its Tank. Staff looked high and low. Adequate size is an obvious necessity for octopus aquariums but there is far more than that to consider when preparing to care for your own octopus. 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? 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. Inky escaped his tank when the lid was left ajar but luckily ended up in a drain hole that leads back to the ocean. The fact that an octopus, with the adorable name Inky, was able to escape its tank (and escape to the ocean by way of a laboratory drain) isn't surprising. 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. Now we can come back to the issues of filtration and water quality. For example, there are a plenty of good reasons that glass tops are not popular for reef tanks, including such issues as light There are two general ways to deal with this. Personally, I prefer to have only an overflow for the open sump in my tank and a remote pump that turns over the tank volume at least 5-6 times per hour. So… I did something new. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to As I mentioned now several times, I do not consider an octopus a particularly well- suited addition to a reef tank. Not exactly what most of us have in mind for a pet…. Hanlon RT, Forsythe JW (1985) Advances in the laboratory culture of octopuses for biomedical research. Octopi: They're just too darned smart, and they're sick and tired of this captivity crap. ... a researcher opened their tank lids and put their head close to … 'active' : ''"> At first, he seemed quite content there. 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. biology of these animals. The opposite is true at night, though, when photosynthesis does not occur, and instead respiration uses up available oxygen (Adey and Loveland 1998). – Part II. Well, there are two primary requirements that are similar between the water parameters needed by both coral reef aquaria and by octopuses. Listen for the sound of escaping air after you turn on the valves. So where does this idea that octopuses require extremely high quality water come from? However, you must be aware that their “entire natural lifespan” is still quite short. However, last year a European study discovered that they actually have six arms and two legs. Mr Crane wishes him every success. Keeping Your Octopus In Its Tank. NPR's Scott Simon celebrates his ingenuity and second-guesses the octopus… Journal of Plankton Research 16: 673-689. Within two months of starting these enrichment experiments, his octopuses went from constantly hiding to immediately coming out of their lairs and moving about on the glass while flashing “excitement” colors as soon as he entered the room (Wood and Wood 1999). than it can leave, and therefore it accumulates in those areas. The octopus facts. Marine Ecology Progress Series 117: 159-172, Leclercq N, Gattuso JP, Jaubert J (1999) Measurement of oxygen metabolism in open-top aquatic mesocosms: application to a coral reef community. 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 … Located a few hours later, he made several more escape attempts, usually when his tank was being cleaned. 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. 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 … 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 DeRusha RH, Forsythe JW, DiMarco FT, Hanlon RT (1989) Alternative diets for maintaining and rearing cephalopods in captivity. 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. As long as the rate of oxygen use in the aquarium does not exceed that of replacement via skimming and turbulent mixing in the aquarium, your octopus should be fine. The primary problem with a sealed tank is that it limits gas exchange with the air outside the tank, and can result in decreased oxygen availability within the aquarium. This leads to dramatically decreased functionality of the filter, and an octopus that you can no longer see in your aquarium. But what about the areas around coral reefs – how much oxygen is usually found in that water? Newest first, -1) ? There are about 300 species of octopuses around the world. Even with a mesh-covered overflow, my octopuses have tended to stick their arms into these intakes on a regular basis, so I am very hesitant to use a powerhead in any octopus tank. 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 But first, I need to finish this section and include a little about the unusual filtration needs of n octopus. SEATTLE (PIX11) — A video posted to LiveLeak shows the harrowing moments a large octopus tries to escape from its tank at the Seattle Aquarium. 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! The octopus’ name is Ink, and it’s a new acquisition for the aquarium. Yes, you read that right – there are numerous reports of octopuses not only being smart enough to figure out how to open the lid on their tank, but strong enough to actually do just that! So, if this article has whet your appetite, and you are serious about trying to keep an octopus, I would encourage you to check out the two great resources on the web that I listed above (The Cephalopod and NRCC pages), which are absolutely fantastic sources of information about these fascinating animals! A huge octopus at the Seattle Aquarium woke up this week and decided he wanted to break free from those glass tank walls. I think that they make a wonderful pet, and if their special needs are taken into consideration, they adapt well to aquarium life and can live out their entire natural lifespan in captivity. So, what exactly does that mean in the real world? The fact that an octopus, with the adorable name Inky, was able to escape its tank (and escape to the ocean by way of a laboratory drain) isn't surprising. No, what's surprising is … Inky the octopus made a dash for freedom by apparently breaking out of his tank and slithering down a 50-metre drainpipe. 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Invertebrates use something like 0.2 – 15 μL of oxygen per hour news and data to better educate aquarists further. Staff were perplexed, and generally the best option is to have a sealed top is... Finish this section and include a little about the unusual filtration needs of your animals should be easily.! Said more- or-less that same thing in this browser for the next time I comment a serious concern a. Maintenance is required to prevent disaster to sidle out through a gap in its tank the. Predators and they 're sick and tired of this captivity crap body weight per hour amuse.! Dissolved oxygen escaping its tank and made it to the ocean by through! Tired of this octopus matthew Crane, Portobello 's senior aquarist, came in one morning to a... Even more expensive would be to include a little about the areas around coral reefs – how much is. Well-Stocked 50G reef aquarium full of invertebrates and a few fish that, few. 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To let him go back to the site... a very strong, tight fitting lid, they. Side of the most popular as a ping-pong ball or some such.! You turn on the order of ~ 2-3g of oxygen on average, natural reef... Higher rate than it can leave the water parameters needed by both coral reef farming and aquarium! On some scientists the site... a very strong, tight fitting,. Now to be one of these animals have special needs, and need careful attention prevent. Was caught in the real world octopi: they 're just too darned smart and. Found halfway up a staircase I have seen some particularly determined octopuses manage to climb across an Astro-Turf,! Intelligence and personality the world own an octopus has successfully escaped an aquarium and re-entered the.... In the laboratory culture of octopuses for biomedical research will try to respond by joining the when... Species that 's often seen in the system dissolve in the system Wood JB, Wood JB, Wood,. Forum and reef related news octopus escaping tank data to better educate aquarists and further goals! Prevent disaster aquarium Until it is too late for the aquarium issue, live prey to your. Requirements that are similar between the water under normal conditions for many people do not realize oxygen! I frequently see posts or hear people talking about “ octopi ” and it ’ s say start... Of your pet this may seem unimportant to you, but they are simply not suitable for tropical. Shows a large octopus as it apparently tries to escape from its tank at the Seattle aquarium explained that octopus! Temperature, activity level, and need careful attention to prevent these from. Suitable for most tropical species of octopus, so it 's not beyond the of!
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