Can special orders be made?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Armstrong, Oct 4, 2005.

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  1. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    My friend who's currently studying marine biology wants to know if any website such as octopets, or even fishsupply.com can make special orders. She wants to know if they can sell larger octopuses at 12 inch arm-span or larger if there in stock. If so, she's willing to make a bigger payment. Im real excited over this and cant wait to see a live octopus shipped to her once she makes an order. She wants to study it for a few days and afterwords...release it in the ocean. We both live near the coast luckily.
     
  2. William Tyson

    William Tyson Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    where you live needs to be a factor, mainly because if you live in a temperate climate and they ship you a tropical octo, releasing it is a good as killing it. but on a lighter note. try talking to the people at liveaquaria.com they may be able to help you out.
     
  3. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    If she's doing this for scientific research through a recognized institution she might be able to get one from the NRCC

    Dan
     
  4. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Alright, i'll ask her to email them about it. Im also assisting her in any knowledge she needs to know such as what species to order and so forth. I would never want to her to get a tropical octopus...because we live near a colder temperature of water.
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    You should only release into the ocean a species that's native to that area. So, if you lived in bimac territory in California, you could release the bimac there. However, a large part of the east coast has no octos.

    Florida again does have several species.

    After studying it for a few days it might be better to keep it or find a home for the octopus. A bimac of that size might live for some time.

    So what coast do you live near?

    Nancy
     
  6. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I completely agree with you. We live in the east coast in the New Jersey state. But she's open to any advice that she needs to know. I'll be sure to let her know about the releasing of any species she gets. If she can...which im sure she would, she would probably find it a more suitable home for it after studying it. She can't keep it though because of the responsibility involved. If she or I cannot obtain any live octopus that she can take home and study and release safely...she was thinking of going to our local fish market and finding out what livestock are being held there. My fish market doesnt have seafood shipped dead. However, they don't sell the animals live...only crabs and lobsters. But they do have octopuses on sale all the time and she wants to see if any live octo's are kept in the back so she can take one home...study it and bring it back. Of course it will be killed which is heart breaking for me especially, but thats all thats possible for now.

    Me and her thought of ideas, but cant seem to grasp one thats good enough to keep an octo safe. I thought of her going to my local aquarium which has an octopus their in captivity...however, in order to actually encounter it physically...you must volunteer. She doesn't have time to do such a job. Also, the volunteer work doesn't have studying involved. You have to feed the invertabrates (octopus) and make sure the supplies and water parameters are stable. Plus, the aquarium is an hour away and too much of a hassle to show up for volunteer work consistently.

    If anyone here has any idea or suggestion for her to obtain a live octopus and have it released or given away safely without harming it...she and I are open. Im helping her out at the moment because she's new to cephalopods, but has had experience with them previously. She needs a live specimen though because she's studying their behavior and responsive behaviors related to their intelligence and is trying to see any differences amongst species. She's already studied these animals dead before...for internal examination. So any suggestions would be great...or any ideas.
     
  7. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    That sounds like a rule that could easily be bent or broken. If she legitimately wants to do a credible experiment that is certain to not harm the octopus, I think it's very likely that she could talk to the appropriate staff people at the aquarium and negotiate an opportunity to work with the octopus. In fact, if the results could be published in a way that gives visibility and credit to the aquarium, they'd probably jump at the chance. I think the key is to come across as professional, though-- write up a proposal for the experiment explaining what is to be tested, how the experiment will work, what steps would be taken to make sure the octopus is not harmed, etc. Remember, people who take care of octopuses are usually already enthusiastic, so tapping into that enthusiasm should be possible. I'd think the key selling point is to come across as a mature, well-researched enthusiast, and not as "this is some incompetent kid who might hurt the octopus or mess up the tank or something," which is probably the biggest fear of someone who is responsible for caring for the animal.

    Some of our members who staff public aquariums (Jean?) can probably give better advice on how to approach the aquarium administrators-- I'd consider writing a letter or phoning to try to arrange a meeting with someone like the director or curator or octopus specialist... if you ask a doscent or information desk type, they may be too used to taking a stance of "there are always people asking for special treatment, so I just give them all the same canned speech to scare off the ones who aren't serious"
     
  8. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thanks Monty, and I agree with you completely...however, as I stated...she cannot spend a few days at the aquarium as in sleeping over or else the study would be incosistent because the aquarium isn't close to us. She would need gas money to keep going back and forth and you know gas prices these days right? Its rediculous. Also, the aquarium is located in a bad area...unfortunately, Camden is the most dangerous city in the USA. I never even knew about this until the security guards there told me why the aquarium closed so early.

    As for passing for study...even though I havent had education in marine biology, or havent had "proper" education related to school or college, they wont even take me even though im extra enthusiastic over cephalopods and octopus in general. They told me that the aquarium staff and volunteer rules are stabled, and strict. In order to even volunteer for such as job as even getting close physically to the octopus there, you must be 18...able to lift 50 pounds (?)...and must attend the correct schedule consistently. I was dissapointed more over it...simply cuz I wanted to at least touch the animal so badly. lol. But, that aquarium usually hasent ever had octo's in captivity and this is the first large octo ever kept there in good health so I could imagine why there so strict with it. My friend really doesnt want to go through all of this...especially the fact of having to volunteer for at least more than a month. It's a waste of money, and hazardous in terms of safety. It sucks that it has to be located in Camden, New Jersey.
     
  9. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Usually the lifting requirements have to do with the everyday aquarium tasks of carrying around blocks of frozen fish, buckets of water, and heavy gear such as dive gear.

    Getting new, enthusiastic people to study cephs is always something we want to encourage... but if your friend cannot keep the octo long-term, where is she planning to keep it temporarily? Even over the course of a few days, the octo will need the usual high water quality and cycled tank. Do you have a tank set up already that she will be using?
    What level marine biology is she studying? What is the time frame of her study? What kind of behaviors is she looking at, and how does she plan to study different species?
     
  10. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    She already has tanks cycled and ready for specimens. Her marine bio stats...im not sure with. Iv never been aware of any of the info you asked about. As for the species, she isn't sure yet. Since the odds of even obtaining 1 species of octopus is scarce and releasing them safely...she might just have to travel elsewhere once she has the time. But as I said before, even if she had volunteered for a job at my local aquarium...it still wouldn't be good. Not having the octo in her own place means she would have to travel back and forth to study the animal because of closing times. The city the aquarium is located in is dangerous and hazardous to her own safety as well. She doesn't want to risk that. I think it's just plain rediculous to not let a person studying marine biology have the opportunity to interact or observe any animal at the aquarium without volunteering for work.
     
  11. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    If anyone has anymore ideas or suggestions...please let me know. Im really looking forward to this thing...and I would feel bad if it couldnt happen. However, iv emailed my aquarium...hopefully I get a positive response.
     
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I've reread these discussions and I find it strange that your friend has tanks set up and cycled but can only keep the octo a couple of days. Why can't the octo just continue to live in the tank?

    Nancy
     
  13. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    To be more precise, she has 2 tanks set up and she's been studying marine biology (sea life) since she was young. I knew her forever, however...she isn't part of any marine bio university/college. At the moment, she's trying to prepare for it and soon join. She's 18 years old. Im helping her out with some stuff such as imformative advice and suggestions. She always knew my interests in cephalopods and more so...the octopus, and she's willing to try and find more about these animals. After visiting the aquarium with me previously, and seeing the giant octopus herself...she's very interesting in finding out more about them. She isn't new to raising and cycling salt water aquariums. Thats normal for her. She's already had experience with lots of things. She also has a train of personnel involved with marine biology...so she isn't un-familiar with the whole thing, but she isn't rich. If she were...this mission could have been done easily. If there isn't anymore possibilities to getting a live octopus specimen for her, she'll wait until the times right. Iv emailed my aquarium and I hope to get a positive message in return. I'll be going to the aquarium though on the 29th.
     
  14. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi Armstrong,

    I've wanted to comment on this thread since the beginning but have avoided doing so because I couldn't think of a way to do so politely. I still can't think of a way so I apologize if some of what follows seems harsh, confrontational, or even rude. Please understand that these comments are meant to be constructive and that I wish I could find a more diplomatic way of making them.

    Your friend's idea of keeping an octopus for a short time in order to "study" it is simply a very BAD idea for the following reasons:

    1. It's inefficient - She will be spending a good deal of money for the octopus, its food, and the various unique requirements inherent to octo husbandry. Further, the time expended during the early days will be extensive. OTOH: For far less outlay in terms of money or time she can learn several orders of magnitude more by simply reading books and online information. In addition, information found this way has generally been written or compiled by experts who will notice and understand behaviors that would almost certainly be invisible to a novice.

    2. It's deceptive - An octopus in an aquarium is different than an octopus in the wild. If you were to keep an octo from a very young age through senescence in a tank that was the best simulation (of the natural habitat) you could manage you might have an animal that acts 80 to 90% "natural". During the early days in a new tank you'd be lucky to get 10 to 20% natural behavior. The bottom line is that most of what you would be studying would be wrong.

    3. There has been no mention of a specific goal - Octopodes are among the most interesting animals on earth and there are literally thousands of things about them that bear further study. OTOH: Without targeting some definite aspect of octo biology, physiology, behavior, etc. your chances of learning something useful are just about zero; especially compared to simply doing some reading on the subject.

    4. There has been no mention of any background - You have to walk before you can run and your posts have indicated that neither you nor your friend have much of a foundation to build on with respect to studying an octopus. I don't believe that any species has been mentioned yet you originally proposed to return the animal to the wild when your study was completed. That's both bad science since you can't really study a thing until you have a pretty good idea of what that thing is and bad ethics since the return of non-native species to the wild has such a potential for the spread of disease and/or parasites. Further, different species have different requirements for their keeping. There are several hundred species of octopus in the world but I doubt that you would find more than two or three species in any given biome. It's simply not valid to say that you've got two tanks that are ready to accept an octopus without naming the species for which the tank has been prepared. This is pretty basic stuff and if you're not already thinking about it then you're nowhere near ready.

    Again, I'm sorry if this seems unduly harsh but I truly believe you and your friend would be far better off to concentrate on book/internet/classroom study for a while. If you really want hands-on experience then it would be better in every way to follow the advice you were given in an earlier thread and sign up to volunteer at a local aquarium or marine science center.

    Discouragingly yours,

    Alex
     
  15. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I respect your opinion...however...

    1. When I stated that she wasn't "rich"..what I meant was, she isn't a millionaire and this was related to possibly shipping back the animal for study in a safe way...such as shipping it in an already-cycled tank safe for it to reach a destination without harming it or killing it. This would cost a lot of money and me nor her have any experience in SHIPPING livestock. The only thing im aware of is that the water must have oxygen for it to survive obviously.

    2. Of course an octo in an aquarium differs from an octo in the wild. She never planned to learn something that she already knew. She is aware of their basic behaviors such as incredible intelligent behavior often seen and heard about in the media. Her goal was to experience all of this stuff off-hand and in person. Wether it was already discovered..and written about...which it surely is, she isn't planning on reading about their behavior because she already has. I helped her along with it by letting her barrow "Cephalopod Behavior." Experiencing their habits and behaviors off-hand is different.

    3. In my opinion...Octopuses are the most intersting creatures in the ocean and probably in the world. There isn't any other creature that's boneless, has liquid tissue capable of squeezing through quarter-sized holes without crushing any air-pockets, and has the ability to change its skin color, texture and shape as the result of chromatophores and light-reflecting cells off the skin. "My" chances of learning something news is zero...yes, because Im already very aware of their behavior. However, me nor her are wanting to learn something NEW about the species. "She" not.."Me" plans to experience their ability's off-hand as mentioned above.

    4. Trust me on this one, iv been walking for years...and im finally running. Im 15 going on 16 and iv consistently studied octopuses since I was 6 years old. Iv been fascinated by the animals since I was 4 after being introduced to them at a sushi restauarant with my father and mother. However, iv already established myself for having good knowledge about them as well as cephalopods including the squid and cuttlefish. I know the basics of these animals as well as the non-basics such as the information about their organs internally and how they relate to everyday life, oxygen circulation rate, their intelligent and complex behaviors, what their blood is composed of...the lost goes on and on. I usually studder sometimes when I try answer peoples questions about octo's because I have so much info in my head...it's difficult to grasp it together and express a comprehendable answer informatively. Anyways, im getting off subject. My friend doesn't have as much education as I do related to the octopus. That's the reason WHY im helping her. Im keeping her aware of what species she should be getting and should not...the O. Bimaculoides would be a no, no because it originates on the coasts of california and commonly named the "Mud-flat octopus" obviously. Putting it here would kill the animal because of its loss of water thats native to it. Temperatures vary...everything vary's from coast to coast. The two tanks cycled are also helped by me. If she plans to keep an octo for about a week or a few days, iv already informed her about salinity, temperatures, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, calcium...blah, blah all that stuff...basically the water parameter care. She has everything set up. If I werent helping her, I wouldn't even recommend her ever planning to experience a live octopus specimen because of her lack of excessive knowledge on the animal which is NEEDED to keep it safe at on all levels.

    I respect your comments and your concern because im just as enthusiastic on keeping octopuses/cephalopods safe at all costs. I hate to see them harmed or mis-treated. I also hate hearing story's of octopuses dying because of un-educated pet-keepers...there have been numerous ones here at TONMO...and like you, I hate sounding rude and offensive so I refuse to give my 2 cents. However, I have my friends back on this. Again, she isn't new to marine biology. She's studied salwater captivity keeping for a while now and she's taken marine Bio in high school. I support her 100% and im very, very happy to see her connect finally with the octopuses. But...iv already emailed my local aquarium about the animal and again...hope to get a positive response back.

    Arion
     
  16. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Armstrong,
    I think there are many aspects of this planned project that are making a few of us squirm uncomfortably. The first ones that come to mind are the associated ethical problems. As far as I understand this, your friend is willing to have at least two octopuses shipped to her, which she plans to study for a short period of time. Depending on how short the period of time is, she may not even see the octopuses, as they will be stressed and hiding after their trip. As TPG observed, their behavior following transport is unlikely to be anything approaching natural. Then, after this short period of study, the octopuses will be moved to some other location, whether that be donated to a local aquarium, shipped back (more stress) (and for resale?!), returned to the live fish supplier (horror), or, most unlikely, released. This amount of disruption within the (short) life of an animal which, as you say, is intelligent and amazing, seems extremely unfair to the animal. Most octo keepers order a young octopus and try to offer it the best quality habitat possible over the course of its life, caring for it, keeping it busy (and marveling the whole way at its personality) and safe, to try to compensate for the inherent fact that this octopus, living its life in captivity, will never have a 'natural' life or, most likely, any surviving offspring. The idea that anyone, whether using an ideal and well-prepared setup or not, and no matter how book-smart and well-read on cephs (in fact, this alone should be enough to dissuade you), would keep octopuses short-term for the purpose of conducting experiments or even just observations that, as you said, have already been conducted and written about by others (but simply not experienced first-hand by your friend), is frankly upsetting. The lives of octopuses are just too short and precious to jeopardize by shipping them to a temporary home for a short period, to undergo some observations and then meet an unknown fate. Would your friend adopt a puppy for a few days to observe its behavior, then take it to the Humane Society? The net gain from this project/experiment (as you have currently explained it to us - sorry if I have missed anything or misunderstood) does not to justify the stress and jeopardy it will bring to the octopuses involved, if your friend is not prepared to give them a good and lasting home.

    Sorry. :sad:
     
  17. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Well, first of all...I never said that my friend planned to obtain 2 octopuses. Just because she has two cycled tanks doesn't mean she wants two octopuses...nor would I let her. The responsibility would be too high for that optinion. Second, the whole idea of getting an animal shipped to her, and then shipped back was JUST a small idea. After thinking over it, it's not a great one because originally...if we had to ship the octopus back to the source we got it from, the shipping would msot likely be of long distance such as California. I live on the opposite coast and having an octo travel that long is tedius in terms of stress that they undergo. Im 100% aware of stress conditions, boredom and death related to the cause. Iv actually made a compilation related on all levels of keeping them in captivity and avoiding stress conditions and any other condition which can randomly occur for a new pet keepers. It's not easy to persuade people on here to accept me as a well-knowledged octopus individual because the amount of posts and words I can write as well as you...is unlimited. It's easier in person, however...im going off topic again, lol.

    The point is is that the ideas were just ideas. Like I said twice before, I emailed my local aquarium to see if there are any opportunities and possibilities of studying the octo their at it's own tank. And im still waiting for a response, but for now...that seems like the best option available. The options I thought up of before were not ever intentionally or accidentally meaning to harm an octopus or keep it from being un-safe. Having an octo shipped to us and then shipping out again to an UNKNOWN SOURCE sounds a little nasty. That was never on my mind because I wouldn't ever release an octo back to an unknown source were it could possibly be mis-handled OR killed. My love for octopuses is unlimited and it takes the security guards to make me leave the aquarium everytime I go there and make the best of it. Also, iv studied octopus captivity keeping for almost a year and half now and I still don't plan to purchase an octo and raise it. I feel the necessity of studying more before reaching that step. I just hope no one else assumes or underestimates me of any octo knowledge because iv been to these forums for a while now and im sure some people know me from the past. Im not in the dark nor am I in the dark when it comes to learning about cephalopods. Harming them is the last thing on my mind.
     
  18. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Hey, here's an idea--

    Lets leave the science to scientists!

    Otherwise I have some sludge in my refrigerator that I should be able to run at Fermi Lab.

    Dan
     
  19. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Dude, this discussion is serious and your not helping out.
     
  20. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Dude, this discussion is serious. I'd call that the quote of the week.

    I did not speak in jest. When academic-kinds use terms like "study" and "research" they have a bit different meaning than when others use them. They imply hypothesis testing, professional investigations leading to peer-reviewed publication. That last part is most important: the whole point of it is for other researchers to be able to read and benefit.

    Any investigations not leading to such publications do not benefit mankind and aren't scientifically valuable. That sort of study is not the realm of science, but that of entertainment. It is equivalent to building a model airplane or otherwise pleasuring oneself. Otherwise pleasuring yourself includes keeping an animal as a pet because you're interested in it. You said yourself she wants to keep an octopus because "she wants to learn something new about it." Hey, guess what? That's the reason I want to keep an octopus.

    What your friend is intending is a step below, however. She wants to have her cake and eat it, too: She wants to keep a pet octopus for a little while without boning up for a system capable of keeping it in the long term. You and her are rationalizing this complete disregard for the animal by pretending you're doing some sort of valuable research, when in the end you're just doing something that you enjoy; and something that your parents pat you on the back for because you're not playing video games or smoking pot all day like a lot of teenagers.

    Now that I've said that, I'm going to apologize. I've complained when others have crucified younger members for various reasons, and this is the same thing. You both are obviously reasonably intelligent and investigative for your age, which is a great thing. You are very articulate and are willing to type in full and complete sentences!!!!!

    I'm sure both of you are well capable of keeping a saltwater tank and an octopus. That really is a complement based on some of the yahoos who come through here. If you do it though you need to do it with the best interest of the animal in mind. The bottom line is that there are a lot of people who want an octo but can't afford to keep one and your reasons for wanting one aren't any more noble than theirs.

    Dan
     
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