Hello from the UK

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MissPH, Jul 14, 2013.

  1. MissPH

    MissPH Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello, thank you for approving my registration.

    I'm from the UK and am soon to be a first timer at keeping octopus. I am currently waiting on a 120 gallon octo-proof tank being built for (hopefully) a Bimac. However being from the UK is it has proven very difficult to source any kind of octo - easiest seems to be the Vulgaris and that is still very tough to find! I wanted a Bimac as my first Ceph ideally since I have read numerous times they are a bit easier to care for and I don't have much experience, so to me it makes sense to start with the easier option and go from there!

    I look forward to talking to and learning more from some hobbyists on here. Is there anybody else from the UK?
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO!

    I am afraid sourcing an O. bimaculoides will be next to impossible in the UK. They are most often found off the coast of California and are illegal to harvest for resale (you can eat them, use them for bait or keep one yourself by you cannot sell one live). On a rare occasion a keeper will have successful hatchlings but an individual shipping a young one that far is both very expensive and dangerous for the hatchling. You might also note that they are a cold water species and will need temperatures below 21C, requiring a chiller in most places.

    There is a warm water species found in the Caribbean that resembles the bimac in both looks and personality (but not longevity, as with all our warm water animals, they have a shorter, more active life). Sourcing O. hummelincki, however, is still a major hurdle and most suppliers will no know the species.

    I don't know how much export is done from the US and we don't see animals coming out of Mexico but O. briareus is a lovely warm water Caribbean that is plentiful and not restricted. I have seen posts from the UK that suggests these may be occasionally imported but I can't help with a source.

    A 120 for a local vulgaris is likely to be too small but our Caribbean animals are about half the size of their cousins across the pond. I have kept two in 65 gallon tanks without issue. The two I have kept may have been somewhat dwarfed by their environment as both were very young when acquired and were small even for Caribbeans. I have not seen a study that would imply that the environment might limit growth (we really don't know why size varies as much as it does) but if you attempt a vulgaris, I would suggest starting with a very young animal. Vulgaris is likely the most robust of the animals we keep (rivaling O. briareus I think) but there is no "beginner" species.

    Your best bet is likely to be an Indonesian wild caught import that will most likely be some species of Abdopus, often aculeatus.
     
  3. MissPH

    MissPH Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello and thanks for the welcome and detailed reply :)

    I don't know where you get the idea we would need a chiller to keep a tank under 21 degrees C in the UK, current freak heatwave aside we very rarely get temperatures above 20!

    I have done a lot of research before putting my money down on the tank and wouldn't have done so if I didn't have a source. Nobody else I have spoken to (on either side of the pond) has mentioned anything about exporting Bimacs (or any other non-endangered/dangerous species) being illegal. Do you have any links so I can read up about that legislation? Google isn't being helpful.

    Thanks for the info on alternative species, it may prove useful :)
     
  4. GPO87

    GPO87 Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to Tonmo!
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Bimac restriction. Here is the short version (see Monty's post at #6 but reading the entire thread is helpful). Part of the written regulation can be found here but there is a more complete set of official fish and game rules that Cuttlegirl posted several years ago. I will repost if I can find it.

    It boils down to, if your source is hand catching the octopus AND is not charging you for it other than for shipping, this appears to be legal (confirmed by the warden in the initial link above, note post #32 on the first link). Dead animals may be consumed or used for bait if a properly licensed fisherman is the sole user. In no case can a live wild caught animal be sold. If the animals is NOT caught in California waters, these rules do not apply. Tank hatched are open game IF the wild caught mother was not from CA waters (it is unknown if this is common though as we have seen "tank raised" for sale outside CA and proving the source of the female may be overlooked ... stupid or not, it is still not legal though).

    LOL, I live in the southern part of the US so our summers often approach 38C in the summer with 32 being a daily norm. Do keep in mind we are talking about an indoor temperature with the added heat of pumps and lighting.
     
  6. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Welcome! I couldn't get D's link to work, so I looked up the code, hopefully, this will give you the specific wording here... http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...edbranch.xhtml Look at Chapter 2, Article 19, Marine Aquaria Pets. So, unless someone is collecting for a public aquarium, they cannot collect bimacs even with a permit.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Fixed! Thanks CG! Unfortunately all the old links to the CA rules are no longer functional. The fixed link has Monty's direct request and response correspondence with a game warden as well as parts of the fishing license and collection rules but I seem to remember you posting the text on its own thread a some point during one of the many discussions.
     
  8. MissPH

    MissPH Cuttlefish Registered

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    That thread is interesting reading, albeit a bit confusing! What if the person exporting a the octopus had a marine aquaria collector's permit?
     
  9. MissPH

    MissPH Cuttlefish Registered

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    ps lucky you having such lovely warm weather all the time!
     
  10. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    They can only collect for a public aquarium, not an individual. It is a confusing set of rules...

    I have to agree with D, there is no "easy" octopus species to keep. Most people are happy with whatever kind of octopus they can acquire. Do you have experience keeping other kinds of marine animals?
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The, some say archaic, rules say you can't sell them. We have interpreted that to mean and seems to be substantiated that a collector with a proper permit can give one to someone else. I acquired one this way (see link to Diego below). A member collected a young animal and was willing to go through the efforts to ship one to another member. I paid for shipping directly to FedEx using an account I created for the project and no other money changed hands and no other kind of favor was granted by me. This was a lot of work for Joe-Ceph and I very much appreciated the opportunity. Unfortunately, my chiller was weak (hence my concern about their temperature) and even though I could maintain 72 F (22C) (and I now strongly recommend a colder maximum) Diego suffered from eye infections and eventually lost his sense of balance. He live 18 months in the tank (this would be a maximum for Caribbeans/warm water species ) but should have lived another 6 - 18 months and had a healthier life. My tanks are set up for Caribbean species and it is my thinking that the combination of water temperature and any lingering pathogens from prior residence provided a susceptibility that a colder temperature would not have induced.

    If you are communicating with a commercial supplier, it might be a good idea to mention their name, or at least search the forum for the name to be sure you are not dealing with one of the less reputable companies. We have seen bimac's advertised that were not the specified species. Sometimes this is shady but most often it is lack of knowledge by the seller. The biggest danger is that you would receive a warm water animal (O. hummelincki being the closest look alike and is not restricted) and try to keep it in a cold water tank.
     

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