Help Getting a Bimac

Discussion in 'Culture' started by Spence24, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    I am cycling my tank right now, and in a week my order of 100 pounds of lr will be here:smile: so sometime late February, i will be in need of a bimac, any idea of anyone who has them available or a website that is likely to send bimacs or similar species?

    thanks, ryan
     
  2. AquaForce

    AquaForce Blue Ring Registered

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    i manage a LFS, and i can get them from distributors, however, most LFS's wont get them in, or from a less than par distributor....
    in my case, i have 3 diiferent distributors that i trust, so that is where i would start..... as far as no LFS in area worth trusting situation (just in case) im sure someone on here has a better idea
     
  3. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    What distributors do you have that list them, and have you received any to confirm that they are, in fact, O. bimaculoides? Bimacs are illegal to collect for resale, so I suspect your sources are either selling octos other than bimacs or are collecting on their own and illegally (which I doubt). There's precedent for retailers falsely selling Indonesian and Caribbean octos as bimacs. When Octopets was in business they were distributing, so it may be that your distributor lists them but is forever out of stock.

    Dan
     
  4. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    Well, I had no idea that they were illegal to distribute, but I would still really love to have one as a new addition to my family. If anyone knows a good source or there's somebody on here, I would love to hear.


    thanks, ryan
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Spence,
    It is not illegal to keep and raise the Bimac but the aquisition is a bit sticky. As I understand it, wild caught Bimacs (not taken from restricted areas) in CA can be kept (for pets or food) by the properly permitted "fisherman" but cannot be sold. If the WC animal then has tank raised young, the young become legal (as well as any tank bred young) to sell. I believe the restriction is a California law but do not know if it applies elsewhere (or where else the Bimacs may be found in the wild). Some of our California members are likely to have a clearer definition of the rule and will hopefully correct or add to my limited understanding.
     
  6. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    Yes yes, I knew they weren't illegal to own, i just didn't know they were illegal resale. Well either way, i can't get a positive i.d. of one anywhere. I've heard fish supply, but I don't know if they ever have any in (octopets??) it says wild cut???
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Octopets was a breeder/distributor of bimacs for resale. Most unfortunately, the business failed well over a year ago but many resellers fail to update their lists when a supplier vanishes. MarineDepotLive occassionally offers them but there is some question as to which bimac (there are two similar species) they offer. Watching the TONMO availability thread is usually the best way of knowing when a site publishes availability. You can set your email options to receive posting notices to threads where you participate.
     
  8. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    The restriction I know of is California law; I don't know if Mexico has any restrictions, so it's possible legit wild caught bimacs could be obtained from there, but I don't know one way or the other (and also if it's OK to bring live animals from Mexico across the border).
     
  9. AquaForce

    AquaForce Blue Ring Registered

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    wow... didnt know that... thankfully its just on the lists as " Tank Raised Octopus " but they are bimacs for sure..... not too sure of where they were aquired and if they were already gravid or how they aquired a pregnant female or if they had some breed..... ill look into it though...
    thanks for the heads up on legality
     
  10. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Most of the bimacs that TONMO members have kept recently are captive-bred or tank-raised by fellow hobbyists. This is legal, since the animal taken from the wild isn't sold. A few companies have tried to do this for a profit; all have failed. Ultimately the market for these creatures is so small and uneven that I don't know if it is even possible to succeed at captive breeding for profit. Given this, I'm very skeptical of any claim by retailers or distributors (profit people) of having bimacs. Indeed it is always possible that a distributor ends up with a bimac that just happens to lay eggs, but I think this is unlikely for a few reasons: first, the vast majority of marine ornamentals are being collected in the South Pacific and shipped into California. Overall, temperate species found off California aren't in heavy demand and I suspect it's rare for animals of any type to be collected here for the hobby. California also isn't known to be the most permissive state to those whose intention it is to pluck from Nature. Baby octopuses are also very difficult to raise, they do best when given individual dens and fed live food like mysids ($$$). I doubt a distributor would bother, given the meager hopes for recouping any investment.

    Given that, I know that Marine Depot sometimes has bimacs in, but in personal correspondence with them they're not afraid to give the impression that the animals are sickly, often missing arms. I don't know where they get them from, but I have not ordered from them so I cannot even confirm that they are, indeed bimacs. This brings me to another important point: it's very difficult--sometimes even for zoologists--to identify an octopus. Even when a hobbyist submits a photo of their beloved octo here on the forums they often don't get a good consensus. It is not realistic to expect distributors or retailers to know what type of octopus they're selling. The goal of these organizations is to move livestock and we can't expect them to have specialists in every niche organism. Most retail website images aren't of the octopus sold, rather just a generic picture taken off the internet (some of these people probably aren't aware there are multiple species of octopus!).

    This is why I generally try to get cephs from fellow hobbyists. It is the only good way to get an animal whose identity, natural habitat and age you can be sure of. The problem with doing this is there isn't any guarantee of availability. This is not a hobby for the impatient, it will probably take months or years to find the species you're looking for.

    Dan
     
  11. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    Well, actually my intention was to find someone on here that can get or will have bimacs available in the near future. And for anyone interested in fish supply as a source, they no longer ship livestock. I would love to hear if anyone here has or will have bimacs available I will need mine sometime in late february.
     
  12. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    It's probably worth noting here that the rather obscure California code prohibits collection of both bimac species with a "collecting to sell to hobbyists" license, and it was added (according to the California Fish & Game folks) because Eric Hochberg thought there was a risk that overcollection could impact the population if they became popular in aquariums. The fish & game people also said explicitly that if I wanted to collect one for myself to keep in an aquarium, I could do so with a sport fishing license, which would prohibit me from selling it to a pet store. It's not clear if it would prohibit me from giving it to a random friend after I'd collected it, or even having someone across the country pay for shipping costs or something. There is also no problem with someone using the sport fishing thing to catch a bimac and raising its offspring and selling them to fish stores.

    As far as I can tell, the fish and game folks are not actively pursuing this regulation, so it's quite possible that many collectors aren't aware of this restriction, and so a small number of them are selling wild-caught ones not realizing it's illegal. I also have no idea what the status is with bycatch by commercial fishing license holders: if they catch a bimac while crab fishing, I don't know that they are not allowed to sell that to hobby fish stores. Octopus fishing in general is not very restricted: I think the limit on GPOs caught and sold to sushi restaurants is some very high quota, and I don't know if the wrote in bimacs on that level, but fortunately bimacs aren't considered "good eating" as far as I know.
     
  13. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    Well thats as much as to be expected I understand that I don't want to ask anyone to do anything illegal, or get them in trouble so tonmo you may delete this or any of the mods may move it until he does if they deem it unappropriated. But if there is anyone in the California area that dives or knows where to look, I would not be opposed to paying shipping and if you insist compensating you for your time NOT the octo itself.
     
  14. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    This is the part that's very clever about the regulation. It protects the wild population but also makes it possible for us to keep the animals. If only all legislation was this good!

    Good point, but I wonder how many people are really collecting marine ornamentals in southern California, or how much in the way of by-catch makes its way into the hobby.

    This is a very good thread and I doubt Tony will have reason to delete it. I started the tangent on the legality of collecting simply in response to the post about having bimacs on a distributor's list--I wanted to point out that historically that ends up being too good to be true.

    To (finally) get to the original question, there has been one hobbyist--a precocious young man in Oregon--who last year had a large brood of bimacs that were sent across the country. He went away to college this year but his father is trying to raise another brood, but I'm uncertain if he have been successful or when they would be ready to ship out. I don't know if he checks the board regularly so I wouldn't expect him to respond directly to this thread.

    Ultimately, most good hobbyist sources of cephalopods are announced right here on TONMO, often with little or no advance warning! The best advice for anyone serious about getting a bimac is to be ready to wait it out and check the "Octopus availability" thread and other Octopus care forums regularly for such announcements.

    Good luck!

    Dan
     
  15. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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  16. Spence24

    Spence24 GPO Registered

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    Thank you, apparently it is legal to take octo's if they are incidentally caught in lobster traps. hmmm... don't know if you can sell them though.
     

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