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How often and how much should I feed my octopus?

Davinci

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
18
#1
Hi everyone,

the question is how often and how much should I feed my 1.5 - 2 inc mantle size hummelincki octopus?

Thanks for posting.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
2,833
Location
South Florida
#2
I feed once a day, and 6 days a week. giving them one day off. for an octopus that size a 1/3 - 1/2 of a raw shrimp would be perfect. I typically feed about half a mantles worth of food. Live fiddlers crabs are also a good food and they allow the octopus to hunt a little. I had a O.briareus that would eat two and three times a day, PIGGY!

In the Laboratories they typically feed them a few times per week as opposed to daily. I do this with my larger octopuses.
 

Joe-Ceph

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
555
#3
I've never had an octopus that small, but a piece of shrimp 1/2 the size of an octopus' mantle sounds like a lot to me. I suspect that an octopus will live longer if fed a small,but still a sufficient amount to slowly grow. I don't think it's been proven, but I'm going with that. I used to feed my 1/2 grown bimac every third day, which was enough for slow growth, but now I feed smaller amounts every other day. I found that the octopus would be less active (to conserve strength?) with the longer wait between feedings. I think that for a 30% grown up octopus you should feed as little as you can get away with, every 2nd day, while still seeing slow growth. That's a dangerous policy with a very small octopus like you have, because they don't have a lot of reserves and it's easier for them to starve, so feed every day for a while, and not too much. My octopus are kept cold (56 degrees) and probably don't need as much food as a warm water octopus like yours, so keep that in mind when you read my advice. Also, I feed both froze shrimp, and frozen scallops, which I think the octopus likes better. We think of scallops as expensive, but in the quantities that an octopus eats, they are essentially free, and make an easy way to mix up the diet a bit.
 

Lmecher

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Registered
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
Messages
1,375
#4
This a topic I struggle with also. I have an O. vulgaris. I cannot look to others experiences because there are no journals on this species. El Diablo is quite large and continuing to grow. His mantle is nearing 6" and arms are difficult to measure but best guess is between 12 and 14". I feed him as Dave described fasting on the 7th day. I had been feeding him 2 large (3-4") shrimp a day. I mix it up with scallops for variety. I have cut back to the equivilent of 1 large shrimp daily. He acts the same though, always hungry. I feel more comfortable erroring on the "feeding less" side. I am also in the process of getting some live food on to the menu.
 

Joe-Ceph

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
555
#5
Lmecher;162196 said:
This a topic I struggle with also. I have an O. vulgaris. I cannot look to others experiences because there are no journals on this species. El Diablo is quite large and continuing to grow. His mantle is nearing 6" and arms are difficult to measure but best guess is between 12 and 14". I feed him as Dave described fasting on the 7th day. I had been feeding him 2 large (3-4") shrimp a day. I mix it up with scallops for variety. I have cut back to the equivilent of 1 large shrimp daily. He acts the same though, always hungry. I feel more comfortable erroring on the "feeding less" side.
My bimac has a mantle about 4.5" long, arms about 15" long, and lives in 56 degree water. I feed him the equivalent of about 1/4 to 1/3 of a large shrimp every 2nd day, which is probably about 15% of what you feed your vulgaris. Your vulgaris is larger than my bimac, but probably at most double the weight, which means you are feeding about triple what I would feed a bimac the same size as your vulgaris. Maybe the cold water (slower metabolism) makes the difference, but my bimac is living a long time, and I suspect that the minimal feedings are part of the reason. It had at least a 3" mantle when I caught it, so it must have been at least a year old (right? (total SWAG) and I've had it for over a year. This doesn't prove anything, but it makes me suspicious that frugal feeding and cooler temps are the best way to extend the life of a captive octopus.
 

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