How to preserve octopus?

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Oktoputeao, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Can say some of you; how to preserve a ceph when it across the line to go find another better life?
    Thanks guys; pictures will be welcome!!!
     
  2. jc45

    jc45 GPO Registered

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  3. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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  4. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    In a few words; First defrost ceph (if it is frost), second, inject formalin ( optional if it is not too large) and put it in a big glass full of formalin. 10-15 days before, whash it 3 time with fresh water and preserve definitive in a 70% etanol solution.

    Easy, but i'm wrong in some point of my post? Please say it if you desagree with me, and oviously why?
     
  5. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    All you need the formalin for is to fix it. I guess just throw it in a bucket of formalin, maybe 50% formalin solution (not 50% formaldehyde! This would probably be fatal to every organic substance within a 20 mile radius!:lol:), 50% seawater. I'm not so sure about this stage as the octopus I got was already fixed. All we did was pour off the formalin with running water, in a controlled environment, and put the octopus in a large enough container and filled it with tapwater. I just left it steeping for a bout 2-3 days, changing the water about once a day! Formalin has a distinct smell, so you know that all the excess is gone when the animal stops smelling of the stuff. Then I suppose once it's washed out, you can put it in an ethanol solution... although technically I guess you could put it in distilled water since all the tissue id fixed anyway, but don't hold me to that! I think that's pretty much what we did, probably broke a couple environmental health rules but hey, at leats we got the specimen!! Mind you, my brain is shutting down due to too much exposure to dissertation-writing, so I might just be havering a lot of rubbish! But I did have a lovely Eledone cirrhosa which I donated to the uni as a study aid.

    Supoosedly you can "deactivate" formalin by adding powedered milk. Formalin binds to any organic molecule, so technically it should basically turn to a toxic cheese! Although addmittedly I don't know about this, can anyone verify??

    Graeme
     
  6. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I've not heard of this being done before - it sounds like a neat trick though! I might give it a try this year.

    Re the formalin soln concentration, you should never need to go higher than 10% (50% would be overkill - it would probably fix the outer surfaces of the animal and prevent the formalin from getting into the tissues, secondarily causing excessive shrinking and wrinkling); a 5% solution should be more than adequate for your standard small-bodied beastie (to ~ 30cm total length), although you should always inject a little into the viscera first.
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Yeah! let us know what happens!! I wanna know if you get toxic cheese!!

    When you say 50% formalin solution do you mean a sloution made up from 50% formaldehyde or a solution made up of 50% formalin (already prepared)? I think the guy at the aquarium used 50%formalin 50% water. I originall though the label meant the the solution had 50% formaldehyde, I was scared to even open the bucket! Yes, bucket; I had to drive from St Andrews to Dundee (about 20 miles) with the bucket on the pasenger floor!! Ane the road isn't well known for being overly straight!

    Graeme
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Steve,
    Who will you feed the toxic cheese to? :wink:
     
  9. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Wait a minute!!!! I have english problems!!!! What is exacly ( and when I say exacly; I'm traying to know the quemistry name) or formalin? Formol? Formaldehyde? Is the same than the universal fixer?

    If you can put the spanish name or if you can put a picture of the molecule ( I'm a farmacology info addict) i'll be very glad with you.

    Thanks guys
     
  10. Tintenfisch

    Tintenfisch Architeuthis Staff Member Moderator

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    Bags not!! :goofysca:

    The 5% formalin solution is made from already-made formalin (not formaldehyde!). Some sources recommend a 2-3% solution as being plenty, so you really don't need much. Basically a good safety rule for preservation is, do whatever :oshea: tells you (unless you don't want to, and then don't :wink:).
     
  11. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hey Oktoputeao, try wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formalin
    Wikipedia is in spanish aswell, but I dont think there's anywhere near the number of articles compared to the english version unfortunately.

    Apparantly formalin is 37% formaldahyde/methanal in water.
     
  12. Graeme

    Graeme Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I thought formalin was a solution of formaldehyde and water?

    Graeme
     
  13. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Yes I thinks the same.
    In a web site I've found this.

    Producto/Product
    FORMALDEHIDO (Aldehído Fórmico, Formol, Metanal, Formalina)
    FORMALDEHYDE (Formic Aldehyde, Formol, Methanal, Formaline)

    I've found the two molecules and they are the same; also my farmacology teacher said to me that is the same molecule.

    Cheers.
    Carles
     
  14. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    They are the same , formaldahyde is the "oldskool" name, while methanal is the correct IUPAC name.
     
  15. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    This name almost make me crazy!!!!
    So simply like methanal, wood alcohol.
    Thanks guys for help me, and now... where can I get it? In a drugstore? Have I to have a recipe? Thanks again.
     
  16. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Just to further complicate things, a point of clarification between the to methan__ compounds (Yes, they're different!).

    Methanal - CH2O
    - Also known as 'Formaldehyde' (Old name)
    - Preservative

    Methanol - CH3OH
    - Also known as 'Wood alcohol'
    - Very poisonous

    Love that IUPAC!

    Cheers!
     
  17. bathypol

    bathypol Wonderpus Registered

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    I have a paper here on how to preserve cephs...may help.

    Roper, C.F.E., Sweeney, M.J. 1983. Techniques for fixation, preservation, and curation of cephalopods. Memoirs of the National Museum Victoria, 44:29-47

    hope it helps

    :grin: :read:
     
  18. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    What a confusíon! Too many sinonims, too many languages ( spanish english portugues and català) and too fast reading speed. What a great mistake I did. For me the easyer names are formol or formaldeyde. But is great to know that can be called also methanal. Thanks guy.

    Bathypol; can you scan this paper? Send me it by mail to silentumesaurum@hotmail.com always if you want, please.
    Thanks.

    Cheers
    Carles:snorkel:
     
  19. bathypol

    bathypol Wonderpus Registered

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    Sorry, can't scan the paper. But I'm sure you can find it online or through your library. If all else fails, check out the Smithsonian website, since Clyde Roper is working out of there, it may be posted. Cephbase is also a good place to check.

    Good luck with the search. :smile:
     
  20. Oktoputeao

    Oktoputeao O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Ok guy, thanks for your info. Take care:mrgreen:
    Cheers
    Carles
     

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