Inking Question


Larval Mass
I was talking to my LFS about purchasing a pygmy octo. He mentioned something along the lines of "If the octo inks you have to change the water right away or the octo will die". Now I know that a protein skimmer can filter out some of the ink, but should you do any size water change when they ink or will it clear in time? Also when I get a octo how can I lower the chance of it inking in the container for adjusting it or in its new tank till it is use to it? Thanks for all and any help.


Staff member
To my knowledge we have never lost an octopus to inking in an aquarium (inking in transit is another story but fortunately rarely happens). The ink from the octos we keep is not poisonous but can coat the gills and cause suffocation. The need for a skimmer and extra water volume is partially to minimize inking incidences. The most common occurance of inking will come from startling the octopus but we have seen older O. hummelincki ink for no apparent reason and wonder if they need to release excess ink from time to time. There are two types of inking seen in the field and our aquariums. A smoke screen type inking is very thin and disperses quickly, the pseudomorph is very thick and stays in clumps. The very thin ink is usually handled well with carbon filtration and a skimmer. The thicker ink can be mostly removed with a fine net. A water change is always recommended after an event but they are not frequent.

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