Inking!

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by MsV, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. MsV

    MsV Blue Ring Registered

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    Er...help?

    Poor little Oliver has survived the first few weeks of our inept care. We still don't know what species the little bugger is, but he seems to be healthy and growing and relatively happy. Even when the cats jump on top of the tank and peer down at him.

    Today, he inked for the first two times. I had run out of the little red crabs I had been feeding him and bought him a brace of fiddlers of around the right size. I popped one into the tank, he went his usual 'hunting' dark brown/black coloration, pounced on it with all eight legs - then inked, ran away and hid. WTF?

    The second time, he was kinda brachiating his way around the tank, which is on our dining table, while we ate dinner- then inked. For no real reason I could tell. He's not a shy octo, and often wanders around with the lights on (and more than once when we're eating, with full chorus of cats)

    Okay, so I changed 25% of the water, tested it, and it all seems pretty normal - couple of questions:

    Has he simply not inked up to now because he was too immature? Should I expect more inking, or did he just get a bit stressed by the fiddler?

    Does inking pollute the tank in some subtle way I can't test for with my primitive pH, NH3/NH4, NO2, NO3 tests? Should I be more aggressive with my water changes?
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    usually, ink doesn't have a big impact if your tank is the recommended size for your ceph and you have a skimmer. If you can, getting the ink out is sometimes helpful; some people have used pantyhose over a frame as an ink scooping net.

    As to why the inking happened, only your octo knows for sure, I guess... it sounds like the crab was the initial cause, and then maybe the octo was in a bad mood from the crab experience, but that's just a guess... most people don't report their octos inking very often, but individual animals have their own behaviors...
     
  3. MsV

    MsV Blue Ring Registered

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    It is a 25 gallon Nanocube, he is little more than the size of a quarter. Plus legs, of course. I would have tried skimming the ink out, but it was such a small quantity that it seriously just dispersed without a trace.

    And he inked again later when I offered him a thawed silverside (I was a bit worried that he'd go hungry, given he seemed to decide the fiddler was scary) I've decided to leave him the hell alone for a while, at least till he calms down a bit. Poor baby.
     
  4. SandV

    SandV Wonderpus Registered

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    Rigby has never inked to my knowledge...
     
  5. MsV

    MsV Blue Ring Registered

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    Slight update, and another concern...

    He still seems very, very cautious of the fiddlers, so I decided to try him on a defrosted silverside. He was wandering around the tank looking like he was hunting, so I figured he was hungry. Being unduly ambitious, I thought I'd try hand feeding him.

    *swoon* He took it right out of my hand! He touched me! He accepted food from me!

    And then, while my hand was still in there (ie, lid was open) my insane Cornish Rex cat got over excited and jumped into the tank. Yup. She's not exactly scared of water at the best of times, and the tank has been driving her crazy - all that movement and excitement. Apparently Oliver, a damsel and a cleaner shrimp adds up to far too much stimulation for her tiny brain. :roll:

    Current state of play - cat is cleaning salt water off herself, Oliver has retreated to a rock overhang to munch on his fish.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Great mental picture :lol:
     
  7. MsV

    MsV Blue Ring Registered

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    It was kinda funny. She landed square in the tank, only one paw still on the edge, and she practically levitated out. Oliver was a bit cranky about it, though, and I'm worried he's going to associate the scare with accepting food from my hand. :( Might be locking crazy cat OUT of that room whilst hand feeding next time!

    Poor Oliver. He's a robust little bugger, though. Wish I knew what species he is!
     
  8. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    What a great visual...Too bad you did not capture it on video...Could have won some money!
     

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