Just starting, any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Spocktopus, May 31, 2006.

  1. Spocktopus

    Spocktopus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Hi everyone! I'm new to the forums, today in fact. I am a marine biology major at the University of New England and I am doing research on octopuses this summer. I have always had an interest in cephalopods and their behavior, and now is my chance to explore that interest. The project is still in the start-up stages right now, but I'm hoping to be up and running soon. Does anyone have any suggestions on good sources of live octopuses or husbandry tips for this new ceph enthusiast?
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: Spocktopus! I don't have direct experience with this, but my understanding is that as a researcher, rather than a pet owner, you can order from the NRCC, which is almost certainly the way to go. I'm sure many folks will chime in on the care and feeding of octos, but to start with, you might want to check out the journal articles like the "bimac care sheet." There are quite a number of people around who work or have worked in research labs and public aquaria, but I'm not sure that anyone here has written up anything official on octo-keeping in large scale, flow-through-seawater systems... I'm sure they'll chime in to welcome you, though. It would probably help the experts to know what species you're planning to study, and what facilities you have available-- does the University of New England have a marine bio lab with an ocean water circulation system you have access to? (I haven't had my :coffee: yet this morning, so I can't think of proper name for that... it's not an open-loop system, right?) There are a few resources like mailing lists for researchers that aren't available to the general public, too, so while you're welcome and encouraged to get info here, as a professional researcher, you may want to look into them as well. The Cephalopod Page, the Yahoo Ceph list, and Cephbase are all also good research resources, if you haven't found those yet.

    I'm sure many of us are interested in what sort of research you're planning, too!
     
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: Are you doing your research under a professor? If you order cephalopods through a college or university, you usually have to have a sponsor. Good luck!
     
  4. Spocktopus

    Spocktopus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I am working with Dr. Jay Hunt, one of my professors, who is supervising the project and most of the order forms and such.

    As far as facilities goes we're pretty much stuck in a closet across from the research lab (it's a looong story). Apparently non-native species have become an issue at the university, but I won't get into ranting on the way they're going about it. Long story short, we have a set of small, home aquarium style tanks with appropriate filters/heaters set up in a very small space. Not ideal, but it was that or get out of the building. However, I have access to raw seawater and a UV filter via the labs across the hall, as well as RO water and limited aquarium supplies. Space is our biggest issue.

    Right now I'm looking to order smaller octopuses (due to limited tank space), and I was considering Octopus bimaculoides, joubini, or briareus. Thanks all!
     
  5. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :lol: Been, there, done that... "We had a lot of extra graduate students this year...so we cleaned out half of this closet for you, it's only temporary" It was permanent...

    Good luck, sounds like you have the determination to make it work. Do you have access to live food?
     
  6. bobwonderbuns

    bobwonderbuns Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    :welcome: Spocktopus!! Welcome to our little corner of ceph heaven!! :grin:

    And just for the record -- yours is the coolest name EVER!!! :mrgreen:
     
  7. Spocktopus

    Spocktopus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Well, for now we're buying frozen shrimp from the local Shaws. But hopefully I'll be able to go out and collect some local crabs. They've agreed to let us have a crab tank in the labs, just not the octopuses.

    Lol, thanks!
     
  8. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    To keep an octopus in a closet would not be logical.

    Anyway, there are two really good articles about keeping octopus in captivity. The first is Forsythe and Hanlon, 1988. Behavior, body patterning and reproductive biology of Octopus bimaculoides from California, Malacologia, 29(1) 41-55. If you're looking at briareus, try Hanlon and Walterding, 1989. Behavior, body patterning, growth and life history of Octopus briareus cultured in the laboratory, American Malacological Bulletin, 7(1) 21-45. You should be able to find them in your library (or your library's electronic reserve) or through interlibrary loan. I have them both in my hand right now but have been too lazy to scan them. If you have trouble finding them it might get me off my butt :)

    Do you know what exactly you'll be researching with your octopuses? I don't know if the NRCC will sell to anyone at a university or if you need a research proposal/intent to publish.

    Dan
     
  9. Spocktopus

    Spocktopus O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I'm going to be working on studying octopus behavior, specifically the tactile learning and memory system. Through a series of training and retention trials I am hoping to compare work done on visual discrimination in octoupses to their tactile performance and see how the results correlate to their natural lifestyles. It would be great if it got published, but we'll see how much of my plan actually works first. I'm working on revising my proposal for the commitee presently. (I think I know more than I ever wanted to about memory in octopus brains, lol.)

    Anyway, I'll look into those papers, though my library is notorious for not having what I'm looking for. Thanks.
     

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