Keeping multiple blue rings together?

Venom

Cuttlefish
Registered
#1
just wondered if anyone had any experience keeping more than one blue ring in a single tank?
We're setting up a new display here at the zoo and the tank will be approx 120-130 gal and I was wondering about maybe keeping 2-3 in there together.
Anyone tried it?
Thoughts?
Thanks,

-V
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#3
I haven't heard of it being done, but that maybe more because the aquarists don't want to put hands into a whole tank of these suckers! We keep multiple O. warringa together, there is always a tussle to sort out dominance but they sort it out in the end (nonfatally!!). I guess if you try you'd need to keep a close eye on the tank (perhaps out of the public view as mass cannibalism seems to upset visitors!) and see what happens, with nets at the ready to intervene if required. I'd love to hear how you get on!!!

J
 

aximbigfan

GPO
Registered
#4
Jean said:
I haven't heard of it being done, but that maybe more because the aquarists don't want to put hands into a whole tank of these suckers! We keep multiple O. warringa together, there is always a tussle to sort out dominance but they sort it out in the end (nonfatally!!). I guess if you try you'd need to keep a close eye on the tank (perhaps out of the public view as mass cannibalism seems to upset visitors!) and see what happens, with nets at the ready to intervene if required. I'd love to hear how you get on!!!

J
hmmm.. i wounder why:confused:....


chris
 

AZSUN

Larval Mass
Registered
#5
Venom said:
just wondered if anyone had any experience keeping more than one blue ring in a single tank?
We're setting up a new display here at the zoo and the tank will be approx 120-130 gal and I was wondering about maybe keeping 2-3 in there together.
Anyone tried it?
Thoughts?
Thanks,

-V
It is not a problem in a 100+ gal tank to house 2 or 3. I have 5 in a 180. You understand the shortness of their life cycle? If they lay eggs and they hatch the care-takers understand that the small one are as bad as an adult, they may not even see them.
I hope however being a zoo you explain to your visitors how deadly these really are.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#6
AZSUN said:
I hope however being a zoo you explain to your visitors how deadly these really are.
I agree, this is a fabulous public education opportunity! Although we don't hold blue rings (too cold and not native), visitors ALWAYS ask about blue rings while they're watching our octi's , they seem fascinated by this small critter that can kill with a single bite!!

Cheers

J
 

mosogama

Blue Ring
Supporter
#8
I often see blue rings in the wild down at the local rock pool. Next time I see one I'll make sure I have my camera handy and take some shots. I have only ever observed blue rings by themselves, never in a couple or group.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#9
mosogama said:
I have only ever observed blue rings by themselves, never in a couple or group.

Same with our midgets, but they seem to have a strategy for dealing with group situations (mind you so do our big species..........along the lines of "if it's smaller than you EAT IT!")

J
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#11
aximbigfan said:
yeah, octos are solitary creatues. i wouldet put two, especilly blue rigs which can kill eatch other i a secound, together.


chris

Hi Chris,

Not all are completely solitary, we have 3 in a tank at the moment. The pygmy or midget varieties seem able to sort out a living arrangement. Although I wouldn't do it unless you have a large tank with lots of potential dens. and keep a close watch on them initially!!!!

As for the bite octi venom doesn't work on others of the same species! They kill each other by strangulation followed by cannibalism!!! So the main thing with BR's is to watch they don't envenom their keeper!!!!!

J
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#12
Jean said:
Hi Chris,

Not all are completely solitary, we have 3 in a tank at the moment. The pygmy or midget varieties seem able to sort out a living arrangement. Although I wouldn't do it unless you have a large tank with lots of potential dens. and keep a close watch on them initially!!!!

As for the bite octi venom doesn't work on others of the same species! They kill each other by strangulation followed by cannibalism!!! So the main thing with BR's is to watch they don't envenom their keeper!!!!!

J
wow, so blue ring venom doesn't work even if it's injected into the bloodstream of another blue ring? I wonder how it resists it... TTX is a really broad neurotoxin; it blocks action potentials in pretty much any neuron I've heard of, including squid giant axons-- do blue rings have modified sodium channels in their axons that are immune to TTX blocking?:bluering:
 

aximbigfan

GPO
Registered
#13
monty said:
wow, so blue ring venom doesn't work even if it's injected into the bloodstream of another blue ring? I wonder how it resists it... TTX is a really broad neurotoxin; it blocks action potentials in pretty much any neuron I've heard of, including squid giant axons-- do blue rings have modified sodium channels in their axons that are immune to TTX blocking?:bluering:
yeah, onother good point. the venum prolly doesnt effoct other blue rings becouse they already have it in them...


chris
 

oceanbound

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#15
actually from what i have heard the toxin is a biproduct of the bacteria which live in the "rings" of the spotted octopus. as opposed to residing inside the creatures themselves
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#16
oceanbound said:
actually from what i have heard the toxin is a biproduct of the bacteria which live in the "rings" of the spotted octopus. as opposed to residing inside the creatures themselves
It is produced by bacteria, but it's not near the rings; I believe the bacteria are "cultured" in the salivary glands: see http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/bluering2.php

This also answers my original question:

Interestingly, blue-ringed octopuses are not affected by TTX, probably because they have evolved a slightly different sodium channel receptor that does not interact with the TTX molecule.
Does anyone (perhaps Roy, who wrote the article, hint hint) know any more details on this? I know there are a lot of people interested in studying the biochemistry of ion channels, and the evolutionary genetics of their development, so it seems like it would be very interesting to learn how these octos have TTX-proofing. On the other hand, most researchers prefer to avoid working with animals that can easily kill them...

I'm actually emailing a friend who studies the biochemistry of ion channels to see if their community knows about this adaptation... If no one has looked into it, this seems like a potentially very fruitful tool for understanding the mechanics of ion channels....
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#17
cuttlegirl said:
Here's some info on TTX and its uses in humans...
http://pubs.acs.org/cen/critter/8212pufferfish.html
Gack! I hope they have oxygen and ventilators on standby whenever they use this treatment!!! I guess if someone is in really, really severe pain it might be worth the risk, but it seems like a very, very, very dangerous thing to do, and since it just blocks all signals on all nerves (except cardiac, I guess) outside the blood-brain barrier, it rather by definition producees the same amount of paralysis as it does numbness... it's not targetted to the nerves that signal pain at all over, say, the nerves that let you breathe.
 

aximbigfan

GPO
Registered
#18
oceanbound said:
actually from what i have heard the toxin is a biproduct of the bacteria which live in the "rings" of the spotted octopus. as opposed to residing inside the creatures themselves
so if the blue ring octo didnt have rings than it would just be a sweet little non-deadlypus?


chris
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#19
Originally posted by Monty
wow, so blue ring venom doesn't work even if it's injected into the bloodstream of another blue ring? I wonder how it resists it... TTX is a really broad neurotoxin; it blocks action potentials in pretty much any neuron I've heard of, including squid giant axons-- do blue rings have modified sodium channels in their axons that are immune to TTX blocking?
Well, according to this researcher, Dr. Peter A. V. Anderson...from his website http://www.ufbi.ufl.edu/Dept/Faculty/AndersonPAV.html

Of particular interest are sodium channels in jellyfish (Phylum Cnidaria) and flatworms (Phylum Platyhelminthes). We have shown that sodium currents in the jellyfish are completely insensitive to the potent sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX), while those in flatworms, often considered to be the closest extant relatives of cnidarians, are sensitive to TTX.
 

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