My Visit and Tour of OctoPets

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#1
Hi, uh...again :wink:

I figured if anyone could appreciate this information, everyone on this site would, so, here goes *large exhale* :oops:

I went to OctoPets after work yesterday. I met Jim, he's a very nice guy. He gave me a guided tour of all of OctoPets. I don't know where to begin and will probably forget something, so bare with me.

I was there to get an Octopus, as the tank is sufficiently mature and the other invertebrates (hermit crabs, shrimp, anemones, copepods, mini-stars, etc,) are doing fine and the ammonia, nitrite, etc, has been at 0 for awhile now. I didn't bring my camera, but I should have.

First, I saw the large cylindrical octopus holding tanks, as well as the long vertical shallow egg hatching tanks. It was very cool!

Jim also showed me the red ball and amphipods he's aqua culturing in separate large tanks. OctoPets is literally right on a saltwater lagoon, and, just past the main road, is the beach and ocean.

He then took me into a locked smaller room where there were clear acrylic tanks housing seahorses! He showed me babies just born (they were about the size of large brine shrimp!), they were so cute just cruising around. Then he showed me larger and larger ones in separate tanks until we got to the full size ones which are currently for sale. I've never seen baby seahorses, or seahorses that small in my life, it was amazing.

(Continued next post...)
 

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#2
Then Jim took me into another small building which housed hundreds of cuttlefish eggs! It's hard to describe them, they were black and small and looked like little pieces of bulbous seaweed! I can't think of another way to describe them.

Ok, now for the best part. Jim currently is waiting for the next egg batch to hatch before he can send out octopuses to those that are waiting. I had previously talked with him about getting an older octo from the brood stock. He took me to a large round tank (you could fit multiple people in it standing up). On the bottom were various pieces and sizes of PVC pipe. Jim picked one up, looked inside, and said "nope, too big, you'll want a smaller one" and put it back. He then picked up another piece of PVC and said, "this guy looks good". He then turned it vertical and gently tapped on it and out came Thomas (my name for him) into a plastic bowl with seawater Jim had ready :grin:. Thomas, about 2-3 months old, looked bewildered, but did not ink or attempt to climb out of the small plastic bowl. Jim also mentioned the brood stock were not used to people like the hatchlings.

We walked over, past some smaller tanks of clams and saltwater guppies, and Jim put Thomas into a large plastic bag, double-bagged it, and filled it with oxygen. He then showed me all the crabs that naturally exist in the area, and was able to move some boxes and capture a few that he put in a separate bag for some additional live food for Thomas. I then thanked Jim, paid him, and drove home happy as a clam...err...octopus :grin:

(Continued next post...)
 

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#3
I got Thomas home, he didn't ink and flashed colors at me many times. I took a couple photos, one of the tank and one of Thomas. They didn't come out very well, so sorry for the low quality images. I turned the flash off so as not to startle him. In a couple weeks after he's settled in I will get some better shots.

Thomas's tank, consisting of live rock, and various other items (yes, that is a hamster tunnel loop, a pink pottery vase, white pvc pipe, and a pirate chest):



And here's Thomas!:



Another thing I noticed, as soon as I put the octopus in the tank, there was a marked change in the behavior of the hermit crabs and shrimp in the tank. Even though most didn't actually see the octopus, they all did the same thing. Whereas before the crabs would be crawling all over the live rock, and the shrimp would be hiding in the back, now, the crabs are huddled together with the shrimp at the front of the tank (as far away from the octopus as possible, who is in the back), and the crabs are barely peeking out of their shells. Somehow, they must sense that he's in there with them. I almost feel sorry for them, kind of like how we might feel being trapped in a house knowing there's an alien from the movie Alien, Aliens, etc, in here somewhere :shock:

Thomas came out this morning cruising around. I couldn't get my camera in time, but was able to snap a pic of the scared inhabitants! Here's a pic of them all huddling together:

 

corw314

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Wow!! Great update!!! Wish I lived closer to Octopets, cause I'd be there now!!! And welcome to Thomas!! Hope you have a long and happy encounter with him!!!

Carol
 

erich orser

Architeuthis
Supporter
Registered
#8
I was wondering that one as well. There aren't a lot of saltwater lagoons left here in S. California, so I was figuring it was down that way.
 

joel_ang

Architeuthis
Registered
#10
Thanks for sharing with us! It was real nice reading that and now i really wanna go there :smile: . Too bad it's not a possibility. By the way, were there any cuttles there?
 

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#11
joel_ang said:
Thanks for sharing with us! It was real nice reading that and now i really wanna go there. Too bad it's not a possibility. By the way, were there any cuttles there?
They didn't have any cuttlefish at all there when I was there, only lots of eggs. But as soon as those eggs hatch, there will be lots of cuttlefish available! :grin:

Well I'm happy to report Thomas is doing EXTREMELY well. He's already decimated my entire hermit crab population, and I can't find my shrimp or one of the fiddler crabs from Jim I dropped into the tank last night for him.

Now all I have to do is wait for him to get used to people (i.e. me :wink: )

I was able to snap a few photos, Thomas was curious about the camera and came over to the glass by his cave:



And here's another shot of him hanging out:

 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
#14
This is a temporary lull for Octopets due to the loss of a whole generation of bimacs (who escaped back to the sea).

When the next generation hatches and it old enough, there will be plenty of bimacs for all.

One thing - don't rush it. Notice how much better these slightly older bimacs are doing. Don't be anxious to get one six weeks old - wait until they're at least two months old.

Nancy
 

Black96WS6

GPO
Registered
#15
dodgersfan25 said:
hey Black96WS6, do u have to make an appointment with Jim to go down there?
Are you close to San Diego? If so it would be better to go down and get one than to have it shipped and risk him inking in the bag during shipment. That doesn't happen very often but it's still a risk compared to going and getting one yourself. YOU know you're going to be extremely careful with your package on the drive home. Unfortunately, not everyone else will be as careful.

Yes I did have to setup a time after work to go see him. I'm actually glad I got one a little older. Thomas is doing so well! I just fed him one of the crabs Jim gave me tonight. Thomas has learned how to find the crab with my help. He's actually learned, in just a couple days, to go where my yellow pen is pointing and that's where the crab's general location will be.
 

tonmo

Titanites
Staff member
Webmaster
Moderator
#17
Nancy said:
My bimac Ollie quickly learned to find a crab where I was pointing. So we hunted crabs together :smile:
Very cool! 8-)
 

sneegs

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#19
I spoke with Jim's newly hired assistant today and he was saying three to four weeks but I'd wait a little longer. It sounds like the larger octos are having a better survival rate. Patience is a virtue in this hobby and good things come to those who wait.
 

kaotik

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#20
i live in SoCal and was also planning on taking a trip down to octopets when my tank is established and ready. Question: does octopets actually sell octo food or did he just give you a few "for the road"? I am trying to locate a local place to get live food for a bimac.
 

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