Pygmy Atlantic Octopus care

Hannahhhh

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Because Octopuses are very difficult to ship, most companies do not have an arrive alive guarantee. Usually all you can do is just do your best to ensure that the distributor follows the best practices in cephalopod shipping.
Ok that makes sense. I just wanted to make sure it was common practice.


What are some things that you use to block escape routes? I've been reading about using sponges, is there a specific type you like?
 

pkilian

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Blocking escape routes depends mostly on the tank setup. I usually put a drain screen on the tank-side of the bulkhead. I purchase mine from Lifeguard Aquatics, mostly because they are cheap and convenient to get through amazon, but any brand will work. Here is a link to their site so you can have a visual reference.

(Edit: I just looked through the initial post and saw that you wanted a pygmy species. These screens I suggested might be too large and certain species of pygmy octopus could escape through them, depending on the size of the individual. To remedy this, you can glue a mesh (like the kind used in windows) to the bulkhead screen. This will keep the animal in, but will also get clogged over time with detritus from the tank. This is easy to clean off with a tooth brush every week if you are diligent. A good glue to use is some reef-safe coral frag glue (Here is a brand that I like, but there are others available as well). This stuff is great, it can be used underwater and wont hurt your animals.

Alternatively, you could use a sponge, but the problems I've come across with sponges is that they get clogged much faster than the screens do, which can cause your tank to overflow. Also, the octo may pull the sponge out of the drain, which is obviously problematic and can lead to an escape opportunity.

Another important part of preventing octopus escape is weighing down the lid of your tank. Most people do this with large stones or bricks. I like bricks the best but that's just personal choice. Another tip that I like to give about lids is to velcro them down as well as use bricks. This is because if your lid rests on top of the tank (as opposed to lids that fit into the lip of the tank), your octopus is probably strong enough to slide the tank lid to the side (even with 10+ lbs on it) and escape out of the gap. If you velcro your lid and also put weight on it, it makes it much harder for the animal to slide the lid to the side!
 

B_Walsh

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Another tip that I like to give about lids is to velcro them down as well as use bricks. This is because if your lid rests on top of the tank (as opposed to lids that fit into the lip of the tank), your octopus is probably strong enough to slide the tank lid to the side (even with 10+ lbs on it) and escape out of the gap. If you velcro your lid and also put weight on it, it makes it much harder for the animal to slide the lid to the side!
Here to add that salt creep & velcro can be the best of friends so you may want to invest in some extra velcro if you don't like leftover salt creep.
 

Hannahhhh

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Is it ok to use regular window screen material to block off exits? I'm not sure what they're made of. Is there anything specific I should be watching out for?
 

DWhatley

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Screen made of metal (even aluminum) is not a good idea (it will rust) but the fabric or fiberglass kind would be OK. A larger mesh might be better for anything that, if blocked, would flood the tank.
 

Hannahhhh

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Screen made of metal (even aluminum) is not a good idea (it will rust) but the fabric or fiberglass kind would be OK. A larger mesh might be better for anything that, if blocked, would flood the tank.
Thanks! I will look for some fiber glass screen. And I would definitely prefer to use a larger mesh screen, but I'm setting up a tank for a pygmy octopus and I'm not exactly sure how large I can make the mesh before I risk him escaping.
 

B_Walsh

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Is it ok to use regular window screen material to block off exits? I'm not sure what they're made of. Is there anything specific I should be watching out for?

As already stated, do not use stainless steel or metal meshes. Stick to a nylon or plastic mesh which is available on Amazon. (I personally work in a laboratory setting so most often order "laboratory sifting mesh" from Carolina). In case you are not aware, micron refers to the size of the hole in the mesh, so a 500 micron mesh would have a larger hole than a 200 micron, etc. I would stick to a ~1000 micron mesh (hole size ~0.1 cm). You'll likely have to monitor/clean it often, but it will keep your octo safe.
 

Hannahhhh

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As already stated, do not use stainless steel or metal meshes. Stick to a nylon or plastic mesh which is available on Amazon. (I personally work in a laboratory setting so most often order "laboratory sifting mesh" from Carolina). In case you are not aware, micron refers to the size of the hole in the mesh, so a 500 micron mesh would have a larger hole than a 200 micron, etc. I would stick to a ~1000 micron mesh (hole size ~0.1 cm). You'll likely have to monitor/clean it often, but it will keep your octo safe.
Would you mind posting a link to a good mesh on amazon? I see a few but they all talk about absorbing moisture which seems like a bad thing.
 

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