unfortunate newbie has a blue ring

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by chaostheory, Jul 5, 2008.

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  1. chaostheory

    chaostheory O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I'm 14 and new to the ceph addiction. I got a small octopus in a biocube for my birthday and the people at the store said it was a "pigmy", I was going to get a 75gal tank (which I haven't managed to get yet). She hasn't grown much during the time I had her so I knew that I wouldn't need a tank to soon. But during interaction she mistook a piece of food for my finger so I stuck the handle of a net in her tentacles and she grabbed that and was getting aggravated and I saw that she had the blue ring pattern. Needles to say, I'm not going to hand feed her anymore.

    Even though I didn't know that she was a blue ring, I kept her water quality perfect for her and made sure I did %15 water changes in the water.

    She is happy and well.

    Oh yeah, I thought of pictures but then I couldn't find the cord to hook up the camera to the computer. I'll let you all see her some other time. :goodbye:
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Yike! :alarm: I'm glad you're OK!

    That raises all sorts of concerns: please, of course, be really, really careful.

    Although we're not aware of any casualties from blue-rings kept as pets, the potential for fast and lethal poisoning is very real. I would never advise keeping one in a room where anyone sleeps, and make very sure to keep out any pets, siblings, naive visitors, and anyone else who might get into the tank. I believe Roy Caldwell has a policy that in his lab, no one is to be in the room with the blue-ring tanks alone, ever.

    If you are bitten, don't waste any time getting emergency attention: the primary symptom of the venom (TTX, Tetrodotoxin) is rapid onset muscular paralysis, to the point where the victim can't breathe and can't seek help. It's treatable if there is someone who notices and can call for an ambulance so the victim is on a breathing machine for a few days.

    I'm sure you're attached to this octopus, but I want to point out that Mote, a professional aquarium, decided to euthanize an blue-ring that was donated to them because they didn't want to accept the risk of having the animal. At the very least, I would encourage you to demand your money back from the store, and make it very clear that selling this animal to anyone without properly identifying it and explaining the risks is homicidally negligent.

    it sounds like you're pretty clear on the ID, but since I'm suggesting making a fuss, I suppose I should also make sure that it's not just two eyespots, it's blue rings all over the octopus that were flashed, right?

    :bluering:

    [​IMG]

    I also recommend Roy's article at http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/bluering1.php if you need to convince anyone of the risks involved, but it sounds like you're pretty much aware of what this means, just unsure what to do about it, right?

    edit: if you're comfortable with it, if you let us know where you're located, we might be able to help you find a local facility that is equipped to handle blue-rings safely, like Roy's lab in Berkeley. I wouldn't recommend mailing the animal to Roy, though, since lest a postal worker be bitten inadvertently.

    edit2: I just read on an earlier thread that she bit your finger on the nail a few weeks ago! That's pretty concerning!
     
  3. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    If it is a blue ring, you need to hand it off to an experienced keeper or lab asap.

    Venomous/Deadly octopus should only be kept by very well trained aquarists, after years of learning how to avoid being bitten.

    Death at age fourteen would be a real tragedy.
     
  4. chaostheory

    chaostheory O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I've decided to be ignorant and keep it. It just won't be hand fed as often. But thanks for your concern.
     
  5. Mikewise

    Mikewise GPO Registered

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    :banghead:
     
  6. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Ignorance doesn't fly too far with me. Good luck.
     
  7. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Ignorance doesn't offer any protection from death. If this is your attitude, you really shouldn't keep this animal at all; the only sane way to keep a blue-ring is to be as careful as possible to mitigate all the risks of poisoning, and to have backup protection where everyone is safe even if the proactive protection fails.
     
  8. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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    start a journal so we can keep posted to check out your octo. and make sure you're still alive.
     
  9. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    I withhold judgement on this until I see a picture of the animal. The only Hapalochlaena I have seen for sale in the US is H. lunulata and if you have one, you are going to see the blue rings most of the time, not just when feeding it. My guess is either that the "blue ring pattern" is a pair of ocelli - or ...

    If this really is a blue-ring and it behaves aggressively towards a feeding stick, it should not be in a home aquarium.

    Roy
     
  10. jellyman

    jellyman O. vulgaris Registered

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    My local LFS always has blue rings. I'm not sure who is buying them but they almost always have one in stock and they are pretty easily identified because the blue rings stand out very well!!
     
  11. ickthus

    ickthus Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hey, your 14 cool im 14 too. i dont have an octo but i would love to get one.

    Good luck, be careful,

    Chandler
     
  12. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Oh, goody.

    By the bye, a blue ring typically only shows the markings under stress, so if an lfs has them and they are that visible, they must be really, really, really happy.

    Please don't misunderstand me, I happen to really like H.L.'s as aquarium animals. It is just that it would be like someone on the herp boards stating that "they aren't sure if they bought a cobra or not, they have never kept a snake before" sort of thing.

    Disaster is imminent.
     
  13. robyn

    robyn Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    hmm.....ok, so since this child seems to want to keep his/her pet, despite the advice so far, maybe he can help us out with some information:

    About the blue rings: all over the body, or just in a couple of places (like this one?)

    If its just two blue rings then you should be fine.

    If you've managed to score a genuine blue-ring of the lethal kind, I think you should give it away to someone who can keep it safely (best option), or (as you seem to have decided already, despite being advised against it), if you're going to keep it at least make sure your parents/guardians/etc. know how dangerous this animal is, so if you are unlucky or foolish enough to have it bite you they can take action quickly (you might not be that lucky though....). If you don't have it already you need to get a very, very secure tank lid. And make sure every single person who will be in your house knows that you are keeping an extremely dangerous animal.

    Don't hand-feed it at all, not just 'less often'.

    Seriously, please find that camera cable so the people here can give you correct advice.

    I think this is either a recipe for disaster or a troll....
     
  14. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Yeah, this is absolutely ridiculous. I am not against keeping blue rings, at all. But:

    You should be over 18, so any one who gets bitten by it can sue you legally.

    You should have venomous animal experience, normally gained from working at a lab or zoological facility.

    You should know how to keep venomous animals in locked rooms, as Robyn stated.

    You should be willing to listen to people who do know what they are talking about.

    :grad:

    Here endeth the lesson.
     
  15. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I would be interested in confirming the ID as a first step.

    If indeed it is a blue ring, I would be interested in what your parents think about having it in the house.
     
  16. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree with Roy and Thales - lets make sure this really is a blue ring, being cautious until we have an ID, including no hand feeding and keeping your tank well sealed.

    Please take some photos and upload them. Are there only two rings of the sort that are in Robyn's photo, or more?

    What do the rings look like?

    What's the color of your octopus at rest?

    How large is it?

    We'll know more when we see the photos.

    Nancy
     
  18. chaostheory

    chaostheory O. bimaculoides Registered

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    He is white at rest. He has a mantel at about 3/4 of an inch. The people at the store said that someone sold it to them in side a tank and that they said it was a "dwarf". I don't hand feed it, I toss the food in the tank and it just finds it.
     
  19. chaostheory

    chaostheory O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I want to find my cord, nowhere to be found.

    I forgot to tell you that it is in my bedroom but I have 15+ pounds of books on top of the tank.
     
  20. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    People haven't had the best luck with just weight, since sometimes the octo can still squeeze through a crack without having to lift so much. Using duct tape as well is probably a good idea.

    As Roy said, it sounds like it's possible, maybe even likely, that the octo isn't actually a blue-ring, but please treat it as one until you're 100% certain. I'm glad that you're no longer hand-feeding, at least, but I'm still concerned that keeping a lethal, escape-prone animal in your bedroom is really a recipe for disaster.

    I remember how frustrating it is to be your age and get told by adults that you're not capable of handling responsibility, and reading between the lines, it sounds like you're sometimes frustrated, but keep in mind that Greg would say the same gruff thing to anyone, of any age, who isn't prepared to keep a dangerous animal, and we're all concerned for the safety of you and your family rather than just trying to be snotty. It's a rough situation when you are misled about the nature of an animal, particularly one you've become attached to...

    Please do your best to find your camera cable so we can get the ID resolved ASAP.

    edit: note to other blue ring experts: does anyone have good pictures of the various blue-ring species when they're not displaying their rings? It does seem like, while they don't show them all the time, they normally show them every few minutes when they're active, right? At least that's the impression I have from the videos...
     
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