How can I get him to eat?


New member
My octo hasn't taken a hermit or a ghost shrimp since he arrived two days ago. There are other snails in the tank, one other hermit (who I haven't seen lately), and two peppermint shrimp (who are both still there). I don't know if he's eating or not.

He has stuck out an arm/leg twice at the hermit, but won't take it? Maybe it's because it's in a pair of tongs instead of on a stick. I couldn't figure out how to get it to stay on a stick, so I used plastic aquarium tongs.

I've tried to feed him about 10 times over the last few days.

How do you feed ghost shrimp to it? I can't pick these up with tongs and keep them alive, I'll squish them.

Feeding advice needed immediately! Help!
You got him from ffexpress right? Well my octopus took a hermit the very first night. He probably is afraid of the tongs so just drop the hermit on the sand near the octopus and maybe he will pounce on it. If you think he may be eating but just not when you are around then try leaving a hermit crab in a small glass dish. The hermit crab wont be able to climb out so if he goes missing you know that octopus got him. I feed ghost shrimp with chopsticks. Wrap a rubber band around two chopsticks and squeeze in a small rock or something to act as a fulcrum and there you go, you have mechanical chopsticks. Just net the ghost shrimp and pull them out of the water and then grab them by the tail, they will live. Hold the shrimp in front of the octopus for a while. For the first few days my octopus was afraid of the chopsticks and was very hesitent to take food from them but would eventually take it after a minute or two. Now he loves the chopsticks, he grabs them and drags them around the tank and tries to pull them down (they float). Hopefully he will eat soon, or maybe he is eating the snails already in your tank when you arent around to see.
Thanks for the suggestions. Keeping him is harder than I thought.

I think he ate a hermit that I dropped into the tank yesterday. I saw him stuck to the back glass, and he looked larger than normal. I thought maybe he had wrapped himself around the hermit shell, but I couldn't see the shell at all, so I figured I was wrong. Now there is an empty hermit shell on the bottom just below where he was yesterday. Maybe he did eat it.

There's also some small white chunks floating around - which look like partially eaten food.

I think he might be eating. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I want him to not be afraid of me!
I tried the hermit in a jar concept, and as of this morning, it was still sitting in the jar.

Maybe my octo is blind???? How good is their sense of smell?

He looks healthy, matches the color of the live rock, and moves around (at least I find him in different spots).

I can hardly ever find him though, he doesn't sit out in the open very often.

When I bring food up to him, he moves away.

Maybe he doesn't like the taste of hermits.
put the hermit in a dish not a jar. I have had a hermit in a jar in my tank for the past three days and the octopus still hasnt figured out how to climb in the top of the jar. I feed him other food though so he may not be as motivated to figure out the jar puzzle.
what part of the house is your tank located in? Is it in a high traffic area? What lighting do you have on the tank?
You may want to try a crayfish as well. Typicaly...they will be more apt to go after things that are moving and peek their interest. Just make sure he sees it when you put it in...I wouldn't be worried just yet. I had an Octo that laid eggs and lived for a month without eating!!! Try keeping the lights out for a while, buy 3 or 4 good size hermits to put in there and maybe a crayfish. My guess is he is still just a little stressed...patience grasshopper. :cool:
Good Luck!!

If you have alot of food in your tank that the octo can snack on when it wants too, it may eat when you are not around. Ghost shrimp should be taken by your octo no problem. Bimacs are quite fond of snails so it could be eating them as well.
When your octo is hungry and can't find food, it will be very active looking for food. It takes a few weeks for a octo to really settle in so give him a little time. He will come around.
My tank is in the lower level of my house, in a darker corner (no direct sunlight). It only has two 15 watt lights on it (it's a 55 gallon tank) so it is kept lit in the daytime, but it is not bright. I wish I could use my VHO lights, but I understand it doesn't like bright light.

I'll have to watch it for a few days.

I'm disappointed he doesn't want to play more - from what others say, their octos like to come out, watch us, and even "play" with their feeding sticks.

I also wish I could get some better photos, but since the thing blends into the rocks so well, it's like taking a picture of a rock (boring!).
He ate another hermit crab last night (yeah!). I still can't figure out how to get the ghost shrimp to him without killing the shrimp. I'd rather not kill it because if the octo doesn't take the shrimp, I'd like it to be alive for next time. I might just save them for later when he is more used to me feeding him.

He is quick though when he grabs the food! One second the hermit was on the sand next to the octo, and the next second, the hermit was gone (being eaten!). It happened so fast!

At least he is still alive and eating. Whew!