I'm going to start a pen company with all this ink.


New member
Alright, my octo inked again this morning. Those of you who have been following my octo experiences know that I have a very, very, shy bimac.

Last night, I had perhaps the best experience EVER with my octo. He was on a wall of tank, and I fed him a hermit. He then proceeded to play with the tongs I fed him with for about 15 minutes! It was a blast. He even left the wall entirely and crawled around on the tongs, exploring everything.

Then, this morning, I go downstairs and flip on the same light I flip on every morning. I see him swiming back to his cave, so I approach the tank. He freaked out, inked, and hid in his cave.

This necessitated me to empty the protein skimmer and change the carbon. A water change will have to wait until I have more time.

He's inked three times in that tank since I purchased him a few weeks ago.

I think he's going to have to overcome that shyness - I can't walk on tiptoes forever around him. I already go out of my way to create as little stress as possible for the guy - including turning on room lights in a low to high light pattern so it won't frighten him. Apparently my presence this morning was too much.

Oh well - at least the ink looked cool.
hi Alligator,

The problem is with the sudden-ness of the lights going on. Ideally you should have lights come on gradually or by having the roomlights on for a while first or something?? Why not invest in one of those cheap 24hr timers and plug in a small lamp near the tank? Just gets the octopus used to the brightness more gradually that flipping a switch.

Unfortunetly you wil always have to use caution when working around an octo tank. Its just one of those things. Even a very hand tame individual can get spooked and ink. Remember, although they are in our houses they are still wild animals and have the instincts of a wild animal. Sudden movements and lights will scare them and induce a 'flight response'.

But as you know, work slowly and you can have fun with a pair of tongs and an octomapus! :)

Actually, I was referring to the room lights! The tank lights are only 30 watts, and very dim, even when fully on. He doesn't freak out from them, usually because the room lights are on already.

This morning, I turned on a hallway light first to get some low level light into the room, then I turn on the room light. That was apparently enough to spook him. There isn't anything else I can do, other than move out of my house entirely or live in the dark.

I'm not complaining, just pointing out the funny nature my octo has. :)
Yep, i understood what you meant, perhaps I didnt explain it well..... :)

What i mean is... that what you need is a small lamp in the corner of the room and have it set so that it comes on maybe 1/2 hour before you get up in the morning. Then when you get up and switch on the room lights, the octopus has had time to figure out its morning and the light level has increased slowly rather than suddenly. That worked with my cuttlefish that produced a oil slick type inking when i turned lights on suddenly on them when they were younger...

Self preservation is the first law of nature. In time your baby will become less shy. Have you checked your water quality? (nitrates)? Colin is right, you need to put your lights on a timer so your octo gets used to the lights coming on at the same time each day. I have two baby captive breed bimacs, one wild caught bimac that is about 6-7 months old and one egg hatched O.mercatoris. None of them ink no matter what I do. Constant inking can be a result of poor water quality or stress. Have you provided plenty of hiding spots and homes?
The tanks lights are on a timer - just not the room lights. I turn the room lights on the same time every day.

Yep, he has a MILLION hiding spots. Far too many spots because it often takes me 20 minutes to find him hiding in the rocks.

Water quality is perfect, with no traces of nitrates or other unwanted elements.
Have you considered replacing your light switches with dimmer switches? - not difficult or expensive to do, and this would allow you to turn on the lights gradually.

My octopus is not scared of me or my hands whatsoever, but if you make a sudden hand movement he doesnt have time to realize its just my hand, all he sees is a fast moving blur and jets away and inks. That has happened twice, but he never inked that much so it wasnt a problem. I like the dimmer idea, try that.