Friday Cephalopod: Where am I going to put a 300 gallon salt water aquarium?

This is a new one: an octopus farm. Kanaloa Octopus Farm is open for business -- for $200, you can get your very own pet octopus.

octopus_cyanea

Unfortunately, they're caught in a chicken-and-egg problem. You should not encourage the capture of cephalopods in the wild, so it's a great idea to have a breeding program to provide animals for aquarists. But they're still in the process of building up their stocks, so they're selling their smaller wild-caught octopuses, which isn't so good.

Need I point out that you also should not buy an octopus unless you have the facilities and experience to care for them properly? I have a bit of experience with fresh-water aquarium management, which counts for diddly for raising marine species; keeping cephalopods happy also requires a lot of space and a large volume of clean salt water.

This is not like that time you won a goldfish at the arcade at the county fair when you were a kid, and you plunked it into a bowl of tap water and found it dead the next day. Well, actually, it's a lot like that last phrase.

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Octopus cyanea You may be wondering what they're doing. Here's a hint: that's a male below, and a female above. Here's another hint: that's his specialized third arm, the hectocotyl limb. Third hint: it's in her oviduct. If you can't figure it out yet, look below the fold for an illustration.…
Jeff Vrabel discusses our octopod brethrenWhen possible, I like to keep close tabs on the world of octopuses, for two reasons: 1. Everybody has their hobbies, mine just involves cephalopod mollusks and don't you judge me, and 2. I often get the feeling that they're plotting something. He moves on…
Octopus cyanea Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.
Octopus cyanea Figure from Cephalopods: A World Guide (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), by Mark Norman.