• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

A Noob That Wants An Octopus

Aug 27, 2008
Hey everyone, i am new to this site and i am new to octopuses. I think they are fascinating creatures and i would really love to buy one and ill be going to my LFS in a couple of weeks to get one but i have some questions that im still not quite sure of so if you guys can help me out and answer my questions so here it goes.

#Can i feed my octopus a stale diet of fish (if so which kinds) and feed crabs as a treat??
#What other foods can i feed my octopus??
#What are the different species of octopus that are good for a beginner??
#What about Blue Ringed Octopuses??
#What size tanks are needed for these different beginner octopuses??
#Can they be handled??
#Can i have any tank mates??

Well these are my questions, i hope nobody disses me because i am a noob to this and i would appreciate it if you answered my question. So i do want a small species that can go in a decent sized tank (like a 20 gallon) and that is good for beginners, again thanks.
Hi, and join the club... haha. :sagrin:

Seriously though, welcome to TONMO.

All of your quetions have been answered many, many times before in the ARTICLES (click the link at the top of the site) and in these forums. So, it's up to you to read and research and all that good stuff. No one here is going to flame on you but you need to review the past posts and articles so we don't have to be redundant. :old:

Here's an abstract to get you on your way though...

Crabs and shrimp. No freshwater stuff.

No species is good for a beginner. They all require similar care, and require you to have good knowledge/experience of saltwater systems.

"What about Blue Ringed Octopuses?".... What about 'em? :rolleyes:They can kill you dead. They don't ship well. They shouldn't be collected. They shouldn't be considered.

Again, there are no "Beginner" octopuses, but 55 gallons and up.

Some can be handled. Some will bite. Most won't kill you, it might hurt, and it might get a nasty infection.

Tankmates depends on the disposition of the octopus and the potential tankmate in question. In general, no tankmates except stars and urchins. Otherwise you risk losing one or the other due to their tendency to do what nature designed them to do...

20 gallons is too small.
:welcome:Read, read, and read some more. Many people have asked the same questions, and they have been answered...

20 gallons is too small, octopus produce a large amount of waste and 20 gallons is not enough water volume to handle the amount of waste.

Have you kept salt water aquariums before?
Ok , here goes. I am not the best person to be answering your question because I do not and never will keep an octopus, however I have been on Tonmo long enough to tell that you are in no way ready to get an octopus. Almost no one is, unless they have been reading the articles and threads on Tonmo for quite some time. It is possible to keep a dwarf octopus in a small tank, although a 20 gal would be pushing it. Most species of octopus that are at all interactive, out in the daytime, not given to hiding all the time, etc, require at least a 55 gallon tank. In truth, no species of octopus is good for a beginner. First you need general aquarium experience, then experience in setting up and maintaining a saltwater tank, and only then should you begin thinking about an octopus. They are notoriously difficult to keep, and even experienced saltwater enthusiast can have trouble keeping them alive. When you first get your tank and equipment, it takes 3 months before your tank will be cycled well enough to add an octopus to it. A tank with the proper equipment will be very expensive, an octopus will also probably be quite expensive although that will be the least expensive part of your hobby. Keeping an octopus in live food with adequate nutrition will run at least $50.00 a month. Some octopus can be trained to accept frozen food, but many, if not most , cannot.

Under no circumstance should you ever consider getting a blue ring octopus. We have entire threads devoted to that subject.

At the top of the page, right under the logo, there is a a subtitle
Articles" You should read every article there. Then,under Forums, scroll down to ceph care and begin reading those threads. It will take you a while, because there are a lot of them, but the information that is in them will be invaluable. Every question you can think of to ask has already been asked and answered many times, and you can read those questions and answers there.

Please take the time to educate yourself before you consider bringing a very intelligent little creature into your home. They deserve nothing less.

I certainly agree with everything that has been said, but lest you think that the good folks are being more harsh than you'd like, I want to balance that by thanking you for asking before actually buying an octopus: yes, you could find the answers elsewhere on the site, but you are much more responsible than the people with similar questions who pop up occasionally saying "I just bought an octopus and..." who are frequently very unprepared, and more often than not their octopus is dead within a few days or weeks.

So thank you for asking and starting the planning, and I think (although I don't want to speak for others) that what's really being said is that you should take this as a larger-scale and longer-term project than you expected, and we're happy to be supportive if you're committed to taking the requirements seriously.
Let me answer your exact questions...

#Can i feed my octopus a stale diet of fish (if so which kinds) and feed crabs as a treat?? No because fish are low protein, and crabs should be more of a primary food then a treat.
#What other foods can i feed my octopus?? Crabs, shrimp, clams, scallops, and snails. Fish are okay, but they are a low source of protein.
#What are the different species of octopus that are good for a beginner?? All octopuses are about the same difficulty.
#What about Blue Ringed Octopuses?? Blue Ring Octopuses are extremely poisonous, the bite can kill you in about 3 minutes, if not quicker.
#What size tanks are needed for these different beginner octopuses?? There really are no "beginner" octopuses, but a 55 gallon+ tank would be sufficient.
#Can they be handled?? Some may let you handle them, but you may get bit.
#Can i have any tank mates?? No, it would normally end in a fight. Starfish and urchins are okay I believe.
Alright thank you for all of your replies and like Monty said, i want to do this right. So i have a few LFS that can all order octopuses and one guy said he can get me one for 50 bucks.
Now i would like to purchase an octopus that stays a decent size, smart, and colorful (camouflage). Can anyone help me suggest to me an octopus that can fit that description??
i like bimacs but harder to get now a days. i believe its animal mother that has a pretty cool colored one. check out Kalypso's journal. Thats pretty colorfull to me. $50 is kinda pricy. at least to me, well depending on the species. i can get a vulgaris, bimac, and two others (forgot names) for under or just at $30. but i also live by the coast so that might make a difference. The one i picked up today was $30.99 which is on the higher end becuase i could have prolly got the same one for $25 somewhere else
Well 50 being the most, the guy at the other pet store told me that i can get one for $20.00. So what other octopuses fit the description and how hard is it to keep them alive, oh and life span.
When you buy an octopus at a LFS, it is most likely wild caught, so you are not going to know the age of the octopus. Life span can be as much as 14 months, if you get a young one. Some people have their octopus only a couple of months before it dies.

Read this article for some good tips.
Cephalopod Care
Cuttlegirl has a good point. Many times , probably most times, the LFS owners don't know what kind of octopus they got in. They are frequently told, "vulgaris", or "common brown octopus", so that's what they tell you. They usually aren't experts, and they rarely have them in stock long enough to become familiar with them. That being the case, since you won't know in advance what you will get, you should try to get the largest tank you can. And for heavens sake, make sure your floor is strong enough to support the tank. Water is heavy!

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