• 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.

Brand New Newbie


Jun 28, 2007
I find myself extremely fascinated by octopi. They look so cool, and the way they are described in this forum makes me want one even more. And the taste awesome (although if I do get one I won’t eat it… so don’t worry). I found this site while searching for information about octopus care. Reading what has been posted on this forum it sounds somewhat difficult, but not impossible to care for an octopus, that is if you’re willing to do the work. And I feel I can successfully keep an octopus. Although, being that I have never maintained a salt-water aquarium (or a fresh-water for that matter) I feel I should take things slow as to aid in a successful raising of the animal. So here is the point of my post; I want to start a salt-water tank that will keep fish that live in an environment relatively close to that of an octopus. So that when I feel I am ready for the octopus I can simply place it in the tank. As I was reading I came across many articles about food for octopi, and many mentioned young octopi do better with live food. So it would be ideal that these “starter” fish could also serve as food for the octopus. I would love some comments on this idea, including what kind of fish and habitat I should try to get. Also I was thinking about getting a pygmy octopus, simply to reduce costs on tank/amount of food. Anyways comments would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Psycopompos.
You will want to set up a tank where the octopus is intended to be the only inhabitant. Aside from a few exceptions, an octopus will eat anything else in the tank. Fish are not very healthy for them and they will all get eaten by the octopus when you introduce him to the tank. Any tank designed for a reef would be a suitable set up. When you go to your LFS and tell them what kind of tank you are planning on doing you will want to make sure everything is reef safe.

Pygmys are generally nocturnal, so in most cases you will not see a lot of your octopus. People use red LED lights (Similar to moonlights only moonlights are blue. If you buy blue LED lights you will still not see your octopus because they see blue as very bright, and red is difficult for them to see.) so they can view their octopus when the main lights are off (when they are active).

Do a lot of reading on this site and you will learn more about how to best care for your future pet.
I don't know how much cheaper the setup for a pygmy would be actually. Smaller tanks mean more water changes, which means more salt and R/O or store bought pre-mixed saltwater, which can be costly.

A 30 gallon is what the experienced folks here at TONMO recommend for pygmy's. I kept one in a 10 gallon and he was rather bored and unhappy, and stayed in his abandoned turbo snail shell no matter how much or how little rock, decor, light, Hermits, Fiddler, or any other variable I tried. Before and after the 10 gallon I kept him in a critter keeper inside a larger community fish tank, and he showed signs of interaction with the fish. He was an O. Mercatoris, and only about 3 inches long upon his departure to the greater blue yonder.

You're on the right track. I wish more of the newcomers shared your POV!

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