• 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.

can a mimic octopus be kept at home?

Jan 10, 2007
sorry if this has been asked on here...i didn't see it in the past posts, but can a mimic octopus be kept at home? the octopus i had that just passed was great because it would turn the color of the manilla clam i had in there and occasionally black like the urchin i have, but a mimic would do even more i assume? i guess if you dont have much else in the tank it would be pointless, eh?
I'm sure that others will chime in on this one, but there is very very little reliable information on the species. I have seen other discussions on TONMO about it, and the general consensus seems to be to stay away from them.
i would think if you had a large enough tank. i brought it up because it's from Indonesia so it's in that tropical range of temperature to keep , even without a chiller.

i read on wikipedia it can only mimic 17 animals, most of which we wouldn't have in our tank with them anyway, safely and practically. it's just interesting though since it wasn't discovered until 1998.
If you want to pay $300-$700 for an animal that will most likely live a couple of weeks, and is possibly an endangered species.

Extremely interesting animals to watch, but it just wouldn't be the least bit responsible, and buying them only makes the demand for them increase, which increases the amount that die.
There are a number of reasons why keeping mimics is considered a bad idea: see here for some discussion. There are also a number of other threads on the topic, and the general thinking is that to discourage irresponsible collection, it's preferable to not buy these animals, and tell the LFS to not order them and refuse delivery.
No, you should not keep a mimic octopus and the previous threads have discussed this and provided links.

But that aside, they're not as interesting as the more ordinary species of octopus that our members keep. I doubt if you'd see any "mimicing". I observed one at a local LFS and it just sat there. It had to, it was given no place to bury or hide. These octopuses don't seem to live long in captivity - the two I know of died after about a month. They are interesting, but more interesting to read about or see on a video than to keep.

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