• 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.

General question about my dead octopus


Dec 10, 2005
I have had my Green octopus for 3 months and one week yesterday he died. He was at the LFS for about 2 weeks after he got there. I have had no trouble out of him at all was eating great feed twice a week. He was up playing on the side of the 58 gallon tank. He was very small baby from what I could tell. I went back down to him later in the day and he was dead. No bad smell still soft no arms missing nothing just like him dropped off the side of the tank and died. This tank has been running for well over a year with no copper in it at all. The levels on the tank were fine the snails in the tank are still alive. There was no color change in his dead body. He always took to the water changes just fine. There was no water change during this time of his death was done about a week ago. So my question is what could have caused my little guy to go to that big water? There were no eggs laid while I had her. But any ideas on this would help I know about the life span of these guys but didn't see this one coming after so short time with her.
:welcome: Your comment about him up by the top of the water level makes me wonder if there was an ammonia spike. Recently, my octopus Gimpy, 2 times had this happen and got my attention by his strange behavior of hanging by the top of the tank like he was trying to get as much of his body out of it as he could. Another thought is could he have been an adult dwarf species? They do not live long so it could have just been old age.

Anyway RIP and hope you will try again at some point.

Thank you Corw314 I will try again one day and the only time he would come to the top was to feed he was rarely out and about he loved his hole lol. I checked the ammonia spike and it was at zero and as I have seen in the past my snails are the first to kick the bucket when that happens and there all still doing fine he was on the side of the tank when he died.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

Sorry about the loss of your octopus.

What were the rest of your water parameters? sg, pH, nitrites, nitrates?

How large was he? It's possible, as Carol said, that he died of old age, and was a male, so no eggs.

Hi Wildman,

A few things occurred to me while reading your post. The main thing
being that more info is needed:

1. What species are we talking about? I just searched TONMO, CephBase,
and the web in general without finding any reference to a "Green

2. How large was your octopus; both when you got it and when it died?

3. You refer to your octo as a female. How confident are you about
that? Males and females may exhibit different behavior when it's time
to mate.

4. Was there any change in behavior during the last week or so?

A couple of general observations:

1. Feeding twice a week isn't enough. Every octo I've ever been around
has eaten 2 or 3 times per day.

2. From your description of the remains it doesn't really sound like
old age or starvation. If it was either of those you would probably
have seen a color change and/or tissue softening.

3. If he was spending time uncharacteristically in the open ("he was
on the side of the tank when he died.") it could be that there was
insufficient oxygen in the water and he was just looking for a bit of
breathing room.

4. It's also possible that the people who sold you the octo gave you
bad information about its needs. If your octo was actually a temperate
species and the vendor told you it was tropical......the best that
could happen is that the octo's metabolism would be unnaturally
speeded up and it wouldn't live as long as normal.

Mournfully yours,

Thank you Nancy, The water levels were really good zero nitrites, nitrates. The ph is at 8.2-8.3. He was still very small from what I could tell not sure how large this one will get when I picked him up he was just barley covered the middle of my hand. The male thing very well could have been.
Thank you Tidepool Geek, I have tried to find more info on the Green octopus and I couldn’t either. But I did find picks of the little guy in your Gallery Home-Ceph Care-Octopus Album Pic 22/104 and there were some others in there too. He was a lite green color he would change colors depending on what color the rock was that he was around. He grew very little from the time I got him but did see some size change. No change in the way he acted at all I come down in the morning and he was at the side of the tank very near the bottom and went back down and he was dead right below where he was at on the tank. He would come out for food I feed him the same time and same day every time. Now as far as food I was told over feeding them will shorten there life spain. The water quality is very well kept I only use ocean water in all my tanks and never had a problem with the water that I use other than being costly lol. I have lost fish to old age before never to fault of the tank. But his age is a big question they did not know what his age was at the time they got the little guy. There second one had gotten out and died or is feeding some where they can't find him. So have to wait a while on number 2. Oh he was feeding on squid, snails, crabs and once a month he got a treat of a salt water fish. If I can give you all anymore info let me know.
Sorry to hear of your loss :angelpus:

The feeding advice you were given wasn't great. Octopus have little ability to store energy as they don't make fat. So if they are not fed regularly they will become malnourished, at a minimum octopus should be fed every day (ideally 2-3 times but 1 time at the least). You pretty much cannot overfeed an octopus! The worst that will happen is it will live to it's normal lifespan (which unfortunately is short anyway), underfeed it and you may very well shorten it's lifespan, even if it's not actually starving there may be essential nutrients it's not getting enough of.

Good luck with your next one!

Sponsor Banner
please support our sponsor
advertise on TONMO

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.