Got my first Octo yesterday!


Pygmy Octopus
Jan 30, 2006
I am a science teacher and keep a bunch of tanks in my room, a 40 gallon reef, 75 gallon FO, 55 gallon fresh and a 29 gallon QT tank. I have wanted an octopus for awhile and have done quite a bit of research on octos. I went to the fish store yesterday to buy something for the FO tank. They didnt have anything I was looking for but they did have a small, golf ball sized Octopus Vulgaris. At least it appeared to be, I will post pics for confirmation.

The short version of the story, I bought it.

I did a water change in my 29 gallon QT tank. The tank is an established tank that has been running running constant for over 1.5 years. It has a small amount of LR and 30 pounds of LS and an Emperor bio-wheel filter. I placed PVC tubes in the bottom for hiding spots and acclimated the octo for about 2.5 hours. I run all my tanks at 1.025 and the LFS water was 1.020 so I acclimated for a long time.

I placed the octo in the tank and after awhile he came out and wedged himself bewteen a PH and the side of the tank. When I went over he would begin pulsing colors.

I turned the lights out in the room and went home.

I came in this morning and he had wedged himself into a PVC pipe and has been there all day. I had placed a small piece of krill in the tank last night and it appears he ate it during the night. I placed another inside the tube today and I thought he was going to eat it as he balled up around it. However, he then came out to the end of the PVC pipe and THREW IT OUT quite violently. I placed it back in only to see it exit at high speed about 30 seconds later. He really didnt want it!

I will setup a 55 or 75 gallon permanant home for him in about a month when he is scheduled to come out of QT.

Here are some pics, can anyone confirm it is an Octopus Vulgaris?



I personaly am not very good at identifying species so im sure one of the others can help you, but you need to put a lid on that tank unless you want him to escape.

ohh and :welcome: to tonmo
DocFrye said:
That looks more like a dwarf octo to me. If so, you don't have much more time with him or her. Good luck.

Which may not necessarily be that bad of a thing: a full-grown vulgaris may feel a little cramped, even in a 75 gallon tank.

Looks like some kind of dwarf octopus to me too. Make sure all holes in the top of the tank are escape-proofed! Also make sure any intakes have some kind of foam or netting so the little guy doesn't get sucked in.

It looks pretty neat...nice shots, but...

Yea, it does look more like a Dwarf octopus. Either that, or based on pictures of iv looks also like a Brown Octopus. Im aware that they do change their coloration of their skin, but looking at it's mantle, and eyes and suction cups looks really identical to brown octopus photographs. Incase it really is a Vulgaris, make sure you get a tank at least 100 gallons and above. They can grow as large as 2.5 ft. arm span, though I doubt yours is a Vulgaris.

You always, always have to be extra careful with LFS people. It seems 70% of the time..they never have the most accurate information about cephalopods/octopuses and the biggest mistakes they can make is giving away the wrong species. God forbid you ever purchased a blue ringed.
Thanks for the advice guys. I have been eying a 110 gallon tank for awhile. If is a vulgaris then I have a reason to buy it :smile:

If it is a dwarf and I dont have much time then I will enjoy the time with it. The LFS person wasnt sure of the species and called it a common brown octopus.
:welcome: He's really cute. Dwarfs have an attitude and he reminds me of one I had that was a dwarf. Where are you located? Make sure you octo proof your lid!

Today when I came in he was buried in the sand with just his eyes showing. Is this common? He later moved back to his PVC pipe.

Anything I placed into his chosen lair he throws out. Yesterday I placed a bit of frozen squid and small krill inside and he picked it up and threw it out. Today I put a snail and the then a small crab hoping he would eat them and he threw those out also.
I think he ate the snail I placed in the tank today. I was gone from the classroom all day at training and when I cam back there were broken shell pieces in his lair.

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