• 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.

Help I'm New


Mar 2, 2005
I've never had a nice aquarium setup or a saltwater set up. I plan on getting two tanks...One with a nice coral reef set up and another one for an octopus. I was wondering though when it comes to the Octopus what will I need in his set up...Besides the live rock and live sand what else should I put in his tank? And roughly how much will the filter skimmer and chemicals cost for a 30 gallon tank. I'm starting off with a 30 gallon tank but soon enough I plan on upgrading. I just want a rough idea of how much the set up will cost? Also I heard you have to wait two months...What do I need in the tank to set it up for the octopus?
Another quick question..Think I might be able to get 2 30 gallon tanks all the start up supplies..Not the actual fish octopus or anything..But the two filters heaters skimmers tanks and stands for the tanks for under a thousand dollars? Then just add the fish and such slowly
The species of octopus that is most available and people have had the best luck keeping is O. bimaculoides. A 30 gallon tank could be a little bit cramped for one of these...Most people on these boards recommend at least 50 gallons for a bimac.

Given that the animal will grow, people sometimes talk about starting them in a smaller tank and "upgrading." I don't think this is a very good idea: The animal probably won't be with you for six months, so you're talking about putting it in a new tank probably within two months. If you spend another $1000 setting up a 55 or 75 gallon tank on the day you get your octopus, it won't even be cycled in time to move the octo in! I think its wiser from the financial and workload standpoints to start with the final tank.

There are pygmy octopus species available that would probably be happy in a 30, but it is hard to find a reliable source, and I've heard that they are a little less interactive than bimacs are.

As for your specific equipment and care questions, there are some good articles under the 'Ceph Care' button in the navbar above.

I don't mean to dissuade you :smile:

Live fast and die young seems to be the octopus motto.

The cost of setting up a tank is highly variable because of the different types of filtration, etc. Check out this link to see what people have and what they put into it. You can save some money if you shop around and DIY some things. Used tanks can be cheap and tempting, but see if they'll let you copper test some water from it before you buy: copper kills!

what do you have and how much do you have in yoru ceph set up
Good call(s) DH !!! AngelsE...if this is your first foray into the world of salt...you might want to tackle something a little easier, lest you get frustrated and quit altogether! Octos can be very tough to keep (in fact, for years they were considered impossible) in captivity...make sure that is something you want to commit to !
Saying all of that, you are looking at between 700.00 and 1,200 u.s. dollars to get a good 55 setup going...then you have the three month break in period...
Don't get too discouraged, though...many of the best ceph keepers started out of naught...if you like octos that much, my vote is to run with it !!
Keep us posted !
I definetely Plan On Sticking To This

I'm glad I have the three month break in period to be honest. I want to start getting both my aquariums going. I just have a few questions you guys might be able to answer...First can I keep some of the fresh food for the octopus in my coral reef set up (Different kinds of coral reefs shrimp lobsters crabs etc.) like small shrimps and crabs and just feed them from that tank to the octopus or is that maybe a bad idea for some reason? Also should I get a heater for the octopus I mean what kind of temperate is best for a bimac? And for starting up my octos tank..What should I put in there for a clean up crew? And are there any fish and starfish that won't bother my octo?What about coral in his tank good or bad idea? And my last question....For the basic set up should I just completely cover it in sand and put a lot of live rock in it..Prt of it set up into little caves..And sorry this is it I promise...Are there any good toys for them to get?
Sure, you can keep food items in your reef tank...and, as far as cleaners go, some have had luck with small shrimp and crabs (this is really up to the octo) and most have had good luck with serpent stars...
Unless you keep your home very cold, I doubt a heater will be necessary...
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