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I have some beginner questions


Blue Ring
Aug 17, 2007
Yesterday I bought a 65 gallon tank setup.

And my first Octo!

I setup the tank and got him situated.

I used BIO-Spira enough to treat 95 gallons(Over kill for the 65 gallon tank), Live Rock, Live aragonite sand.

The Nitrate and Nitrate are both zero.

PH is perfect.

but alkalinity is high. about 300. But the pet store i recieved him from was about 280.

I am going to be monitoring the tank 4 times daily for any spike so i can change the water but i dont think It will spike. Im pretty sure the tank is cycled.

My question is.

I put an, in-tank heater in. It occured to me today that maybe he could cook himself if he sat on it....is that possible?! has anyone else had that problem?

second i was wondering how do I feed him?

Thanks for any help. I might have more questions to come too.
I am also new here but there are a few things that I have learrned: First, Octos like the cold so a heater would not be a good idea--they like it room temp or less. Second, it takes about 3 months to cycle a tank before you can introduce the octo- the tank will cycle for that long. I am sure others on here will give you alot more info on all your questions. It is just a shame if the LFS would sell the octo knowing the tank has just been set up so I hope your lil guy is strong and very lucky.
Do you have a picture of him? We can help you ID him if you do. Proper identification can be difficult. Even tropical species can tolerate cooler water and it will make them live longer. I believe O. Vulgaris are sometimes found in colder waters, but I'm not sure. Seventy-five is fine to keep your tank at, that's what I keep mine at, mostly because I don't feel like turning the heater down another 3 degrees. It almost never comes on anyway. Maybe in the winter I will lower it.

There's a lot of red flags for you right now. First, your tank is a new setup. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate don't go up automatically right when you set the tank up. It will usually take about a week for the first nitrogen cycle to start up. The ONLY way to shorten this cycle by a lot is by getting cycled everything; that means rock, water, and sand. Otherwise it will take about 3 months for your tank to fully stabilize. The first month will be especially hard for anything in the tank because of the ammonia, then nitrite spike, and the nitrate spike later. Another thing you have to worry about is if your live rock is cured or not. Usually it will be semi-cured, but not fully, in which case the rock needs to finish dieing off, and increases the ammonia. This is good long-term because it gives the initial nitrogen cycle a jump start. When there is something in the tank while this is going on it is not a good thing. The biggest problem with putting an octopus into a brand new setup is that the tank will not be able to handle the bioload. Octopuses carry a huge bioload with them, after 3 months of cycling the tank is ready to handle it, but definitely not at first.

The heater will not harm the octopus. They are smart creatures and will not allow themselves to melt away if they can get away from it.

Feeding can be live food, or you can try frozen shrimp from the store (uncooked--grey). I would start by having snails and hermit crabs for him to attack. Another good thing is fiddler crabs if you have access to them, or you can buy them online. Once he gets used to the tank you might be able to feed him frozen shrimp.

I don't know of a scale to measure alkalinity that goes up to 300. The most common measurements are in dKH (should be between 9 and 12 in a reef tank) and mel/q (or something like that >.
Dude, I know you want to keep him, but you should PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider returning him to the LFS if you want what's best for him... perhaps a better LFS considering they sent you home with a new setup and an octopus the same day.... oh that makes me furious. Flaming furious.

Seriously, this is likely to be a huge disappointment to you very soon. You can read Crocgurl's thread on "What's wrong with my octo?"
:!::alarm:Yikes, Animal Mother prompted me to go read more closely.

I had mis-read your post, and thought that you somehow transported a cycled tank full of water to your house. If you've just put the rock, filter media, sand and water together for the first time, you'd better get that octopus out to a properly cycled tank elsewhere very fast, since it is guaranteed to go through some cycling that will be lethal to any octopus between now and when it's stable.

There is no way anyone here has ever found to avoid this. Reasons why bio-spira is not a solution are discussed here:


I'm with Animal Mother on this-- if you don't get that octopus to a stable tank environment soon, it is certainly going to die.
:mad:To the store that sold a new set up with an octopus...............Please take him back and if not to the store he was bought, I question their knowledge on anything then to a trusted one that knows what they are doing. I don't blame you for undertaking this too soon, I blame the store for poor information. I'm glad you found us to ask, but unless you know someone with a seasoned tank, the octopus is doomed.
If I were standing around in a fish store and noticed this going on I would definitely have to speak up. I might possibly even go to jail for assault. Man this type of thing burns me up.

I wish cruelty laws applied to marine animals.

I don't blame you Swimdude, that's a hard opportunity to pass up. But GEEZ what people will do for a buck.
well i have been checking the water for the first cycle.

As i said I think the tank will be ready for the guy. I spent a ton of money on cycling products and maybe the combination will help him out.

The store wont take him back because he is a marine animal.

Heres what ive done. I dont have another salt tank cultured that i could put him in but i have gone out and bought:

Live rock to help cycle.
Live Sand
"Prime" to get rid of ammonia
And I bought enough bio-spira to treat 95 gallons. and i used them all for the 65 gallon tank the octo is in.


They told me I needed a heater for the tank but everyone has told me he didn't need it so i removed it.

The Octo is at my work in my office. So Im going to go tonight to do a water check. Yesterday when I left the nitrate was at .15. but it hadn't changed since the setup. its stayed at .15.

Every week for the next month I will do water changes and each time ill add bio-spira. enough to treat 20 gallons. I think this will act as a buffer for the ammonia while still letting it cycle.

Let me know what you guys think.

Im trying to safe this guy. Hes showing now signs of stress and is active.

I have a good feeling he'll be ok.

If the ammonia does spike does that do any damage to the octo? other than stress or does a spike of ammonia cause for example brain damage? Or does it just make it stressful on the animal?
Any ammonia even as low as .25 is harmful and you will see him in distress. I have had tanks crash and the reason I realized this was the octopus was trying to physically get as close to the waterline as possible as it burns their delicate skin.

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