• 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.

I want to have a pet octopus


Blue Ring
Aug 29, 2007
But i know absolutely nothing about them, nor aquariums or water types. What do i need to get started? Also, how much do octopuses cost, generally?
Hello and welcome,

You've come to the right place. First do a lot of research, there is a lot of info on this site in the form of articles people have published and previous posts. There are also a bunch of books on general aquaium care. Try to learn as much as possible before you start as it will save you a lot of headaches and money in the long run.

An average octopus is around $40-80.
:welcome: You should start by reading everything on this site... :biggrin2: Start with the articles at the top of the page (under the Tonmo.com logo). Visit local aquariums (see if you can volunteer in the husbandry department). Find a good local fish store that can give you advice on what you need to set up and maintain an aquarium. Lastly, you will need to be patient because setting up and maintaining an aquarium takes time and money.

Good luck!

One thing to keep in mind is that the cost of the octopus is nothing compared to the cost of its food...
Thanks, I'll start reading up.

Also, i want a rather large octopus. I heard bimacs are most common, because they're small, but i want one that's a pretty decent size. Say a handfull or so. What species is that called?
hi welcome i have i dwarf octo probably the most easy type to keep. the get about 7 inches and live to be 6 monthes to 1 year. my advise get a dwarf octo but im barley an aqua artist so my info is not very acurate. i feed mine octo 4 times a week another thing there good becouse u can keep a full grown one in a 20 gal. hope that helps any other questions ask me (@:
You should definitely get involved with you local marine aquarium society if you have one. The members will help you get familiar with the equipment, and probably sell you used equipment, including aquarium relatively cheap.

If you don't have a local marine aquarium society, make sure whatever fish store you go to has knowledgeable employees that can give good advice, and not just "Good salesmen".

Like the others said, prepare to spend a lot of money! Your setup will be the greatest expense, but in the long run, will be very rewarding. The best thing you can do in this hobby is BE PATIENT!
For sure i'm NOT going to rush it. But my local fish store is run by teenagers who just seem to be there to tell you what they have and to sell you stuff. So i wouldn't trust them knowing much about octopus, since they don't even have any in the store. I'd like to know what kind of sand they prefer, What i can put in the aquarium to make it look nicer, and what NOT to put in. (excluding other fish). I want to know what i'll need to buy, and how to prepare my aquarium to recieve the octopus.

Also i would very much like an octopus that will live decently long, in general, for it's species. I don't want to spend a fortune on an animal and a setup for it to die after a few months.So which species of octopus live longest? (That can be held in captivity in standard aquariums)
You should get your setup, get familiar with keeping your tank and water in good condition, and then focus on your octopus. It's ALL tricky at first, and it will be really hard to try and juggle all of those chores at once.

It sounds like you have a "chain" store, like a Petco. I'd try to find a store that specializes in aquariums and aquatic creatures. Those employees will almost definitely be more educated on the subjects you ask questions about. Like Jean suggested, maybe you can find a city aquarium close enough you can visit and talk to the staff, maybe even volunteer. That would be the most ideal, but I know those type of places aren't real convenient for everyone, unfortunately.

Click on the "Articles" link underneath the large TONMO logo at the top left of the screen. There are some great articles there to get you started.

You're probably going to want to go with a captive bred octopus if you want the longest lived specimen. There are members here who can supply you with one when the time is right. Keep in mind, you may have to wait weeks, or even months before you can get one. Otherwise, you have to order one from an online store, and you won't know what you're going to get or how old it will be. This is going to be the case most of the time, the only down side to keeping cephs.

Reefcentral.com has some really good information! You might do some reading there too. I studied up and started keeping saltwater tanks about 2 years before I got an octopus, and still, there's a lot to be learned with the actual experience. Be careful what and where you read, because there is a lot of misinformation on the web. If you can find a copy of the June 2007 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, there are several really great articles in there also.
Well my local stores (all of them) said they don't want to order any octopuses... They said they know nothing about them and it would be too risky. How would i be to ordering one online, though? Wouldn't the octopus die in shipping?
Also just a comment, do not expect an octo to live over 10-12 months. The octo's with the larger lifespan can get huge and are best left to either REALLY rich, knowledgable people and public aquariums. All the common species live to about a year old, and yours will probably already be a few months old by the time you get it. Dwarf octo's can have a shorter life span
bluezombie;100755 said:
Well my local stores (all of them) said they don't want to order any octopuses... They said they know nothing about them and it would be too risky. How would i be to ordering one online, though? Wouldn't the octopus die in shipping?

Kudos to your LFS for being willing to admit it when they don't know something...

Octopuses seem to do OK shipped by people who have a lot of experience, although fly-by-night octopus dealers like random ebay sellers should probably not be trusted to know what they're doing. It's important to coordinate with the shipper to make sure you're home when they arrive, and to be all set up for immediate acclimation to get it happily in its new home as quickly as is safe.

There is a lot of concern that if an octo inks during shipping, it's a major problem, but in practice the suppliers around TONMO tend to have a very good success rate... even in a few knuckle-biting incidents of the shipping company losing the octo in the mail for a few days, there doesn't seem to be a high fatality rate. Still, it's always preferable to find a reputable, experienced dealer...

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