• 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.

Iggy's Demise....

Jan 23, 2006
Hello all,

Let me start by saying that I was SOOOO glad to find this website, there is so little information out there on these wonderful creatures...

Im sorry if this turns into a book.....

I first got into saltwater 2 years ago.. built a simple fish only system cause i didnt recognize the beauty and intricate life of the ocean. Eventually I educated myself enough to try a reef tank (its easier than they make it sound at the lfs (local fish store)). with some careful planning and allot of hording of cash, I eventually put together the tank I currently have, 150g all glass, protien skimmer (for a 300 gallon tank), 1.5" live sand, about 100 pounds of live rock, lots of various corals (mostly leathers and polyps, with a couple of plate corals, reefugium sump w/inline charcoal chamber.

This tank is to become Iggy's home, currently he resides in a 40 gallon tank setting next to the sump. water from the sump is circulating at 180 gal/hour through his tank and returned through A method I built utilizing an over-flow chamber and large hose to gravity feed it into the sump again (sounds wierd I know, since the tank and the sump sir right next to each other, but it works, I didnt have much time to set this up).... anyway, Iggy has been here 2 days now and is already eating and exploring his little world....

Now (as Paul Harvey would say) The Rest of the News:

I was sitting at home one day and got bored looking at my reef tank, so i decided to go to our only descent saltwater fish store in Anchorage, Alaska (trust me there arent many options here)... I was surprised when i pulled into the parking lot, to see that they are closing shop and selling the building.

While I was looking around, i overheard 2 employees talking about a shipment of live rock that had just come in... one of them was saying that they must have gotten a "free loader" (their term for an animal that comes in with the rock) because all the hermit crabs were being killed in the tank and the shells were "piling" up... well, ive read about ceph's a few times so I inserted myself into their conversation and asked to see the tank.... sure enough (as you probably guessed) their "free loader" was a baby vulgaris octopus (his mantle is about 1" long, stretched out tenticle tip to tenticle tip he is maybe 6") . They had no idea what to do with it, so they got the owner... He is closing the shop on the last day of January 2006 and has no desire to keep it.... thus Iggys Demise, be killed when the shop closes because no one wants him, or take his chances with me and my willingness to dismantle my reef to give him a home.

Well, we talked about it for an hour or so (Iggy and me that is), well, actually Iggy just sat there and looked at me and I did the talking, but we came to the agreement that he had no chance if I didnt try.... so here I am. the proud poppa of a little lost eight legged orphan.

I am reading allot on this sight, and will continue to do so... but in the interest of saving Iggy, I am hoping that I can get some fast up-front answers to some serious questions.

first off, the tank is well established and I feel that the tank meets (or exceeds) all requirments that Iggy might have. And I know the fish I have either go to new homes or risk being dinner... but that leads to my first question, here is a list of the fish/corals I have, are any of them an imediate danger to Iggy if i put him in the main tank?

5 scissor tail gobbies
2 coral beauties (mated pair)
1 yellow damsel
1 blue damsel
(both non-agressive)
1 marine beta
1 percula clown
1 blue hamlet

sever species and size of leathers
2 plate corals (which i believe to be a danger to him)
1 sml clump frogfoot (I think thats right)
a bunch of star polyps

I never got a bunch of delicate corals because they just dont do that much to me...

any and/or all of these can or will go away, but I want to make sure that I get anything out of the tank that will "hunt" Iggy down and harm or kill him.... I dont trust the tank design system that I had to rig for him... there is allot of potential for failure with it hehehehe.....

Sorry this (my first post) is soo long, there is allot more that i could enter, but in the interest of not putting anyone to sleep I'll end this and await any information that might make this adventure more pleasant for Iggy and me.

Thanks for readiing it all
Welcome to Tonmo!

Well, all of the fish should be pulled out...especially the damsels, the betta, and the hamlet. The gobies might end up as food, but won't pick on the octopus.
With the corals, it is hard to say...the only ones I've ever had problems with were the green stinging corals.
Keep us posted, glad you rescued the little bugger!

I hope that youve considered temperature. I seem to have forgetten what the best temperature for a vulgaris is. I know I keep my bimac at low 70's, which is not suitable for most corals. As youve mentioned octo proofing is a big issue. Vulgaris is a know species for trying to escape I believe. Also you may want to consider your lighting, If you had very intense lighting for corals you may want to dim it down a little. I never did much research on vulgaris when constructing my tank, focussed on bimac.

Have you considered what your going to feed the little guy ? :) If your hard pressed for live food, try going to your local grocery store and buy some oyster meat, my little bimac goes crazy over that stuff, and its so cheap :D
thanks for quick replies

I will get some pictures of the little guy soon and post them.... For now I get to have fun catching fish hehehe (oh JOY). hehehe a labor of love. After doind allot of intense research on behavior and tendancy, I have to agree with Greg, I will pull the damsels, beta and hamlet.... I have another tank I can put them into for the time being.... I think I'll hedge on the side of caution and pull the coral beauties also.... I cant imagine the gobbies or the percula causing much trouble, and from what I was reading it seems if I get him/her on a good regular diet, and stick to a good feeding schedule, the other fish have a 50/50 chance of living for awhile... (not to sound mean, but I am gonna have to buy food anyway, so if they become food, its nature doing its thing.... I've already spent the money on the fish anyway, so if I can find them a good home before they get eaten, then good for them, but Iggy is an intelligent species, and his survival is more important than the fish....

will post more later, time to get out the towels, mops, plastic drop sheeting, nets, wet suit, harpoon gun (just kidding) and start gathering the live stock from the tank so Iggy can start making himself at home....

Greg E.
Hi Greg! :welcome:

Just read your post and wanted to say, great job on rescuing Iggy!
I wish i had some expertise to offer, but i'm not a ceph keeper YET.
So i'm here to mearly offer up encouragement and appriciation for
the efforts ahead in creating a nice home for Iggy!:notworth:
:welcome: I had a great cat who came and found me as a stray kitten, but I've never heard of that happening with an octopus before!
Quick update,

Iggy is settling into his new home ok, staying hidden so far... MAN what a chore, will someone remind me why i set up a reef tank in the first place? Its been a LONG day, BUT.... tank is now octo safe, got rid of 90 lbs of live rock (kept about 50 pounds), gave away the damsels, hamlet, coral beauties and beta.... re-aquascaped the tank and coverd the top.... now just have to get the little guy to trust me again... he was just starting to venture out to check me out last night, now he is burried DEEP into one of the caves i made him.... following some of the posts from earlier, I am gonna try to figure out is palate.... the buffet tonight will feature fresh scallops, some crabs (hermit) and a small shrimp.

My son has given him a full name now.... are you ready for this?

Iggnatious Crustaceaus Octavious Vulgarius..... I think i'll stick to Iggy though......

in case you dont know his name sake, my son loves sabastion from little mermaid....

will try to get him to come out tonight so i can take some pictures....

I thought he looked small before, in the 150 gallon tank he is REAL hard to locate just yet....
Welcome to Iggy! He's a lucky octopus. I'm sure he'll settle into his new home and eventually grow large there.

Do you know where Iggy comes from - what live rock did he hitchhike on? My guess is if he came on live rock, he'd like warmer temperatues, 76 to 78 degrees.

He would probably accept thawed frozen shrimp - always good to have in the freezer for a backup. And of course, he loves crabs, but likes other crustaceans, too.

All I was able to find out was that the rock came from Posieden fish dealer... I tried the scallps last night and he didnt take any interest... but im not surprised.... from the ocean to a 29 gal tank, to a 150 in a matter of 5 days...

To be honest, that he is still alive and has eaten once is kinda surprising to me.... I think we'll be ok... he actually got out of his den (a clam shell that was over grown by the reef) and explored about a 18-24 inch area around his cave.

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