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Looking for octos in Canada (Ontario)


Sep 13, 2015
Toronto, Canada
Hi guys,
So I have my 100 gallon octo tank set up and cycled and have been trying to source an octo for months now, but have not had any luck whatsoever. I've even had several friends in the industry keeping their feelers out, but no luck other than finding Giant Pacifics (ha!).
I did a search on the forums for octopus available in Canada, but all the posts were really old so I didn't want to dredge them up.
Although finding a supplier in Canada would be great, I'm also open to driving across the border and bringing it back. That would require finding somewhere in Buffalo, NY (or similar) that would serve as a shipping destination for me to pick up at.
Any help is greatly appreciated! I'm starting to slowly get a bit discouraged..womp womp.
:welcome: Emily!
Doing a quick scan on our octopus lists, most of the Canadian pet store acquired animals are imported from Indonesia. I did see at least on Caribbean dwarf listed but it was not clear where it was purchased.

If you find an animal on-line, you can designate a FedEx facility as hold for pickup. I do this even though I have local service as it avoid the animal sitting in a truck for several hours - especially in summer heat. (I think this is also available UPS but have not used their service). Shipping from US to CA is not advisable because of custom delays and even overnight is worrisome.

KPAquatics is experimenting with a wait list that you can sign up for. Kara and Philipp (K & P of KPAquatics) catch most of what they sell directly (on occasion, they will also acquire octopuses from the local fishery but all are local species). Liveaquaria has an "email me feature for when they have some available (these are usually Indonesian). Saltwaterfish.com shows a Pacific in stock. It is most likely Indonesian and I am guessing it would be at the wholesalers rather than on-site so I would call to verify.
Thanks so much for your reply! I've followed up on all these leads and am still waiting for replies.
It's looking like the next obstacle is that I can't bring anything across the border without knowing the exact species of octopus, whereas many of the US sellers use generic names.
I'll keep you posted on my progress!
All three of the listed places to look usually know the species. With LA you should be able to call and explain why you need to know and they should be able to give you enough info for customs. KP can usually send a photo an you can post here (they usually know which animal they catch though). I think Saltwater posts the species when they have them but it appears they recently started using an Indonesian importer (used to import O. hummelincki from Haiti) so they may no longer be accurate with that info.

You can check with LA to see if they will ship directly to CA (not sure but they would be the most likely if anyone can. I know KP does not).
Still no luck :frown:
I'm officially at the point where I'm considering bringing one back with me from Florida! I was planning a trip down there anyway. I just need to figure out exactly how it will work bringing an octopus on the airplane with me lol. I've contacted KP twice (no reply and no phone number listed on website). Saltwater replied to me and said that they are not able to provide species name...they only know them as "brown octopus".
If I come to Florida, I will be in the Miami area. Any tips on a local source?
Thanks again for the ongoing support! Looking at my empty 100 gallon gets more saddening every day!
I wish I had a more positive suggestion. Another member found an octopus and I thought I avoided all but one photo session :confused: currently listed on eBay. It claims to be vulgaris but the sample pictures are of several different animals and it is not clear if any are the actual octopus being sold (some of the pictures are clearly not vulgaris - two are not even likely taken by the seller). This one would be a real pig-in-a-poke and I have no confidence in the ID or the seller.

Because of the heat, waiting another month or two (depending on the cold of the destination) might not be a bad idea though.
Ask them for a picture and tell them I suggested requesting one (they will shoot me, of course). Normally they do think to take one when they find an animal and I will only be in trouble if they have not already put it in its holding bottle. :sagrin:
Haha Kara actually offered to take a picture without me even having to ask! I imagine it's because she knows I'll need it at customs. I'll post it on here when I get it! Can't hurt to confirm the species with you guys :smile:
I'll take the credit for their foresight to take a photo before they are quarantined (whether I deserve it or not) :sagrin:. They have briareus pretty much down pat but you can start your journal (hint, hint) with the preshipment photo :wink:
Hi there...

...I live in a suburb of Buffalo. There's a place in North Tonawanda ( ~20 min drive from either the Peace or Rainbow bridges...pretty much smack dab in the middle, actually) called "The Fish Place" that I've twice seen octopus, though many years apart. The only problem with that place in my experience is the pretentiousness of the staff. Before you take the drive, you may want to call them: (716)693-4411. Good luck, neighbor!
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I'll take the credit for their foresight to take a photo before they are quarantined (whether I deserve it or not) :sagrin:. They have briareus pretty much down pat but you can start your journal (hint, hint) with the preshipment photo :wink:

Here's one of the pictures I got from KP! Sure looks small to me for a briareus. They said they've had it for a month already too. Maybe it's just really young.
Any thoughts?
LOL, The species is correctly named. It is small because it is a baby of just a few months old. K&P don't usually collect the larger animals because the shipping cost (water weight) for the larger animals is excessive for a safe shipment (and most keepers prefer the youngest animals they can find for tank longevity).

You can look as some of the images of Kooah's tank born to get an idea of age sizes (it does vary but at least you can see the stages from some of the photos). For final size, the two survivors Mama Cass and Tatanka have independent adult journals.
Fantastic! This species seems particularly short-lived, so I'm glad it's quite young.
Any tips on being able to sex it at some point? Would be a dream come true to be able to breed a pair one day!
Also, may I ask what your preferred method of covering the top of the tank is? I'm thinking of just getting a sheet of acrylic cut to size...and somehow devising a way to have access for feeding/maintenance. I will also be covering the return pipes and powerhead with mesh netting.

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