• 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.

looking into buying an octopus

Jan 15, 2008
So I've really wanted an octopus for a while, but I can't seem to find any straight answers. I have a few (thousand) questions.

1) What is the smallest octopus I can get?

2) Do all octopus bite?

3) What is the smallest tank I can get for the octopus?

4) Where would I look to purchase an octopus, and about how much should I expect it to cost?

5) Where should I purchase food, and about how much is food?

6) How often should their tank be cleaned?

7) This souds silly, but are they friendly?

Alright that is about it, for now haha
Thank you!
This is my first time on this website, so I'm not sure if this is one of those fourms where you have to keep posting for it to be noticed, but I'm going to post anyways, just incase.
It usually takes awhile before you get responses, and you can be pretty sure that the first one you will get from anyone on this forum is " read the articles ". At the top of the page, in bold, you will see the word ARTICLES and if you read those articles, then follow up by reading the information found in the various threads under cephalopod care (you'll find that under FORUMS) most, if not all of your questions will be answered. Probably every question you can think of about octopuses has been asked by someone, and answered, probably many times over. Our ceph care experts are certainly willing to answer questions and help with problems, but if you realized how many times those questions have been asked, you would understand why we advise people to read the articles. Enjoy your research, and :welcome: to Tonmo.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com :welcome:

Those are a lot of questions, and sorceress is right, you need to look at our Ceph Care articles (click on ARTICLES above).

If you want to know more about octopus bites, look at the thread at the top of this forum, Octopus Bites. Not very many people have been bitten.

Yes, most octopuses are friendly. Some are shy.

Another interesting thread in the List of Our Octopuses at the top of Journals and Photos. The octopuses are members are keeping and have kept are listed there.

Octopuses aren't too expensive, from about $35 -$70. The food costs more, because they like shrimp and crabs.

At least that's a start!

:welcome: and I second everything Sorseress said.

In some specific responses, it's almost always the wrong way to be thinking when people star asking "how small can I go" in the size of the octopus or the tank. It's easy to imagine that starting small is the best approach, but with octopuses, it really isn't. Octopuses of any size produce a lot of waste and are very sensitive to water quality, so a small tank, with a small water volume, can go bad very quickly and kill the octopus if anything goes wrong, while a larger tank changes more slowly and can help you notice problems in time to correct them and keep it safe for the octopus. Also, smaller octopuses are universally shy, nocturnal, short-lived, and usually less interactive... if you want an experience that shows a lot of personality, and will interact and be out in the daytime, it's much more rewarding to get a medium-sized or larger octopus like a bimac or briareus. Not that dwarf species aren't rewarding at all, but they're much less reliably so, and in some ways are harder to keep than their larger cousins. Larger octos like vulgaris and GPOs start to get too large to keep practically in home aquariums, so we recommend the midrange-sized octos as the most rewarding and easy to keep happy and healthy for a long time (although the heartbreak of keeping any octopus or cuttle is that they sadly are short-lived animals.)

The food cost is often high, since some octos will only take live crabs or shrimp as food, so usually the cost of feeding it is far higher than the cost of the animal and even the tank.

All octos can bite, but most rarely do. Some fairly smart people suggest being cautious, as a bite exposed to seawater can get nasty infections, but several octo-keepers here have been bitten without major health problems, and it seems to be rare. Blue-ringed octopuses should be avoided, though, since unlike most other species, their venom is very, very toxic to humans, and a bite can kill in minutes. They don't bite frequently, but we recommend avoiding them. It is not known if wunderpuses or mimic octopuses are venomous; as far as we know, no human has been bitten by these animals, but we don't recommend them as pets anyway.

I think all the rest of your questions (and maybe those, too) are answered in the articles and some of the major threads...

Usually, being patient for a few days will be rewarded by answers, I'd say waiting at least a day for a response is best before re-posting on the same thread unless you have something new to add. A lot of the most knowledgeable people only log in every day or two, and asking multiple times doesn't really speed that up...
areallynicevan;108329 said:
Thank you everyone!
Having an octopus sounds really fun, but after reading alot of aticles and some of your posts I don't think I'm quite ready to own one.

Kudos to you for being mature enough to admit that. It takes A LOT of time, money, and dedication. But, it is VERY rewarding once you've taken the time to research everything and learn how the chemistry of the tank itself works.

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