Lot of questions about Octopus Care from a beginner.

Joined
Sep 14, 2021
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8
Hi, I'm new to TONMO and I've already found a lot of useful links here, but I'm still a beginner in both Octopus caring, and saltwater aquarium in general, so I have a lot of question about both that I hope you guys can help!
I already went to a pet shop where there are people that work with saltwater aquarium and they told me a lot of things about tank size, filter, skimmer, quantity of live rocks/sand, maturation of the aquarium, how to change water and what NOT to do with a saltwater aquarium.
Said that, he also said that an octopus are hard to keep and that probably need a stronger filter and skimmer, and also a cooler aquarium, and that some of these thing vary depending on what octopus species I get.

But anyway I'll ask more about the tank stuff in the "Tank Talk" part of this forum later, in the meanwhile I want to do a lot of questions about the octopus in general, so here the questions (answer them thinking of either a bimac or a vulgaris):

1. If I buy a really young one (like baby level), what kind of food do I need to give to it?
And in general what kind (and how much) of food do I have to give to my octopus for its age?
2. How do I know the age of an octopus?
3. How does it die? I know that female are sometimes gravid even without mating, so I know that in that case she dies after the eggs hatch... but in case it is a male or a non gravid female, how do I know it is near its time? Does it looks change like for a dog?
4. Outside Live rock and sand, what plants/Other things can and HAVE to be inside the tank?
5. If my octopus bites me, what do I do? I know that they are venemous creature, do I need to go to the hospital, or can I be chill with it?
6. What do I do if I mistakenly scare it and it releases ink inside the tank? And is there any way to store the ink?
7. How do I know if there is any sign of copper (or other metals) on both the water, what I put in, in my hands and on random toys that I buy for it?
8. Where do people here usually get their octopuses?
9. What toys do you recommend me? I'm already storing all McDonald small games, because I feel like they may make an octopus happy, but is there any toy that they really love and usually play a lot?
And for food, it is gonna be alright If I put the live food inside things (like bottles or other containers) to make it more challenging for the octopus to get?
10. This is just a little fear I have, so I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but is it dangerous to give live crabs to it, can't they potentially harm the octopus? Especially if I put them inside a bottle?
11. This question is more related to Cuttlefishes, but in case I decide to take a cuttlefish instead of an octopus, can I put two cuttlefishes in the same tanks?
There is no need to tell me that Octopuses can't be together to pretty much anything that breathes, but I saw that Cuttlefishes are more social, so I wanted to ask this small question about cuttlefishes.

Anyway thank for all the help, and if you have some useful link of other posts here on TONMO (about both cuttlefishes and octopuses) I will gladly accept them!
Said all of this I'm in no rush to get it, and I can get as much time as it needs to learn everything (even years) and ask other things if I forgot to ask them now...
I'm actually thinking of buying an Axolotl before (They are legal here where I live) in like a few months, saw that it seems like they are animals for real beginners to saltwater aquariums like me (and they look cute), in case you know another forum for pet Axolotl, please share.

Said all of this thank all of you for answering to my questions and for your patience with me, I hope I didn't sound annoying!
 

Nancy

Titanites
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Nov 20, 2002
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5,802
Hi Invadetor and welcome to the site!

Here are some answers to your first few questions:
  1. Unless you are raising your own octopus and have hatchlings (which will eat small live food like amphipods), your octopus can eat very small crabs, snails, and small pieces of thawed frozen shrimp. You can figure out the amount by how much your octopus takes for one meal. Most people feed once a day.
  2. Determine which species you have, look up the size at maturity, then compare how big your octopus is. Tonmo has a lot of videos of octopuses in various stages of development.
  3. Looks change as they reach the end of their lives. One sign is that they may loose some of their ability to change colors. My bimac, which could display many beautiful purples, could only do pink as she neared the end of her life.
I need to end this post here. Perhaps some other Tonmo person can continue, or I’ll have time to come back later. Those are a lot of questions!

Nancy
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2021
Messages
8
Hi Invadetor and welcome to the site!

Here are some answers to your first few questions:
  1. Unless you are raising your own octopus and have hatchlings (which will eat small live food like amphipods), your octopus can eat very small crabs, snails, and small pieces of thawed frozen shrimp. You can figure out the amount by how much your octopus takes for one meal. Most people feed once a day.
  2. Determine which species you have, look up the size at maturity, then compare how big your octopus is. Tonmo has a lot of videos of octopuses in various stages of development.
  3. Looks change as they reach the end of their lives. One sign is that they may loose some of their ability to change colors. My bimac, which could display many beautiful purples, could only do pink as she neared the end of her life.
I need to end this post here. Perhaps some other Tonmo person can continue, or I’ll have time to come back later. Those are a lot of questions!

Nancy
Thank a lot Nancy!
I only have a quick question, and it is where can I buy live amphipods?
Can I find them in a fishing shop or can I find them in pet shops?
Thank again for the help!
 

gjbarord

Sepia elegans
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Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
916
Thank a lot Nancy!
I only have a quick question, and it is where can I buy live amphipods?
Can I find them in a fishing shop or can I find them in pet shops?
Thank again for the help!
I am not sure where you can get live amphipods. I imagine some online places have them to ship out, but can't recommend one over another.

Greg
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
5,802
Local fish stores have them, but generally won’t sell them. I have seen them for sale online. Problem is, they want to sell you so many!

Nancy
 

Hadla

O. vulgaris
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Aug 28, 2017
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99
Just want to chime in: not sure about amphipods, but you can buy bottles of live tiny tigger pods or apex pods at almost any lfs… I would think hatchlings would go for those? But if you have your tank set up for a few years, you should have a healthy population of pods! When I check my 75g in the dark, I see lots scurrying around on the sand bed :smile: especially if you start a refugium with chaeto! I don’t have one, though. I started each of my tanks with live rock and sand from one of my other established tanks. You could always do that too! Just start a setup and add some rock/sand from someone else’s established tank and you’re good to go :smile: my first 10g had a handful of sand from my lfs. If I can help on your other questions later today, I will!
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2021
Messages
8
Just want to chime in: not sure about amphipods, but you can buy bottles of live tiny tigger pods or apex pods at almost any lfs… I would think hatchlings would go for those? But if you have your tank set up for a few years, you should have a healthy population of pods! When I check my 75g in the dark, I see lots scurrying around on the sand bed :smile: especially if you start a refugium with chaeto! I don’t have one, though. I started each of my tanks with live rock and sand from one of my other established tanks. You could always do that too! Just start a setup and add some rock/sand from someone else’s established tank and you’re good to go :smile: my first 10g had a handful of sand from my lfs. If I can help on your other questions later today, I will!
Woah, that is cool! So that's another reason why the tank has to mature right? What is the best time you recommend me to mature my aquarium (I'm in no rush).
Anyway I would really like if you could help me with the other questions, but thank already for the help!
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2021
Messages
8
Local fish stores have them, but generally won’t sell them. I have seen them for sale online. Problem is, they want to sell you so many!

Nancy
Oh, I see, well next time I go to the pet shop to buy some food for my Axolotls, I will ask them if they do have these little guys.
I have found something on internet, but I'm not sure if they are pods, saw that they look a little bit too huge (even tho I don't really know the size of a baby Octopus).
Here the link: Amphipods & Copepods -500

Thank as always!
 

Hadla

O. vulgaris
Registered
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Aug 28, 2017
Messages
99
For any saltwater tank, the best thing to do is set it up and let the live rock settle in and feed a little every two days for a week or two maybe, then add in a few tiny hermits with extra shells(if they don’t have empty shells to switch around, they might start killing snails for their shells!) and small nassarius snails and keep feeding the tank. It’s fine for them to be in the tank once you have an octopus… it will hunt on its own and you might have to keep replacing them if you notice empty shells around.

Can’t really help with questions 2 and 3. Just about any macro algae you want to add, you can. If you do add fish, be aware that they can harass or be harassed by the octo! I wouldn’t worry too much about a bite from dwarf octos.

Mine hasn’t tried to bite me… but you never know! I don’t think you’d have to get medical help if it happens.
The inking possibility is why you should run a skimmer. I personally am not running one only cause olives 10 gallon has about 30lbs of very established live rock. I do have a small one I can always add in if needed.

Toys/metal: I wouldn’t use anything that that has any metal in it but that’s just me. I gave olive a few marbles and he’s currently using one to cover his barnacle den. I have a ping pong ball to put in and have been trying to come up with other tiny plastic toys for him. I also want to get some small glass bottles for him to explore. Someone in one of my Facebook groups made a plastic chain forest for his seahorses and I want to do the same in my tank! The plastic naturally floats so you can anchor it down with zip ties or glue a link to a small rock.

Before I put my hands in olives tank to interact with him, I wash them well with just a tiny drop of soap (I don’t always use soap) then rinse well a few times with water from the faucet.
The other people with more octopus experience can help you more than I can.
 
Joined
Sep 14, 2021
Messages
8
For any saltwater tank, the best thing to do is set it up and let the live rock settle in and feed a little every two days for a week or two maybe, then add in a few tiny hermits with extra shells(if they don’t have empty shells to switch around, they might start killing snails for their shells!) and small nassarius snails and keep feeding the tank. It’s fine for them to be in the tank once you have an octopus… it will hunt on its own and you might have to keep replacing them if you notice empty shells around.

Can’t really help with questions 2 and 3. Just about any macro algae you want to add, you can. If you do add fish, be aware that they can harass or be harassed by the octo! I wouldn’t worry too much about a bite from dwarf octos.

Mine hasn’t tried to bite me… but you never know! I don’t think you’d have to get medical help if it happens.
The inking possibility is why you should run a skimmer. I personally am not running one only cause olives 10 gallon has about 30lbs of very established live rock. I do have a small one I can always add in if needed.

Toys/metal: I wouldn’t use anything that that has any metal in it but that’s just me. I gave olive a few marbles and he’s currently using one to cover his barnacle den. I have a ping pong ball to put in and have been trying to come up with other tiny plastic toys for him. I also want to get some small glass bottles for him to explore. Someone in one of my Facebook groups made a plastic chain forest for his seahorses and I want to do the same in my tank! The plastic naturally floats so you can anchor it down with zip ties or glue a link to a small rock.

Before I put my hands in olives tank to interact with him, I wash them well with just a tiny drop of soap (I don’t always use soap) then rinse well a few times with water from the faucet.
The other people with more octopus experience can help you more than I can.
Oh, I see, I already clean really well my whole arm when I put my hand inside my Axolotl's tank.
But thank for all the help, I really appreciate it!
 

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