• 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.

Manny's questions


TONMO Supporter
Nov 14, 2002
This was moved from another thread to its own thread, just so it doesnt get missed :smile: C

'Hi I'm new to this every pet shop I look to for answers try to talk me out of octopus . Thats the same response I would get about chameleons but managed to breed them for years. I always loved octopus since I was young swimming after them in greece. I never had a salt water tank but I just bought a 72 gallon bow tank with holes on the bottom and a ecosystem wet dry mud filter I was told I dont need a protien skimmer or air pumpis this true? I also got 60 pounds of live sand and 90 pounds of live rock how long should the tank take to cycle I was told a few days after the nitrate level goes up I would be able to get my octopus , I read on this web site something about waiting three months. the compartment were there are holes in the tank fore water to get to the filters has an opening on top of it with probably a 1/2 inch gap to the cover of the tank can I close that of with plexiglass drilled with holes so the octopus doesnt climb in it ? do you think its a good idea to put carbon in the tanks over flow? they also sold me a heater ,I read that its good to keep the temperature at 68 degrees I live in New York and keeping the tank in my basement , winter the temp down there is 62 night, and 67 day, summer it stays about 70 degrees will this give me any problems that I should be prepared for?thank you for any info

Hi Manny, welcome to TONMO.com

As you have witnessed, pet shops dont always know so much about keeping cephalopods and I bet that almost everyone here has had the same stories regarding their husbandry. The fact is they can be kept in captivity and everyone here is testament to that. So if you have more questions; just ask the TONMO community.

Well, i think that a skimmer and carbon are two if the most important piecies of equipment in an octo tank. They require a high oxygen level in the tank which a skimmer helps to produce, using an airpump at the same time is recommended too. And they produce way more waste than a fish of teh same mass so carbon helps adsorb a lot of the waste chemicals and ink if your octo ever inks in the tank. So use carbon, get and air pump AND a good skimmer!

There are several species of octopus commonly sold. The heater's use is dependant on what species you have, if you get a species like Octopus bimaculoides then you wont need a heater, if you get a tropical species like one of the Indonesian octopuses or a reef octopus like cyanea or briareus you will need a heater. you need to know what specie syou are going for.... any ideas what your local shop sells?

thanks for the reply
a local pet shop had a small octopus for sale they said its a common octopus when I asked the scientific name the guy said uhm its probably a vulgaris . Not very confident in his reply , although they do have very clean tanks in the store the little octopus that was suposed to be there for about a week was housed in one of those little plastic enclosures floating around in a tank full of moray eals it seemed so scared all white curled up in a corner.
Back to the set up I read that a venturi skimmer is a good way to go can this be set up in line with the same pump running my filter or do I need another water pump.
You will need a skimmer pump seperate from the other filter. Most venturi skimmers come with their own pump tho. Your LFS should be able to help you out there!

Most shops selling them have them in those plastic tanks. Just so they can catch it easily. Nancy was telling me this week that her local shop had 'lost' an octo that escaped into their live rock stock! oops! :shock:

[a local pet shop had a small octopus for sale they said its a common octopus when I asked the scientific name the guy said uhm its probably a vulgaris .]


The tank has been running for a week now and i just put in 90 pounds live rock , the amonia is rising it shouldnt be long now I cant wait I ordered something called 48 hour cycle it claims to do just that is this possible ? has anyone ever used this stuff ?

The live rock I put in is stacked on top of each other it isnt rocking or anything but I am conserned if the octopus can or would knock it over and hurt itself or break the tank the peaces are atleast 10 pounds each

thank you for all the replies
Hi Manny,

What they told you in the pet shop is typical - unless it is a very reliable shop where they know their suppliers and know their octopus species, you will get some very strange identifications. I have been told that the octopus for sale is "a tropical octopus", "a brown octopus" and "a translucent octopus". The truth is, they just don't know. And it makes a difference in the size tank you will need, for instance - so you should make sure you know what species you are buying.

I am letting my tank cycle naturally with live rock, and it's now been about two months.

As for the stability of the live rock, test to make sure it won't topple. Support some against the back of the aquarium. It's possible to create a good, stable arrangement of live rock.

I'm attaching a photo of my tank with its live rock arrangement. I have to give Colin credit for this - he did a wonderful job setting up my aquascape.

Good luck!


The 48 hour cycling is at best something to give a goldfish bowl or a small freshwater tank a better chance.... For an octo tank with live rock you really done need it. The live rock will cycle the tank for you and do it in a much better way. Soem of these quick 'fishless' cycling agents are either ammonia or sometimes batches of benificial bacteria. If its ammonia based it will send your ammonia level through the roof and possibly harm your live rock inhabitants. If its a bacterial culture then there is probably not so much harm in it but Id be extremely cautious.

From experience most of the Bali octopuses i have seen are a specie called bocki or similar species and they are normally fully grown adults with only weeks to live. They are a dwarf species. Another bali species I had was nicknamed 'Longarms' and i have some pics of him/her here..... Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos

thanks for the info guys
Nancy your tank is beautiful heres a picture of mine so far I tryed to leave a big open area up front in the center Feel free to let me know if this is a good or bad idea[/img]
Hi Manny,
You'll probably find that if you get a species that is reasonably active during the day that once it settles in it will patrol that bit of the tank waiting for its next meal!

A well-settled in bimac for example spends most of its day sitting on the front glass waiting for you, so the middle space isn't a bad thing at all.

Hi Manny,

Your tank looks very nice. One more thing you might want to try is to toss a few small shells on the sand. Quite decorative and will be good future octo toys. I've had no trouble with algae forming on the ones I've put in.


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