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my octopus in 24 gal. nanocube? !


Pygmy Octopus
Aug 21, 2005
....I could use some help/advice...we brought home our octopus today,
his tank all ready for him. It's a 24 gallon nanocube with live rock.
...after a few minutes in his new surroundings, he went right overboard
into the back side of the tank where the pump...etc..is.
...we are completely new at this. the store thought he'd be ok in this tank.......and didn't think he'd go overboard....
.....we tried a bit with a fish net, but he only went down deeper...
......told the store about this, they said I may have to stick my hand in to get him out (I don't think so!).......
...soooooooo, any ideas??.....perhaps tonight when it's dark he'll crawl
back over to get the crabs waiting for him.....or do I fear the worst,
that he'll die rather than come out......thanks for any and all help.... :confused:
Well, what kind of an octopus is it? It sounds as if, yes, you are going to have to either take the sump apart, or just wait...the downside is that taking the sump down is going to cause a major ammonia spike...
OK Scully,

1st: any idea what species you have? If you have a Bimac is should be ok to handle him, they're fairly non aggressive. Hopefully the pump is switched off right now? you may need to dismantle it to get him out.

2nd: once out and back in the tank it needs to be COMPLETELY escape proof. Octis are very inquisitive. Put sponge or mesh over all inflows and outflows. get a lid with no gaps and duct tape it shut!

3rd: unless you have a pygmy a 24 gal is not big enough. The minimum size recommended here is 50 Gal for a Bimac. We hold our Midgets (gets to about 20 cm total length in a 250L tank {~66.5US Gal})

I wouldn't count on it coming out during the night......octis in a new environment have been known to disappear into live rock for weeks!

If you're worried about handling the octi you could wear gloves. plain cotton (new.....not used for gardening etc :biggrin2: ) or latex would be OK. Just make sure there are no chemicals on the gloves (eg NOT the dish washing gloves cos detergent is bad for marine critters).

Tis all I can think of right now, but others may have some more idea's

good luck

my chances?

....anyone have a thought on what my chances are that he will crawl
back over to the main tank and out of the pump area on his own???
........ :confused:
There's always a chance! To maximise your chances I would stop lighting him up (even with the torch..........I know it's hard.......I would have to lock my torch in a cupboard somewhere!) and also minimise any noise as they can be very sensitive to vibration, which will add to any stress he's feeling. I would still turn the pump off to decrease the chance of the wee guy getting into the impeller (NOT good!) The tank should be OK for a bit with it off. And he may try to crawl back to the tank as he'll deplete the oxy in the small volume of the pump reasonably quickly.

If you want to check on him you'll need to use red light (octis can't see that!). red cellophane over the torch works fine!

How long has he been in the pump/sump?


im not familiar with the back of a nano cube, but i would reccomend tring to get him out of there, ie with your hands, as long as its not a blue ring octo. but yea gloves are fine. and turn the pump off or you may have octo soup
Pygmies can also - according to expert testimony at Tonmocon I - be somewhat more aggressive and likely to bite out of fear than their larger cousins. The potential venom level could be comparable to a bee sting; if you don't tend toward allergic reactions, it might be uncomfortable but probably not dangerous. Still, better not to risk getting bitten. I had no idea until very recently that even the local (Southern California) pygmies found offshore in our kelp forests can be venomous. These turn up in aquarium shops around here from time to time.

As was pointed-out, Scully54, if you've got a bimac it shouldn't really be a problem. Once again, do you have any idea of species?

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