New and here to learn


Oct 27, 2021
Huntsville, AL
Hi! Our aquatic family consists of 12 tanks of which 3 are salt, 1 brackish, and the rest are fresh. I’ve kept frogfish in my species only 50 gallon tank ( Red Sea reefer 200XL) and after loosing my large old girl feel it’s time for a change. I enjoy the opportunities a species only setup provides. This is how I stumbled upon this forum. The 50 gallon we have is a Berlin system. I love to automate our aquariums and am a fan of hydros control for that purpose.

Salt Species we keep:
A pair of yellow head JawFish, two white spotted Pygmy file fish, cardinals, clowns and their bubble tip, and a ridiculous amount of dragons tongue (Pom Pom) macro algae.

Brackish: a hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus)

Fresh (planted tanks): discus pair, pea puffers, stone catfish, a variety of uncommon coreys, pair of young gulper catfish pair, other woodcatfish we are spawning, stone catfish ( trying to get to spawn), a stunning vampire shrimp, multiple large bamboo shrimp, ornamental shrimp, ballon rams, farlowellas, and some nifty plecos.

I find cephalopods fascinating (dwarf cuttlefish and dwarf octopus are my absolute favorite) and am interested in learning more about them to determine if they would be a good fit for our aquatic family.

I also am into fountain pens so perhaps there is a connection there.
Hi and Welcome.
I will say this first off. If you can keep discus... you can do octopus. Not that they're related, discus are just proof of commitment so to speak. I have done both discus and octopus. I still have an Octopus. Discus are more sensitive and more difficult in my opinion. So that is a good sign of dedication to specific species.

How long have you kept saltwater?
I personally have no experience with cuttles, but I have plenty of experience with Octopus.
They are easier than keeping discus.
What are some specific questions you have. I would be glad to help where I can
Thanks! It was very surprising to hear your comparison with Discus. This encourages me. Yes, the Discus are very sensitive and I’ve learned that if I treat all of my fish with the same love and care as my Discus then they do well.

The questions I have are more about their care. For example, if I give my octopus toys and interact a lot and then go out of town, will he be OK or get depressed? I’m concerned that a once a week visit from my fish keeper won’t be enough entertainment.

I’m also concerned with safety and need to dig through the forum to figure out how best to configure the tank so the little guy can’t be injured by my setup.

Lastly, my concern is successfully feeding. Frog fish, I’ve found, can be difficult and they are all different. I had one that lived on gut loaded mysid shrimps and eventually graduated to saltwater grass shrimps. Bertha preferred damsels. Each fish has their quirks and octopus just seem more of a challenge. Are they reliable eaters or are they finicky?

BYW, Do your Discus watch TV? Mine do. They love TV.
Octopus are as interactive as you condition them to be. If you get them used to interaction and use of toys then it would probably stand to reason to maintain that. If you want to be more casual then I recommend throwing in live food every now and then.
Feeding them is pretty easy. I feed mine frozen raw shrimp from Walmart. You will probably replace your clean up crew a bit as they will eat snails and crabs. Though hermits might survive larger octopus species if they are small enough.
They will reach into things so covering powerheads is necessary if you have them. You can by nylon mesh in the fabric department at Walmart that will work well. If you have a sumped system and everything is separate from the display tank then that is less to worry about.

Ph, salinity, and oxygen are three key factors for octopus. As long as those are kept in range you will find them quite hardy.

Octopus general seem to be pretty good eaters. Skipping a meal could be a sign of a problem. So if that ever happens check your system both water quality wise and mechanical. If all that is fine. Then wait a day or so. If feeding still has not occurred do a water change. If that doesn't help it could just be the octopuses time. Jolene was a bimac I had and she went through a phase being "restless" before laying eggs. Octopus are pretty short lived animals so expect to replace them rather frequently.
Protein skimmers are a must for larger species but dwarfs you can get away without one in my experience.
The dwarf octopus I have kept have been notoriously tough animals. The only down side is the dwarf ones I have kept were nocturnal.
So if you don't mind an animal that comes out at night. Then a small little setup with rock and some hardy corals can make a good octopus tank.
Lids are a must. You will have to be creative whem it comes to that. I personally made lids out of corrugated plastic with plexiglass windows. I then use nylon nuts and bolts to keep them on...
As long as the lid is made of octopus safe materials and can keep the animal in that is all that matters. If you want you can build a wall on the top of the tank that is lined with filter floss the octopus won't be able to crawl out.

My discus were never exposed to tv. My largest on did let me touch it though. I got rid of my discus sometime ago. Now I have three aquariums and three reptile setups.
I have a gar tank with a bichir and some other fish. I have a amazon puffer tank with a pleco and then the octopus tank.
Here is a setup I had for a dwarf. You can see it close to your bottom right view in the tank.
Granted I did not have luck with gorgonian corals. So others corals would do better.

Gsp, leathers, zoas, palys, and mushrooms seem to be ok. Anemones will sting the octopus.


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