New Member From So Cal Here

Sep 30, 2005
I just ran across your site last night, while researching the collosal squid on the net and am so happy that I found your site!

I have had three octopuses in my aquarium keeping experience and fully enjoyed having them.

When I started keeping them, this site, hell the internet, wasn't around for me and it was by trial and error and a lot of library and marine aquarium research trips that I learned what I did learn.

To see all of this information and even more than I could imagine in one place is beyond me and I am so happy to see this site up.

The last octopus that I had, had babies and that was quite an adventure.

I wish I had kept a proper journal, to prove what I had gone through, but alas I didn't.

I wrote to an aquarium magazine once, after they printed an article about the "top" octopus researcher known, who had been unable to keep any baby octopi longer than two weeks. I expressed that I had met or broken that record at home but never saw my letter published.

Since that time, I have been unable to really settle down enough to feel ready enough to start on octopus keeping again, but I think I will sooner now that I have found this site.

Since I am new here and haven't spent a lot of time looking through the archives yet, are there any successful breeders or baby octopus raisers out there? Would love to know what worked/works for you.

I have a theory that perhaps baby octopus eat off the dead mother, in the wild. Could that be possible?

Anyway, great site! I will be reading more and I hope to hear from more ceph phreaks!

Hi Eric and welcome to :welcome:

Glad to have you with us!

It must have been hard to try to keep an octopus before information was available. But when we started Ceph Care, we had trouble finding information, too.

Dana Point is one of the beautiful towns I've ever seen - what a nice place to live. I visited the area a few years ago. Dana Point had special significance because I had just finished reading Two Years Before the Mast.

SanClementeEric said:
I have a theory that perhaps baby octopus eat off the dead mother, in the wild. Could that be possible?

:welcome: there Eric. The majority of baby octopus are planktonic, therefore well removed from the female's carcass, so it is unlikely that they feed upon it.

A lot of digestion in the earliest stages probably occurs across the mantle wall, so the secret is probably poor house cleaning rather than UV sterilisation and protein skimming, just for the first week anyway. A second secret is probably the old cylindrical tank, rather than the rectangular or square that the parent probably resided in.

We'll give a couple of these theories a test soon enough.
:welcome: Interesting to read about your experiences trying to keep an octopus. How large did your babies get? What did you end up doing with them? Any pics?

Welcome to Tonmo !!! Very interesting stuff you have seen...and I look forward to hearing more !
Wow! It's so unusual to have a new member who has already kept octos. There are a lot of newbies coming in who want to, but you're the first i remember (of course, I haven't been here that long) who has so much experience. :welcome:
Eric, Welcome I am just south of you, and for the breeders, There is a place Called OctoPets at the Calsbad Power Plant, which breeds Bimacs, Which many of the users here keep, they probly supply 75% of all the octos here.
Yep, the lagoon is Jims, however the powerplant which his land operation is located on, uses the water to cool there equipment, then they pump it right back out across the 101 to the beach, makes for very warm surfing! If you can stay over the outlet.
SanClementeEric;55692 said:
I wrote to an aquarium magazine once, after they printed an article about the "top" octopus researcher known, who had been unable to keep any baby octopi longer than two weeks. I expressed that I had met or broken that record at home but never saw my letter published.

While digging through the garage, I found a partial copy of the draft of the letter I wrote:

10 October 1991

MAIL CALL, TFH Publications, Inc.
P.O. Box 427, Neptune City, NJ 07753

Dear Sirs,
Reading your July, 1991 issue was as much a relief as it was frustrating. I am refering to the article, "BREEDING OCTOPUSES - A Challenge for the Best", by James R. Panks. Frustrating in the fact that the article came out two months after my last baby octopus had died and relieving, knowing that I had matched, if not beaten, a "... best anybody has accomplished, ..." task.

I've kept aquariums off and on for 16 years, but only freshwater. It wasn't until last year that I took the plunge into saltwater aquariums. Armed with experience, and a couple of years' helpful articles from TFH, I felt I was knowledgeable enough to give it a go.

But this particular story starts January 26th, 1991. After bad luck with two prior octopi, both of whom escaped their homes to be discovered dead on the floor (a problem hard to beat), my fiancee talked my into trying, yet again, to keep this fascinating creature. After siliconing every possible escape route, I felt a degree of confidence going into this venture.

After three weeks of watching over our "monster from the deep" devour goldfish, my confidence grew. I had even watched as "he" tried every corner for an escape route. I was going to win this time! Or was I? Let me tell you a little about the escape proof tank. It was a 20 gallon tank filtered by undergravel plates and two Whisper over-the-back type filters, decorated with jsut a couple of rocks, mainly for hiding.

Knowing he couldn't escape, imagine my surprise when I came home one day and was unable to find him! A quick look aound the living room floor yeilded nothing. So back to the tank, where upon further inspection, I discovered that somehow he had dug himself UNDER my undergravel filter plates leaving a hole where he could leave to grab fish when he wanted.

Well, now what was I going to do? Should I remove him and silicone the filter plates too?


That seemed a drastic measure. And, besides, I could look under the aquarium whenever I wanted to, to see him anyway. Well, the weeks dragged on and he stopped eating. Now I had an empty (appearing) tank and an octopus who wouldn't eat. "Great!"

Desperate and wild thoughts came to mind. Perhaps he was sick, hibernating, or?

While watching him and trying to figure out what to do, I noticed something unusual, grape-like structures fastened to the underside of the filter plates. Now THIS was exciting! My "he" was a she and those were eggs.

I searched high and low for any information I could find on octopuses and their breeding to not much avail.

My only hope came from a trip to Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, CA. In their bookstore I found quite a bit of information on different octopi and their gestation periods and that most died after their babies were born.



That's all of the draft I could find, but I remember going on to describe raising the young for their short lives and that although I hadn't kept a journal, I knew the time was at least two weeks, if not more. "Two weeks" was the maximum time anyone had kept baby octopi alive, per the article.
this reminds me of the story i heard from my dad who got me started on my project of raising bimacs. he lived in palos verdes as a teenager and raised bimacs in the 70's. he successfully raised 2 different batches of babies from females he caught in the tidepools which laid eggs in his aquarium. old school equipment - undergravel filters and airstones. dynaflo motor filter- the first hang on the back filter. man he still has that old defunct filter.(read pack rat). he raised 5
babies to the 4mo. age. fed them the same kind of foods i'm feeding mine.shore crabs and snails. got water from marineland of the pacific, first aquatic park out west. only 10 min. away.back then there was almost no info on octopus husbandry. i think he suggested this project so he could relive those exciting times and let our family be excited with him all over again.i even set up a tank to duplicate his -low tech- the 5 in it have thrived. they just dont know that they're suppsed to be solitary and asocial creatures.gee ,maybe an experiment in evolution...... well, i've had a good teacher.
I knew you had bimac babies but didn't know you have successfully kept 5 in a single tank. Did they breed IN THE TANK?
i have several tanks with 5 or more free living in the tanks. i hope to raise them to adulthood and see if i can captive breed them. i think in one tank there are 10. when you have 100 one has to get creative!