• 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.

Newbie wanting to get into octopi


Jan 18, 2006

I am wanting to get into octopi. I have saltwater aquariums but have not ventured into the realm of octopi. My local Fish store has a dwarf octopus and they get them in on a regular basis. The owner said they will only get 12 inches long and I could house them in a 15-20 gallon tall tank.

I would like to get some info on this type of octopus and see if that is true. Also I heard that a dwarf octopus only lives 6 months. While I know that octopi don't live long (1 1/2 years), 6 months seems very short.

Any info will be appreciated.
Fellow cajun

Cajunman said:
HUMM, I like you'r screen name!:smile:
Can't help but ask, where are you from?

I was born in Houston, but my family is all around Baton Rouge and Lake Charles. Now that I am transplanted to Ohio, I have to keep my cajun roots.
I'm also from Texas, i grew up in Bridge City, just south of Orange tx.
my family is from Lafayette and that is where i live now! Have you ran into any cajuns in Ohio?

As to the Question you posted, i can offer some info i have learned from this site and others. I am still in the wishing stage of rasing an octo and have no practial experience in the matter, but have been reading the info on this site for a while. So here goes!

Many of the post i have read tend to suggest to stay away from the "Dwarf Octo" being that most are nocturnal and tend to stay hidden most of the time. Another reason is that you have no way of determining the age, so you could be buying an octo with only a few weeks left to live. another problem is determining the species, witch will leave you guessing at what water perameters are required for keeping it healthy.

Most people on this site keep Bimacs, the California two spotted Octo.
You can purchase a Cultured spices from octopets.com, this way you know the age of the octo you are purchasing, plus the exact spices.
And from what i have read they are Amazing creatures to raise as they will interact with the owner, many taking food from you'r hand! This site suggest a 55 gal tank as the minimun size.

I hope this helps. If you read the articles under Ceph Care on this site
you will find answers to just about any question you come accross.
Hey man, welcome to the forum.

Saying that they sell dwarf octos can be a bit vague as there are a good few smaller species, and even a younger specimen of a larger species could be misidentified!

Just to be a little bit petty the plural for octopus is Octopusses or Octopods, it's a greek word and not latin so wouldn't be octopi... a very common mistake but good to get it nipped in the bud before too long eh!

One thing you have to get sorted is to make sure that your tank is escape proof, thats the best bit of advice you can be given. They will get out of anything that their beak can fit through... which is pretty small!

I've only been able to keep dwarf digueti alive for about six months...the natural life span of many of the dwarfs (or is that dwarves, Andy?) is not really all that well known as of yet...but we keep on finding more out, year by year.
A twenty gallon is a little small for any octopus(pi,pusses, etc), mostly due to the fact that even little cephalopods produce and immense amount of waste, and the filtration has to be kept up. In a lot of ways, it is actually cheaper to buy a larger tank, like a 50 gallon, than to try to outfit a small tank for cephs.

makes sense

I looked at the octopuses for sale on that site and they sell for $45. So if the shipping is not outrageous I will just get a bigger tank and prepare for a two spot.
when I get a tank

When I get a tank. How long do I need to let it cycle. Do I just do it until it cycles, or does it have to be up and running for six months etc.
hi i am geting a dwarf octipus and herd that damsles eat there tenticales and how oftin should i feed it oh andwhat fish will be safe with it????????
oscer;100035 said:
hi i am geting a dwarf octipus and herd that damsles eat there tenticales and how oftin should i feed it oh andwhat fish will be safe with it????????

:welcome: yup, damsels are not so good, although the worst is that they attack the octo's eyes.

Most octo-keepers here feed the octo once a day, I think. As far as fish go, it's hard to tell. It's safest not to have any fish at all as tank-mates, as the octo will often eat small fish, and larger ones will sometimes harass the octo like damsels, or will just stress it out so that it hides a lot.
Damsels in general are not great aquarium fish because they tend to pick on everything in the tank. Like all critters, there are exceptions but the normal advise is to avoid damsels in an octo tank if you want to actually see your pet.

Long time keepers advise avoiding all fish and reserve your octo tank for a single occupant. Adding an interesting clean-up crew and (serpant stars, vegatarian starfish, pencil urchin) a few plants (sea pansey) or even low light sponges or mushrooms have been successful (depending upon lighting) but photosynthetic critters require more light than is suitable for an octopus and stinging corals may cause skin problems.

You may want to read over the Tank forum for some ideas for set up and advise.
hi agan if i put a divider in the tank and give away the damsles would a clown be ok with it and other inverts???????
oscer;100116 said:
hi agan if i put a divider in the tank and give away the damsles would a clown be ok with it and other inverts???????

What size of a tank are you talking about?

What other inverts are you referring to? Your cleanup crew is probably going to become octopus food. If it is a dwarf it might not mess with snails, but mine loved Hermit Crabs. Starfish will most likely be okay.

The clownfish probably won't be a threat if it's tiny but it might end up being a toy.... a dead toy at that. If it's too big it might actually harass the octopus.

Since I kept a dwarf (O. Mercatoris) in a container, inside a community fish tank, I can say mine responded well to the presence of fish around it, so the divider's not a bad idea, as long as it is properly sealed so that the octopus cannot get around it.

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