• 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.

obtaining a blue ring


Pygmy Octopus
Apr 4, 2003
i have read through this board and its archived posts and a lot of documents that were intended to disuade somebody from getting a bluering, but i still am interested and still want to own one and take the proper precautions for the enclosure... i am asking for help, not to be flamed.
Sure Tom, I don't think anyone has flamed the anyone here on the matter -- just being responsible, IMO -- they are extremely dangerous pets and the proper caveats are voiced here. But if you want to own one after considering all that, then you have my support, at least! Venom aside, I understand from folks who have posted here that they are very cool pets, but as you noted, that has been debated (and perhaps even some disinformation has been posted across the 'Net to further dissuade... *shrug*).

I'm sure some of the resident experts here can help...
Hi Ahel,

Anything in particular you need to know?

They need conditions pretty much the same as any other octo only with extra security measures.

The species most likely to be bought in the USA will be H. lunulata from Indonesia.

i dont mean to waste your time, as i have already done a lot of research on the animal, but any information you care to provide and setup suggestions would be good

hello ahel,

when working at a fish store in southern california my bosses said that blue rings were readily available in the us and they saw them every once and awhile at the wholesalers. so just about any wholesaler should have them or be able to get them. just talk to your local fish store manager... or whomever does the shopping for the store, good luck and keep on truckin!! toot toot
Hi tom

smellslookstasteslikeocta is right, they are quite commonly exported and wholsalers do have them on their lists quite freqently. I knocked them back several times last year, and even ended up with one which was supposed to be O. vulgaris. So they are readily available.

However, They do travel very poorly according to what I have seen and what others have told me via personal correrspondense.

Just let me point to this article again and I hope that you see that most are imported as adults, many could be caught by cyanide and many die during travelling. Aside from the TTX, I still think that the importation of Blue Rings is risky at best.


Hope this helps a bit
It doesn't bother me that blue rings are readily available in the pet trade...what does bother me is the fact that they are sometimes mislabled, like calling them a vulgaris :frown:
Thats gonna cause a big problem when some amateur decides to hold his "vulgaris"...
yes, colin i have read that article from multiple sources and also contacted roy caldwell personally for his opinion.... I guess i just have to find a good source to get the blue ring from??? for a younger specimen?
I to would love to own a blue ring one day. But I still live at home with my parents (still in school) and would not want to ever put them at risk by owning that species.
Good luck with him,
what's the fuss?

I have kept blue rings before, and contrary to popular belief, mine never attempted to leap out of the tank and attack my face at all! Seriously though, I keep all my venomous animals (snakes, etc) in one room of my house, which is locked...I am not worried about being envenomated myself, just worried about a neighbor or a friend at a party getting too curious. That said, I really don't use any special precautions in dealing with blue rings, other than the obvious: don't put your hand in the tank for any reason. Every keeper I know who has been injured by a venomous animal has disobeyed this rule. You should use a sumped system, so all filter changes, etc occur OUTSIDE the tank. Tank cleaning can be done with sticks and tools. A lid that will keep in a vulgaris will keep in a blue ring too! The easiest setup would be an established natural reef... lots of rock and a bit of calurpa, and you are set! Good luck! Send in some pics when you get one!
Blue ringed octos are gorgeous, but it escapes me why anyone would try so hard to keep one.

1) Blue rings have a VERY short life: 6 months. Maybe a year at best. The ones that are collected are all adults. You'll get a month or two out of them at best.

2) Blue rings aren't always blue ringed: The default coloration of a blue ringed octopus is mustard yellow/brown to beige. You have to mate your octopus or piss it off to see the blue rings. Both of these things will shorten the life span of your pet. And possibly endanger you.

3) Blue rings are inherently shy. They spend most of their time hiding and are hesitant to tame. Get a bimac. You'll have a 1000X more fun.

4) Blue rings besides having a notoriously short life span, are also very tough to keep. This may be from cyanide-based collection methods or it may be a physiologically limiting factor in the animal. The Baltimore Aquarium had a Venom exhibit and tried to exhibit a blue ring as one of the main centerpieces. Even they couldn't keep one alive for more than a couple months.

5) For every one cephalopod that is successfully imported from the south pacific hundreds die. Really! Hundreds! Collection methods over there are unregulated and irresponsible and greatly endanger wild populations. Purchasing them only encourages more imports and more loss.

5) What else was I going to write here? hmmm. Oh yeah, I remember! BLUE RINGS CAN KILL YOU! DUH!!!

Seriously dude, get a bimac.

Rock on, Jimbo

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