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octo tips,suggestions,and advice


May 9, 2005
I was given a pigmy octopus by a friend who put it in his reef tank and lost all his hermits and cleaner shrimp in 2 weeks :roll: ...anyways, its now in my 29g tank with 25lbs live rock and 20lbs live sand, there is also a brittle star and 2 snails in there. I dripped him for about 2.5-3 hours and he seems to be ok, although he hasnt really moved at all. His 'head' is just an inch or two long. How and what should I feed him? I was told to just leave frozen shrimp/seafood on a rock overnight and hed find it. As for enclosure, I put plastic wrap over the top and punched a bunch of small holes in it, hope this will work for the time being. Filtration consistes only of 3 powerheads, one with an attached 'quickfilter', I think Ill add a hang on back powerfilter asap.

any advice or tips from the experts is welcome,

Check out our cephcare forums! Lots of advice and suggestions. Not sure about those powerheads. In the past I've had octos poke their arms in and get them shortened. I also believe one octo was sucked into one. Are these attached to an undergravel? Octos are very curious creatures, but hopefully he's too new to go exploring the powerheads!

Did you tape down the wrap? Best of luck! And :welcome:

The powerheads all have makeshift prefilters (aka, a sponge and an elastic) and the plastic wrap is taped all around the edge with masking tape. Im a little worried about oxygen with a nearly airtight covering, as oxygen content seems to be stressed alot as a major concern with octo health.

Ill read as much as I can, but if anyone wants to point me to the most important stuff, the 'ceph care' pages seem to be particularily brief, especially in feeding techniques.


Hi Jon and welcome to TONMO.com :welcome: ,

You do need more filtration - get a good canister filter or other filter as soon as possible. Powerheads aren't really filtration. What is a "quick filter"?

You can feed him some live food - small snails, hermit crabs and other crabs as well as pieces of thawed frozen shrimp. He's probably night active so hunts and looks for food at night. You can leave some food out, maybe in a small shell. Be sure to remove uneaten food the next day.

Oxygen is very important - maybe leave some larger holes in the middle of the plastic wrap.

You can view your little octo in the dark by using a red lens over a flashlight.

We'll be doing more on dwarf octos including a care sheet.

ok, thanks alot, he has accepted a feeder fish, not the best, but it is only day 1, wont take frozen yet and for reasons beyond me the local lfs is out of hermits!

Try snails or pieces of fresh mussel or fresh scallop - often available at a good fishmarket. In a pinch, try a few ghost shrimp. We don't recommend feeder fish because they may have been treated with copper.

I found it very difficult to use the local LFSs as a supplier for food. Often they had no hermits and you never knew what size they'd be.

You can order hermits from
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Im not from the USA so I cannot order online and there is very little available. The feeders are bait minnows and its been 24 hours since I fed him and he seems ok, how long would copper treated feeders take to harm him?


Hi Jon,

If it's a minnow used for fishing, it probably hasn't been treated with copper. I'd think you'd see signs by now.

Where do you live? And are the minnows freshwater?

Your little octo can eat other species of crabs from the LFS, but they're usually expensive.

Yes, they are bait minnows, but the lfs brings them in during the spring as small, cheap feeders and/or pond fish, but I think I have everything under control for the time being, he has eaten some frozen shrimp.

thanks for all who helped,


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