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Octopus? Fine, but where to get one OUTSIDE from the US?


O. bimaculoides
Aug 5, 2004
Ok first things first, (bad english skills ahead!)

as this is my first post I'd like to say hello to all you people here. I've been following the forums for quite some time now and all the nice people here (and their often very helpful responses to questions) have convinced me on eventually joining this forum :notworth:

Ok so here is the tougher part: (this is going to be a bit longer, please bear with me) :heee:

I intend to get an Octopus sooner or later myself. I've always been fascinated by these creatures, and to be honest, I've never really had even the slightest idea that it is possible to keep it at home until I came across this site :smile:
I am an newbie in terms of Seawater Aquariums (i've had some freshwater ones before for some time, but i don't want to call myself very expierienced in this).
I've been informing myself over seawater tanks for some time, but it quickly became clear that keeping a reef tank is actually something that probably should not be tried by a newbie as it tends to be very expensive (at least i've heard so) and difficult in terms of lightning, water quality, temperature and so on...

So I've been fascinated with the topic of keeping an octopus as a pet. The tank setup and maintainance is not the real problem here (we have a aquarium store right around the corner, and they really help you out with any question about professional stuff) BUT before I set up the tank, read all the books and ask all the questions I would like to know If anyone knows sources outside the us (europe preferred, I live in Germany) that sells/ships cephalopods.
I know that fishsupply.com does overseas shipments, but I don't really want to make any poor creature endure the overseas shipment process...

Because the whole process in building/buying the tank would be useless if I cant get any inhabitants for it :P

Also if someone has some suggestions whic type actually to keep would be a big plus.
I've heard that the O. vulgaris can get quite big and likes to escape a lot. Many people here said that a Bimac is a nice choice, but I've heard that it actually needs quite cold water, so water chilling equippent could be needed right?

any ideas would be welcome.

:welcome: Jakxx!

It will be expensive, but lighting should be cheap.

Sorry, I don't know of a source for occys in Germany, maybe Colin could help you out.

Many people here said that a Bimac is a nice choice, but I've heard that it actually needs quite cold water, so water chilling equippent could be needed right?

Not necessarily, 70 is about where it should be, it depends how cold/hot it gets in your tank. Mine is kept in my basement, so I need a heater since the temp can go down to 60 in the winter with the heat and stuff on. I think Nancy keeps a small fan by her tank to keep it cool, seems a lot cheaper than the $300+ you'll need for a chiller. :smile:
Not necessarily, 70 is about where it should be, it depends how cold/hot it gets in your tank. Mine is kept in my basement, so I need a heater since the temp can go down to 60 in the winter with the heat and stuff on. I think Nancy keeps a small fan by her tank to keep it cool, seems a lot cheaper than the $300+ you'll need for a chiller. :smile:

Mhh.. I've been told that the temperature is more or less linked to the lifespan of the animal, so probably buying a medium sized chiller to keep the temperature a little above 60°F might add to the lifespan of the octo :smile:

Ah well.. I'm still trying to figure out how to tell the guy in the store that I intend to keep an octopus as this really doesn't seem to be anywhere near common here where I live. I think I'll just get weird looks instead :bugout:
A lot of the suppliers that I have in the UK will be exactly the same ones that your local shops will use in Germany... it will just be a matter of asking around your local marine specialist shops until you find one who will be able to order an octo for you... funny looks are the normal reaction :smile:

good luck
*looks at Colin's location* D'uh.. diddn't notice you were from the uk :roll: that pratically makes us neighbors more or less :wink: Ok so this got my hopes a bit up. I'll check out the local shops then. Maybe besides funny looks, some of the guys there might actually be able to help me out with my octo-shortage :madsci: Altough I still quite doubt it. This might be a bit too "exotic" for most tastes here I guess... but hell, who cares? :heee:
You should just be able to ask them to ask their suppliers...

perhaps have a trawl through any german internet sites for specialist aquatic shops and email them?

I went through some sites lately, but it seems like there are only VERY few german online shops that actually ship live fish.
But a friend of mine recently stumbled into a large pet shop nearby and they had different kinds of saltwater fish for sale (hooray for me) :sly:

I guess I'll simply talk to them while carefully changing the subject into "Just get me an octopus already!!" :mrgreen: I don't want to scare the guy away with the first words that leave my mouth :bonk:

The ony thing that bothers me a bit is that I have never ever seen any pet shop or aquatics specialist that had an octo for sale even once, this really might be a bit uncommon here. :roll:

Also, if they can't order them, importing an octopus also MIGHT be a bit tricky as the vets on the airports tend to take any live animal into more or less long quarantine (the poor critter surely has to endure enough stress already while shipping).
To be honest, I don't even know if it is even legal at all to import one :goofysca: We have some very tight laws when it comes to dealing with living creatures being shipped overseas to a private person, although I think this might be common in most countries, so mayyyybe I'm lucky. :wink:
I think that the problem with Germany is t hat you are a high quality water country like us here in the UK.

We have problems importing our vulgaris from Spain because they can carry spanish disease and parasites which may infest our water, so all our vulgaris/GPO tanks must have their putlet water treated with caustic soda... not nice.

I htink Germany has the same problems as us.

Now as far as it goes for importing fish that would be up to the vendor to sort out, although if you ring your customs department then they might be able to help. In this country we have CEFAS which is part of DEFRA, a government organisation which legislates what can and cannot be brought into the country.

If you have a shop that buys it's fish from somewhere like TMC (Tropical Marine Centre) then they should be able to import most of the TMC stock... actually saying that there are all the CITES problems with Seahorses now so i'm not sure what the deal would be with everything else.

Maybe speak to your customs department at your parliament building or the quarentine unit at your local airport and see what they say. Shoud be fairly happy to speak wth you if it could save them some work in the long run.

Well I just came home from a Petshop/Aquarist tour through the city :x Turns out that there isn't a SINGLE shop here that sells ANYTHING more than clwonfish when it comes to seawater :goofysca:. The biggest shop for freshwater aquarium needs around here was also a huge dissaointment... I went up there and asked the old guy running the store about the possibility to get an Bimac from him and he was like "Octopus :bugout:? Never again! Had some once, but you know they escape an stuff sou you need alid on your tank (you don't say!), I surely could get one BUT I'll never order one ever again! And you won't get any here in germany anywhere else, I know because I'm older than you and know everything you don't blah blah :grad: " After two minutes, his wife and two other guys also working at the store were standing besides me, giving me funny looks... He was pretty downlooking on me, most probably due to my younger age and uncertain appearance about the subject.. well... at the end of the day, when I checked my last stop, I FINALLY met a pretty nice guy who tried to help me as much as he could. He gave me the web adress of the import company his store has a deal with and said I that might be able to find one there. And if I did, they simply could order one for me! :notworth:

Well i just visited the site and to my suprise they actually import Octopi! :heee: The downside however is, they are simply listed there as "Octopus". No picture or whatsoever to even give a slight hint on the species I might get if I order one... :oshea:

I believe the possibility of getting a O. Vulgaris instead of a Bimac might be quite high.
I'll email them about this issue and maybe (hopefully) they can tell me what species they are offering.

Now the only question remaining would be.. If I happen to get an Vulgaris, would 390liters (103gallons) (us gallons) be enough? I surely don't want the poor octo to be cramped inside a too small tank....


okI've just went through some articles and it seems like that everyone recommends a tank of at least 120g for an O Vulgaris, so I think mine might be a bit to small after all... oh well...

---2nd edit---

ok doesn't seem to be my lucky day... it seems like the only species they import is the blue ringed octopus.. I'm definately not getting one of those :smile: Oh well.. back to search :?
Jaxx, where about do you live. I've got a lot of contacts all over Germany, i can see if I have someone local to you!

Thank you for your help andy, I really appreciate this :biggrin2:

I live in Braunschweig, Niedersachsen. North germany if you want to say so.

I've also went a bit on with my search and turned up two more sites that actually seem to import and sell octopi (one of them is also selling directly to private persons) the only downside is that all of them seem to be importing from bali and around, giving it a high possibility that they catch wild octopi and I stongly believe that they only import O. Vulgaris or similar sized species living there in this case, given the location. :wink:
I also believe that I have no other choice than to stick with ordering online as there is absolutely no saltwater specialist shop here in town or even near it... that is, if the said importer for the pet shop I mentioned in my last post really only offers O. Vulgaris. (Keeping one of those would surely kill my budged)

Oh yeah, please take note that I won't buy an octopus in the next five to six months however! I still have to set up/cycle the tank, as well as I still have to secure a source of live food. But I guess the whole thing is quite meaningless if I set up everything and then are unable to obtain an octo :wink:

I've already posted about the food thing and so on here: TONMO Cephalopod Community
just check out my last post in case I forgot anything to mention.

thanks again! :notworth:
A lot of the stuff coming from Bali is misidentified and certainly wild caught... I have ordered Octopus vulgaris from Bali on several ocassions and had O.cf. bocki, O. cf. aculeatus and even Hapalochlaena species!!! So best avoided...

You are having the same problems that i face in scotland...

Andy, are you able to source vulgaris for scotsmen???? :smile:
Hi Jackxx,

I'm from nothern Germany and I know some Dealer where ui can get an Oktopus.
Ask Michael at his Shop: www.meeresaquaristik.de, he will order you an Octo, no Prob!

The only Problem is to get the species you want. I' ve never seen a Bimac in Germany and the delivered ones are nameless.
The only thing they can tell you if it is an small or big species.

They will mainly sell Bluering because of the simple identification.

But my Tip is to ask Michael!
My dealer in Schleswig-Holstein sells some Octos every week.

But, plaese read some books of reefceeping before you start your new hobby! It will be good for you and especially for your octo!

If you need some help, visit our community: www.meerwasserforum.net

Thank you chris! I'll definately check the site out.

Actually I am still in the phase of gathering information about saltwater aquariums, and I probably won't starty anything serious before I'm not quite sure of what I'm actually doing :wink:

But of course you are right, knowing your stuff is important, especially when you are going the reeftank way.

thanks again.

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