• 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.

Octopus for a beginner


Jul 12, 2006
Ok so let me start off by saying I am a 16 year old kid. I have never owned any sort of fish/ aquarium, but I have reptiles. I have never really had any desire to keep fish, as I thought they were just lame/ boring. However, I am currently working at store that specializes in fish and reptiles and today a customer came in to the store asking about octopuses. The idea of keeping an octopus in a tank fascinated me, as it seems to be alot more interesting then say fish.

Since I have never had any sort of fish experience, freshwater or saltwater, I would most likely buy a nano cube, because it seems to be the best and easiest way to start out with a tank.
for a nano cube, say 24 gallons, what could I keep in this tank, and abotu how long?

So yeah I am just wondering if anyone could help me out with what kind of octopus that would be best, or if an octopus is not a good idea for a beginner.

As far as like avaliability of an octopus, I can get one through my work cheap, so thats not a problem. But as of now, the only octopus that I have really been told about was the blue ring, (yes i know its extremely dangerous, but i wasnt about to go taking this thing for walks) and what really surprised me about these octopuses were how cheap they were. ($30-$40 for a blue ring) especially with my discount and crap.

thanks for the help, I am just trying to figure out if this would be ok or not, and to learn what type I should get, cause it seems the consensus on these forums are BLUE RING= BAD.

I was also considering some freshwater sharks, but ill leave that for another forum.

First off, Welcome to Tonmo! That being said, you are going to need a lot of experience with saltwater tanks prior to attempting to keep any kind of ceph...I would lean heavily towards maintaining a reef style tank for a few years, and see if that really is what you like doing, before you jump up to getting an octopus.
Be sure to read all of the articles in the section "ceph care", they'll help you out with information about tank size, maintaining water quality, and the equipment you are going to need.
Reef and ceph tanks require a lot of attention, and can be demanding...no more long vacations, etc.
Blue rings make for bad captive cephs for a variety of reasons, it is hard to clean the tank, and they usually are shipped as adults, with about a month or two left to live, hardly a rewarding experience for the octopus or the keeper!
If you read all of the information, and decide to take the plunge, you've come to the right place...
:welcome:hello greg, welcom to the fourms! i too am a beginner. in fact i dont even have my tank up and running yet. however i have done quite a bit of research on this fourm, and the general consencious is no smaller than a 55 gallon. i dont know much about the different kinds yet but i was looking at the octo. bimaculoid for my first. maybe a dwarf octo yould be good for you? however i still think that it will out grow the tank too quickly. there are lots of care articles and how to articles on this fourm. you shoul check out the ceph care articles, if you havent already. hope that helps some...
Welcome to TONMO!

I also keep reptiles! (Got a Aldabra, Fly River Turtle, Sandfire red Bearded Dragon, and a Black-headed Python) Octos are extremely fascinating and very much like a reptile husbandry - but much harder.
I have bred dart frogs (azureus) and panther chameleons (Ambanja) before, but keeping cephs happy and healthy beats them all.

I would suggest a larger tank to start with probably a 40-55 gallon. Smaller tanks are actually more difficult than larger ones. Smaller nano cubes fluctuate water conditions much more rapidly and are less stable than a larger tank. Think of a juvenile gold dust gecko as being harder to spot illness and treat compared to a adult bearded dragon.

I would suggest getting your "feet wet" with a rare interesting freshwater turtle to learn about filtration and an animal that creates a large bio load. Indian soft shells are cool (chitra I think) or a Fly River if you can find one.

Lastly- Blue Rings are defiantly one of the most spectacular animals and their small size and low price are very attractive, but they are the Black mambas of the marine world. No antidote and no chance without a ventilator quickly. Octos do get out and they do escape as good or better than snakes. If you are experienced with "hot" animals I would say you are qualified. Half the fun of octos is interacting with them and that is so limited with blue rings (you know that whole dying thing is a bummer.)
I would discourage anyone from keeping a blue ring, but you must have some saltwater experience and preferably octo experience before you even consider accepting such a risk. There are a lot of things to learn about how octos behave, when they might escape, what to do in an emergency, how to seal the tank - you will be too vulnerble if your first octopus is a blue ring.

Also, it would be more fun to keep an octopus of a species that you can interact with.

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