• 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!!!!!! help!!!!!


Blue Ring
May 26, 2005
hi um my brother had just gotten an octopus bireas(sp) and the tank is a 2 gallon.He then is getting a 29 gallon for the octopus.But when we moved the octopus to the blue 10 gallon tub ,which has 4 years of live sand in it and a few live rocks that have been going for 7 years.and my dads water which has just had a 30% water change but after the second day it has lost its appetite and it has lost its tentacles,he was about 8-10 inches from mantle to tips of tentacle and now he is only 5-6 inches.he has plenty of shrimp with him so he wont starve.he also looks white all of the time not to mention he is more attentive and looks terrified.Can someone please help with the situation.

also he has no tank mates besides a few shrimp
longish reply

Hi SS, Has the octi lost ALL of it's arms?????

Are the arms still in the tank or have they disappeared? If they have vanished I'm afraid it sounds like the autophagy disease, which can be brought about by stress (apparently the prion - a wee pre virus thingy) can be dormant in the cells until the animal is stressed, and unfortunately transport can do this. There is no cure for this and the best thing is to euthanise the octi (put it in a sealed plastic bag or container of seawater in the freezer, this is the equivalent of "putting it to sleep").

Then you need to sterilize your equipment. This disease is VERY contageous. Throw out anything you can't sterilize, tubing etc and yes sorry, the live sand, then soak EVERYTHING else in a 10% bleach/seawater solution for about a week, then rinse it in FRESH WATER about 10 times or so, until you can't smell bleach (to remove the bleach) , then soak in freshwater for a week, then leave dry for about a week...........THEN you can start reseasoning and cycling everything to seawater again. I know this sounds extreme, but the one time we didn't do this (we just drained cleaned and dried the tank) the next octi we put in got the disease too.

However, if the arms are still present then the octi has dropped them from some stress and may if given time regrow them. At this stage you will need to move very carefully and quietly around it and resist the urge to examine it every hour!!! It needs rest and alone time!!

Sorry to be gloomy, but it's best to be prepared for the worst case scenario


i just found news that the octopus got out last night and it was just lying on the carpet.he only has one tentacleand the rest look as if they were cut in half.when my dad put him in the tankit was just floating and the it came back to life it was where the pump was so mabe while it was lying there lifeless it's tentacles were sucked into the pump

i really dont know the whole story i wasnt there
Ok Then, The best thing to do is to keep him quiet and feed him. I would recommend feeding him twice a day. Once in the morning (clean out uneaten food as well) and once last thing at night (clean out uneaten morning food) then put a lid on the barrel and leave him be the rest of the time. He may not eat your food but remember if you have live sand/rock there may well be other beasties that he's munching on!

If you think he's getting an infection add a couple of drops of betadine (iodine) to the water. Do your standard water changes but try to do them at one of the feeding times. The trick is to disturb him as little as possible so he can destress. Hopefully you should start to see wee arms regrowing. THEN you can start acclimatising him to people. I'd start with 5 mins a day and build up!


okies thank u so much you have been a big help i will do that um what do you think the success rate is of this in a percentage? (I f its too low i'll get a second opinion)

is 1% potassium iodine okay?
The intake of your pump needs to be covered with mesh or a sponge to protect your octi. As Jean suggests, do this while you're doing regular maintenance so that you don't disturb him more.

Hi SS,

The survival rate will depend on the stamina of the individual and also how long it was out of the water. But I'd say 50/50. Get a 2nd opinion by all means. I've not worked with northern species, someone like Nancy or Colin may have more info. What I've suggested works with the southern NZ species.

Yes 1% Potassium Iodide should be OK (we just by a bottle of betadine for humans at the pharmacy!!!!). Just monitor him at feeding times you know colour, activity, how much eaten etc. With sick animals we keep a log book noting that kind of stuff, because staff have different duty shifts and it keeps us all up to speed. If your brother or Dad is helping you may want to do the same thing, that way you can keep disturbance to a minimum and you won't over medicate!!! We keep the log book on the lid of the tank, that way we remember to check it :smile:

Good luck and keep us posted

Hi SS,
Nancy and I are saying the same thing! She's just suggesting that you cover the pump inlet (which I didn't think of suggesting :oops:) T'is a very good idea to prevent further mishaps! But she's ALSO saying disturb your wee friend as little as possible at the moment!!!!!!!

Any one else out there with more advice for SS?????????????

you can just call me somo or somosuno which ever you like and /ok thanks
btw it look like he is getting better he is moving around in the tub soooo um i got nuthin' else to say! :mrgreen:

ANYONE ELSE feel free to give advice!!!
Hi Jean i octopus_octo somos's bro :biggrin2: and i treid to feed him but he was very slow on tring to catch the food (shrimp) and it (the shrimp) just walked away and he/she was didnt try to get it.

I dont know what to do???????

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.