octopus inteligence


O. vulgaris
Apr 27, 2007
My new octopus Felix has outsmarted me. I got him last week and I put him in the tank. He was out for a long time - several hours - then he disappeared. I left him alone for about a week and then, when I was sure he was dead in there somewhere, I took out every rock, combed through all the sand, replaced all the rocks still probing every hole looking for him. He was not to be found. I was positive the crabs ate him.

Last night, I ordered my last octopus. I had a credit at the fish store, so I decided I would try to keep and octopus one last time.

Okay, I'm sure you are all with me. Tonight, guess who is swimming aournd the tank? Of course, Felix. He was so happy to see me. He even took a shirmp off a feeding stick and ate it. That is something I haven't been able to get an octopus to do before. Happy days in the Delosa household.

Now, what do I do with the other octopus that is coming tomorrow? Felix is a small aculeatus. I expect the new octopus to be small or a drawf too.

Can I put both in a 75 gal tank if I put a divider down the center? I know I may have to get another tank as they both get bigger, but I was wondering, as a quick fix, would it work. I hate to spend the money if the octopus is only going to survive a couple of weeks but am more than willing to make the investment if I have good luck with it.

And, if they can be room mates, shouldn't I call the other one Oscar?
Debra, I think you'll have to give it a whirl. Make sure that there several suitable dens for both and have food always available . I bet that it will work out well. Look forward to hearing about it. Zyan
Thanks guys for your responses. Zyan, I'm still waiting for you new babies. I will be sure to have a place for a couple of them when they become available.
There should not be any problem with harboring multiple octopus in one aquarium given ample den space & prey availability. Reproductive behaviors may cause problems in the future where den space may become more of an issue. You will never know unless you try it... Good luck!

Putting two together could be really risky. One is likely to stress the other out, and octos are known to eat each other in captivity. It's probably strange enough for them to move from the wild to a small aquarium- acuelatus (which is used to crawling tens to hundreds of meters a day) is not likely to want to share the little space for very long.
Seems to me most that have attempted housing more than one together eventually one of them disappeared whether for the above reasons or what but other than Zyan, I really do not remember any success stories housing more than one.
I seem to remember that someone else (I forget who) has 2 bimacs right now, but I can't think of anyone mixing 2 different species or 2 aculeatus before...
Actually, usually it doesn't work out even with two bimacs. We've had several people try it. Perhaps it would be more successful with those that have been raised together and are a little older - usually one becomes dominant and the other stays very small, eventually dies, even in a larger tank.

I seem to remember that experiments with two different species were more successful than with two of the same species, but I think it would depend on the species and how old the octopuses are when put into the tank.

Nancy;95948 said:
Actually, usually it doesn't work out even with two bimacs.

Further looking suggests that I was thinking of Mizu having 2 of Zyan's bimacs, but that didn't work out either... I certainly didn't mean it as a suggestion that it was a good idea, but I guess I was too vague.
Zyan's babies have succeeded and I am going to try my Mercs together but these are sibblings who were/are raised together from hatchlings.

I believe Delosa suggested that she thought she could partition the tank. Noting Mucktopus' reply, the partitioning might need to be uneven and long ways rather than bisectional. Depending upon time, materials and creativitiy, it might be possible to run an over/under section or sealed tubing runs to share more room.
Octopus Intelligence

The stress placed on octopus living side by side (with a partition) would probably induce less stress than having two aggressive octopus in the same aquarium. The aggressor will most likely be searching the partition for a route to the other side. I have seen this sort of behavior occur in bimaculoides. Just so I am clear, my recommendation would be to house only one octopus at a time. It is possible, however, to house multiple octopus at the same time given the right environmental conditions.

Well, I think I will give them about a week to see how they are doing, then if all goes well, I'll get another aquarium.

Thanks everyone.
Sorry if this sounds a little off topic but going back to the intelligence aspect of octopus. Doesn't anyone else find it strange that a creature with such a high mental capacity has such a short lifespan? Most intelligent creatures have quite a long life span and most need it as they have alot to learn. Octopus don't.

Wether this is a blessing to mankind or a curse is up for debate. :wink:

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