• 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 purchasing questions


Mar 12, 2007
Hello all, I have recently decided a few weeks ago to enter the octopus world. I have been keeping saltwater fish for the last 6 years, so this is nothing far too out there for me. I have read almost all of the articles available in keeping these interesting animals, and feel that my tank is perfect now for an octopus. I have been looking all over for these animals, but have been having some difficulty. So I have a few questions, first off is buying an octopus online a risky business? Am I better off buying one in a lfs? Second, I have found two sites that say they currently have octopus in, one is aquacon, and the other is marine depot live. Have any of you had any experience with any of these sites? Is there any site out there that I have been missing out on that specializes in selling these animals? Thanks a ton!
How big is your tank? Octopus are quite different to keep than fish and even other marine inverts. You need super filtration and a minimum tank size of 50g for anything bigger than a dwarf. Octopus don't tolerate much less than perfect water conditions and eat a lot, (Be prepared to spend $$$$$$ on food) many won't touch dead food and FW feeder fish or shrimps are unsuitable.

Having said that, they're amazing animals to observe (especially if you can keep them IN the tank! duct tape is your friend!!!! cover all openings no matter how small).

But do spend some time reading the ceph care articles on this site, they are written by experienced octopus keepers and have a lot of valuable info.


I have had experience with marine depot but not the other. They are a pretty good supplier and got back to me quickly. Buying an octo online is where most people get them, correct me if im wrong. Its never an easy process though because the suppliers usually have no idea what species they have and/or how old they are. They also neglect to tell you if its healthy or not (missing arms, etc). Ive only been to one LFS that actually carried octos regularly and its and hour and a half from my house. Youd probably be better off picking one up off the internet depending on where you live and how many LFS you have around you. Although you cant see the animal before you buy it online, its what ive had most succes with and im on my third octopus. I got 2 offline, which were both very healthy but i gave 1 to my mother to keep and the other i kept myself for almost a year. His name was Cujo and he was a bimac. My newest octo i bought from a very large LFS and ive had him alittle over a week. His name is Spartan and ive recently had him ID'ed as an Abdopus Aculeatus. The octo i gave to my mother live for about 6 months and was great. So from my personal experience, ive had more online buys then LFS buys. Ive only ever seen one octo that looked very healthy to me at a LFS. I bought him a week ago :) There is also a thread at the top of the octopus care section that states all the different places they are available to purchase, and its updated regularly.

Here are some sites I know of (not the exact names but if you google them you should find them easy)

thatpetplace (might ship?)

I know there are alot more but i have to remember them. When i do ill send them to you.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

I was just looking at the List of Our Octopuses at the top of the Journals and Photos Forum. Actually, about half of our octopuses come from LFSs. It depends on the LFS whether they know how to care for octopuses and have some idea of what they're getting.
Others are ordered from people who make known here that they've raised or caught octopuses and they're for sale. And some are purchased online.

Thanks everyone for the quick replies! I'm getting a dwarf octopus, either a O. Joubini or O. bocki (or any other dwarf that im unaware of), because I only have a 29 gallon tank. The tanks been set up for about 6 mos. and is filtered mainly by bio ball filtration/ and good ole' natural lr/ls combo filtration. Which dwarf octopus would you guys suggest i should get based on biurnal activity, and hardiness, etc.? Thanks again!
If you decide on Mercatoris (they are nocturnal and similar to the Joubini) I believe Danthemarineman (TONMO) and Ken at www.sealifeinc.net (old.diver on eBay - Trapper is from Ken and I am his webmaster) both have some available now from Florida. . There are also a couple of Keys based sellers on eBay that are very reputable currently selling the Mercs. Note that this appears to be their brooding season and the animals may be very short lived.

Read more about Aquacon on some of the reef sites before you purchase there. I am a relatively successful reef keeper but the one time I purchased there (long ago - things may have changed), nothing lived for more than a week, the livestock was not well taken care of, they shipped an item other than what was ordered, they short shipped and would not refund the missing item (they promised "credit" but I never bought from them again).

Welcome to the world of cehps :octopus: :cuttlehi: :vampyromo :ceratite:
Thanks a bunch. So from the sound of it, if I purchase a dwarf theres a good chance he may naturally die off in a month or two, or even a few weeks. Now that does not seem very appealing to purchase a new pet thats going to just die off soon. For my tank, would it be possible to keep a younger medium sized octopus, or is that just out of the question?
mrk360;89777 said:
Thanks a bunch. So from the sound of it, if I purchase a dwarf theres a good chance he may naturally die off in a month or two, or even a few weeks. Now that does not seem very appealing to purchase a new pet thats going to just die off soon. For my tank, would it be possible to keep a younger medium sized octopus, or is that just out of the question?

Absolutely out of the question! Cephs grow REALLY quickly and produce mega quantities of waste. You can't really control growth by feeding less either as cephs have a protein based metabolism, they don't store energy as fat and so by feeding less you're essentially starving them. The only way to do what you suggest is to have a larger tank (50G or more) cycled and on standby for when the octopus gets too big for your 29G. It's a sad fact of life that octopus are short lived animals and if they're wild caught you really can't tell how old it is (typically they have a poor size to age relationship!). Sorry.

If you can mentally get over the lifespan hurdle, I would suggest going ahead with the dwarf as your first ceph. It will give you a feel for keeping them and allow you to understand their commitment and care. If there is any advantage at all to the short life span of these remarkable animals, it is that you can keep one for its natural lifespan without the years of committment of most warm blooded (and many cold blooded) animals. If keeping the pygmy suits you, there will be larger tanks, chillers ... in your future (Tony, I need the octo reality icon!):wink2: . If not, you will have had an interesting pet, learned a lot and will go on to other types of critters but probably not stick to just fish as in my understanding of your past 6 years :sagrin:

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