• 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 Virgin!


Oct 24, 2005
Hey there!
Have just joined this site and absolutely love it! But am in need of some serious advice.
I am currently living in South Korea and working as an English teacher. Am an Aussie by birth. As an octopus lover from way back it has upset me no end to see live octopi everywhere here in tanks outside restaurants. I'm determined to save one and give it a better home than the dinner table.
Have got, I believe, all the right stuff for my tank, air pumps, filter etc, but have no idea where to start with the water. Not sure what the water quality is like here, well we don't drink it we buy bottled water if that's any indication. Where do I find RO water and can I make the saltwater myself? Have heard of things like Instant Ocean and wondering if my best bet is just to buy it online.
These guys are not exactly in great conditions in these restaurant tanks but they look healthy (not sure what the species is either) so 'm thinking that they must be pretty hardy.
Anyway would love any help and advice. Am very keen to save one of these little critters as soon as possible.
Thanks Claire
:welcome: Claire! I think that is a wonderful idea! I'm not sure on what you have available over there as far as RO water, but yes you can mix your own with Instant Ocean. Maybe someone else more familiar with where you live can help you further. If your tank is not an existing one, there will be a 3 month wait for the tank to go through it's cycles. Check out our Ceph care page.

Welcome to Tonmo!!
Yeah, check out the articles under "ceph care", and you should be fine. Bothers me too, when I see the little one's in restaurant tanks...

Hi Claire,

The first thing to do is determine the species. From those waters there's at least a chance that you're seeing juvenile GPO's (Enteroctopus dofleini) and they get far far too big for a home aquarium. [A mature GPO will weigh anywhere from 20 to 45 kilograms.]

Even if they aren't GPO's (and they probably aren't) knowing the species will tell you a lot about what sort of set-up you'll need. If the vendors (restaurants? fish markets?) can't tell you the species then maybe they can tell you where the octos were caught. With that info there's probably someone here that can give you a good educated guess as to species. A third avenue would be to post a picture or two for the TONMO community to peruse.

Identificationally yours,

Thank you sooo much guys for replying. Since I wrote i found an aquarium here in South Korea that sells everything that I need. Ran the tank for a while and bought Inkspot 5 days ago from a restaurant.
More problems now. He seems happy enough, is exploring his tank and not that nervous when we are around. Seems genuinely curious about us but he has not eaten a thing. Have tried tiny baby shrimp (kind of half alive but they didnt last very long) clams, green shimp but he's just not interested. Haven't found anything trully alive yet, is that what he's after? The water has also been very cloudy. I keep changing it which he loves and comes out to greet the water as it flows in! Doesn't look like he's inked in though.
Would be lost without this website. Thank you sooooo much!!
Cheers Claire and Inkspot
Are you able to take a picture? The cloudyness could be from a number of things, do you have lighting on your tank? - It may be from algal bloom(green) or diatoms if it is a browny colour. Perhaps taking some water tests would help, as it sounds like he likes having fresh water which may be a sign.

I think that there are a lot of O Vulgaris up that way, but I wouldnt really know.
Apparently there are a number of octopuses that are hard to feed with anything but live food - midget octos have the pickyiest appetites from memory.
Being in Asia with the fantastic markets there, I would imagine somewhere must sell live crustaceans. It would be good to work out whether he needs live food or if there is some other problem, hopefully he will eat eventually. :smile:
Thank you very much for your reply.
Unfortunately Inkspot didn't make it. He still refused to eat in the end and think that he may have on the way out in the first place. The octos you see in the restaurant tanks here are not in the best condition and one restaurant owner said to me that they only survive for 10 days when they get them in. Nasty stuff hey? Sorry to have to put this on an octo lovers site.
Anyway, cleaned my tank and going to run it for a bit longer now so the conditions are perfect before I try again.
Thanks again for all the help you guys have given me.
Cheers Claire
RIP Inkspot
omg Claire, you are my HERO! ive seen the tanks on TV and it breaks my heart everytime i hear about people eating them alive>.< dont be discuraged cause your first atempt didnt survive, you gave him a fighting chance and that was more than the restaurant owners would have! when i was younger i had a live baby mouse that a friend of mine had tried to feed to her snake. it didnt live more than a few days but it was two days he wouldnt have survived otherwise eh? keep going and you'll make one very lucky octopus very happy one day:smile:
RIP Inkspot, losing a pet is never easy

maybe your octo was an adult at the end of its life. cephs only live for a year or 2 so you could have done everything right and still your octo wouldhave died.

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