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our new octopus

Apr 3, 2006

My girlfriend and i made the mistake of seeing an octopus and doing some impulse buying so we are on a quick learning curve. We are not sure where it came from .The fish store had it for a month and was feeding it ghost schrimp and hermit crabs. We have feed him some ghost schrimp and frozen krill. We are looking for a place in salt lake that sales fiddler crabs but its hard to do on a sunday. We have a couple question.

Is it normal for him to dig in the corners of the tank? We have about 2 to 3 inchs of sand.

Today he slept in the top front corner of the tank while the tank lights where on. Would this be a sign of something with are tank?

He is reall active and moves around quite a bit towards the evening and night. He pretting much runs circles around the tank. TOday we put our finger slightly in the tank and he was already reaching for and and tried to pull iin our fingers. I read on here that it usually a sign of trust but we have only had him for less then a week. THanks for your replys

David & Nollie
:welcome: David and Nollie! Could you give some more info on the tank and maybe a pic or two of your octo for ID'ing? Having it survive actively for a couple of days now, is at least a good sign: if your tank hadn't been set up right, it would very likely have perished soon after getting to its new home... I assume you take regular readings of your (RO) water regarding copper, ammonia etc.? Check out the octopus care threads on this forum, most helpful! With regards to burrowing behaviour: this is quite common amongst (especially) pygmy varieties: is there a (potential) den in your tank set-up available?

Anyway, as I do not keep an octo myself, I'm not your first port of call on the issue, but I'm sure the rest will actively come in with required support! Cheers,

good luck with him
when Megas pulled on my hand I think he was trying to peel my fingernail off and see if there was a clam inside.
remember that Octos legs have their own mini brain and will act out of their on volition a lot.

Good Luck with him.
Welcome to Tonmo. Be sure to read the excellent paper on keeping octopus by Nancy King in the "ceph care" section, it will help you out quite a lot.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com :welcome:

And welcome to your octopus - I keep the List of Our Octopuses at the top of this forum and will add your octo to this list - does it have a name? And how large is it?

Yes, depending on the species it can be normal to dig in sand. Do you have any hiding places for it. such as a cave formed by rocks, or shells that can be piled up, or even a piece of PVC pipe? And it's possible that your octo is nocturnal, that's why it's more active in the evening and at night.

Many octos become friendly quite quickly - and they're curious and interested in you, which is one of the reasons people enjoy keeping them.

Hello all

Thanks for all the reply's. we have a couple picture we took with our cell phone.There not good but we didn't see how to post the pictures on here but i havent took the time to look through and find the directions too either. Ill be doing this in a little while. We have him in a 15 gallon nano cube. We tested the water yesterday and had all zeros for aminio, nitrates, nitrites. and ph 8.2. temp is 80-82. I have two big rocks leaning together to make a cave. We have seaweed built up on one end of it too.

David & Nollie

Yeah i was just reading nancy's articals. It seems our pet store gave us a lot of mis informations. They said a 20 gallon would be max and to keep the temputer between 80 and 84. Here are some picture hope it works.


Nice pictures. I can't tell what species it is...but to me, it definately doesn't look like a Dwarf octo which would be fine in a 15-20 gallon aquarium. Were do you live and how big is it approx?

You might have a Vulgaris...but if you have a Bimaculoides, both species would need a bigger tank. The bimac would need a 50 gallon as minimum and a Vulgaris would need a tank over 100 gal. Hopefully you can back up a larger tank before it gets too big.
Those are pretty good photos for a camera phone.

You have a small tank, but assuming this is a small octopus, watch the water parameters and have premixed salt water on hand for water changes. You may need to move to a large tank, but it takes three months to cycle a larger tank, so it's nothing you can do iimmediately.

It would be good to get an idea what species you have. How large is it (body length, arms). Does it have two round spots between the eyes and the start of the arms, or not?

Many new species are coming in from Indonesia and other far away places, so some of these octos are difficult to identify. Does your LFS know where your octo came from? That would help in identifying it.

Even assuming this is a tropical octopus, I'd lower the temperature to 80 (slowly).

As for digging in the sand, it doesn't necessarily mean the octo finds the tank too small. Some species actually like to bury themselves in the sand. Others just like to dig.

Many LFSs don't give good advice about the octopuses they sell. You're doing OK, though, or your octo pet would have died by now.
Glad you're interested to learn more about caring for your octopus. They're really fun to keep.

Yeah ring the LFS and ask where the octopus came from. Since it sounds like its a noctournal species, and pretty small it's probably a dwarf octopus.
Some of the dwarf species that are often sold in the US are from colder temperate waters - so its quite important to find out what he is. Perhaps the LFS was keeping him at an incorrect temperature, which might account for his "running around in circles" and high activity.

This is just a geuss (dont change the temp from what its at -80F), so after you talk to the lfs report back and hopefuly we can shed some light on the subject. :biggrin2: