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please help me figure this one out. What is it?


Aug 31, 2004
Hello, I'm really stressing on my new little octo. He/She I will just call it IT for now. It's name is Slimer. I have posted a few pics before. I have better ones now. Check them out.

My problem is I can not figure out what type of Octo it is. So I can’t determine the correct environment for it. Meaning Water temp and lighting. I have been going with the cold tank (no heater) But lately the water gets down too 68.1F at night with the lights off. Sounds good but when it’s that cold she is totally non active. Pale white in color. But like 7 or 8 hours after the light comes on the temp gets to 72.5 then Silmer starts to get all her color back and gets active. Do I need to keep the water a little warmer?

The lighting thing is strange also. Normally I was told low light levels. I tried that at first. But any time the light is even a little dim. She turns pale and balls up. Doesn’t even take the time to get to her den. But when I have the full lighting on she’s very active. Checking things out and looking for food.

The LFS I got her from had her at 1.021 salinity but I was reading the care info here on this site and it said they like it high like 1.024 to 1.026 or something like that. I have to print it out for reference. The water is 1.024 right now.

So any help figuring out what it is would be greatly appreciated. If you know of any type of octo websites that can help me determine the sub species would be great.

Thanks and Slimer Thanks you too.
It's possible that Slimer is a tropical octopus. Even a bimac can be kept in warmer water, and, as far as I can tell, most other octos offered as pets come from warmer areas.

Lets try this: make the water warmer, maybe 74 or 75 degrees, and see how she reacts. (You may end up having to buy a heater.)

Slowly bump the salt level up to a specific gravity of 1.025

Keep the light on for longer, 10 or 12 hours. Octopuses that like lots of light often dwell near the shore where lots of light penetrates the water. Slimer probably already has a place he can hide from the light.


Go to this website (Cephbase) and look at the octopus species. Lots of photos. Does your octo have false eyespots, like a bimaculoides? I haven't noticed them. Please give us another description of the stripes. Any other identifying marks that you notice? I came across an octopus with several stripes in my Cephalopods: A World Guide, will try to find it again.

Hope that helps little Slimer and you,

Thanks Nancy. I looked all ALL of the Pictures in that database. I have noticed a few that may be the actual species.

Octopus Burryi : Dark Striping sometimes, Dark Eye Band

Octopus Cyanea : Looked kind of like Slimer?

Octopus Defilippi : Long Skinny arms. Slimers long arm is about 9 to 10 inches.

Octopus Maya : Longituainal Striping. Slimers done that a few times.

Octopus Mercatoris : Looks like mine but this species doesnt like light. Slimer does.

Then the one I really think it might be is

Octopus Vulgaris : This does the Longituainal stripping, Extended Eye Bar, Basicaly all of the pictures I looked at of the Vul. looked very close.

What do you think? Here are a few more pics. I have a heater but I dont really want to use it untill im sure thats what it wants. I give the tank about 13 hours of light. Slimer does have a den at the top of the tank. Some times hes even sleeping on top of the rock. with part of his body out of the water. I was thinking may be cause of the cold water? it gets warmer at the surface quicker.

I have created a care sheet to keep track of water, salt, temp, conditions and activity of Slimer. So I can try to see if it's just a time thing or temp thing.

Thanks for the help
I looked at the pics of O. vulgaris in my books, and Slimer does look a lot like a vulgaris. That would be good and bad news for you.

Good news is that the vulgaris lives a bit longer, is a very attractive octopus, makes a good pet, and some of our members have kept this species. Bad news is that you're going to need a BIG tank. I'll have to look and see what we've recommended for species.

Also, the O. vulgaris - at least the one Slimer is likely to be - is called the Caribbean Common Ocotpus, and would like slightly warmer temperatures.

You can rule out Mercatoris, it's too small. O. maya has prominent false eye spots. O.cyanea probably wouldn't be sold here.

If Slimer is Octopus burryi, then he's probably an adult already, because the body is only 3 inches, and the arms 6 inches - hmm, isn't he bigger than that already?

So those are some comments, not a definite ID, but at least it's a start. Would like Colin and others to give their opinion, too. And please put Slimer and his tank in the OctoDB. I often look there for more info when I'm answering posts.

Thank you very much for the info. I have Slimer in a small cube inside of my 75 gallon. So I may end up moving Slimer in to the big part of the tank. then may be get another smaller species with would also be a warmer water octo.

If it is a Burryi? Thats possable. The arms range from about 6 : short arm. and 10" the longest arm. It looks like it may of been cought in the wild. It's shorter arms were broken off a long time ago. They have grown back from the most part. Just a little stubby. the mantel length is about 2 to 2 1/2 intches long.

If it is a Vulgaris what size should I expect it to get? Any other info would be great too. Thanks again. I will look into the Data base now. Set Slimer all in there.

Thanks again
I'm rather new at keeping octo's (been fanatically obsessed for about a year) but from what I know vulgaris gets huge-not like dofleini, but huge and may be cramped in even a 75 gallon. Neat octo though. As a side note-which I'm sure you've heard before and already know-don't get the other octo until slimer passes away (about a year). Try a bimac from octopets or fishsupply.com.

Keep us posted! :D


P.S. assuming he's a vulgaris.
Oh no! dont tell me that. It figures a bigger tank. LoL spoiled little guy. As for getting another smaller species I have a sealed cube inside of the 75 gallon. But I guess if it is going to get big then I will need to pull the cube out and let Slimer have the whole tank until I can get a bigger one.

Check out the cube picture.
Forgot to report as soon as the water temp hit 72F Slimer got all color back and poped his head out to see what was going on. I have feed him and now hes crusing the tank. So I guess I will do the heater thing. Should I try like 72F or a little warmer like 75F?

hmmm..... not sure. try in between-like 74 or somethin. As for the sealed cube, you may want to leave it inside and leave it open: octo's have "dens" in the wild, and use stuff like jars all the time- he might like it. :P \

Octopuses are solitary and it may not work out well to have two in a tank where they can see each other, even if they can't make contact!

As for the size of O. vulgaris, its body is around 8 inches (20cm) and arms around 32 inches (80cm).

Oh, and as for the temperature, I don't think you should let the temperature drop so low and you should try to raise it a bit more - maybe to 74 and watch your octopus.

O. vulgaris lives in shallow waters on coral reefs, sand and seagrass - it forages both day and nigt. It eats crustaceans, fish and shellfish.

O. burryi is also from the Caribbean and lives in shallow waters.

Have you tried asking the place you bought Slimer where your octo came from? Even if they can't name a species, it would be a help knowing that it came from the Caribbean.

The LFS said it was from Haiti. A Haittian? But who knows?

I have turned off all of my fans on the tank and Im watching the temp.
I think the heater will com in handy with this little guy.

Do you think that 75 gallons is to much for the size of him? I could just give him the entire tank now. Maybe even tip the cube over on its side and cover with some smaller rocks for a shaded den?

Thnaks again
Well, knowing he's from Haiti at least clues you that he's from warm water! No need to keep him so cool - the bimacs are from cooler water in the Pacific. But even they tolerate warmer water.

I was looking at Octopus "defilippi" which seems also to be found in the area. It's pair of third arms are longer. Is that the case with Slimer?


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