• 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.

Protein Skimmer Question


Aug 31, 2007
I've been reading up alot on octopi recently and find that they are fascinating animals and have been beginning to think about making a setup to keep one for myself. I've kept fish before and currently have a setup of african cicilids so I understand how to cycle tanks but that's not what holds me back from buying an octopus. I'm in college right now so i'm on a fairly small budget since I don't get a chance to work very many hours a week. I already have a 55 gallon tank avalible with a hood and light and get a filter fairly cheap from my friend but that's not holding me back from getting an octopus. Since i'm on a fairly small budget I can't afford really to put $200-250 dollars on a protein skimmer that i'd only be using for one animal which leads to my question. Is it possible to house an octopus without a protein skimmer? I have many filters avalible to me from my friend who works at a pet store so I was wondering if it would be possible to have several small filters in order to not have too much current to biologically filter out the waste rather than having a protein skimmer. If there is any other less expensive way of filtering out the waste from an octopus I'd appreciate it if someone would tell me but I just can't afford to buy an octopus if I have to put so much money towards just one part of the setup.
Protein skimmers are not necessary, actually I've never used one on any of my octo tanks. However, they are recommended. The main thing for any ceph tank is lots of biological filtration. Usually I use a filter that is designed for a tank 2 to 3 times larger than my tank.

So in conclution no you do not need one, but if you deside not to use one you will be spend more time on general maintenance of the tank such as doing more water changes.
Protein skimmers remove different waste from the water than filters. I also think that you can get a protein skimmer for less than $200. I know I didn't spend that much on mine (although it is not top of line, it does remove gunk from the water). You also want to get a protein skimmer that is rated higher than your tank capacity. Mine is rated for 150 gallons and it is for a 55 gallon tank. Lastly, it is not that hard to make your own protein skimmer. If you search this forum, there are directions for a DIY protein skimmer.

Found the link I was thinking of...
heres a DIY skimmer
Filteration itself isn't much of a problem because my friend was a breeder of fish so he has a bunch of old equipment in his basement that he'll give me fllters pretty much as I need them. I can also get live rock for 30% off if I give him the money to buy me them from where he works for his discount. That's quite a relief that I don't necessarly need a protein skimmer but that's also cool that you can make them and I think i'll look into that since I enjoy doing home projects.

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