• 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.


Jun 25, 2004
Im thinking about getting an octopus and ive been looking up alot of information on them but i still have a couple of questions: I live on the Gulf of Mexico so getting food should not be a porblem and the easiest food i can catch are things such as a variety of baby fish, mainly baby mullet, hermit crabs, and cigar minnows. Would an octopus like these? I am planning on getting a O. vulgarius, so what should the minimal gallon size tank be?
:mrgreen: Any information would be apreiciated!
Hi mfs,

Welcome to TONMO.com :welcome:

If you live near the Gulf of Mexico, then you should be able to find a lot of food that your octo will like. They prefer crabs and shrimp but will usually eat fish, too. They also eat shellfish. You might have to get a license for the crabs - you can begin with hermit crabs because they're small.

There are small shrimp that live near the shore - it's just a question of knowing where to find them. Where do you live? Mabye you'll hear from other Tonmo members who catch their own food.

As for tank size, it should be BIG - maybe 100 to 120 gallons. You might also do well to have a small holding tank for the food.

Please let us know and post pics when you get your octo! Do you have a name for it yet?

hey thanks for the help! Im still trying to decode if an octopus would be a suitable pet for me-i dont want to rush it and end up messing something up! :biggrin2: I would want my octopus to be as happy as it couls be so what are the best things to put in a tank for structure/decor? If i do get an octo it will be caught in the wild..would this make it more difficult to maintain than one that was bought from a store?
the help is great!
thanks sooo much!!! :notworth:
What is difficult about keeping an octo is the tank and the food - if you have no experience with salt water tanks, there is a lot to learn. Also, if you're setting up a new tank, it has to go through a period of cycling, so it may be three months before you can add your octopus. Have a look at the Equipment List under the Ceph Care button to find out all that you'll need. Most octo keepers use live rock from an aquarium store as the decor, creating caves and places to hide. Shells and a layer of sand help make it a nice home.

If your octo is wild caught (does this mean you'll catch it yourself?), it will probably be older so you'll have less time with it. Many of the Tonmo octo keepers in the US buy captive-bred bimacs from California. They're quite young when you get them.

You have access to food, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

They are some work, but rewarding as pets.

i work at an aquarium and our bimac really seems to like big shore crabs.
i dont know if u have the same species in the gulf in fact i highly doubt it but i thought i might try to help and its true its greatly rewarding working with cephs :heee: :bonk: :yinyang:
When i say wild caught i do mean catching it myself-the estuarium that i work in caught one by strapping different sized pieces of pvc pipe together and let them sit on the bottom by a oil rig. They have always gotton one this way and i thougt it might be easier than buying one. I have heard about octopets.com but i wonder if an octo was sent to me in alabama from california would not the odds of its survival be slim?
Ive read about cycling so i know about the 3 months preperation...is there any particular type of fish thats good to keep in the tank while cycling or does it really matter?
ya'll are awesome!! :notworth: :notworth:
An Alabama octopus - that's something new!

Do you know what species is being caught? That's certainly the traditional way to catch an octo - a pot or a piece of pipe. The octopus thinks he's found a secure home and you simply lift him (and the pipe) out.

We've been recommending Mollies for cycling - they can acclimate to salt water.

Octopets ships its octos with overnight delivery. The success rate is very high. On the other hand, you seem to have an easy way to get one! I guess you could put several pipes in and choose the youngest octo.

My house is on an island right off the coast of alabama and octopus cathcing is fairly common, although most of the time it is unintentional. I've heard stories of someone pulling up their crab trap to find one in there and also a freind of mine was fishing and :jester: caught a tire but inside was an octo! As far as i know the only ones around here are the O. vulgrius.
thanks for the help! I'll kep yall updated on how its goes!
I just noticed these threads. O. vulgarius need much larger tanks. They also need ample hiding room - rocks, pvc, etc. 100-120 gal would be tiny for any full grown or even half grown O. vulgarius. Granted, you can keep one in a 120gal but you'd be risking a very shorter lifespan. You'd be much better off going 200 (perferrably larger) but remember, they're really hard to find.

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