• 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.

So, I want to buy an Octopus...


Feb 19, 2007

So yeah, I'm quite keen on buying myself an Octopus, and I just wanted to know a few things beforehand, I figured here would be a pretty good place to ask. :)

Ok, first thing is first- I don't have much money :P

I was after probably only a little one (ie, one no bigger than the palm of my hand), a breed/species/whatever that is well tempered...

What are the basic things I need for it? what should I feed it, how do exactly do I take care of it, and how much money will it cost?

I know absolutely nothing. :P

Any assistance is muchly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Well, the small breed you are looking for would be a species of dwarf octo. You would probably find octopus mercatoris or octopus joubini easier than any other dwarfs. As for the tank, dwarf octos only need a 10 gallon or so tank. You need superior filtration though, at least three times more filtration than you would need for a regular tank. For example, for a ten gallon tank, you would want to use a 30 gallon filter. You also need a quality protein skimmer. Octos need plenty of live rock to fill secure. They don't need a lot of light, if any. Just a normal flourescent light. Once you set up the tank, let it cycle for about three months, instead of the normal one month. This is because octos need extremely good water quality. DO NOT let any copper get in the tank. This includes things that have been treated with copper, such as some freshwater fish. Also, octos need a species tank, by themselves. They are cannibalistic, and will eat other octos. They will also eat/be eaten by most fish. As for feeding, you should feed them live saltwater shrimp and crabs, which are available at Cannot connect to MySQL server. If live are not readily available, you can ween them onto frozen. Now, by no means am I an expert, so some of this could be incorrect, and other members will correct it if it is. Hope this helps!

P.S., check the ceph care articles at the top of the page for a lot of help, too.
One word of warning tho' you say you haven't much money.........these are expensive pets! Check out the ceph care articles and price everything you are going to need (you can get some stuff second hand provided there has NEVER been copper in it, this includes fish meds) Budget HEAPS for food (unless you live near the shore and can collect crabs), octopus eat alot. You will need a minimum of 3 months to cycle your tank BEFORE you even consider getting the octopus, they are very sensitive to water quality.

Slow and steady is the way here, you can't learn too much before you get your octopus

That said they are fascinating animals and :welcome:

I'll disagree with Tywtly a bit and say that if you're going with a dwarf octo you should consider having 20-30 gallons instead of just 10. A 10 gallon tank is not very big and it doesn't take long for water quality to get out of control with such a small volume of water.
I agree with what Dan just said about a larger tank. Not only is there a water quality issue, but those who have tried smaller tanks begin to regret that their octopus has so little space to explore. Thirty gallons would be ideal, you could probably get away with 20. It's better to have a large footprint, a tank that's longer and wider rather than a tall tank for the same number of gallons.

Thanks, tywtly, you got quite a bit of it right!

Not going to happen! :)

You're lucky if you'll get six or eight months out of even the bigger hobby octos (O. briareus and O. bimaculoides).

Besides, the one-time cost of the octopus is minor compared to the recurring cost of food!
I live on the west coast and was wondering if it would be acceptable to make a trip to the beach to collect crabs for my furture octo?
I recently set up a 29g as a support tank and would like to use it to raise and house food.
As we all know the pacific on the west coast is much colder than where many of the captive octos are from so will the difference in temp make much of a difference?
If you have a local source for crabs you're very lucky! One option would be to keep the crabs in a separate cold-water tank until feeding. If you wanted to keep them in a bin hooked into the octo-tank plumbing the crabs would probably do OK for the amount of time until they meet their fates.

On the other hand if you ended up with a bimac, then the colder the better for your tank water.


If no copper is allowed whatsoever how can you collect crabs from the ocean.. doesnt the ocean have so many pollutents in it that would contaminate your water? If not this summer im going to catch every crab on the East Coast!
I wondered about the pollution found in the ocean....so that probubly would'nt be the best way to go.
I just dont want to struggle with finding a reliable food source for my future octo.
Only 2 months to go!
you would have no problem going over to the coast to collect tidal snails, crabs and hermit crabs. either no. or so. of san fran will be good. there really is good enough water quality. if you get a bimac, perfect. if you have a tropical species, these feeder animals wont live long in that tank. if you had them in a room temp feeder tank they would be alright. i keep my food in the same system/tanks as my bimacs- either free-roaming or confined to a plastic container.. with mesh screens on the end. i'm just north of you at ca/or border.
Thats good to know thanks!
I was hoping to be able to collect some live food on my own.
Actually thats part of the fun....at least for me.
Southern coastal oregon....sounds great.
We camp in Brookings during the summer. I practically live at Lone Ranch Beach when were there.
All of the substrate in my 72g is hand collected rocks and shells.
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