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So I'm getting an octopus!


Pygmy Octopus
May 10, 2004
I'm a senior in high school, heading off to college, and my roommate and I want an intelligent, awesome pet....scratch that....buddy to keep us company. The catch....college rules only allow "fish". I asked the faculty, and they said they allow aquatic inverts as well. (They though I meant hermit crabs or something......heheheh.... :twisted:) So we finally decided on an octopus. We've done our research, and this site has been extremely helpful and informative. :notworth:

So, we want to give our very first baby the best home possible. We were able to attain a 55g tank (free!) from a freind, and it comes with a 30-60 gph trickle biofilter. We're gonna add another biofilter (or two), an extremely large protein skimmer that I'm building 8), and a #$^#load of aragonite sand. Still gathering and preparing to cure rocks, driftwood and other shelter for the little dude\dudette.
We had considered getting some large perspex tubing and running it throughout the dorm (filled with more tank water, of course) to give him a nice optional tour of the dorm so he can let us know if he wants to play, or just watch us, etc.
I have a few questions before we start getting ready to prep and cycle the tank.
1. Anything we forgot? (I want the octo to be as comfortable as possible)
2. I thought it would be a good idea to run a current through the pipes to make sure the water doesn't become still and unfiltered. will this bother the octo and\or prevent it from using the tubes? How much is too much?
3. I don't suppose if we sealed and cured an extra large hamster ball and filled it with tank water for short periods of time, say 15 minutes of roll-around-the-hall-and-freak-people-out time......:shock: IDEA! (That is, if the octopus is ok with the idea.......)
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com,

Looks like you're underway! Be sure to read two of our articles (maybe you have): the Equipment List and the Checklist -click the Ceph Care button above.

Here are some thoughts:

Be sure to check out whether that tank has ever had any copper treatment in it, and test well for copper - you need to do this for any used tank that you're not totally sure about.

I believe we had a discussion about driftwood earlier - maybe just use live rock and shells.

Your octo is likely to be shy for the first few months. It will warm up to you personally, but maybe not a crowd! Also, taking him out and putting him into a ball or jar may not be the best thing to do. If you make the tank attractive (which isn't hard to do), it will be spectacular enough.

I don't know about all this tubing - not all octos like that sort of thing. I don't know about the whether it's technically possible - but if it is, letting him go out of sight is probably not a good idea. Your octo will have plenty to explore in his tank and having you to play with.

What will you do during vacations? - is there someone to take care of him?
Will the heat (or air conditioning) be turned off during vacations?

Tank temperature is something you need to think about.

Are you getting a bimac or other species?

So are you starting now with the idea of getting your octo in the fall? Please keep us informed of the progress.

:welcome: to TONMO, :arr: !

Just use an inch of sand for bimacs. Also, the octo may ink in the ball but would be pretty sweet if someone got it to actually work and someone saw an octopus in a gerbil ball rolling down the hallway someday......
me again....
Ok (jots down notes furiously)
Yes, we checked about the copper already. The guy who had it before used it as a freshwater tank and never had health troubles with his fish. actually, he didn't want them anymore, so he just stopped taking care of them since last December! (the JERK....) Some of the smaller fish were still hanging on to life when we found the tank, and we managed to save them and give them a home with us in a quaint little 2 gallon I had at home. One of them died anyway (just too much damage done I guess :cry:), but the rest are doing fine. So copper treatment hasn't been used.

Driftwood is a no no...check....

Thanks, I'll make sure not to "make" the octo do anything against it's will, and I will take your advice on the "ball."

On the issue of tubing: Yes, it's possible (We're physics and science majors, if you couldn't already tell from our hair brained ideas :bonk: ) I'll definitely make sure the tubing doesn't go anywhere I can't see the octo. However, I'm a bit confused as to the idea of some octos not liking tubing.... I looked at http://www.cephbase.utmb.edu/ and it looked to me like they used tons of pvc pipes for their O. bimaculoides (We're probably getting a bimac) check the galleries and tell me what my mistake is....sorry for my ineptitude on the

There are a few people who have promised to look after the octo during fall breaks, etc, and watch the temps.

Yes, we intend to get him\her in the fall at the earliest. We're hoping to let the tank cycle during July and August, then remove everything for transporting to college. We'll put it back together in the dorm, and restart the cycling process. If all goes well and the levels are stable after the first month or so at college, we will get the octo. If not, we'll just wait and get it as an early X-mas present in early November.
I guess I didn't phrase that right. Yes, octopuses like to live in short pieces of pvc tubing that are the right size for them. They like elbows as well as straight pipe. Whether you octopus would travel long distances, I don't know.

I've noticed that my bimac didn't like to make herself smaller and crawl through things. She only did that once, in an emergency, when I'd startled her and she inked.

But I've read of other octos (and I can't remember what species) that regularly made themselves smaller and crawled through tubes to get from one aquarium to another.

Sounds like youve got this all planned out. Will look forward to hearing from you as your plan progresses!


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