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Some questions for a newbie


Pygmy Octopus
Jun 13, 2003
Whats up everyone, I always thought having a octopus would be a killer pet, but i never did saltwater aquarium before, can somene tell me how much roughly is it going to cost me? what exactly do I need for a octopus?
say if i get a 75 gallon tank, and the minimum to keep it up and running?
also petland around here doesn't have them, so If i order them online do they like mail them in a box of water? I read something like you have to "mature" the aquarium before you put it in, what does that mean and do? also I want to get some eels in there, will that be a problem?
what is the most colorful species of octopus? and finally how much does feeding it roughly cost a month? thanks any info would be appreciated.
Well im not sure about the cost. Once your tank has been set up will have to leave it running for about 1 or 2 months(I'll leave the rest of the explaining to the experts). Unfortunately you cant keep eels with octos.most eels will attempt to attack and eat an octo if it gets close.
Hello Invazn, octos are extermely intelligent, problem solving, and as I have learned lately, eating machines. That statement will make a lot more sense in the next paragraph.

Octopuses are a fantastic pet, and they all have unique personalities. Aside from all that, they can be quite challenging as a first pet in the aquarium. The first thing I would suggest is that you gather all the information on aquarium care, and the nitrogen cycle. If you are familiar with these terms, and techniques, then forgive me for posting them in such an academic fashion. The nitrogen cycle is a term used to break down waste, such as fish poop, pee, and respiration. The first in the nitrogen cycle to appear is amonia, this is toxic to most fish, and inverts, however there are some fish, damsels, that can tolerate high levels of amonia, but even they sometimes get sick. This amonia is then broken down into nitrite, which is almost as toxic as amonia. The third is nitrate, which is far less toxic than the previous two. Bear with me, this is a topic that someone has received a Ph.D out of. After each seperate substance is created, the previous one is dimished. This is accomplished by different bacteria that break down each seperate product, with the exception of nitrate, and there are even ways to get those out of the tank, but for now a 10% to 25% will do the trick nicely.

That should get you going in the right direction. The maturing process, a.k.a. cycling takes about 1 to 3 months, depending on a lot of different factors. But PLEASE don't be discouraged, a lot of us, sometimes do, and our efforts, and wisdom end up on the lawn with a "FOR SALE" sign plastered on it.

A good source of info is:

I have rambled on enough, the time has come, and the lunch break is over. Good luck!

Hello Invazn,

Have a look at Colin's Equipment List under Ceph Care on the Site Contents - this contains a lot of detailed information that will help you. You can make a list of what you need from reading this article and exploring the links.

As for feeding, the people who live near the ocean have it easier, it's a little harder when you live inland and have to buy all the food. I like to feed my octopus fresh scallops, sometimes frozen shrimp, and some live food like fiddler crabs. A lot has been posted about food on this message board - if you use the search capability, you can read the past postings.

Good luck!
Hey everyone thanks for your replys, they have started me on my path toward saltwater facination. So roughly to get all the stuff i would need for a 75 gallon tank would be like 3 grand? would that be big enough to keep another occy in with the peace kept? or basically you have to stick to brittle stars, star fish, urchins, corals, cukes, what else could do they coexist with well? what about sharks? also i see most people have bimacs why is this? what is the usual lifespan on these species? and are most active? i see the other species are most beautiful than bicmac, such as marginatus and luteus, i like those a lot, or are those not reasonable to keep? what about dolfini(giant octo) that would kick ass after i saw this vid
check it out
No, it wouldn't be 3 grand to get everything you need for a 75 gal tank - but it depends on what kind of a tank you want and how nice the stand has to be, and lots of other factors. Work through the equipment list and take it to a reliable aquarium store for an estimate.

Forget other octopuses, forget sharks, etc. This must be a species tank, really for one octopus and a few very subordinate creatures such a a starfish. Forget anemones - they sting the octopus.

Bimacs are popular because they are active during the day, a nice size for a tank, they change colors well, they are intelligent and fun, and they are easily available, just for a start. They live a about a year, maybe a little less. They are already a few months old when you get them

Forget Enteroctopus dofleini, the giant pacific octopus, because it needs a huge tank because of its size and also needs chilled water. Few individuals keep these octopuses, but they are favorites in public aquariums.

One last note - it's some work and expense even keeping a bimac in a 46 gallon tank, as I do. There are weekly or biweekly water changes, trips to the seafood market for food, weekly water tests, aquarium cleanup, but also some very pleasurable time spent with my octopus.

I hope this gives you enough information to get started,

Costs and time...

I am currently in the process of setting up a 75 gallon octopus tank. I am about a week away from getting water in the tank.

I started researching back in February or so. Since that time I have probably put in about 300 hours of research (luckily my jobs affords me a lot of opportunities to read sites like ReefCentral.com and TONMO.com while working) and probably about 70 hours of working on the tank (I am doing a lot of stuff do-it-yourself to save money and make sure it is done correctly).

Money is another story, as well. All told I am looking to put in about an even $1000 on the tank. As I said, this is a lot of DIY stuff to keep the costs down, even.

Major costs (prices rounded slightly):
Tank: $100 (sale)
Stand: $120
RO/DI filter: $150
Protein Skimmer: $200
Pumps and heaters: $100
Live rock: $100

I am setting up a web page (with plenty of pictures) that I will post here when I get it up and running.

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