• 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.

Starting Suggestions

Aug 31, 2006
Hello to all!

First of all let m introduce myself! I'm a college girl who has been working in the aquatics industry for over 5 years but only really getting into it over the past year. I work in an aquatics shop in NH. I have experience in both small to large home aquariums and at SeaWorld San Antonio.

Now I am very serious about getting an octopus. We have one at the shop and everyone knows he's become my little baby. But I am going back to school next week so we had to say goodbye today :sad:

Well I'm allowed to have the 29gal that i own in my room and I wanted to know if anyone could help me decide on the best species to keep in such a small space as well as filtration.

I need to work as well, but as confined as possible with my limited space.

Any suggestions would be greatly appriciated!
:welcome: lil shark! you've come to the right place for all those cephy questions!

But firstly I have to disappoint you, 29 G is not big enough for an octopus. Octopus produce HUGE amounts of waste and the water chemistry of a small tank is just not stable enough, the recommendation is a minimum of 50G for small species. Read up the info in the ceph care articles they are packed full of good advice!


Was planning on running plenty of filters and doing daily basic water changes (small so not to ruin the tank bio, and I've noticed they are messy eaters so to vacuum the debris)

I'm used to nano tanks and filtration so I understand water quality concerns.

Again i was also planning on a pygmy variety. Been looking into the TINY ones but they are hard to come by in the regular aquarium trade so I'll have to call in my suppliers to really dig but I have faith.
I wouldn't have too much faith. Most distributors don't know how to (or care to) identify octopus: you might spend a lot of time and effort digging until you find someone who will sell you a "pygmy octopus" and then after you own it a few weeks you realize its getting pretty big :smile:

Cephalopods are pee machines. Most of them are pretty big, too! Think about it like having an 8" puffer in that 29 gallon tank--no matter how much filtration you have on it the system will be struggling. I also doubt you'll find room in your dorm for a RO/DI system for daily water changes.

Like Jean, I don't think the 29 gallon tank is a good idea for an octo. You could keep a cuttlefish, but they're out of season. If I were you I'd either try to negotiate my way into a bigger tank or hold off until you have more space.

I work with the school's 300 gal tank so I have plenty of access to Free RO water.

I'm not talking about suppliers like the warehouses, I mean the collectors and a few in the aquaculture trade. These guys know their stuff and I do trust them.

Now, I could go and buy a 45 tall, (its the width thats a problem in my dorm room) but I have an unused 29 sitting in my garage.

Any ideas?
The amount of filtration you would need would be prohibitive, the 45 tall would do at a pinch but there is no way a 29 will do for anything other than a pygmy (& I doubt even that, the amount of waste our midgets produce is phenomenal!) and as Dan says it can be hard to confirm the species you are getting..................the other thing about pygmys is that they are very antisocial....................you would be lucky to see it out and about as they are very nocturnal. I think you may need to do some more research, octopus can be difficult even for those experienced fish keepers!



Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.