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Tankmates - What Works and What Doesn't

DWhatley

Kraken
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I really like keeping the red brittle stars. Most of the brittles are pretty nocturnal and reclusive but the red (more of an orange) will occasionally come out during the day. Most can learn to be hand fed. Brittles are very resilient and I have kept a number of the red for several years through multiple octopuses. Any of the serpents or brittles on this page would be a good addition (NOT the basket or regular starfish and especially not the Bahama star) and I have successfully kept all but the Bahama from this supplier. Mushrooms (but not Ricordeas) tend to be hardy, give a little color and are octo safe. Small crabs are nice but will become octo dinner. It is easy enough to get attached to some of them (don't ask me about the 3 blue crabs I have raised that were supposed to be octo food :roll:).

I strongly recommend NOT adding fish as you grow the tank. Many people start with the very hardy damsels but they tend to pick on and stress octopuses (I am opposed to trying to keep octos with ANY fish) and are almost impossible to remove from a tank without totally tearing up the layout.
 

KD5054

Wonderpus
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Feb 22, 2017
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I really like keeping the red brittle stars. Most of the brittles are pretty nocturnal and reclusive but the red (more of an orange) will occasionally come out during the day. Most can learn to be hand fed. Brittles are very resilient and I have kept a number of the red for several years through multiple octopuses. Any of the serpents or brittles on this page would be a good addition (NOT the basket or regular starfish and especially not the Bahama star) and I have successfully kept all but the Bahama from this supplier. Mushrooms (but not Ricordeas) tend to be hardy, give a little color and are octo safe. Small crabs are nice but will become octo dinner. It is easy enough to get attached to some of them (don't ask me about the 3 blue crabs I have raised that were supposed to be octo food :roll:).

I strongly recommend NOT adding fish as you grow the tank. Many people start with the very hardy damsels but they tend to pick on and stress octopuses (I am opposed to trying to keep octos with ANY fish) and are almost impossible to remove from a tank without totally tearing up the layout.
This is great! I'm excited to learn I can keep a starfish with them and the mushrooms will be great for color.
I don't have my tank yet but plan to start that step come late April. (I'm working on the education side first for a bit as with winter weather its too hard to do much until spring comes) I plan to do the proper letting it sit with live rock and water for 3 months I believe the recommended time was. Then to add a few critters- basically the starfish and hopefully mushrooms and a few crabs. Would you recommend anything else or will that be enough for the next step in learning- IE the hands on learning to read and maintain the tank. Wanting to do this right.
Glad you pointed out the fish issue of trying to catch them as my saltwater store was saying to use fish. I was wondering over the catching aspect of being troublesome. Went through it once with a surprise Bristlenose pleco who snuck into my freshwater tank on a large driftwood piece and started breeding with my male. Catching the buggers was a pain.
Haha- now I can't help but want to ask about these mentioned blue crabs :wink: sounds like something I would do.
 

DWhatley

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LOL, currently I have no cephalopods in residence. I do, however, have Hannibal one of two baby crabs that were meant to be food for the last octo. From the name, you can guess what happened to the other crab. Hannibal is the second baby crab I have raised and is close to the end his lifespan (about 2 years). Like Fred (the prior blue), I will remove and freeze his claws when he expires so that at least part of him will still serve his original purpose.
 

KD5054

Wonderpus
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Feb 22, 2017
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LOL, currently I have no cephalopods in residence. I do, however, have Hannibal one of two baby crabs that were meant to be food for the last octo. From the name, you can guess what happened to the other crab. Hannibal is the second baby crab I have raised and is close to the end his lifespan (about 2 years). Like Fred (the prior blue), I will remove and freeze his claws when he expires so that at least part of him will still serve his original purpose.
Haha! That is funny. Totally can see that happening. Perfect name for him.
 

KD5054

Wonderpus
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Is there a lists anywhere of suggested inhabitants you can have with a cuttlefish?
Is it pretty much the same as an octopus?
I was wondering if the serpent starfish is a no go for cuttlefish? I know they are fine with octopus.
 

DWhatley

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I am not sure about brittle/serpents for very young cuttles (they will eat octo eggs if the mother does not shoe them away). @Thales any suggestions?
 

AuroraVK

Hatchling
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Sep 21, 2020
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I see damsels are definitely a no go, but are there any fish that can be kept as a food source for the octopus? Seems like they might be entertained be catching some fish.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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IMO, no fish should be put into an octopus tank. They don't often eat fish as their main diet is crustacean. Observations have seen them kill annoying, pesky fish and then eating some of the belly but leaving most of the animal. Herbivores would likely leave the octo alone but, if not killed, might defend territory and be aggressive. Meat eaters will pester the octopus at meal time and can cause skin or eye damage.
 

AuroraVK

Hatchling
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Sep 21, 2020
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IMO, no fish should be put into an octopus tank. They don't often eat fish as their main diet is crustacean. Observations have seen them kill annoying, pesky fish and then eating some of the belly but leaving most of the animal. Herbivores would likely leave the octo alone but, if not killed, might defend territory and be aggressive. Meat eaters will pester the octopus at meal time and can cause skin or eye damage.

Thanks, that is a super helpful explanation . I have a mixed reef tank so I will stick to an octopus only tank when I finally get there.
 

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