• 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.

Thinking of setting up ;D


Oct 29, 2010
Hi guys,

I've been doing a bit of reading on here recently, particularly djkaty's thread which helped a bit.

I am a seasoned reefer, I've kept marine tanks for about 5 years now, so im pretty comfortable about water quality and such, and I do have my own RO unit which has made things loads easier! I was looking at carrying 30l of RO water back every week which would have murdered me, since I recently upgraded to a 300 litre aquarium - but this time I'd like to do something different, i.e. an Octopus!

My new tank just has rock and corals with no fish. It's been going for about four months now but the rock is from my old 4ft shallow which was going for about 6 months prior, so its well established. A few things I understand would need to come out including my anemone and longspine urchin. I just had a couple of things I could do with clearing up before I go looking more into it. I also have x4 54w T5s which I see are far too bright for an octo, but was thinking of just changing these to actinics or ATI bulbs which give a blueish colour but still have plenty of par.

In terms of water quality I often do heavy-handed water changes to keep things in check.

S.G 1.026
Ammonia: 0
No2: 0
No3: 0 - Trace
Phosphate - 0 - Trace
pH: 8.1 (morning) - 8.3/4 (evening)

My setup is a concern also. I am running my reef berlin style, which is basically live rock, lots of flow and a large skimmer. I have no sump. I have one large koralia pump which kicks out 12,000 litres per hour, is this too much and / or unsafe for an octopus? Is a sump really 100% essential?

Which corals, if any, could I keep with an octopus? At the moment I have a mixture of LPS and SPS with the odd Ricordea and Red mushroom rolling around in there. The stinging stuff seems as though it would need to go, but I also have a massive toadstool in another of my tanks, could that go in?

I wasn't sure on species either. I'd like something diurnal really. Even though the nocturnal ones look awesome, I've had lots of experience buying awesome looking things for my reef which I never see again! Any suggestions for an active daytime octo which is suitable size for my aquarium? I am not a believer in getting things that need upgrades in the future, as my experience working in the aquatics trade has taught me that people never, ever do it - and I have no space for an even bigger tank. Already got moaned at for getting this one. >_>

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I'll think of something. Any help would be greatly appreciated, because it looks like an octo tank is a whole new game. I read some of the articles, but any particularly informative ones that cover any of my concerns would be appreciated too. Suggestions for books would help also. :biggrin2:



Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
It will probably help if you edit your profile and add your location where it can be displayed. I am assuming somewhere in Europe because of the use of liter vs gallon (300 ltr is roughly 75 gallons I think) and not AU or NZ because I saw no "whilst" :biggrin2: in your post.

Anything that has a potent sting should be removed. People will argue that animals learn to avoid them but this is not the open ocean and in addition to direct contact irritation, any stinging cells in the water will expose anything to the tank. Leathers and undetectable stinging corals (Kenya, Xenia), gorgonians (placed where the octo is least likely to walk over it and kill it), some mushrooms, some polyps/zoes (be careful with these) and most sponges (beware of the potential problems with a red ball sponge) have worked well. I keep pencil urchins but they tend to get aggressive with the softies and gorgonian if there is not enough food on the rocks. The biggest concern is damaged skin and resulting infection.

Without a sump octoproofing becomes somewhat problematic. One of the easier things to do is to create a partition at one end and make a mini sump/large overflow syle box to house the skimmer. The large Koralia might be problematic. The smaller ones have been quite successful but may have taken an arm tip or two. Octos seem to be attracted to these and one of my O.briareus (and possibly a second from partial observation the other day) liked to use the Koralia 4 as a sucker shedding device. Something much more powerful (I have the large ones in my 140) is likely to be a problem and hard to screen. If you made a mini-sump, it could reside behind the partition but exhaust to the tank I think. LMecher did something like this with her 130 for el Diablo.