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Umm Help w/Really Big Octopus


Apr 30, 2006
Hello Everybody,

I am fairly new to Saltwater tanks (Tank is 5 months old) and extremely new to Octopuses bought one from (Roozen) LFS in Md about 6 hours ago. We named him AhKee. The LFS told me he is a "Common O. from Indonesia".
This initial post is looking like its going to be long so I will ask my questions up front and then type out a lot of background info for those who would like to read it!

2 questions:

1. Ahkee INKED :bonk: a whole lot 4 or 5 times before turning Bright Red and sitting on the glass at the front of the tank. Is this normal?

2. I understand I need a protein skimmer, can anyone recommend which skimmer is best for my 55g corner Hex aquarium?

I have spent the last 5 hours reading information on what I have just gotten myself into and I could use some help :bugout: !
I had the typical LFS intro about "...oh this little guy could stay in a 20g tank blah blah blah..don't let him ink, if he inks to much he will mess up the balance of the tank and kill himself", but when I got him home to my 55g tank and put him in he shot some "Ink" and swam behind some rocks into a cave I built him! Ahkee found some cracks in the cave and started exploring the tank where he shot ink like 4 or 5 more times and swam around very aggressively and quickly before stretching out and showing me that he is not so little! I would say his tentacle length is probably about 8 inches when sitting still and when he stretched out he was huge seemingly longer than 2 feet! His head is in between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball! He didn't look this big at the LFS. When I released him from the "Jar and Bag" set up he just went ":sink: I mean he is huge! I will post some pictures of AhKee later today!

Before I put him in I ran a full water test and the Ph was 8.2; ammonia 0; Nitrate 0; Nitrite 0; Specific gravity 1.026. I have a cascade 1000 filter with 50lbs of live sand and 30lbs of live rock. This was running as a reef aquarium for the last 5 months and was home to 10 Hermits, 7 emeralds, 2 yellowtail damsels and 1 sand sifting star.
The temp of the tank was 80.4 when I started but after reading the Nancy Care Sheet I'm letting the temp come down slowly to the lower 70's!

I have done a 10% water change because of the ink! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! Thanx!!! :grin:
:welcome: You may want to try to remove that Ink manually. There is a thread here talking about a pantyhose net which works well in a pinch. I would try to leave him be and disturb as little as possable so he settles down. Maybe even turn the lights off.

Good luck!

First, :welcome: and next, get yourself a skimmer as soon as possible (today!). Then stop listening to your LFS! Thanks for starting some reading on cephs, this site will answer a lot of your questions.

You may want to get some more live rock. I think you are supposed to have 1-1.5 pounds for every gallon. It will help with filtration. Octopuses put out a lot of waste.

You will need to get some more live food, although you may be able to convince your octo to eat frozen or fresh (not precooked) shrimp from the market (it will be white and gray, NOT pink...).

Lastly, the damsels and octopus may not get along. Damsels are territorial and could nip and bother the octopus, or if you are lucky the octo could eat the damsels. Good luck trying to catch the damsels :grin: .

Good Luck!
Firstly, welcome to Tonmo! Second, boy, you really jumped in with both feet !
Any skimmer at this point is a good skimmer...the faster you get one on there, the better. Don't hammer the lfs too much, almost all of the aquarium trade knows next to nothing about cephs. See what skimmer they would recommend for a 75-125 gallon tank, and get it.

Trying not to disturb the octo at this point is the best you can do. They can keel over from stress quite easily, so no rock moving, or major changes to the tank for a while.
Almost everything in the tank will work as food for the octopus, but as noted above, keep an eye on those damsels. Sometimes you actually have to fish for them to remove them from the tank, as in: baiting a trout hook and catching them, since the ceph would go ballistic if you start swinging a net around in there right now !
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com!:welcome:

Octopuses can certainly change their size - you may be OK with the tank when things have calmed down. However, a "common ocotpus" sometimes refers to a vulgaris, which grows very large. A number of different species are coming from Indonesia right now, but I can't find information saying they collect and ship any type of vulgaris.

One important thing - you read my Bimac Care Sheet. O. bimaculoides is not a tropical octopus and lives in cooler waters. I think you have a tropical octopus if it comes from Indonesia, so around 78 degrees would be just fine.


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