Uni-pus?

Rook

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This fall, I'm going to be heading off to college, where I'm going, it's mandatory for students to live in the dorms, so obviously, I can't have a huge aquarium. Browsing the forums, it appears as if octopi aren't really suitable for anything less than 30 or so gallons, and I'm certain my roommate would not appreciate a huge aquarium taking up dorm room. So, that probably puts an octopus out of the question for now. Plus having to move for a month in the winter, and also over the summer, my university is a three-hour drive from my parents' home, and I don't know if an octopus would be able to handle that kind of stress, but maybe it would.

But for smaller aquariums, are there any kind of cephalopod that can survive in those kinds of conditions? I've maintained aquariums before, but never with anything other than fish.

I know that caring for any kind of animal can take a great deal of work, and money too, especially for one of a saltwater variety, but I would like to some day get an octopus, and I think it would be a good idea to start out with something similar, but maybe easier to take care of? I know there are some small eel-like fish, starfish, etc. that live in similar conditions, but I don't know anything about them, and I would prefer an octopus.

I haven't met my room mate yet, however, and I may get someone that would be thrilled to have some 30 gallon aquarium, and share costs and whatnot with me. I would still like something on the small-ish side, though. I've heard Bimacs make for wonderful pets, and there's also the picture of the Octopus filosus on this site, which looks small, but I'm certain it's probably not full-grown.

I'm not too concerned about the price of the creature, as I won't be purchasing it, but size, living conditions and food costs are something that concern me. I've read that most octopi will eat crabs, and some will eat crayfish, which are in abundance here. I would like to have the information ready by the time I decide to discuss it with whoever I room with, to... you know, try and make a convincing argument, because I think and octopus would be an amazing pet, even if it doesn't have a long lifespan.

Any and all information on a suitable octopus (or temporary alternative) would be wonderful, as I'm quite eager to get an aquarium up and running again.
 
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You may want to look at you dorm's rules about pets first. Most dorms have some variation on NO. And the collage i first went to that was qualified with "not even fish".

The other thing is that if they do allow pets in the dorm it is probably a good idea to wait till after your first semester to get anything. That way you will have a better idea of how much time you will have to left after classes, homework, studying, job, social life, etc. and sleep. Which is usually not much. At that point you would also have a better idea of how trustworthy and responsible the people in your building are. Again usually not much. Think of the pranks that will arise out of the contents of your test kits if they were fall into the wrong hands. Also what the quality of the water is. In a dorm, usually not good.

I'm really not trying to be a downer, but collage and dorm life are different in reality than advertised and pets in dorms have a tendency to be abused and or killed.

erin
 

Rook

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esquid;117803 said:
You may want to look at you dorm's rules about pets first. Most dorms have some variation on NO. And the collage i first went to that was qualified with "not even fish".

The other thing is that if they do allow pets in the dorm it is probably a good idea to wait till after your first semester to get anything. That way you will have a better idea of how much time you will have to left after classes, homework, studying, job, social life, etc. and sleep. Which is usually not much. At that point you would also have a better idea of how trustworthy and responsible the people in your building are. Again usually not much. Think of the pranks that will arise out of the contents of your test kits if they were fall into the wrong hands. Also what the quality of the water is. In a dorm, usually not good.

I'm really not trying to be a downer, but collage and dorm life are different in reality than advertised and pets in dorms have a tendency to be abused and or killed.

erin

Yeah, I've checked, and spoken extensively with the residence... people, whatever important titles they have, and they said the only pets allowed are fish. And that's mostly the reason why I was waiting to see what kind of room mate I get, because if I have someone who is... not nice, I'll get my own room, and probably not let anyone in. But... My friend Debbie was thinking of moving into the town I'll be in, and getting her own apartment, in about three years. I've already spoken to her about it, and she said she'd love for us to go in together to get one, and keep it at her house. It's likely I'd be there a lot anyhow, so it wouldn't be... you know, abandoned at her house or anything.

I know the water quality has to be exceptional and all, but if she does come up and get an apartment, do you think it would be alright there? Or should I wait until I get my own house?
 

monty

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unfortunately, the only octos that can do OK in a 30gal reliably are the dwarf species, which have other drawbacks (short-lived, shy, nocturnal, and usually non-interactive.) If you have any interest in cuttlefish, a single Sepia bandensis seems to do OK in a 29gal tank, although Cuttlegirl reported that at full adult size she thought they'd be too cramped (she'd moved hers to a larger tank, though). Octopus filosus has now been re-named Octopus hummelincki, which is a bit confusing, but several folks are keeping the species now. They've mostly been available only recently, but it's looking like they at least sometimes get big enough that they'd outgrow a 30gal.

We recommend a 55gal for any octopus that makes a good pet, really. Also, crayfish, since they're freshwater, tend not to have good nutritional balance for feeding to an octo long-term, it's better to have most of their diet be marine animals.
 

DWhatley

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Rook,
I cannot dispute the advice above and if your friend gets an apartment she would also need to do the daily chores necessary BUT look through my threads on dwarfs. Since college students often keep odd hours, one or two might be suitable. I very successfuly kept two in a 15 gallon but with REGULAR 5 gallon water changes WEEKLY (one of these two is still alive AT 14 months in this tank). They only live between 8 months an 1 year and you are unlikely to find a very young one so if you time your cycle and purchase you should be between pets for at least one of your home stays.

If you are an early morning person and not a night owl, this doesn't work but do some reading and see what you think.

This is a journal about my tank raised young but there is also a link at the top about their wild caught mother. Be aware that they are not anywhere near as interactive (if at all - several of mine only come out for food) as the larger octos.

http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7853/
 

Rook

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monty;117809 said:
unfortunately, the only octos that can do OK in a 30gal reliably are the dwarf species, which have other drawbacks (short-lived, shy, nocturnal, and usually non-interactive.) If you have any interest in cuttlefish, a single Sepia bandensis seems to do OK in a 29gal tank, although Cuttlegirl reported that at full adult size she thought they'd be too cramped (she'd moved hers to a larger tank, though). Octopus filosus has now been re-named Octopus hummelincki, which is a bit confusing, but several folks are keeping the species now. They've mostly been available only recently, but it's looking like they at least sometimes get big enough that they'd outgrow a 30gal.

We recommend a 55gal for any octopus that makes a good pet, really. Also, crayfish, since they're freshwater, tend not to have good nutritional balance for feeding to an octo long-term, it's better to have most of their diet be marine animals.


I figured as much. The chances of me getting any kind of aquarium that big at this moment are pretty slim.

I think when I get one, I don't want to get a huge octopus, or cuttlefish, because I think I would maybe get a little creeped out by it (And I adore small things). But I have read that many of the smaller species aren't as hardy as the larger, and are less friendly.

Also, if you get a really big tank, can two octopi/cuttlefish live together, or will they become territorial and attack each other?
 

Rook

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dwhatley;117812 said:
Rook,
I cannot dispute the advice above and if your friend gets an apartment she would also need to do the daily chores necessary BUT look through my threads on dwarfs. Since college students often keep odd hours, one or two might be suitable. I very successfuly kept two in a 15 gallon but with REGULAR 5 gallon water changes WEEKLY (one of these two is still alive AT 14 months in this tank). They only live between 8 months an 1 year and you are unlikely to find a very young one so if you time your cycle and purchase you should be between pets for at least one of your home stays.

If you are an early morning person and not a night owl, this doesn't work but do some reading and see what you think.

This is a journal about my tank raised young but there is also a link at the top about their wild caught mother. Be aware that they are not anywhere near as interactive (if at all - several of mine only come out for food) as the larger octos.

http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7853/

Ah, thanks. Those are adorable, and probably the kind I would want, to start off with, even if they're not so social, just to get used to having an octopus and taking care of one. If you had two in a 15 gallon tank, it would be okay to have one in a 10 gallon tank then? If things work out in the dorm, and I find that I can trust the people there with my regular fish, I would very much like to get an octopus.

Or maybe I'll just get an octopus prop for my aquarium, and just keep fish, haha.
 
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Rook;117813 said:
I figured as much. The chances of me getting any kind of aquarium that big at this moment are pretty slim.

I think when I get one, I don't want to get a huge octopus, or cuttlefish, because I think I would maybe get a little creeped out by it (And I adore small things). But I have read that many of the smaller species aren't as hardy as the larger, and are less friendly.

Also, if you get a really big tank, can two octopi/cuttlefish live together, or will they become territorial and attack each other?

Sepia bandensis are small and adorable, can start out in a 29 gallon - but at about 5-6 months would probably be happier in a 55 gallon. You can keep more than one S. bandensis in an aquarium.

I would be concerned about keeping a tank in your dorm room. As I recall, space is at a premium in dorm rooms, so a 30 gallon tank might make your room even more crowded. Also, I would be concerned about other people messing with your tank (along the lines of "let's see if octopus like beer..."), or leaving the lid open so the little guy escapes.
 

Rook

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cuttlegirl;117819 said:
Sepia bandensis are small and adorable, can start out in a 29 gallon - but at about 5-6 months would probably be happier in a 55 gallon. You can keep more than one S. bandensis in an aquarium.

I would be concerned about keeping a tank in your dorm room. As I recall, space is at a premium in dorm rooms, so a 30 gallon tank might make your room even more crowded. Also, I would be concerned about other people messing with your tank (along the lines of "let's see if octopus like beer..."), or leaving the lid open so the little guy escapes.


Yeah, the space and cost were my main concerns, I'm not really planning on allowing that many people into my room, especially if I end up getting my own (but you make an excellent point). I wasn't sure how large of a tank they'd need though, but 55 gallons is pretty big, and I'm sure the upkeep for that is much, much more than I could afford. So perhaps I should just wait until I get my own place. I will definitely look into cuttlefish though, because they are indeed quite adorable.
 

DWhatley

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Rook;117817 said:
If you had two in a 15 gallon tank, it would be okay to have one in a 10 gallon tank then?
Or maybe I'll just get an octopus prop for my aquarium, and just keep fish, haha.

NO! The official recommendation is 20 gallons or better but with the very regular water changes, small skimmer and filtration, I have found 15 gallons to work. In a 10 gallon, a five gallon water change is 50% weekly (vs 30% for a 15) and you risk the chance of changing the water salinity or PH to excess (30% is pushing it). When you are looking at small tanks even 1 gallon is significant.

Probably establishing your new life style before you put any critter in a tank would be a good idea. Remember that it takes 3 months to get a tank to mature enough to handle the bio-load of an octopus. This waiting time would allow you to get a feel for how your time will be spent and you can choose your primary critter after the tank is ready.

As an asside, there is another critter that is well thought of for intelligence and personality that you might consider as it does not have the high demands of a ceph. Do a little reading on Mantis shrimp and you will be surprised.
 

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