• 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.

Want to get an Octopus - please help with information


Sep 5, 2004
Me and my boyfriend were at a pet shop and saw an octopus - and we really want to get one... but I can't seem to find a lot of information.

The one that we saw was about 8 inchess or so long, whitish/brownish in color and very active -the owner of the store also said that he comes in blue and red.

He told us that a tank approximately 12 gallons would be good enough. He also told us that they live for 7 or 8 years. This doesn't seem to match with the information that I've been able to find on the net - but at the same time the guy seemed to really know what he was talking about and the pets in his store seemed very well taken care of.

I would like to know if what he told us was realistic, especially regarding the lifespan and the tank size.

That and any other advice wold be very welcome.

Thank you so much in advance!
First off...Welcome to Tonmo! We are always happy to have another cephologist aboard! :smile:
The guy in the fish store is not tuned in...most octos live 2 years or less...and a 12 gallon certainly will not be enough for anything, even a dwarf octopus.
A fully cycled 55 gallon is a good habitat for a captive bred bimac octopus (available from your lfs or octopets.com), and would be your best bet for a favourable experience!
Check out all of the pages on octo care, too !
Hello, and welcome. Your story sounds all to familiar, my girlfriend and myself where in the same situation about 2 months ago. From the tank size comment, I would assume the species is a Pygmy octopus, as for the blue and red part... Other then a Blue Ring octopus, which you should not get, since a bite from it can kill you in about 4 minutes without respiration support. I have never seen a blue octopus, not to mention they change color. As for the life span that is absolute crap. A Pygmy lives about 6 month from hatching to death. And the max life span of typical octopus like O. Bimaculoides which many of us here keep since they are farm raised, so not only do you know what species it is but you also know how old they are, the octopus you would find at your local fish store is probably wild caught and all ready full grown with days to a few months left in its life span.

A Bimaculoides which you can get from http://www.octopets.com is what I would suggest to you, they are active in the day grow about 2 feet from leg tip to leg tip at full grown (I Think) and live about 1 year to 1 1/2 years. They like about 73-78 degree water, 30 - 55 Gallon tank (the larger the better). You would also need to have a filter, protein skimmer, live rock is nice, plenty of kidding spaces, lighting source, life food source and many other things you should price out before buying anything, because the octopus is about 30 bucks but I spent well over 500 dollars on a moderate setup, and I got a lot of hook-ups at that.
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

Well, you have a start on information necessary for keeping an octo. But I have some things to add.

First of all, an octopus is not just something you can go out and buy. From the time you get intereted in it until you learn enough and can set up and cycle a tank will be at least three months.

Then, local fish stores are notorius for providing wrong information on octopuses. They don't come in red and blue - an individual ocotpus is capable of a lot of color changes, though. What he said about lifespan was really way off the mark.

The longest one of our members has been able to keep a bimaculoides in a home tank is a little over 10 months. They are already a few months old when you get them and they go through their whole life cycle in less than a year in your aquarium.

You would benefit from reading our articles listed on the Ceph Care page (click on Ceph Care above), especially the Bimac Care Sheet, the Equipment List and the Checklist.

As for tank temperature, ideally it's about 65 to 72 degrees for a bimac, but they can be kept in slightly warmer tanks, up to 74 or 75 degrees. Above that, it will shorten their lifespans.

Octopuses are fun to keep, but they require some work and dedication. You basically have to learn to keep a saltwater aquarium -but it can be done!

Good luck!

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