Welcome to the Octopus Care Q&A Forum

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:welcome: At the top of the home page, right under the Tonmo logo there is a gray bar with the word articles. Click on that , and the first several Articles listed are all under the general heading of ceph care. Read those articles and you will start to get a better understanding about what is involved in keeping a ceph. It is strongly recommended that you do not start with an octopus or a cuttlefish, because they are much more difficult than most other aquarium animals. They are also very expensive to keep, and unless you have very generous parents, it's probably a good idea to wait until you can afford to feed them what they need. Many cephs will only eat live food and that can get to be extremely expensive. Please read those articles, and if you have more questions after that, there are knowledgeable people here who will be able to answer your specific questions.
 

DWhatley

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Slaanesh,
No saltwater tank is easy to take care of if you are looking for low maintenance. There is a major difference between fresh and salt water aquariums and our first recommendation is to learn to take care of a saltwater tank before trying the more difficult critters. An octopus will require tank modifications that are not needed for a cuttle and you can have more of a reef setup (still being careful of what you keep in the tank). The best recommendation I can give would be to set up a 55 gallon tank and keep softies for a year (it will take several months to age your tank before anything can go in it and that counts toward my time recommendation). Once you get your hands wet, so to speak, and your tank is well established, you will be ready for critters. If you keep both animals in mind when you build out your set up, you will be able to have either critter. Both are short lived and you may want to alternate each year.
 

detherim37

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i have a stupid question. i am into the hobby. i have had small salt water aquariums but nothing crazy. i am thinking about an octopus. what would be the best starter octopus? which on is the hardiest? i was thinking a Bimac. i have friends that are into salt water so they can help. i was just trying to figure out what im getting myself into before i do it. thank you for any help you can provide
 

DWhatley

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Normally, I would direct you to the articles section for and evening of education and reading, however, TONMO is updating to a more robust format and some of our typical resources are not yet available. One of the best reads you CAN find is to pick up a copy of Nancy and Colin's (both TONMO Staff) book, Cephalopods Octopuses and Cuttlefishes for the Home Aquarium.

For first hand observations with the typical home aquarium species (bimac, hummelincki/filosis, briareus, aculeateus, mercatoris), look at the List of Our Octopuses for both 2008 and 2009 (Forums->Journals and Photos). These two lists show the known or suspected species name and contain links to the full journals.

For ideas on how to set up your aquarium (if you are acquiring a new one plan for a 55 or larger 65 for a briareus) expect to mature the tank for a minimum of 3 months. Budget for good live rock, skimmer and a sump (if possible). The sump not only adds water volume but also makes securing the tank top a simpler process. Our Tank Talk forum has a lot of discussion on tanks with entries and photos of build outs, lid design and skimmer preferences.

Once you wander through the forums and have some specific questions, ask away.
 

Wafflez777

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I'm thinking about getting a bimac, would a 40 gallon tank be alright? How much does the food cost weekly? O, forgot to introduce myself, I'm wafflez777, I'm new.
 

Tentacle Toast

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Hi, Waffle777, I'm new here myself. This site is sweet, but you've got to check the dates on the posts..aside from your post yesterday, the last one in this thread was in February of 2010...a 40 gallon would be the bare-bones minimum for a bimac; the bigger the better. With regards to the cost weekly, it depends, as there are many variables. Do you live in proximity to a natural source, a supplier, or are you in the middle of nowhere needing all of its its food shipped every week? I'm in the same boat, in that I too am thinking about delving into octo-ownership. My plan for preparing is this: stage one, where I am now, is determining which species I'm best suited for. I'm also leaning towards a bimac, as they seem to be the best entry-level octopus from what I gather. Stage two is find a supplier, do the math with regards to estimated intake, round up, & bank that weekly cost EVERY week that my tank is cycling in preparation for its new "octo-pant". I'm doing this based on adult requirements so that I'll always be ahead of the game if a part fails or times get tough for whatever reason, sort of like a slush fund, as it were. Then, stage three is to bring the acquisition of tanks & equipment, followed by set-up & 3+ months of cycling. With that, everything, myself included, will be ready for the forth stage...a day off waiting for an overnighted package. Sorry I've been so wordy here, but you've given me the perfect opportunity to air my plan of attack, which I think is solid & well thought out. Please let me know your take, or if I'm missing something. Good luck to you, & hope to see you in more threads!
 

DWhatley

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TT You have great parents! Appreciate them!

The biggest flaw is the bimac itself. Even if you are lucky to source one where would you source a second, third. You will be planning, building, saving and cycling longer than you will have your first "octopant". Bimacs really are not very available. That being said one of the more common octopus would be O briareus. We have recently seen quite a few of them as very young animals available from a licensed collector in the FL Keys and if you will (can) size your tank upwards of 65 gallons, you will be able to house anything you find available when you are ready. A 40 is pushing it for aculeatus and really too small for a bimac. There really is not "beginner" species but there are a few to avoid that I would classify as research only (most of those in the exotic thread fall in this category).

You must keep in mind that octopuses live from 8-10 months (for the most common of the smaller nocturnal dwarfs - I have had a couple live 13) to 12-18 months for most warm water animals. As a rule of thumb, they are very, very shy until about 5 months old so the most enjoyment time is limited to 6-8 months. Bimacs can outlive most of the Caribbeans we keep but you will also need an expensive chiller to achieve the longer life time (which not only impacts your pocket on the front end, they impact your electric bill enough to notice). Also keep in mind that tank hatched of any species is very rare (we do see some available from time to time) and tank bred, not at all (but a certain duo of mad scientists are working on accomplishing this long desired option). The few animals we see that survive tank hatching are often kept by the original keepers rather than bartered out. I believe it has been a year since we have even seen available hatchlings. So... the animals that you will most likely keep will be wild caught and their ages unknown. For some species we can give a decent guess but sizes vary widly. At one point I thought I could tell O. briareus' age with some reliability on size just to be completely befuddled and now have one that is absolutely tiny (Yeti is dwarf sized but with long arms but not likely to be anything else).
 

Tentacle Toast

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I thank you too! I've the space for a 125+ gallon tank, so that's what I plan to work with personally. I was under the impression that A) bimac; (either one) were more readily available than what you describe, & B) briarius would grow to proportions that would make a 125 gallon uncomfortably tight. I fully understand & accept they're short lived, I just don't want to end up having whatever I get not be happy with its short life due to claustrophobic housing. I really wish I would've found this site sooner. I've got the time & patients, I just wish I was further ahead on the knowledge front. Just ordered that book you mentioned via the amazon link on the home page, so that'll help, plus better than a half a year to study up...do you notice seasonal trends with (captive bred) availability, or is it a crap-shoot? You said a "licenced collector", is wild caught the bulk of what's available always? Again, I was under the impression that there's cb stuff available (though not readily).
 

CaptFish

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125 is great for a briareus, and most octos kept in the home aquarium.

Most if not all octopuses in the trade are wild caught. Captive Bred octos is still something that is trying to be figured out, but it seems it's getting very close. The complication with bimacs is that they are mostly from California which has very strict collection laws when it comes to the octopus, which make it very difficult to sell the wild caught octopuses. Other states have similar laws but obtaining the proper collecting licenses is much easier. So Octos from the Caribbean are more readily available.
 

DWhatley

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There are currently virtually NO captive BRED available to the public. Occasionally we see a wild caught female lay eggs (frequent) and produce viable hatchlings (rare) that are available. Most octopuses cannot be kept together so breeding attempts are pretty much a lab environment experiment. The one exception to date for the hobbyist has been O. mercatoris, a nocturnal dwarf from the Caribbean. We have had limited success with keeping sibblings from a WC female in a single tank and produce viable offspring. The few journals we have stopped at one round of in-breeding (likely something that happens often in the wild with this species). Only about 5 hatchlings survived from each of the broods (varying from 6 to ~75 hatchlings) and the keepers did not offer them for sale.

On occasion someone will have a WC female bimac lay fertile eggs in an aquarium (to my recollection in 6+ years, we have one group that was a high school project and one that was a college project) where the hatchlings were offered for re-homing. In the latest case, the animals could not be shipped and were only distributed locally.

RE: A) I think you are confusing sizing of O.vulgaris with O.briareus. A 125 would be too small for most O. vulgaris (LittleBit was an exception and extremely small, el Diablo was more typical of the Caribbean sizing - smaller than European versions). This is a common misconception because of the "common" names for each. O. vulgaris is known as the "common octopus" world wide. O. briareus is known as the "common Caribbean octopus" and often the Caribbean is not used.

At the top of our Journals forum is a set of green "stickys" titled List of Our Octopuses 20xx that includes keeper, species(when known) and origination(when known). The animal name is a link back to the journal. It is worth the time to look through some of the journals on the species that interest you.
 

Tentacle Toast

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Thank you for the post. As mentioned, I've considerable research yet to do before actually taking the dive, but I've also the time to invest. The "common" in the name may be where the confusion lies, however, I thought I recalled reading in some of the threads on this site that the briareus, too, was a larger species (though it may have been in reference to a prospective buyer's intended setup). Thanks too, for the journals forums link; I'll probably be spending a fair amount of time there. With regards to captive breeding efforts, who's on the cutting edge? What do they need to further their successes? I'll probably find answers to my own questions when reading those journals, but are there funds where donations could be made to help further things along? I've some herpetology in my past, so cb is always my choice (when available) to both lessen the impact on the wild, & minimize the chances of introducing parasites pathogens to others in the collection (this last point obviously rendered moot with octos). Everything is possible with right minds investing the time. I don't profess to possess one of those right minds (even though I am left-handed), but I'd love to make any kind of helpful contribution I can...I just don't want to do ANY harm, to the octopus or the environment from which it comes...
 

DWhatley

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O. briareus IS the largest of the typically kept group but not too large for a 65 with sump. Somewhere I have a go-by list of sizes posted ... Well I'll be darned, it looks like our grand master posted it as an article :biggrin2:. The article my "article" mentions is WELL worth reading.
 

DWhatley

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jscarim,
The forum is very open compared to many but one thing we ask is to please not double post questions. Staff are all volunteer and sometimes we get stretched a little thin but we usually address questions within a few hours (often much sooner). Feel free to bump a post if either staff or another member has not responded but please keep each question to its own thread so you have a variety of answers all in the same place and questions and comments don't get confusing.
 

Ryan carlile

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Hi,

Welcome to the Octopus Q&A Forum, a place where you can ask questions and join discussions about octopus care fundamentals.

If you are having a problem with an octopus or its tank, it is helpful to post as much information as you can. It would be very useful to provide us with your tank size and its parameters. Especially... pH, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, temperature, salinity, tank mates and the age of the tank. Anything else would also be great!

Please enter your tank and your octo in our Tank Owners' Database (Click on the Features button above) - it's easy to do and it helps us answer your questions.

Click on the Articles button above and choose Ceph Care to access our many articles including
- Keeping Cephalopods in Captivity
- Before You Buy a Cuttlefish
- Checklist: Things to Think about before Buying an Octopus.

For people just beginning we recommond that you read the Equipment List and the Checklist.

Please post photos and reports of your octopus on the Journals and Photos Forum.

Don't forget to take advantage of the Seach capability for finding previous questions and answers on topics that interest you.

Nice to have you with us,

Nancy and Colin

Hi I'm a complete beginner in all things octopus and I wanted to figure up what I need for the tank including what to use to keep it in the tank, and I can't find answer anywhere on the internet (first time for everything) so I would greatly appreciate some help figuring this out
 

tonmo

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Hi I'm a complete beginner in all things octopus and I wanted to figure up what I need for the tank including what to use to keep it in the tank, and I can't find answer anywhere on the internet (first time for everything) so I would greatly appreciate some help figuring this out
Welcome to TONMO, @Ryan carlile! You've come to the right place... keep reading :smile2:. Check out our Ceph Care Articles, and remember that our Forum Search is your friend!
 

Feder

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is there any research basis for the statement that octopuses can‘t sense red light so they won’t see us if we observe them with red lights?
 
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