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What are you feeding your octopus?


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Nov 20, 2002
Dallas Texas
Hi all octo keepers -

I'd like to know what you've been feeding your octopus.

What did you feed your octo when you first got it and what are you
giving it now?

And any comments on the food that you might have.

I am turning this into a sticky note so it will stay at the top of the forum for a while.


Edit: I will try to add links to publications on octopus nutrition to the first post in this thread for easier reference - "D"

Links to posts on Octopus Food Choices and Nutrition
Nutritional influences on Octopus rubescens prey selection
octo food

Hi Nancy,

I recived my baby bimac in june of 04 from octo pets, along with the baby clams. He or she? was the size of a quarter when it started eating the baby clams then moved on to my clean up crew of hermit crabs and snails. Now 8 months later and the size of my fist it eats fidler crabs and crayfish. I have tried frozen food and all the octo does is grab it then gives it right back (spoiled I guess ). I know this is a little exspensive but I figured this is what they normally eat.

Where I live in Virginia The temperature In the summer is quite hot and in the winter is quite cold, the only reason I bring this up is that I noticed when my tank was at 75-78 deg the octo was much more active and out all the time and quite hungry. Now that it is winter and the temp is between 70-73 deg it's not near as active or as hungry. I know that with the water temp being warmer that it's motabolism is higher and the opposite with colder temps. So feeding has gone from two fidler crabs or one crayfish a day to one fidler crab a day or one crayfish every other day. My thoughts on frozen foods is that they may not give all the right nutrients to where live food does. as a matter of fact I'm going to go drop a crayfish in right now, my little buddy is peeking out of his den.

I've had my briareus 1 month now. He has always eaten frozen food (scallops and shrimps). He likes the scallops better than the shrimp, but he doesn't refuse the shrimp. I feed him every 2nd day, usually at night but sometimes at dawn.
hmm...ive been feeding mine with live crabs for far...and the occasional thawed shrimp....about 1 time a day because she rarely comes out of her den and usually is guarding her eggs...
I've fed different octo species different foods.

They've all had and enjoyed live crabs (carcinus meanus, maja squindo).

Bimacs i've fed on live and frozen prawns and shrimps, gastropods (nucella lapillus) and cockles (got me there...) both frozen and live which he happily enjoyed.

O. vulgaris have mainly juts fed on crabs but also enjoyed razor shells frozen, then seemed to enjoy manipulating the shells. They also liked sandeels and sprat.

E. cirrhosa just on live crabs really and frozen fish again.

GPO's will eat anything the greedy things including naughty children which is a bonus! Ha, they'll have anyting you put near them. I'd feed them every other day on about 6 large Carcinus (carapace around 12cm wide) or one large Maja. They are fantasticly active animals though and are always up for a little enrichment. I used to give them ice lollies in the summer (the tank was well chilled to around 9 celcius) but thought she might be missing out on the summer vibe. I used to freeze about 1 litre of tank water in a 2 litre container having a mackerel (scomber scombrus)tail sticking out. Chuck a few frozen bits of stuff in and then pop in another litre of tank water. Makes a nice little treat for them.

They'll eat anything really.

Yes, it's a fine idea for the GPOs, but let's not try it in our bimac tanks! The GPOs are kept at a much colder temperature and are in much larger tanks than we have.

When my octos are babies, I find tiny hermit crabs seem to be accepted readily by all. I also use frozen prawn. As they grow, we collect several different types of snails, hermits, local crabs, killies. Winter time, we buy crayfish, baitshops stock live killies and greencrabs and for a short period of time into the winter are stocked with fiddlercrabs. A peice of lobster every now and then, (usually on holidays :wink:) is also readily accepted!!!

Going to have to try that icecube idea!!! Bet G2 would love it!!! Maybe if it was a very small amount of ice, like a quarter of an icecube it would'nt affect the temp too much and it would be interesting to see his reaction!!!
crayfish, frozen raw shrimp from wal mart
sand eels, frozen squid, and crabs and snails.

maybe I need to get a heater,

i dont mind a shorter lifespan if they were more active withint that shorter lifespan
We feed ours live cancer crabs (Cancer novaezelandiae ) and paddle (swimming crabs) (Ovalipes catharus ) Plus the occasional giant spider crab (Jaquinotia edwardsii ) which was purely unintentional :mad: The octi crawled into the tank and helped itself!

I go up to the local bait and tackle store and buy two dozen bait shrimp for about $3.50. Their average size is about 2" long, and I've gotten ones as big as 4.5" long. I also have silversides in my freezer for treats.

Hi all,
I've turned this thread into a sticky note, which means it says at the top, so it can be easily seen. Please continue to add your posts on what you're feeding your octos.


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