Octopus Pet Checklist: Before You Get An Octopus as a Pet...

Things to Think About Before You Get An Octopus as a Pet

by Nancy King

Nancy is a member of the TONMO.com staff -- you can discuss cephalopods with her and fellow TONMOers in our Octopus Care forum.

Keeping an octopus is fun and interesting, but an octopus is not the easiest pet
to own. You need understand saltwater aquariums as well as how to take care of a ceph pet to be a successful octo owner. Here are some things to think about and to guide you before you take the plunge and buy an octopus.

1. Do you know what species you're getting?
Octopuses of different species that grow to widely different adult sizes are sold as pets, and tank requirements for these octopuses vary greatly. Also, the recommended water temperature is determined by the species. Octopus bimaculoides (bimac) seems to be the most popular pet octopus in the U.S. and is now often captive bred. It is diurnal (day active), not too large, and will interact with you.

If you intend to buy from a local fish store (LFS), be aware that the store may not know what species they are selling so you should try to ask some questions like "where did it come from?" and also find out under what conditions the octopus is...
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About the Author
Nancy has an interest in all things cephy but especially octopus behavior. She maintains two saltwater aquariums and has kept O. bimaculoides and O. briareus as well as many other invertebrates. She joined the TONMO.com staff in March 2002 with a background in management, editing and technical writing in technology companies. She enjoys helping people with ceph keeping, including writing articles. Nancy also has a strong background in art and currently works in precious metals and watercolor with a goal of producing high quality art with marine themes. She holds an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and presently lives in Dallas, Texas - only five hours from the Gulf!


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