Hi everyone! I've been lurking around here for a little while but am completely green on this subject, handle with care! I recently became totally fascinated by octopuses, biologically and socially, and after a while got my heart set on getting one. I have of course read around the subject in as much detail as I can, and I understand that it is challenging and that an octopus is fairly high maintenance and am aware that ownership is not to be taken lightly. I have kept lizards in the past (leopard geckos, green iguanas and tegus), so I know something about the demands of exotic animals in the home, however this is all new as I have never ever kept any kind of marine life, not even a goldfish. So I've really thrown myself in at the deep end. I know a lot of you will probably just tell me to start with a simple saltwater aquarium but I really just want an octopus, and I think and hope that I can follow instructions fairly well. I work at home and don't have the mobility to go out much so I will have plenty of time to interact and look after him (or her). So I've started by ordering a couple of books from Amazon that seemed to come recommended (Octopus: The Intelligent Invertebrate, and Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium), and downloaded/watched The Ultimate Guide: Octopus after reading around tonmo and some other sites. I've made a basic list of everything I think I will need and would like it if anyone can give me any feedback, corrections etc. Try to imagine that my house is completely 'empty' when it comes to marine equipment, even things like buckets. I tried to make a comprehensive list with this in mind. I selected O. bimac as the species since I'm on a fairly tight budget and can't afford a large tank (I live in Norway and they are extremely expensive, even a basic 50 gallon (190 liter) tank is over $600, so I have to be frugal). This is what I came up with: - Aquarium - at least 190 liters (50 gallons) - not copper-based treatment as this will kill the octopus - Mechanical filters, need to remove ammonia, nitrate and nitrate, chemical filter will kill octopus - Flourescent light, not excessively bright - Timer for wall socket - 8-10 hours of daylight for octopus - Hydrometer (swing arm) to test salinity - Synthetic sea salt - one cup per 2 gallons - salinity measured with hydrometer, 1.023 - 1.026 for octopus - Protein skimmer - must be rated for 3 times the size of the tank - Carbon - Large buckets for the water - Live rocks (rocks with bacteria growing on) to help absorb waste from the octopus - Test kit: need to test pH, amoonia, nitrate, nitrate, gravity/salinity (with hydrometer), oxygen level - Copper tester - copper is fatal to octopuses and must have a level of zero - Heater / chiller - octopus requires lower 70s F (70-74 is 21-23 C) - Aquarium substrate - do not use coral sand as it hurts octopus skin; fine 'aquarium' sand, depth 1 inch (2.5cm) - TWP / RO/DI filter - do we need this in Norway? - Air pump with wooden diffusers to agitate surface layer of water - PVC pipes to entertain octopus - Hosepipe or some other tool to siphon the water when changing it So here are some questions that will unfortunately sound naive and dumb but any guidance would be great. I am also not good at DIY so if anything requires this, please try to keep it simple and dumb :) What is the difference between what is advertised as a 'freshwater' and 'saltwater' aquarium? The prices of saltwater aquariums here appear to be as much as 3 times higher. Can you not just use a freshwater aquarium that has never had any water in it and not been treated with copper? How many liters (or gallons) per hour does the pump need to be? Should I use a Wet/Dry filter / bioballs? When changing the water, do I take the octopus out? Is it ok to put him in a large bucket? How do you stop the octopus burning its arms on the heater? How do you secure the rocks to the tank so that they don't fall on the octopus if he is playing around them? Same question for plastic pipes/toys If you have to use a layer of glass on top of the aquarium or some other tight-fitting lid, how do you connect the accessories to the intakes on top of the aquarium? What's the best way to secure the lid? What's the best way to siphon water out of the tank when changing it? When handling the octopus, what is the best way to hold it / pick it up without hurting it? Is it better to get a male or female octopus? I was thinking mostly about all the eggs the female would lay at the end of her life being a nuisance or maybe even depressing. Where to keep it: I basically have two choices, the back wall of my home office or the side wall of my living room. Either way the octopus will see a lot of me, and it would definitely be better aesthetically to have it in the living room, but I also have my home cinema in there; I know octopuses are thought to be deaf but will the vibrations stress him out or does it not matter? The office is quiet. Aside from that, I wrote down these reminders which I hope are ok: - Cycle tank for 3 months before adding octopus - Ensure plenty of hiding places for octopus to avoid stress - Do not use undergravel filter as octopus will dig it up - Cannot use tap water as contains chemicals that are toxic to octopus - RO/DI (reverse osmosis deionized water) - Change 25% of the water 1-2 times per week; do not add extra salt - Food: frozen shrimp but preferably live crustaceans, mussels so that octopus can hunt for food Is there anything I missed or anything general about keeping an aquarium that I would be totally unaware of from reading up on it? Finding an octopus or an expert in Norway is rather difficult but on Wednesday I am hopefully going to take a trip to the capital Oslo to the largest aquarium shop. I gave them a ring today and they have an octopus expert there, luckily. Thanks! Katy.