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Feb 1, 2011
So I've been extremely intrigued by octopi for a very long time. Through my fascination I stumbled across this forum and have been doing lots, and boy do I mean LOTS, of reading!

The main thread I have been following has been DJKaty's because of our similar interest in octopi, our want for a pet octopus, and our complete lack of aquarium knowledge! The only fish I have ever owned has been a beta fish, which I've had the same one for like 2.5 years in just a whatever fish bowl. He's definitely a fighter! Anyways, I want an octopus and am willing to take the steps and spend the money needed too! I'm very attentive, and a great quick learner, so I'm hoping I can manage!

From the species I have been reading about, I definitely have fallen for the O. vulgaris! Ugh how I want one!

Ok introduction time, sorry the excitement got to me!

My name is Zach
I reside in Seattle, Wa (go giant pacific octopus!)
I am a student studying Civil Engineering
Love a challenge
21 years old

I would love any bit of help I could get on the set up and needs to get a O. vulgaris. I do find djkatys thread very helpful!

Thanks to all!


Staff member
May 30, 2000
:welcome: xSquirly / Zach! Really glad you let us know you're here.

I'll leave it to the experts to advise you - but to my knowledge, starting with an O. vulgaris may not be the best choice.

Reminds me of a funny little story: a few years ago, a producer working with David Blaine (the magician / street performer) reached out to me - David wanted to live in a tank with an octopus for something like a month. He wanted to know what it would take to care for one, and how he could get one. O. vulgaris came up as a suggestion for a particularly large octopus. Eventually, the producer arranged for me and David to speak directly, and we did. It was an interesting conversation (he's an interesting guy). He basically wanted to know details about ceph care (and as we know I'm not an expert), but I told him I had folks who would help (Nancy and Colin were supporting me on this at the time). I think maybe the cautions I shared about the difficulties of keeping cephs (especially O. vulgaris) turned him off of the idea. The stunt eventually turned into this one, sans octopus:

Anyway... welcome to TONMO! :smile:


Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Oct 1, 2009
:welcome: Zach!
Happy to hear the excitement in your post. You will need to familiarize yourself with keeping saltwater tanks. You are on the right path, there is a lot to learn. I would however encourage you to go slow, one step at a time. Keeping octopuses requires that you have a good understanding of keeping a healthy marine environment. I can see how you are inspired by Katy, she has had her difficulties along the way, it has not been a breeze for her. Be prepared to make mistakes, better to make them before you have an octopus to deal with, which brings along more complications.
O.vulgaris is my favorite species. I believe I was one of first ones to keep a journal on this species. It was a wonderful, curious and interactive octopus. They do require a very large system, I kept mine in a 120 and couldn't imagine keeping one in anything smaller.
Good luck, I look forward to following along on your journey. :smile:


Haliphron Atlanticus
Sep 25, 2006
I had kept a large freshwater tank for a couple of years, twenty years earlier, but I had no other aquarium experience when I decided to keep an octopus. It can be done if you are careful, prudent, and practical (I've caught and kept bimacs for about 2 1/2 years with no problems). Unless you catch your own, or can get one through science/education channels, there's no telling what species a seller will send you, so it makes sense to set up your tank to handle almost any species. I recommend keeping inexpensive fish for the first few months, to give the colonies of beneficial bacteria that filter your water time to stabilize. After your water parameters are stable for a few months, then swap out the fish and put in an octopus. Ideally you will have been keeping a population of fish that eats about as much per week as your octopus, so that the amount of waste produced per week (and processed by those bacteria) will not change much when you get an octopus. Another big reason to keep inexpensive fish for a few months before an octopus is to give yourself a chance to work the kinks in your general maintenance procedures (feeding, water testing, tank cleaning, water changes, etc) and to get into a nice steady rhythm. That way, you can get make your rookie mistakes on some inexpensive and hardy fish, and not on an expensive and delicate octopus.

Also, consider your particular circumstances when deciding how to go about this and what species to shoot for. College students tend to move every year or so, and not be gone for school breaks. A small tank with a dwarf octopus in it is a lot easier to move than an 180 gallon tank with a Vulgaris in it. How long will your tank be able to go without a water change, or between feedings? You're an engineer, so use some of those skills to set up your tank so that maintenance is easy. Ideally, you could open one valve (or turn on one pump) to let old tank water drain out of your system and go down a drain, and you could add clean tank water just as easily. Most people don't do the planning and run the plumbing to make a water change that easy, and end up mixing and carrying water in buckets. If you design and build your system right, you can make maintenance fast and easy, so your octopus won't have to wait three weeks for a water change when you're studying for finals.


Feb 1, 2011
Wow Tonmo, I can't even imagine how bizarre of a request that is! Living with an octopus for a month, thats crazy! I definitely think his actual attempt at the stunt is a much brighter idea lol

Lmecher I have now gone and read through your journal of your O. vulgaris. They definitely seem like a handful of a species, but I am feeling up to the challenge! To bring Joe-Cephs input in on this as well, a larger tank makes it much easier to set up a sump that is large enough and have addition room to assemble and manage plumbing. I have done a lot of out sourced reading on this as well and believe I could definitely whip something up to accommodate that!

I am surely doing this for my fascination of the creatures, but also because I love a challenge and love to solve problems! I am moving into a new place here at the end of March. At which point I plan on setting up a 120 gallon and beginning the months of trial and error with creating such a system. I am sure it will take three months at the bare minimum to ensure everything is working correctly! At which point I will select my new little buddy. From the reading I have been doing on suppliers, it seems like Tom is probably the go to guy? Or are the "fish sites" that reliable?


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Jul 9, 2009
South Florida
:welcome: to TONMO

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