First Octopus

theendofallpossibilities

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Hi everyone,

I've been fascinated by octopus for several years. Last year I got a pet hedgehog because I didn't have the funds to get a full octopus setup. But this year one of my coworkers unexpectedly decided we need an octopus for a science open house, and I am more than willing to provide its care. Neither of us have had an octopus before, but he has extensive reef tank experience (17+ saltwater tanks). We are wondering, would it be harmful for an octopus to eat clown fish, in a tank-mates-until-lunch concept? We will be getting crabs for its diet, but there are a lot of extra clownfish in the reef tanks that could supplement the crustacean protein. Does anyone have experience with this?
 

tonmo

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There's an article by @CaptFish which laments the results of keeping clowns with octopuses, but with the concern being about losing the clowns. I don't believe there was any indication that it was a problem for the octo, but I hope others with experience will weigh in.
 

DWhatley

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Here is a collection of posts that I like to suggest for reading for new octo keepers that includes discussions on tankmates, feeding and what to expect.

I am a major opponent to placing any kind of fish in an octopus tank. Fish WILL pester the octo -- likely because it is a messy eater and they want the scraps. This can result in damage to the eyes or skin and ultimately leading to infection. In the wild, the vastness of the ocean allows octos to escape the pests but in a small environment, it may become shy or even so stressed that it stops eating. Fish are not a primary part of an octopus diet but you can offer pieces of fish on occasion to see if the octopus will take it, I have seen posts where octos have taken silver sides but have not had much luck using fish as even a snack/change of diet food. My best foods have been shrimp (live, fresh or frozen) and blue crab claws (harder to find ATM but usually sourced from the bins of Asian markets that provide live blue crabs). Clams are a decent and not too messy option for a change and can be offered on the half shell or used as cleaning crew until eaten.
 

Squiderp 12

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Kind of a random question here, but are there any at least partially reef safe cuttlefish? Will they eat corals? I know they will probably get the fish, but with Sepia bandesis I would think it wouldn't bother too many fish.
 

DWhatley

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Not in the way you are thinking but most cuttlefish can be put in a tank with more variety of corals since they tend to swim more than walk (with some exceptions). For the sake of the cephs, they are pretty much a single species tank animal with only a few recommended invert tankmates.
 

Squiderp 12

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I'm thinking of one specific fish - Yellow Tang. I don't think they would bother each other too much but it's hard to know for sure.
 

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