First Time: Octopus keeper

fishy12

Blue Ring
Registered
#1
This will be my first time trying to keep a octopus. Im going to keep him in a 30gal. The speceis is a
Abdopus aculeatus. Im looking for care sheets but can't seem to find them anyone have one? I also was wondering how to break them to frozen food? Live would be expensive and also what corals will be good to keep with them safley and if a longnose hawk fish and a clown fish would be good tank mates? Also what will be a good temperature for him 78? Anything you can add will be GREAT! P.S I also know I have to get rid of any small holes they can get through.
 

Lmecher

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Registered
#2
:welcome: to Tonmo

You can find the answers to you questions if you look through the threads. Check the stickys at the top pf this forum. You can check the journals, species is listed. Fish kept with an octopus are not safe, maybe for a time but could eventaully become dinner.
 

SabrinaR

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Registered
#3
What I do so I have something to look at is put low light soft corals in the tank... normally wavy peaceful ones so not to sting the octopus.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#4
:welcome:

A 30 gal tank is to small for a Aculeatus.

A good protein skimmer is very important as octopuses are very messy.
The Aculeatus I have, Waldo, took frozen food from me right away. I fed him small pieces of shrimp.
78 is a great temp, Waldo's tank is 78.
Like Linda said it is not recommended that you keep fish with your octopus, I kept a flame hawkfish with one and it seemed ok for awhile but the octopus did eventual eat it. But there are lots of corals that are safe. Most are OK as long as they are no stinging corals or hard corals that are sharp enough or rough enough that it might hurt the octo.
Welcome and good luck!
 

kpage

Wonderpus
Supporter
#5
Yes 30gal is a little small. I kept mine at 78 as well. She took frozen regularly. I don't know if this is with all octos but I gave her fiddlers as a treat once and from then on she would refuse frozen food. After a 3 or 4 day game of chicken I started feeding her fiddlers.
 

SabrinaR

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
Registered
#6
If you know for a fact that you will not want to get a larger octo then you could get a 40 or 45 gallon tank. But considering everything thats involved to set up an octo tank... its normally better to start off with the biggest tank you can afford.

My A. aculeatus HP Lovecraft is housed in a 55 gallon and I can tell you it fits her perfectly. There is enough room to roam and what not.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#8
Mercatoris, which is a dwarf species of octopus are fine for a 30 gallon, In fact you can get a pair of them. Mercatoris is one of the only species that have successfully been kept together. The only down side to them is that they are nocturnal. Most wont even come out if the room lights are on. The other draw back to a Merc is finding them. They come from the florida keys and the season they are typically found has just ended.

Cuttlefish will also work great in a 30 gallon tank.
 

fishy12

Blue Ring
Registered
#10
Well what if I make it dark during the day and light at night for some time? Will it maybe coax them to come out or are they too smart... Like for a week or too cover the tank with a blanket then turn lights on at night. Then after the week take the towel off? Will that help? And where are good places to buy octopus? And any other dwarf species I can keep?
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#11
:welcome: to TONMO. As for where to get an octopus, the "Octopus Availability" thread is where people update sources for them. I don't know of anyone who has tried to change the octo's body clocks... it sounds interesting, but hard to do unless you have a room with no windows...
 

fishy12

Blue Ring
Registered
#12
monty;157308 said:
:welcome: to TONMO. As for where to get an octopus, the "Octopus Availability" thread is where people update sources for them. I don't know of anyone who has tried to change the octo's body clocks... it sounds interesting, but hard to do unless you have a room with no windows...
Well if you cover it completely and have a time up it should work. I figure if no light gets in at all then it may be possible if they are not too smart
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#13
I suspect they would adjust to reversing a day/night cycle since animals come from different time zones but ultimately take on their natural rythme (or they seem to sometimes they don't act as we expect :wink:). Mercs do well under red light and I leave mine on 24/7 so if you can adjust it's night with lightless ambient (or using your birdcage cover thought), I would love to see what happens. I've mentioned trying this a couple of times but never have since my merc tank is in a room with two walls of windows. A mercatoris won't be interactive like the larger octos but I have enjoyed having them. I believe you will see a lot more activity if you have two in the tank but recommend you try to get them together (preferably raised that way). You might PM DanTheMarineMan to see if he has any available but keep in mind you need to cycle a new tank for a full 3 months (not just until you see no ammonia or nitrite).

I always recommend addind a collection of the purple giant barnacles as part of your substrate to offer a ready made den. Males tend to switch dens every two weeks or so but females seem to find a den and stay put.
 

fishy12

Blue Ring
Registered
#14
dwhatley;157329 said:
I suspect they would adjust to reversing a day/night cycle since animals come from different time zones but ultimately take on their natural rythme (or they seem to sometimes they don't act as we expect :wink:). Mercs do well under red light and I leave mine on 24/7 so if you can adjust it's night with lightless ambient (or using your birdcage cover thought), I would love to see what happens. I've mentioned trying this a couple of times but never have since my merc tank is in a room with two walls of windows. A mercatoris won't be interactive like the larger octos but I have enjoyed having them. I believe you will see a lot more activity if you have two in the tank but recommend you try to get them together (preferably raised that way). You might PM DanTheMarineMan to see if he has any available but keep in mind you need to cycle a new tank for a full 3 months (not just until you see no ammonia or nitrite).

I always recommend addind a collection of the purple giant barnacles as part of your substrate to offer a ready made den. Males tend to switch dens every two weeks or so but females seem to find a den and stay put.
Sounds good. Any certain acclimating plans? Like would the measuring cup method work? How do you acclimate yours? And what can I use for clean up crews like snails, hermits anything? Also will they break to froen food or stick to live food? Just really the care for mercs or any care sheets you have or know of will be nice
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#15
For starters, there are two older, extended threads that will give you some idea about what it is like to keep a mercatoris. I use these as a primary reference because they are actually 3 threads each and begin with the wild caught female, continue with the tank raised hatchlings and continue again with the tank bred young. As you read, keep in mind the time is condensed (in spite of my verbose style, there is still a lot of time passage between the reports).

Varys - GHolland
Trapper - Dwhatley

For more current mercs click on the List of our Octopuses 2010, 2009 and 2008 and look for O.mercatoris in the list. The animal name and species are links to the journals. Additionally, CaptFish is experimenting with a blog for his reclusive Izzy (click blogs in the main menu).

For clean-up, snails, small hermits and a serpent or brittle star (avoid the green serpents). Some of the mercs have eaten hermits and an occassional snail but none of mine thought they were worth eating.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#17
The ones we keep in home aquariums live from 8 months to 18 months in the wild (as best we can tell). Neogonodactylus (Roy Caldwell) had a lab bimac that lived close to 3 years as I recall. Since most of our animals come from the wild and hatchlings are very rare, 7 months is a guestimate average for octos that survive the first month. O.mercatoris is listed with a life span averaging 10 months. My merc hatchlings that lived more than a month ranged from 10 - 13 months before dying.
 

fishy12

Blue Ring
Registered
#20
I have a few other questions. Will they only be active at night? Or will they come out during the day and be active occasionally? And how should I acclimate them I use the measuring cup method. How do you sex them? And are purple barnacles availabe at drfostersmith.com?

And what are my chances of getting a pair? And at a there mid age like 6 months
 

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