Hello! Introduction, bimac availability, and East Pacific Red info...


Larval Mass
Hello Tonmo community,

I received an email that recommended that I start a thread here to introduce myself. Ta da! Here I am. Great to be here.

I'm new to this community, but not to octopus care. I actually raised a bimac when I was in high school in Portland, Oregon. It was a school-funded science project... pretty amazing experience (2006-2008ish). The octopus, pictured as my profile, lived a full, two-yearish lifespan after arriving via FedEx from an online dealer.

Now I'm in a position to raise an octopus again, this time through a work-funded hobby project in Seattle. I've got all the old equipment that worked before, including chiller. I plan to acclimate with wild harvested Pacific Northwest seawater, substrate, and live rock soon (away from any polluting industry, of course!).

Anyway... it seems like a lot has changed since my high school days. Bimacs seem quite hard to come by! I don't even remember having a difficult time finding a dealer online back in 2006/2007, but there doesn't appear to be sight nor sound of one these days. I recall getting mine for $20 and paying $30 shipping after a day or two of google searches.

I had such a wonderful experience with the bimac; so friendly, curious, and seemingly happy with aquarium life. Does anybody have any recommendations on where to find one in 2017? Am I to drive down to Cali myself and catch one? Perhaps hitting up research institutions in Seattle could bear fruit... probably not though, bureaucracy prohibits the fun 99% of the time.

If I can't locate a bimac, I know the native East Pacific Red Octopus has similar cold water demands and is about the same size (smaller, obviously). I like the cold water, West Coast native angle to compliment where I work. An unidentifiable octopus from Tahiti or a Caribbean species would seem very out of place, we've got some local pride!

So, I guess my inquiries boil down to:

1- Where are the bimacs at? I wanna know...

2- If bimacs are simply impossible, does anybody have information on the East Pacific Red Octopus? I hear rumors that they are defensive biters and have a fairly potent toxin...

3- If East Pacific Reds check out, where are they? Should I start looking at the local harvesting regulations if dealers are scarce?

Thanks for all that you all do! May the eight arms of your companions crush prey for 10,000 moons.

Best from the Northwest,


Staff member
Sadly, if you want to raise a bimac you will almost certainly have to collect it or find someone who will do so for free. California has a law that prohibits the sale of the live animal and is the only state where they are found easily. On a very rare occasion, we will see hatchlings available for pickup from research facilities that happened to have a female that laid viable eggs.

O. rubescens are also a rarity but don't have the legal restrictions (and are found further north). Their absence from the hobby arena is most likely due to the lack of desirability because of the cold tank requirements (roughly 10 degrees colder than needed for a bimac).

You might check out Coldwater Marine Aquatics (I believe they have started selling a few coldwater animals again in limited quantities) as they may be able to find you an O. rubescens.


Larval Mass

Thank you for the info. What a bummer! I checked out the Coldwater Marine Aquatics website and it looks like they do carry O. rubescens (which I will hereby refer to a "rube") for $150 a pop. They are out of them as of now... looks like I'll either have to:

1- Go to Cali and find my own bimac
2- Wait for Coldwater Marine Aquatics to have a rube
3- Find my own rube around here

Thanks again. If anybody has more options to offer, feel free to chime in...


Welcome. Octos in general have been hard to come by. "I have been lucky" There are several people looking but most want a warm water species only because of chiller cost. Personally I have not had a bimac or any other cold water but I am sure that day will come. For most its not the cost of buying the chiller but the cost of running then again I live in FL so we dont keep the house under 75. I look forward to fallowing your posts.


Larval Mass
Thanks, sirreal! I'll keep everyone in the loop as far as progress on the octo-acquiring process. For now, I'm focusing on getting the tank up and running and getting the parameters under control. Updates with pics to come!


Larval Mass
Thanks everyone! The tank looks good *finally* and I'm focused on the hunt. I've gotten a lead for a bimac in the TONMO community and have some Puget Sound locals on the lookout for a ruby... it's coming together!

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