I am an academic studying animal behaviour in invertebrate species. I know this is probably a waste of time since everyone reading this, by the very fact they are on this site, will disagree with me. I am against keeping Octopus in captivity. Why? For three reasons. 1. They are too short lived 2. They are too intelligent 3. There is too little knowledge about them to make them viable. Firstly I can imagine everyone sharpening their typing fingers and jumping to the defense of their hobby but please read my arguement before you do this. Octopus are very intelligent. Owners interpret this intelligence as one of the reasons they like keeping octopus, that they will do tricks like opening jars and engaging in tug o wars with food tweezers etc. But I have noticed that virtually every post asking for advice contains references to previous octopus that have died. The attitude to this hobby seems to be that, much like an inanimalte object, you learn by your mistakes. You seem to buy your octopus, kill it, learn from the errors you can identify, kill the next one etc until finally you can keep the creature alive for all of its few months / years of life. You pay for this knowledge by having to purchase new stock, the octopus pays with its life. Am I missing something here? Is there a contradiction between your supposed passion for these animals and your willingness to sacrifice them? Because of the apparent widespread failure to breed them (and I'm not talking about the females that lay eggs within a few weeks of their capture) it seems that you are encouraging the decline of these species by buying wild caught individuals and depleting natural stocks. Every wild octopus that is collected reduced the viability of the species. What a waste to place this specimen in a tank, watch it lay eggs, ask someone what to do next, invariably watch them all die or even manage to rear a few and give them away to like minded 'hobbyists' to watch for a while until they too perish. All you are all doing is removing viability, population and habitat. So here's my test for you all to check your own interest and where it lies. Firstly, I bet most of you recognise yourself in my description of failed keepers killing successive octopus and getting another. But if your interest is not selffish and you are not into keeping octopus just for your own gratification and amusement until they die, then use your interest in supporting the species. Advocate that octopus should be protected from collecting in their natural environment. Tell members not to cage them but to spend their money on ecotourism and go to visit the real areas where these animals live. This support will provide the locals with an alternative source of income. And now everyone is shaking their heads and saying that won't work or I'm being silly or what difference would us doing that make. When the real objection is that you are not in fact interested in the animals you have in your possession for their own sake. You are interested in how they make you feel, the time you can spend engaged in your hobby, the pleasure in viewing their beautiful forms and colours, the recognition of posting humerous messages and anecdotes on sites like this, the wonderful feeling of telling people how unusual your hobby is: all about self and how you feel. You see, not about the octopus at all.