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New Member with Questions


Larval Mass
Oct 29, 2011
Hi, im new to all this and i have so many questions! i am getting an octopus soon and it will be my first, i have done lots of research on how to care for it but i couldnt find anything about whether you can hold them, some people said they liked to be friends with humans and play but does that mean you can touch them? do they bite a lot? and can they come out of the water for short periods of time? THANKS:D sorry if i have pposted this in the wrong spot but since you had an octo i thought you might know the answer to this stuff.


Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
Gainesville, GA
I moved your post to the introduce yourself forum in hopes that other new keepers will identify with your curiosity and respond.

To get you started, read through (as you seem to be doing) the journals by other octopus keepers to get an understanding of what we mean by "playing". No, they are not like mammals and you can't pick them up (unless you have to because they escaped :wink:) and they should stay in the water but many will interact after they have adjusted to their new environment and the people they see each day. They can and occasional do bite. Here is link to a thread discussing some of the instances. Most interaction starts at feeding time and slowly acclimating them to your hand being in the tank is a starting point. They will be curious and normally will reach to touch and then try to pull. Always allow the aniamal to choose to make contact rather than trying to initiate touching. Gentle resistence without panic is advised. Over time they will usually stop pulling and gently investigate but each animal is different.


Colossal Squid
Nov 19, 2002
Dunedin, New Zealand

It's not generally a good idea to handle your octopus too much, they can bite and while most are harmless some people are sensitive/allergic to the toxin. Also it can be very damaging to the animals skin, this can be surprisingly delicate and the oils and heat of our skin can cause lesions to the octopus. If you must, (eg it escapes!) make sure your hands are cool and wet! If you want to "play" try with some sort of "toy" eg a feeding stick or even lego blocks!!!

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