Octopus Availability

Marc

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Milwaukee, WI
Hi everyone, just a quick question. My girlfriend and I are, or were, thinking of getting an octopus. We are experienced with saltwater tanks and many varieties of fish, her being a virtual expert, but after researching and doing our homework, it would seem as if getting an actual octopus is impossible unless you live in a coastal area and can literally get them from the ocean yourself. We are from the midwest so are we correct in assuming that it is a virtual impossibility? We’d love to get one but if it cannot be done, we’d rather focus our energies elsewhere. We’re not being flippant and we know the difficulty in keeping an octopuss and we’re up to the task, we’re just not sure it can be done where we live and would like some advice from thise more experienced.
 

Nancy

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Hi Marc,
Welcome to the site!

Maybe you should start by contacting public aquariums and research institutions, which do acquire GPOs. It’s just that they can’t be sold to private individuals. Maybe even ask an aquarium store in a coastal city of the Pacific Northwest. This is a start, anyway.

You could also consider O. vulgaris, which is large, interactive and intelligent,
and not as hard to get.

Nancy
 

Nancy

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Are large pacific octopuses available or is that a truly unique type to find? Ive had saltwater for 20 years now and am almost finished with my octopus aquarium (1600 gallons). Ive been on the lookout for eggs in preperation. Building a 1600 Gallon DEEP Bioshock aquarium!
Hi Karlotious and welcome to the sites!

I followed your link and that’s a very impressive tank! And it’s large enough to make a Giant Pacific Octopus happy.

GPOs are very hard to find for a private individual, although they may be ordered by educational institutions, research labs, and public aquariums.
See my reply to Marc’s Post above where I give some suggestions. If you can’t devise a way to get a GPO, think of O. vulgaris.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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@Karlotious, you might PM Stu Wobbe on Facebook. His coldwater aquarium business is inoperative ATM but he may have some suggestions/contacts for your to pursue.
 

DWhatley

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@Marc As you are noticing, obtaining an octopus is almost as hard as setting up tank for one. Live Aquaria has been the most consistent supplier with most animals coming from Indonesia and typically being in the Abdopus complex. A few of the FL Keys mail order aquarium suppliers have locally caught animals on occasion (usually O. briareus). On rare occasions, local pet stores will feature an animal or can order one (usually imported from Indonesia).

Below are links to a few of the FL collectors that have shipped octos in the past. Be aware that they were all badly hit during this hurricane season and a likely to be low on stock but could really use new business right now. It us usually worth emailing or calling if there is no current listing for an octopus.

KP Aquatics
Caribbean Tropicals (Formerly Tom's Caribbean Tropicals)

Also, @ceph has opened his own saltwater fish store and may be open to locating octopuses for clients. His new store is called Coral Sea Aquarium (link is to Facebook page, I don't believe he has a website yet and am not sure if he ships).
 

David John

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Oct 10, 2017
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London, UK
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to source o.vulgaris for some filming in Alaska. I believe it's possible to locate them in Europe but I'm keen to avoid shipping them halfway across the world.

Has anyone managed to source these before or are you aware of anywhere that might be a good place to start? Specifically looking for vulgaris.

I'll contact KP aquatics and coral sea aquarium from the thread above.

Thanks a lot,
David
 

surfdva4life

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Jan 11, 2018
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california
Hey all,
New here. Just got back from Kanaloa and meeting those beauties and starting up my research into becoming an octopus owner. I was thinking a bimac would be my best bet. I'm in coastal bay area California... are there any good suppliers around here for getting bimac? And are there any other diurnal species that are recommended besides bimac for interactive octopuses? I figured asking you all who have the experience is a good topping to all of the research I have been doing. Thank you guys:)
 

DWhatley

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Unfortunately for the pet trade, it is not legal to sell live bimacs in the state of CA. However, with a fishing license, you can catch them and take them home (as dinner or pets) and several members have tide pooled their own. Walking the beach at low tide may help you find someone who is well versed in locating them or can find and give (not sell) you one they find.

Here is a link I recommend as a starting point when you are thinking about getting an octopus. The, Box of Chocolates link under species will give you some ideas about where animals are acquired and their different personalities.
 

tonmo

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orioszz

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Hello,

I had a few cearribiean octopi over the years that had over a year of fun and live shrimp.
I just obtained a brown octopus from a local shop.
He is quite small.
I am wondering how I can identify him.
Any ideas how large he will get?

Thanks,
Orlando
 

DWhatley

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You can start by trying to get and posting as many photos as can that show the different looks and colors the animal portrays. Try to capture a good feel for the mantle to arm ratio, color at the tip of the suckers, any perpetual markings (like eye spots or specific patterns in the skin).

Also see if your LFS will tell you where they acquired it. Most notably, was it imported (the most likely case if it was purchased from a local wholesaler) or locally caught.
 

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