Setting up a tank for an Octopus, possibly...

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#1
Hello All,

Throughout the last couple months I have been doing a lot of reading on saltwater aquariums. I originally had my mind set on a nice reef tank with some clownfish and other critters.

I got this idea in my head, "I have always been facinated by cephalopods, I wonder if people have them as pets?", a google search late, boom, I am here.

I spent the last two weeks reading up on ceph care and reading just about anything I could get my hands on. I am almost certain I would like to try and raise an octopus as a pet.

This is what I am planning to purchase so I am looking for some advice. I am 25 and have a nice paying steady job so I am willing to pay a decent price for a nice setup.

I know that the octopus should have atleast 50 gallons so I would be going with a 55. I was wondering, is there a difference in going acryllic vs. glass for an octo? Acryllic seems to be cheaper.

Make sure I have atleast 1" - 1.5" of fine live sand on the bottom. Any recommendations on what type to get? A fine white sand has also been appealing to me.

I would like to add quite a bit of live rock. I realize the octopus will need many places to hide so I would like to offer that and a pretty setup to admire even when he/she is in hiding. What is a nice live rock setup any of you have used?

I would also like to add some coral for color and decoration. Is there any to stay away from?

It seems ideal to setup a sump since water quality is of the utmost importance with a ceph. What is a good size sump for a 55 gallon tank?

Inside my sump is where I would like to have all of the heaters/filers/ect. Is anyone here currently running a sump with all of that, and, if so, could I have a list of the equipment you use and how well is it working out?

I plan on feeding it live food at first working towards a combination of frozen/live food. Hermit crabs seem to be the food of choice. Is there reliable places online to order them? Are they always kept in separate tanks or can a few be tossed in with the octo? Also, when he is done with his meal, what becomes of the shell? Do you just fish it out?

After I get a nice setup I will cycle the tank for a couple months, most likely 3, while I check on the availability of a ceph. I live in the Detroit area and have yet to see an actual octopus in my LFS. I think I would like to get my hands on a bimac. I have checked the availability thread but have not found much recent information even in the last couple pages. Living in Detroit, would it be too dificult to find an bimac for purchase?

Sorry for the long post but I want to be sure I want to take in an undertaking like raising an octopus. If I decide to do it I want to make sure I do it right. Thanks in advance for any replies. I love the site and look forward to being a possible ceph owner! :biggrin2:
 

Animal Mother

Architeuthis
Supporter
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
2,364
#2
Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Don't add corals that can sting. Best off going with soft corals, and even then, the octopus might destroy them.

There are online places that sell them if you can't get them locally. You should ask your LFS first though if they can order them, but chances are, you won't get to pick the species.

LiveAquaria.com, TropicalFishOutlet.com, MarineDepotLive.com (supposedly Bimacs)
 

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#3
Animal Mother;88067 said:
Sounds like you're off to a good start.

Don't add corals that can sting. Best off going with soft corals, and even then, the octopus might destroy them.

There are online places that sell them if you can't get them locally. You should ask your LFS first though if they can order them, but chances are, you won't get to pick the species.

LiveAquaria.com, TropicalFishOutlet.com, MarineDepotLive.com (supposedly Bimacs)
If the octopus destroys the corals it is no biggie, as long as it doesn't get hurt. I am nervous about ordering one online. I read all the horror stories about not knowing what you are getting and not knowing how old they are. For an animal that only lives 6 - 18mo I would hate to get an older one.

Edited to add:

If anyone is around the Detroit area and has had success getting a bimac in the area please let me know. :)
 

DHyslop

Architeuthis
Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
1,713
#4
Bimacs are illegal to collect for resale, so you won't find them locally or through established retailers or distributors. The only way to find them is occasionally through a hobbyist who bred two or caught a gravid mother--given that, you've come to the right place, because TONMO is the place to find them! Check the Octopus Availability thread.
 

Nancy

Titanites
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
5,669
Location
Dallas Texas
#5
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

It's a big plus to use aragonite sand, which helps maintain your pH balance. It comes in many textures so you could use the fine sand that you mentioned.

You can have a colorful, attractive tank and still make it octopus friendly. Some people have used mushrooms successfully and they come in burgundy, blue and other nice shades. Coralline algae on the live rock provides a colorful background. In addition, you can add interesting shells or barnacles, colored marbles, a bit of macroalgae. The Journals and Photos Forum contains many photos of octopuses in their tanks to give you more ideas and you might also have a look at the Tank Owners' Database.

Nancy
 

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#6
DHyslop;88082 said:
Bimacs are illegal to collect for resale, so you won't find them locally or through established retailers or distributors. The only way to find them is occasionally through a hobbyist who bred two or caught a gravid mother--given that, you've come to the right place, because TONMO is the place to find them! Check the Octopus Availability thread.
I checked the thread and also had some PM's so I don't think it will be a problem to get a hold of one. I had no idea they were illegal!
 

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#7
Nancy;88095 said:
Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

It's a big plus to use aragonite sand, which helps maintain your pH balance. It comes in many textures so you could use the fine sand that you mentioned.

You can have a colorful, attractive tank and still make it octopus friendly. Some people have used mushrooms successfully and they come in burgundy, blue and other nice shades. Coralline algae on the live rock provides a colorful background. In addition, you can add interesting shells or barnacles, colored marbles, a bit of macroalgae. The Journals and Photos Forum contains many photos of octopuses in their tanks to give you more ideas and you might also have a look at the Tank Owners' Database.

Nancy
Awesome. I realize that there is a good chance the octopus will be in hiding the majority of the time so I want a nice tank that is pleasing on the eyes even when he/she is hiding. I will be sure to look into getting aragonite sand. I will also look into the coral that you mentioned.
 

monty

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
4,887
#8
ritz;88128 said:
I checked the thread and also had some PM's so I don't think it will be a problem to get a hold of one. I had no idea they were illegal!
They're only illegal to collect to resell. With an appropriate fishing license, they can be collected for personal use or breeding, but there was a concern that if they became too popular as hobby animals that aggressive collection could rapidly impact the population, so it was restricted. Fortunately, this hasn't happened, but the same lack of demand that's kept the wild ones safe also probably made it impossible for Octopets to make a worthwhile profit with their captive breeding program, although we still haven't really gotten a solid story on what happened there...

- M
 

joefish84

Sepia elegans
Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
895
#9
for the tank question... look at glasscages.com they have the best prices on glass and acrylic tanks ive ever seen and they ship the acrylic for really cheap and its easier to drill than glass.

as for the live rock and coral question... look at my pictures of ahab and hex on this site. my 125 gallon is full of live rock(about 250 lbs) and there are plenty of places to hide. as for the corals i have mushrooms star polyps and some zoos in there. you can also keep leathers if you would like. basically any coral that doesnt require alot of light works great because those are the ones that dont sting. but other than that it sounds like youve got this planned all out which is the key to keeping cephs
 

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#10
monty;88143 said:
They're only illegal to collect to resell. With an appropriate fishing license, they can be collected for personal use or breeding, but there was a concern that if they became too popular as hobby animals that aggressive collection could rapidly impact the population, so it was restricted. Fortunately, this hasn't happened, but the same lack of demand that's kept the wild ones safe also probably made it impossible for Octopets to make a worthwhile profit with their captive breeding program, although we still haven't really gotten a solid story on what happened there...

- M
Thanks for the info! I don't want to be smuggling in octopus' if they were illegal :P
 

ritz

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
6
#11
joefish84;88148 said:
for the tank question... look at glasscages.com they have the best prices on glass and acrylic tanks ive ever seen and they ship the acrylic for really cheap and its easier to drill than glass.

as for the live rock and coral question... look at my pictures of ahab and hex on this site. my 125 gallon is full of live rock(about 250 lbs) and there are plenty of places to hide. as for the corals i have mushrooms star polyps and some zoos in there. you can also keep leathers if you would like. basically any coral that doesnt require alot of light works great because those are the ones that dont sting. but other than that it sounds like youve got this planned all out which is the key to keeping cephs

Thanks for the site and all the info on where to get tanks. I have done a lot of reading and planning because I get the feeling a lot of people just want an octopus as a pet because of the novelty. The last thing I want to do is rush it and kill the poor little guy.
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
19,350
Messages
201,832
Members
8,274
Latest member
Mcorbell

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV (2011): Terri
TONMOCON V (2013): Jean
TONMOCON VI (2015): Taollan
TONMOCON VII (2018): ekocak

About the Monty Awards
Top