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Fish Herder
2x Pet of the Month!
Apr 15, 2021
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Southern California, USA
Hi, has anyone kept an cephalopods on here? I'm interested in the octopus. I have some questions.

I have been researching octopus species and the care needed for them. I need some input from someone with experience keeping cephalopods.
First off, what cephalopod species have you kept? Second, what size tank did you keep it in? Third, what filtration and other equipment did you use, and what do you think you could've added to make it better? And then I have some more questions:

- I have kept many freshwater fish, and have experience. However, this would be my first saltwater setup. From what I've heard from 2 people who are into octopi, and have kept many different species - big, small, and even the infamous Blue Ringed - that it is not as hard as people make it sound, as long as you keep the parameters good, keep a tight lid, and have a food source, it is not hard. Do you think someone with zero experience with saltwater, but lots of experience with freshwater, and lots of de4dication could keep an octopus?
- In your opinion was your octopus bored? Would love to hear some of the ethical arguments about keeping cephalopods from everyone.
- What did you do to stimulate your octopus?
- Do you have any pictures of what your tank looks/ed like?
- The people I have talked to who have kept octopi have said that each one is different. What were/are some quirks of yours?
- And if you have kept multiple types, what was the easiest?
- Where did you source your octopus?
- What did you feed it? How long did it take to accept frozen? Did it ever?
- Any general information you can give me? Tips, hints, things you think you could've done better?

In case anyone who has kept a cephalopod that isn't an octopus, I would appreciate it if you could answer the questions above as if it were whatever species you kept.

All information is appreciated.

Last edited:


Kinda crazy, but somehow they let me stay
Jun 25, 2021
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I've never kept octopus or saltwater, so keep that in mind while reading what my opinions are...

Me personally, if I was wanting to do an octopus, I would want to keep a normal saltwater tank first with fish instead of an octopus, just to get used to it kinda as I have heard keeping an octopus can be tricky. Very tricky.
They will get out of the tank with the smallest little gap and eat your fish in another tank and climb right back in its own aquarium like nothing happened. Their very intelligent.
So yes they would most definitely need some form of enrichment and entertainment. Something as simple as a jar with food inside is awesome because they have to figure out how to get inside of it. I've seen zoos use that "toy" a lot for octopi.
There are definitely many other things, this is just what comes to mind now...


Crazy Crab Lady
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Jul 23, 2004
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Northeastern USA
Not to be a pessimist, but I don't think you'll find many actual cephalopod keepers here (not active posters anyway if you're looking for quick responses). Generally, octopi are very niche and should never be attempted unless you already have significant experience with marine tanks. Haven't kept them myself but have talked rather a lot to those who have, since I was seriously considering getting an octopus at one point many years ago back when I had a room full of specialty invert tanks. I was pretty deep in the hobby at that point so the things that put me off were not beginner-related - it was more the cost/risk/lifespan tradeoffs that put me off. The biggest challenges with an octopus are them escaping/dying due to desiccation and getting injured/killed by pumps and other filtration. Modding equipment to be octopus-safe is non-trivial since they can pass through tiny gaps and manipulate things that would be safe from other marine organisms. The small ones that are most commonly found in the hobby (still rare as a general category) also only live a very short time from the point of purchase - often less than a year. They are short-lived species and are collected as adults. They are different from the longer-lived coldwater ones that are often kept in large public aquariums/zoos.

Also, other cephalopods are not that similar to octopi in terms of the behavior and challenges they present. So, getting advice on keeping, say, small types of squid is not going to tell you much on how to keep an octopus. Very different animals from very different environments.

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