Octopus

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nutrition' started by edc_aquarium, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. edc_aquarium

    edc_aquarium Active Member

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    I was at my local fish store today and I noticed he had an octopus for sale and I was really thinking about getting it for my nano tank the octopus is only 2 inches big so it would have time to grow
     
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  2. Tuffyyyyy

    Tuffyyyyy Well-Known Member

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    An octopus would be pretty cool but I've really only seen people get talked out of keeping them. My understanding is that they're nocturnal so you'll rarely see them, they only live 6-12 months, and they're going to take every opportunity to try and escape.
     
  3. Dsnakes

    Dsnakes Knight Reefer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I have read a fair amount on them. They have extremely short life cycles in aquaria, and very specific care requirements. They can escape out of virtually anything as well
     
  4. Gareth elliott

    Gareth elliott Valuable Member NJRC Member

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    Besides the reasons mentioned above.
    -Octopi use ink when frightened, in a tank with normal levels of filtration everything dies if this happens.
    -keeping one fed is almost a full time job. And will cost a fortune.
    -Amongst the smartest animals on the planet. This is more like a wet pet. Must be kept entertained. Akin this to buying a dog that you left alone in small room with 2-3 toys, you fed and walked away everyday, except octopi are smarter than a dog in many ways.
     
  5. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor

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    What @Tuffyyyyy said. Most octopuses have a maximum lifespan of 3 to 5 years, and that's with perfect care and conditions. Most in captivity only live 2-3, and the pygmy octopus has a notoriously short life. You really can't expect them to live longer than two years and most are a year or so old when they arrive in the LFS. So you have a year with your octopus, absolute best case scenario.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't attempt it, but there are a few critical things you must take into account. First, you need to make sure this is not a juvenile E. dofleini (the giant pacific octopus). These octopuses aren't necessarily giant, but their arms span probably a good 4 feet and they require a very large tank. Second, there has to be a lid on the aquarium. It doesn't necessarily have to be super tight, especially if the octopus is a pygmy, but there can be no gaps in it whatsoever. They can get through anything their eyes and beaks can fit through, and in the case of pygmys like O. joubini, that's a very, very small hole. Third, you need to be prepared to keep the tank cooler depending on the species of octopus. Some tropic species can survive at reef temperatures, but most prefer 68* - 72*, or even colder. Anything that increases the metabolic rate of an octopus decreases its lifespan. We have a Giant Pacific Octopus at the National Aquarium, and I believe we keep her exhibit between 68* and 70*F. But I don't remember for sure, so don't quote me on it. Fourth, you'll need to feed it live foods. This isn't a nutritional imperative, it's just that most octopuses are used to wild live foods. It actually can be difficult to acclimate them to prepared foods. It took us some time to train our GPO at the Aquarium to eat frozen foods, and that's with several experts and some of the best care an octopus can receive in captivity. Lastly, you'll need to make sure your filtration system is up to snuff. These animals eat a lot of food and excrete a lot of waste, so they will destroy your water quality in fairly short order if you're not careful.

    These animals are short-lived and require a lot of care. It's not impossible to keep one, just know all this going in, and know it's going to be a challenge.
     
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  6. eatbreakfast

    eatbreakfast Fish Nerd Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Expert Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    I wouldn't keep one in too small of a tank.

    They hide the first few days to first couple of weeks.

    They do need live food at first, but have found they can be trained pretty quickly.

    They can be trained to do tricks, such as opening jars.

    Individual personalities can vary greatly. Some are very shy and some want to interact once they are used to you.
     
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  7. olecaptainj

    olecaptainj Active Member

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    Is it at the fish store in psl?
     
  8. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member Partner Member 2018

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    Curious as to the specific type that lives 3-5 years?
    I have captured and raised a few Octopus bimaculoides one of most commonly available in the hobby and they do not live any where close to 3 years, not because of husbandry but that is their life span.

    To the op, an Octopus sounds cool but they really do not belong in nano tanks, they will escape through even the tiniest of holes. They will eat all fish and inverts housed with them eventually.

    Keeping Octopus is not like keeping fish, they really need a designated tank. Being highly intelligent means you can not just expect them to thrive in the same conditions you would house other inverts and fish. Keeping Octopi is more like keeping a cat.
     
  9. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Always Making Something R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor

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    Perhaps using the qualifier "most" was not the right word to use in that context. One of the lead aquarists at the National Aquarium claims that E. dofleini will live between 3 and 5 years in the wild, although he hopes ours will live between 3 and 4 years (she's two now).

    Bimacs are terrific cephs, I wish I lived in an area where I could collect one. They have fairly short lives unfortunately.
     
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