aquarium and pond answers, information, articles, resources

This is a great resource for answers, help, & advice to aquarium and pond questions not found elsewhere; With regular posts & article updates.
In our research; we use aquaculture, horticulture, medical, & university research to compile many of our articles.

  See our AQUARIUM ANSWERS DIRECTORY page for topics by category.  


Octopus as Aquarium Pets


Keeping an Octopus in a Home Saltwater Aquarium.

By Carl Strohmeyer

Updated 7/25/14

Aquarium Octopus, A aculeatus

I have kept o. rubescens (pictured), brown, and even poisonous blue ring octopi, however I generally do not recommend Blue Ring Octopii (which I will go into further later in this article).

In fact a brown A. aculeatus was one of my first saltwater “creatures” back in the mid 1970s. They make great pets and are highly intelligent.
My pet octopus would recognize me and come to the top and stick its tentacles out to take food directly from me.

Here are a few points to keep in mind though:

*An Octopus will squirt ink when frightened, but that is rare.
Try and keep a peaceful environment and this will not become a problem.

Blue Ring Octopus *The Blue Ring Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata & Hapalochlaena maculosa which is more common and smaller; 5 inches- 1 oz.) from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is are among the most toxic animals on earth with its neurotoxin (Tetrodotoxin).

A bite can kill in under an hour (although they very rarely bite).
Their bites are very small and often painless.
The Tetrodotoxin poison found in the Blue Ring Octopus can result in the victim being fully aware of their surroundings but unable to breathe. Because of the paralysis that occurs the victim has no way of signaling for help or any way of indicating distress. Respiratory support until medical assistance arrives may mean the difference between death and recovery.
Being bitten while alone is often a death sentence.

See this reference: Blue Ring Octopus Bite).

To prevent a rare, but potentially lethal bite, wearing thick rubbers gloves should be adequate protection for the small beak on the Blue ring Octopus.

This said, as I already noted bites are rare. In fact these are very inquisitive animals and with simple cautions such as rubber gloves and a child proof aquarium, these can make an interesting pet that will thrive more easily in the common warm water marine aquarium than most brown octopii.
I would compare a Blue Ring Octopus personality to that of a friendly, neutered male cat I have; he is very playful and curious, but every once in while he gets carried away and over aggressive in his play. With this in mind I find Blue Ring Octopii this way, so protect yourself accordingly.

*These Octopus prefer the warmer waters that most home aquariums provide and generally the Blue Ring Octopus thrives much better than the Brown Octopus; however the poison problem in my opinion often over rides this “plus” (even though I have kept them).

Here are some important resources for success in keeping a Brown & Blue Ring Octopus:
*Octopus Vulgaris
*Giant Octopus; bimaculoides:

*Most Brown Octopus that are commonly available are cold water preferring so an aquarium under 75 F is best (under 70 F is better).
However the Blue ring prefers warm tropical waters above 75F.

*They need crab or other crustaceans in their diet. Keep in mind that they will consume cleaner shrimp, coral banded shrimp and similar aquarium tank mates.

*They are sensitive to nitrates above 20 ppm. So good filtration (such as the Berlin Method which may include live rock, deep sand bed, refugium, etc.).
A Protein skimmer is recommended, but I have successfully kept Octopi without a Protein skimmer.

Whether you use a Protein Skimmer or not, the key is low nitrates and a healthy environment, which includes Redox Potential, of which a UV Sterilizer can help maintain.

*Nitrate Dangers, Removal, Information
*What is the Aquarium Redox Potential Product Resources:
*Aquarium UV Sterilizers; Terminator Compact, TMC Premium and Custom
*Tropic Marine Protein Skimmer, Rio Nano

Please reference this very in depth article that is a MUST READ for anyone interested in moving from basic aquarium keeping to more advanced aquarium keeping:

Back to Nitrates, besides the many methods for nitrate removal, the keeper of any Octopus should consider the use of a Reverse Osmosis Filter to provide nitrate free water for both “topping off” for evaporation or mixing new saltwater for water changes. Most tap or well water has at least some nitrates, so with nitrate sensitive Octopus, this is highly recommended piece of equipment to own.
Other methods for nitrate removal include the use of anaerobic filter media in filters such as SeaChem Matrix or chemical adsorbents such as SeaChem Purigen

Product Resources:
*TMC Aquarium RO Filter with TDS Meter
*SeaChem Matrix; High Porosity Bio Media
*Purigen; Controls Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates

*They have short life spans, often less than two years, and a warm aquarium will shorten this further (except for tropical Blue Ring Octopii).
Octopii further shorten their life by easily escaping from loose fitting tops.

*They do NOT mix with eels (mortal enemies)

For further reading about Octopus intelligence, please read this article from the Washington Post:
Brilliant Houdinis of the Deep

Other Recommended Reference & Product Sites

Saltwater Aquarium Information; Basic to Advanced

Aquarium Lighting Facts & Information

NPX BioPlastics; from Two Little Fishies

Nitrate & Phosphate Reducing Polymer Media

Hydor Smart Wave Controller

• Promotes a healthy reef aquarium or similar aquarium environment where wave action is desired by recreating natural currents found in nature
• Synchronous program for currents typical of barrier reefs and alternate for tides

*Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle

*Marine Fish Oodinium; Identification & Treatment

TMC V² Bio Fluidized Sand Bed Filters

Premium, second to NONE Aquarium Bio Filters, that with Oolitic Sand also maintain essential marine aquarium calcium levels, alkalinity, & electrolytes that are important to ALL marine life, including Octopii

San Francisco Bay Brand Seaweed Salad

"Seaweed Salad" is much more nutritious than spinach and lettuce. This product is recommended for all freshwater Algae Eaters, African Cichlids, Silver Dollars, Sharks, all saltwater Damsels, Clownfish, and especially Marine Angels and Tangs

Labels: , , , , ,

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Article Research Sponsor
Remember, it is your purchases at AAP (both small & large) that keeps these world class information articles free.
Purchasing elsewhere at poor information websites such as Amazon or Dr Foster & Smith will only result in this free information going away someday!!


In Chronological order of writing with the newest at the top
  1. Lighting Theory of a Planted Aquarium- RQE, PFY, PAS, & PUR
  2. Aquarium or Pond Bio Load
  3. Tuberculosis in Fish
  4. PUR vs PAR in Aquarium Lighting
  5. Head Pressure in Aquarium and Pond Water Pumps
  6. Betta Fin Rot
  7. Angelfish Virus/Aids
  8. Activated Carbon
  9. Fish Baths/Dips as an aid to treatment
  10. Streptococcus gram positive bacterium in aquariums, Eye Infections
  11. Hydrogen Sulfide
    production in anaerobic De-Nitrification for Aquarium/Ponds
  12. Fish Shipping
  13. Aquarium Size, Fish Stunting
  14. Aquarium Algae,
    BBA & Brown Algae in particular
  15. Aquarium Salt (Sodium chloride) in Freshwater Aquariums
  16. Betta Habitat; Wild Bettas to Domestic Betta environment parameters
  17. HITH; Hole in the Head Disease
  18. Aquarium Protein Skimmers, Ozonizers
  19. Power Head/ Water Pump Review
  20. Molly Disease/ Mollies in an Aquarium
  21. Basic Fish Anatomy, Fin Identification
  22. Aquarium Moving/ Power Failures
  23. Octopus as Aquarium Pets
  24. Aquarium Nitrates
  25. Ichthyophonus protists, fungus in fish
  26. Aquarium and Pond Filter Media
    Types; Mechanical, Bio, Chemical
  27. Aquarium Water Conditioners (also Pond)
  28. Fish Parasites; Trematodes & Monogeneans; Annelids and Nematodes;
    Flukes, internal worms, Detritus Worms (often confused with Planaria), Micro Worms
  29. Aquarium Silicone Application;
    DIY Aquarium Repair & Glass thickness
  30. Pond Veggie Filters; DIY Bog Filter
  31. The difference between Plaster of Paris and Aquarium Products such a Wonder Shells:
    Identification, prevention & Treatment
  33. AQUARIUM TEST KITS; Use & Importance
  34. SEXING FISH; Basics
  35. Chocolate Chip, Knobby and Fromia Starfish
  36. Freshwater Velvet & Costia
  37. Usnic Acid as a Fish Remedy
  38. Aquarium Heaters; Types, information
  39. The Lateral Line in Fish, Lateral Line Disease
    or Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)
  40. Tap Water use in Aquarium; Chloramines, Chlorine
  41. Can Black Ghost Knife fish give an electric shock?
  42. Bio Wheel Review; Do Bio-Wheels really work?
  43. How do Fish Drink?
    Use of RO Water
  44. Cyclops, and Predatory Damselfly larvae
  45. Betta with Dropsy;
    Treatment and Prevention of DROPSY in all fish
  46. pH and KH problems in African Cichlid Aquarium
  47. Aquarium Gravel, which size?
  48. Blue green algae, Cyanobacteria in Ponds/Aquariums

If you have found this site helpful (or the sister site Aquarium and Pond Information),
please consider adding a link to one of our articles from your own blog or website.

OR a donation to help with the 1000s of hours of research and updates that go into these articles (even just $1 helps!):

American Aquarium Products along with "Aquarium/Pond Answers", and our VAST library of aquarium & pond keeping information found NOWHERE else in the word is currently FOR SALE for the right offer from an entity that will carry forward this company's 35+ year legacy of unique information (this also includes several other web and blog sites as well).
Only serious inquiries from qualified potential buyers will be considered

Recommended Related Information Sites & Products from our family of PROFESSIONAL aquarium and pond websites:

TMC V2 RO Filter systems; the very best you can buy with TDS meter:
Reverse Osmosis Aquarium Water Filter, TDSReverse Osmosis Aquarium Water Filters; with TDS Meter

A good compliment to RO water or for any freshwater aquarium to add ESSENTIAL Mineral Ions:
*Wonder Shells, Mineral Block

For help with your Aquarium Chemistry:
Aquarium Chemistry; In Depth Information

World Class Aquarium Information
For unique aquatic products (most professionally tested) and information;
*American Aquarium

Free Shipping AAP

Including the best in Quartz, Under gravel, and Titanium Submersible Heaters:
*Aquarium Heaters
*Hydor Undergravel Heaters

for the LATEST technology in Aquarium LED lighting:
LED Aquarium Lights
As well as a Premium simple "screw-in" LEDs for Aquariums or Hydroponics:
*PAR 38 LEDs

For economy HOB Filters that deliver the same or better results over filters often twice the price:
*Economy Aquarium Power Filters

*SunSun Reliable Submersible Power Head Aquarium Water Circulation PumpAquarium Power Head Pumps
Superior to Hagen or Marineland, yet more economical.

Sponge Filters that far outperform all other brands or DIY:
*Patented Lustar Hydro Sponge Aquarium Filters

UV Replacement Bulbs/Lamps:
UV Replacement bulbs for Tetra Mini, Cyprio Vorton, Bioforce, moreG23 & G11 UV Replacement Bulbs (PLL & PLS)
*Standard Straight Tube UV Lamps
*UV Bulbs directory

The Best in Value UV Sterilizers:
*Aquarium & Pond UV-C Sterilizers/Clarifiers
Compact Aquarium and Pond UV Sterilizer, better value than Tetra, Turbo TwistCOMPACT UV STERILIZERS, Terminator 7 watt to 36 watt
*TMC PREMIUM High Dwell Time Pond/Aquarium UV Sterilizers

For Aquarium Treatment Products

*Aquarium & Pond Treatments
*Furan 2

Proper Pond Filtration, Cleaning, care, chemistry & Basics for maintaining a beautiful garden pond:
*A CLEAR POND; Care & Information

Fish Food Information:

Premium Canister Aquarium Filters:
Rena Filstar High Performance Canister Filters

Aquarium Decorations, Decorative Coral, Driftwood, DeCoral, PlantsDecorative Coral
Aquarium Decorations such as

*Plastic Aquarium Plants

*Aquarium Driftwood

*Aquarium & Pond UV Sterilizer Use Articles
-Unique articles such as unique UV ideas as well as dispelling myths

*Directions/ Instructions/Downloads; Aquarium Pond Products

A unique web site with great insights:
Aquarium LED Information

#eBay Community Forum & Bullying, Customer Service

For Website Building/Hosting and who Aquarium Answers recommends (& uses for sister websites):
Website Hosting, powerful web site maker, ecommerce
Make a Website on

All articles are the copyrighted material of Carl Strohmeyer, these can be used ONLY in part and only with proper hyper link.
Use with Google Adwords/Adsense is STRICTLY prohibited without revenue sharing

Add to My Yahoo!

#Great Links
#Carl Strohmeyer; Biography
#Ocean Decor


For ALL questions, please refer these questions to:
Everything Aquatic Professional Forum Board