Mimic Octopus Med
Care Level : Expert
Temperament : Semi-Aggresive
Diet : Carnivore
Minimum Tank Size : 5 - 55 gallon
Acclimation Time : 2+ hours
Reef Safe : No
Coral Safe : Yes
Invertebrate Safe : No
The octopus belongs to the mollusk family. It is closely related to squid, clams and snails but is unlike most mollusks in that it has no hard outer shell. As most people know, the octopus has eight legs radiating from a central body and head. Of those kept in captivity, most do not exceed 15 inches in diameter. Most weigh less than a pound. If left in the wild, some species may grow to over 30 feet.
The various species of octopi come in a variety of colors. Some may be a dull grayish color and others may have a beautiful striped pattern.
The octopus requires a pristine and safe environment. Water quality is crucial. Make sure the salinity is around 1.022 to 1.023. For most species, the water should be 76 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (lower for cold water species). The pH must be maintained around 8.2 and there must be plenty of oxygen. The octopus is an escape artist and can escape through holes, filter tubes, etc. Any hole about the size of a quarter is big enough for an octopus to use as his getaway. Make sure all potential openings are covered with sheer stocking material and the aquarium hood is securely attached.
To keep an octopus healthy, the largest tank that budget and space allows is required. For one octopus, at least a 55 gallon tank is necessary. To prevent ink release, acclimate the creature to the water before adding him to the tank. Make sure the room is dimly lit and quiet. The aquarium lights should be off. Equalize the bag containing the octopus with the tank for temperature and salinity. Once equalized, slowly tip the bag and let the octopus swim out when he is ready.
Since the octopus is a shy creature, lots of hiding places are necessary. Coral, limestone, large shells and rocks should be provided for the octopus to build caves and crevices in which to hide. The substrate should be crushed coral or sand.
Octopi prefer living in the shadows. The aquarium can be dimly lit with a low watt fluorescent bulb during the day and darkness at night. Do not allow direct sunlight to hit the tank.
The octopus needs lots of oxygen to survive. To breathe, he constantly expands and contracts his mantle to force streams of oxygen rich water over his gills. With his three hearts, the octopus can extract plenty of oxygen from the water but has trouble transferring that oxygen to the body tissues. For this reason, the octopus requires lots of aeration. The water must be circulated with airstones or a strong pump. Octopi are very sensitive to low oxygen levels and dirty water. Filtration is crucial since octopi produce lots of urine. Mechanical, biological and chemical filtration should all be used. Every week, a 25 percent water change is required. When selecting equipment for your octopi tank, buy the best equipment money can buy.
The octopus is not a sociable creature. He should be kept in an aquarium alone. If kept with fish, you will soon find the fish have ended up as dinner. Octopi do not do well housed together since they are territorial and will fight. Octopi can be successfully kept with starfish, urchins, sponges and coral.
The Octopus will do best in an aquarium if provided with plenty of live rock and ample hiding places and a large area in which to move. It prefers an aquarium with caves and medium to coarse substrate with low lighting levels. The ideal lighting for this aquarium is dim actinic lighting.
The Octopus can be surprisingly strong, so in the home aquarium, it is best to anchor the rocks, or even glue them together to keep the Octopus from toppling the rocks into the glass or onto itself. Cover all tank openings very well or it will try to escape. The Octopus is sensitive to high levels of nitrates and phosphates, as well as any copper-based medications. It its best to maintain the Octopus in a species only aquarium with some live rock to aid in water stability.
Always approach the Octopus slowly to avoid causing it to release its ink cloud in defense. In the aquarium, this release of ink will necessitate a large water change to avoid its death.
The Octopus can be fed small live feeder shrimp or freshwater ghost shrimp. Any live foods should be fed spirulina based dry foods, plankton, and cyclops to enhance their nutritional value.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERSAsk a Question
We are thinking of a classroom octopus. I would take care of all cost and feeding (as the adult). What would you recommend? Pygmy or brown or mimic? What would be the cost of food per week or month? thanks
Hello, We have an awesome batch of common brown octopus and mimic octopus instock right now. We would recommend the common brown pacific types we have. They like to eat mollusks, like snails and slugs