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View Full Version : Can you have multiple octopus in a tank?


marlin85
10/03/2011, 11:20 AM
Just curious if you can put more then one octopus in 1 tank? If so, how many could you put in a 150 Gallon tank?

Thanks

cadre
10/03/2011, 12:06 PM
The only time I've heard of people saying it's okay to do multiple octopi is in large tanks with the dwarf species. IE in your 150 you could do a multiple O. Mercatoris. I don't know that I've actually seen it done very often, and I haven't seen a larger species house with others. The folks at tonmo should be able to give you more information.

I think it's risky either way, and it will be short lived because even if you get two the odds say one will die right away from old age/shipping stress. I would think you'd want to introduce them at the same time.

NaCL Aquarist
10/06/2011, 10:23 PM
Makes a boat load (kinda...a pun?) of sense, to introduce any "duos", or "multiples" at the same time. It still may not work...?

My input is, undeniably, ancient history. We generally kept every Octo in a separate tank, or a max of two (usually did not work) critters together, at our many-years-ago aquarium on the Oregon coast. My father (biologist + chemist) and I would commonly move several biggies at a time from live boxes beneath area docks. The Giant Pacific Octopus required large tanks to survive. Under the very best of conditions, they were not long-lived. "Holding tanks" (vs display tanks) were all larger than 150 gallons. These were VERY large octopus, so they needed a LOT of space.

If you have a LOT of LR endowed with generously-separated "crannies/caves", you might be able to keep more than one TINY octopus? They do like their own turf.

asid61
10/07/2011, 09:21 PM
You could probably keep 2 pairs of Mercatoris in there, but 1 octopus vulgaris might be better as they are diurnal.

NarnyTheGreat
11/16/2011, 02:01 PM
Just because I thought I would bring up this thread again and post better information. The only octopus currently known to be housed together successfully is the Merc. They are tiny dwarf octopuses that only come out at night and only viewable under red lighting. These are very nocturnal animals and will not change. It would be silly IMO to keep a Merc, or even many Mercs (unless its like 30 or more) in a 150 gallon tank.

The only person I know of that has kept multiple octopuses together, and mostly short term ie 1 month was a vendor from Florida who kept all of his briareus octopuses in one large holding tank. They have also been somewhat known for living together in a small clustered area, but never in the same den.

(Even male female pairing is a large risk as the female may just kill the male onces she is finished mating)

asid61
11/16/2011, 11:15 PM
If breeding is the goal, I remember a guy on tonmo.com that had a bunch of octopuses (bimaculoides) tanks, and only put them together to breed them. Then he just put them back in seperate tanks.
However, I have never heard of a female killing a male after mating.
Also, octopus chierchae can be kept in the same tank, but they are exceptionally rare. chierchae would be better off donated to a research facility.

NarnyTheGreat
11/17/2011, 04:19 PM
Last year a researcher posted his pictures on tonmo of the breeding of a pair of Octopus abdophus. The pictures he posted were, horrific. The female had ripped the male to pieces. Also many octopuses are very cannibalistic which is why they do not live together.

Am I allowed to post links to reference material from other sites? It would be far easier if I could.

asid61
12/10/2011, 08:29 PM
I'm pretty sure you can post references.

unley
12/11/2011, 03:08 AM
the answer is no, you cant keep two together. they are solitary animals their entire lives, they mate, the male get eaten or wanders some place to die and the mother raises her brood never leaving her den unstil she starves to deaath

asid61
12/15/2011, 06:11 PM
Actually, octopus mercatoris can usually be kept in groups of 1 or 2 pairs.

Grace tank
12/16/2011, 06:26 PM
I have no intention of ever getting a octopus but find this very interesting.

asid61
12/17/2011, 11:19 AM
Octopus are pretty cool. When you're old and retired and have nothing to do, an octopus can be a nice pet.

NarnyTheGreat
12/18/2011, 01:19 AM
Actually, octopus mercatoris can usually be kept in groups of 1 or 2 pairs.


That is why I posted this...

The only octopus currently known to be housed together successfully is the Merc. They are tiny dwarf octopuses that only come out at night and only viewable under red lighting. These are very nocturnal animals and will not change. It would be silly IMO to keep a Merc, or even many Mercs (unless its like 30 or more) in a 150 gallon tank.

I should have been more clear and posted the scientific name of the octopus when I posted though.

I am still looking for that article that I read that showed the pictures of the female and what happened to the male. When I find it I will post the link here.

NarnyTheGreat
12/18/2011, 09:11 AM
Here is the link to post. I remembered wrong, it wasnt an article it was just a post he posted on TONMO.

http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthread.php?23440-It-is-a-tough-world-out-there-octopus-cannibalism&highlight=cannibalism

This is the same Roy who is the leading authority on mantis shrimp here on RC

asid61
12/29/2011, 02:07 AM
Whoa... that's horrific.
Sorry didn't notice the earlier post. Actually, I was thinking the OP could set up a 30 gallon aquarium or refugium and breed octopus mercatoris in that, then move the babies to the 150 once they got big enough. With careful handling, 10 or more could survive.

Cephy
02/03/2012, 02:07 PM
Octopi usually resort to cannabalism if food becomes scarce or because of any other reason that may put pressure or stress on the animal's chances of surviving. It also depends on the octopus's current state or situation when introduced to it's tankmate. However, Roy fished out the wrong female for pairing up. Thats one of the many cons on bringing an octopus from the wild to the aquaria. You'll never know which of the following personality traits it may exhibit which is/

Passive
Aggresive
Paranoid

Another factor when keeping two octopi togather in a tank is waste management. Octopi produce considerable masses of waste therefore demanding top notch filteration. Add two octopi in one tank and you have the waste production doubled (not sure if one skimmer could manage waste coming from two octos instead of one).