So You Would Like to Keep an Octopus

Or, Eight Legs of Fun

Introduction: So you have decided to start researching how you can keep an octopus in the privacy of your own house. Perhaps you saw one at the pet store. Perhaps you saw one at the aquarium. Perhaps you want to keep an interesting pet. I am in the middle of setting up an aquarium to keep an octopus, so I thought I would document my work for others to come.

I decided upon an octopus since the place where I live requires that any pet I have be able to live underwater. At first I had an idea for a small biosystem. I thought about getting some fish, some frogs, a turtle, and some other small creatures for a large aquarium. I figured that most of it would be water, with a shelf for some of the creatures who needed a place to sun and escape the water.

Then I read up on how the different animals would relate to each other. For the most part, the creatures would end up eating each other. Turtles seemed nice, but then I learned that they live anywhere from 70 to 100+ years. That was not something I was willing to sign up for. When it came down to it, I could have fish, snails, and some small frogs. It would be your basic freshwater aquarium. Determined, I went researching some more. What pets could I have? Then it came across me - my favorite aquatic creature, the octopus!

Before you Begin: Before I even bought a tank (one of the first things I bought), I spent almost a month researching how to keep an octopus. The one thing that came clear is that it is an expensive hobby. All told, you are talking about a $1000 investment before you get the octopus.

Note that I was willing to do a lot of stuff myself (DIY) and that cut down on my costs. In addition, I took my time, bought smoe stuff used and bought some stuff when they were on sale. If you are willing to do some of the work yourself and are willing to shop around, you can save some money. In the end, though, a tank for an octopus is still going to be expensive. Luckily my living arrangement is such that my employer pays for my electrical bills. This is a cost that you will have to factor in yourself.


  1. Getting started
  2. The tank
  3. The stand
  4. The sand
  5. The plumbing
  6. The overflow
  7. The sump
  8. Links

Last updated: 15 September 2003