Since 1950, the amount of octopi in oceans worldwide has been booming, and this is even more the case in recent years. Our ecosystem is changing, and because of this, the ratio of sea life in our oceans is different than it ever has been before.
Besides the obvious environmental ramifications, the proliferation of cephalopods makes it easier to adopt one to keep as an aquarium pet. There are both positives and negatives to this, but for many people, octopi make perfect pets!
If you’re interested in keeping a pet octopus, this is a possibility well worth exploring. While not for everyone, these social and loving creatures are the perfect pets for a lot of people. Read on to learn if you’re one of them!
Do You Have the Resources for a Pet Octopus?
In order to decide if a pet octopus is a possibility for you, it’s crucial that you assess your own resources and lifestyle. In this section, we’re going to discuss how much maintenance an octopus needs so you can figure out if you have what it takes to care for one!
What’s Your Budget?
The first thing to consider is how much money you have to spend on a pet. The live or frozen crustaceans and fish that octopi eat can’t be bought at any pet store- you’re going to need to get it for about 50 bucks a week from Whole Foods. If that’s intimidating, you’re going to be spending much more on the tank and filter.
If you want to care for a pet octopus, it’s crucial that you have the financial resources to do so. Make sure to do your research and ensure that it’s within your budget- an exotic pet isn’t worth going into debt over.
How Much Space Do You Have?
In addition to money, a pet octopus also requires a lot of space. They’re a notoriously high maintenance animal, and they need tanks that are at least 55 gallons.
They also need one or two giant sump pumps to keep their water clean, and to be safe they like to have a backup tank for cleaning time and emergencies.
Are You Willing to Invest the Time Needed?
Octopi are highly intelligent and like to make (funny) mischief. They’re social and want a lot of attention. You’re going to want to talk to, play games with, and even pet your octopus for at least two hours each day.
Another fact of the matter is that you aren’t going to be able to go on trips because octopi can’t be left alone.
They do, however, only live for a year or two. This means that the time commitment isn’t that long, but you will need some time to grieve your lost friend.
Look at Types of Octopi
If after knowing all this you still feel ready to take on the challenge, awesome! You’re in for a rewarding experience with a very loving animal.
There are many types of octopi that can be kept as pets, so you’ll need to look into some of the most common and make a decision.
The Carribean Dwarf octopus is a smaller option, needing only a 30-gallon tank. This makes it perfect if you want something that takes up a bit less space. Algae octopi are the most social and interactive species.
But the most popular octopus species to keep as a pet is the California Two-Spot octopus. It’s very friendly and makes a great pet for that reason. It’s also strikingly beautiful, with eyespots on either side of its head!
Caring for Your Pet Octopus
If you’re considering keeping a pet octopus, it’s crucial that you’re able to care for them effectively. If you can’t, then a pet octopus isn’t a good fit. Read on for more information on how to take care of them so you can be more sure about your choice!
In order to care for any animal effectively, it’s crucial that you understand their lifestyle and needs. Do a little research before getting a pet octopus.
A huge part of caring for them effectively is talking to experts and reading articles online. Gather information about the types of interaction they need and what to do if your pet starts acting, well… fishy.
Feeding Your Cephalopod
If you’re adopting an octopus, the first thing you need to understand is what to feed it and how often.
Once a day is a good rule for how often they should be fed. They’re pretty much carnivorous, and their favorite foods include small crabs, tiny fish, shrimps, and mollusks.
Octopi prefer to be fed live food (they’re hunters!), but fresh frozen food also works in a pinch.
Cleaning the Tank
Just as important as feeding time is cleaning time. You’re going to need to change the water and filter once a week at least, but if you can do it twice your pet is going to be a lot happier.
There are cleaning magnets that can also help greatly. Click here to get some tips for cleaning your aquarium to the best of your ability.
Showing It Love
Octopi are extremely social creatures, and should you choose to get one it’s crucial that you spend time with it. Sit by the tank while performing everyday activities.
You can also develop games for your octopus in which they chase your hand or a waterproof toy inside the tank!
Bring Home Your New Friend
While they take time and effort to raise properly, octopi are rewarding to raise. If you want a pet that will love you and have a strong relationship with you, it’s definitely worth it.
Now that you know whether a pet octopus is right for you, it’s time to look into the possibility of getting one!
Check out some of our other posts to learn more about caring for your aquatic pets.
Just keep swimming!