Aquatic Mammals, Creatures

Octopuses As Pets? Perks and Cons

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an octopus as a pet?

Maybe you watched a nature documentary or have seen an octopus in a pet shop. This could have sparked a want or a need to buy one immediately.

I mean, look at how cool they are!

Maybe you were curious about the subject of octopuses as pets, or you maybe you have been seriously considering buying one for a while now.

The question comes down to – should you?

Lots of people have purchased an octopus, sometimes more than one, and had them as pets.

However, be warned, taking care of one is no peace of cake. Here are some things about an octopus that you should know before thinking about taking care of one. 

For one, octopuses are professional escape artists. You better have that tank safe locked, because they are very intelligent creatures.

If there was an easy, medium, and expert button for pet care difficulty, an octopus would be on expert level.

Read the perks and cons below to see what you should consider and prepare for before diving into a pet store.

Are Octopuses Legal as Pets?

Yes, if you live in America, or Canada, you can definitely find a variety of octopuses at select pet stores and even purchase one easily online.

However some warn that when the octopus is shipped, this can cause distress and possible death.

Some websites also warn about being aware of what sort of species you are purchasing.

Depending on the species, this will affect what sort of size, temperature, and quality of water the tank you buy must have for your pet to live properly.

This could mean the difference between life or death and what sort of life span you have set your octopus to have.

How Much are Octopuses?

Octopuses vary in price depending on the species, pet store, and from where you are purchasing it.

Online, the census is that octopuses are sold at a minimum of one hundred dollars, but again, there needs to some research done on the buyers part as to what species to purchase and where to buy it from.

What Do You Need to Take Care of an Octopus?

You will need to go on a serious shopping trip to welcome your new eight sucker-bearing armed invertebrates pet into your humble abode.

Water Tank

Make sure you buy a tank that meets with the octopus’s size specifications (you need to figure out what size it will grow up to be so that it doesn’t outgrow its tank!)

Home Decorations

You will need to buy a variety of items for the octopus to be able to hide into.

You can buy live rock, buy small fake reef caves, and other bought or homemade items where it can swim, squeeze, and stretch around.

This will allow for the octopus to act natural and do what an octopus does.

Make Sure it Can’t Escape!

Make sure you have figured out how to close off the tank so that this sly critter doesn’t escape or (as it has happened) runaway!

Water Quality

You have to have the right quality of water. Because octopuses (or cephalopod) has no scales, their skin is much more sensitive than that of a fish.

They need the water to be purified by using something called RO/DI water.

No Trace of Copper!

Test your tank for copper, since copper will kill an octopus.

Water Tests

Buy water test kits to make sure your water quality is what the octopus needs.

You should be looking for about 34-35 PSU in regards to the water’s salinity.

Anything lower than this will cause the octopus to stop eating and will put it at risk

Fresh Food

Know where your nearest fresh fish food is. Scallops can be a treat, but they need smaller fish food such as shrimp, hermit crabs, and amphipods from live rocks to grow up healthy and strong.

What are 3 Perks of Having an Octopus as a Pet?

Once you have all of the requirements set in place to take care of an octopus of your choosing, you will be able to marvel at the mannerisms and quirks of this beautiful and intelligent creature.

Camouflage Masters

Did you know that octopuses are considered colourblind? Ironically, they can camouflage and match any colours around them if they want to hide.

Easily Amused

I like to think of octopuses like water cats, they do everything and anything they please, and let themselves be petted, but only when they want to.

In the same way as a cat, they are amused by the smallest things. They enjoy to play with toys and are attracted to shiny objects.

Like cats to yarn, or as I have seen, a laser.

You think cat videos are funny or cute? Watch this Octopus video:

Interior Designers

If you love decorating your home and have a driven interior designer gift, your spirit animal is an octopus.

They love to decorate their space with anything they can find around their home.

Their habitats are commonly known as an “octopus garden.” So make sure to accommodate your pet octopus with lots of trinkets and things.

What are 3 Cons of Having an Octopus as a Pet?

Short Life Span

The biggest con to consider before thinking of getting an octopus as a pet is that they have a short life expectancy of 6 months to 5 years.

They are high maintenance and require extra attention.

This means that as its owner you can’t leave the house for more than a few days, unless you find a good octopus sitter to care for it while you’re away on vacation.

Expensive and Not Great Roommates

The food given to an octopus is expensive as well, you have to provide certain live fish food such as goldfish.

It is recommended that you do not put other pet fish in the same tank with the octopus.

Or even put more than one octopus, as it has been reported that they will eat each other eventually.

Family Issues

Both the male and the female die because of reproduction.

After laying eggs the female dies shortly after taking care of them and the male will die shortly after releasing his sperm.

So breeding is out of the question.

Would you Do it?

Having an octopus as a pet might not be your cup of tea, or you might decide that you are up for this feat.

Either way, we can all agree that octopuses are epic intelligent sea creatures.

Watch this mini doc to learn even more about what these aquatic invertebrates are all about:

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