Take a look at my cold water octopus tank

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Overworked Member...
Jul 9, 2008
Experts Only? This is my very first marine tank! I really did my homework, and I'm a naturally careful and meticulous guy, but I didn't wait to become an expert before I got my octopus. If you really want to do it, then go to tonmo.com, and read everything. Then ask lots of questions. If you can plan well, and go slowly and carefully, you can keep an octopus. Be careful, but don't be intimidated.
I've yet to make the jump to salt (currently planning a 36 gallon reef) and your setup inspires confidence... must say even as an experienced FW keeper, the jump to salt still scares me :hitting:

This entire setup is pro... congrats and great work.


AC Members
Apr 15, 2008
New Zealand,(South Island).
Hi Chilly...Hadn't realised you had an octopus in your tank....I kept them years ago....that was until I was away on business and one grabbed my wife's arm as she was about to feed him his usual live crab and wouldn't let go....he went back to sea on my return, and they were banned from the house! Great characters though and fun for the kids to watch. As you know, my temperate tank is thriving...can't find any gorgonians as yet though....yours are beautiful...did you collect them off Catalina?

Chilly Willie

AC Members
May 19, 2009
San Diego, Ca, USA
Hi Chilly...Hadn't realised you had an octopus in your tank....
...can't find any gorgonians as yet though....yours are beautiful...did you collect them off Catalina?
The initial goal was to have an octopus, which has greatly limited what else I can have, so I'm hoping to set up a second cold tank with no octopus, so I can have catalina gobies, big anemones, scallops, etc. I spent a lot of time at Catalina freediving and spearfishing before I got into aquariums, but I have nothing from there. I collected the gorgonians from some rocks 1/4 mile off the coast of San Diego, and I've seen a lot of them on the Zuniga Jetty at the mouth of Mission Bay in San Diego. They like high flow areas, but they don't like too much light (so that algae won't grow on them) below 15 or 20 feet, and never in tide pools. I tend to find them on the shady side of large rocks instead of on the top, and you generally can't see them from the surface. Both of my gorgonians have red leathery stalks that look identical but the pollups of one are white while the pollups of the other are gold colored. I don't know it they are different species or just color variations of the same species.

FYI: the sting of the strawberry anemone seems to bother the octopus a little, but the gorgonians don't.

Thanks for looking


AC Members
Feb 11, 2007
Real Name
Rachel O'Leary
wow,i just saw this thread for the first time. What an excellent read. I hope to hear/learn more of your updates. Any other pics of your tidepoolign adventures?


Save a horse, ride a cowboy
Feb 2, 2009
somewhere in the sticks
That is so neat.
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