How do I know if octo is old?


New member
I have had an octo since late January. Before me, the LFS had it for at least 3 months. To the best of my ability to identify, it is a WC caribbean octo. While I have had it, it has grown considerably.

I don't think it is currently going downhill, but I'd like to know what to watch for as it reaches the end of it's life. Right now, it's all over the tank, out all the time, and eats 1 live 5" crawfish per day.

Will it begin to hide more, slow down or stop eating, change colors less, or what? Just curious.


New member
Aged Octopus go through a process called Sensence
its senility for octos
they get a little grey
go a little blind.
watch for white "Cartaracts" on his eyes
and that some of them only
really depends on the octo some linger some go in a matter of hours


New member
Are you serious??? Grey & blind?

The reason I ask is because I am planning on selling the octo, but I don't want to sell it if it is reaching the end of it's life. I'd rather just keep it and take the loss myself, then sell it's tank, etc at a later date.

If you are serious, whereabout would it go grey? Mine is normally a reddish color, but is mostly grey when it's sleeping. There is a picture of it in my gallery. I don't see any sign of cataracts, and it's obvious he see's very well.

With seahorses, they tend to slow down eating, get hollows near their gills and not change color as often.


New member
3 months + 6 Months to now
gives you 9 months old on an Octo

lots of Octos live about 12 to 18 months
so at BEST its middle aged
some cold water species live longer but the ones we get in the USA for home aquariums are ussualy tropical and have shorter than average life spans
Most dont live long enough to get grey. that seems to happen to the very old.
sorry i cant be more help


New member
9 months is pretty old. Even Octopus cyanea that get to be over 2kg don't seem to live much longer that 18 months (according to Van Heukelem in Hawaii, years back). Chances are much higher you have a much smaller species, for which a year is pushing it.

If it's a female it will start to eat like crazy, then hole up, lay eggs, and eventually die. If it's a male it may or may not hole up and become much more then much less active before showing signs of senescence. During the last month or so (very much so depends on species) it will experience muscle atrophy (accompanied by a loss of appetite), which causes the muscles controlling the chromatophores to stop working. The octos look grey and lose the ability to make complex body patterns/camouflage. This is a (in my opinion the best) tell-tale, no-going back sign that the end is about least 1-3 weeks away (in the octos I've seen). They may also get skin lesions and/or eat the tips of the arms, or lose coordination/move slowly. It seems that many octos come out of the den when they are about to die.


New member
The males will also release sperm packets from the hectocotylus just before entering senescence, start wandering aimlessly, and have been known to amputate entire arms with the beak.

Females will often tend the eggs far beyond skin lesions, to the point where skin and the underlying tissue start decomposing and falling off in sheets or chunks, not a pretty sight.