55g setup for a Bimac

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Boombadan, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. Boombadan

    Boombadan Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hello all,
    I am here to disscuss my hopes for a future setup containing a Bimac. I am looking to purchase a 55 gallon tank, new never used. I would like to have the tank drilled by my LFS so it can be plumbed into a 20 gallon long/30 gallon long sump( to be decided). In that sump I will be looking to throw in some Bioballs, and I have a SeaClone 100? skimmer from a previous reef tank I had setup to use as the skimmer. Will that skimmer be ok for the setup since it was previously used in a reeftank with corals and fish? I want to leave space to use for food, to keep it alive and fresh, when it comes time to feed the Bimac. I will be using a return pump to get the water back into the tank. Any suggestions on the pump? Also should I make a refugium of some sort in it, would that benifit anything? I may later purchase a UV serilizer if it is known to provide a lot of benifit? I will also be purchasing a 1/18 hp chiller to keep the tank cool during the summer. I will be adding sand(still deciding whether live or not) for the bottom of the tank and half liverock/ half uncured rock. I may also be interested in adding a pencil urchin to the tank later on. I am looking to cycle the tank for like 3 months with damsels. I am new to keeping octopus but not new to reefkeeping, so basicly any help or info would be appreciated. Thanks

    Can someone inform me on the Bimac diet and any help on the upkeep? I will be doing frequent water changes and such using RO water. Also, I will probably add a powerhead or two into the tank to add some flow, will that help out?
     
  2. bluespotocto

    bluespotocto Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Your set up sounds good for the bimac. The only problem is bimasc are not in the pet trade right now. The only known way to get one right now is to catch one(thats how i get mine). They live on the west coast. So your kinda far away. Also if you do know some way to get one you will need a chiller for the tank. The temp they should be kept at is around 65f degrees.

    A hummelinki is a tropical octo and you can get them. They look almost the same. You could also try an aculeatus which is a little bit smaller then a hummelinki. They just have long legs and a small mantle. Those 2 octos will all fit in a 50 and below gallon aquarium. I would recommend the aculeatus because they are small and are very sociable. The only down side is the it wont be a young one, but it is really hard to find a young one for any species.
     
  3. Boombadan

    Boombadan Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I am interested in the aculeatus, is it nocternal? Do I still need a chiller? Are they agressive? Basicly, I'm looking for a beginner octopus for me to start out with, that is fairly active during the day so I will see him and preferably easy to take care of. I have a LFS that gets octopus every few months or so but I don't know much about the ones they get, I remember once they got in a Mimic octopus, but thats the only name I can really remember. Oh I'm also looking for an octopus with a decent lifespan, as in 1-2 years. Because I cannot see a purpose in buying something that will die in months. Thanks for the reply!
     
  4. Boombadan

    Boombadan Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The reason I asked if I need a chiller is because I already have a reef tank running with one and it would be rather expensive to run two, not just trying to cut it cheap.
     
  5. jhauris

    jhauris Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I believe the tropical and reasonably sized octopuses all live about a year, and most are caught at least a couple months old.

    Aculeatus is diurnal.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe either of the two (hummelincki/filosus or aculeatus) are well suited to the criteria you mention. Both are topical (no chiller), both are diurnal, both are social. However, as jhauris mentions, unless you can house a GPO (Giant Pacific Octopus), a two year aquarium lifespan is out of the question. Dr. Caldwell (TONMO Staff Neogonodactylus) has recently kept a bimac for 2.5+ years in his lab but that is the only TONMO recording of any species kept that long. The second longest I believe was 18 months and also a bimac (this from vague memory).
     
  7. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've been keeping bimacs for about two years. I wanted a bimac because I live in Southern California and I wanted a local biiotope tank and I wanted to catch my own octopus. If not for that I would certainly have gotten a hummelincki, which I'm told are very similar to bimacs, except that they like warm water, and so no chiller is needed.

    Assuming you get a hummelincki, I would say that your proposed set up is sufficient, although the skimmer size is boarder line, and the brand gets a lot of bad reviews. I've read that with some common modifications it performs much better, so I recommend that you try it, and if your water quality isn't good enough, buy a bigger/better one.

    You asked about return pump size. You want to turn the tank volume over about 3 or 4 times per hour so you want a pump that will actually move about 200 gph after the resistance of the plumbing and the head pressure caused buy lifting the water from the sump up to the tank. Good pump companies provide charts (graphs) showing the gph delivered across the range of head distance from 0 to ?? feet, so measure the distance, in feet, from water level in your sump, to the water level in your tank, add 20% to account for plumbing resistance) and find a pump that delivers about 200 - 300 gph at that head distance. More flow won't hurt

    You asked about flow inside the tank. An octo doesn't care about flow much, unless it so much that he gets blown around the tank and needs to hide to avoid it. However, since you are planning to use live rock for at least some of your filtration, you will need a lot of flow through the live rock for it to do its job well. Also, if you have a micron sock or other mechanical filter you want at least enough flow so that particles of detritus will stay in suspension and eventually go out over the overflow and not fall to the bottom (such a filter is a good idea if you have bio balls, so that they don't fill up with detritus). I don't use live rock, but I think the reef guys say you want flow of at least 10 times the tank volume per hour. I have two power heads in my tank (Tunze Turbelle nanostream (awesome, compact)) and while my octo has pulled it from its magnetic holder once, the propeller has never damaged my octo. I need flow because I have filter feeders and I need to keep their food moving around. I would like to replace the power heads becasue they are un natural looking. I will set u pa closed loop system to replace them at some point.

    You asked about a bimac diet. You probably not get a bimac, but one piece of advice is still applicable. I found that my wild caught bimacs are quite happy to eat pieces of thawed shrimp or scallop offered on a wooded skewer. I let them "catch" the food and fight with the skewer for ten seconds (with me tugging on the other end) until I finally relent and give them the skewer, which I retrieve later when they are done with it. Feeding shrimp and scallop costs pennies per week, and is super convenient. I try to catch a shore crab every few weeks as a treat to vary the diet and give the octo something really fun to do, but mostly they eat shrimp and scallop from Costco. I think some people spend a fortune on live food every week, but at least for my wild caught bimacs, its not at all necessary.

    You didn't ask, but a big concern should be how to make your take escape proof. When your octopus grabs your hand (or a wooden skewer) and plays tug of war with you, you'll be stunned by how strong it is for it's size. It's like playing tug of war with a 25 pound dog. When deciding how to secure your tank, keep asking yourself: "If I were really strong, clever, persistent, and able to fit through a hole the size of an octopus's eye, could I get out of this?" Search the tonmo forums for threads about securing tops. I posted a thread about the top I build here:
    http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16605&pagenumber=&16605

    My top was rather difficult to build, requiring a lot of time, and some money, tools, and know how, but it can at least give you some ideas, and it is 100% secure.

    Keep doing your homework, and let us know how it's going
     

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