65 tank build

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by reeffanman, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. reeffanman

    reeffanman Larval Mass Registered

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    hello all;
    i am a soon to be octopus owner, and am in the process of building my new species only tank for my new little friend. i am looking for pointers and any other relevant information about these intresting creatures and their needs. i have a been a reefer for the last 4 years and currently have a 90 gal reef with a 20 gal sum refugium, a 75 gal frag tank, and a 20 gal qt tank.

    what i have so far is my drilled 65 tank i have 3/4 locline with a duck bill on the end for my return, and an overflow box. i have a tight fitting piece pf plexi for the top of the tank which sits on the top of the overflow box. i have not decided if i should cut slits, or drill holes in the box to allow water in, if holes what size is best to keep it in? i will have about 50 lbs of liverock doweled and glued together in the tank and another 20 in the sump/refugium. and a 2-3" fine rinsed argonite substrate in the tank and 2-3" coarse in the refugium.

    do i need any powerheads? if so how much in a 65?

    the sump is a 40 gal tank with chambers the first chamber will have a 200 micron filter sock and then 4gal of bioballs whick will be rinsed 2x a week, and sock will be changed monthly of bi monthly as needed. next chamber will house the skimmer, which is rated for 160 gal. next chamber is a 17 gal refugium, which will have some red grape algae to keep the nitrates down i may keep some ornamental macroalgae in the display also. i may also find a peacock mantis to put in the refuge, since the stand will display the refugium. and the last chamber will house the 150 watt heater, the auto top off from my rodi and a mag 9 return pump.

    will the octo be able to taste the peacock if its in the sump? would that stress it out?

    my lighting will be 2 24 watt led strip lights for day on 10 hours and fior night 12 watt red led for night viewing, and a screw in type compact flourescent bulb for the refuge on when display lights are off. The tank will sit in my basement where there is little to no outside light to mess with the light cycle.

    at the moment i have almost everything i need except the return pump, the substrate and the stand is slowly being built at my leisure.

    i would love to hear feedback on what you all think. at this point you all have more expiriance than me. it would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. reeffanman

    reeffanman Larval Mass Registered

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    oh yes and i still need to pick a species i want somthing curious, colorful and day friendly, i was thinking the Vulgaris, or bimac
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: reeffanman!
    Love the tank set up description. If you have the time, please consider photographing and journaling your build out in our tank talk forum.

    On our acrylic tops, we have drilled (using peg board for both nice even pattern and hole size) a matrix of hold on the LID part (not the entire cover). This allows for some heat and gas escape without providing an undesired exit. We have found that creating a lip along the top is very beneficial for keeping the octos in the tank. With acrylic tanks, this is almost always (I have one that is not and it does bow) part of the support design but with glass you have to be more creative. Of our experiments, this is the one I like the best for a glass tank. If you click on the picture with the top sitting on the table you can see the drilled lids. This is what we did with an acrylic, using the same peg board to make the lid holes.

    You will need additional water movement in the tank to move the waste out. Powerheads are always a bit of a challenge with an octopus as they will investigate to the detriment of their arms so all intakes need some kind of screening (zipping media bags work pretty well). I use only Koralias and place them in a media bag. With the larger animals, we have seen no problems leaving them open but you will see them being explored and after having hatchlings, I have just kept the Koralias covered. I only use 2 per 30 gallons but do have nitrate issues so additional flow might be part of a better solution (I am experimenting with ways of reducing the nitrates - octos produce a lot of waste).

    Depending on how much you can alter your overflow, it is a good idea to leave as much as two inches unfilled in the display. Again this helps with escape possibilities.

    As for "choosing" a species, that is more easily said than done. Bimacs are hard to come by because California does not allow them to be sold live and the majority are located off that coast. On occasion Coldwater Marine Aquatics has obtained a couple of legally sellable specimens and I would suggest contacting Stu when you are ready. Keep in mind that these will need a chiller (no heater) and will survive longest at temps below 70 degrees. A max of 72 is viable but anecdotally reduces their life span to about half (albeit, the animals are more active during their lives in the warmer temps). A Caribean vulgaris are great, if you have a 130+ (and that may be small for some of them, size varies greatly) and you can source one. These are not often seen. What we do see from time to time is an animal often mistaken for Vulgaris that would do nicely in the tank and is the most day active of all we keep. However, you will almost never see O. hummelincki for sale under that name. If you see a Bimac from the Caribbean or a Caribbean two-spot or a vulgaris with eye spots, this will almost always be O. hummelincki and a great choice.

    I try to encourage new keepers to not be overly concerned with which of the few species we can access as long as their tanks are adequately sized. Keep in mind that your tank build out, cycling and seaoning (please actively cycle for 3 months min) will likely be longer than the time you will enjoy your first animal. Home keepable octopuses have very short lifespans (10-18 months with 12 months being average) in the wild. Bimacs have been known to live almost 3 years in cold tanks (62-65) but tend to the shorter warm water lifespans when kept in warmer waters. Dwarf species live on the lower range where larger animals tend to exceed 12 months. Now, take into consideration that you will not acquire a hatchling and that IME they are very shy until somewhere around 4 months of age and you will begin to understand my caution about worrying which species is your first (or 31st) animal.

    To get an idea of the personalities of the species we see and what is most common this year (it changes from year to year), look through the List of Our Octopuses 20xx at the top of the Octopus Journals and Pictures forum. The animal name is a link to the individual journals.

    Lastly, because lifespan is so short, if you build the tank to accommodate an octopus, you have an alternative ceph you can try at some point should they interest you. Have a look at some of the journals for cuttlefish. At present only the S. bandensis are commonly available but they are interesting and you would be able to keep 3-5 in a tank.
     
  4. gpx1200

    gpx1200 GPO Registered

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    sounds like you have a prety good plan, keep taking your time, the rushed setups are ushaly the ones with problems.
    quick note on the peacock mantis, they don't like light at all, any light strong enuf to grow refugum algie is to strong for a peacock and will cause stress and evevchualy deadly shell rot also a 40 breeder is considerd minimum tank size for a peacock so a smaller section inside one will be to small. their are alot of intertidal species that stay smaller and can tolerate reef lighting like g.platysoma, smithii. ternatensis,n. weneare ...ect.. don't know if the octo will sence the mantis but the mantis will smell the octo my mantises seem to know the second food enters their tanks
     
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  5. reeffanman

    reeffanman Larval Mass Registered

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    I can definitely alter the overflow to allow 3" of air on top of the tank. Too bad for the mantis maybe the next tank build ill keep that in mind. What size holes should I have in the for air transfer? Also would slits or holes be better in the overflow?
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We used 1/4 inch holes in our lids (not the whole surround) and they seem to be about right. If you are using acrylic for the larger parts and it is not part of the tank, you will want to add some bracing to minimize warping. I'm not entirely sure what causes the warp (other than distance) but suspect it is partially due to the temperature difference of the water vs ambient air air outside the tank. We cut our lids to fit flush and placed acrylic plates on the underside to support them. Doing this all the way around may help with the warping (just keeping weight on the ends will as well as the warping will be to curl toward the outside of the tank. Oddly, thicker acrylic seems to warp more than thinner but for the 65 we needed thick acrylic to make the span.

    I've never tried holes over slots in the overflow but would think holes might clog. BE SURE TO SAND any acrylic that you cut as it is very sharp. Edge sanding only takes a few minutes, makes the tank look better (just keep the sandpaper away from the viewing surface) and is better for both you and the animal. I recommend this even where the octo will not reach as I have sliced my wrists on some of our first DIY tops. That being said, sanding holes is much harder than sanding slots.
     

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