Advice for species selection

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by ~Flighty~, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Hi everyone.

    I've been a long time reefer and member of the Boston Reefers, but decided to get out of coral reefkeeping. Recreating the warm, shallow, high light, high flow reef in NH just took too much electricity for me to feel good about it any more among other things. I had had a large, brightly lit tank on a very large system to keep H. magnifica anemones and handle their occasional spawning (dilution and skimming).

    So, that leaves me with a setup that I think would be really good for a cephelopod. We have a 120 display connected to a large amount of water (650 gallons more or less) in the basement. That is a 180 refugium, a 100 sump with a great skimmer and a 425g water reservoir to add volume. The basement stays ~65 all year round, so with slow flow upstairs the tank should be around 68-70 year round. I could tweek the flow and other things to move that temp up or down a little.

    So, my question is, what species would work well in here? We are considering both octopus or cuttlefish. I'm leaning towards octo and hubby likes cuttles, so we can be convinced either way very easilly. I'm getting a little overwhelmed trying to sort out all of the species and their requirements.

    On our recent vacation to Aruba I got to follow an awesome octopus for several minutes (~10 inch head and maybe 16" arms) It did several color and texture changes and even swam mimicing a fish with two stripes when other divers startled it. I also got to watch a tiny cuttle (3/4 inch about) swimming in the open water at about 15 feet (40 foot bottom) curious little thing hovered there watching me for a minute or two, but he unfortunately inked and shot away when I moved too fast. Needless to say, I have a love for these critters.

    Being able to try to breed them would be gravy. We could partition the display and or keep potential mates in the refugium or the 425 holding tank if we aren't working with a mated female. I have experience with the breeding of clowns, B. cardinals, and seahorses but I am not yet up to speed on cephelopods.

    So, what species would you guys recommend me starting to look into for this setup? What would you do in my place? Do I have much of a choice, or is it generally a crapshoot with "assorted octopus" at the LFS and hope they at least get carribean or pacific correct?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Will

    Will Cuttlefish Registered

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    I am by no means an expert here, but i believe your options are fairly broad. Sepia officinalis would work in there i believe (at least in your refugium). As far a Octo's are concerned, im not sure which medium sized, large egg octos have been showing up lately.
     
  3. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Austin, Texas? Not sure I should take advice from a T-sip (My husband and I are Aggies ;) )

    So Sepia officinalis, those are the big cuttles that come from europe? I think I can get those eggs from the LFS. If I am able to breed them, is there a responsible market for the captive breed babies I wonder.
     
  4. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    poor people haven't figured out the winning side yet.
     
  5. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Sepia officinalis are the big ones and they would probably fit in your system, I am not sure there is enough interest for you to breed large cuttlefish. Sepia bandensis would be a better choice if you are looking to distribute cuttlefish to the general public. It would be fun to have a bunch of S. bandensis in your setup.

    Octopus are generally more interactive than cuttlefish, although I prefer cuttlefish. S. officinalis are more interactive than S. bandensis although my female S. bandensis would sit on my hand.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Speaking from the octo side :wink: of the ceph house, if you can get your hands on a cyanea you would be hooked for life (and I would be most envious). They are common in Hawaii but very hard to come by. Roy has mentioned that a 100+ with lots of outside water will keep them so the tank should be acceptable. Finding one will be difficult and the cost higher than most but I would dearly love to keep one.

    That being said, cephs we keep do not live long so your choice is not a one time thing. At best you will have 12 months with any one animal. A set up designed for an octo will easily house cuttles (but not the other way around). As Cuttlegirl mentions, you can have multiple cuttles if you go with bandensis (unfortunately they are not nicely sized for the tank until they are adult though) but only a single animal for anything else. You will likely find cephs addictive :grin: and I would think in terms of creating an environment that will allow flexibility for "what comes next".
     
  7. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Hi again. Well, I decided on getting an octopus this time around. I really don't mind if the one we get is mostly nocturnal since with 4 kids under 9, the only time I get to mess with the tank is generally after dark anyway. I'm getting a little frustrated sourcing one. I think with a first try I will gamble on and "assorted octopus" rather than driving myself nuts looking for a specific type. We are getting everything octopus safe with acrylic and craft mesh and assuming the octopus will be on the smaller size to be safe. Once I get the tank secure, I'll post some pics to see what you experts think.
     
  8. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Bummer DOA from live aquaria :(

    Strange. it was sent priority overnight, great packing, good temp in box ( maybe the heat pack cooked it but it cooled down since?). The water was cloudy and there were bubbles like shore foam at the surface.

    should I post pics for an ID or just let him RIP?
     
  9. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Im pretty sure they have guarentees so you could probably get another for free. Thats strange, generally live aquaria does an excellent job of getting your order to you alive, and I believe just about everyone here has ordered from them with sucess.
     
  10. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    I called them right away and they are sending a replacement now with the same priority overnight shipping, no questions asked. I couldn't see any obvious reason for the death. The stink was overpowering, so I didn't mess with the body much once I opened the bag.
     
  11. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Mabye it was a bumpy ride on the way to you, and stressed it? How many days did it take to get to your house? If it died within a day of you getting it, it shouldnt have smelled. Well its too bad it died, but at least they are sending you a new one. Was it indo or caribean?
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You can't get better shipping or guarantees than from Live Aquaria, they are likely the best shippers of live stock around. Age, ID and health of animal, is not one of their excelling points, however. It is very rare to receive an item DOA and they guarantee for 2 weeks so it is not like they don't try. Octos deteriorate very rapidly so the smell would not be unusual if it died shortly after being put into the bag (they are packed with oxygen which will speed the deterioration). I often preserve my octos (see some of the last pages of my journals for their use) and the only ones that preseve well are the ones I monitor and find within a couple of hours of death.
     
  13. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Consider insulating some of your tanks and pipes. If you want the water warmer, insulate the tanks in the cold basement. If you want them colder, insulate the tank in the warm room. That will move the temp a few degrees in the right direction. Then, if still needed, you can use a heater or chiller to get the temp to where the species of octo you get likes it, and you'll know that a minimum of the energy you use will be wasted. That way you can adjust your flow rate for optimum filtration, not temperature.

    You can get sheets of rigid insulation board 1" to 2" thick at home depot, cut it to size, and use it on the sides and bottom of your tank. It has an R-Value of 5 per inch, which is not bad. If you want it to look good you can cover it with black vinyl from the fabric store (also cheap). If you do the math you'll find that even a 120 gallon tank (48" x 24", and about 1100 lbs) produces less than one pound per square inch, so a sheet of styrofoam can easily support the weight without being crushed (assuming that it's on a flat surface). If you don't want to empty your tank(s) to put insulation under them, then put it on the underside of the table that the tanks rest on. It won't do quite as good a job, but it will do about 90% as well.

    I keep a bimaculoides octopus at 56 degrees, so insulation is a big deal for me.
     
  14. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    It was in transit for less than 18 hours and I opened it when it got here, but it did smell very bad. The octopus's body seemed to be in good shape, just dead.

    Mar 31, 2010 3:32 PM picked up
    Apr 1, 2010 8:59 AM delivered

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCPrdmvni6fHqiwE&feat=directlink

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/phot...authkey=Gv1sRgCPrdmvni6fHqiwE&feat=directlink

    It was indio. You are right about the (non diver's den) California facility being clueless about species etc. I called to see if I could get any more information and the girl couldn't do better than read the webpage back to me. The diver's den facility is in Wisconsin I think and they have much more SW educated staff. I can't vouch for them on cephs, but they do a really good job with rare anemone information compared to anyone else I have worked with.
     
  15. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll think about temperature in the morning when I figure out what this particular "assorted" octopus needs :)
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, even Diver's Den misidentifies their octos. I bought a Maya octopus from them (see Maya - O.hummelincki) several months ago. If it had been an O.Maya it would have been a baby but she was O.hummelincki and started brooding behavior within a week. I notified them of the problem and they honored their warranty because of the mislabled species (even though she was still alive, she was doomed to die shortly) but they later advertised the same misidentified octo.

    There are two primary groups that have been received from live aquaria under the "indo" lable (both will need 75 -78 temp). One is a diurnal and in the abdopus complex (often aculeatus but sometimes what appears to be a smaller species) and the other a small nocturnal likely in the macropus complex. Puddles is one of the nocturnal and Ohno one of the diurnal.
     
  17. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    What would I check to id the DOA one or can you tell from my crappy pics I linked above? Is there an Octopus id crash course on here anywhere? My copy of Cephalopods is on the way.

    My second try is on the truck for delivery and should be here shortly so I'll keep everyone posted. If this one isn't in good shape I will ask them to wait until they receive a new shipment before sending another.

    It should be pretty easy for me to get the tank to hang at 75 by slowing the return up from the basement It is a little colder than that now.
     
  18. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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  19. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Im not a great IDer but it looks like you have a a.aculeatus which is the diurnal species. Lucky, I love aculeatus because A. they are friendly B. they are diurnal and C. fairly easy to feed. All of that is subject to the octo itself except for the diurnal part. But anyway good luck with this one. Does he/she have a name yet?

    edit* possibley a she as well, I didnt see any enlarged umm drawing a blank here. Things on the tentacles... Anyway, I believe its female. And I'm pretty sure aculeatus males dont curl their tentacle if they are male because they have a very long arm to mantle ratio. So by your pic I would take an educated guess on Female A.Aculeatus
     
  20. ~Flighty~

    ~Flighty~ Blue Ring Registered

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    Thanks! I hate having something in the tank before I get a solid id. I just posted an id thread with a few more pics and videos before I saw your reply.

    Any and all advice is welcome - feeding care etc. I'll be searching for threads and info to get me up to speed asap.
     

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