An aquatic crossroad

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by luckyz88, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. luckyz88

    luckyz88 Larval Mass Registered

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    So I just recently purchased my second 55 gallon tank just recently, and Im having the hardest time chooseing what to do with it. My first tank is a freshwater cichlid tank and I gotta say I love that thing, it cost me alot of money and I would spend it all twice over if I had a choice. Through trial and error research and the sweat of my brow, its been up and running for a good seven or eight months almost a year. Most of the fish I have are original's from my first thirty gallon I got years ago, so Ive been keeping cichlids for some time now.
    Anyways, back to the reason Im here, Iv recently been doing alot of research on the web about reef tanks Fish only tanks, and ceph tanks. I have to say that out of all the three the latter facinates me more than the other two. But alas, Im just breaking into marine aquariums and was wondering if I should start out on somthing a bit easier than an octo tank, but every video I see of an octopus just makes me want one that much more!
    I am aware of the cost for all of these, but reguardless of which i choose, this tank wont come for quite a while, I have to save up for everything except the tank itself. I just couldnt resist that petco sale, a doller a gallon! Only a fool would pass that up Id say, but im a bit of a fool myself. So Im humbley asking the advice of all of you, as Im sure most of you have had reef and FO tanks and surely cephs as well. What should I do? Go all out and get the octo, or start off smaller with a Reef or FO or even a mixed tank?
     
  2. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I say start with the tank you have and run a reef with cultured corals for at least 6 months. Saltwater tanks in general can be tricky, and developing a saltwater thumb is a good and important thing. Jumping into a ceph will give you at least a double dose of issues to deal with, and people who make the leap to soon often disappear in a cloud of frustration.

    Welcome to TONMO and thanks for considering such and important question!
     
  3. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    What Thales said is generally true, although I am a counterexample. I had only had a freshwater tank, when I decided I wanted to catch and keep a bimac octopus. I was helped by the fact that bimacs are rather hardy (harder to kill) but I think the main reason that it worked out well for me was that I'm the kind of person who likes to understand how something works before I try it. I did months of study, and preparation, and tried to anticipate any mistakes I might make, and learn how to avoid them. I think that if one is the kind of person who will think it all through before hand, do the reading, ask the questions, and patiently prepare a tank, they it is certainly doable. That's a more efficient way to go in some ways, because while most reef tanks require bright expensive lights (because reef animals typically use light to make food) octopus don't like bright lights, and you'd need to sell the expensive lights (at a loss?) when preparing for an octopus. If you get a bunch of expensive corals, and a few months later, "sell" them back to the local fish store, you'll take kind of a beating too. Id say that a prudent and patient person can do the learning required by study, and not need to learn-by-doing with a reef tank first.
     
  4. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    While I agree with Joe-Ceph's approach to keeping octopus, I don't feel that it is necissary to get rid of your lights and corals if you get an octopus. While most do shun brite lights, you could always run your tank on a flipped light cycle. Also you can still keep some species of corals as long as they don't have a strong sting which will hurt the octopus. The only down side is that octopus can and sometimes will rearrange the rocks, and in the process damage some of your corals. Back to the bright light, I kept a diurnal octopus under a 75 watt metal halide and it didn't seem to mind it at all. But IMO it would be quit expensive to set up a full blown reef tank and then down size everything for an octopus.
     
  5. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Not all corals require high lighting. Mushrooms, Green Star Polyps, Zoanthids, Candy Cane Coral, Trumpet Coral, Capnella, some Leather Corals, and more (please forgive the common names) - there are even a bunch of captive propagated SPS corals that will do just fine without 'expensive lights'. Many of the corals listed above will do just fine under inexpensive LED lighting or T5's or PC lighting and the corals them selves are inexpensive and many of them will be fine with tropical cephs.

    There are plenty of fantastic low light reef tanks out that, and the conversion from them to a ceph tank is minimal. Downsizing isn't necessarily necessary. :smile:

    IME, Joe is the exception to the rule and regardless of how much pre research people do (and its always a good idea) the practicality of running a saltwater system is often only better understood through experience.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Forgive me if I missinterpret but I think Thales is suggesting to build your ceph tank by keeping to corals that are both octo safe and good for a sw beginner. Keep just the corals for 6 months (I would avoid fish just because they would have to be relocated and often that means major disruption to the tank to catch them) and get the hang of keeping a marine system and the stationary animals that are so different from a FW environment before adding your first major attraction. This will give your softies a chance to establish well and be less effected by a lumbering octo. Critters like mushrooms (you will have to learn the see these as animals and not "plants" :grin:) can be difficult to attach when the tank is occupied by an active octopus. Tanks set up this way are typically more pleasing esthetically as well as less likely to suffer from "new tank syndrome" (google the phrase if you are not familiar with it).
     
  7. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    That sounds like a good way to go about getting experience and setting up your tank to look nice all at once. I took the fish, then soft corals, then octopus route. I know how difficult it is to try and place new corals with an octopus mowing them over each night lol.
     
  8. luckyz88

    luckyz88 Larval Mass Registered

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    Im so glad my post went up, I wasn't sure if it did. Thank you guys for all the informative responses, I still have alot of time and money to save up so I admit this will be a slow project for me any way I go. Reguardless this all sounds like some exciteing stuff and I cant wait to start. I am the type of person who learns better in a hands on aproach but I always do my research before I invest the time and money into it. I still dont know which way I will go, but I would love to stay in contact with you guys as I set my tank up if thats cool. If I do decide to wait on the ceph tank and I might because I think i want it to be in a larger tank, would I still be able to post about about the set up of my tank and whatnot?
     
  9. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    it did not post at first because for some reason it was flagged as Spam by our automated system, but I fixed it and from now on all your posts should appear immediately.

    :welcome: to TONMO.
     

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