Aspiring Octo Tank

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Ladybug5234, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving Day!

    I am new on here and I would like some direction. I am in the process of doing much research before setting up the actual tank for an octo. Having been in reef-keeping for over 20 years, I know the value of research.

    What I need to know is if I will have enough room in my tank and what kind of octo you all recommend. Here are the specs: The tank is a 50 gallon corner tank. It is the perfect tank for an octo because it is very tall, but it is not drilled, and because of its odd shape I would not be able to place any kind of sump or fuge under it. The best I could do is a CPR hang-on-back fuge or an AC 110. I also have a HOT canister filter that I would put on there with carbon and such. As far as lighting goes, I have 4 T5's that I could retro into the canopy or I could also add 4 PC. I plan on also getting a hang-on protein skimmer (I've had good reults with a Remora).

    Now that you know the specs, here are my plans. This would be an octo tank and nothing else. I plan on placing a few large pieces of live rock, as well as large empty clam shells for the octo to hide in, and live sand.

    Are my plans reasonable? Is there anything you guys would change? Lastly, what kind of octo could I keep? Obviously size is a concern as I would not want something that would not be comfortable in this tank. I was thinking about a pair of Gulf Dwarf Octos and found some guy off Tampa (close to me) that sells them as "mated pairs".

    Any help would be much appreciated. Please don't direct me to the archives and the previous reserach done because I am already perusing all of those posts. Every tank/situation is different and I think we can all benefit from people's personal opinions, which is what I seek in this thread.

    Thanks much!
    Aly
     
  2. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Welcome to TONMO and Happy Thanksgiving!

    The size of your tank should do fine. What is the footprint of the tank? Most octopuses spend their time on the bottom crawling over the rocks and sand, but swimming room is a definite plus. As far as filtration goes you really want to get a good skimmer, and then you can supplement that with the refugium and canister.

    If you retro-fit the lighting, make sure the octopus you get can't squirt it.

    With that size of tank I would try to find an O. hummelincki (aka Caribbean 2-spot/Bumblebee octopus). The dwarfs are easy to care for but I don't know that you would see them in a tank that big. If you did get dwarfs you could keep several in there though and they are "breedable".
     
  3. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thanks for the response and the help. The footprint of the tank is a little complicated because of its shape. Picture a pentagon with 2 equal sides of 24" (the back corners) and then 3 panes each 13" (the front). All of these are around 24" tall. In my opinion, I think octos would look beautiful in there. And as far as the lights go, the canopy is very tall (around 12") because it previously held MH for a reef tank that I had set up in there. I would not think any spray would get up there, especially since the tank will have a lid to make sure there are no escapees.
     
  4. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I wonder what your LFS guy means by a "mated" pair? If it's just that they are used to being with each other then fine, but if they have actually mated then not so good as they will have very little life span left.

    J
     
  5. sedna

    sedna Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter Registered

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    I have a 55 gal corner bow front and octos are the best thing I've kept in there so far! Yes, octos do spend a lot of their time on the tank bottom, but my last octo did enjoy the height of the tank because it gave room for some free swimming which it did everyday. I know what you mean about not having enough room for a sump underneath it, though, a serious draw back to that shape! I'm wondering how you plan to octo proof your "hang on the back" appliances, though. I have a canister filter that is rated for twice the size of the tank and am religious about tank cleaning.

    I've only kept aculeatus so far, but they are a great choice for 50 gal, too. They are diurnal and friendly, are tropical so they don't need a chiller. They are beautiful animals that display a large variation of color and texture. You can't keep more than one together, though! They also are small egged octos, so not the best choice if you were hoping to raise off- spring.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Gholland and I (as well as Animal Mother in a past life) have kept and raised the mercs (O. Mercatoris, likely the dwarf you mention) and I think Greg would agree that your tank is way too large to enjoy them. They are nocturnal and cannot be trained to daylight (unlike some of the larger species that hunt early morning and early evening). You will need to provide multiple dens with your live rock setup, not just a few scattered shells. The octo will chose (or redesign) the best housing that suits them. The mercs will stay hidden and you will seem to have an empty tank. If you want to try to raise them, consider a much smaller tank (15-30 gallons). Of all the octo pairing attempts published on this forum, the mercs seem to be the most successful at both living together and successful matings. Thales and Neogonodactylus are experimenting with tank breeding and raising chierchiae but they are keeping the male and female separatated except for mating introductions.

    I would be very hesitant to take any kind of octo advice from a shopkeeper that tells you he has a mated pair of octos. The closest I have ever seen is a very unusual pair of vulgaris kept at Mote (not sure of their sexes and they are likely to be sibblings of the same sex). Unfortunately, they are not shown on the site and may no longer be alive (they had been with Mote a year at the time of the conference).

    Since you are researching the journals and articles here, you will pickup the fact that almost all octopuses mate to produce a single brood, are not social with conspecies and die after the eggs hatch (the males die in about the same time frame as the females but have no interest in the young or their mate after mating). Of the aquarium kept, only the chierchiae (which is not readily available) is a known exception to this pattern.

    The most commonly kept Caribbean octopuses available will be o.briareus (Animal Mother feels a 50 is too small and he is having excellent success with Kalpso), the dwarf O. mercatoris and the mid-sized O. hummelincki. Occassionally O.Vulgaris is available, but it is the largest of the warm water group and definitely needs a larger tank. I am partial to the O. hummlincki but have not yet kept the briarius.

    The most common Indonesian species we see are members of the Abdopus complex and are generally thought to be Octopus aculeatus. This is another I have not yet had the pleasure of keeping but is high on the availability and success list.

    In spite of your request, I have included a few :oops: journal links. Follow at will.
     
  7. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Thank you all for the wonderful info. What I meant was not to tell me "go search on the archives" or "go do some research", because I am already doing that. Information is a valuable tool, so links are most definately welcome! Anyways, I do not intend on having a pair of octos, much less to try and breed them. I would like to keep a singular one. I have also been researching cuttle fish as well and that may be a possibility.

    As far as octo-proofing the holes for any HOB filters, I was thinking of using the injectable foam in order to seal the tank completely. Of course, all of these are just "plans", so if anyone sees a problem with what I am thinking, by all means let me know. So much to learn...

    Thanks again for all of the great information provided me thus far!

    Aly
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Aly,
    If you still want to keep more of a reef environment, cuttles may be the way to go for your first ceph. Look for threads by both Paradox and Thales for info on raising them. The availability threads under the Sources for Cephalopods forum currently shows that they have eggs but they have been offering eggs to babies when available.
     
  9. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I dont know that I would want to keep a reef setting, since I know myself and before long it will be a full blown reef which I cannot afford right now. But I am also researching cuttles. They seem like interesting creatures. Could cuttles and an octops live together?
     
  10. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Cuttlegirl found that link (and later others). I almost cried when I saw it, thinking that I would be sooo upset if I was playing with an octo (or any interactive critter) and distracting it enough to have that happen. In truth the bendensis don't get that big and an intank reality could likely be the other way around but in either case, you have found the correct answer.
     
  12. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    OK, after much reading and researching, I have decided to take the plunge on this and I will be setting up the tank hopefully this weekend. My plans are to give the tank a good cleaning with vinegar (no copper meds have ever been used there but I will test it anyway), then fill it with RO water, add salt and let it mix for a couple of days with a few powerheads. I will then add the sand (fine aragonite) and let it cycle for at least 3 months, as recommended. In the meantime, I will add the live rock and figure out a way of making the tank "escape proof". I will be posting pictures of what the tank looks like as it evolves. I want to make it "homey", with a few dens made out of live rock. Please feel free to let me know if you think I should be doing something differently, or if it can be done better.

    As far as the octo itself, I am still unsure as to the species, but I think I am leaning towards O. hummelincki since it seems my tank size (50 gal. corner) would be ok. If anyone finds any place selling these - or any other suitable for my size tank - in the next couple of months, I would be much obliged if you let me know.

    By the way, I have 2 questions: 1) Is there a setting that would allow me to be notified by email when there is a response listed on my thread? and 2) There is a local place here in Florida Dan...-something. I can't seem to find it online, eventhough I have visited it before. Can anyone link me?

    Thank you all so much for your help! This is indeed a very friendly and informative community!
     
  13. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    HA! I just found a way to be notified with responses... in the advanced button, right? If so, then disregard question no. 1. Thanks!
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I may have missed any kind of new option in the advanced search section but what I think you really want is to go to the My Settings link on the menu bar at the top of the page then click on Edit Options under Settings and Options.
     
  15. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well I am one step closer. Today I got my corner tank drilled for a closed loop system. Although I've had this same tank for a year now and ran it all this time as a reef, I just took a leap of faith and drilled it. We didn't know if it was tempered glass or not and since the shape is so odd and the tank has no markings, well you get the idea... it is now drilled!

    I also purchased a wet/dry system and a skimmer for it. Although the skimmer is not as good as I would have liked it to be, between it, the w/d and a canister filter, the tank should be alright. The problem I have is the space in the tank's stand won't allow much of anything down there. So anyway, I am on my way. In the meantime, I am actively researching and reading everything in sight regarding octos and cuttles. I change my mind every other day about what to keep in there, but at the end of the day, I cant get anything right now. I would like to wait at least till February, perhaps March or even April, before I put anything in there, and by the looks of the market, I just may get my wish since there seems to be hardly any availability for either octos or cuttles here in Florida (go figure!).

    I did find Thales on here who has 1.5 month old cuttle babies for sale for $50. I was wondering if these would be free swimming right away or if they could/should be kept in a breeding net and if so, for how much longer. The reason I ask is because if they can be kept in a breeder, I can keep them in my main tank till I can stock the new tank. Ideally, I would love to buy eggs, but they seem to have vanished... maybe it's the wrong season for them?
     
  16. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Hmm... If you do decide to get cuttlefish, 1.5 month babies are a great way to get started. For a first-time ceph-keeper, they are easier than eggs. They are already eating bigger food (rather than mysids or amphipods :bugout:) and they are large enough for you to be able to see them eat. They will be getting too large for a breeder soon. Good luck. I was considering upgrading to a 92 gallon corner tank, but I may reconsider since you are having trouble fitting things under your tank...
     
  17. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well, keep in mind that a 92 gallon corner is a totally different tank than what I have. First, the stand is commercially available, mine is not. My tank is so odd shaped that no one makes a stand for it. I bought the tank on Craigslist and planned on building a stand for it. A friend who I had enlisted to help me asked someone he works with for his help in cutting the wood and it turned out the guy had an empty stand for the exact same tank and he gave it to me. Otherwise, I would have gotten the 54 gallon version of the tank you are considering. I have seen those tanks in person and they have a lot of room underneath. Mine is built - I kid you not - like a 3-ply stand with the shell being almost 5 inches thick! So I cant put anything in there. Check out this guy's tank, so you can get an idea of what you can do ina 92 corner: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1505179

    Aly
     
  18. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    OK, update: the tank cracked on me as I was doing the last and final rinse. I was so upset! But then I went on craigslist and found an even better tank that fits the corner of the room like a glove! I picked it up yesterday and set it all up last night. The best part about this is that this tank was already cycled and has been running empty (no fish, only live sand) for 6 months. I checked with the tank's previous owner and NO copper was ever used, but is there a way to check that?

    Anyways, I transferred 80% of the water it had (and yes, my car is soaking wet!), so I plan on letting it sit for a couple of weeks until I come back from vacation to let everythig settle back down. So now I am actively searching for an octopus. I was hoping for a Hummenlicki (sp?) or an Aculeatus. Anyone know where can I get one? There's one available now at saltwaterfish.com but I am not sure of the species, although I read somewhere either here or on RC that most octos coming from saltwaterfish.com have been Hummenlicki. Can anyone verify that?
     
  19. Ladybug5234

    Ladybug5234 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I called saltwaterfish.com and they told me it was a Caribbean Octopus from Haiti. I googled that and got Octopus Briareus. Would anyone recommend for or against this species?
     
  20. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    briareus is a species a lot of folks here have kept, and they have a good reputation. Animal Mother's Kalypso journal can give you an idea of what they're like. They seem to need a larger tank than some species, but it sounded like you were going for a 92gal, which should be more than enough.

    I'm probably out of my league here, but I think some of the tank experts around have suggested that there ought to be a fairly long wait between moving a tank and adding an octopus, as it's likely to have a "mini cycle." I'm not sure how long folks would recommend monitoring the water chemistry before adding an octo, so I hope others will chime in with more info here.
     

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