Beginning my Research . . .

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by SueAndHerZoo, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    Hello.
    I've had saltwater tanks for about 3 years now and have always wanted an octopus or cuttlefish but resisted due to the fact that they are so difficult to successfully keep in captivity. However, now that I'm getting bored with fish, invertebrates and corals, the temptation is rearing its head again. I was thinking of converting my 46 gallon bowfront into a specimen tank for an octopus as I can easily relocated all its inhabitants into my 92 gallon corner tank. The only downside is the 46 gallon isn't reef ready so all the equipment is hanging over the side (canister filter, HOB skimmer, heater, powerheads, etc.)

    Is there any way to totally enclose and "escape proof" a bow-front tank that will be running a skimmer and canister filter? I've thought about adding a fourth tank but I really don't look forward to that option.... 3 is time-consuming enough.

    I will be spending a lot of time here reading and researching and all thoughts, comments and suggestions will be very welcomed. Thanks for being here.
    Sue
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO


    Most members use a sheet of clear acrylic/Plexiglass/Lexan and trim it to fit the top exactly. it is much easier to do if you have a sump, but it can be done with some HOB skimmers as well. Then to keep your buddy out of the canister filter most member cover the in and out with either foam filters or plastic mesh.

    Here is the bad news 46 is just under what we recommend for most species of octopus. We generally recommend a 55 gallon with a sump and skimmer. For the smaller dwarf, species we recommend 20-30 gallons, but you should know the dwarf species are nocturnal, and not as interactive as the medium and large octopuses.


    BTW That 90 corner sounds perfect for an octopus :mrgreen:
     
  3. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    Ugh. I was SO AFRAID you were going to say that. LOL But I have spent the past year getting that thing to be the perfect reef tank, including custom-built canopy with installed metal halide lighting and fans! The aquascaping is finally perfect and it's full of corals..... there's no way to consolidate my 92 into my 46. Let's see...... I could shut down/get rid of my 14 gallon Biocube and put a new tank in that spot? (You're killing me here, you realize that, right?) :hmm:
    Sue
     
  4. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Welcome Sue & Zoo! :smile:

    :cuttlehi:
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Tell me about it...I have seven.:roll:


    Cuttlefish are always an option too.
     
  6. Lmecher

    Lmecher Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Hi Sue :welcome: to Tonmo!

    I went through the same thing. I started out considering my 15 for a dwarf. Now I have an octopus in my 50 and one in my (newish) 120. Once you're hooked, well...you're hooked.
    Keeping octopuses has been a most rewarding experience. I have no regrets letting go of my reef tanks. Well you can keep soft corals with an octopus so my tanks are still reef-ish. It has been quite a journey, one I am happy I made. I will be following...you be surprised and delighted, octopuses are absolutely fascinating creatures. :smile:
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Seven Months ago ... I swore I was NOT adding a 9th tank JUST to keep a new one in our breakfast room. I mean there WAS a perfectly fine established tank in the living room waiting for an octopus ... but ... but this little guy is special and NEEDS to be where the people are :boohoo: End result ... there is now a new temporary :roll: (with parts scavenenged from other tanks and the tank itself being given to me) tank in the breakfast room that will likely never be taken down.
     
  8. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I wish I had 7-9 tanks. Right now I have 3 and a half and its just not enough. I want to keep so many animals but of course they cant all live together. I cant wait till the kids get older and I can turn the tv room in to my fish room... either that or we move... either way it will be mine oh yes it will be mine! :lol:
     
  9. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    Oh wow - I already love all you guys - I think I've found my new home! :wink:

    As soon as I finish this reply I will go over and read all about cuttlefish on this forum because when I quickly researched them using Google I THOUGHT I read that they get HUGE so I assumed that ruled them out of a 46 gallon tank. I guess I better check my sources next time before I take something as fact.

    I was actually down to two tanks a few months ago and was really enjoying the freedom it gave me to focus and not spread myself so thin, and then, well, something came up, something needed a home, blah blah blah, and I ended up throwing together my "emergency" Biocube. More than three tanks at a time? Out of the question. :roll: That's the same thing I said when I insisted I would never keep more than 3 rescue dogs in the house at the same time and you can all guess how that turned out. :cool:

    9 tanks?????? What in heck is your electrical bill like?????? That's a full time job with the maintenance, water changes, making RO/DI water, etc. My head spins just thinking about keeping 9! :shock:

    At this point in my thought process I would STILL like to turn my 46 gallon into my first octopus tank, but it's early yet...... I haven't read enough and thought this through enough.

    Oh, one of the main reasons I fear getting hooked on these wonderful creatures is that I am going to have my heart broken badly over and over again. With their high intelligence and incredible personalities, it is going to be so hard when (not if) I ultimately lose one. I have done very well at not getting emotionally attached to my indoor fish and invertebrates, but I take in senior foster dogs (and the special needs dogs) and their stay is usually short and SO painful when it ends. Still, how can you NOT give them a loving place to die? I can't leave them in a cold, scary shelter.

    I'm getting off topic.... sorry. Off to read about cuttlefish.
    Sue
     
  10. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    OK, I think this is where I stopped reading about cuttlefish last time I tried to learn about them:

    The drawbacks with Sepia officinalis...
    They get big! You are looking at an animal with the potential of about 45cm (18") An aquarium of about 200 gallons is needed.
     
  11. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    This is true for S.officinalis. but S.bandensis, or dwarf cuttle fish dont get nearly as large.
    i'm not a cuttle expert but I think you could do two or maybe three in your tank. S.bandensis is the species we typically see for sale here in the US.
    I have to warn you, cuttles are much more demanding than octopuses, at least when they are younger. Cuttles are usually sold as eggs so you hatch them and then have to feed them only tiny expensive live food for the first sages of their lives and until you can get them to accept frozen food. From what i have read they can cost as much as $100 a week to feed in the beginning,

    the advantage to cuttles is the possibility of breeding them. remember most octos and cuttles only live a year, if even that long. Average life expectancy of a store bought adult octo is only about two to four months.
     
  12. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    OK, Dave, now you're REALLY peaked my interest! Being able to use the existing 46 gallon I have running AND being able to keep more than one at a time is VERY appealing. And having to raise them from eggs? That may be the MOST appealing part - I love a challenge and the thrill of the victory (yes, I know, there's a lot of pain in the defeat, too.)

    I have had seahorses in the past (very demanding) and have actually had them breed so I made a half attempt to raise the fry (hatching my own brine shrimp to feed them, etc.) It wasn't totally successful but I was very new to the whole saltwater thing at that point so I may just be ready again for that type of challenge. Off to read! Keep the info coming, please!
    Sue
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    For the most current cuttlefish experiences, look at the list of our cuttlefish thread. It contains direct links to the journals with very detailed accounts of the food, feeding and the varied results. There is a similar set of stickies in the Octopus care forum but since we have more octos than cuttles, each year has its own sticky.
     
  14. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    Wow, that was a heck of an emotional journey I just went on (in the "list of our cuttlefish" thread). I was so excited, happy, worried, stressed, jubilant, and very sad. But mostly what I came away with was discouragement. I've only read two of the threads but neither seemed to have a happy ending. Should I keep reading or spare myself the pain?
    Sue
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As I mentioned, the experiences are varied. You will have to learn to accept the pain with either of the cephs, they are short lived by nature and only a small percentage survive to adults (out of roughly 100 hatchlings only two of my last attempt to raise baby octos survived but that is two more than most tank spawned briareus so I am encouraged to try again), regardless of the environment. We do have succssful second generation cuttles (but no third generations journaled). I have been noted as saying the only thing sadder than losing one is having an empty tank and this is likely the reason I keep more than one at a time. They are a daily facination but with us only a short time.
     
  16. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Go for the cuttlefish (sorry, I'm a little biased). As long as you can spare the expense and time, it is worth trying cuttlefish. In either case (octopus or cuttlefish), the wait to get one can be frustrating. There are a lot of unhappy endings with octopus too, cephalopods are fragile animals and sometimes don't survive the journey from wild to LFS to you. If you are interested in keeping a small group (like three...), cuttlefish are interesting to watch interact with each other. They are not as interactive with humans, but they do notice you (especially if you are their "food slave"). You wouldn't have to escape-proof your tank, you would just have to protect any intakes with foam.
     
  17. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    I am definitely beginning to lean towards cuttlefish.... the journey brings back memories of when I was trying to raise seahorse fry when I unexpectedly found my tank full of them one morning. So exciting, so challenging, so emotional (good and bad).

    Little more reading and thinking to do, and then will be time to think about relocating the fish that are currently in the tank.

    Sue
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :roflmao: Shall we make this the understatement of the year? :wink:
     
  19. SueAndHerZoo

    SueAndHerZoo Wonderpus Supporter Registered

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    Can we take a poll or vote on which I should try first: cuttlefish eggs or an octopus? Keep in mind, I most definitely do NOT want to set up another tank at this point, so the home would be my current 46 gallon bowfront (with modifications).
    Sue
    P.S. It seems like I won't have a problem getting my hand on either (time will tell) because a LFS says he can easily get me an octopus and NY Aquatics can get me cuttlefish eggs, so nothing to sway me on that issue.
     

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