best octo for a reef.

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by fishkid6692, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    i have a 265g reef that i am setting up and i want to get an octo for it. i know it's risky. i have read a few stories on how people have kept them in reef tanks. what do think is the best octo i can get that will be the most reef safe? i was think a very small octo. maybe a merc? maybe i'll get 2-3 mercs for it. or maybe a hummelincki or A. aculeatus? thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Problems with keeping octopus in a reef tank are that many corals etc sting and octopus have very sensitive skin, what you maybe can't feel will be intensely painful, if not fatal for an octopus.

    Light: many, many corals need bright light so their zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) can photosynthesize, too low a light level and they bleach and die. Octopus on the other hand don't tolerate bright light, too bright and you risk, blindness, stress and death.

    be very careful what you put together!

    j
     
  3. Octodude

    Octodude Blue Ring Registered

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    I would also be mindful about putting octos in the same tank. That almost always ends in violence, so i would put some serious thought into the whole situation.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As long as you have dark caves and provide no or red light (filtered florescent has worked better for me rather than LED) the lights should not be a problem for Mercs but remember that they are noctural and you will rarely see them unless you remove abmient light and go to red lights consistently early in the evening.

    Multiples are also not a problem with the Mercs. They are, however, very shy and my limited experience has suggested that a small tank is more successful than a larger one if you want them to accept you during their awake time.

    I do have grouping of brown polyps in Octane's tank (hummelincki) and he shows a definite sensativity to the slightest contact. Mushrooms, gorgonians, Kenya and Ricordia do not seem to be a problem for Octane but I have not attempted corals with the Mercs other than a couple of mushrooms and a very benign sponge.
     
  5. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    You would lose an O. mercatoris in a tank that big REAL fast. Quite likely you would never see it after releasing it into the tank.

    There is no such thing as a "reef safe" octopus. If it doesn't harm the octopus the octopus will probably harm it. I keep lots of capnella (Kenya Tree) and anthelia (waving hand polyps), star polyps, xenia, some gorgonias, and macro algae. They grow fast, add color and movement, provide lots of cover, and they're safe to the touch. If they get destroyed they generally reattach.
    Avoid sarcophyton and lobophyton. They have some nasty chemical defense. There are various other leathers that do that also like lemnalia. Don't even bother with "carnation" or "strawberry" corals like dendronepthea and scleronepthea.
    All LPS I can think of are going to be threatening to the octopus. You're not going to want intense enough light to keep much as far as SPS goes, and I would avoid most of them as well anyway. I do keep a clam with mine for now. Whether or not it survives the entire duration of Kalypso's life with me, we'll see. So far she has climbed across it a few times but never stopped to investigate it.

    I use 216 watts of T-5's over my tank which is overkill for an octopus tank. She is typical of her species (O. briareus) and prefers night time activity, but she comes out with the lights on full blast occasionally. I haven't noticed any ill effects as far as her vision goes.

    Check out this book. It's a must-have for coral lovers in my opinion. Detailed information on pretty much anything you could want to keep. It can help you avoid any potentially harmful corals, which sadly is the majority of them.
    http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Corals-Selection-Husbandry-Natural/dp/1890087475
     
  6. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    i will provide many caves and overhangs so it can stay out of the the light if it wants to. and don't octopus live in harmony with coral in the wild? i won't be crowding the tank with coral so it will be able to avoid them. but which octo do you think would be best for a reef tank? thanks!
     
  7. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    i am usually up late at night so i would not mind being up late to see the merc. and even if i didn't see it all the time i think it would be great to have an octo in my reef tank.
     
  8. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    I was trying to avoid it so as to not give ideas, but since we're on the subject I'll discuss some other things I keep in my tank for the sake of sharing my observations. I've seen her touch an aiptasia and there was an obvious reaction.

    Encrusting montipora. Kalypso climbs across it often, does not react as if in discomfort.
    Turbinaria (Scroll coral). She climbs on top of it, across it, same.
    Birdsnest. Avoids
    Palythoas. Avoids

    It does seem like she knows what not to reach over or climb on. Perhaps through experience/memory. The bigger she gets though the more I'm considering stripping down most of the tank because it's going to get hard for her to avoid things before too long.
     
  9. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    "In the wild" octopuses have lots of room to move about. I'm sure they do hide/move among some corals occasionally but they are the corals the octopus chooses to hide near, not necessarily the corals you will keep with the octopus.
     
  10. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    so if i get a merc in a 265g won't it have plenty of room to avoid the corals?
     
  11. Inception7

    Inception7 Blue Ring Supporter

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    Octos with corals sounds like danger soup to me! Why not make the display a reef and put a 60 gallon to the same filtration for octo?
     
  12. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    yeah i guess i could do that. someone just gave me a 75g anyway. but i really want an octo in my reef tank. can someone suggest what kind of octo that i would have the best chance keeping it in a reef tank?
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    My biggest concern for a Merc is the size of the tank and the density of food. If you decide to try a merc, try feeding cyclop-eeze to one area every night at about the same time. If you can get it to accept you as feeder, you may then be able to tube feed shore shrimp and interact a little. My five were so very mixed in there behavior, it is hard to make generalizations but all would come out (or, in Miss Broody's case come forward) for food once I initiated the Cyclop-eeze. It took Trapper (wild caught adult - mother of the other five) much longer, however and she did not feed readily until she started brooding.

    Dom has experimented with an Octo in a reef and I believe he has a recent post about Glove (I have not yet read the post). His experience with two octos (same species, not Mercs) made him decide one was a better idea. Search for the bringing up Glove thread to read about his tank.
     
  14. fishkid6692

    fishkid6692 Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    i read that but thanks! i think i may try a merc. thanks everyone!
     

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