Cadre's 85g cephalopod build!

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by cadre, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    I figured I would finally start a build thread for my new tank. It's still a work in progress but things are coming along nicely. I am building it with an octopus in mind but hopefully it will get used for a variety of animals including Cuttlefish in the future.

    So the tank is a acrylic, it's about 85g and kind of an odd shape. I'm going to be refinishing it the best I can and using back chambers to make it into an all-in-one. I started building my stand today as well, I'm hoping to get it stained tomorrow. It's nothing fancy, just an open frame for the time being. I still need to get bulkheads so I can properly leak test it (it was already drilled so I'm capping the holes for now).

    Things to come include:
    Led lights
    A HOB skimmer
    Return pumps
    Koralias with wave making controller
    Many other fun things!

    I'll take some photos tomorrow for you guys.
     
  2. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    Pictures: (sorry about the quality, they're from my phone)
    Stand: (you can't see it but it is reinforced at the top to support the acrylic tank)
    [​IMG]


    Tank: 60"x18'x20'h not counting the right corner being cut off.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the octopus I've been taking care of in the store. Hopefully when I get there today he will have already gone home with this new owner. Poor guy needs to get out of the critter keeper. (I'm thinking he's male, dunno about the species though)
    [​IMG]

    I plan to apply the second coat of stain to the stand tonight and I'll take another picture. We're gonna try to move the tank and the rest of our belongings down to our new apartment tomorrow. Then the real fun begins!
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Look like O.briareus too me.

    by those dimensions 60x18x20, it is a 93 gallon tank, but it is prob 85 when you subtract the overflow area. IMO that is near perfect dimensions for an octo tank.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm going with aculeatus since I think I see a star around the eye and the color looks goldish/tanish. Since the third arm clockwise, looking in down on and in the same direction as the octo is bent around and not displayed, I will assume it is curled and, if so, would help validate your sex id as best we can without taking them apart (note R1 is crossed over to the left side). If you can get a good look at that arm (not easy to do since these guys seem to be in constant movement), there will be a channel along the arm and a different tip from the other arms. In spite of what Roy and Crissy say about it being easy to find, I can never see the channel or the tip clearly in a live animal but have seen it in some of my photos. If I have not sent you there already :old: look at the examples of males in the Sexing an Octopus thread. Be sure to send the new keeper our way if you happen to be there when he finally picks it up.

    Do a little current reading on putting a wave maker type device on Koralias. Last I read they burn out easily if you turn them on an off frequently (mine just run 24/7). Dfinitely post what you find, either way. Love the tank. On the stand (looks great) you might consider a center brace long ways on the back supports to ensure there is no diagonal movement.
     
  5. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    i think your right, I zoomed in on the picture and it does appear to have the star pattern around the eye, also what i thought was webbing was not. i change my guess, and agree with D.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I wish my boss and spouse were so easy convince :wink:
     
  7. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    Captfish: if it weren't for the right corner being cut off it would be 93g but it has a weird angle so I'm calling it 85g. It's not perfectly accurate but I'm okay with that.

    As far as the stand, there are at least two angled screws in each support so there is zero side to side movement. I'll see what else I can do though. And from what I've read that the Koralia evolution pumps are okay with wave makers but I'm not set on it. I have a used one at work we need to get rid of. We aslo have a tunze set with pumps. Would that be octo-friendly? They look really similar to me.

    The new owner of the octopus hasn't called us back for a week but one of our good customers called today wanting an octopus and his tank is ready so we gave him 24 hrs to come get this guy. He should be going home tomorrow so I won't get to talk to him as I'm off from work for my birthday. I'm thinking he is a male and an aculeatus (technically you both agree with me). One thing that's pretty cool is that while he is yellowish at rest, he sometimes changes to mottled black with a white stripe running down his mantle. I dunno if that's specific to this species but I like it. He's eating crabs really well but I haven't gotten him to eat frozen krill yet. Last time I tried he decided to take my tongs instead (shiney!). If I get a chance I might try feeding him by hand since he's happy to interact with me but he never acts like he wants to bite. Unfortunately my tank isn't ready yet or he'd be mine!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Shiney not required. Octopuses claim all feeding sticks :grin: He may try to claim your fingers when you try to hand feed (or pet). Be firm about not letting him draw your fingers into his webbing but don't jerk away (just hold your ground). Avoid offering food while he is on the rocks (make him come to the glass) or the rocks will be disrupted. Since he is in critter keeper, this really isn't a problem now but keep it in mind for later. I have found the best way to get them to stop pulling is to touch the back side of the arm that is pulling with another finger. Sometimes this gets a bit tangled since you only have five fingers on one hand but he won't likely use all eight arms to pull. We have only seen one octo that tried to come up to the fingers (the norm is to pull down). It is not clear that they want to bite but avoiding the opportunity for them to nip is an agreed precaution. That being said, you can see full trust in many of my videos where I wrap my hand around an octo and he/she squishes through. I only start this kind of "play" when they no longer grab and it is not something everyone wants to do.

    The skunk stripe is common to most octopuses but not the briareus. Cone head is another common look many display and often combined with the skunk stripe. Sadly, once they are really comfortable with their environment and keepers most of the cool displays are not seen.
     
  9. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    So we moved everything down to my apartment and discovered that the holes in the stand for the bulkheads were too far forward. I'm waiting for my husband to bring the saw down so we can fix it but it will required cutting out part of the support frame so I need to reinforce that. Also, I'm having trouble findin the right size of bulkhead for this tank. I bought two schedule 40s from work and they were too small so I'm ordering schedule 80s and hoping that works. In the mean time I picked up localize for returns only to find out those won't fit so I am using two maxijet 1200s mounted in the return holes. Hopefully that's not too much flow through the back.

    In the mean time I'm working on buffing out the tank and fashioning a lid. This tank is proving harder to octoproof than a glass one. People keep telling me to use astroturf but I'm fairly sure that won't work for a small octo. And thoughts on this?

    Work has been busy but I'm slowly making progress on the tank. I'm fairly positive I will be using the new panorama pros for lighting. :)

    Edit: by the way, my octo at work finally went to a new home with an experienced ceph keeper. I haven't heard anything from him so I'm hoping he's doing okay. At least I have some rays to take care of now so I'm not completely bored at work!
     
  10. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've never used it, but the idea behind astroturf is that it's impossible for a suction cup to stick to, so an octopus can't get a grip on it. They either dont try to walk across it because they can't pull themselves onto it, or because they don't like being on surfaces they can't grip well. My thinking has always been that if an arm is long enough to reach over a strip of astroturf and get a grip on anything on the other side, then an octopus could pull themselves over the astroturf. So if my thinking is correct, astroturf is only safe if you install a "mote" of astroturf that is wider than your octpus can reach across, it isn't safe, so it would only be practical for small octopus in large tanks. Maybe someone with some actual experience with astroturf will chime in.
     
  11. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    Yeah, I can't really find much information from people that have actually used AstroTurf with smaller octopuses. I know they say it works with the local aquariumsp's gpo but other than that I can't find much experience. Plus, the smaller the octopus the less likely it is that will work.

    I wouldn't be as worried about it but I want to keep the back chambers open so I can run a fan over the top for cooling or maybe ice probes if needed. I was talking to someone about having a lid cut that can sit in the openings around the top but apparently that would have decent sized gaps so that is not an option. Maybe I can just use a screen since the panoramas are fairly waterproof? Then the question is how to I clamp it down.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Astroturf will get nasty, I would avoid it.

    The top lids are pretty easy to secure if you are willing to spend the money on acrylic. The overhanging top already goes a long way for octoproofing. What we do for tops when an overhang is already in place (otherwise we create one) is to use acrylic cement to glue acrylic strips along the inside of each opening, creating a 1" lip on three sides (front and two sides). Then cut lids the size and shape of each opening using acrylic of the same thickness as the tank top. Attach the lids with an acrylic hinge and secure the front with acrylic hasp locks (I use 3M automotive trim tape for the hasps rather than trying to permenantly attach them).

    We drill pegboard style holes in the lids to help allow heat escape from the water surface. In the first photo, I used a sponge in the overflow box as well as a night light over the mini-sump area to dissuade passage while Cassy was small. Using a sponge is tricky because you don't want to block the flow but it is much easier to clean than astro turf and is not someting they can latch on to.
     
  13. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    D,
    Do you have trouble with your acrylic tops bowing over time? How thick is it?
    Do you need to put a peg or something through the hole in each hasp to secure it, and if so, how often, if ever, do you forget to insert the peg(s)?
     
  14. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    I would like to do something similar to that D, but I'm really noT sure how to go about it. The problem I have is that none of the openings at the top are square, they all have rounded corners and one is an odd shape. Even if I trace them and take it to my acrylic guy, he would apparently have to cut them small to make sure they fit. I'm told to expect 1/8-1/4 inch gaps on each. To me that seems like a problem. Then there's the little false wall dealio which doesn't come up all of the way so I have to cover that 1/2 inch gap.
     
  15. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I use 1/4" Lexan on four of my tanks and it has yet bend or distort in any way, it is exactly how I cut it years ago. I also did not drill holes in mine as I depend on my sump for all the gas exchange.
     
  16. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Just lay the hinged door on TOP of the existing holes, and make the door/top a little larger than the holes, so they overlap. You don't have to make the top fit down into the existing holes, it should just lay on top and cover them.

    Are you talking about the gap between the top of the overflow wall inside the tank, and the underside of the top of the tank? Yes, you need to fill that gap, and the water will flow through slits cut into the top of that wall, so you'll need to make sure that there are enough slits to handle the rate of water flow from your return pump, since excess water won't be able to flow over that wall after you fill the gap. You can buy 3/8" or 1/2" acrylic rod or tubing from HERE, and "glue" it to the underside of the acrylic top above the top of that wall using Weld-On.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    As Joe-Ceph mentions, you CAN cut lids that are larger than the openings and attach them to the outside (for this I would recommend glass rather than acrylic to avoid warping gaps). I perfer that they sit flush with the top so we attach the strips to the INSIDE so that they stick out 1" beyond the opening. This gives you the wiggle room you need for your tracing since even at 1/2" difference you will have supporting overlap with the underside brace.

    Joe-Ceph, yes I do get a small amount of warping with 1/2" acrylic but by placing the tops flush and using the hasps, they stay flat or are corrected to flat when closed and latched. The hasps do have a peg hole (designed for a lock) and I have had trouble finding anything but bamboo skewers to fit them well. However, you can get them tight enough so that when they are latched there is a bit of a snap. In truth, with a good overlap like on an acrylic tank and a flush top, the octos don't have much leverage and I have never had one to even come close to putting an arm tip through the openings (another advanage of a recessed top since the actual opening is not directly accessable. I only use the pegs in places where I have the lids on top of the surround (not recessed) and that is mostly for warping (or to keep it from warping).

    You should be able to keep the octo out of the back (depending on size - the smaller the animal the more likely it will seek the back) using a sponge placed just below the teeth/turrets. An additional help is with the use of lighting for nocturnals. While Cassy was small, I kept a sponge (after she took a trip through the overflow) where she would feel it if she investigated (I don't think they like the feel). As she got bigger, I put a night light over the sump area but mine is all the way right and not across the back so lighting it was simple. With my adults in the tank with the pseudo sump, I don't have to keep anything there.

    Diego's tank has a square overflow box fully inside the tank so I always use a 2' long sponge inside the box (regardless of animal size) to keep him out and it works very well (the tank has housed many octos and none have ever entered the overflow but have put their arms in to check it out) but that tank is bottom drilled and I don't have to worry too much about the sponge blocking the water flow to the sump (Diego makes it a challenge to remove and clean the sponge though). Since you won't be using an external sump, I would look for a simple way to incorporate a sponge(s) (you can buy them by the inch, the courser the better) along the full sump area.

    The rounded corners are not big deal. Cut the acrylic square and use sandpaper (you will need to sand all the edges where you cut acrylic or you will find your hands frequently nicked - voice of experience). Sand all the edges (being careful to avoid the viewing surface then place a piece of sandpaper on a flat surface and drag the corner edge evenly along it. Go slowly as it will sand down more quickly than you would think. Using a very fine sandpaper over all the edges will give a nice professional look but the initial sanding is for your hands not esthetics. This is particularly true if you use recessed strips to support the top only it is your wrists that will take the beating.

    I have not tried lexan for tops and may attempt one if we redo Little Bit's scavenged top since it looks like we will be keeping that tank long term. I know it does not sand well for scratches (I believe Diego's tank is lexan and it won't polish out) but if it warps less, it is well worth looking into.
     
  18. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I learned as a kid when I kept snakes that I'm too absent minded to be able to safely trust myself to always remember to latch a lid after I close it, so hasps like those, that need to be flipped down and maybe also have a stick put through the hole, aren't safe for me. I wanted a top that would latch itself just by being closed, so came up with a design that works great, and is easy to put together, but a little hard to explain, so I hope this picture helps:


    The important thing to realize, which isn't obvious in the picture, is that the round rod is only attached at the far end, where it is inserted into a 1" long piece of hollow square tubing. The square tube piece is glued down to the top/door/lid, leaving the rest of the length of round rod floating 1/16" above the surface of the top/door, and able to easily flex an inch or two left, right, or up when I grab the free end of the rod. To open the top, I grab the free end of the round rod, flex it a little to the left so that it clears the hook, and then lift it up, opening the hinged top. When I close the top, or as it falls closed by gravity when I simply let go of it, the rod hits the angled part of the hook, which flexes the rod to the left as it moves down until the lid closes far enough that the rod springs back to the right into that notch in the hook. The little rectangular thing that encloses the near end of the round rod is glued down to the top, not the rod, and acts as a guard rail to limit how far left, or up, the rod can be flexed, making it hard for me to accidentally over flex the rod and break it. When I lift up on the near end of the rod to open the lid, the near end of the rod pushes up on the underside of that little rectangular rail, and so lifts the lid from its front edge, rather than putting too much torque on the far end of the rod where it's glued to the lid near the hinged side. I made the "rail" by cutting a 1/4" length off the end of some 3/4" square acrylic tubing, and then cutting that in half to get two of those little three sided rails. The I just glued it down to the acrylic top, straddling the round rod.

    Anyway, this latch setup works perfectly, and is foolproof - just close the lid. My bimac (crazy strong) can push as hard as he wants, and will never be able to lift the lid, and I'll never forget to latch the lid. The 1/4" round acrylic rod, square acrylic tubing, and 1/4"x 3/4" rectangular rod (to make the "hook") can all be ordered fairly cheaply from eplastics.com, as well as the acrylic hinges, Weld-on, etc.
     
  19. cadre

    cadre Blue Ring Registered

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    Alright guys so I don't have a lid worked out yet, or any real lighting but I gota good deal on rocks, sand, and a clean up crew so we are moving all of that stuff in tomorrow. It should be interesting. Hopefully the bulkheads hold, they leaked the first time I tested them. I flipped them around and that seems to have done the trick but I only tested with 8 gallons or so of water.

    Pictures to follow!
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you polish the tank?
     

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