Chiller for bimaculoides?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by abdopus147, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. abdopus147

    abdopus147 Blue Ring Registered

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    Hi, I am new to keeping an octopus and recently acquired an octopus bimaculiodes found in a local lagoon. I am currently keeping it in a 55 gallon mature (3 months old) tank and I live Southern California. My question is should I use a chiller? If so, what is a good brand for my needs and where can I get one? Thank you!
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The tank needs never to exceed 72F and keeping it below that will extend its life (or allow a more natural lifespan). Achieving this temp range usually requires a chiller. Diego's tank chiller is set to 68F and the tank is usually about 70F (I have an open sump so there is cooling loss). As a regular bimac keeper Joe-Ceph has written numerous care recommendations and you might look at some of his posts (link to profile on his name) or PM him directly if he does not reply soon. Diego has had life threatening problems with his eyes (or something related to his eyes) and no longer has a sense of up and down but he continues to eat and be active after lights out. I don't believe this has to do with the higher than desireable but within range temperate of his tank but the warmer water may have allowed whatever caused the problem to be more of a problem than in 65 F water. I will attemp another Bimac after he dies with the same tank and hope I don't see the same symptoms but wanted to add the cautionary note.
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Back in the earlier days of Tonmo, we were able to buy bimacs from a breeder who was only in business a few years. We had a number of people keeping bimacs, and were just beginning our research on the best conditions for keeping this species. So many bimacs were kept in tanks with water in the low seventies, without a chiller. The ideal temperature seems to be 68-69 degrees, as D said. However, in the wild, they may experience much higher temperatures for short periods, for instance when they are caught in a small tidepool during the day.

    Nancy
     
  4. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    But Nancy, they may experience occasional higher temperatures in tidepools and shallow coves, but that is only a small proportion of the population. Subtidal individuals will rarely experience any temperatures above 70-72. Furthermore, during the winter and early spring, bimacs will be in the 60-64 range. I keep my bimacs at a constant 60 F and several have lived for 2 to 2.5 years.

    Roy
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Good point, Roy. maybe I wasn't very clear with what I was trying to say. Yes, we should keep our bimacs at lower temperatures. But if one day the tank is 74 or 75 degrees ( power outage, for instance), your bimac won't die.

    Congratulations on reaching two years with your bimacs. The bimac at Dana Point, which was kept in the same conditions found in the area off Dana Point where it was captured, was our previous record holder. I'd have to look it up - I think a couple of their bimacs had exceeded 2 1/2years.

    Nancy
     
  6. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I'm with Roy. I recommend a chiller, and a temp of about 62. The natural surface temp where I catch bimacs is between 57 (Feb) and 68 (Aug). I feed only every three or four days, and my last bimac lived to be over two years old.

    Other reasons for a chiller are that it enables you to keep other animals, that you can catch yourself, that aren't as tolerant of warm water as a bimac (like strawberry anemone (corynactis) and Gorgonians), and it slows down all the metabolic processes in your tank, so you can feed less often, and do water changes less often. You also get very little evaporation, and so rarely need to top off the tank.

    I'm a huge fan of JBJ Arctica chillers. I've run a 1/4 hp JBJ Arctica chiller almost continuously for four years. I found it used on Craigslist for between $300 and $400 (I forget).

    You can keep electricity costs down by using lights and pumps (external) that add little or no heat, and by insulating the bottom, back (at least) of your tank. Also, an acrylic tank will reduce or eliminate sweating (condensation) a bit better than a glass tank. I'm extra frugal, so I insulated three sides of my tank (recommended), and double-paned the other three (only recommended if you like a DIY challenge)

     

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  7. Wafflez777

    Wafflez777 Blue Ring Registered

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    What a good chiller model or brand?
     
  8. Wafflez777

    Wafflez777 Blue Ring Registered

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    O sorry didn't reed the last post nvm.
     
  9. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I could add that another reason I like JBJ Arctica chillers is that they are very quiet.
     
  10. Wafflez777

    Wafflez777 Blue Ring Registered

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    How do I insulate the tank?
     
  11. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    You can insulate the tank by covering the bottom of the tank (on the outside), the back, and maybe one or both sides with anything that heat has a hard time passing through. If you plan to use a sump, on e possible trick is to use a plastic ice chest, instead of a glass or acrylic box, as your sump.
    For the tank, I've tried a few options:
    1) Styrofoam brand insulation board. You can find it at home improvement stores or lumber yards in various thicknesses. I usually buy 1" thick, use 1 layer for one side of the tank, and one or two layers for the back. I use 2 layers for the bottom of the tank. You can measure and cut it to size with a hand saw, or power saw. It's blue, and not very attractive, so I usually go to the fabric store and buy a couple yards of black vinyl (cheap) to wrap each cut piece of Styrofoam in, like a present, using black duct tape. You can even sew the vinyl to make a custom fit cover for a cut piece of Styrofoam. Attach it to the tank back and side(s) using adhesive Velcro (sew the Velcro to the vinyl, and stick it to the glass) or black duct tape. cut a piece to fit the bottom of your tank, and place it between your stand and your tank (it can easily support the weight). If your tank is already full, you can still attach Styrofoam to the exposed parts of the bottom, or to the underside of the wood your tank rests on. Actual Dow Styrofoam brand insulation sheets are rather stiff, and so work well for glass tanks because they don't bow. the walls of acrylic tanks bow out a little, so you'll need to use generic (usually white) styrofoam (not Styrofoam brand) that are a little bit flexible.

    2) Fiberglass insulation, like for an attic, or a water heater blanket, or Polyester batting (like they use to make quilts - from the fabric store) You would need to make a cloth cover, like a big pillow case, put a layer of insulation into it, and then find a way to attach it to the sides, back, and bottom of the tank.

    The front and maybe one or both sides of the tank are still uncovered, and letting a lot of heat in, but it's a lot harder to insulate transparent surfaces. Using an acrylic tank is a little better than a glass one, but to really insulate transparent sides, you need to glue a 1/4" to 1/2" spacer along the edge and attach a second pane of glass or acrylic, to create a sealed air space between your tank, and the new sheet of glass or acrylic. This is difficult to do correctly, but I've done it, and I've learned a few tricks. I'll write up the method if anyone ever feels ambitious and wants to try it, but that's another (long) post.
     

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