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Coldwater Marine Setup in the Garage

Fishy

Blue Ring
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Feb 20, 2006
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#1
Hi,
Due to space problems inside my house and the unreliability of octopus species in the fish trade, I have been searching for alternate methods, and after visiting the Marine Biological Laboratory, I think I have found an answer. Their temperate species were kept in tanks that were semi outside, under a shelter. So I have thought about setting up a cool temperate tank system for Eledone cirrhosa in my garage, using a very large, non metal tub. The substrate will be fine sand, with added kelp and rocks. The tank will be firmly covered in a transparent plastic, with fluorescent lighting during the day for the algae. A tank containing shore crabs, Carcinus puber will be implemented to provide food. In winter temperatures get down to 34F minimum, but with a heater I will keep the temperature at around 52F. What do you think about this arrangement?
 

cuttlegirl

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Pittsburgh, PA
#3
I've done it in both Hawai'i and Southern California. I had a screen over the tank in Hawai'i (for cuttlefish) and a plexiglass cover for the one in California. How big is the tub? Are you sure that you need sand? Maybe you could just have live rocks... If you use live kelp, it will be hard to keep alive.
 

Fishy

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#5
Hi,
I live in Plymouth, Southwest England. Our hottest temperatures in summer are around 75F, but with a fan I'm sure I can keep the water temperature down. Water temperature in summer around Plymouth reaches around 60F. In Autumn it can reach 70F. Eledone cirrhosa is found in intertidal areas so it can probably tolerate a bit of temperature fluctuation anyway. It can also be found in the mediterranean so it can tolerate warmer water anyway. I just need to find a large tub and a suitable protein skimmer and I'll start building the setup. Luckily for me I should get the tank up and running for spring. I also considering rearing Sepia officinalis instead from eggs washed ashore.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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#6
If your reason for keeping these is enjoyment, are you going to be happy with it out in the garage? We considered doing something similar in our basement for raising animals once but my "pets" are kept about the house where I see them frequently without special efforts to go visit.
 

Fishy

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#7
Hi,
The garage is connected to the house by a door, its just like another room. The reason I want to keep one in the garage is because I can give it the best possible habitat there, instead of making it uncomfortable inside for my enjoyment.
Thanks,
James
 

DWhatley

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#8
I envision a new reading room with lounge chair :grin: They make a screen for garage doors to create a screened in porch effect for summer :wink:
 

DWhatley

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#10
It is not too difficult to install/hang fluorescent bulbs and they have some that are plugin (or you can add a plug to the bare wired ones) and are decent sized :sagrin: My aquarium wet room is in a section of the garage (my car is small so there is room in front of the car for a sink and DI unit :razz:) so we have made a few modifications :grin:
 

Fishy

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#11
Looks like I may have found a large tank (580 litres / 150 US gallons), complete with an external filter, internal sponge filters, temperature control system, lights and UV steriliser for around £200, which is amazing in my opinion. Hopefully I should be able to cycle the tank for a few months with some cushion stars, then buy a protein skimmer and have the tank ready for spring!
Thanks
 

CaptFish

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#12
VERY COOL! I am not a fan of the UV sterilizers because I think they not only kill the bad stuff but they also kill good stuff. Do you have pics of it?
 

CaptFish

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#14
awsome, just trade that UV for a skimmer:mrgreen:
 

Fishy

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#15
I definitely will swap the UV steriliser! Is it absolutely necessary for a RO unit? My plan is to fill the tank with rainwater, use a pH changer and put a calcium buffer in the tank, hopefully this should combat the metal ion problem. Would that be a good idea? Also, if I collected wild rocks for my temperate setup would that be the equivalent of tropical live rock? I am aware of pollutants etc, but Octopus vulgaris can be found around beach I am planning to collect them from, so pollution can't be much of an issue.
 

DWhatley

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#16
Live Rock is wild rock, aquacultured LR is rock put into the ocean for a few years. That is a sweet deal on the tank BUT there is a major concern with it being a freshwater setup. You will want to ask if they have ever used copper based medication. Since it is still setup they should have on hand any medications used. If you can get the name of the meds you can usually look up the contents on-line. Cephs are sensative to copper and Jean (Portabello Aquarium, NZ) tells a story of a small amount of copper wiring being lethal and required extensive measures before the aquariums tank to be used for a ceph again. It is believed that copper medications imbed into the silicone and will leach enough to make the tank lethal for the life of the tank.

It would be a good idea to filter your rain water (and think twice about an RO/DI unit but you would need a pump in your cistern that provides at least 60 psi (higher is better and produces less waste). Pollens and other pollutants as well as mold and mildew are a problem as well as bacteria (drinking water cisterns must be treated with clorine). You might consider using the UV in the cistern rather than in the tank.
 

Fishy

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#17
I have just asked about the copper medication. If he did use freshwater copper medication, is there away to remove the copper? Maybe by putting more sealant over the current contaminated sealant so it is sealed off? I have heard about 'Cuprisorb' but I'm not sure if it would work on the freshwater medication.
Also, about the live rock, what I meant to to ask was if temperate live rock is the equivalent of tropical live rock as a bio filter and cycling the tank.
Also, about the rainwater, maybe if I put it in the tank, treat it and ran it through the UV for a few days, would that be adequate? The rainwater is only a one off thing, when I do future water changes I shall use RO water from a LFS.
Thank you so much for bringing the copper treatment problem to my attention, you are literally a life saver :angel: !
 

DWhatley

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#18
I can only offer heresay on the copper. The current thinking is that silicone will never come completely copper free if exposed and the only way to ensure 0 leaching, must be fully stripped and replaced. The general recommendation is to avoid used tanks if you don't know for sure.

The retention properties for acrylic tanks are unknown by participants in prior discussions. I have several acrylics but only two with an unknown history. Another is known reef only use but not 100% on any kind of copper treatment, however, reef only use is a good bet for no copper. FOWLER use is questionable. The smallest acrylic that was likely a freshwater tank (and you can almost guarantee a FW tank will have been exposed to copper) for some or all prior life (and was likely unused for years) has successfully housed mercatoris through their natural life spans. The larger acrylic (60 gallon) was also a freshwater tank housing cichlids. The owners were unaware of copper based medications but there was no guarantee. It has housed three octopuses successfully for longer lifespans than poison would allow.

I have avoided buying used glass tanks (Maya's new tank is glass but I know the history and acquired it from the original designer).
 

DWhatley

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#20
I noticed the discuss and I did not use copper with mine but when I looked up treatments, copper was included. Most discus keepers will be very aware of what the are willing to put in the tank so asking would likely get you an answer but be sure to check if he kept anything else before the discus.
 

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