Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by asmilefixer, Nov 3, 2009.
Can I keep any coral in the tank?
Safe vs. unsafe varieties?
sure lots of us have corals. Just make sure they are not stinging corals. I have Gorgonia, Zoanthids, Mushrooms, Leathers, and Button Polyps.
I also have some anemones but there is no way to tell if they will bother your octo, mine don't seem too.
I have some kenya tree coral, mushrooms, frog spawn, and giant sun zanthids. The octo doesnt seem to be bothered by by any of them and they add good color to the tank.
You do understand the irony of that statement, right?
"I grow rose bushes and poison ivy in my dogs kennels. They don't seem to mind."
Hey......If i saw that it bothered him i would take it out right away. I would never ever put any thing that could hurt my octo in his tank!
That is why I made it a separate statement.
Also anemones aren't technically corals are they? I see my octo playing with my anemones frequently. So while they may sting my fish, they seem to have no effect on my octopus. She will actually reach in and take the anemones food.
Frogspawn I thought was one of the stinging corals.
I have seen him touch the coral and it doesnt seem to bother him at all. If it did i would take it out though.
I'll take the bait on this old discussion with some thoughts that have occured to me and hope we can get input to the idea without hostility. We really don't know what does and does not bother octos. We do know that infection can be deadly. We do think that some anemones can trap and kill them but, as with most things octo, size seems to matter. My real point of discussion, however, is not directly related to octos but is an indirect observation that Roy more or less allued to while discussing blue ring poison (very different in all ways from an anemone).
I have noticed that when I put a new anemone or even a ricordea into a small tank, I can detect with my hand when it is annoyed. The antler annemones I have can be particularly potent and have sent me to the vinegar bottle more than once (and I will swear that at least one of them has attacked my hand). After about 4 months (I may even think about getting burned a bit to get some timing), I do not feel them sometimes even with contact and in all cases the sting is reduced. Initially, I thought I was becoming immune but I have begun considering something else. I am starting to believe that SOME critters may loose their potency in a captive environment (what a great topic for a research paper if there is any merit). This would explain a number of discrepencies in observations. A small number of people have reported successfully adding an octo to a well established tank. If I understand timing correctly, CaptFish's tank was well aged when the octos were intoduced (of course some of the other tinies may have been anemone consumed early on but that goes back to size). An alternate may be that a coral becomes accustomed to the "smell" of my hand (not sure if they have chemical receptors but I would think so from observation) and assumes it harmless and not something to eat but I lean toward chemical changes over time in an aquarium.
Is this viable?
No harm intended on my part, but let's take into consideration people are coming here for the best advice possible on keeping a cephalopod of sorts in an aquarium, and for many of them this is their introduction to marine aquarium keeping in general.
Lots of reefers keep carpet anemones for example. Lots of reefers lose expensive fish EATEN by carpet anemones. It happens. The price paid for keeping multiple creatures in a box with limited space to avoid one another.
What kind of anemone, would be wise to say. Species, not common name. Some species are more potent than others. Sooo all in all a general term like "anemone" covers various species of potentially harmful creatures. I don't want to read about someone's new friend getting fried by a "Hellfire" anemone, eaten by a carpet anemone, etc. because, "(enter name here) said it was okay to keep anemones with my pet"....
Know what I mean George?
And yeah, Frogspawn is what most people I know use to wipe out colonies of nuisance corals. Because it has a very potent sting.
I know the "flower" and "long tentacle" anemones sting from personal experience. They don't hurt so much as just annoy the crap out of me. Feels like an itchy rash. My skin however is NOT octopus skin.
Know whatyamean jellybean and I always worry about people taking ideas out of context and running with a tiny part of the spectrum. However, somewhere we need to be able to look at ideas, present thoughts and expose experience without it sounding like advice. When I was honored with the staff request I wrote Tony about my concern of carrying the staff insignia and my interest in alternate or not on the record possibilities. Those who have seen my recommendations and my tank shots know I don't keep even as much as you kept with Kalypso with my octos but situations like CaptFish's (and several others) with reef tanks should be analysed to be able to isolate the combinations and conditions that work.
I never told anyone it was OK and to put an anemone in with their octo, All I have done is report the findings I have had through my personal experience. MY anemones and MY octo dont effect each other at all.
In addition, the area I caught my octo has TONs of anemones and Fire Coral. We only get in the water there if we lose a trap. It's also littered with Bullsharks.
I think some people around here live by guidlines that have never been truly tested. Now maybe I have some magical fish, I used heavy doses of Copper medication on my tank years ago when I kept oscars in it. oh and I also have brass hardware. Even with all that my octo is extremly healthy, and so far has lived longer than any of the octos since i joined TONMO. I guess I'm just a terrible Octo keeper.
Look dude, don't take it so personal. My interest is in the welfare of the animals, not accommodating the egos of those who keep them. I didn't say you are a bad octopus keeper, but I implied you may not be giving very good advice to those who don't know better.
Yes, they frequently encounter many more dangerous things in the ocean. They eat and get eaten, kill and get killed. No reason not to provide a fool-proof home in the aquarium though. The Dallas World Aquarium has larger-than-basketball sized anemones in the GPO tank. Guess where the GPO stays? On the glass or in its hole or in a corner where it isn't touching the anemones, which litter the entire live rock wall from side to side, top to bottom. It's sad really. Upon observing the GPO move around there's no doubt it is avoiding the anemones. I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of sitting amongst cactus patches.
I kept an Abdopus with fish in a community tank, twice. The Abdopus is a very small octopus. It was a 75 gallon drilled tank. Lots of space right? There was a baseball sized "Long tentacle" Anemone hosted by a mean old Gold-striped maroon Clownfish. Interesting observation I still remember from that, all the crabs in the tank moved to the anemone when the octopus was introduced. That octopus however denned up immediately so no real information was taken from that particular experience.
What? I kept an anemone with octopuses too? Yes. But I don't advertise it because it's just not the message I want to send out. An Abdopus could very easily avoid a small anemone in a large tank. A briareus in a 75 is going to have a really hard time avoiding obstacles. I'm assuming since anemones sting and snare prey, octopus aren't an exception. Perhaps too big or too strong for an anemone to outright kill, but common sense tells me "Potential danger".
I'm all about experimenting and expanding on the possibilities. I think there is a lot of potential in keeping Abdopus in peaceful community tanks with fish and even crustaceans. BUT, once you start throwing in variables, you are going to get mixed results, some good, some bad. More advanced keeping is for more advanced keepers, so we like to stick to the KISS system, give basic TRIED AND TRUE, sound advice, and then the more experienced people can test their ideas to their liking without misleading less knowledgeable folks.
Since I stirred up a bees nest and got the thread hijacked...
Best advice is stick to leathers, mushrooms, etc. Soft corals are easy to take care of and many of them don't require high power lighting, and are not harmful. LPS are generally stingy, some more potent than others, potential hazards. SPS are generally very expensive and require a lot of work, and are very brittle, require high power lighting... just not very practical at all for keeping in an octopus tank.
Octopuses like to horde objects, so anything that isn't fixed to a rock is probably going to end up in the den eventually. I don't suggest adding anything small, or anything expensive.
sorry I didn't know I was opening a healing wound on this forum. I have a 72 bow reef tank at home for the last 7 years. But new to the octo world. Took delivery of one yesterday and folloed all of the recomendations on another thead. He/she came in a snail shell so all I got to see of it was tentacles and an eyeball. Lights are out, planning on no light for 3 days, other than ambient light. Since I just have a flourescent fixture for it now( I read they didnt like intense light) hence the coral question. I would love to move some of my torch or frogspawn of leather tat have budded off , but I want the octo to be the focus. I have a 54 corner with sand bed and about25# of LR with many holes to hide in. Fiddler crabs should be in tomorrow, the LFS said it has been eating frozen brine. They have had it for on week b4 i took delivery.
Please start a journal on you new guy and include the info you have on your last post.
Brine is not an appropriate food and it is likely to be very hungry. You might try using a pipette with a thawed frozen mysis if you have some handy (shore shrimp even better).
Do you know what body of water was its original home? What colors are you seeing? White at rest and red/brown when excited?
when I got him he was hiding in a cerith snail shell so i would only seee a tentacle and an eyeball. The shell is empty now so I guess he is hiding in the rock. My friend at the LFS said it was red/brown and white at whitish at rest. I am not sure where he is hiding to fed by pipette. he is from Florida.
Recomm on water temp?at 75 now
Given the size of its home and coloration my guess is mercatoris. If this is the case, she/he will be nocturnal and you will need to set up red lighting to see your little fella active. Below are a couple of links to journals from captive raised mercs with links to their wild caught mother and captive bred children for you to review and see if there is a match in behavior and looks:
Varys' babies (O. mercatoris)
Trapper's Babies - Tank Raised Mercatoris
There are other good journals as well and you can find links to the species if you will scan the List of our Octopuses 2008 (we are just starting to see some for 2009).
When Colin and I were wriitng our book on keeping cephs, we had to wrestle with the question of corals. Our conclusion was that our advice had to be conservative and work for everyone.
We knew that some people had had success with other corals, and some had not. I personally had seen my octopus recoil when touching aptasia.
So, we listed some safe corals, such as mushrooms. You can have a good-looking tank with the safe corals. If the tank is large and the octopus can avoid the stinging corals (like they can in the ocean), that might work. Or, you might get lucky. But, when planning for a successful tank, be conservative!
Well the dilema I see is good light needed for coral(VHO, PC) but the octo being nocturnal. I could light it from 12A to 8A and then hope to see the octo during the day w no light on. But then the coral will be down.
Suggestions? How do you coral keepers do it?
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