Couple Questions...

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by SBDTHRU, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. SBDTHRU

    SBDTHRU Larval Mass Registered

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    Okay well first off, Im new to the whole saltwater thing, as I've never kept a sw tank before. But I've done quite a bit of research on the topic and with quite a bit more I think I can pull of a sw tank. Secondly, I've done some research on this site but I have a few questions that im wanting to get answered. Here's the idea I had.

    I really enjoy odd type fish, and the fact that octo's interact with there owner is just something that drew me to this idea. I've always been a bit afraid of the octo's when diving or something, you've seen the movie with the giant squid and such. But I know there going a lot cooler then I once thought. I was thinking, 55-85 gallon aquarium. 85lbs or so of live rock, sump filter, skimmer, and some basic lighting. The species I think will best suit me is a Bimac. I am basically dedicated to my Aquariums, the computer, and mowing lawns. And I think I have more then enough time to maintain a SW tank. Along with everything else I was also thinking that a chiller would be in order.

    Here are my questions

    1. Im confused on the pump part of a sump filter. I couldn't find anything on the websites that sold them about a pump.

    2. If I wanted to add a damsel to help cycle the tank how long do you think it would take. Would it still be the standard 3 months?

    Thanks for all your help in advance!
     
  2. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    You're right on all the equipment. A chiller isn't necessary but will extend the Bimac's life. Someone else can help you on the pump question, but you just need one that can move the water from your sump back to your tank. With that size, I would think a Mag 3-5 would be suitable, but someone else would be better to ask. You could use a damsel to cycle, it would still take 3 months, and the damsel could pick on the octo. It's best to just leave it with nothing for the 3 months. I see how you want something to look at. When I got my tank I stocked it with fish the 1st 6 weeks and they all died. They weren't all damsels either. Your tank will be a lot healthier (more pods and such) if you wait it out with nothing in it.
     
  3. Fishfreak218

    Fishfreak218 GPO Registered

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    3 month cycle = FALSE
    Your forum is the only one I have heard this 3 month rule from. Honestly, most tanks cycle in about a month [give or take a week or two]. Check out www.reefcentral.com or www.nano-reef.com or any other saltwater fish forum and they will most likely tell you the same thing. Why does everyone here think its 3 months?
    not trying to start a big fight but...
     
  4. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Impatience is the number one reason most people can't keep a fish tank.
     
  5. Fishfreak218

    Fishfreak218 GPO Registered

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    That is true but I still have never seen a tank cycle take 3 months. Maybe if you want it to mature a little and stabalize then I could see that but actually going through a cycle usually only takes about a month
     
  6. SBDTHRU

    SBDTHRU Larval Mass Registered

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    Neat! I would get the chiller because during the summer my room gets to 80-83 degrees. Another quick question would be, Bio-Spira (Think thats what it's called). It's supposed to cycle the tank in 24 hours or so. But im not sure if there copper or anything in it. But if it's safe and it will cycle the tank a little quicker I might use that. I think I'd just put a fish in there just for something to look at for a month. Then add the octo, and trade the fish into a lfs.

    Thanks! :wink:
     
  7. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Having the parameters stable is the reason it takes 3 months. A tank can complete the initial nitrogen cycle in one month. This should take out most if not all ammonia and nitrite in the system, converting it all to nitrate. Water changes is the only way to safely get rid of nitrate. After 3 months most the other parameters will be pretty stable.

    There's a wonderful thread about this on reefcentral that I guess I will have to dig up. Allowing your tank to naturally cycle is the only way to be sure everything happens right. There are many products that are said to start the biological filter in the tank and reduce the cycle time by half if not more; these are not very effective.

    I'll edit my post with the link once I find it.
     
  8. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    An octopus is similar to having multiple fish in terms of waste, so not only does the tank need to be cycled, but have enough bacterial colony to support this. A new tanks water parameters may read all zero after its initial cycle, but if the biological capacity of the tank is not enough to handle the addition of a cephalopod, you will experience a rise in nitrite and ammonia until the bacteria colonies "catch up". During this period, the ceph can suffer or even die.

    ive never had much faith in quick cycling chemicals. The only way Ive sped up cycling is from using already cured and mature live rock and live sand from another established tank.
     
  9. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    There are many cycles, and like Paradox I think nitrogen cycling isn't really the issue, rather its stabilization and building up a robust bacterial population.

    Even in the reefing world, one month is a rule of thumb and people suggest that after a month - assuming your ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites test out well - that you slowly add critters, and that those critters be healthy and hardy because 'mini cycles' do occur as the tank stabilizes. It is amazing to read about the number of problems new reefers have for the first 2-12 months in their thanks and more and more people are realizing that it takes a while for a tank to stabilize.

    Alson reality, many people shorten the recommended amount of time to let a tank mature, so making the generalization longer helps curb this tendency.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    FishFreak,
    Almost any tank will "cycle" (meet the initial 0 parameters with ammonia and nitrite) with good LR in a month BUT ALL reef books, magazines, authorities and keepers will tell you that you are taking the statement out of context. The tank, at one month, is "cycled" enough to start adding clean up crew and maybe some hardy macro algae. The tank is NOT cycled even for normal fish and, as so explicitly stated by Thales and Paradox, it is not stable.

    My experience with Bio-Spira is that it may help get you to the initial cycle if your LR is not fresh but any live bacteria does not seem to survive beyond the first month (i.e. doesn't grow). I saw a quick cycle and then several mini-cycles after starting a tank this way (and yes, I paid to get fresh and have it overnighted). Ultimately, the tank was still not stable until it was 4 months old.

    There are a lot of "short-cuts" mentioned n the sales literature and there are lots of cases of new tank syndrome. I was guilty and I'll bet Thales and Paradox have had the displeasure as well (corrections allowed guys :tongue:) . The only exception I know of that is successful is moving rock from a long term stable tank (not just from a cycle bin) into a new tank and even then it takes a month to stabalize (assuming new substrate). It is not unrealistic to say that it takes a year with good maintenance to bring a larger tank to full stability.
     
  11. SBDTHRU

    SBDTHRU Larval Mass Registered

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    Well im in no hurry to add anything. The reason I suggested the quick cylce is because if my LFS doesnt have bimac's, or octo's for that matter I would want the octo shipped in good weather conditions.
     
  12. Fishfreak218

    Fishfreak218 GPO Registered

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    maybe in your experience but others have had much other experiences... many people get their first fish at around 5 weeks [a little over a month] and alot of people put in their clean up crew at 3 weeks. I do agree that a new tank has to mature and it is best to wait a few months [for a high bio-load animal such as on octo or eel or shark]. But to say that someone starting a normal reeftank/fowlr cant add fish gradually [after the initial month-long cycle] is well..... IMO wrong because many people do this with succssess.
    Thats just my opinion... sorry for stealing this thread.. im pretty sure we have ended my part of the disscussion
     
  13. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    The point is, the longer a person waits, the better off their tank and its inhabitants will be. They might be bored with it for another 2 months or eaten up with anticipation but at least their animals won't have to pay for their impatience.
     
  14. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Hey sorry it took so long to find. RC has a terrible search feature (always too busy, how to do they expect me to buy nice corals and equipment AND be a paying member >.> :D). Anyway I finally found it and what a joy it is to read. It will make you feel smarter I guarantee it (unless you are already pretty smart, then it will just make you feel good that you found something up to par). Anyway here it is. I believe after the first few pages I just skipped most the posts unless it was by EricHugo (or it looked worth my while). Read it all if you have the time and patience though.

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=249112

    Sadly I don't think all the telling in the world will help someone that has never had a tank before. Most have to experience this, hopefully just once, before they will believe that you actually have to leave your tank with nothing in it for a good while. Oh well hope this helps some people with their next tanks or gives insight as to why it's important to wait.
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Shipposhack,
    Thanks for the link. I wish I could write up a description as definitive as Eric's initial litany on the topic. Excellent! It is so hard to convince new SW folks not to make the same mistakes most of us have made (kind of like my kids). A great learning forum topic would be "Failures and Their Analysis" but I am afraid the participation would be low since it is difficult to discuss the sad side of the learning curve even though a lot would be gained in the recording.
     
  16. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Yeah, no problem. Probably one of my favorite threads ever. You just have to be in the mood to read and have some time to read it all.
     
  17. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Wow...that link is one of the best, clear, easy to understand descriptions, of what happens in a tanks cycling I think I have ever read.
     
  18. Fishfreak218

    Fishfreak218 GPO Registered

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    :read::thumbsup:
    Thanks for that!
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Shipposhack,
    I just passed the link to one of Sealife's new customers who asked about increasing their clean-up crew order to include primary critters. The discussion is pure gold.
    Thanks again,
     
  20. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    You can go to Google and search any site, bypassing that site's own search engine. To find that particular thread, for example, I might go to Google and type in:

    "maturity issues site:reefcentral.com"

    Since I know the name of the thread it is easy. The problem is there are so many threads in the history of RC that it is hard to find a particular one because you have to find a handful of words that appeared in that thread and that thread only.

    Dan
     

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