Dimensions vs. Capacity

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Sap, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Sap

    Sap Larval Mass Registered

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    I am looking at setting up an 86 gallon tank, with the intention of getting an octo, but am curious as to how much the dimensions of a tank come into play, rather than water capacity.

    The dimensions of this one are 48x20x20, is that sufficient? My alternative is a 55 gallon hexagonal tank, which is taller but less room all together...

    I'd like to ensure that I set this up properly the first time, so any input is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to TONMO :welcome:

    Both are important. it is good to have enough room for your freind to be able to swim and move around, but it is also important to have enough volume to maintain good water chemistry.

    48 x 20 x 20 sounds good to me it is a nice combination of width, depth, and length. it should accomidate a number of different species quite nicely.
     
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  3. Sap

    Sap Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks Dave! i've been a lurker here for a year and just now decided it's time to start putting all the money I've saved into making an Octo home!

    hopefully I'll have my tank setup within 6 months!
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to non-Lurker status Sap! I have a couple of hex tanks and a couple of rectangular tanks (as well as a large pent). The rectangular are by far easier for maintenance. If you have the room for the 20" depth, that helps a lot with both asthetic and quality rock arrangement. The only thing that would be slightly better (and I understand is not an option) would be to have the tank taller. A full 24" of height (which is harder to clean) allows for more arm extention when they climb along the walls.

    If you are building this tank our and not buying used or are converting a freshwater tank to saltwater and plan to use a sump, lowering the overflow box to provide an inch additional air space at the top (roughly 2 - 2.5 inchs total) has seemed to be very helpful for dissuading escape attempts (you still need a secure lid).
     
  5. Sap

    Sap Larval Mass Registered

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    Dwhatley, fortunately everything you said is pretty much exactly what I was expecting. I would like to provide a little extra height for a little man but that might not really be necessary given cost-benefits. Hopefully the stubby tank will suffice for now; i'm looking to secure a bimac but only time will tell there.

    The local fish store is owned by a marine biologist; fish safari in Virginia Beach. I talked to then briefly today and they agreed on 50+ gallons and what I had would be fine.

    is it recommended to try and acquire marine life through a LFS or online generally? I just moved to the area so not sure on their expertise.also, any benefit to buying LR locally? I've always bought online.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Forgive my verboseness if it was too much more than you wanted but I find that new keepers (particularly those starting new tanks) often hunt down and read this kind of question and I try to help with setting the tone of the amount of work and expense to expect :grin:

    I am strongly against acquiring natural rock (often marked Figi or some other tropical island) that has been harvested from live reefs for conservation concerns so I will only mention aquacultured rock. IME, there are three typical ways to acquire live rock and you can mix them as long as you accept the time needed to cycle the last of the rock that goes into the tank (or cycle new rocks separately in a holding bin). My preferred route is to find a LR farm that sells directly to the public. This is my first and most used choice as damage to the environment is pretty much non-existent (and with the farm I use, beneficial). It is also fairly cost effective depending upon how you ship. The next best way is to find someone with a tank they are breaking down. Again, the environment is not negatively effected for the new tank. You can often find this locally, the cost is the lowest of the the three and you can view the rock before bringing it home. However, when someone is breaking down a tank, the care of the tank may be questionable. The third is through an LSF. Advantages are to pick and choose your rock and support your local store but often the rock is not well cared for may or may not be very alive and may or may not be aquacultured.

    If you buy direct from an LR farmer and want to take the time, you can often email them asking for fresh uncured rock and give them time (or ask them their schedule) to hold the order until the next collection. You never know what you will get of course but it makes cycling a tank much more interesting. Some of mine has produced sponge years after being in a tank. Unlike sponges that come ON the rock (you will need to remove this with a brush), sponge that grows in the tank from the rock will survive. It won't be the bright orange/red tree or ball sponges that you can purchase but more of a rock encrusting type. Just this year I have some incredible pink that I am curious to see if it will live in other tanks and has spread enough to experiement, a green mass and some off white (most common but not as striking as the other two). Coraline algae, small feather dusters (lots of white but occasionally bright orange) and interesting worms that will "spark" bioluminescence when touched are a few of the things I have found after the rock has been long established. You will also take more of a chance of acquiring excessive brissel worms and occasionally mantis shrimp or gorilla crabs that are not reef safe but not a problem for most octopuses. I have captured one mantis and kept him for several years. Unfortunately I missed finding what I am afraid was its mate and when I tried to catch it, the octo found it first. The most interesting hitch hiker story I have ever read is an oldy but a goody that should likely get the post of the decade award (it did get the post of the year recognition) and I invite you to read My best hitchhicker is an octopus on Reef Central when you have at least a half hour of reading time. :grin:
     

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