faux tide-pool?

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Tentacle Toast, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    So I'm pretty close to being decided on the final layout of my tank build; it's going to consist of a 125gal main tank, & either a 40gal sump, or a 20gal long sump with an additional 20gal tank for keeping/rearing small food items (& idea I like & borrowed from these forums, but yet to be determined). The one thing I THINK I'd like to incorporate, unless advised against here, is an artificial tide-pool environment built around the rim on one side & the back of the main tank. I'm envisioning an area large enough for several small pockets of water with which to hide food (like small crabs), & new toys, as well as just being "fun" for the Octopus to explore. This space would be walled (tall with indoor/outdoor carpet, another idea gained from these forums), & securely lidded. As I'm buying a RODI unit, I'm going to replace the water in these shallow pools as part of daily maintenance, possibly giving it the occasional couple day dry out. My goal with this is hopefully to provide enough out-of-water enrichment to dampen the urge to escape, if not quell it altogether. I'd love feedback from anyone who's done this with regards to building materials, construction methods (though I'm good at this), or wether or not this would even be a wise endeavor...
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    A couple of members have discussed experimenting with a tidal pool but I don't know of anyone that tried it. Most wanted to leave the top open and THAT won't work. If the area is fully lidded, there is no need for the astro turf (which will get very nasty very quickly so if you are set on using it, make it removable and possibly keep a second set to swap while you wash the dirty one). In your design could you place a return so that it fills the tidal pool? You would probably want to use a Y on the main return and a flow valve on the pool side to control the speed of the "waterfall" or pool fill. Keep in mind that any splashing will cause salt creep and it might be better to run piping to fill it from the bottom and make a spring fed pool or stream. Do note that octopuses don't WANT to be out of the water. They come out foraging for food or during senescence not because they like to be (and should never get) dry so IMO a sometimes dry pool is not a good idea. If you feed fiddlers, they may inhabit the pool giving a hunting opportunity. Some snails climb out of the water (the - species unknown - ones I have from Savannah, GA have to be monitored to stay in the tank but I have found snails and hermits are often left alone when better food is continuously provided.
     
  3. Tentacle Toast

    Tentacle Toast GPO Supporter Registered

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    I'm not set on the astroturf at all; I saw it used in a photo here, asked, & was told that it's the one thing suckers won't stick to. I figured one more safeguard against egress wouldn't be a bad thing, but if its not worth the trouble, I'll most likely leave it out (or confine it to the uppermost border & lid). I keep reptiles, so I'm used to having several pre-cut replacement pieces on hand for when cleaning is needed & to minimize ware, so if I do go that route, I'm ready :) I figured I'd fill from the pools from bottom, using water piped from the sump(with a manual shut off once full from on the ebb), & then disposing of it every other to third day(with another manually controlled valve on the flow) as a partial water change routine, with the dry-out time used to cut down on algae growth as the lighting would have to be from the lid above the water, but would still illuminate the tidal area. If no one here has done it, there's probably good reason. My thought was that given their proclivity to escape coupled with their intelligence & need for enrichment (plus the fact that they're often encountered in tide-pools), that this may be a feature captive octopuses lack which might be instinctively engrained somehow, & lead to more escape attempts than would otherwise be present should such an area exist. They're so short lived as it is, I just want them to have the best. My heart would break if I walked in the door to find it either dead on the floor, or killed from equipment after traversing "escape-proof" piping. Oh well, just a thought. I've still much to learn...
     

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