Hello.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by mattmclemore, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. mattmclemore

    mattmclemore Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello I'm Matt, a saltwater keeper from the Pacific Northwest. I have kept reef tanks for many years and am thinking I would like to try something different with the new 150g acrylic tank I just picked up. I have always been fascinated with Cephalopods but have always resisted keeping them due to their short life spans and also not wanting to give up my reef tank to have a solo octopus. We are in our own house now, so 2 tanks is an option which will allow me to have my cake and eat it too! I do have a few questions that will help me determine my best options.

    Is a 150 gallon tank over sized for keeping an Octopus? I know this will depend on species, something I have no clue about the differences of yet, but I am reading in my free time about this. As a general rule though for the species readily available in the industry is a larger tank always better? I have the option of transferring the contents of my 40 breeder reef tank into the 150 and keeping the octopus in the 40 breeder.
    I know that whichever tank I use needs to have a tight lid, and no way for it to get down into the sump which will not be an issue with either tank, but the 150 might be a bit easier in that department.
    I have a large Reef Octopus Cone skimmer, reactors for carbon and any other media I will need, and I run filter socks. Is there any other means of filtration that an Octopus tank would need, or that would be better?
    Being that I am in the PNW I am lucky to have Coldwater Marine Aquatics local to me and am wondering if the addition of a chiller to keep cold water species they could get for me would be a good idea? I seem to remember (I mat be wrong?) that cold water species have a longer life span and do well in captivity? This would also allow me to keep some of the beautiful cold water anemone's and plant life found here along the coast.
    My final question is in regards to lighting. Is subdued lighting better or does it not matter? The tank came with a 8x54w ATI Powermodule which puts out a ton of light and the 40 breeder I have has a similar T-5 fixture, would I be better off going with a less powerful light for an Octopus tank?
    Thank you for taking the time to read through this and any advice/help would be awesome! I look forward to doing as much reading as I can and learning all I can.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    :welcome: Matt - thanks for joining! You've definitely come to the right place. Our resident experts and enthusiasts will be with you shortly, I'm sure...

    :octopus:
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome Matt (oops, maybe I should have phrased that differently :oops:),
    We have another new member with similar thoughts so I will direct you to that thread for some of the things we recently discussed (Newbie tank: Temperate or Tropical?) The last few posters in the Octopus Care forum are also just starting their tanks and should be helpful. The one entitled my first octopus has a list of the animals we commonly keep and their points of origination. In addition to the bimacs, Octopus rubescens might be an option if Stu can locate one and you want to go with a good chiller (a 150 is NOT big enough for a GPO :grin:). It is not on the list because we don't see them often in the trade, likely because their temperature requirements limit the market desirability. Those that have kept them found them to be a great species but they do appear, arguably, to have a propensity to bite.

    As you are inclined to believe, bigger is almost always better. A 150 is larger than most of us have room for but not too large for any of the animals we keep except for the dwarf, O. mercatoris. A 40 is really too small for anything but a dwarf (and really almost too big for those unless you keep multiples). You will still want a sump to hold the skimmer and filter sock unless you partition off one end and configure it more like an all in one (Linda journaled her 120 split here). There may be other helpful ideas in the Tank Talk forum and the Tank Buildouts sticky has a linked list of some of the more complete tank set up journals. Also in the Tank Talk stickies is a HOW TO ... post with links to ideas for DIY configurations, including octoproofing the tank.

    Enjoy the reads and join the fun!
     
  4. haggs

    haggs Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Mat, welcome to another new world of learning. Having had reef tanks for many years and enjoying them, keeping a octopus is also very challenging and interesting.
     
  5. mattmclemore

    mattmclemore Larval Mass Registered

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    Thank you for the replies and warm welcome here. I have a lot of reading to do and the links provided are giving me some great places to start. It's funny, you get to the point with reef tanks where things become stable and then routine maintenance and just enjoying the critters follows, I am enjoying the thought of a new interesting challenge.

    I do have one other question I thought of, how do Octopuses do with running playing children? My kids are very respectful of my tank now but they do run and yell.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    In the beginning :grin: it was thought that quiet dark places were necessary. Over time it appears that this is not necessary and likely not desirable. It IS important that you provide dark hiding places where you cannot see the octopus and it can make a peaceful den but many, myself included, feel they actually do better with something to watch be it kids or another fish tank. Do note that some are very shy and never acclimate to tank life but most that survive the first month do well and are amazing to keep. I strongly emphasize NO FISH in an octo tank but allowing them to SEE other tank inappropriate animals is likely to be a good thing (predators may be an exception). We keep ours in the "breakfast" room (maybe it should be called the aquarium room where we eat) so they see us nightly. Additionally, the room is the main thoroughfare between the main house, my office, son's bedroom and the garage. We also have dogs that can't be missed and try to beat each other to the food bowls, racing through the room once a night. The octopuses adapt (oddly they rarely pay much attention or show much curiosity in the dogs). I think activity helps to encourage animals to come out and investigate, I don't see a shortened lifespan and I often have good luck getting many them to interact (fortunately, I don't get many negative complaints when I post interaction videos. Search, octopus dwhatley, on YouTube for some examples or checkout some of the journals).

    The kids can yell as loudly as the want as far as the octopus is concerned. Until fairly recently it was thought that they had no ability to hear at all. A 2009 study by Hong Young Yan in Taiwan has shown that they do have a physical means of detecting sound but there is only a very small range within human hearing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

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