Hi, new to cephalopods

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by twiggyb, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. twiggyb

    twiggyb Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Just thought I'd join this forum now before I venture into them so I can know more. I've read a little about octos and cuttles in magazines and on RC and I've seen a book recommended on cephalopods in home aquaria that I'm going to order so maybe the answers I'm looking for will be in there as well, but for now I was wondering how do you keep your octos from crawling out? I would like to see some pics of set ups so I can get an idea. Like I said, there is probably a lot explained in the book, I just have a strong curiousity and too much excitement to wait:grin: Hope to learn a lot by reading through here!
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: to TONMO

    I dont have a picture of it but I just have a peice of Lexan/acrylic that i cut to be the same size as the top of my tank, and I keep a jar of quarters on top of it for weight. simple.

    I think the book you are talking about is 'Cephalopods: Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium' if so, great! Plus the book was written by two of the staff members here on TONMO, Nancy and Colin.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :welcome: There are lots of discussions and photos on tank tops in the Tank Talk Forum (Forums->Tank Talk). Members have used everything from screening to acrylic, duct tape to weights.

    There are several people starting out now so watch the other newbe posts for similar questions (or ones you don't think to ask) and their progress. Reading the book will give you a great start as well as reviewing the articles (Home->Articles).

    For a vicarious taste of octo keeping, start reading some of the journals (Forums->Journals and Photos) as well as posts in the Octopus Care section (Forums->Octopus Care)
     
  4. twiggyb

    twiggyb Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Yeah thats the one, I love reading up on anything that has to do with reefing. How difficult is it to actually get an octopus? Is there somewhere online people get them from that is known to carry or is it mostly lfs' with whatever they can get there hands on? I'd like to get a species that can be kept in a small aqaurium. Which species is suitable for this and how little of a tank can I do?
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have a forum for that too :wink: (Forums->Sources for Cephalopods and Food)

    Your size question is typical for most people interested in becoming keepers and we need to address this in a common post. I think Nancy is working on a mini-article/post to present tank sizes for commonly available octopuses (hint, hint). The short of it (if I am ever short with a post) is that octopuses need a larger tank than you are planning.

    There is one commonly collected dwarf (there are over 300 species and about half are in water depths - don't quote me, it may be somewhat less than half - that would make them viable for an aquarium but species availability is very small), O. mercatoris that "fits" a small tank (15-30 gallons) and is the only one we have successfully kept together in multiples. However, it is nocturnal and not often human interactive. I enjoy keeping the mercs but in addition to other species (I started with these, however, and still enjoy them).

    Aquarium sized animals only live for somewhere between 12 and 18 month (natural life span) and we don't have anyone breeding the few that are viable to be captive bred (you will read about small and large egg species in Nancy's book) so setting up a tank needs to take into consideration that there will be multiple animals housed over time and that availbility of a specific species varies. A 45+ gallon tank will house a small hummelincki (but we see some variation in size and the larger ones do better in a larger tank), an aculeatus or member of the abdopus complex, a small macropus complex animal who's species is not clear (both Indonesian, primarily at LFS or through Live Aquaria) and a bimac (currently only available if you catch it yourself and needs a chiller - a 55+ may be more appropriate for this species).

    The most commonly available animal is O. briareus because it is often found in crab/lobster traps and a few of the licensed Florida fish collectors will buy and sell them to the public during crab season. O. briareus and the larger hummelincki need 65+ gallon tanks.

    Sumps are heavily recommended for both the extra water volume and for securing the top.
     
  6. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    This time of the year they are hard to get. We tipically see them in the fall and spring. You just have to keep an eye on the Octopus Availability thread


    what are calling a small tank? we generally recommend at least a 55, for most species but a few require larger. The dwarf species can be kept in a 30. but these guys are nocturnal and very sensitive to light. They will ot come out if there is any lights on except red, and possibly green. These dwarfs are aslo not interactive like the others.
     
  7. twiggyb

    twiggyb Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Gotcha, thanks for the info. I was just wondering smallest recommendation, I didn't have a size in mind. I have a 30g hex I was going to make a seahorse tank, but maybe not. Unless if the hex design is a bad choice for these inverts? I just placed an order for that book to be here tomorrow! Can't wait. Although it'll probably be a while before I actually set up a tank for one, especially if it has to be a 55.
     
  8. cephlapodlover

    cephlapodlover Blue Ring Registered

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    Well truthfully the only octopus you could place in a 30gal aquarium would be a macropus, a tiny nocturnal octo, so you might not see much of it. Most people really like to get octos for the movement during day, unless your a night lurker like me ;). And hex doesnt seem like a great choice because octopuses mostly stay burrowed in their den or stroll around, and they dont swim around a lot cause the have to jet and it wastes a lot of energy...... alsooo if they get scared and jet there is a higher chance of getting a scrape or "butt burn" from the tank or LR, the hex might also cause some confusion in how they see you and get scared more frequently.

    A 55gal would be much better recommended for the smallest size for most octopuses (besides macropus). But bigger is better in the case of captivity. Hope I helped.
     
  9. cephlapodlover

    cephlapodlover Blue Ring Registered

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  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I think cephlapodlover is referring to O.mercatoris (often referred to as O. joubini both Caribbean nocturnal dwarfs and were thought to be the same species for many years). There is a small animal in the Macropus complex (all are nocturnal but some get rather large) that we see from time to time (usually from Live Aquaria) but it would require a larger tank. I have had the pleasure of keeping two of them and if you can acclimate to their schedule, they are gentle, sweet and interactive animals.

    The 30 hex would be excellent for a merc (a 20 with heavy water changes works well anything larger than a 30 will loose the animal), especially if you created a LR sea mount (my new term for a "pile of rock" aquarium LR arrrangement :grin:), however, as cephlapodlovers points out, they are nocturnal and not often social. Most keepers rarely see them but you can keep multiples of this species (only mercs) in this sized tank. I keep a 24/7 red light on my tank and that seems to be helpful for at least some viewing.
     
  11. twiggyb

    twiggyb Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Yeah I saw a pic of your tank with a red light on it and two little octos inside. I'm hoping to do a bigger species in my 65 if I get a bigger tank for the occupants that are inside it right now, but if not, I'll probably go with my 30 and some mercs. Thanks for the info everyone and the warm welcomes!
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    That would have been a photo of Sisturus and Dusa (captive born offspring of Trapper). Sisturus was an exception to the rule for non-interacting mercs. He would come out for supper at 11:00 every night (eventually even if we forgot to turn the lights off). He was very active and would interact a bit. Very unmercatoris like and one of my favorite animals. Dusa was also more active than my others but seemed to follow Sisty's lead more than initiate. I've kept several mercs in that tank, all to their natural end (living over a year) so I feel the set up works well for this species.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi, and welcome to Tonmo!

    The book you are going to order was written by Colin Dunlop and myself. I think you'll find it a good place to start, and it has pics of set ups, too. But you'll also find many pics in the individual journals, which are interactive reports on keeping octopuses.

    We have lids on our octopus aquariums to keep them from crawling out.

    Don't forget to have a look at the articles. You'll find information there, too.

    Please don't hesitate to ask questions about what you don't understand.

    Nancy
     
  14. cephlapodlover

    cephlapodlover Blue Ring Registered

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    Thank you D for correcting me, I knew it was O. mercatoris but for some reason was thinking ,macropus, idk why and after rereading my post I noticed that mistake, but was i knew a member would correct me. I felt pretty embarresed about that mistake :oops: oh well but thanks
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am probably the only one that noticed and that is because I have kept both :grin:
     
  16. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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  17. jack-knife

    jack-knife Cuttlefish Registered

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    :welcome:

    Hi there, im new at this to but i have found a very effective way to octo proof tour tank. I have a hinged glass lid cut to size and then glued strong magnits all around the inside and then on top of the lid. It works well and i even have a hard time getting it off lol.
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If the magnets are not coated with a sealant, really, really well, they will rust quickly.
     
  19. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    :welcome: and remember duct tape is your friend! J :grin:
     

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