I have some new octopus questions?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by calamari101, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    1. What is the difference between a marine tank and a saltwater tank?
    Can i use the Marineland Eclipse System 12 Aquarium Kit?
    2. Can i feed a Octopus joubini frozen shrimp?
    3. Is www.gulfspecimen.org a reliable site?
    If you have ordered from there did it arive ailive? How long did the Octopus joubini live? How much did it cost including shipping?
    4.Is there anyway to speed up the three month process of cleaning the water?

    Thanks for answering questions. Answer as many as you can and like. Thanks for the help, I want this pet to be a 100% success!

    Thank You,
    Calamari101
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    Unfortunately, 12 gallons is really too small for any octopus. It's not impossible to use a pre-made setup, but most people find that they need more filtration for cephalopods than "typical aquariums." I don't know about joubini in particular, but in most species, it's more a matter of the individual octopus whether it will take frozen foods. I think O. joubini has a fairly typical dwarf lifespan, so something on the order of 6 months, although most animals are collected as adults near the ends of their lifespans.

    In general, when planning for an octo, it's best to avoid small things, both in tank size and in octo species. The larger octos are more outgoing and interactive, live longer, and tend to be more day-active, and larger tanks offer a larger water volume that is less likely to have water quality problems reach a lethal level faster than you can react.
     
  3. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well what is the smallest and cheapest i can go? I am on a feairly low budget myself.
     
  4. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    IMO, with octopuses, as well as any other fish, it is more a matter of what the octopus thinks, octopuses have a little more intelligence than many other species of fish so need more enrichment/stuff to do to keep it happy. What im saying is you can keep say a bimac that has aa 55 gal tank size recomendation in a 30 gal, but it would be crammed, and soon become bored. 30 gal would be the MINIMUM tank size I would go with. And that's only for a small dwarf that you probably will hardly ever see. This is all opinion based BTW, tank size is really more about ethics and opinions IMO than actual fact.
     
  5. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    So if i use a LOT of enrichment toys and activities i can keep it in a 12 gallon tank?
     
  6. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    There's not really a numerical answer to "how low can you go?" We tend to recommend 29gal with extra filtration as the minimum for cephs. Smaller tanks seem to have an increased mortality rate except with very aggressive filtration systems and experienced octo-keepers who can recognize problems very early on. If you have any interest in cuttles, a single bandensis can do well in a 29gal, and they tend to be much more interesting and interactive than dwarf octos.

    When counting costs, actually, most octo keepers agree that the cost of food far outweighs the other costs associated with keeping the animal, and it's one that it's hard to get around. Some folks have saved quite a bit on tanks and equipment by checking with local aquarium clubs and want ads for people selling used equipment (but make sure to confirm that no copper-based medications have been used in the tank) but the food costs aren't really easy to get around, unless you live near a seashore where you can collect food yourself (and even then, if you can't find food animals your pet will eat, you may have to find a paid source.)

    There's a thread, I think over in "Tank Talk," about what the relative costs of providing a healthy tank for an octopus are, where you can look at some numbers for comparison. Don't be too scared off by the high costs (some people "spare no expense") but try to get an understanding of the expected and unanticipated costs.

    Probably other folks will chime in with their experiences and suggestions, too.
     
  7. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    no, 30, maybe, maybe 20 would be the least, but then, i dont know how well enrichment/toys would work because you'll hardly ever see it, it's better to go for a 55 gal and get a more active, fun octo. I know it sounds a lot more, but really, as you get a bigger tank, the amount spent per gallon decreases. for example, I am really cheap as well, so take my time and shop for low prices, and my 12 gallon has cost me $400 to date with a filter, skimmer, Halides, live rock, test kits, etc. this does not include live stock, so that's about $34 a gallon, my friend has a 40 gallon, and has pretty much the same stuff as me, just rated to a bigger tank, obviously and has spent $700 not including live stock and that's about $17 a gallon so it works out cheaper, and you'll be able to get a cooler, more interesting and interactive octo.
     
  8. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    I plan on getting a 29 gallon now would that be sutiable for a joubini?
     
  9. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    The larger water volume is also really important for other reasons. If there's a filtration or temperature or pump problem or the octo's messy eating leaves a shrimp corpse that isn't noticed and cleaned up, the water quality will get bad much faster in a small tank, which can lead to either the owner not noticing the problem until too late, or having it happen over a weekend or when you're out of town or something when it's hard to get replacement parts you might need in time. So it's not only about the comfort or enrichment of the octos, it's about guaranteeing a healthy environment, too.
     
  10. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    29 gal should be OK for a dwarf species. Lately, we have seen very few joubini sold (many fish stores don't know how to tell octos apart) so you may want to look into mercatoris as well, which is about the same size. There are several collectors in Florida who know how to identify mercatoris so it's easier to be sure of what you're getting. I don't remember if joubini might be a bit less shy, though... mercatoris usually hide unless it's quite dark, although owners can see them if they stay up late at night and use red lighting, and they often become a bit more interactive when they reach maturity (although their personalities seem to vary a bit... see dwhatley's threads about Trapper's babies.)
     
  11. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Do you know how to speed up the process of filtering the tank? Do you need live rock or can i just us PVC pipe?
     
  12. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Where can i get the mercatoris? Is it horribly expensive? I know an excelent resource for joubini. It looks very dependable. Check it out because this is the place is where i was set on getting a mother how was about to lay eggs. www.gulfspecimen.org Tell me if you think if i should continue with getting them from here.
     
  13. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I don't know of anyone who's ordered from them, but their web site says

    Even if that's not a problem, joubini is a small-egged species, so if it layed eggs, that would both mean that the mother was about to die, and that the babies would die within a few days in any home aquarium.

    Mercatoris is a much better bet for that, as long as you don't mind the noctournal lifestyle.
     
  14. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Have you set up a fish tank before? Either fresh or salt water? If not, you need to take your time before getting an octopus. If you try to rush the process, especially with smaller tank, you may end up shortening the life of your octopus. Why are you trying to get a pregnant female? Experienced aquarists have a hard time raising baby octopus. If this is your first tank (and octopus), you should just try taking care of one adult octopus, that is hard enough, without trying to care for a bunch of babies. Patience is the key to this hobby/obsession.
     
  15. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    There is no way to speed up the cycle process. There is very good reason everyone suggests waiting the 3 month period. You can't cut any corners in this hobby. As you gain experience you will learn what you can and can't get away with, but the basic advice you'll read on this website is tried and true. Nothing good in this hobby happens fast. The fastest way you're going to get it done is to buy a tank that is already set up and mature from someone else who has been taking care of it for at least a few months. Then you'll only have to wait a few days if the move goes well. That's the only way.

    You can't beat live rock. You might add some pvc pieces into the mix, but skimping on live rock is only going to make your filtration weaker. Plus it's just fun to see what kind of surprises come with the live rock. It's a science experiment all its own. Shoot, you might be lucky and get a hitch-hiking octopus for free if you order a good batch of live rock from Florida. It's not uncommon.

    You can usually find mercatoris on Ebay. "Danthemarineman" occasionally has them listed. Also www.divertom.com can get them.

    I emailed the site you are referring to when I began my search for my first octopus, and I never got a response. I think they only sell for research or educational purposes but I could be wrong.
     
  16. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Where can i buy mecratoris online?
    NOT E-Bay!
     
  17. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    What type of tank do you have?
     
  18. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Um, Ebay is online, and yes, occasionally you can buy them there. When they are available on there, they are a "Buy It Now" offer, not an auction. Otherwise www.divertom.com is your only other option that regularly has them as far as I know. Maybe if you're lucky someone on here will have some available sometime.

    I can tell you right now from reading your posts that you are seriously going to have to learn some patience before you undergo the task of keeping any kind of a saltwater tank let alone an octopus. Not being a jerk, just telling you straight up. I'm not one to beat around the bush. There's just nothing easy or quick and cheap about it.
     
  19. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    yeah, what Animal Mother just said!

    There are no shortcuts to take here. take your time, set up slowly and learn more about keeping an octopus's tank before you get the octopus. This will help avoid disappointment and a dead octo.

    Keep asking questions :)
     
  20. calamari101

    calamari101 Cuttlefish Registered

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    Trust me, i will!
     

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