I want to buy an octo

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Jesse Horvath, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey everyone, ive always been interested in cephalopods and ive been making some money so i think its time that i buy one. I have a 20 gallon tank and i just need to know how to set it up. I have no experience with salt water so its gonna be a challenge but im for it. So how do you set up a salt water tank then? I also need to know about temperature and lighting. I was gonna buy some sand and put in some live rocks. But i would like to know everything. So when the tank is all ready i would buy a dwarf octopus. As for feeding, where i live they dont sell crabs but i will try frozen products. I can also catch many crawfish, i was thinkin of removing the pinchers on the crawfish and throwin them in the tank, would they eat that and would it be okay to feed?

    :sink:

    Jesse
     
  2. Tommycs

    Tommycs Wonderpus Supporter

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    Most people will recommend starting with a saltwater set-up that does not involve an octopus. It is no easy task caring for these creatures and since you have never kept a saltwater tank, there is much to be learned. Also, and octopus will most likely eat a crayfish but since they are freshwater, they are not recommended. Because of the fat ratio or something you should only feed them saltwater creatures, You can order fiddler crabs from http://aquaculturestore.com/swinverts.html. Another issue with the crayfish is that depending on the size of the crayfish and the size of the octo, The octopus may not even attempt to eat it. I'm not trying to discourage you from keeping cephs, I just don't want you to do something wrong and get frustrated.:smile: So you should probably look through the articles (navigation bar at top of the page) and read up on some of that and use external resources also such as the library or other forums where you can find more information on keeping saltwater tanks in general.
     
  3. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey i know cephs are alot of work and there hard creature to keep but i have been reading up on them for that past couple years, i just never got one because i never had the time and money.
     
  4. Tommycs

    Tommycs Wonderpus Supporter

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    I'm not doubting you knowledge on cephs, Here is a step-by-step guide on the set-up but there are modifications that are needed for cephs like an oversized skimmer, screen or mesh anywhere there is an opening, and I suggest you invest in nancy and colin's book it is very useful.
     
  5. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Alright thanks for the link, im going to see how much everything will cost and i will let you guys know if it happens or not.
     
  6. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    20 G is perhaps a little on the small side even for a dwarf, can you trade in for a 30??? (no copper either! tis fatal for cephs, so even if it's just been fish meds the copper will linger and kill the ceph).
     
  7. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hey, i have 40 gallon so i could even use that, the tank is just a ordinary tank though with no copper.
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Check to see if there is an aquarium club or society in your area, they could help you with the basics of setting up your tank.
     
  9. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    So tomorrow im going to set up the salt water tank so i can cycle it. I will be buying a test kit, salt, sand, some live rock, a filter and the filtration equipment. Do i need a protein skimmer and what does it do? Am i missing anything else? I will be buying a screen lid and i have a florescent tube light. So is there anything else i should know? I think ill buy a cheap saltwater fish tomorow too so i can see how it does in the tank.
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    NO fish, NO animals. You have to let the tank cycle before you put ANY live creatures. Three months of cycling is minimal for an octopus but completing the initial ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate cycle to stabalize the environment is needed before any animals can be successfully introduced. This will take AT LEAST 1 month. At the point you have no ammonia and no nitrates, then you can consider adding clean up crew. Building a marine environment is a slow process. Watch the small things on your LR and enjoy the process as it matures without rushing it.


    I recommend getting the multi-test strips over the reagents for your test kit. If you can find the 100 count, get that kit (these are useful for keeping a check on the tank as well as great when you acclimate critters). This will let you watch your water change without taking an hour or more each time you want to test it (the strips take 30 seconds, 60 for PH). The combo strips do not have an ammonia test but there is a separate strip for that. It requires you to fill a small vial with tank water and test it in the vial (the chemical on the strip is not safe for the tank).
     
  11. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Okay im gonna go right now and get the stuff, and ill try getting the 100 count test kit. But like i asked in my other post, whats a protein skimmer and do you really need it?
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Skimmers are discussed in the thread kept at the top of the Tank-Talk forum. My personal choice is the Coralife because it has been the least finicky with water level changes, is reasonably priced, requires a minimum of over head space and is easy to clean.

    You can wait a month before getting one though (which will give you something to DO with your aquarium at a fixed point in time :wink:) as you will not want to run one while you are in the initial stages of your cycle.
     
  13. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I also mean that it has NEVER had fish meds in it, such as those for ich, as the copper binds to the silicon and leaches out again later, very tiny amounts are fatal to cephs!
     
  14. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Im going to test if the tank has any copper or anything else in it. Is it true that you shouldnt use a 10 or 15 gallon because if you lose power and no filtration and no heating then the water can change temp and the ceph will die?
     
  15. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    yep and even with everything going smoothly the waste build up would be phenomenal! Cephs produce several times the amount of waste than a similar sized fish, and they're messy eaters, thus to keep your water chemistry stable you need a large, mature tank.

    Do you know the history of your tank? IMHO copper test kits don't test low enough to pick up on the lethal dose for a ceph.

    We lost one in our 3000L tank because someone left the end of some copper wire in the tank, we checked everything else and this was the only possible cause of death. So be real careful!

    J
     
  16. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Okay, i have a large tall octagon tank, and im pretty sure its around 30 gallons but i need to know how to measure the gallons. Can anyone help me out on that, and no i do not know the history of this tank but i went to a fish store the other day and the owner there told me that i can get it tested there for copper, can it be done? And can i use this octagon tank?
     
  17. robind

    robind O. bimaculoides Registered

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    The area of a regular octagon is w^2-2b^2, where w is the width of the octagon and b is the length of the legs of the triangles formed where the edge of the octagon is the hypotenuse (as shown in the diagram). To calculate the volume of your tank in gallons, measure the inside dimensions w and b (in inches), and plug it into that formula. Now multiply that by the height of the tank (remember, in inches and inside dimensions). This number is the volume of the tank is cubic inches. 1 gallon is 231 cubic inches, so divide by 231 and that's how many gallons.
    BTW, b = w/(2+sqrt(2))

    In response to your copper question, I would not recommend using the tank unless you know for a fact that no copper-based medications have ever been used in the tank. I believe you can have copper tests done that are sensitive enough for cephs, but they cost somewhere around $60 (www.etrlabs.com). At that point you may as well buy a new tank. The copper test your lfs is offering is not going to cut it. Other than that, there is nothing inherently wrong with an octagon tank.
     

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  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Are you sure it is an octagonal tank? It is more typical to see six or five sided tanks than 8 (I have 3 hex and one pent). If my assumption is correct, you can easily get the center distance to flat side length in the formula below by pulling a measuring tape straight across from flat side to flat side and divide by two. If the tank actually has eight sides then the formula still works but determining the center to flat side distance is a little more difficult.

    (length of 1 flat side inches) * (number of sides/2) * (center distance to flat side in inches) * (overall height in inches) * (.00433)

    ex:
    7" the flat sides of my tall skinny hex tank
    x 3 there are 6 sides/2
    x 6 flat side to flat side front to back = 12"/2

    126 square inches
    x50 tank height

    6,300 cubic inches
    x .00433 conversion multiplier for cu inches to US gallons
    --------------------------
    27 gallons (give or take)

    How much water you actually put in the tank depends on what else you put in it to displace water (sand and other substrate) and how far from the top you actually fill it (leaving and inch and a halve to two inches empty is recommended for an octo).
     
  19. Jesse Horvath

    Jesse Horvath Cuttlefish Registered

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    Yea im sorry, the tank is a hexagon. Im sorry but im not good with math but i do have the measurements. All 6 sides are 10.5 inches in length, a base of 18 inches, and a height of 24 inches. Anyone wanna figure it out for me, thanks alot.
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I should not do this... My own kids would ask, "What good is the stuff you have to learn in school?", and I would try to explain that everything learned will come in useful in one way or another in real life. With the instructions, you should be able to do this with a calculator if you will try it and not pass it off because "you are not good in math" :soapbox:

    If by "base" you mean the flat side to flat side measurement then ...

    10.5 * 3 (flat section length * half the number of the sides) = 31.5

    31.5 * 9 (18/2 = half the base length) = 283.5 square inches

    283.5 x 24 (height) = 6,804 cubic inches

    6,804 x .00433 (conversion of cu inches to US gallons) approximately: 29.5 gallons

    Is it acrylic or glass?
     

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