Kinda New To This heres my story

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by jray33, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. jray33

    jray33 Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi there ceph lovers,
    Im new to the forum also my first post ! and new at the octopus and cuddlefish
    Both intrigue me!
    i am a current "monsterfish keeper" with jardini/silver aros,
    wide-bar Datnoids, bass, large catfish and such. but thats all freshwater.
    Lately however i have been looking into saltwater because i LOVE animals
    in general and the ocean is so mystifying.

    My mom owns a pet shop, but we only sell freshwater and a little brackish
    my step dad and I run the fish, we use to have saltwater but when we moved states
    for a couple years employees let us down, so we had to shut our salt down.
    i know the basics of saltwater and have kept a small reef before but have a huge appetite for information

    What i wish to do,and some general questions
    I wish to eventually house either an octopus or sepia bandensis or other dwarf cuddlefish
    I have a 58g oceanic available to use
    got a 20g sump w/ rio 2100
    have some skimmers but dont know what size would be best
    i already have some larger ones for 150-200g too strong? and should UV sterilizers be used?

    was going to use aragalive indo pacific black sand How many bags should i use?

    which would do best in a 58g?
    octopus or dwarf cuddlefish. i know ill have to octoproof my tank
    i plan on having it run as a reef tank with just a couple fish in it for some months and eventually
    find myself a cephalopod to raise =]
    during this time im going to buy some electronic monitors for nitrates and ph

    any ideas to help me put things together sorry for all the questions, these are just such facinating creatures
    and im looking for a saltwater pet that i can get to know and they will get to know me call me wierd but a relationship perhaps?
    my 2' arrowana likes to be petted and i also hand feed him all the time. i just love taking care of and interacting with animals
     
  2. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    First :welcome:

    I'm not sure but I don't think you can have a protein skimmer that is too big, especially with Cephs. I have a 125 gal but all my filters and my skimmer and rated for 250 gals. Makes for less water changes. Cephs are very messy creatures!

    When it comes to sand and live rock I go by one pound of sand for one gallon of water. and same with live rock.

    I'm not a fan of UV sterilizers because they kill both bad stiff and good stuff. I choose not to use one.

    With 58 gallons you could house either cuttles or octos just fine. which is better...thats up to you. Each have there advantages and disadvantages. I suggest reading through some of the Journals available here om TONMO. I have never tried to keep cuttles so I'll let someone else tell you about them. As for Octos with 58 gals there are a few options out there to choose from such as O. hummelincki, O.Maya, or the A. Aculeatus. One problem ith ordering them is that they are often mislabeled so it is sometimes its hard to tell what you are going to get.

    hope I was helpful and again welcome!
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to our world of Cephs!

    Escape proofing is only necessary for an octopus, however, establishing a tank for an octopus would make it available for either. The cephalopods we commonly keep in a home aquarium are very short lived (with us for less than a year in most cases) so a ceph tank is often best set up for an octopus, allowing you to try both over time. At this time only the bendensis dwarf cuttle is seen on the market but is often available as eggs. Young hatchlings are difficult and expensive to raise but provide aquarium longevity that we can't get from wild caught animals (often at the end of their lives when captured). Successful raising of large egged octos has been very limited (only mercatoris - nocturnal dwarf - and bimaculoides - colder water species - are journaled on TONMO) and nonexistent for the small egg (O.hummelincki and O.aculeatus). It is difficult to judge the age of an octopus even if you see it before you purchase.

    References: Nancy and Colin (TONMO staff) have written a book on keeping cephs in the home aquarium that will be useful, articles on keeping cephs are linked on the Home page and, as CaptFish mentions, there are many journals available that document individuals kept by members (look at the Forums->Journals and Photos->List of Our Octopuses 2009 and 2008 for links to specific species). The tank talk forum should be helpful for sizing equipment as well as creating an octoproofed environment.
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: to TONMO!
     
  5. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Just my 2 cents about filtration:

    I have a 60 gallon tank and I've kept two bimacs (one after the other) for a total of about two years. I'm skeptical about the use of live rock as a bio-filter in a tank as small as mine with an octopus as big as mine. someone with experience needs to chime in about how much live rock is required to clean up after an adult octopus of any given species, but I decided to go with a wet dry filter instead, which I was sure could handle the load, and which was MUCH cheaper than 60 lbs of live rock. I have 6 gallons of bio balls and about 50 gallons of water volume. The downsides of going with a wet/dry filter were:
    1) I need to replace the pre-filter floss every few days (required to keep the bio balls from clogging up with detritus to quickly)
    2) I keep some filter feeders in the same tank, and I need to turn off the return pump for 40 minutes during feedings so that the pre-filter floss doesn't strain all the food out of the water before they have a chance to eat it.
    3) Unlike live rock, which reduces ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, a wet dry filter only reduces amonia and nitrite, so another mechanism must be included to reduce nitrate. I have a 4 or 5" deep sand bed, which helps, but sometimes the octo digs in it, which greatly reduces it's effectiveness for a while, and so as a result nitrate climbs faster after the octo has been digging, i.e. unexpectedly. A better solution would have been a remote deep sand bed (5 gallon bucket full of sand - google it).

    I love how well the bio balls work, and how they help oxygenate my water, and my water quality is so good that I've had an outbreak of sponges growing on my rocks, but the downsides mentioned above are a bit annoying.

    I also have a skimmer.
     
  6. jray33

    jray33 Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi again guys, thanks for the replys they helped me decide on a few things
    Im going to set up the 58g with about 50 pounds of live rock maybe a little more
    50 pounds of carrib sea live sand and also have a 20g oceanic sump with a rio 2100 on it and a large skimmer
    i think for now im going to set it up as like a "half reef" i guess because i would like to have corals and such
    maybe some fish but eventually want to do an octopus or cuttlefish " cuttlefish eggs and babies are available to me 2.99ea
    so i realllly want to work my way up to those. any suggestions on some corals over others? or that would be OK with the ceph's?
    im trying to take my time and do this right so im in no hurry
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The biggest concern with mixing corals and cephs (particularly octopuses) is potential skin damage leading to infection (some anemones, however, can trap and consume small cephs of any kind). The general recommendation is, if you are going to keep corals, keep the sting potential to a minimum. That being said, most leathers, mushrooms and gorgonians are commonly kept without any observed harm. Concern for some corals that can be harmed by a roving animal should be a consideration in a coal's placement (octopuses don't go around what they can crawl over and will dislodge or bend anything in their path, cuttles are not as careless). Clams will be consumed by an octopus. There are mixed reviews on fish. Territorial fish can be aggressive and attack, particularly the eyes of octopuses, however, you will see successes of varying combinations.

    There are some known NO's that immediately come to mind:

    No mixing of octopus species (100% failure rate even with dividers - only limited success with multiples of same species)
    No mixing of octopuses and seahorses (seahorses are sitting ducks and have no protection, they will be consumed)
    No mixing of octopuses and eels (possibly with the exception of a ribbon eel, all attempts with snowflake eels have failed, morays are natural preditors).

    Personally, I keep very barren ceph tanks with only a few soft corals and extensive and interesting clean-up crews. Thales uses an expression that I like, "It is OK until it is not". We recommend known working senarios that always work (which include a species only, NO fish environment). Sometimes there are successful combinations that work for awhile but ultimately fail. The best suggestion I have for anyone determined to add critters considered questionable or not ceph safe is to have an additional set up that can accomodate the other critter(s) and hope you notice when the combination starts to stop working. Ceph keeping is still are relatively new hobby and we encourage posting of all setups, successes and failures.
     

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