Lurker saying hello! Finally! | The Octopus News Magazine Online
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Lurker saying hello! Finally!

tankgirl527

Hatchling
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Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
6
#1
Hi I am new here and I am in the process of cycling my tank for an octopus. I'm not sure what kind to get and could use some advice. First a little background on myself. I consider myself an advanced fish keeper. I manage a fishroom in a mom and pop type pet store where I have worked for the past 16 years. I have taken care of and owned almost every fish and invertebrate there is and I have always had my heart set on an octopus! I have had experience with saltwater tanks since I set up my first one 12 years ago. I just set up a 40 gallon tank and am all set to start the cycling process but am unsure of what to use to cycle this tank. I don't want to use a fish due to the fact that with all the rockwork I have going on in there I will never be able to catch it before I put the octopus in.(I read you should not have any fish in there when you first introduce an octopus to your tank not due to the fact that it will be food but because it may spook the 'pus and cause it to ink. Is this true?)Any way, I still have a few questions and would like some advice from someone who has kept these interesting creatures before. I may with time, become a pest because I love to ask questions and always want to know!
 

gholland

Haliphron Atlanticus
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Jan 18, 2008
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569
#2
:welcome: to TONMO!

I've always used bits of frozen shrimp to cycle my tanks... no pain for a fish... no stress for an octo! Ask away with the rest of your questions... you'll find this group very friendly and helpful!
Greg
 

monty

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Mar 8, 2004
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4,887
#3
:welcome: to TONMO!

Fish can be a problem, but it's less about making the octo ink than stressing it out in other ways... for example, damsels sometimes nip at their eyes. 40gal is on the small side for most of the species commonly kept here, particularly briareus and bimacs, for which which we usually recommend a 55. Having a sump and filtration rated for a larger tank are also always desirable for cephs, so I suspect it'll be helpful for the tank experts to hear more details about your setup...
 

Animal Mother

Architeuthis
Supporter
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
2,364
#5
Welcome aboard. Make sure and read through some of the journals and you might check out the tank talk section for ideas of what kind of octopus and how to set your tank up for an octopus.
 

tankgirl527

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
6
#7
Thanks for all the welcomes. I do have a sump style filter that is rated for a much larger tank with a built in protein skimmer and an aotomatic top off. I have also built a plenum on the bottom with a 3 inch sand bed for nitrate reduction. I have been doing a lot of reading and decided to keep the tank in our fixed up room inthe basement where the temp. rarely goes over 75 degrees F.( I have read that the octopus likes water a little warmer than room temp and will not do well if it gets too high.) I have added a few native shrimps and crabs from the ocean to help cycle my tank. They were free and can become food for the octopus down the road. I was only planning on cycling my tank for a month to forty days but have read that the tank should be up and running longer before adding the octopus. My tank is not cycling and I am wondering if it could be because I used some water, sand and filter material from my reef tank. I also raided the bottom of our live rock bin at work and added the gunk from the bottom of it to my tank. Its been three days and still no ammonia, nitrites or nitrates as of yet! I really want to take my time to do things right here. I know my tank is a little small than what is recommended but I am very diligent when it comes to doing partials and I am also more likely to do them if I don't have to lug four 5 gallon buckets around every few days. I have a R.O.D.I system in my house and plan on doing small partials every other day if needed. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

tankgirl527

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
6
#8
I didn't clarify that my tank has been ste up for almost two weeks and has had some live hermit crabs in it for one week and I added the shrimps three days ago. I have been feeding them too every day with some small pieces of clam and some pellets as well. Also I forgot to ask if a plenum was a bad I dea? It is siliconed to the bottom of the tank and isn't going anywhere. Do octopus like to dig?
 

Animal Mother

Architeuthis
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Sep 8, 2006
Messages
2,364
#9
You're going to want to stop on the livestock. Your tank is probably about to have a hard cycle and you are likely going to lose your critters. Ideally you should let it run for 6-8 weeks before adding anything. Patience is the key in this hobby.

The octopus may or may not find the plenum. If it does it will probably dig the plenum out so it won't serve its purpose. As long as it's glued down it shouldn't create issues. Just make sure your rockwork is steadily on the glass and not the sand.
 

tankgirl527

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
6
#11
silicone IS my friend!

Oh I have got evrything glued down and then some! All my rocks have holes drilled in them and are held together with pvc pipes and lots of silicone.It is actually one giant sculpture! My plenum is siliconed not only to the bottom but the nylon screen is siliconed all the way around the tank and up about an inch under the gravel. Another question for anyone who may see this. Is a forty gallon tank considered a bit small because of enough room for the octopus or because of concerns with water quality? I have been in this hobby a long time and if it is just a matter of water quality then I think I will be okay. I maintain saltwater tanks for a living so I guess you could call me a pro at it! Still no ammonia or nitrites but I am starting to get a slight reading for nitrates already!
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
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Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,006
Location
Gainesville, GA
#12
tankgirl527;120931 said:
Is a forty gallon tank considered a bit small because of enough room for the octopus or because of concerns with water quality?
Octane, large hummelincki, is in a 37 gallon tank and it is too small (we bought it as a 45 and only recently realized it was smaller). I have purchased and am still converting a larger tank for him because he does not have enough swimming room. Animal mother has mentioned that his 75 is a bit small for his briareus. The diminutive aculeatus (not considered a dwarf) might not be as cramped and other hummelincki keepers have mentioned that Octane is particularly large.

Since you are not seeing ammonia, I assume you used vinegar based (usually marked aquariuim) silicone. I learned the hard way (fortunately, I only lost a couple of polyps) that there are two kinds and one is ammonia based and should NOT be used in an aquarium.
 

tankgirl527

Hatchling
Registered
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
6
#13
Yeah I used the kind of silicone that Is made by the same company that makes the tank. I don't want a very large species of octopus but I don't want a dwarf one either. A friend of mine had a bimac that he kept in a 45 gallon and he had it for about a year and a half. I thought that that would be the kind that I would get but then was told my tank was too small.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Messages
4,218
Location
Dunedin, New Zealand
#14
at a pinch a 45 ( a 40 no) might be Ok for a Bimac but 50 is better, both for waste control and for comfort of the animal. I believe Bimacs are a bit thin on the ground though! (I'm in NZ so they certainly are here :grin: ) So you may have some issues getting one.

J
 

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