Marine Bio (BS) Advice for tanks?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by HartfordWhalers, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. HartfordWhalers

    HartfordWhalers Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi, I am currently going for my bachelor of science marine bio degree at Roger Williams University. I have been into salt water tanks for roughly eleven years. I have a 20 gallon display with a 55 gallon sump and a 50 gallon frag tanked hooked up all together in my basement. I have been curious about Octopi and would like to start a tank in my room. I have done a lot of research but I think the fellow friends on TONMO would be a lot more helpful than reading all these pages and sometimes not being able to understand what I need to do to keep an Octopus.

    I currently have a drilled ten gallon tank and a drilled twenty gallon tank. I would prefer not to go higher in volume just to save a little money and I have seen people keep tanks in both sizes, yes I know ten is small.

    I understand that you have to seal the top off extremely well as they are very adventurous creatures.

    I was just curious to know exactly how to set up a "good" tank. I understand everybody does things a little different so all inputs are helpful.

    My main questions are, What is the best way to seal the top of the tank? How do I create sufficient flow, will they get sucked into a power head or tunze or any kind of flow creator? I have a protein skimmer I could put in the sump, is that very useful? What is a good beginner Octopus to get and what tank should I use, I assume the drilled twenty with 10 sump.

    I would like to see my Octopus during the day, but I understand that they can be nocturnal.

    And a little personal question, how much in general do you think the cost would be if I have the tank, sump, heater, protein skimmer and sand? (You don't have to answer, I understand no body wants to see the $ they end up spending on Nano reef tanks and even bigger systems)

    Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. I am new to this site and am still working on figure certain things out.

    So once again thanks for reading and I hope you can help me out!

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: to TONMO. If you haven't already found it, a very good place to start reading is the articles section near the top of the home page. Unfortunately, I think you'll find that you need to go considerably larger in tank size to get to the octos that are diurnal and interactive, though.
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    There is only one commonly available octopus, the nocturnal O. mercatoris, that will fit your 20 gallon tank, none for a 10. You can put a pair (order together as we don't have a good rate of success if they have not been living together, reasons unknown) in the 20. The good news is that with a little planning, the set up cost is not terrible. If you have a standard 20 with a rim, I recommend making a plexiglass surround that insets between two and three inches, IMO the center can be left open (THIS IS FOR MERCATORIS ONLY!!!!). A simple skilter skimmer/filter, A cool red light (cool as in not heating the tank), a good chunck of LR and 3 months of cycle with a thin argonite substrate make a good set up. If you will place a nice sized chunck of purple barnacle about mid way up the water column (or so there are several shells at that level), I have found that at least the females find these suitable for a den, the males I have had will visit them but will also choose to hide in the LR.

    Mercs are not very interactive and Sleazy (my current female) does one little "trick" by sweeping her arm out as a sign of recognition and sometimes she will touch my offered finger. On a rare occassion, one like Sisturus comes along and will come to greet you at supper time but you can't count on it. Keeping a merc is different from keeping other octos but is still a rewarding experience. Most merc keepers will graduate to a larger octo eventually or decide octo keeping is not their thing. They are the one octo that we (TONMO members) have been able to mate and produce a few offspring.
     
  4. mucktopus

    mucktopus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome!
     
  5. snowmaker

    snowmaker Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Welcome to TONMO!
    I am hoping to get down to R.W.U. marine Bio lab for a tour on invite from Dr. Rhyne, sometime this fall.
    He recently gave a talk to our local SW / reef club. It was by far one of the best talks I have attended. His enthusiasm regarding his work is high, to say the least. :smile:
     
  6. HartfordWhalers

    HartfordWhalers Larval Mass Registered

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    Snowmaker- This summer they are actually redoing the entire wet lab to extend it and make it bigger. Deffinitly check it out we have some cuddle fish and a lot of cool other things. The only dissapointment to me for the lab was they are not very expierienced in corals. I have talked with all the lab teachers and they are going to let me set up a reef system down there as well, so it is going to have a little bit of everything.

    To everyone else- thanks for the welcomes and advice. I read about the mercs and think it is a good octopus to start with. As stated above if I like them enough I can continue on to a bigger tank and more active Octopi. Thanks for everything, everything slowly gets easier with friends.
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have another new member who is considering the same thing. She took three of my briareus hatchlings (none made it very long sadly) and saw Sleazy in her barnacle and is giving mercs a serious thought. It probably didn't hurt that Sleazy acknowledged her with the one odd little arm wave she has. If you start up a tank now, you may have to wait a bit but it will be nicely cycled :wink: for when they start showing back up.

    Our two longest running threads on the mercs are the WC mother, children and grandchildren for Varys and Trapper. The provided links are to the WC adult and end with links to the next generation. I also have an unofficial, not ready for prime time Word document on merc care that I can send if you will PM me your email address.
     

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