My 1st time setting up a Octopus/Cuttle fish tank!!

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Cephdoc, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Being a new member and very curious as to what everyone has to say, i would like to hear what people think about setting up two individual tanks for a Octopus and Cuttlefish. Ideally smaller tanks, not exceeding 40 gallons. Every precautions will be taken to maximize water quality and efficient housing for a "long" happy life for these creatures. Please anyone and everyone share past, present, and future setup ideas with me. I have a bunch of things in mind and i will present them on the forum in due time, im just interested in picking at your brains for awhile and continue the exchange of conversation and ideas about keeping these amazing animals in captivity! Examples could include anything, some examples: What filtration methods exactly?( Wet dry, mechanical filters in sequence etc..) Flow methods depending on species? Can most handle high flow or should i have minimal flow? Refugium? UV filter? Special methods of controling algae? Aquascaping? Methods on "Octo proofing" a aquarium?( I've read indoor outdoor carpeting is good, screen and or netting over overflows) Lighting?(Keeping in mind other inverts will be in the tank with them like corals and starfish snails for cuttles) Anything you can think of throw it at me! I want to do this right the
    1st time so i dont have to continually modify based on how they do under my care. Hopefully i will have luck and be set up properly so im not constantly rebuying them before there short life span is up :( i would like to get the most out of the new path im taking. I was going to school to be a Marine Biologist with Cephalopods as a major point of research interest, now im going to be a doctor. But it still is very very interesting to me and i can still pursue it, so my methods have a madness :)
    Thanks:grin:
     
  2. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Is RO water also a must instead of well water?? I am not looking to buy a Reverse osmosis system due to price.. but i can buy it a the LFS...
    Thanks again
     
  3. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, we have yet to accomplish changing natures way so your first mistake is to use the word long and life in the same sentence.

    Forget the indoor out door carpeting concept. It is of minimal value for a home aquarium because of the length needed to be at all effective and it gets really nasty. One of the best escape deterants I have found is to have a 2" lip around the top of the tank (most acrylics are made with at least this much overlap but it can be created on most smaller tanks easily and with effort on larger ones). You will still need something over the remaining hole but with a merc, a simple piece of acrylic will be sufficient if you do not fill the tank to capacity. Reducing the water level is an additional help in keeping animals less interested in escaping but is not always viable.

    For a host of other suggestions and discussions read through some of the topics in this forum.
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Depending on the size of your system, it may be more efficient to own an RO/DI system.
     
  5. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Cuttlegirl! Thanks for the advice! I am assuming you are interested in cuttlefish? Can you tell me what your experiences are with them? And the tanks setups? You can PM also.
     
  6. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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  7. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Thanks Cuttlegirl! I couldnt send a PM back to you. i said your you were too full for anymore messages...
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Ok, cleaned out my inbox a bit... should be more room now.
     
  9. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I want to go back to the question about RO/DI system. What size would it be benificial for this system? Can someone explain how its that much more benificial than just using tap water free from heavy metals and other pollutants?
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Well water is one of those fuzzy subjects that is hard to discuss. Water quality varies so heavily between areas that one person's water may be used successfully where others would contain ground minerals, nemotodes, harmful bacteria or be acidic (my ground water is very acidic). Some states require an additive (like chlorine) to use wells for potable water (although a lot of people do not perform the "required" maintenance - personal knowledge) because of bacteria issues. At the very least, a DI filter should be used as you WILL have disolved metals that should be extracted (De-Ionizing is the function of the final sand filter in an RO/DI system). I believe Thales uses only a heafty DI filter with his water. When we started back into marine tanks (pre-octo keeping) we used only dechlorinated water, bought a small filter with DI sand and then a full RO/DI unit. The benefits were obvious with each step of our learning process as the animals survived longer and were healthier and I no longer have a tank that was started with anything other than RO/DI water.
     
  11. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    What does a setup cost to run RO/DI?
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    60% or more of the water used is waste water at 60 PSI. The lower the PSI, the more waste to produce the filtered water. Since your water is very inexpensive, the waste is not a cost issue but placement of the unit must provide a drain and reuse of the waste (filtered but concentrated with whatever is rejected by the RO so usually heavier in ground salts) concerns some but returning it to the earth is neither harmful nor wasteful, particularly in your case.

    The units themselves can be found at varying prices and I have no guidlines other than to suggest buying from someone who has been in business for a long time and that stocks standard parts. The RO part of the filter is the most expensive to replace, the DI sand, the most maintenance. I replace my sand manually but there are prefilled, non-refillable catridges available and recently I have seen canister style DI housings that would seem easier to fill. How often you need to replace the filters depends upon your water. I recommend a clear canister for the initial particulate stage because you can see it getting dirty. Viewing the carbon stage has not benefit but no harm. If you use color changing DI resin then the DI stage container needs to be clear as well. For an extra roughly $35 (eBay pricing) you can add an in-line TDS meter that will display both dissolved solids entering the system and leaving the system. It is a good indicator of when it is time to change filters (but not DI sand).

    Cruise eBay for pricing. The GPD is not overly important for your use unless you have a PSI above 60 (mine is rated at 110 but produces ~20) because the rated GPD is at maximum PSI which you will not achieve without a pump. If you see a dealer that will actually tell you what GPD to expect from normal house pressure, add a star to their credibility. Usually the lower GPD units are less expensive.

    There are two sizes of standard canisters. The larger one (commonly colored blue and often called Big Blue) is much more expensive and uses more expensive filters. Supposedly these need to be replace less often and the costs equal out. I don't have one of these so I have no experience with the claims but they have become a second standard in sizing. I have considered change out our whole house prefilter for the convenience though.

    The number of filtration stages also effects cost. The pre-RO filters (particulate and carbon) are the least expensive filters and protect the RO membrane by removing particulates and chemicals. If your water is exceptionally clean, one of each is likely enough. I have one particulate and two carbon but I prefilter the house water before it reaches the unit and still could use an additional particulate because of our suspended red mud. There are several choices in the particulate filter size and you want the smallest offered (there is little cost difference in the particulate filters if you get them on-line, buying them at your local hardware store is another matter). There is also a choice of carbon types and my reading strongly suggests coal is far superior for water filtration over coconut or wood.

    You will want a back flow valve (not provided on all systems) to backwash the filters. It is a simple valve on your drain line that reverse the flow through the filters and flushes loose particles.

    That is the extent of my experience/research on RO/DI units but it should give you an idea of what to look for when you view offered systems. The photos below are some I took of my set up for a member who needed help putting his back together. It is a bit intimidating but is the only photo I had with notes on the various components. The second photo is of a very dirty and long over due RO membrane infused with GA mud.
     

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  13. bernu

    bernu Larval Mass Registered

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    Thanks for the info cuttlegirl, because I am now building a similar setup/system and want to learn more about what need and how to, really interesting thank you.
     

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