New Octo Tank

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Susan Grosskopf, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    I have been running my 30 gallon tank for 2 months and it just spiked. I did a 30-40 percent water change and will check water again tomorrow. What I understand about spiking is when the ammonia starts to rise. Today for the first time it went to 0.5 ppm. So now do I just have to get the ammonia back to 0 and then I can get to octopus or do I have to mature more.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :cuttlehi: Susan!

    The aquarium "cycle", ammonia->nitrite->nitrate, is a process of creating enough bacteria to quickly convert new ammonia rapidly through the the changes so that you never detect ammonia or nitrite. The initial cycle (usually induced with live rock but there are several ways to create the ammonia) needs to complete with no, or minimal water changes. You should now be looking for nitrite followed by a drop to zero of both. You will want to continue creating ammonia after the initial cycle to grow enough bacteria to handle the heavy waste (ammonia) load of an octopus.

    Once you see ammonia and nitrite drop to zero, you will want to add critters to produce waste and can start your weekly water changes (10% recommended) to keep the nitrate at bay and reduce some of the protein. A skimmer is highly recommended not only for protein but to remove ink before it can become a problem (a water change after an inking episode is still desirable). Sometimes this is done by adding fish (that will have to be rehomed before the main occupant is added) but I prefer to add clean up crew (hermits, snails, serpent stars) and over feed the tank. Because of the heavy waste production of an octopus, we recommend a minimum of three months of actively cycling (continuing to build bacteria).

    At the top of the Cephalopod Care forum there is a stuck thread, Posts with Info for New Octo Keepers, containing links to some of the longer posts and discussions on getting started that may be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  3. Susan Grosskopf

    Susan Grosskopf GPO Supporter Registered

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    Thank you for your help. So, doing the water change was a mistake? Do I have to start over building ammonia and let the nitrite-nitrate take care of it? If this is the case so be it. I tested the water today and everything is 0 except the pHone is 8.4
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    No, no starting over but building the bacteria will take a bit more time, just keep feeding the tank. PH of 8.4 is just fine and right where you want it.
     
  5. Pennyworth

    Pennyworth Wonderpus Registered

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    DWhatley, what do you think about "Dr Tim's one and only"?

    There are mixed opinions on it, but it seems that it certainly can't hurt and the worst case scenario is just $20 thrown away.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I've never used starter bacteria. The general consensus among the long time reefer's is that most additives are money wasters and a few actually harmful. Heavy skepticism is warranted but doesn't allow for new innovations so a little logic (and I would suggest experience in what is known to work) is well placed when you want to try something relatively new. Bacteria is alive. It is unclear how it will remain so bottled and on a shelf. Additionally, it has to become established and fed to grow so adding even known live bacteria to a new tank will only up the levels for a short time, then fall off to whatever is supported by the tank.
     

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