New octopus guy

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by User Name, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. User Name

    User Name Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi people,
    I went to the fish store the other day (House of tropicals in MD) and I noticed they had a baby octopus. I asked the staff what kind it was but they where not sure. He said it was a common Atlantic from Florida or Haiti. He also said I only need a 10 gallon tank. Is this true? would I only need a 10 gallon tank for this or does he just want to get money from me?
     
  2. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    10gal will work just fine.
     
  3. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    a ten gallon is the bare minimum for a single mercatoris, but water quality will be a large issue in a tank that small. I would be hesitant on things coming out of Haiti because ive read for fish and inverts both chemicals are often used to trap there, then the creatures die a few weeks later. You would be better off with a 20g tank and posting some pics so people can try to ID it. if its indeed a baby it could be a baby dwarf like a mercatoris or a baby large octopus that could need a 100g tank. Also take into consideration that you need several months to mature a tank far enough along to even keep an octopus alive so this baby octo prolly isn't for you either way.

    and yes I'm aware I have a merc living in a ten gallon, but the tank has over the top filtration and small water changes daily.
     
  4. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Liek omega said Unless it is a Merc then 10 gal is too small. Saying it is a Common Atlantic basically means they have no idea what it is. It could be a Briareus which require tanks as large as 75 gallons. Can you get a picture of it? we may be able to ID it.

    The other problem here is that it takes at least 2-3 months to cycles a tank so it can support life properly. You cant setup a tank and just drop an octopus in there the same day.
     
  5. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    First let me say :welcome: Second I am glad you found us! Please read our articles and requirements for keeping an octopus. Nancy and Colins book is an excellent resource!

    I really wish petshop owners would be more schooled in the care of their animals. Too bad they did not have to take a test for some sort of required certification/license on their knowledge on the correct care for all the different animals they supply to the public.
     
  6. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    The octopi they sell are mercs and hummelcki, im about 85% positive. So he could get a merc. (user name is a friend of mine and we go to the same lfs). So a 10 gal is a no go for a merc? I thought if you can have 2 in a 20 gal, 1 in a 10 gal would be fine.
     
  7. User Name

    User Name Larval Mass Registered

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    :party: thanks guys. I know I want some sort of ceph as a pet eventually. Thanks for all the help.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    No, it does not work that way. Think about a house. One or two people compatible people can live in a 1 bedroom home but there is still the need for a common kitchen, bathroom and some living space that cannot be halved for individuals.
     
  9. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Hey, i have a question. Ill have the money for the tank and possibley something else. When does the 3 month countdown start before i can get the octo? Do i need to have everything i need for the tank for the countdown to start? what are the most important parts of the tank? (first parts to buy) Tank being #1
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you are using a sump, then that needs to be connected up before you fill the tank and you will need to have the recirculating pump installed and running. Any biological filtration you plan to use should be setup before you start your 3 month count down. If you are using Live Rock (not a trivial expense and is the only way I recommend setting up a saltwater environment), you have to have it, your bottom substrate (if you are going to use any) and some form of water movement around the rocks (power heads or Koralias are most common).

    There are almost as many ways to address cycling a tank as there are aquarists and enrolling in a reef forum will present a number of ideas. The following suggestions are preclassified as IMO and IME and other suggestions are solicited. If you find conflicting opinions, take the safest, not the one you want to hear.

    Don't get your rock until your tank is comfortabley where you will be keeping it and you have water to fill it. LR should not be out of water longer than it takes to transfer it to the tank and should NEVER be allowed to get dry. If you buy it locally, bring it home in water or at least wrapped in wet newpaper. If it is shipped, it should come wet wrapped. Dont' unwrap it until you are going to put it in your tank and do that ASAP with enough water in the tank to cover the rock (don't fill your tank all the way or you will overflow the tank when you put in the rock and sand). You can arrange the rock at this time or just leave it well exposed and come back to working with your arrangement over the cycle period. Make it a goal to keep water circulating around as much surface as you can manage.


    What you can add over the cycle time:

    Protein Skimmer
    A protein skimmer is not needed for the initial cycle (and some people recommend against using one initially to speed up the cycle) but IS highly recommended before adding an octopus. If you are using uncycled rock, you should run it the last month of the cycle or extend your cycle an additional month to let it run for a full month. If you start with cycled rock, there will be less protein build up in the tank water but you will want to run it a couple of weeks before introducing the octopus.

    Chemical filtration
    You can add carbon filtration (either with a filter sock at the sump drain or with a canister filter that is not intended to be used for biological filtration) sometime after the first month. It can be pushed out to the second month but you are likely to start detecting odor from the tank (depending upon your LR and anything you might add to encourage ammonia creation).

    Water Treatment
    If you are going to create your own RO/DI water and you have a source for it when you fill your tank (you can use distilled or you can get RO/DI from many pet stores or you can buy premixed for the initial fill). You can put off purchasing a unit but life is better when you own your own and you will need to cover the expense of obtaining it either way. You will not be doing regular water changes the first couple of months so you will only need fresh top off water to handle the evaporation. Before adding your octopus, you will want to do a large water change (30% exchanging old saltwater for new saltwater) and then have several gallons of saltwater available for weekly exchanges. During the week you will need to top of the tank with fresh RO/DI water daily or every other day depending upon your evaporation rate. Keeping your tank topped off will keep the salinity constant as well as keeping your skimmer running smoothly without constant adjustments.

    Lighting
    You can put off purchasing lighting almost indefinitely unless you decide to add corals. Ambient light is fine for all octopuses but without a light over the tank, viewing the animal and photography suffer. I like to keep my curing live rock under normal fluorescent light to preserve some of the plant life and cycle my tanks with a regular light cycle but it is not necessary.

    Keep in mind there will be additional expenses, including clean up crew that are part of they cycling procedure.
     
  11. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    basically what D said, i would add though, buying a reef package on any major website is rather pricey(though cheaper than any of my lfs)...piecing it together from Tom's is probably the way to go since your trying to budget your costs. I would towards the end of your 3 months increase your bioload with a few fishes..octos have a large bioload..throw a few damsels in(3$ at any fish store) they survive everything and are easy to feed.
     
  12. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Thank you. Ok well i think im close to getting my octo stuff. I got lucky and theres a 40gal tank at my lfs for $100. They have pretty good prices on heaters and canister filters. ( are canisters good enough?) Im not sure where i should buy a protein skimmer as they are really expensive. any recomendations on what kind of protein skimmer to get? in case you dont know, for a 40 gal tank.
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    For your budget (and my own) I am very happy with the Coralife unit. We hunted for pricing on the second one (after having this on one tank and wanting to replace a miserable unit on another) and I think Neal found it for under $100 but this was the best price I found doing a quick search so you could at least look at the unit. Your mom will appreciate that this one is less messy than most as well (just remember you have to unplug it to clean it. I wish they would make them with an on off switch or I could find a grounded on/off switch to add between the plug and the unit.
     
  14. Omega

    Omega GPO Registered

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    try petsolutions.com i believe they have a coralife for under 100..they did a few days ago anyway. but their stock fluctuates
     
  15. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Ok, ill check. curious, theres a bunch on ebay thats are new and they just says protein skimmer 300gph. Theres no brand but the picture looks like a decent one its about $40 with $20 s&h ( i believe, ill check again ) if anyone want to check it out you can go on ebay and type in protein skimmer and you will see them.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Unfortunately, low end skimmers are notorious for being useless (we have gone through a number of them as well as one not so inexpensive Red Sea Berlin unit). The Coralife is the first one we found that not only skims but is easy to clean and can sit inside or outside the tank. Unless you can find someone to recommend the one you are looking at, I would avoid it.
     
  17. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I use a pro clear aquatics. I have never had to do anything but empty it. They cost about $115. I highly recommend it!
     
  18. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Thanks... Hmm when i figured my octo costs when i first decided to get one i figured it would cost between 350-400$ now im at 750-800$
     
  19. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    YES! Im 1/6 or 7th of the way to an octo. Im getting my tank today weeeeeee. Thanks for standing by me through this difficult time. But now I have the ball rolling. And I still have a guitar, drum, an ipod to sell. On top of that the snow is melting and ill be mowing yards soon. Which means 150-200$ per day. YAY OCTOPUS! Im going to name my octo Ackbar. ITSA TRAP!
     
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Woo Hoo! Now, take it slowly and don't try to short cut the cycle and enjoy the ride.
     

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