New Octopus Tank Owner?

Eonflux

Hatchling
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Apr 29, 2012
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#1
Hello fellow aquarium owners, I am in a pickle of sorts! I have been doing this for around 1 1/2 years and I naively purchased a fish for my reef community tank and it crashed a month later! Looks like i need to learn how do a more thorough quarantine cycle. anyway, I am considering becoming an octopus owner, so I am looking for some advice. I am curious if I should "reset" my LR by boiling it to kill any of the remaining bacteria? I am fine with starting over from scratch

My equipment is as follows:
75 gallon drilled tank
20 gallon sump
55 lbs of Fiji LR
NAC 6 skimmer
Ehiem 1260 return pump
JBJ Trinity 48" T5 light system
Tunze 6025
Tunze 6045
JBJ 1/10 HP Chiller
 

Eonflux

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#3
I want to reset my rock because it had a snail overrun, Mairne Ich colonies, and hair algae. I had the tank up and running for over a year, and my first fish were around 2 months after starting the frozen shrimp technique.
 

DWhatley

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#4
Odd to be overrun with saltwater snails, do you know what kind they are, I would not mind finding some that would rapidly populate (they are often eaten by octopuses, especially when first introduce to an aquarium, and are appropriate food).

Was your LR live originally or did you start with dead rock since you used shrimp to cycle? If you started with ocean cultured live rock (vs dead rock brought to life) I think would be inclined not to kill it. I have a few interesting things just now showing up on some of my rock that is over 5 years in an aquarium and enjoy seeing the sponges and oddities that show up, especially after so many years. To my knowledge, cephs are not hosts to marine ich and if you leave the tank without hosts for a full life cycle, that issue will go away naturally.

If you do decide to purge the tank, it will take longer than the recommended 3 months to bring your bacteria up to "octo" levels. Adding a quantity of new new live rock would help the process but the tank will need a stable bacteria growth well beyond the needs of a few small fish. Cephs they are messy eaters and their bio load alone justifies a species only, single occupant tank.

If time is not something that will push you to move more quickly than you should it is a tough call. If it was dead rock to begin with, I know scrubbing is a royal pain and I am not sure how I would choose to proceed. If the rock was ocean cultured, I would probably spend an afternoon (or two :biggrin2:) scrubbing. One advantage would be the absence of brissle worms, a plague on most of my own tanks.

Oh, and you will need to build an octo-proof top while you are reconfiguring.
 

Eonflux

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#5
Hey, the LR was bought alive from my LFS, so I assume its not ocean cultured. The snails I believe are margarita snails, I bought 2 that have shells about the size of golf balls, and a few weeks later I had about a thousand little white bumps everywhere! The main problem I have is the possible Marine Ich still in the tank. Would it be better to just put in some cleaner crew for the hair algae and just keep the tank specimen free so the Ich dies out? I know not to use Copper Medicate became thats a HUGE no no for cephs.
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
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#6
Also you need to be very sure no copper (from meds etc) has been used in any of the gear or LR. Even minute doses are fatal to Cephs.

J
 

Eonflux

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#7
I have a 60 gallon now but I am getting a brand new 75 gallon, so I know the tank has no Copper, and the LR has been mine for the whole duration and no Coper has been used in the previous tank
 

DWhatley

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#8
There are others (google marine ich life cycle) but Reef Keeping has an excellent article entitled Marine Ich/Cryptocaryon irritans A Discussion of this Parasite and the Treatment Options Available, Part I by Steven Pro. The life cycle is fairly short (24 hours) if there is no host to feed the new hatchlings so you should be able to elimintate any concerns with existing eggs during your reset up without treating the substrate (keep in mind that substrate, as mentioned in the article, includes live rock and anything else that is not alive in the tank).

I think I would not kill the rock but enjoy the time getting it under control with water changes,low or no light (also helpful for reducing the algae), and experimenting with a cleanup crew to achieve a maintainable balance rather than starting over and then still having the same problems. Pencil urchins can be a pain but I find they keep the rock cleaner than any other clean-up crew. Patience is a major key in gaining your Saltwater thumb and often takes several tries (speaking from experience) to accept the necessity.
 

mazprot

Cuttlefish
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Oct 27, 2012
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#9
DWhatley;188845 said:
Odd to be overrun with saltwater snails, do you know what kind they are, I would not mind finding some that would rapidly populate (they are often eaten by octopuses, especially when first introduce to an aquarium, and are appropriate food).

Was your LR live originally or did you start with dead rock since you used shrimp to cycle? If you started with ocean cultured live rock (vs dead rock brought to life) I think would be inclined not to kill it. I have a few interesting things just now showing up on some of my rock that is over 5 years in an aquarium and enjoy seeing the sponges and oddities that show up, especially after so many years. To my knowledge, cephs are not hosts to marine ich and if you leave the tank without hosts for a full life cycle, that issue will go away naturally.

If you do decide to purge the tank, it will take longer than the recommended 3 months to bring your bacteria up to "octo" levels. Adding a quantity of new new live rock would help the process but the tank will need a stable bacteria growth well beyond the needs of a few small fish. Cephs they are messy eaters and their bio load alone justifies a species only, single occupant tank.

If time is not something that will push you to move more quickly than you should it is a tough call. If it was dead rock to begin with, I know scrubbing is a royal pain and I am not sure how I would choose to proceed. If the rock was ocean cultured, I would probably spend an afternoon (or two :biggrin2:) scrubbing. One advantage would be the absence of brissle worms, a plague on most of my own tanks.

Oh, and you will need to build an octo-proof top while you are reconfiguring.
If you get brissle worms there is a certain type of wrasse that will eradicate them from your tanks. Obviously this would need to be done without and octo in the tank but one could be added once and they are taken care of it can then be transferred out or made a snack for a new, hungry octo. As far as I know most species of wrasse are fairly peaceful except the ones that are not coral friendly and this particular one is coral friendly so you shouldnt have a problem of it attacking or pecking the octo. Its the Six Lined wrasse. It will also eat flatworms. I had them in a tank and in about 2 months the wrasse had them all cleared up.
 

DWhatley

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#10
I don't and recommend against putting any type of fish in with an octo but I have enough tanks with enough brissles to just swap something like this between the tanks so I would very much like to know the species of such an animal.

I have heard but cannot verify that there is a species of cone snail that will eat them. Cones are poisonous to humans but there is one that is more or less safe. I had hoped to experiment with it but have not had the opportunity.

I had a mithrax crab once that would eat them (I have a video :biggrin2:) but he was a complete oddity. Somewhere along the line he lost most of his legs and never grew them back but continued to survive.
 

DWhatley

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#12
haggs;194172 said:
D, That video sounds interesting, do you have a link to it?
Just happen to have it posted on YouTube :wink: It was taken with an older camera so it is not very clear but you can tell what is happening. Eventually the crab lost all of its legs, reason unknown as there were no obvious predators in the tank. It lived for several weeks that way and we tried to feed it hoping the legs would grow back but it ultimately died, likely of starvation.

 

mazprot

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#13
DWhatley;194159 said:
I don't and recommend against putting any type of fish in with an octo but I have enough tanks with enough brissles to just swap something like this between the tanks so I would very much like to know the species of such an animal.

I have heard but cannot verify that there is a species of cone snail that will eat them. Cones are poisonous to humans but there is one that is more or less safe. I had hoped to experiment with it but have not had the opportunity.

I had a mithrax crab once that would eat them (I have a video :biggrin2:) but he was a complete oddity. Somewhere along the line he lost most of his legs and never grew them back but continued to survive.
Six lined wrasse. Pseudocheilinus hexataenia. Does well in community tanks, is peaceful, and will eat all your brissle or flatworms.
 

DWhatley

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#15
:soapbox: My negative :twocents: on keeping any live fish with an octopus:

Most people are made aware that an aggressive fish may pick on an octopus or that an octopus may consume hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of fish but there are additional reasons I have taken a strong stand against any fish in a home octopus environment (note the word home, these comments exclude considerations for flow through sea systems and public aquariums).

Octopus as an interactive pet.
Most keepers have hopes of seeing their octo daily and, at a minimum, have it come to the glass to investigate them and the world outside of an aquarium. To accomplish this the animals needs to believe it won't be prey when it comes out into the open. This is NOT a natural instinct. In the ocean an octopus is either prey or predator with size being a primary factor (and a probable factor in why very young animals are rarely seen). It is my strong feeling that to convert most any wild animal to some form of "pet", removing any type of real or perceived threat is essential. Fish are a perceived threat as pests that pick at their food on the low end and pests that pick at them directly on the high end. IMO, keeping an octopus means keeping a species only tank and, in most cases, a single occupant.

Natural environment simulation.
I see this a lot in posts and it is one of the statements that always gives me a knee jerk reaction. There is NOTHING natural about an aquarium. Yes, we provide water and dens that are suitable for sustaining life but the water is not an ocean that changes and dilutes rapidly and the space is cramped for both living choices and evacuation. When we take an animal out of a natural habitat for our own pleasure, IMO we need to remove the negatives nature includes. Another phrase that makes me shake my head is "but they live together in nature". True, but they also eat and damage each other "in nature". Why would anyone expect differently in a cramped environment? A simple view of underwater octopus videos will blatantly display this fact. Anyone who has kept a couple (often only one) of octopuses will note the missing arms and often body scars. Even your first animal will have the signs of arm regrowth if you know how to look for them (this is true even for the youngest of animals). It does not take an Einstein to decide this is not a part of "natural" we want to provide.
 

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