New to Octopus, need some help with tank size, ect...

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by lougotzz, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. lougotzz

    lougotzz Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi everybody, I am new to octopus, but not to reefing. I have had several different types of reef tanks, and I have kept many different types of high care demanding animals.

    My questions are, how difficult is it to care for an octopus? I know they can be easily startled, and this can cause them to ink. I have always read to appoach the aquarium slowly so I do not scare the animal. I was reading on live aquaria's web site that they labeled this animals difficulty as expert only. If I am comfortable with SPS corals and demanding anemones like H. magnifica, is it basically the same thing as far as water chemistry?

    I would like to keep an octopus in a 40 breeder. So if you could tell me of some species that will do well in this size aquarium, I will read up on them.

    Does anyone have any good ideas on how to keep them in the tank? I was talking to a friend and he was telling me that astro turf was a good thing to put over the aquarium because they can not stand the feel of it. I was also thinking of window screens people use to keep fish like gobies in the tank.

    I was planning dim lighting, and lots of caves for it to hide in.

    So can anyone tell me about specific species that are ok in a 40 breeder?

    Thanks.
     
  2. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    They are demanding in a number of ways water chemistry being one. They have a very high O2 demand and keeping a lid on top can add to the problem. Some of us put airstones in the sump to help with the gas exchange.


    Well that can be difficult to say because you really dont have a good idea of what kind of octo you will get. Some times you expect one and get another. And we recommend a min of 65 gallons for most octos.

    Most people use glass, acrylic, or screen. Lowering the water level helps too. But make sure its a nice snug fit.

    Dim lighting is good as some octos are strickly nocturnal and will only come out in the dark. A dwarf like a merc would be a good choice for your 40 and on the plus side you can keep a few together. However they have a down sides of only coming out when its completely dark.
     
  3. lougotzz

    lougotzz Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks.
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    19,080
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    Gainesville, GA USA
    Unfortunately a 40 is bad choice for an octo tank. It is really too large for the dwarfs (in that you are likely never to see them) and too small for anything else. If I am not mistaken, the foot print for a 40 breeder is about the same as a standard 55? With a large sump you can compensate for the water shortage but arm length and thus crawling room becomes a problem. If you could know what you are getting, a small O. hummelincki would work, likely the small macropus I have kept (one was very comfortable in a 45 but it was much taller and their arms are long) and probably an A. aculeatus or A. abaculus (sort of a smaller version of the aculeatus). Unfortunately, as SK mentions getting what you need for a tank is much harder than having a tank that will accomodate most of the species that end up being shipped. Unless you catch the octopus yourself or find it already for sale, you will not know, in spite of what your LSF orders, what will show up. Wholesalers have absolutely no clue.

    We only get to keep our critters for about 7 months before they die of old age. They typically live between 12 and 18 months but most of the time they are older than 5 month when captured. If you get one around 5 months, this seems to be close to optimum for enjoyment (at least from the two species I have raised/am raising from hatchlings). Prior to about 5 months old they are very, very recluse and many keepers get frustrated just trying to ensure they are still alive. This being said, sizing your tank for keeping octopuses and not a specific animal should be a prime consideration.

    To get a feel for keeping the different species, go to Forums->Journals and Photos->List of our Octopuses 20xx (located at the top of the forum). The lists show the animal name, keeper and species when known. Lists from 2008 forward have links to those journals. Be sure to read several journals on several species :wink:.
     
  5. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    12
    You are a great example of how to this right: you've got plenty of reef experience (although I didn't when I got my first octopus) and you're asking all the right questions before you get one (you're doing careful planning and prep. Good job!
    Previous posters have given you great information, but I think I can add a little.
    In my experience they are only likely to ink for a few days to a few weeks after you get them; while they're still in "alien abduction" mode. Once they get used to their new home, they probably won't ink. I have a skimmer, a floss filter, and a high tank turnover flow rate with a medium sized octopus in 50 gallons of water (bimac), and Ink just seems to go away quickly without a problem for me.
    I don't think they hate the feel of astro turf. Their suckers can't get a grip on astro turf at all, so they can't pull themselves across it, but if they can reach past/over it, they can pull themselves over it. At best it's only a deterrent, not a secure solution, so I wouldn't count on it. My rule of thumb is that an octopus can get through a hole/crack that it can push it's eyeball through, some screen is too big, and they are very strong pullers, so anything they can get a grip on must be able to withstand a serious pull. I like tanks with a plastic rim around the top. Acrylic sheets can easily be cut and drilled. I drill a couple of holes in the plastic rim and bold down pieces of acrylic using nylon nuts and bolts. you can also get acrylic hinges and glue them on. Acrylic warps under hot lights, but moderate lights used for an octopus are probably not enough to cause serious bowing in 1/4" or thicker acrylic. If it bows, flip it over ever few months (so space the holes symmetrically). Heed the advice about providing another form of gas exchange (I have a wet/dry trickle filter) if you seal the top like this.
     
  6. lougotzz

    lougotzz Larval Mass Registered

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I havn't bought a tank yet, but I do have a spare RR 75 gallon tank, I'm guessing this would open my options up quite a bit? What would you guys put in a standard 75? 48x18x21. A 40B is 36x18x16, 45 gallons. I think what I will do, is set up my 75, I have a lot of stuff that I can use, tank, skimmer, return pump, ect. So I think I will set that up from a tank break down I did, let it cycle for a few months as I look into what I get. Lots of caves when I do my aquascape, right?
     
  7. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,462
    Likes Received:
    7
    The 75 will open up most of the octo world to you. Other than a GPO or O. vulgaris you could keep most other ones we find for sale. Yes lots of caves. When you think you have enough add 2 or 3 more just to be sure lol.
     

Share This Page