Octo Care, Selection, Availability?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by ErikHarrison, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. ErikHarrison

    ErikHarrison Cuttlefish Registered

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    I have a 30g long with the stand and canopy, and plenty of eggcrate to go 'round. I want to make this either a seahorse tank or an octo tank. I am a year into saltwater, and on my local groups site (www.maast.org) I have over 2500 posts in almost a year. So yes, I do have much time to read, and I have. I have a 75g with a 29g fugeish/sump with a EuroReef RS135 and some 250w HQI halides..... Yeah, so that's my background so far. I have a boatload of questions.
    Specie:
    1.) What is an acceptable breed of octo to keep in this small of an aquarium?
    2.) What do those breeds eat?
    3.) Are they readily available, hardy, and where can I find them (prefer captive bred)
    4.) Which of these have the best coloration? :)
    5.) Can these be mated?
    Housing:
    1.) What "rules of thumb" or "gems" can y'all offer me about housing an octo?
    2.) How small of a space can an octo get out of?
    3.) Will a simple dual biowheel work, or should I build a fuge/sump?
    4.) How much Live Rock should I use?
    5.) Can I keep corals in the same tank, or would that be a bad choice?
    6.) If I only housed an octo, and since I am diligent on HEAVY water changes, will I really need a skimmer?
    7.) What SG is required, and is 1.023-4 acceptable?
    8.) What is a typical temperature to keep them at?
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I can take a shot at some of these, and I'll also mention that the ceph care articles under the ARTICLES button is full of good stuff, in case you haven't seen that yet.

    We tend to recommend 55-75gallon tanks with bimacs or briareus, since those seem to be the best fit for keepers. A 30 gallon is ok for a dwarf or a single bandensis cuttlefish... Unfortunately, most of the dwarf species have the drawbacks of short lifespan, extreme shyness, and nocturnal activity.

    Octos generally produce a lot more ammonia than anyone expects, so extra filtration, sumps, and lots of live rock (I've seen 1lb/ gal suggested) are helpful, and big water changes are also a good idea. A skimmer is not mandatory, but is recommended particularly because it can help if your ceph inks. Almost all octos will eat live crabs or shrimp, some may eat other things like clams, scallops, fish, and frozen shrimp, but some won't, so you can't count on that.

    a few corals are OK, but many are not, there are some threads around about that.

    I've never heard anyone complain that any octopus has boring coloration, so you probably don't want to consider that too much... the most strikingly colored animals tend to be the least dynamic, and also ones we don't recommend (blue rings can kill you, and wunderpus & mimic are at risk for overcollection and not well studied, and may be toxic as well.)

    gotta run, but that's at least a start...
     
  3. ErikHarrison

    ErikHarrison Cuttlefish Registered

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    Do they prefer height to footprint? I do have the tank for sale, so I will probably try to get rid of it, and start with a larger aquarium. I'll probably pack a fuge with mangroves... I am a huge believer in alot of LR and DSB in my displays and in my fuges. I think the both of those in combination just lead to better success and stabilization. How big do bimacs or briareus get? Funny, but I completely did not take in the idea of skimming wet and inking. Does the ink jack up the levels? Do y'all run carbon, carbon, carbon? I am really looking forward to enjoying a ceph tank, and when I start my build I will do a very well detailed post. We also have a Nikon D80, and it seems like our lives revolve around fish and pictures!
     
  4. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    You sound like a good candidate for keeping an octo. The best advice anyone can give you is just be patient, but since you're already into saltwater tanks you probably know that.

    As far as I know ink won't affect water parameters, but a big cloud can suffocate an octo. I can't remember how big Bimacs get, I'm sure that's somewhere in the articles. They are significantly smaller than Briareus though, who can reach up to about 3 feet spread out.

    I wouldn't worry about height vs. footprint of the tank, as long as they have room to wander around. They generally don't swim that much, but would probably do it more in a taller tank. Carbon's a good idea.
     
  5. ErikHarrison

    ErikHarrison Cuttlefish Registered

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    "The best advice anyone can give you is just be patient, but since you're already into saltwater tanks you probably know that."

    I preach that, after having 0 success and killing fish until I "woke up" and realized that I knew nothing. Taking your time in this hobby and doing research is what it's all about. :)

    I'll dig around and see where the articles are; I am going through the new forum phase, so I have to get my bearings here.
    I am located in San Antonio, how many other Texans are here? :D
     
  6. aromantis

    aromantis Cuttlefish Registered

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    Briareus are bigger but its not som much their mantles as their arms. They are very long and skinny. THey are pretty much known for this. Where as Bimacs have more plump arms.
     
  7. shipposhack

    shipposhack Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    If I remember right a Bimac can get up to 3" mantle length and a Briareus can get up to 5". Briareus are better suited for a 75 gallon, but the only difference in standard 55s and 75s is depth. A longer tank is better than a taller one (55 and 75 are better over 65 because 65 is 3 ft long and tall, where 55 and 75 are 4 ft long and more rectangular).

    I wouldn't go with a hang on back filter at all, stick with a canister or sump. They are easier to octo proof and will provide better filteration. A fuge isn't really necessary, and mangroves don't really have much nutrient export. If you are really looking to keep NO3 and PO4 down go with Caulerpa or Cheatomorpha (can't remember if it is spelled cheat or chaet). Mangroves are nice for looks though. I recommend a protein skimmer for any saltwater tank, especially one with the large biomass of an octopus. Buying a quality skimmer over a cheap one will save you in the long run and create less maintenance. You aren't really likely to find a captive bred octopus unless it is online somewhere (generally keepers with breeding programs are members on this site). Run extra carbon especially if your octo inks and change it every 3-4 weeks.

    Octopuses are considered difficult to keep; not hardy. The hardiest of species will be the ones already mentioned for medium-sized octos. There are a couple possibilities for larger and smaller tanks too, though each have different drawbacks. Another octopus besides a bimac or briareus that is good for the 55-75 range is Abdopus Aculeatus. Vendors rarely know what species they have.

    Edit: I don't think a DSB will work well for an octopus. They will typically dig which will make it hard for the anaerobic bacteria to get rolling. One to two inches is the recommended sand depth.
     
  8. ErikHarrison

    ErikHarrison Cuttlefish Registered

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    I have decided on a setup, and the time to purchase everything will be coming up soon. I will find a EuroReef or a Dual Beckett for a skimmer, and a 75 gallon. I am going to build my own sump out of acrylic, and with mangroves comes Chaeto! I wouldn't think of only using mangroves, but I do like the look of them. I would never recommend Caulerpa to anyone, but only because it has the potential to go sexual in a tank, whereas chaeto won't. I already have a buyer for my old canister, and after reading for the entire day yesterday, and some last night, I have some really great ideas for a tank, and securing the lid. I will start a journal soon, and I may even include some google sketchup! I know the care for these beautiful animals is not easy, and rest assured that I will have plenty of questions.
    One more quick question....
    With octos being soooo curious, what do y'all do about powerheads?
     
  9. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Glue the removable pieces together and wrap sponge over the intakes.
     

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