Octo-friendly Corals

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Keith, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I'm pretty sure I asked about this once before, but I couldn't find the thread. I'm almost ready to start cycling my tank, and i'd like to put some corals in it. I doubt I could get it to look as good, but pretty much, after seeing videos of AnimalMothers tank, I want to do something like that. He did a nice job on that. I just wanted to know what will be ok with an octo. Personally I like most polyps, xenia, and taro trees, but what would you guys recommend? And are those ones I mentioned compatible? Any info would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Pretty much any leather, Kenya, this type of "sun polyp" (they curl up when touched,eat octo poop and OhToo as well as Octane have never reacted to them, I have removed all others because they cause an immediate octo reaction), Caribbean mushrooms (don't know about others), most short tentacled gorgonians (corkey fingers may be problematic - there is on in OhToo's tank and he shys away from it).

    You can also have brittle stars and most serpent stars (we removed our green since he seemed to be intimidating OhToo and many of the green ones get very large and agressive). For some mobile color, we love the thorny sea stars and have them in all three octo tanks. They are brightly colored meat eating scavengers (great for clean-up) and not at all shy of the light (unilke most serpents and brittles - they are not advised in a reef tank though as they tend to munch a little on some corals but we have had no trouble with them touching any of the softies mentioned for the octo tank). Pencil urchins are OK for the octo but tend to start munching on the softies once there is not enough algae (they will also remove coraline algae and I have so much of it in one tank I may take one from my sump and let it reduce the purple :hmm:)
     
  3. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Anthelia
    sinularia
    leathers of sorts
    mushrooms
    xenia
    macro algae's of sorts

    Avoid palythoa's, sps, lps. I would try not to mix in anything that's high-maintenance. Anything that isn't attached to a large rock will probably be moved.
     
  4. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Pulsing Xenia are fun because the octopus will sometimes sit next to them, and mimic the behaviour.
    The above advice is quite sound !
     
  5. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    what about zoa's?
     
  6. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    That's awesome. You guys are always really helpful on this kinda thing. All of those options sound good to me. When I said polyps I was referring to the really common ones like green button polyps etc. If those aren't cool for the tank, it's no issue, I really like xenia.
     
  7. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Ah. I'm not very fimiliar with corals, so I looked up some of the ones that AnimalMother listed. I think the polyps i'm talkin about are palythoas.
     
  8. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Anyone know of a good source for info on their care? I haven't kept corals before, and I wanna make sure I do everything right.
     
  9. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    If your water is good enough for an octopus to live in, those corals will be fine. You don't really need to dose anything for softies as long as you do your water changes, and you don't really need to feed them either. Just provide decent lighting for a few hours a day.
     
  10. Hamp

    Hamp Cuttlefish Registered

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    Reef central has been a big help, and huge source of info on coral care for me. Stay in the newbie section though, some of the people there are a lot better with tanks than they are people.
     
  11. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I had never found anything on foods for corals, I was hella confused, so that helps. Do corals require skimmers? And I know what you mean Hamp, there are definately some cocky people on RC.
     
  12. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Most of the corals we keep only really require good lighting. Feeding them will help them grow faster, but it's not absolutely necessary unless they are non-photosynthetic.
    Whether or not a skimmer is required really depends on what other filtration you have going, but you can't really beat a good skimmer. Most softies could be kept without a skimmer, as they actually tend to do well in less than perfect conditions, and you have to consider that a skimmer pulls out more than just the bad stuff in the water. Some people actually poor a little of the skimmed goo back into their tank.
     
  13. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    You are going to need the skimmer for the octopus anyway...
     
  14. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Because I want a few corals that aren't ok to keep with the octo, i'm thinking about getting a 29 gallon and making it a sort of aqua-garden. I can grow all the stuff I want for the octopus tank, in the coral tank while the other is cycling. I've been wanting to get into coral propogation for a while, I just haven't had a lot of spare time. The filter that I have is an Emperor 400. I had it on a freshwater tank I had a while back. I was under the impression that those types of filters were for freshwater only, but a friend of mine told me it was ok. He said that as long as the filter is for a tank thats larger than the one i'm gonna use it on, it should be fine. I trust him, he did all the aquatics stuff at Marine World for a few years. I just wanted to see if I would need a small skimmer or whatnot.
     
  15. Hamp

    Hamp Cuttlefish Registered

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    IMHO, The filters you are talking about are not that great, unless you change out the filter every 4 or 5 days. The lighting is all you need for most corals, and I would def. get a skimmer, and do weekly water changes. Dont overfeed your tank with fish/coral food. I like the Garf website, some controversial methods, but really helped me get started. Lots of info on farming corals as well. Good people there too. Also make sure you have the time, because it takes a lot of it to start a reef tank.
     
  16. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    The only problem with the skimmer is that I can't find anything for something that size. I want to start the corals with a 20L or a 29 gallon, and theres nothing I could find that small. Recently I read something about the possibility of "over skimming" in tanks with corals. Correct me if i'm wrong, I just don't wanna screw em up.
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Nano farming is an art, or maybe witch craft. I have seen some really beautifully setup displays but when I return 6 months later, either there is a new display or it is gone. We started with a 25 gallon Nano when we reintroduced ourselves to saltwater and added extra lighting with dreams of keeping lots of corals all crowed into a beautiful scene (like in the fish stores) :roll:. After moving on to bigger and far better tanks, it went unused for several years but has been operational again for about a year and houses some interesting polyps that multiply like crazy and our little mantis. It is NOT my favorite tank but it is interesting. Twice we have had great xenia that grows like crazy then after about a year, dies off. Sometimes I think I change out too much water but our filtration is myserable.

    On the other hand, Nancy has had good success with one and recently upgraded to nano about the size you are thinking about. I know she has a small skimmer for it and maybe my post will goad her into showing some photos.
     
  18. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Yes, you can over-skim a reef tank. It will remove some of the beneficial elements, food, etc.

    In a tank that small, I would say you could probably get away without a skimmer if you kept feeding to a minimum and don't have any fish in the tank. If you use that HOB filter it's only going to be for the carbon cartridges and turning over the water. The carbon is great for keeping the water clear and absorbing junk, but as mentioned, it breaks down pretty fast and you'll need to replace it often or it will just become another source of polution in the tank. I tried using one as a refugium but it's hard to keep from getting sand into the motor, and once that happens, it will be a pain in the butt.

    If I may give you some advice on this idea, get a good grip on one or the other first. Don't start them both at the same time, given you don't have much hands on experience with either.

    I am starting to regret my decision to take on the coral propagation biz (of course I have 3 displays setup). It's a LOT of work, time, money. Water changes, topoffs, dosing, replacing equipment, cutting corals, waiting for them to grow, hoping they don't die (and some will inevitably) ...and then off to my day job. Oh yeah, and then there's the display tanks to maintain! And I'm setting up another display in the living room currently... truly a labor of love.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Wow. For all that trouble and the difficulty of having a small tank for corals, I may just want to wait and do it in my 75 gal. I'd want to wait a few more months to get my octopus, but I suppose it would be better in the long run for it. I just want to make it as natural of a home as possible so I have as happy of an octo as I can. From the sounds of it, they have a cool interaction with xenia. I'd definately like to see that. Oh yea, one more question I keep forgetting to ask, and i'm almost at that stage. What grade of sand should I get? Standard sand, fine, or the crushed coral?
     
  20. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Don't get crushed coral. It will become nastified and you will curse it.

    Aragonite sand, or, if you can find it, Pavestone brand crushed limestone (Home Depot used to sell it for $5 per 50lbs) is what I use in my tanks, except Kalypso's black sand, which I hate now. The black sand is pretty coarse and I haven't noticed any downsides to it, other than it just sucks the light out of the tank.
     

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