Octopets Pod Farm

Discussion in 'The Octopus' Den' started by AK-Dave, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. AK-Dave

    AK-Dave Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    For those of you thinking about buying the pod farm from Octopets, here is a brief report of my experience:

    I just received my pod farm from Octopets. I had a slight disconnect with DHL during the delivery, but I finally got it. Since I live in Alaska, I knew the shipping time would be a little longer (2 days total) and I would have some die-off, but a significant portion seem to have made it. I would estimate that about a third died during shipping, mostly the largest ones. The algae seems to have made it ok. There seems to be more than 1/4 pound of it, but I am not complaining. The amphipods were shipped in a damp paper towel with lots of air sealed in the bag. There were quite a few isopods in with the amphipods. They appeared to be sphaeromatid isopods. After one night in the tank, both types of pods and the algae seem to be doing well.

    I will update this in a week or so unless I manage to kill them all. This is my first saltwater tank, a 10 gallon macroalgae/live rock/small invertebrate system. It's main purpose is to allow me to practice the various aspects of testing and maintaining my water parameters, bringing me one step closer to being ready for my octopus tank.
     
  2. AK-Dave

    AK-Dave Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I have managed to kill off most of the amphipods :|, but the isopods are doing fine. I pinched the air line with tank lid yesterday morning before I left for work, so the tank didn't get any air for 13 hours. The air also provides circulation. Anyway, the amphipods didn't seem to like it. The O2 level was less than 2 mg/L when I got home. I also discovered that my alkalinity was off the scale, > 16 mg/L dKH. I tested my source water, and it was 12.0 mg/L dKH before mixing with salt. Today, I'm going to add some calcium chloride and do a few partial water changes (using a different water source for my mix) to bring it down. Lesson learned: wait until you can test ALL your water parameters before adding animals (even if they are just pods). I have spotted a third type of pod that came with the pod farm. I have not been able to identify it yet, but it is about 4 mm long and about .5 mm wide. It does not look like the amphipods or isopods. I'll have to get a lens or something to get a better look at it. There are also quite a few smaller animals zipping around, but they are less than .5 mm and I can't tell what they are.

    Bottom line: I'm happy with the Pod Farm and will probably order another one once I get past the killing everything off stage of being a newbie.
     
  3. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,137
    Likes Received:
    0
    :lol: Sorry for laughing, but you seem to have a sense of humor about the inevitable first-timer mistakes. My turn will come. I'm curious about your mystery-pods.

    Melissa
     
  4. AK-Dave

    AK-Dave Cuttlefish Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's easy for me to have a sense of humor about it, since I don't have a lot of money invested at this point, and the purpose of this tank was to get all the first-timer mistakes out of the way. If I had jumped in with a large tank and lots of money invested, I don't think I would have the same tone to my posts. Especially if my mistakes ended up resulting in the death of an octopus. (I can just imagine all the PETP (people for the ethical treatment of pods) people jumping in at this point and bashing me for thinking an octopus' life has more value than a pod's life)

    As far as the unidentified pods, I will try to get an ID on them during my off week. I took Dr. Ron Shimek's online sand bed course over at Reefcentral, and I have the reference materials to look them up, but I just don't have the time during my work week to do it. Plus, I need to get my hands on a good disection microscope or, at a minimum, a good hand lens. I found a dead baby clam under the algae that came with the pod farm, so it looks like they sometimes make it into the shipment. I still have most of the isopods, some of the amphipods, and lots of various unidentified pods running around.

    I did a 1/3 water change last night to try to bring down my alkalinity levels, but they are still > 16 dKH, which is the upper limit of my test kit. It is lower than is was, since it only took 1.3ml of the reagent to get it to change color as opposed to 1.6 ml yesterday. The mixed saltwater I was using for the water change had an alkalinity of 10.0 dKH, so it will take a few changes to bring it down. I really want to get them down below 20, since I can't test for phosphate or silica when it is that high. I wanted to add some calcium chloride, but I can't seem to find a source for it. According to Dr. Holmes-Farley at Reefcentral, the calcium chloride will cause excess carbohydrates to precipitate out, reducing the alkalinity.
     

Share This Page