Octoproofing a tank

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by NecrochildK, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    I was wondering if anyone would like to share tips on octoproofing a tank with a sump? This is going to be my first saltwater tank, and it will be a long time still before I have it set up, but I want to do things right and I most of all want to dedicate the tank to a bimac. I also wanted to know, aside from pencil urchins and starfish, are there any other creatures that make okay tankmates for them? I've read that some kinds of anemones are okay, but which kinds? And some people say hermit crabs are okay too, but again, what kinds? Any information is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. corw314

    corw314 Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Duck tape everything. I also use thick plastic around filters ducktaped down.

    And:welcome::mrgreen:
     
  3. dreadhead

    dreadhead Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    hermits wont last long,and I belive anemones will sting your octo.but keep checking animal mothers post "8 armed buddy".I'm new to this to so get more info from some of the more knowlageable people here
     
  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: Any kind of hermits would be okay in your tank. As long as you take your time, and do lots of reading on this site, you should get a pretty good idea of what's involved in caring for an octopus.
     
  5. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: make sure you check out the articles (under the articles button at the top of the page) if you haven't already... I think there's some discussion of octoproofing in one of them.
     
  6. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    lol I've been checking articles all over the web, it's hard to recall what I have and haven't read yet.
     
  7. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    Ah! Brain, one thing I seem to have trouble finding is what kinds of coral, if any, is safe for an octopus tank?
     
  8. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    I should have thought to put a disclaimer at the beginning of my new journal thread (New 8-armed buddy). More or less it is an experiment to see what will and what won't work out. There is a small long-tentacle anemone in the tank, as well as an LPS coral, both capable of stinging. That said, I've been maintaining various saltwater tanks for over 2 years, almost 3 years now, so I have a pretty good feel for how these things work.

    Personally, the best advice anyone can give you being your first saltwater experience, is keep it simple. Be VERY patient, and do LOTS of research on EVERYTHING you consider BEFORE purchasing. The biggest mistake a lot of people make is being impatient, cutting corners, and impulse buying things without any knowledge beforehand of the care and behavior of the creatures they take home.

    As for octo-proofing your overflow goes, I added an extension of pvc onto the overflow drain. It is 8 inches long, and has LOTS of 1/8th inch holes drilled in it, the complete length of the pipe, as many holes as I could fit, so as to not cause drag/slow down the drain flow. The end of the pvc has an end cap. Depending on the size of the octopus this should work well, but I haven't heard of anyone else doing it... kind of a last minute idea, and I'm happy with the way it's working.

    As for other things you can add to an octo tank, gorgonias and soft corals are pretty safe. Any LPS is going to involve risk, and should most likely be avoided, especially a beginner. To elaborate, most soft corals do fine in low lighting conditions, and do not have sweeper tentacles that can sting. Octopuses don't seem to like bright lighting, which LPS and SPS corals need. So, the addition of these type corals is going to require more intense lighting, which will in turn most likely cause the octopus to hide, plus octopuses have sensitive skin and contact with stingy corals can be unhealthy if not lethal. Serpent/Brittle stars and urchins are tride and true safe tankmates. If you're interested in fish, you should get familiar with their behaviors/personalities before getting too set on the idea of adding any. A good place to start would be fish labeled "peaceful" and suggested for a "nano" tank. These fish will generally be passive and considerably small, more or less incapable of threatening an octopus.

    My "project" is to conclude whether or not an A. aculeatus is suitable to a typical fish/reef-tank setup. This may turn out a success, and it may turn out a disaster. I hate that I am subjecting the octopus to potential harm, but at the same time I am considering that the octopuses natural environment is significantly more dangerous. I wouldn't have jumped ship on the species-only rule had I not read several possitive experiences from various people on various boards, and felt comfortable with my own knowledge of the creatures included in the tank with the octopus.

    Until I conclude that specificly an A. aculeatus is capable of surviving, and as best I can tell, thriving in this tank, I do not endorse keeping one with potentially hazardous tankmates. Another octopus to consider for this type of experiment would probably be an O. briareus, but in a larger tank since they do grow much larger than an A. aculeatus and would need more room to avoid trouble.

    Just because Evil Knievil jumps through hoops of fire and across the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle doesn't mean others should follow, to put it one way. I could have kept my endeavor a secret to avoid any damage to my tree-hugging reputation but I wanted the experience, and I wanted to share it, and I wanted to learn from it and share what I learn from it so as to hopefully expand on the possibilities of octopus keeping. Having my thread pointed out brought to my attention that I am maybe setting a bad example for future octopus keepers, and I don't want that at all.
     
  9. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    ^_^ THanks so much Animomma. And yes, I've been researching a lot in the past few days, but it could be six months to a year more before I even have a tank set up. I'm taking it slow and making sure I do things right. To me an octopus is a very exciting and seems to be a very rewarding pet to have IF taken care of right. And god knows with as little life as I have left in me, I don't want to rush things and screw something up and hurt the poor thing because I was too tired to get this or that done in time before putting one in.
    One thing I'm realizing is, while the tank has been empty and dry for over half a year already, I don't know it's history as I bought it used. Can't remember how many gallons, but it's 18 inches wide, 24 inches tall and 6 feet long.

    So now I figure I need to contact the pet shop I got it from and see if they can get me the info of the guy that sold it through them and see if he ever used copper based medicines and such in it.
    Or is there a way to make it safe in the off chance I can't find out?
     
  10. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    There is a calculator online if you google the dimensions-gallons. Sounds like it's probably at least 120 gallons.

    There's no way to make it safe if there has been copper used, other than maybe strip the silicone out and reseal it completely, and in that case you'd be better off trying to sell it and buy a brand new tank.
     
  11. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    ^_^ Found it. About 135 gallons.
     
  12. NecrochildK

    NecrochildK Cuttlefish Registered

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    Bwaha! I just got off the phone with the local petshop guy, the ones here at Pets Unlimited are REALLY excellent, especially for care of aquatics, and he said the tank's previous owner had it set up as a coral reef, so with it being previously inhabited by invertibrates there would be no danger of anything harmful to octopi ever having been used as medication in the tank.
     

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