Octopus Advice

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Octo RWU, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hello all

    A friend and I work in the wetlab of our university, and are trying to gather as much information as possible to submit a proposal for research on behavior in octopuses. We've been doing tons of reading and found that California two-spots would workout the best for us. Our problem is that the big guy in charge wants us to use Atlantic Pygmies. We've read that these are shy and nocturnal.

    Any setup suggestions for us, and opinions on which species to go for would be helpful.

    Our current setup ideas would include 55 gallon tanks for each of 4 octopuses and either a 20 or 35 gallon sump tank (hopefully 35) for each tank. We will probably be designing the sytems ourselves as a bonus project from the aquarium systems design classes.

    Keep in mind we are very early into this project, and have experience taking care of a variety of spieces except octopuses. Many people in this forum seem to know a lot about the subject, so any and all opinions would be great.

    Thanks!
    Tom and Tyler
     
  2. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: Why does your professor want you to use Atlantic Pygmy Octopus?
     
  3. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    :welcome: I second what cuttlegirl asked, plus, I don't know that your going to be able to get any info about behavior from a pygmy unless you spend lots of late nights, get lucky on which octo(s) you get, and are extremely sneeky. Don't expect for them to interact with you at all. Also, for that size system with that many octo's, you're going to want a MEGA skimmer. I would suggest something rated for around 4-500 gallons. Let us know what your research shows as choices for skimmers and we'll tell you which one... Also, lots of LR, don't skimp on that or the cycling. Also, I'm interested in what uni you go to?
     
  4. Shkuey

    Shkuey Blue Ring Registered

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    I would speculate by their handle it is Roger Williams in RI, and that an atlantic octopus may be more easily aquired in that area? I'm sure you could setup webcams to study their behavior at night.
     
  5. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The professor does have connections on where to get the Atlantic pygmies, our guess is that is why he wants to get them. Also that they are smaller. He kind of likes to hog the lab. Anyway Shkuey Roger Williams University is correct.

    L8 2 RISE, what do you mean by LR and cycling? Do you mean live rock and the rate that the water is filtered? If you mean Live Rock, we found at the lab that putting less live rock in the tank itself, and most of it in the sump is better for water quality. Don't worry though, the octopuses will have plenty of other rock to hide in that is less expensive.

    We really want the California Two-spot because of their hardiness over other species and that they are more prone to interract with their caretakers.

    We know that the National Resource Center for Cephalopods deals in bimacs, they are in texas. Does anyone know any other places that deal with them?

    Thanks for the speculation!
    We will get back about the skimmer ASAP
    Tom and Tyler
     
  6. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Yep, I meant live rock, and I didn't necessarily mean in the displays, but if you're going to be keeping that many cephs in one system, you'll need lots of filtration: skimmer and live rock. At least a pound a gallon would be ideal.. I was going to suggest the NRCC, but you guys have apparently already found it. Would they not ship? Also, for bimacs, you'll need a chiller. You might be able to look through some old threads of people that have collected bimacs in cali and PM them. If I remember right, there was someone a couple months ago that had a thread about collecting them and what not....
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I would strongly suggest that you read the articles (Click on Articles above, and look at the Ceph Care articles that cover tank setup and octopus care). Our book (available from Amazon through the link on the home page) would give you more detailed information. There is also a lot of care information in the Ceph Care forums.

    I don't believe the NRCC has bimacs at the moment.

    Nancy
     
  8. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Yeah we already found the NRCC. We were referred to them by another professor here. As of nowwe are just gathering every ounce of information we can so that we can write up grants and our proposals. We have to submit those in the fall of 2009, and set up the system as soon as we can. We know we will need to mature it for quite a while so we arent expecting to try to get the bimacs until the spring of 2010. Hopefully. So we havent contacted the NRCC yet about them. We know that they are available through them seasonally, but we couldnt find which season? The systems we want to set up would be 2 seperate systems with 2 tanks on each. This seemed the best way to cut costs and avoid as much contamination risk as possible. It would be cheaper to buy 2 larger skimmers and filters than 4 smaller ones. For the skimmer we would also rather have an in-sump skimmer because we want to make sure there are as few escape routes as possible, and we heard they work better that way anyway.

    Size, and brand are our question now. You mentioned a 400-500 gallon skimmer for all 4 tanks but what about just 2 at a time? could we go with a 2-250? Also, would it fit into a 35 gallon sump tank? or to cut costs even further a plastic tub?

    Thanks for all the help!
    Tom and Tyler,
    wannabe octopus guys
     
  9. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    I personally would go for an all in one system... It'll be cheaper in terms of filtration: for example, you would have to go for two ATI 160's, (total of $1000), or, you could go for one system with a 250 with a total of $840, however you bring up a good point about contamination...

    Anywho, if you want to go for two systems... two 55s and a sump, your looking at two 150 gallon setups...
    Good skimmers:
    ATI Bubble Master 160
    recirc/gate valve modded Euro-reef RS-135s (the mods make it basically the same as a RC-135... just hundreds of dollars cheaper...)
    Bubble King Mini 180 would be amazing, however some argue that they are way overpriced... I honestly think that they are maybe slightly overpriced because they are 100% without a doubt, the best skimmers out there.
    Deltecs are good, however way overpriced. If you want to go down this route, look for Deltec skimmers rated for 150-200 gallons.


    I put these in the order of what I would do. If you can afford it though, I'd definetly push the ATI 160s to 200s since you will have two octos in one system, and the euroreefs I'd still mod, but push to an RS180.

    In terms of price, I'd go for the euro-reefs as long as you mod them (if you need help with this LMK, I've helped a guy mod his (my guinea pig :smile:) And I'm about to mod my RS 80 which is on my 50 gallon reef... I like to over do my skimming though.).

    With both price and performance considered, I'd go bubblemaster: by far my favorite skimmers. I have a 200. Super easy, super efficient, super quiet, super everything.

    In terms of performance, it's bubbleking, hands down.

    If you want to go with another skimmer type (and by all means, at least look, there's tons to choose from), shoot for something rated in the 2-300 gallon range, if not 250-300 gallon range. And if you're not sure, ask :grin:.

    Hope this helps...
     
  10. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Very helpful and downright impressive. We will look into all of those suggestions and more right away.

    Thanks
    Tom and Tyler
     
  11. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    How are aquamedics? We were looking at the t1000 with 2700 skimmer, we read that they are high maintenance but we expect one of us to be in there at any given time all day. So we are totally fine with extra maintenance.
     
  12. L8 2 RISE

    L8 2 RISE Haliphron Atlanticus Registered

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    Turbofloaters are "alright to good" skimmers. To be honest I've never had one, and have no experience, but people I know have... by maintenance, you probably read that about the original adjustment of the skimmer in order to get the right skimmate (close the valve too much and you have super wet skimmate, open it too much and you have either super dry skimmate, or none at all, you want to shoot for something in between). I would go one step up from the 1000 if you can... I don't know what the increments are, but you definetly want something better than the 1000... one increment up should do it though...
     
  13. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Since this is a scientific study, wouldn't you want conditions for all the test subjects to be as equal as possible? If so, then you would want to have a single sump and filtration system. That way any water quality change that might affect your results will happen to all your subjects at the same time. Or maybe you want separate systems so that you can purposefully alter some parameters for some animals and not others. Either way, it seems to me that these considerations would drive your decisions about how to set up the system.
     
  14. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Joe-Ceph, we understand what you are saying. The systems will be identical and water quality constantly monitered. We already have other projects in our lab that are running and we do the same for them. Also, one of the meals we have planned for the octopuses are asian shorecrabs, hemigrapsus sanguinus. They are invasive to the bay and we will be catching them wild. Now, if one of these crabs happens to bring in a parasite or infection that we fail to get rid of before feeding it to the octopuses, the entire system is down. And we would not be able to treat it with say, copper sulfate because it kills all invertebrates. We would rather be more careful about water quality than risk contamination of an entire system. This happened with the seahorses. A new batch was brought in with an infection and put on a system by someone without decontamination and all of the seahorse became infected. As for concerns about us not being able to properly clean the crabs, we have been feeding them to cuttlefish for a long time with no problems.

    We closely moniter every aspect, we thank you for your concern but we've got it under control.

    Tom and Tyler
     
  15. Octo RWU

    Octo RWU Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Alright, we talked to our advisor and the wetlab's manager and they both want us to get more octopuses than just the 4, which makes a lot of sense to us. We were just worried about space in the lab. Anyway the budget we are expecting will not be able to cover seperate systems, so you guys win haha. We are going to go probably 6 tanks on one super system.

    Thanks for all of the help and input
    Tom and Tyler
     

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