Octopus in a 44 gallon aquarium

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by asid61, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. asid61

    asid61 GPO Registered

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    I have a 2' tall 44 gallon aquarium that I want to keep a bimac or an aculeatus in. I have read here that bimacs require 50 gallon tanks, so I am unsure of this. I will not get it now, only in 6+ months until I become more comfortable with reefs. A bimac would be preferable, as they can be CB, and getting an aculeatus from liveaquaria.com is 50/50. However, I will settle for an aculeatus if the bimac is impossible.
    The tank has a 10 gallon sump with 6 gallons of water in it, for a total water volume of 50 gallons.
    I have a 250 watt heater in the main aquarium, but it can be moved. I have a 100 gallon Seaclone protein skimmer, i live in a 60 gallon Whisper filter, and two 480 gph circulation pumps, plus two DIY cooling fans for the summer (I live in CA). I can add more fans if needed.
    So, bimac, aculeatus or mercatoris? I would prefer to avoid mercs if possible because I have a bedtime of 9:00 and will have to wake up again to see it.
     
  2. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I don't want to be harsh on you but if your going to go with the bimac or even a aculeatus you need a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. A 30-40 would be suitable for a pygmy octopus (the con of that is...well...you know they're nocturnal).
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm gonna have to stick with saying 55 is the min. with some 50s being Ok because of the dimensions.

    I assume your tank is about 36" x 12½" x 25" tall, I think that is too narrow, I also think a standard 55 which is 48 x 12½ x 21 Tall, is too narrow.

    i like the tanks that are at least 18" wide. a standard 65 is 48 x 18 x 17 Tall which I think is awesome, my favorite so far is the 55 tall which is 30x18x24" tall it is enough footprint for the octo to spread out and it has some height for vertical movement.
     
  4. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I agree with you on the width. That's why I favor either boxish tanks or rectangular tanks. I have this awesome rectangular tank (60 gallons if I am not mistaken) though the width is 12" (the people who design tanks really need to stop doing that) the height of the tanks is greatly reduced giving it an increase to the tank's length. It's 50" in length I think. That should give a fish a good workout. As for another tank I have, sadly it has all of it's dimensions considerably sacrifices for it's height. That's why it has a lot of dust on it.


    Edit: measured the tank, 60" in length
     
  5. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Got a hold of the tall-and-narrow tank (30 gall), it's hard to see how long it is in length. The picture is bad because the iphone camera I used was 2 gen (ancient:eek:ld:).


     

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  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    We have discussed trying to set standards or at least minimums for octopuses by species and/or by size but have never been able to come up with a formal formula that is heavily agreed on. Our best attempts at establishing tank size have been somewhat refined (as CaptFish discusses) but a lot depends upon the individual octopus. Unfortunately, you don't actually know the size and activity of an animal until you keep it and you can't return it once it outgrows the intended tank so we strongly recommend a sizing that will provide room for both activity and safe water margins. One thing I try to stress to new keepers is that your first animal is likely to live less time than it takes you to plan, purchase and cure a tank. Their lifespans are short and you will not likely find a very young animal. Therefore, you need to prepare to keep multiple animals over your keeping experience and this pushes the need for a larger tank than specific instances of animals might allow for. You will see tank sizes all over the map and some of the experiences are quite successful with THAT animal but not so with the next or the next.

    This is further complicated by the lack of species knowledge of the supplier. You may attempt to purchase a bimac just to discover it is a hummelincki (this confusion is frequent and we can usually identify the difference soon enough that it is not kept in an improper environment as hummelincki is a warm water animal). I have kept hummelincki that would easily live in a 45 but have also kept two that needed much more swimming/foraging area. The ones that would have done well in the smaller tank grew only to the size of a dwarf species (and indeed this species was once classified this way). Two others grew to bimac size. The one that was in a tank too small for it started trying to escape its tank (it died as a result of the escape attempts before its new tank was ready). I am currently keeping what I believe to be a joubini and started her in a 37 gallon tank but her size eventually exceeded the maximums listed for the species. An alternate guess based on coloration and eyes would be vulgaris, Little Bit would be tiny if this is her true species. Fortunately, I had a larger tank available and she was moved to the larger living quarters when it was obvious she needed more room.

    The bottom line is you don't know what you will have living in your tank a year from now and preparing a tank that will accomodate the larger of the likely animals will provide a better experience for both you and the tank live stock.

    As far as acquiring an acquacultured octopus, the opportunities are few and far between for any species. When we do see hatchlings available, they have been from educational projects with wild caught females, not from captive breeding.
     
  7. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    totally agree, and it's never unnecessary to over prepare.
     
  8. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    also IMO, with a latger water volume it is easier to maintain and keep proper water chemistry.
     
  9. Cuddlycuttlefsh

    Cuddlycuttlefsh Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    believe it or not, I've successfully kept a 10 gal with no chemical problems, I'm thinking about moving the fish (note that I stress the word fish in my statement, the tank is a single species tank) to a 30 gallon or a 40. He's fairly small for his species, and in their life history they do tend to move from brackish to full saltwater (can't wait XD).
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Well put, D. A very good argument for getting a larger than minimum tank from both D and CaptFish.

    Nancy
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    ... or keeping multiples to allow for little ones that grow big :wink:
     
  12. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    asid61 mentioned that they are interested in "CB", which I assume refers to captive breeding. A small male bimac might be okay in a 44 gallon tank, but females are larger, and are less likely to like such a small tank. Used tanks are generally cheap, and larger is better all around, so I really don't recommend skimping. If you get a young one, a 44 will be fine for several months at least, so you could start with it, but only if you can trust yourself to actually get around to upgrading before your octopus needs more room. That would give you a few months to find a deal on a used tank. If you live in a medium to large city, it's likely that you could buy a used 65-85 gallon tank with all the accessories, and sell the parts you don't need, individually, for as much as you paid total, getting the tank for free (except for the hassle).
     
  13. asid61

    asid61 GPO Registered

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    Well, my mom is the problem. She does not like the fact that I even have an aquarium, and she will not allow me to get a new aquarium if I tear this one down. She does not want me to plumb multiple tanks into this one. And she will only let be buy captive bred cephs.
    Another option I have considered is captive bred dwarf cuttlefish. She is slightly more lenient on cuttles (presumably because they are not as smart?) and according to Richard Ross's article on caring for them, they like tall tanks. I also have MH lighting, so I am starting to lean in the cuttle direction as I heard they are more tolerant of high lighting.
    Should I start a new thread in the cuttlefish care forum?
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Most purchasable cuttlefish in the US are wild caught, not captive bred, eggs (there are no cuttlefish in our hemisphere so they are all imported). We do occasionaly see some from forum members, but it is very rare (as I stated above, never for octopuses and this is not likely to change for the octos accept in in situ farms where they are raised for food and the species are too large for home aquaria, it may for cuttles). If you want to investigate further, yes start a new thread in the cuttlefish care forum but unless your mother will allow wild caught eggs, you might want to put the project asside for awhile but stay involved with the forum to see the progress.
     

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