OCTOPUS IN LARGE REEF TANK??? W/EELS+SHARKS+THE WORKS

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by hmlmike, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. hmlmike

    hmlmike Larval Mass Registered

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    hELLO,

    I already ordered an octopus from octopets and am worried if we could survive. My tank is 150 gallons and is between the kitchen and living room where counter used to be... it is sealed for eels but is clear through all sides all the time...

    Right now i have assorted large fish and large anemones and coral. Along with a 3 month old banded shark and the two eels... they're only about 16 inches long and thin...

    The tank has all the usual sandstars, urchins, crabs, shrimp, etc. please let me know as he should ship Wed.

    Thanks in advance,
    michael
     
  2. tjohnson

    tjohnson Wonderpus Registered

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    In my personal opinion, if you don’t have a separate tank for the octo, I would cancel your order.
     
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Mike,

    I, too, think you should cancel your order, and then read about octo needs on this website - look at the ceph care articles by clicking on the ceph care buttons above.

    An octopus needs its own tank, not one full of things that will eat it or sting it. (Avoid anemones). The octos from Octopets are very young and small, too. Eels are predators of octopuses. Even if it somehow did survive, it would be eating your shrimp and other things in the tank. We do not recommend an octo in a reef tank.

    Wait until you can provide a good environment for an ocotpus, which isn't what you have now.

    Nancy
     
  4. hmlmike

    hmlmike Larval Mass Registered

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    what about a wild octopus instead???

    How do these things survive in a real reef... i thought eels would kill my shark because he was born in my tank, but he learned, eels even used to take food out of his mouth, but now he bites eels back!

    My tank is 6" in length and has like 300 lbs of rock, so its alot like a reef...
    Why can he not be in a tank with fish either??? Even my clowns are like 5"

    What about requesting an older octopus, or a wild caught one...

    Thanks for all the info...
     
  5. fluffysquid

    fluffysquid Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    The real reef is much larger with many more places to run and hide in for an octopus.

    They may be perfectly tame to you (I know exactly what you mean, I had a handfed moray!) but it's just not possible to expect wild critters to abandon their instincts and get along with eachother in close quarters. There is no reasoning with them like you could a person. All they know is "food!".

    it's the same principle that zoos follow. they can't mix bears with deer. It would be a real shame because in captivity, we have taken charge of nearly every aspect of an animals life. It's our responsibility to take care of them.

    Also, with all that activity in his tank, an octopus will hide and you will never see him, probably never even know if (or when) a shark or eel nabbed him.

    If you got yourself a larger octopus, he will eat any fish small enough.

    One last point, the octopus's natural defense mechanism is to squirt ink, which is one thing you do NOT want in your tank! Again, because your tank is an enclosed environment.

    Sorry to give you the bad news! But you certainly can set yourself up a separate tank just for Mr. Octo. You'll be able to enjoy him a lot easier that way.

    by the way, sounds like you've got a really awesome eel and shark tank.
     
  6. fluffysquid

    fluffysquid Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    oh yeah, and the octopus will gleefully eat all of your crabs and shrimp. :octopus:
     
  7. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    IMHO, this is not a good idea.

    Eels are one of the main octo predators, when your octo comes from octopets it will only have a mantle length of less than an inch which is pretty small, the eels should have no trouble eating it.

    When your octo first arrives, one of the first things he'll do is exploring the tank and looking for a den. It's really likely it would bump into the eels or the shark. A cat shark even at birth is capable of killing an octo that small.

    Competition for food would be anther problem, if you gave shrimp or crabs for the octo, the eels or the shark would probably get to it first. If the octo did get to the food, he would be out in the open for sometime (unless he feeds in his den all the time) making him an easy target.

    In the event that the octo inks, it could put the other creature's lives at risk, If im not wrong it contains a neurotoxin and can also stick and coat the gills which could potentially kill your livestock ( could happen if your octo gets larger) including the octopus itself.

    When/ if the octo gets to full size (15cm ML), it could easily take down a cat shark and the eels.

    Just curious, what eels are these? Sorry i have to be so negative.
     
  8. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Sounds like you have a lovely tank!

    Just my own two cents, but yes, I agree with everyone, you'll lose things you don't want too, almost certainly including the octo. They are voracious. I knew in advance before getting my octo that he would eat most of the tank's invertebrates, so I'd only purchased "expendable" hermit crabs and such. Sure enough, he was a holy terror to them. The crabs were gone in a couple days, and he happily lived off the smaller gammarids inhabiting my live rock. I had no fish his size, but if there had been, they wouldn't have lasted long either--or the octo wouldn't have, had the fish been big enough.

    Please don't feel we're shouting you down or anything... :grad: :oops: ...we know everyone comes into cephkeeping with different levels of knowledge, and we're glad you've asked. Animals are notorious for behaving against our expectations, so we can't guarantee this is how it will happen, but at least now you know how it's very likely to go down if you do end up introducing him. Try a smaller separate tank for him, if you can! :wink:
     
  9. hmlmike

    hmlmike Larval Mass Registered

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    all the help has been great...even if negative!

    Thanks to all for your help...

    Just kind-of crazy about having the 'baddest' reef tank... i have such good experiences with my other 'bad' creatures, i saw my shark learn to swim and now he eats from my hand...

    BTW, the eels are a 12" chain eel, and a 16" snowflake eel, along with a small 9" banded shark, and a tiny cortez yellow ray...

    What about keeping him in the sump of my algae filter...kinda lonely, but i could bring him out to play eventually... i am still going to try him at reef and see how he does, but i will seal sump for him if necessary...really want one obviously

    I already requested that they send me one of their older octopus, just in case....

    I know what ya'll mean about difficutly feeding b/c shark could not eat for liek a week around eels, until he 'baddened' up a bit... now i think eels fear him!!! Plus he does the whole swimming across top of tank like jawas now!! Not to mention yall should see what it looks like to have the eels laying on the shark, chillin! Truly a sight for sore eyes...

    As far as ink is concerned, i read that i have such quantity of water and all the goodies, skimmer etc. that if he were to ink, it should be so insignificant, that all should be well... please confirm, as i cannot keep enough water around for a water change!!!

    WOuld love to hear if anyone has a story they could share about octopus living with other species...

    Thanks again to all,
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    It sounds like you have a nice tank, but not one that's suited for an octo.

    Your tank would also be a highly stressful environment for a young octopus. You'll probably never see him or even know when he's been eaten. One of the octopus's defenses is to be invisible, and they're very skilled at this.

    One of the nice things about keeping an octopus is that they're so interesting and intelligent and they really do repond to you. It's much more than a fish knowing to come and take food from your hand. But in this enviroment, it will be impossible and you'll miss all of this.

    An octo needs a den to hide and feel safe in. Also, the tank needs to be covered to prevent escape (although unfortunately your octo probably won't live long enough to try). Same with the sump. How would you handle feeding?

    It seems like you'll never get to experience all the good things about keeping an octo with this kind of tank, so you should ask yourself why you'd like to add an octopus to your tank. Is this part of the "baddest tank" concept? Then it's certainly not fair to put a baby octo, even a young octo in a tank with predators of that size.

    Hope you find a way to keep this little octopus so that he can live a happy life. We'll help you with further questions.

    Nancy
     
  11. fluffysquid

    fluffysquid Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I'm not surprised the shark and eels get along together just fine. I've seen them plenty of times in public aquariums together.

    I've heard of octopus together with urchins, with the same species, and with anenomes. All of these are done with caution and (in the case of another octopus) in a plenty large tank. No one here will recommend placing them with anenomes.

    If you do get an octopus and put it in your sump, you will obviously need to seal it very well. As you know, he can squeeze through any space large enough to accommodate his beak.

    here on tonmo, all we can ever do is offer advice based on the experience of all the stories shared here. Whether you heed it or not is your choice, as is the fate of any animal you take under your care.

    We as humans have made animals into just another source of our own entertainment. Let me suggest that instead of adding an octo for your "baddest" tank... if you really truely DO want an octopus, enjoy it for what it is and what it can show you of it's intelligence. And in order to do that, give it a home where that is possible. You could even put it near your "baddest" reef tank so you will have all these attention-getting animals in the same place.
     
  12. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    A couple more thoughts:

    Your sump idea might work, though I'm unsure about how easy it will be for you to seal it. They are indeed escape artists and you could easily come home to a dessicated octo corpse... :cry:

    I'm not sure about the inking, large volumes of water relative to size are a big help with that...I'm told activated carbon also helps.

    One other thing you may not be aware of is lifespan. Cephalopods in general have very short lifespans, roughly 2-3 years or so depending on species. An "older" octo is therefore likely to be around much less than 2 years, which presumably is why Octopets wants to ship them to you small...generally, small = young. Octos are also quite sensitive to stress, which in your populated tank might cut his lifespan even shorter.

    Have you considered a smaller reef tank specifically intended for corals and invertebrates? This can be a fascinating tank all by itself. Mine held live rock, some corals, brittle stars, urchins, a sea cucumber, and some very pretty polychaete worms (featherduster worms.) Although octos may still be sensitive to stings from some of the corals, if you don't use anemones a small invert tank might be a lovely counterpoint to your main carnivore tank. It can be absolutely gorgeous with the right corals, serene in appearance (not all the busy activity of fish swimming around) but with the occasional spectacular show of an octopus coming out of his den to greet you! :heee:
     
  13. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I've just moved your thread to the most appropriate forum; I trust you don't mind.
    Ta
    Steve
     
  14. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    (Thanks Steve :) )

    Michael

    Hi, welcome to TONMO.com

    Dont take this as a flame as its not meant to be...

    What we try to do when we keep animals as pets is to give them the best chance of a quality life as we possibly can. That means giving them everything they need to thrive and simply not to survive. It is our duty to ensure that the environment we provide to our animals meets their requirements and with the best will in the world you are just not doing that for an octopus.

    By all means set up a species only tank for the octopus. I am sure that you will have a great (bad?) time with it. They are truly fascinating and enjoyable to watch day after day.

    6 feet is not a big tank when you consider your shark can get to 3 feet and how big your eels will get too. I once had a 18inch moray eat a 8" brown banded bamboo shark!

    Please rethink your idea and cancel the octopus until you have another tank set up. It is worth it!!!!

    best wishes
    Colin
     
  15. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hey, just to tell you a true fact, the probability of an octopus who grows up to 15 cm can most likely NOT take an eel down that's 16 inches in length. It's not too possible. Eels are an octopuses main enemy...and mostly the eels usually win. There quicker, and they bite. My suggestion is to cancel your order NOW...because if you don't have another tank...then when you get your octopus, you wont have anywere to put it.
    The octopus is eventually going to get killed if you put it in the tank full of a shark, eels, and everything. And the water chemistry may not be the same for those animals as well as an Octopus.
    Octopuses are meant to be kept in a seperate tank ALONE...not even another octopus should be in the same tank. because eventually they will try and eat eachother.
    So I would cancel my order now, if I were you. If you want to risk trying, you can. It's all up to you. It's going to die most likely for sure in my opinion. 16 inch eels with an octopus thats barely even 5 inches long is a no, no.
     
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    A couple more comments on what has been posted:

    The lifespan of a bimac is one to one and a half years. Over the last two years, several of our bimac keepers have kept a bimac for 10 months. These were wild caught, so were a little older when they arrived. We don't yet know how long the tank raised ones will live. Longer, we hope.

    They don't come from tropical waters, so they need a lower temperature than most reef tanks. Anything above 75 degrees is believed to shorten lifespan.

    Ideally, they should be kept in a home aquarium at 65 to 72 degrees.
    They need full ocean salinity - sg 1.026. Ammonia and nitrites should be 0, they can tolerate some nitrates. For more information, see the Bimac Care Sheet.
    http://www.tonmo.com/cephcare/BimacCareSheet.php

    Nancy
     
  17. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    15cm is just the size of its head, with its tentacles, it would reach close to a meter from the tip of the mantle to the tentacles, plus cephalotoxin seems to kill other animals pretty quickly. Thats enough to take on a 16 inch eel.

    In the event that the octo is attacked by the eels or the shark, its likely the ink will be directed at the attacker. The ink which is made of mucous and pigmentation may not diffuse quickly and do some damage to the atttacker. If the octo just inks out of fright ( when you scare it), it won't really affect the other creatures.
     
  18. Cephkid

    Cephkid Sepia elegans Supporter

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    Inking BAD for mr legs. Eels BAD for mr legs. Personally, I doubt that the octo has a 6" size head, lol. Eels probably wont be as bad off when it comes to ink and cephtoxin(unless it's a bluering :lol: ) as other animals, since octos are they're natural prey. Sharks, too. I recently saw a saddening piece of footage of a poor o. briareus being killed by a shark despite a cloud of ink- the shark swam right through like it was nothing. They (those EVIL filmmakers :evil: :x :thumbsdo: ) also showed another octo of the same species nearly torn to pieces by an eel. ( :cry: )
     
  19. hmlmike

    hmlmike Larval Mass Registered

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    awiiight....

    :notworth:

    thanks to all for your help and advice....

    I know that contrary to my initial appearance i do care for the little octo as well, I simply wanted a collection of unique and exotic species. Jim thinks the same, especially since his current stash is only month or two old and 2" in size! He does think however that the octo could be quite happy in algae filter with all the little pods that live in sand and stuff, if i could wourk out the sealing aspect anyway... and try him in reef tank in 2-3 months... because he should grow real fast eating all day.

    Again, i cant resist having one, and my algae filter is like a 20 gal refugium with live sand and timed lighting and all, so he should be happy.

    One final question, Jim said to be careful because if octo gets too big, he'll eat the eels!!! How does that make sense? If he has that ability and eels are naturally aware, then why not respect with each other like between them and shark? If all are relatively same size? Plus all are really overfed in my opinion...

    THanks again i should get him tomm or day after, so ill stay in touch,
    michael
     
  20. rrtanton

    rrtanton Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Good on you for going for the refugium...he'll be happy there, especially if you have a few rocks for him to hide in.

    About the him eating eels/eels eating him thing:

    Well...I'm going a bit out on a limb to say this, because I'm not the professional cephalopod naturalist that some of us are... :oshea: ...but think of it this way:

    :whalevsa:

    To the best of my knowledge, octos are amongst the most voracious predators in the sea and will eat ANYTHING they think they can. There is a famous tale from "The Octopus Show," a nice octo documentary, that tells of a major public aquarium's experience with their giant pacific octopus. To further simulate a natural ecosystem they had decided to place the GPO in their gargantuan reef tank, complete with sharks and other such things, but were concerned for his survival amongst those predators. Shortly thereafter, fish, including sharks, began disappearing from the tank overnight. To figure out the problem, the aquarium sent a diver into the tank with a camera to solve the mystery. The documentary presents the incredible footage he caught of the GPO taking down a shark roughly equal to his size.

    I don't know why there's a difference between the way the eels and sharks treat one another vs. how the octo is likely to. Perhaps the eels and sharks aren't as capable of eating one another as the octo is. I think that octopus is more generally considered a "menu item" by a shark than eel, unless the octo's big enough to turn the tables. Octos are terribly curious creatures, too, so perhaps that plays a role--they're always trying to figure out what's edible and what's not.

    Whatever the reasons (again, I'm sure someone here has a much more informed answer) the relative behavior of these creatures IS indeed quite different. Consider that you're dealing with vertebrate fish vs. a spineless "snail" equipped with jet propulsion, smokescreens, highly advanced eyes, active camoflague, venom, and high intelligence. They're about as alien to each other as they can be.
     

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