Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Hamp, Dec 2, 2008.
What kind of stuff are you all keeping as a CUC?
I assume you're talking about cucumbers? If so then I have your standard sand sifting cuc.
I think CUC means Clean Up Crew.
You can keep snails and small crabs, but a young octopus will eat some of them at first, then mostly leave them along.
I wasn't too happy with a pencil urchin (looked nice, but ate my coralline algae) and later found out they are best for 200 gallon tanks and above. Urchins with sharp spines are to be avoided.
A small brittle star is OK.
I'll keep pushing the thorny sea stars as I think they are the best thing since sliced bread for CUC in an octo tank. They are carnivores, are day active and not shy, do a good job finding all the scraps while adding interest and terrific color. I have read posts that recommend against them but I have had several for over two years. They are the healthiest of all my starfish/serpents (most do well but some lose arms or parts of arms) and have neither damaged the few softies I keep in with the octos nor eaten any coraline algae. They come in several colors but the bright orange is my favorite.
Now that Kalypso is big he doesn't touch the snails. Every once in a while he will yank one off the glass, but he doesn't eat them.
I tried a sea hare. It disappeared pretty quick. Darnit.
I wouldn't use a cucumber personally. But I'm one of those rare few who have experienced a cuke nuke first hand. Most people don't take it seriously, but once you lose about $2000 worth of livestock in one whack you'll be a believer.
I will gladly take your word for it Animal Mother, and look into those thorny stars Denise, Thanks. I figure I will start out with a healthy CUC of hermits and snails, and try and ween the Octo to fresh shrimp and silversides...some live fiddlers as I can afford them.
What is a cuke nuke?
when sea cucumbers die they release poisons into the water that most often kill EVERYTHING in the tank.
living in australia i hear about the crown of thorns a bit and wouldnt have picked one for an octopus tank mate. if i recall correctly they get fairly large and are covered in sharp venomous spines, which could either kill, or inflict a very painful injury in an octopus if they came into contact. wouldnt the octopus have to constantly moniter it and make sure not to venture too close, effectively putting it on edge almost constantly and stressing it?
IMO, isn't that what it has to do in the wild?
IIRC, some not all.
I cannot imagine why anyone would ever consider putting a Crown-of-thorns star in any kind of tank. Not only are they poisonous to humans, according to the recent reef shows, they consume everything in their path and are being killed daily by a special dive team just to try to keep them from spreading.
Thales, do you keep cucumbers in your octo tank? If so, what kind?
I keep a black one, not sure of the species, and tiger tails. Anything that ingests sand should be fine. Stay away from any kind of filter feeder.
For my money the best clean up crew for cephs are bristle worms. Just don't touch em!
Good to know, I have a really healthy population of bristle worms.
Funny about the bristles. (I will say this and get an infected finger, just watch) I tend to be a very hand-in aquarium keeper (it has been a year and my knuckle is almost normal after my lion fish didn't like me picking up a knocked over coral) and use my fingers to stir up the sand when other methods fail. I am particularly bad about this with my 15 gallon merc tank. I have both the very small bristles as well as some rather large ones. Also, I search my old filters for pods before discarding or washing and invariably I will mistake a small bristle (or part of one) for a Cyclop-eze eating pod and try to pick it off the filter. The odd thing is, I have never - I know I should not say this ... - had a problem with the bristles in my fingers.
well, I grabbed a 4 or 5 incher and threw him in another tank the other day. I have handled them before as well, no bites.
I also keep brittle stars, money cowries, and an abalone. Bristle worms are also an intrical part of my crew. The money cowries and abalone are the only snails that my A. aculeatus won't eat. Crabs are always goners.
Also good to know. I would think that the abalone would be toast, but then again I know a couple abalone divers that say that they have lost crowbars trying to get them off rocks.
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