Sushi and Sashimi - BioCube as grow out tank?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by Jabba954, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Hey all, I've been in the market for an octopus for awhile, and my LFS finally got two in - I suspect they're either bimacs or briareus. They're both TINY - one's mantle is maybe the size of a quarter with 1" legs, and the other maybe twice that size.

    The tank I was expecting to put the octo in - I was trying to get Cyanea, but that distributor failed me - is 225 gallon, with heavy filtration. In my opinion, FAR too large for a tiny octo. So I was thinking of buying one of those 29 gallon biocubes and using some live rock/sand/water from my well established tanks. The thinking would be to use it as a short-term grow out tank.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Are you sure you don't mean either bimac or hummelincki/filosis? but if they are that small it could be hard to tell species though.

    In any case, what is the possibility of creating an intank corraling container over a new tank? Even when all I am doing is swapping tanks, I like to have 2 weeks before transferring livestock to allow the tank to settle in with the filtration and the disrupted rock/sand.

    Another issue with the biocubes (or at least the older style ones) is that they are very hard to make escape proof and the little ones can go through VERY little holes so the nice dark built-in sumps are an attaction.
     
  3. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    An in-tank corral is a very interesting idea - I hadn't thought of that! Maybe just an acrylic box with 1/32" holes to allow plenty of pass through, filled with rock/some sand? The large tank has been up and running for many months - or are you referring to transferring the rock/sand/water to the new tank?

    What about using a large "Critter keeper" and lining the roof area with pantyhose or some such to make it escape-proof?
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Something in-tank like a critter keeper is what I was thinking. A critter keeper may work but, as you have figured out, they can escape them without modification (Kalypso escaped his and was MIA for about 2 weeks before AM realized it). If you drill acrylic, be sure to sand the holes by running sandpaper through each one. Drilled/cut acrylic is VERY sharp. My hands will testify as well as a couple of marks on our wiring - I ALWAYS sand ANY acrylic cuts now.
     
  5. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Would an octo care much about tall vs. wide tank? I'm thinking of making acrylic "pillars" in my tank, so that they can be readily opened from the top, while still giving a relatively large volume.
     
  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am never quite sure about height vs width. When small they like to swim so width would be important early but as they age not likely as important (or perhaps they just acclimate to the tank as they grow and swim more often in the wild. The species probably makes a difference too but we normally keep the less active species and that is likely best given the tanks we try to keep them in. My hummelinckis (and reported by other keepers as well) tended to run into the walls near the end of their lives but this may have been more because they were becoming senescent more than a length problem with the tank. I tend to think, without any good reason, that the tank should be 1.5 x taller than the length of one unstretched arm.
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    D's suggestion about a smaller container within the tank is a good one. I've known people who tried the Biocube route and their octopus escaped into the back section and was barely seen again.

    Also, I have a 29 gallon biocube for my corals, and am not happy with it. What I dislike the most is that the lid is unhinged and just sits on the top. LIfting it is more of a challenge, because it can always slip out of place. It seems its always getting tangled with the electrical wires when it's time to put it back on or close it, making closing up the biocube a laborious job. Then, we had to add a second type of Filtration (a Fluval) and a small protein skimmer. The pump on the skiimmer had to be replaced because it wasn't strong enough. Live rock rubble was used tol fill the back area. Now all this has worked well for my corals. But the lamp fixtures have failed twice, so the lid was replaced under warrenty. I'm looking forward to moving my corals to a more normal small reef aquarium.

    On the positive side, the biocube with its matching stand looks really good - very clean looking.

    Nancy
     
  8. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Yeah - definitely the way to go. I bought a pair of 5 gallon kritter keepers today for a whopping $15.00, and built little fixtures to hang in the big tank. I just took some smaller chunks of rock and put them in the kritter keepers for the octos. Think I should add some sand/substrate too? These containers are exclusively for while I make some large 20 gallon enclosures for them, and then eventually the two will be released into the big tank with the other inverts (large starfish - much too large to eat, urchins, and others).

    And I saved like $300.

    Anyone tried the Red Sea Max 250? That's a nice looking setup, and 65 gallons would make for a decent octo tank.
     
  9. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    WAIT! Are you getting BOTH of them (hoarder - Take this statement lightly recalling that I have 4 at the moment :sagrin:)? Are they the same species? Since you are looking at a 65 are you thinking two octo tanks for these guys? So far, mixing species in a tank has been a major no-no and you could lose both. The mixed species that have been tried have been dismal failures, even when a divider was placed in the tank. If they are really briareus, you are likely to be down to one in a short time but juvenile in-tank attempts are not recorded (we do have records of hatchlings killing each other at a fast pace, of the six or so that CaptFish put in his tank, only one survived. None of JoeFishes Conanny's offspring did). If they are bimac, chances are much better. If they are hummelincki we don't have any data.

    In spite of what Dr. Foster's recently told me about my linkia and octo purchase (and I suspect other pet stores will tell you), octopuses don't eat starfish. There is some concern about preditory stars (notably a suspected issue with a bahama star) and green serpents trapping small octos though.

    When do I get my commission?
     
  10. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    No - I was just thinking of the 65 for a single octo. My aim is to keep both together in the 225 gallon tank. Right now they'll be in separate corrals, as far apart as possible, in the same tank. They do appear to be the same species (after a nice long talk with the owner, I believe them to be briareus - caught off of Florida). I'll post pics when I'm done getting everybody acclimated. Moving the live rock kicked up a bunch of sediment in the tank, so I'm letting that settle/filter for a few hours while the octos acclimate.

    When I went to pick them up, I decided to check out what TAP plastics might have - they had these awesome ballot boxes - latches on all four sides, 16"x16"x16", clear acrylic. $40 each. Bought two, drilled a ton of 1/16" holes in them, and built some stands for them. They're now filled with rubble live rock from the tank. I'm going to add the octos around 10:30. Hopefully all goes well!
     
  11. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOVE TAP! They have been a real gem for hinges and hasp locks and acrylic pieces to support tops.

    That IS what I meant about looking at the 65, one in it and one in the 225. If they are briareus, separating them is the safest bet. If you end up with a male and a female the temptation is there for breeding but it may be at the sacrafice of the male. It would seem that you might be able to use your acrylic boxes to arrange something relatively safe though. Both of mine turned out to be female (we think, we don't actually see all of Creepy very often) but I was considering something similar with my divided tank, leaving just enough of an opening to allow the mating arm but not an octopus to cross the barrier. If this is something that becomes of interest later on, you might get Roy's attention and ask about how he introduces and monitors pairings in the lab.

    Really anxious to see the pictures of these little guys.
     
  12. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Just a quick update - they are exhibiting identical behavior so far, so anything I say right now goes for both. They just sat in a corner all night, both exhibiting defensive positions - curled up with their legs over their heads - no interest in hiding in the live rock. As soon as I turned on the lights this morning, they started exploring, and then found themselves some dens, almost at the exact same time, and they explored the same way. They "walked" around the acrylic bottoms, then tentatively went up into the rock. Then just vanished. The downside to that is that I've lost my spot to photograph them... d'oh.

    They both look identical to Inkler:

    http://www.tonmo.com/forums/showthread.php?19155-Inkler-O-Briareus/page2
     
  13. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Quick note - I've named them (with the help of the girl at TAP Plastics): Sushi and Sashimi.
     
  14. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Scared behavior?

    I recently acquired two octopus, which I believe to be Briareus. They are kept in separate, but identical enclosures, sharing filtration, lighting, etc. One of the octo's is behaving what I would assume is normal - hiding in a cave all day. The other octo however, after going into the rock this morning, is now down on the bottom, with his legs wrapped around his head - with no interest in the rock it seems. Ideas? Concerns?
     
  15. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Pics!

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  16. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    Note - it's quite dark in the room/tank. Just a good camera/flash (unfortunately, it's so dark I can't aim/focus the camera).
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Briareus seem to acclimate funny. Many keepers (including myself) have found it hard to release them into a tank. They just sit in the acclimation container until dark (usually several hours). We have not had one knowingly die from stress so I would just keep an eye on this one (I am agreeing that it looks like stress). If the two can see each other, this may be the reason. Is the one that stays curled up the smallest (in the case of octos size DOES matter)? Can you put an opaque divider between the two cubes?
     
  18. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Great names. That's another thumbs up for Tap. Little Inkler is definitely briareus.

    Can I move this thread to the Journals forum and combine it with the behavior posts?
     
  19. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    The two tank setups are on total opposite sides of the tank, and on opposite sides of their respective containers. I don't think they can see each other (particularly since one was in a cave all day). But I did hang some clothes over the tank on the side of the scared octo just in case it was the ambient light in the room (not much). This morning, they're both curled up in the top corner of their tanks - sort of like what you see in aquariums with the pacific octo. I'll try to snap some pics now.

    Oh, food size - what's the rule of thumb? I put a couple of rock crabs that are about half the size of their mantle in with them. Some crabs have vanished already, but I didn't see them eat.
     
  20. Jabba954

    Jabba954 GPO Registered

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    More pics from this morning. Sushi (the more "active" octo - first pic), moved into the rock when I turned on the light, as I would suspect - he's in the first pic. Sashimi wandered around the top - it's like he's afraid of the rock, or doesn't know it's there for him. The surviving crabs are all at the bottom of their tanks.

    Oh, and the tanks are 3' apart.

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