Tank for an octopus

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by LisaP, Mar 31, 2003.

  1. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hi there,

    About a year ago I saw some octo pictures posted by Octomonkey, aka Colin, :D over at RC and they really caught my interest. I said at the time that I thought keeping an octopus would be really cool. Anyhow, here it is many months later and I might finally be in a position to set up a tank for an octopus.

    I have been keeping a reef tank for over 8 years now and in about 4 weeks time I will be transferring all my stock over from my 'old' tank to a new larger tank. My husband would like me to get rid of the old tank but I keep thinking an octopus would look good in there. 8)

    So the question I have is.... will my well used old reef tank be suitable to house an octopus? It's dimensions are 60" by 30" by 20", with a sump underneath and has a nice big beefy skimmer, auto top off, carbon chamber etc. One potential problem could be the corner overflow weir which I understand is not recommended for octopi, is that right? Also I'm pretty sure that 500W of metal halides are not going to work at all over a octopus tank, so just how much light would be good. My present lighting canopy also holds 2 fluorescent tubes so I could just run the tubes and forget about the halides (or just sell that canopy and purchase something more suitable I guess). How much LR should I be thinking of for a tank this size and what about a substrate layer (the tank is really designed to be bare bottomed but I could change that I think)?

    That's enough to be going on with for now I think. Thank you for any replies.

    Regards

    Lisa
     
  2. lawfish

    lawfish GPO Registered

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    Hi Lisa:

    Welcome to Tonmo! 8) There shouldn't be a problem using your old tank for an Octo, UNLESS you have used medications in the tank particulary Copper. If so, that could cause a problem for any future octo inhabitants. It sounds like the tank is more than big enough to house a Bimac.

    You would probably want to do away with the MH lights as they might make an octo uncomfortable. Straight flor. tubes would probably be better. You can figure out a way to cover (octo-proof) the overflow, in fact, I believe that there is a thread here regarding that. Finally, my position on Live rock is: the more the better. It provides great biological filtration, provides a secure environment for octos and looks cool as well.

    Also On the main page there is a good article on the basics of Octo keeping which I found very helpful in setting up my Octo tank.

    Good luck,

    George
     
  3. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hi George,

    Thanks for the info. The tank has not had any form of medication so no worries about copper :)

    I have been reading all that I can for that last year or so really so I hope that I have a grasp of the basics. When it comes to octo proofing the tank just how small a gap can an octopus squeeze through? I know that the size is determined by their beaks but just how small are their beaks anyhow??

    I understand a bimac is probably the type of octopus to get a hold of but I'm not sure if they are that easy to obtain in the UK.

    Regards

    Lisa
     
  4. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    hi Lisa, glad to see you made it over...

    I have only seen bimacs for sale once and I beleive that Jason has seen them once too. overhere they are called Californian octopuses but again that doesnt always mean you get a bimac! Anyway, when you are ready i can get an octopus to you... You may need to wait a bit for a bimac, its just the luck of the draw.
    We mostly seem to get dwarf species here from indonesia but I see others on price lists from time to time

    Basicly, you want no gaps on your hood LOL.... if you get a bimac it is not so much of a worry as they rarely climb but others will. I wouldnt leave more than a couple of mms

    Cheers
    C
     
  5. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Hey Colin,

    So what's a good material to cover holes up then? I need to put something over the returns from the pumps etc. I do still have the glass plates that were designed to sit on the top of the tank. I haven't used them for years but they'll be as good as new after a bit of a dusting down. Will they suffice? Do they need weighing down?? I mean they seem heavy enough to me but dwarf octopi are strong right :lol: Better safe than sorry eh :D

    But before I rush out to buy octo proofing materials etc I wanna make absolutely sure that I can get stuff to feed an octo. Just how easy is that? I don't live close to the sea so collecting my own snacks is not possible (except maybe the odd summer jaunt to the seaside of course). Apart from crabs (the ultimate octo snack I understand) what else will they eat? Offering hermit crabs purchased from my LFS could be, err, rather expensive. :shock:

    What sort of indonesian species are we talking about here? Just so that I can check some pics out whilst waiting for things to happen :)

    Regards

    Lisa
     
  6. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Lisa,
    Just after reading your post an hour or so ago I have managed to set up a 'crab service' for UK ceph owners. So you wont need to worry about feeding. Prices for crabs between 1-3cm at between 30 - 40 pence each with min. order of £15 and add a £5 P+P next day delivery service... but I'll let you know for sure real soon.

    2 species i have recently seen offered are O. bocki and O/ aculeatus both small octos from indonesia, also Blue rings but probably not a good starting octo.

    sponge and netting both make good covering material and all moveable lids etc should be secured one way or another, many use sticky tape!

    Cheers
    C
     
  7. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Colin,

    All right!! How perfect is that. Just make sure that the crabs are still available in 5 or 6 months time, I expect it's going to take me that long to get the tank sorted and matured. :)

    Yeah, I think I'll steer clear of the blue rings. They do look nice but I could do without the venomous bit :P

    Regards

    Lisa
     
  8. lawfish

    lawfish GPO Registered

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    Hey all:

    Colin, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that I read somewhere that ALL Octos are venomous. Some, like the blue ring (cephalotoxin isn't it???), very much so and others have very weak venom. Hmmm, if thats true maybe Tralfaz could invenomate those pesky shrimp :x

    George
     
  9. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    So, hmmm, not a lot of information to be found for the two octopi mentioned. O. bocki seems to be a strictly nocturnal species which doesn't sound too promising. What about O. aculeatus, is that a nocturnal species too? I couldn't find any info regarding that one at all. :(

    Colin, have you had direct experience with those two species? What other species occasionally appear in the UK market?

    Regards

    Lisa

    P.S. George.... I guess I should change 'venomous' to 'deadly venomous' :wink:
     
  10. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Lisa,
    I have kept both species here and also had several others I havnt been able to get close to IDing yet! So to sum up those two species, i would avoid bocki and simliar species at all costs as they are nocturnal, small and very timid. The aculeatus I had was diurnal and would be an excellent species for captive breeding.... all i need is a pair :)

    Other species i have seen/heard peope keep in the UK are Eledone chirossa, O. vulgaris, O. bimaculoides, O. briareus, Blue rings and several others un-named.

    George, they all use venom to overcome their prey and digest them... Its a venom called TTX that makes the blue ring so deadly http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/ttx/ttx.htm for a wee bit info :)

    Cheers
    Colin
     
  11. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Colin,

    Great! Thanks for the info :D

    Just gotta transfer my present reef over to the new tank, octo proof the tank, fill it with more LR and mature...... Not too much to do then :sly:

    I'll be back :rainbow:

    Regards

    Lisa
     
  12. LisaP

    LisaP Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The postman has just delivered the book 'Cephalopods - a world guide' by M Norman. What a great book! Now I check out all the different octo species. :D

    Regards

    Lisa
     

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