Tank Setup

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Mdawson808, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Mdawson808

    Mdawson808 Larval Mass Registered

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    Hello all, I am in the process of converting my 60 gallon freshwater tank to a salt water tank. I had 2 Red Ear Slider turtles and now they are now currently enjoying a new pond in a buddies back yard(I felt they were getting to big for the tank). I would like to convert my tank and possibly take on the responsibility of a Octopus. Right now the substrate in the tank is sand. Should I replace all sand or is it ok? I have 2 canister filters Cascade 700 and a Cascade 1000 basically enough filteration for 160 gallons. I understand that there is a time frame in order to prepare the tank for the Octopus. So I figure the earlier I start the earlier we can get the octopus. Any thing you guys can fill me in on would be great.
     
  2. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Welcome! I'm sure our resident experts can give some guidance.... Meanwhile, read away! :smile:

    Sent via Tapatalk on Android
     
  3. The_Damped

    The_Damped Blue Ring Registered

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    Hi, so I saw your post when you first posted it but since I'm no expert I thought I'd leave it for them to respond. There's a lot going on this week at Tonmo. They are all meeting up in DC, sounds fun. When Tony posted, it brought the thread back to the new threads list and I noticed no one had said anything. Anyway, I guess since no one else is responding I'll at least do my best to convey some of the information I have been gleaning over the past few weeks.

    I think probably it's better to err on the side of caution on this one and replace it with fresh substrate, (or live sand from a tank housing healthy invertebrates) specially with having turtles. I have a little experience with red ear sliders and a lot with reptiles, I know how hardy they are. Apparently even very minute amounts of copper can kill an octopus quite quickly. They actually need copper to live so it must depend on the form? (Anyone want to chime in if you know what the deal is with this?) If you do elect to keep the sand you should at least wash it thoroughly.

    You seem to be quite open and welcoming of help but you really just asked that one question so I'm not sure what all kind of information you are looking for, and maybe another reason you didn't get people jumping to help. (This is quite a helpful forum I've noticed)

    So, I'm gonna ask a few questions to a few things to maybe help get the ball rolling. A 60 gallon tank seems adequate for several of the suggested species of octopus. What species do you plan on getting, any idea? This will also help determine if you'll need any form thermal regulation for your eight legged friend. Do you plan on getting a protein skimmer? Your filters seem pretty good, but I'm not sure if they would do well with an inking? (anyone?) Will you house everything in a sump? If so, how large? What else is in your tank, are you gonna put some rock in there? Everyone loves pictures! Turtles aren't exactly notorious escape artists, you're going to want to secure the top of the tank if you haven't already.

    But like you mentioned, the earlier you get started the sooner you will be ready, a lot of this stuff can be dealt with when your tank is cycling/stabilizing. I guess the first thing really is make a decision on the substrate, and get some salt water and nitrogen in there.

    Again, I'm new to all this (don't even have a tank set up) so this should all be taken as such, but hopefully despite this I was able to help in some way. And hopefully some more experienced folks will chime in. Anyway, stick around and keep us updated and from one newbie to another, welcome to the forum. It is really a cool place, I actually saw a tv program last night that featured one of the members. (It was about giant squid)

    Adam
     
  4. reverhart

    reverhart Blue Ring Registered

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    I've only kept a few octopus, so I'm no expert
    but with an old freshwater set-up --throw everything away, clean the tank extremely well-- eliminate any chance of copper

    get a wet/dry sump with filter media, and a protein skimmer for at least 100 gallon tank --set up the pump to the sump for a large water changeover ratio 300+ gallons per hour

    put in some live sand--get some good live rock --I found a killer place GulfLiveRock.com Dan is the diver/owner--this is the best live rock I've seen if you like plants, creatures, hitch hikers, etc

    put in the sand, and get as much rock as you can afford I think the rule of thumb is 2lbs per gallon-- then let it cycle of a a few weeks--optimum time for an octo is after 3 months--or so, but at least after the first algea bloom

    I used to use a damsel to test out and help cycle the tank, but never again -- in a tank with lots of places to hide, they are too hard to catch to remove them prior to the octopus-- not for thier safety but for the octopus-- they tend to chase the octo, and bug it by fanning with thier tails, or trying to bite the octo's eyes.

    when you buy your octo make sure you understand what temperature it will be happy living in-- that will drive how you set up your tank

    As far as making the tank escape proof I've had octopus that never even attemped to escape, and a vulgaris who got out into the crab sump below
    gutter screen from the hardware store works good overflows, duct tape is your friend, as well as weights for the lids (i had some old stainless steel, and titanium bar scraps laying around)

    good luck -- one other thing-- you may want to set up your live food tank first, and get a supply of shrimp and crabs, etc or whatever --its too late once mr octo arrives
     
  5. The_Damped

    The_Damped Blue Ring Registered

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    That looks like a lot of good advice! Out of curiosity, do you recommend throwing away all the substrate and rock of the tank for concerns regarding copper/other sterile poisoning or for microbial/bacterial contamination? How does this affect the filters? You recommend buying all live rock and sand, so maybe it's just to kick start the good bacteria in the tank?

    Thanks,
    Adam
     
  6. reverhart

    reverhart Blue Ring Registered

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    Live or dead rock, can hold onto the copper, as well as the sand I guess -- os if it were me --I'd start over

    the live sand, and live rock will start the cycling process of your tank in a big way--a good way -- with enough of both, you can actually put fish it almost right away (cheap fish) while its cycling-- wouldn't put in an octo for a while though --at least wait until the brown algea starts to grow, then receed--and once your levels are all good 0 amonia, 0 nitrates, 0 nitirites, and the correct PH, might want to also monitor phosphates -- I'm low tech--that is wall I concern myself with--
    If those readings are good, and you ahve plenty of oxygen in the tank then all should be good
     
  7. wlyon

    wlyon Blue Ring Registered

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    I'm in the process of setting up my first octopus tank so I"m not an expert there at all. However I'm the head saltwater guy at a local pet store. Most of what I do is help people switch their old FW tank to a SW tank. Turtles are very very dirty, and I would recommend changing out everything and cleaning the tank out as well as you can with super hot water and some elbow grease.

    Good luck man, I know I'm excited about my first octopus and bet you are as well!
     
  8. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I keep meaning to post here, but to be honest I think you've gotten great advice so far, so really I dont have much to add; but i will summarize it all up to make it clear, and so when people ask the same question in the future it easier for them to find the answer.

    1. Be 100% positive copper medications have never been used in the tank. it bonds to the silicone and will kill octos.
    2. Massive clean, scub scrub scrub, Like wylon said hot water and elbow grease.
    3. Definitely change out the substrate. I suggest a mix of live sand and crushed coral with aragonite. 1lbs per gallon.
    4. Get live rock like the substrate I suggest 1 lbs per gallon.
    5. Filtration. your cascades will be fine, just again make sure to clean them really well. but you will also want to add a protein skimmer to help with inkings and waste.
    6. let the tank cycle for about 3 months, some fishes can be added to help the cycle, however once an octo is introduced the fish need to be removed. I think your better off cycling with lots of snailsm hermits, crabs and shrimp. these will all produce waste which is need to cycle the tank and once the octo is intoduced they will become both cleanup crew and live food.
     
  9. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    In case it wasn't clear, some common freshwater fish medication contains copper. It is not confirmed, but is generally believed here on Tonmo, that this copper gets into silicone and can slowly leach back in to your tank, no matter how well you clean it, so if there's any chance that medication containing copper was ever used in that tank, you are taking a chance. If you know such medication was used, then don't use the tank at all.

    Figure out how you are going to keep the octopus from escaping. They can squeeze through holes as small as their eye ball, so any opening larger than 1/8" could be a problem. Also, they are strong, so you'll need a secure way to keep the lid on.
     
  10. iAlex

    iAlex Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    What would happened if you ditched the old silicone and re-did it with new silicone?
     
  11. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    In theory you would be OK. but it has not been tested.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I just LOVE it when newbies read and qualify their suggestions based on reading. The problem is, when you guys do that you are doing a great coaching job and in our crunch this week a lot of us have not been able to monitor (and I believe CaptFish has finals).

    I would never use any kind of fw substrate in a saltwater aquarium. In fact I change out my bottom substrate about every two years. You will find about as many recommendations on keeping a DW tank as there are keepers and many different set ups work (and some depend upon the animals being kept). I prefer a very thin layer of argonite (dead) and healthy live rock. When you do start to build out your tank, put in you LR on the bare glass then add your sand. Sand trapped under LR or any stationary substrate will start to collect rotten food and produce nitrates and agive a potential area for gas build up. For corals and fish this is not a major concern because they don't disrupt the bottom substrate, octos DO (as well as any other movable object - including one of CaptFish's pirate ships). Even a small octo will pull up LR and a female about to brood will often rearrange a tank. Mama Cass pulled a rock through a 6" tube and I am still not sure how the rock fit through. It took her several days but ultimately she acquired it for her brood den.
     
  13. corpusse

    corpusse Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Considering how little a new tank costs when you compare it to the cost of live rock / sand, a skimmer, and powerheads I'd just get a new tank.

    I'm assuming your turtle tank is not reef ready, you may not feel comfortable drilling the tank and can just pick up a new tank that is already drilled.

    I'm not saying you can't use your tank because it won't be safe. If you clean it out with vinegar it almost certainly will depending on what if any medications you've used for your turtles. I'm just saying since you will be buying so much other stuff it might be better and would be nicer to start fresh.
     
  14. wlyon

    wlyon Blue Ring Registered

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    One of my customers is in construction and very hardy with silicone. He has a tank with copper in the seams that he wants to have SW. So he is looking into putting a bead of Silicone over the existing silicone to basically seal out the copper saturated silicone. No clue if it works, but it might help here switching out FW tanks to SW.
     
  15. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    That wont fix the problem only delay it. the copper will just seep through the new silicone as well. to do it right the copper tainted silicone should be removed.
     
  16. wlyon

    wlyon Blue Ring Registered

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    I thought about that about 2 seconds after I clicked post but figured I would wait to hear from someone to confirm my suspicions. I'll have to let him know it was a good thought but doesn't work. Thank you!
     

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