the tank of best fit....

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by shotgun5, May 8, 2010.

  1. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I'm just getting started into this whole ceph keeping world and am finding myself a little bit on the frustrated end of getting some of the basic q's answered. Is there a ceph's 101 thread that I'm overlooking on here that someone can direct me to? Something that will take me from 0-100... in terms of what I'm getting into...? I know what a pain it can be to keep answering the same questions over and over again in a forum, and would like to avoid being 'that member :roll:' at all cost... I'm not trying to say that you all think or feel that way about about any newbie..... but you catch my drift annnnnnd I'm rambling...

    Anyway, my ultimate goals are ;

    1.) To have a life-compatible salt water (obviously) aquatic environment of minimal to moderate maintenance. Something I can put in a half hour to an hour daily and be done with it. Whether or not those numbers would be considered minimal to moderate or not.... again I play the new guy card:razz:.

    2.) A sized tank that is big enough to accommodate the smaller sized species with room left over... without violating the terms of my first goal :yuck:. I hope to try a variety over time. I understand most species have a natural lifespan of 1-2 years.... yea cut that number in 2 when considering my tank...:shock: (well for the first couple ::cough-couple-hundred-cough-cough:: anyway right?)

    3.) To eventually have enough experience to keep some of the more rare and exotic species. Particularly the infamous BR somewhere down the line. Yes... yes I know it can kill me... but did you know we all die anyway.... haha:twisted:

    4.) Furthermore I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to do my very best in caring for our very sacred and beloved sea creature to the best of knowledge without any due negligence.
    bonk

    5.) And of course the pursuit of happiness:bonk:!!!!!!!
     
  2. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    I would look at Nancy King's book http://www.amazon.com/Cephalopods-Octopuses-Cuttlefish-Home-Aquarium/dp/0793806585
    I haven't read it yet (my husband got it for me for mothers day and well, its not mothers day yet so he's being a butt) This book should help you to know and understand what you would be getting in to as far as ceph's are concerned.

    Most of what I learned came from this site and a LOT of research on my own. As there really isn’t a whole lot in one place I spent HOURS with Google.
    For the most part, my husband feels like an Aquarium Widow sometimes lol. I have found most people either love saltwater care/ maintenance /research or hate the constant fretting.

    Good luck, I hope this helps.
     
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Start here - http://www.tonmo.com/cephcare/equipment.php

    How much experience do you have with salt water tanks? Is there a public aquarium near you where you can volunteer? Also look for a local reef-keeping society or aquarium society. It is good to have a local "mentor" to help you set up your system. Also, start searching for a good fish store - usually the independent fish stores (not giant brand names) will have knowledgeable people - ask lots of questions - see what the answers are...
     
  4. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Ya none... I've done the fresh water tank thing for awhie but everyone's gotta start somewhere right?

    Wasn't even aware that there was such a thing... I'll dig into it!!!

    Already shopping around for one, however it's starting to look like you guys are going to be it for me!

    and as for the book thanks great idea, I'll order one pronto!
     
  5. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Where are you located?
     
  6. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    In Cleveland Ohio
     
  7. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Well, you could try here... http://www.c-sea.org/. Or you could try to volunteer at the Pittsburgh Zoo, if you don't mind the drive...
     
  8. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    I've been successfully keeping bimac octopuses (O. Bimacuoides) for two years, and this is my first marine tank, and like you I had some freshwater tank experience. People on Tonmo generally discourage people without marine tank experience from keeping octopus, and while I didn't follow that advice, I see the wisdom in it. I was able to compensate for my lack of marine experience by spending a lot of time educating myself about marine tanks in general and octopus in particular, and by doing a lot of planning and preparation before I got an octopus. By "a lot" I mean more than I suspect 95% of people would be willing to put in. You'll need to be patient, thorough, and careful to pull this off without learning too many things the hard way and having a bad experience. In my opinion you're already showing some signs that maybe you're not the patient, thorough and careful type. I'm not trying to criticize you (I admire you interest and enthusiasm), I'm trying to get you to consider changing your approach so that you won't suffer any unnecessary frustration and disappointment. The signs I'm referring to are:
    1) I think a very patient and thorough person would have already read all the articles on Tonmo, and many of the threads, and would not still have any unanswered basic questions, but in stead would be trying to fill in the remaining blanks, and verify what they think they know. They would not be looking for a thread that could take them from "0-100" (a short cut). Each thread takes you from X to X+1 (if that much).
    2) I think a very careful person would have done the risk vs. benefit analysis and abandoned the idea of keeping a blue ringed octopus.

    Again, my goal is not to criticize you, or discourage you, but to help you avoid disappointment and frustration, by urging you to take a more conservative approach, and to submit to patient, thorough, and careful education and preparation.
     
  9. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    wow... completely discouraged AND slightly offended by the total misinterpretation/representation.
     
  10. OB

    OB Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    OK there people, forum posts are thoroughly well known for losing well intended subtleties in translation, for want of non-verbal communication. Joe Ceph's closing section articulates his concerns well, I would say, so please don't read too much into the points 1 and 2 as being overly critical of Shotgun5's personal endeavors, this is merely expressing concern. Losing your first (few) octopus(ses) to your learning curve could be a lot more frustrating than mere forum post misinterpretation. Just keep these queries coming, there's absolutely nothing wrong with well preparedness and we're all here to help :wink:
     
  11. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Shotgun5,

    Please don't be offended. I should have added, that my quick assessment is based solely on a couple of your sentences, and could easily not be accurate. I've only seen a couple of hints, and am in no position to be able to conclude that you are in fact not being patient, thorough, and careful. You, however, are in a position to evaluate yourself on these qualities. I wanted to point out the red flags I saw, and let you decide if they are indicative of anything that might hinder your success in keeping an octopus. If you don't think so, then you're probably right. Your self-evaluation is infinitely more valid than my quick guess.

    My main point was that for me, uncommon amounts of patience, reading, planning, and preparation proved to be a substitute for previous reef experience, and has probably saved me a lot of pain.

    Please don't be discouraged at all. I did what you're considering doing, I think it's totally doable, and I sincerely want to help you do it. I admire and approve of your goal to keep an octopus, and I think that you are wise to be asking us for information.
     
  12. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Concerning your goal to keep the amount of time/work down. Here are some things that have worked for me:
    1) I designed my tank, stand, and plumbing so that water changes are fast and easy. Mine take 25 minutes on my 60 gallon tank (plus an hour (every three weeks) to transport water from my supplier - so no mixing)
    2) I picked a species of octopus (Bimac) that tends to take thawed frozen shrimp and scallop meat. Feeding the tank takes about one minute, twice per day (once every two or three days for the octopus). I also designed and built a switch with a bathroom heater timer and a relay so that I can turn my return pump off for a set period of time just by twisting the timer knob once. Then I dump in the frozen cyclopeeze, give the octopus a piece of thawed scallop, and go to work (or bed). The korallias move the Cyclopeeze around for the anemones to eat for 45 minutes or so, and then the return pump kicks back on by itself (I can't trust myself to remember to turn it back on every time). This makes it easy for me, and also easy for whoever watches my tank for me when I go on a trip (if it were too complicated for someone else to do, I couldn't go on trips)

    I probably spend between one and two hours per week, total, on my tank. It took a long time to design, build, and buy everything, but the maintenance is not much.
     
  13. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Joe (assuming this is your first name), perhaps we got off all wrong. Hello, my name is Chuck, I registered at Tonmo with the foresight that jumping into this whole thing head first was NOT the best way to do it. My prior statement of the "0-100" thread was but a figure of speech... in attempts to gather as many "X+1" threads as I could. I am by no means trying to run out and buy a darn thing by any specific date as I have no time line and am in no hurry to do this. All that said I do view your knowledge of these creatures very highly and realize that I am in a position to learn from YOU. So enough off topic bologna already too much clearing the air and not enough down to business...! lol jk

    I'm thinkin your 60 gallon set up is just going to have to be on my wish list for the time being... more realistically I was thinkin a 30-40 size... for now at least... what do ya think? too small?? and I also was planning on having a bimac or two, from what I read they are the ideal species. I really do appreiciate all the insight on your tank set up, and would very much like to know the ins and outs of it so I might reproduce the whole mechanism! That is unless you have a patent!:shock:
     
  14. Joe-Ceph

    Joe-Ceph Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Tank size needs to be matched to the species you choose. I wanted a bimac because I live in Southern California, and I wanted a tank with local animals that I collected myself. People on Tonmo said that 50 gallons was minimum for a bimac, so I went with 60. It is my understanding that there is no commercial source for bimacs, so unless you can collect your own, you probably won't be able to get one. Also, many people, including me, think that bimacs do much better with a chiller, which adds expense. If I didn't want a local octopus, I'd get an O. hummelincki (also called O. filosus or Carribean 2-spot Octopus). They are very similar to bimacs in temperament, but a little smaller and they don't require a chiller, which sounds perfect for you, given that you want a smaller tank. Someone else will need to advise you about appropriate tank size for a hummelincki.

    You also mentioned maybe wanting multiple octopuses in one tank, which is considered a bad idea except for maybe certain species and/or very large tanks. From what I read on Tonmo, it usually ends badly (cannibalism).
     
  15. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Hi Shotgun and welcome to TONMO!

    If you want to keep a small tank and keep more than one octo per tank then there is really only one way to go which would be O. mercatoris. These you could easily keep in a 30 to 40 gallon tank.

    These little guys have +'s and -'s. (I am not an expert on any octos this is just the info I have read) First they are strictly nocturnal which mean you would never see them during day light hours and would have to use a red light on the tank so they would come out for you to even view them at night. O. mercatoris is also not nearly as interactive as the larger octos.

    Some of the other octo are also nocturnal however they can/do change behaviors but not always.

    On the + side of things, they are large egged so it would be possible for you (if you have studied up on the care) to have octos mate in your tank and hatch the eggs and then have more octos.

    It is my opinion (as new to octo care that I am) that with everything you have to do to set up a tank, ie lids special equipment set up/purchase and so on that its normally best to look at the most common octos for sale to the trade and plan for the biggest one you may get.

    The only reason I have a 55 is because I already had it. If I hadn’t I would have gotten at least a 75 gallon.
     
  16. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    ok I see what happened. when I said "a bimac or two," I was referring to consecutively... not both in the tank at the same time, before moving onto a different species. However I was not aware of that they are not commercially available, and so I suppose I can throw the idea of a bimac out the window.

    As for the whole mating concept, not really something I was PLANNING on doing... but well see all very much so up in the air right now.

    I'll look into the O. hummelincki
     
  17. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Oh no, I didnt misunderstand I dont think... I just wanted to give you an option if thats the size tank you went with. There are more than a few pygmy octos that I think could go in a 30-40 gallon system.
     
  18. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith Wonderpus Registered

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    Well, a 30 and 40 gallon tank are too small for a hummelincki. They need at least a 50 gal, but a 45 might work. If you are looking for a diurnal interactive octo that would fit in a 40 gal, I would reccomend looking into an aculeatus. They are pretty easy to find and theres a lot of info on them on tonmo.
     
  19. shotgun5

    shotgun5 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    On the order of tank size I was able to make room for a 55g, and so that is probably the size tank I will get. I was really fascinated with hummelincki but will look into aculeatus as well now that you mention it. Are either or both of these commercially available? Cleveland is a bit far off from an ocean!
     
  20. SabrinaR

    SabrinaR Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Registered

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    Yes they are, the trick is finding stores that will ship them. There is a place I know of in Cali that sells hummelincki on and off on a regular basis.... but will they ship??, nope. I havent seen a hummelincki for sale on purpose and I have been looking. Doctors Foster and Smith have been known to sell aculeatus but its hit or miss at what you will get.
     

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