thinking about setting up a ceph tank

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Walter, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Walter

    Walter Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi. I'm new to this forum because I'm considering setting up a tank for an octopus. I've read around a little bit and found some basic information about care- I ran across this site because it came up frequently in my google searches. It looks great!

    But let me cut to the chase: My dad and I have two tanks set up at our house- one reef tank, and a predator tank with two morays. We got a 30 gallon Oceanic BioCube a while ago, and we just started to think about an octopus. From everything else I've read, 50 gallons seems to be the minimum cut-off- so my main question is whether or not I could still effectively keep a cephalapod (and nothing else, really) in it. What I have learned so far are a few things about salinity sensitivity and a considerable maturation time for the water. It also seems that the reccommended species is bimaculoides, preferably tank bred.

    It seems that adequate filtration and surface area for gas exchange may not be easily acheived with a BioCube- given especially that it would be wise to have a protein skimmer as well. Just wondering what your thoughts were, and whether my suspicions about a smaller tank might be true.
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: to TONMO. In general, the ceph care experts recommend 55gal with lots of filtration for a bimac or similar sized octo. I think 30 is considered OK for a single Sepia Bandensis cuttlefish, though, and Cuttlegirl's cuttles just laid eggs, so that might be an option for you if your 30gal cube is already cycled. I don't know if the BioCube can have enough extra filtration, though. Some people have kept dwarf octos in 30gal tanks too, but they tend not to live very long even when healthy. I'm sure the experienced folks will chime in with more details...
     
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :welcome: I had my cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) in a 30 gallon, but they outgrew that tank so I moved them to a 55 gallon with a 20 gallon sump. They produce a lot of waste, my protein skimmer is always foaming... While I had my cuttles in the 30 gallon, I paid close attention to water parameters and I did a weekly water change of 25%. I think that octopus produce more waste than cuttlefish so a 55 gallon is really the recommended minimum.
     
  4. Gerri890

    Gerri890 Larval Mass Registered

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    Tank specifics

    Hi, My name is Gerri and I have just recently cycyled a 30 gal. tank. What I would like to ask is, are there any very specific parameters for keeping cephs? Such as,salinity,PH,etc. Also,I have used argonite as a substrate and would like to know if I will need to add sand? Thanks for any help you can give. Gerri
     
  5. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :Welcome: to TONMO, Gerri.

    I think there are some details about water parameters in one (or several) of the ceph care articles in the menu bar at the upper left, those are usually the best places to look for details. In general, ceph waste puts a large load on the ammonia processing in the tank, so often the most pressing concern is in cycling and filtration. This is also why a large water volume is vital, and usually it's necessary to have filtration that's rated for a larger tank, because the octo or cuttle is a much bigger bioload for its size than other animals. Of course, other parameters like pH, salinity, and temperature can be very important, too, and a particularly important issue is that the presence of copper in even small amounts is toxic to cephalopods, so it's important to avoid copper fixtures, and copper-based water treatments and medications which are commonly used for fish. If a tank has been used for fish before, just the residue from copper medications can be lethal to cephs months or years later.

    In terms of the substrate, for most species that isn't a major concern. There have been some discussions about sand and gravel, so I recommend searching for those, but my recollection is that any substrate is fine unless it's so sharp that it can hurt the octo, and that deep sand beds and live sand are a very small effect compared with the filtration needs for cephs.

    But most importantly, go read those articles, since they've been prepared and looked over by many folks with lots of experience, while what I wrote above is mostly from memory, not experience.
     

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