Tropical Octopus

Spring

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Of the tropical species of Octopi, which one is considered to be the best suited for aquarium life? I would like to have a bimac but I'm concerned about heat issues in the summer. Are there any of the tropicals that are captive bred?

Spring
 

Nancy

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Hi Spring,

You're right to be looking at the heat issue with a bimac. I was able to keep a bimac with the central air conditioning set at 70 or below, and with a fan blowing on the sump. The water stayed at about 72 degrees. I'm researching bimac water temperature and will have more to report later.

I know of no captive bred tropical octopuses, all would be wild caught. One of our members is ordering a briareus right now through her LFS, watch the Journals and Photos Forum to see how that turns out.

My LFS has had nice looking little octos, vulgaris I suspect, but they need a very large tank. I don't know what you have available locally.

Nancy
 

joel_ang

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I know these ain't cheap but a chiller would most certainly help. The fan method is a cost effective method and I would use that but you would have to add in freshwater quite often.
 

Spring

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Thanks, Nancy and Joel. A chiller is exactly what I'm trying to avoid having to purchase. I know they make some smaller ones that can cool off a tank 4-6 degrees for less than $300. But if I had to get one, I think I'd go ahead and get one of the big ones, as I doubt the cheaper ones actually work as well as they advertise. I have air conditioning, but it is a little inadequate on the hottest summer days. I use fans in the summer on my reef tanks which seems to keep the heat under control, but the tanks still can reach 80-82 degrees. Of course an octo tank wouldn't have the high output lighting contributing to the heat. Neither would it have all the powerheads that add to the higher temps. I suppose I could float frozen bottles of ro water if the temp got too high. But that isn't an ideal situation to be in. I could move the tank to a cooler part of the house, but I like having my tanks were I can see them the most. Which unfortunately, is the 2 warmest rooms in the house.

Thanks again,
Spring
 

Spring

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Seems like a lot of good ideas floating around on the cooling issue. :)
I went ahead and ordered a baby bimac from fishsupply.com today. It should be here tomorrow. I'll deal with the overheating issue when and if it happens. I'm rearranging a few rocks in the tank tonight, removing the ones with aptasia. Are there any other threats I should look for? What about powerhead intakes? Are they strong enough to stay out of the current? I have a bakpak skimmer on this tank and the return line has a 2" pipe in the tank which leads to a open section of the skimmer. Should I try to put a screen or something around that opening to prevent escape? Are the babies prone to escaping or is this something that develops as they age? Do octopi like to have a lot of water movement or should it be light, as with seahorses.

Spring
 

Nancy

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You need to cover all openings in one way or another - sponge, netting, etc. Definitely cover that pipe you mentioned. I used netting with a strong rubber band. The little octo may not be trying to escape - it may be just curious.

This will be a very small octopus. Do you have a lot of amphipods? Your ocotpus would appreciate them as food.

You want current and water movement, but not too strong. I have a powerhead and the return from my overflow providing the water curent.

You might want to click on Ceph Care above, which will take you to the articles and review the Equipment List (which contains more than equipment) and the Checklist.

Nancy
 

Spring

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Nancy, The pod population in the tank is limited. I thought I'd go to the fish market tomorrow and see if they have fresh clams and maybe something else I could cut up small enough for it to eat. Will they take enriched frozen mysis when they are small? Or should I try to get live food. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Spring
 

Nancy

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I think live food would be best, if you can find it. Octopets sells baby clams and amphipods - however, they also feed their baby octos very tiny crabs, which they apparently don't sell The NRCC uses live mysid shrimp, which is available if you live near the ocean or are willing to mail order.

You might try small pieces of fresh scallop or mussel and (thawed out) frozen shrimp.

Nancy
 

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