What all will I need?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by AeternusPulvia, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. AeternusPulvia

    AeternusPulvia Larval Mass Registered

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    I really want to get an octopus and do it right. What exactly will I need? I need a very specific list if possible. Oh, and is the three month thing true? Thanks.
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to TONMO.com! :welcome:

    Yes, it's true that you'll have to wait three months for your tank to cycle. But be glad of that, because it gives you some time to learn how to take care of a salt water aquarium.

    Click on Ceph Care articles (under Articles, above). These articles will give you a lot of the information you need. Read Keeping Cephs in Captivity, Equipment List, and the Checklist for a start.

    You might also look at the Tank Talk forum, a thread at the top entitled "What do you have...." where members list their actual equipment and how much they spent.

    Before you consider buying an octopus, make sure you know where you'll get the food for it. You'll need some live food, like fiddler crabs, and probably also some thawed frozen shrimp. Food can be expensive.

    Good luck!

    Nancy
     
  3. AeternusPulvia

    AeternusPulvia Larval Mass Registered

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    I have actually already read all of that. I just wanted a very specific check list type thing. Maybe I'm just lazy :( Anyway, if anyone could provide a link or just make a list I would appreciate it greatly. :)
     
  4. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    There isn't a "standardized" setup list that anyone has. Most of us design our own systems so there's tremendous variety. Before you can really make an equipment list, you should make decisions on how your tank will be setup: approx size, what type of filtration, sump vs HOB, etc.

    I suppose it would be possible to make a standardized setup list, but I think it would be detrimental because if someone is following the list to the letter they are doing so because they don't understand the trade-offs involved in the decisions; the strengths and weaknesses of each component that comes with a bit of experience and research. Cephalopods have special requirements and so they're generally not recommended to those without much experience.

    Good luck,

    Dan
     
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    When we first began to develop the Ceph Care articles, Colin and I felt that we should not provide an actual shopping list for an ceph tank. There is too much variation in the type of setup possible, but even more important, you have to understand enough to draw up your own list from the information provided. If you don't learn enough to do this, you're not likey to succeed in setting up your tank.

    Many TONMO.com members have worked with the articles, read past posts, and asked questions - and then have succeeded with their ceph tanks - so maybe it seems easier just to be given a shopping list, but it isn't.

    You may benefit from looking at acual equipment lists (found at the top of Tank Talk, "What do you have..." and also have a look at the Tank Owners Database (under Features on the menu above)

    Nancy
     
  6. AeternusPulvia

    AeternusPulvia Larval Mass Registered

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    Ok, I understand. Maybe I just need better explinations of what these pieces actually are. I have read the setup guide in the Ceph Care Articles, but I don't think I completely understand what all of the items actually ARE. Maybe that's what I need.
    I realize that I sound rather inexperienced, but I feel confident that I can handle raising an octopus. I have raised many species that have been deemed "only for experienced owners." I just need some guidance. So if someone could give me some, that would be great.
     
  7. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I think you make a wonderful point. I've noticed (since I've been hanging around here for years, but I haven't kept a saltwater tank since I was a teenager, and I never had one with all this fancy stuff) that there is a lot of discussion that uses terminology that all the experienced tank-keepers know by heart, but that newcomers aren't so familiar with. Something that you could do that would be a great addition to the articles would be to re-read, and keep a list of all of the terms and equipment names that you run into that aren't obvious (even if you happen to know them or can make a good guess), and post it here. I'm sure all the "tank talk" experts would be happy to explain them, it just doesn't occur to them that not everyone knows that HOB stands for "hang on back" and that a ramora is some type of ?powerhead? brand. Maybe some of you could even provide pictures of each component to illustrate on the "a picture's worth a thousand words" sort of principle. In fact, maybe we should have a new part of the image gallery for "equipment"-- there are a few examples in the "tanks" gallery, but mostly that's just the fully assembled tanks.

    I'm sure that folks are right that it's important for people to learn the details themselves instead of trusting an "octo tanks for dummies" list, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make it as easy as possible for people to learn those details!

    (also, please don't feel self-conscious-- I think it's great that you're asking, and I know some people get a little touchy because we get a lot of people around here who say "I just bought this octopus that the store said could be kept in my goldfish bowl, but all your intructions are so complicated, just tell me what I need to do" and that drives everyone crazy, since once someone has the octo, it's a race against time to get things good enough that it won't be doomed to certain death.)

    Oh, yeah, and :welcome: to TONMO!
     
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks Dan and Monty, you've both made good points!

    In the meantime, you might visit an LFS that carries a lot of saltwater equipment and livestock, look at things. Or, if you know someone with a saltwater set up, visit and ask questions. Even asking an LFS salesperson to show you some of the equipment and asking for a quote for an entire system would be useful.

    I find the Drs. Foster&Smith Aquarium Outfitters catalog very good at explaining equipment. People interested in setting up a saltwater system should subscribe to this catalog (1-800-443-1160) - it will help you get familiar with the various pieces of equipment (although they don't carry all brands) and they sell some things difficult to find anywhere else (such as a water-absorbant floor mat to replace all those towels during water changes).

    You can also do searches on the web for each piece of equipment. There are links in the Equipment article to sites that rate some types of equpment. If you want to get lots of opinions on a specific item, search on www.reefcentral.com.

    So that ought to get you started!

    Nancy
     

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